The final is almost here. Unfortunately you will have to wait a couple of weeks before I am able to post it. In the meantime, I will be sharing my experiences in Laos, so enjoy that while waiting for the final chapter.
I walked down the hallway of the office building to the glass door. Before going outside, I looked out to see how much of the circus had been set up. A podium had been set up in the middle of the parking lot. Each television station had strategically placed their cameras around the podium so they could obtain the best view of the proceedings. They were all present: NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, CNN and the People’s Network. A few newspaper reporters had gathered in the back of the throng still able to hear well enough to take notes down on their tiny pads. Other reporters had wandered over to the mothers from my neighborhood to ask them questions and get their perspective on the matter. Officer Provata was standing at the podium and answering questions from the press. It was obvious this wasn’t the main event but the press continued to ask questions because they needed something before the real action got started. It helped build up the anticipation for the viewers, and I could envision all of those viewers at their homes keeping one eye on the television while keeping the other one on their regular routine.
I looked back down the hallway to the closed door of Dr. Nancy Ann Blur. I wondered why she hadn’t come out and tried to stop me. It also made me wonder what was actually going on in her office. To this day I try to imagine what was going through her mind on that fateful day as she sat alone at her desk. Did she regret the decisions she had made in life? Did she realize her greed would get her nowhere in life? Or was she only worried about her mistakes now because she had finally been caught in the act? It is always intriguing to speculate on these moments in life but we will never truly understand the thought processes of others. In the case of Dr. Nancy Ann Blur, I will never be able to be sure, but I do believe her thought process went something like this:
“What will be my legacy in this world? It doesn’t matter how much good you do or how much you try to change the world for the better when you face a scandal in your lifetime. The scandal will always be your legacy. Do the American people see Nixon as a man who fought for the rights of the handicapped? No, they only see Watergate. Do they remember how Clinton balanced the budget? No, they only see Monica Lewinsky. Will I be known as the champion of children and turning the job of motherhood into a respectable occupation? Or will they only remember me as a woman who sold out the future of America in order to make a quick million dollars? What will my legacy be? Champion? Innovator? Hypocrite? Why am I the one who has to be held accountable?”
It was these thoughts that probably made her do what she did that day, but at that moment, I could care less what she was really thinking. I was just happy I had finally crushed the woman who had tortured me the last year and it was my time, my final coup de gras. I mumbled under my breath, “Good riddance,” before I opened the door and walked outside.
As I walked across the parking lot toward the podium I could hear Officer Provata explain once again why he was unable to arrest me yet and how I was still entitled to due process even though I was an American. The rest of the reporters had not noticed my presence yet, so for one bizarre moment I was able to enjoy the circus before I was to become one of its central figures.
Officer Provata continued on trying to entertain the crowd, “We were not able to arrest Mrs. Britva at her house due to one of the clauses of the National Caring and Loving Behavior Act. In that provision, it clearly states that every mother is entitled to an assessment meeting with their assessor before it is decided if re-education is needed. During the meeting, the assessor needs to explain what charges are being brought up and outline every instance where the mother went astray during her assessment. Of course, this provision has never come to light before this moment because it is the duty to the mother in question to request this meeting to take place, and if they do not it is automatically assumed the individual wants to give up this right. This is the first case where the mother has requested this meeting to have all of this laid out before her.”
I stood at the edge of the crowd to watch a little more of the press conference. I was amazed that nobody had noticed me yet. One of the reporters closer to the front raised her hand with a question and Officer Provata called on her. “Why would they add this provision to the National Caring and Loving Behavior Act? Who would do such a thing?”
Officer Provata replied, “Obviously, I don’t have that information in front of me, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say this part of the act was introduced as an amendment by one of our more liberal senators or congressmen. I’m sure they talked on and on about how every person in this nation is entitled to due process under the Constitution of the United States and if we didn’t allow this to happen then the law would eventually be ruled unconstitutional. There is probably some truth to it, but when all is said and done, it is a part of the law, and it is not my job to interpret the law, just enforce it. This is the reason we’re waiting for word on what steps to take next.”
The press all seemed to nod in agreement, and started mumbling to themselves. Officer Provata tried to keep the focus of the press conference by asking the reporters if there were any more questions, but the press seemed bored with him and were more interested in the main event. They started to question why it hadn’t started yet. Reporters started asking other reporters what they were going to do after work, and how each others’ family members were doing. It was obvious this portion of the press conference was over. I thought this would be the perfect time to take center stage and give all of the reporters the scoop they were anticipating. I raised my hand to get Officer Provata’s attention, but he looked over my head at something going on behind me.
Officer Provata pointed towards the front door to the office building and said, “Oh, there she comes right now.”
The press turned to see who it was he was talking about. I saw Dr. Nancy Ann Blur exiting the door and walking over to the podium. The press rushed over to her. I was lost in the shuffle and nobody seemed to notice that the person whom this press conference was really about was amongst their midst. They instead were more interested in the woman whom they had raised up to the class of goddess and they bombarded her with so many questions there was no way she would be able to distinguish one from another.
She had definitely collected herself since last I had seen her. She was no longer the broken soul who I had left in the room back in the office building. Her swagger and confidence had returned as she strode over to the podium. Her business suit was presentable as if she had just ironed it. Her hair was once again perfectly tucked and arranged in its usual bun in order to give the appearance of a woman on a mission. Even through the clatter of the press, I could hear her high heels clack against the blacktop.
It was like watching a group of six year olds play soccer as she made her way to the podium. I was the only one on the sideline staring at the spectacle. She was like the soccer ball and the reporters were like the six year-olds huddled around the ball trying to get their kick. The ball continued on its path and the huddled mass of humanity followed it.
Dr. Blur did turn her head to look at me as she made her way to the podium. We held eye contact for a few moments. No words were exchanged between us but the look said enough. It was as though she was saying, you have forced me to play my hand, and this is the only thing left for me to do. I remember wondering at the time what that final play would be, and with all of the thoughts running through my mind, the final card she played was as much a surprise for me as it was for the rest of the people fortunate enough to have witnessed the event.
Just as fast as Dr. Blur and I were able to connect from across the crowd, the spell was broken and once again she was focused on the podium. She quickened her pace and the press let her take her place at the microphone. The reporters ran back to their places in front of the podium to make sure they had a wonderful seat for the show. One of the members of the press bumped into me as he made his way to his spot. He looked down at me in disgust and said, “Watch where you’re going,” and then moved on to his spot.
I was dumbfounded by this response by the press. I thought I was supposed to be the main attraction during this press conference and they banged into me without even recognizing me. How in the world did that happen? Was this really about me, or was I duped into believing what I was doing was greater than it actually was? Since when had I become yesterday’s news?
Dr. Blur stood up at the podium and looked over the crowd to make sure everybody had taken their spots. People jostled for position and she patiently waited for them to get where they needed to be. My heart started to thump a little quicker because I didn’t know what she was going to do and whether it would involve me in a disparaging way. Would she try to take me down before I was able to take her down? Would she ignore me and go after Sam Hogston instead? Would she expose herself before I was able to do it? The last one bothered me the most. Looking back, it wasn’t really important if I was the one who exposed her or if somebody else did. The important thing was the whole truth of the National Loving and Caring Behavior Act was brought to light and no mother ever again would be held accountable for its ridiculous precepts. But there was a part of me that wanted the credit and recognition for being the one who had brought the law down. After all the trials and tribulations I had been through, after all the compromises I made for everything I believed in, after the loved ones’ lives I destroyed to reach the goal of taking down the one evil I knew I couldn’t believe in, I wanted the feeling I would obtain from bringing all of this to light. If I was the person, I would be a hero to millions and my story would be told time and time again as inspiration to others. But now all I could do was stand on the sidelines and watch as Dr. Nancy Ann Blur once again took the spotlight.
What she did though was not at all what I expected. She stood at the podium and waited until there was complete silence from the crowd. They eventually gave it to her because of the respect they still held for her. She coughed into the microphone once and I could remember how eerily quiet it was that fateful day. You couldn’t hear a breath from another person. Even nature seemed to stand on edge to see what she was going to do next. The birds quit chirping in their trees and watched with interest. The bugs landed on places where they would not be a distraction. Even the gentle breeze stopped so it wouldn’t disturb the trees with the rustling of its blooming leaves.
Looking back, it was probably the same in all the households and businesses across America. People stopped what they were doing and moved closer to their televisions. Kids stopped playing with their toys to pay attention to this historic moment. Babies even quit crying long enough to focus their eyes for the first time on their televisions.
With all of America paying attention, Dr. Nancy Ann Blur coughed again. Slight feedback echoed through the speakers.
She began speaking, “I want to thank you all for coming here today and listening to what I have to say. The few words I have to say should answer all of your questions.”
She coughed again.
America leaned even closer.
She reached behind to the small of her back. She seemed to grope for something that was there. She brought it out for everybody to see. It was a small revolver.
She brought the barrel up to her chin as if it was the microphone.
“I just tried to make the world a better place, the best way I knew how.”
Those were her last words. She stuck the barrel into her mouth. Tears rolled past her eyeglasses onto her chubby cheeks. I always like to think her eyes made one last direct connection with mine before she pulled the trigger. An explosion of hair, bone, and brains burst from the top of her head. She closed her eyes and slumped to the ground.
A reporter in the front row turned to his cameraman and said, “Tell me you got that.”