Author's note:** David's emergence, although somewhat conflicting with Chapter 12, Chapter 13 goes into much more detail and better explains the chains of events that were necessary for Emergence and Reunification.
- Singapore, David -
Peter was sleeping very soundly; his breathing deep, slow, and rhythmical. Lying on his right side in a fetal position allowed me to crutch my way to him, sit on the bed, lean over and kiss him softly on his cheek.
Chu exited the room only returning a few moments later with a wheelchair. He stole a few moments of restful contemplation, he would tell me later.
Peter's guide and caretaker nodded then walked to me, urged me to stand, and assisted me into a pure white, very thin and flowing gown like garment. After loosely tying the sash he urged me into the wheelchair and then we took off for the preparation cubicles where I was treated like a king with utmost concern, respect, privacy and dignity.
Benji arrived in time for the massage. His attention to detail leaving not one square inch of my body untouched with firm but gentle pressures with warm oils, constant and continuous reassurances, and highly controlled and reserved almost delicate massage of those areas south of the border. When my maleness became engorged, when I slightly resisted from shame, Benji said confidently, “Ah, very good. The Great Sensei attributes much illness to repression. Repression is based on shame and guilt and fear of reprisal for that which occurs in Nature. Our Higher Self very often conflicts with societal rules and regulations. Conflict, a viscous predator is a prime root for illness, its reaches all encompassing that creates yet more conflict and illness.
“Are you saying my cancer was or could have been initiated by stress cycles?”
Benji then stated softy, “Correct me if I am incorrect... <I nodded>... You have had much stress in your life of recent times, no?”
“Yeah, I guess... I thought I was handling everything okay.”
Benji looked at me with understanding, “Yes, David, you've handled your stresses. I believe there is more though... our Temples were designed, and throughout our lives our consciousness was, is and will be taught to process through stress in unique ways. Oftentimes, these methods, good as they may seem to be, leave behind deep surface boundaries that are not resolved. Our physical bodies, our Metaphysical Self in other words, become stressed over an event. We process it through conscious thought – and time... yet our bodies retain varying degrees of that stress... as the stresses continue to happen, which is life itself, our Metaphysical Self accumulates and accumulates until such a time that the System becomes overburdened. Because energy required to build and maintain Homeostatic State is used elsewhere we become 'sick' and 'afflicted'.”
“Hmm... so... my cancer was caused by stress?”
“Yes, I am afraid so... wait, do not blame yourself or anyone else for your affliction! Let's break this down...”
I nodded. I had not thought that I would ever destroy my body...
“Your first affliction with cancer... what could have precipitated a significant stress; what happened that created much stress in your life or before then?”
“Uhm... my mom – she got sick... you know she got cancer... and well, she died from it. It's been tough...”
“Yes, yes, David, I am very, very sorry for her departure from your life and from the lives of your dad and brother Jeremy. Her leaving created much stress in your life. You've had to transition from her death into who and what you are today... this kind of transition is certainly not for, how do you American's call it 'Sissies'?”
I giggled, “Yes.”
“You are doing very well David. Your transition is very nearly complete. Several strong people have come into your life... and no those people are not replacements... nobody can ever replace your birth mother... the point I'm making is you have much love, harmony, support in your life – and you are able to share that love, harmony and support to them and others. This is the cycle of life.”
“Benji, only you and my brother Jeremy know... I speak with my mother. I really do not feel separated from her, if you know what I mean.”
“Yes, you are a part of your mother and she is your Giver. You are Her. She is the Giver of You so that makes you Her. You can never Separate.”
“That makes my dad Him. He is a Giver too. We never Separate. Together, I am Her and Him?”
“That is correct.”
“My parents are good people.”
“That they are: the best.”
“Benji, what made my cancer return in a form that very nearly took me from this plane? I think I know but I need to know for sure so it does not return again.”
“David, the answer lies within. I could easily tell you... but those boundaries would still remain unresolved because you did not acknowledge them. By not acknowledging them they remain. Let me give you an example, okay?”
I nodded, “I love Peter with all of my being. I would give my very life to save his. Peter is a Giver. He gives all the time – to me, to dad, to mom, to Antoine, to Allen, to Angel, to Andy, to anyone who comes along who he can help. He and I are joined in all ways.”
“Yes you are. David, your strengths, supports, companionship, commitments, and assistance in all things to he who is your husband are to be commended; I would not expect anything differently from you nor would I expect anyone to lash your expertise with which you conduct yourself in matters concerning those around you. Yet, at the same time, through no fault of your own, your Temple was neglected, rejected, dismissed, denigrated, and denied; all to various levels sufficient to bring about illness and discord with your Metaphysical Self - your True Nature.”
Somewhat distressed, I stated, “But I had to be there, to support, to love in all ways at all times, and even carry Peter through his ordeals... had I to do it all over again I would do it all again.”
“Absolutely. You did right for he who is your loved one and companion of the Highest Level. Such love is of, in, and always will be your True Nature. Your True Nature was, however, neglected in most every way.”
“My dad and others say to treat those around me with utter respect and dignity putting myself aside.”
“Ah, therein lies fault. Think of it like this: our True Nature is childlike. Our child must be fed, clothed (giggles emanated from he and I), nurtured, watered, fertilized, and in all other ways 'taken care of' to use your level of understanding and knowledge. Liken this to what you hear when readying to depart from a point of origin to a point of destination on a Mechanical Big Bird, an airplane...”
“Oh, like when the airline stewardess or steward instructs all passengers to place their oxygen masks on first prior to placing another one on the other person, like that?”
“But... if my True Nature is of, in and within the Realm of Giving...”
“Yes, yes, yes... your True Nature also has need for Realm of Receiver. This is the crux, the point of reference for conflict – it is often times ignored at best but is often, most times, cast aside, thrown away, denigrated...”
“... Dismissed, neglected, rejected, and denied to most all levels sufficient to bring about strength, stamina, perseverance, and companionship with the Realm of Giving?”
“Oh, okay, I understand now. But how?”
“Allow other life forms to bring the Basic Needs of Realm to your Spirit and Metaphysical Self. To arrive at The Homeostatic State one must develop Balance. I, personally, find Balance within and allow my True Self to manifest in its highest form. Bringing others into their True Self in turn feeds, nurtures, fertilizes, waters and in all other ways are taken care of...”
“... To use your level of understanding and knowledge. Okay, I think I understand. In other words I must receive in order for others to be within their True Nature through the Realm of Giving – this creates Balance which in turn creates and therefore nourishes The Homeostatic State?”
“Yes, yes, yes, exactly!”
As if Benji was clearly reading my mind I said, “When Peter and I make love our understanding has been that one receives while the other gives... is this not correct?”
“Perhaps you can think of it this way: when Peter's Evidence of Maleness, his penis in other words, is imbedded deeply in and within your Temple do you not receive pleasure? Does your Chosen One not receive pleasure... and then when your Evidence of Maleness, your penis in fact, is in and within his Temple... do you not receive pleasure, does he not receive pleasure... is, in fact, the Balance and The Homeostatic State achieved one, the same and all – is that not a sharing of The Realm of Giving and The Realm of Receiving?”
“Yes, absolutely, with not one shred of doubt; we are One within that Juncture” I said realizing the magnitude of what Benji had just said and confirmed.
Benji then very carefully and softly added, “Think broader, David. You say 'that' Juncture... expand 'that' to 'this' Juncture. 'This' Juncture is also 'That' juncture... allow your Spirits to join at all times, not just during coupling. This is not easy. This is where conflict is actually Born... conflict is limiting our innate Powers of True Nature.”
“Mastery of Conflict is more difficult, David. Absence of Conflict is something we strive for -yet- never truly attain... this Conflict actually strengthens both the Realm of Giving and Realm of Receiving, which in turn creates Balance and The Homeostatic State. David, do not try too hard. Trying too hard creates yet more conflict. Let your True Nature 'be'. Do not 'do' – in other words, just 'be' you.”
“That will take practice.”
“Yes, yes, yes... I am still practicing <giggles>.”
Benji then took me to Peter's and my room, deepened my meditative state, and joined my spirit with Peter's which took me into The Deep. As Benji would later explain, The Deep is a state of being where Peter and I join in non-physical ways to the greatest degree – awareness yet not aware of that which is external.
- Emergence & Reunification -
Sensei, in his flowing white robes, was promulgating Antoine and Matt into a Metaphysical and Spiritual 'The Homeostatic State' all the while transmitting a state of mutual and perfect Realm of Giving and Realm of Receiving in the same manner Benji had explained to David.
Satisfied with accomplishment, Sensei then moved to Allen and Angel's boudoir to perform the same ceremony... he was pleased to see their coupling was already in progress, unaided. Their Realm of Giving and Realm of Receiving was, at least for the time being, in and within The Homeostatic State.
His next stop was Jeremy. Through The Connection, Sensei was pleased to find Jeremy lost in his thoughts of He who will be Husband and Mate. He found the connection to be Very Great and Complete.
Moving on to Andy, Sensei sensed through The Connection that Andy was very, very conflicted, almost to the Extreme Border. Shame and Guilt exuded from most every pore in the Young Boy's Mind, Body and Spirit. With Great Strength and Perseverance, Conscious and Unconscious Thoughts were placed into Andy's Spirit to celebrate, honor, nurture, water, fertilize his True Self in all ways, and to cast out and dismiss those Conflicts which need not be True Conflicts.
Sensei, through The Connection saw and sensed spontaneous Complete Union of both Male and Female True Nature in and within the Male Child. As the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding” … Andy's proof was a spontaneous, not forced or cajoled wetness about his abdomen and smattering of that which designates him as a Developing Male caused and created by a coupling with both Female and Male True Natures.
Next to last, but certainly not least Sensei entered the temporary residence of David and Peter. Peter was being placed into a State of Unawareness yet True Nature Total Awareness by his great grandson Benji using his powers of True Self.
Sensei joined Benji... yet very little joining was needed or necessary because as Peter transcended into the state of True Nature Total Awareness that which designates him as male spontaneously found and entered that which he has designated as Husband easily and completely. Slowly, rhythmically, easily, without conflict or distance of Mind, Metaphysical, and Spirit both were clearly experiencing the perfect combination of Realm of Giving and the Realm of Receiving, equally, truly a Gift.
The last stop created a display of total and complete 'shock' to Benji and Sensei's senses of True Self, thus Conflict.
She who is Mother and He who is Father to Children and New Child were arising from their resting place, fully emerged, fully charged, and fully aware of time, place, station, being, and with near perfect Realms of Giving and Receiving present and within. Not only that but they were emanating those same attributes to the New Child.
With neither Shame nor Guilt, said Parents approached Sensei and Benji then drew the latter into a full embrace creating a near perfect Homeostatic State between all three kindred spirits. The room glowed. The New Child became very much awake and oriented to its surroundings, and then nearly at once fell into deep and restful Sleep State.
Benji physically separated from Mother and Father. Both He and She followed Benji and Sensei to each of their Sons to observe love and commitment incarnate. Lastly, they entered Jeremy and then Andy's rooms where Visions were shown to them of both Boys’ destinies of their True Self.
Both Mother and Father were then taken to the preparation rooms to be prepared for reunion of their Spirits and the Spirits of their charges all the while being reassured that their natural offspring would soon experience both Ultimate Union and Reunification.
Ministrations complete, Mother and Father were taken and shown the Reunification Suite, given drinks to quench any and all thirst. Eight chairs had been set up in a tight circle, the lights dimmed to near nonexistence thus allowing full sunshine to pervade the Suite. Peace and tranquility yet a yearning to meet with those who they called Son were instilled in and within their Spirits.
Antoine and Matt were the first to emerge, their connection firmly established. Their presence would be required and necessary during Emergence of their kindred spirits, their brothers.
They were taken and shown to the Preparation Suite, properly cleansed and massaged – Antoine by Sensei, Matt by Benji.
Their Preparation complete, they were shown and taken to each of their brothers' rooms where, once the coupling was complete and consummate were likewise taken to the Preparation Room by their Boy and then prepared by either Sensei or Benji, and in Andy's case – both. Subsequently all were dressed in flowing white gowns by either Antoine or Matt.
One by one, or couple by couple, as the case may have been, they were taken to the Reunification Suites to reunite with Mother and Father, and any and all brothers that arrived prior to their arrival. David and Peter's Reunification occurred last since their Realms of Giving and Receiving occurred twice.
Once Reunification was easily completed all were taken and shown to the dining suite, designed especially to all's unspoken specifications, where they were reunited, but not reunified, with Drs. Miller, Borkwin, Wong, and each family members' designated and assigned Boy.
Each Boy experienced affection, gratuity, appreciation and thanksgiving for their services, assistance and companionship throughout the entire journey. Because each Boy was autonomous in his own right and because each Boy was subservient they were taken to a separate dining room where they were lavished with praise, good feelings, a meal of their choosing, a preparation ceremony, and then a drive to each home and a reuniting with their families after a two day absence.
The atmosphere for dining was jovial, warm, understanding and filled with hope, love and spiritual companionship.
Angel, however, was exceptionally reserved with his carefully prepared partaking. Benji noted Angel's hesitation and rejection of certain items on his plate. Benji quietly summoned Dr. Wong and brought to her attention Angel's reservations and reluctance. Dr. Wong nodded at Benji's concerns then stood and gathered attention.
Although Dr. Wong specifically spoke direct to Angel, her demeanor and presentation included all. She said, “Angel, you are free to eat any and all partaking. Your western medicine apparatus affixed and attached to your young abdomen has been removed without consequence. You no longer need continuous and constant and filled with desire monitoring of that which occurs naturally in your body by your True Self, particularly within your Metaphysical Self. Your Metaphysical Self has been reunited through Balance resulting in The Homeostatic State. Simply stated, you are no longer afflicted with a western medicine diagnosis category called Juvenile Onset Diabetes Mellitus. Eat healthy? Yes, by all means, but not to the point of deprivation of that is pleasing and pleasant to your salivation experience.”
With that Dr. Wong retreated to her seat and resumed partaking of her chosen meal all the while enjoying an animated conversation with Drs. Miller and Borkwin at and over and because of her disclosure to one and all.
Meanwhile, Angel tore into his food with vigor and without abandon. His final desire was fulfilled – banana cream pie complete with sugar filled filling and meringue. He suffered no ill effects, and was soon filled to a pleasant and comfortable capacity.
Dr. Miller then summoned David to his table. Both stood then relayed the results of David’s laboratory and radiological findings. Dr. Miller, of course, provided technical detail while David shared his emotions and feelings of physical and emotional well being.
When David took his seat next to his beloved Dr. Wong remained standing then addressed all in attendance, “Mr. and Mrs. Blake, unaware to western medicine your New Child was found to have a serious heart defect. In western medicine her diagnosis would be Tetrology of Fallot and Transposition of The Great Vessels, serious and often times fatal maladies that require invasive surgery to correct. Worry not. She will live a long and healthy and prosperous life, and will not precede you into transition from one life form to another.
Mr. Blake, according to western medicine, you were on a fast track to making your transition from one life form to the next prior to your oldest child's 25th birthday. Such is not now the case. Be well.
All Children and She who is Wife looked at Father with fear, worry, concern and trepidation clearly written on their faces and carried through their body language.
Dr. Wong promptly allayed their fears, “Worry not. <Looking at dad intently> you will see the children of your children's children, as will you Peggy.”
David rose to speak. He asked meekly, “Dr. Wong do you see Peter and I with child?” He then sat down looking at Peter. Peter also had the inquiring look on his face and experienced a shift in posture.
Dr. Wong gently said, “I do not see into the future. Be well David because She who is Peter's Child is to be considered Your Child. There is no separation between You and Your Mate, except metaphysically and physically of course. Spiritual and Mindful Separation creates and restores prior Conflict.”
Allen and Angel rose as one. Dr. Wong immediately said, “You will come in Contact. Other than that I cannot answer your unspoken question.”
Matt shrugged his shoulders. He closed his eyes tightly. Antoine's attention was caught forthright. He took Matt's hand in his, closed their distance, and then tears sprang from both their eyes.
Matt then Antoine looked up. To no one in particular, but to all in particular Antoine said, “Our very lives, as one and as separately in our physical state, will lie in jeopardy because A Choice will present itself. Sensei, have we not had enough heartache, pain and suffering for this lifetime and the next?” Antoine then sat back down and together Matt and Antoine began weeping.
Matt dried his tears and then forcefully said to Antoine, “Yes, we're prepared to meet any challenge, dufus. We will meet the Conflict as One. Our Unification is complete.”
Sensei slowly looked around the room in quiet contemplation then a peace enveloped his Being, you could see it transcend in, upon and within, and without in its entirety.
Andy, with the full force and effect of obvious Conflict arose and stated with a very child-like voice emanating from his true vocal cords, “I have Conflict. I cannot choose. Do you see a Chosen One in my life experience?”
Sensei spoke to Andy, “Do you see a Chosen One in your life?”
Andy shook his head, “You sound like dad. You are answering a question with a question.”
The room erupted in laughter knowing all too well that what Andy said was the entire and unadulterated truth. Dad looked at Andy then to all Children seated with “What?” written all over his face.
After dinner we were shown to our rooms, once again. There we got dressed, summonsed the limo then made our way to the hotel.
Matt asked dad as we pulled under the canopy in front of the hotel entrance, “Dad, can we go to the beach... you know where Antoine and I went... you know, where I got the sunburn?”
It was mid afternoon in the high heat of the day... the beach would be clear since most people would be working in their occupations.
All child occupants in the limo first looked at mom and then dad to see what might their decision would be.
Mom said, “I don't see a problem with going there for a very short period of time, do you dad?”
“No, I don't see a problem … SO LONG AS we have lots of sunscreen, do you all understand?”
Emphatic nods indicating willing compliance was expressed by one and all.
Andy said, “Can Harry go with us... I mean if you guys <looking at mom then dad> say we can go? He's kewl.”
Dad said, “Whatcha think mom, should we let the hooligans have their fun?”
Mom replied, clearly with orneriness emanating from every pore, “Oh, I don't know, Jim. We've had a busy week...”
Her orneriness was not missed, Antoine said to Andy with equal orneriness, “The old folks need their rest... perhaps we'll get to go tomorrow or the next day, can we mom?”
With a mock stern expression on her face in her voice, mom said, “I'll have you know young man that I have to keep up with the bunch of you... and I do pretty darn good!”
That cooled Antoine's jets. Seeing mom's demeanor cracked us up. Antoine had been had in the worst possible way. When he 'caught the drift' that he'd been 'had' he slunk down in the rich leather seat... Matt meanwhile playfully slapped Antoine up the side of his head. Finally Antoine grinned sheepishly. He then said, “You guys are BAD!”
Dad said giggling heartily, “No son, we're good! It's not every day we get one on you! Okay, let's go get our swim suits ON.”
Matt said somewhat sheepishly, more hopeful than anything else really, “Uhm, we don't need swimsuits, do we Antoine?”
They both looked around the inside of the limo to every person then Antoine, who's normally the modest one, replied to Matt's assertion, “No, the beach is naturist.”
Dad looked to mom. Something unspoken was said between them. Dad picked up the in-car phone and said to the driver, “Please park the vehicle for a few moments, we're going to get some things together then head to the beach. Antoine will give you directions.”
The drivers' voice was overheard saying, “Yes sir. If you'll give me an approximate time, I'll be here waiting for you.”
Dad replied, “Maybe 30 minutes, is that okay?”
“Very fine sir, you're needs and wants for transportation are mine to fulfill. I shall await your return.”
With that, we headed to our rooms, gathered up towels, sandals, and other such things then congregated in mom and dad's room. Juan was on 'assignment' but Harry, much to Andy's delight, was patiently waiting for our arrival. He was fully dressed in a hot t-shirt and heavy jeans, cowboy boots – and was wearing a much heavier smile.
On the way downstairs, mom and dad stopped off at a shop in the hotel that sells various 'quick need' supplies where they purchased two large family sized bottles of SF-30 sunscreen lotion. Within 10 minutes we were on the way and within 30 minutes later the limo stopped under one of the few shade trees maybe 150 yards from the sea itself so as to give us privacy, of sorts.
All needs for privacy cast aside, clothes, shoes and other wearing apparel were scattered about the back area of the limo. Everyone emerged in their birthday suits. Mom heavily coated each with plenty of sunscreen then each person liberally applied same to their own genitals and butts. If we didn't know better, we all kinda sorta looked like ghosts.
Two hours later, not caring who or what saw us we made our way back to the limo, got dressed then headed back to the hotel where we disembarked and wished the driver well. Dad generously tipped him and then we headed to our rooms, again congregating in mom and dad's rooms.
Dad called Juan. Juan was in Beijing and wouldn't return until late that night so we talked him into letting Harry stay with us. That kind of sorta presented a bit of a problem for dad because Andy and Harry wanted their own room like us older guys had. After quite a bit of bribery on both boys parts dad finally acquiesced to their 'demands'.
We were all still greasy and oily from the sunscreen lotion so we headed off to our rooms to shower and then go for a quick swim before it was time for dinner. Mom and dad called for reservations in the restaurant for 7pm then bade us farewell (good riddance was mom's playful choice of words! Can you imagine that... Sheesh).
With the folks' 'blessings' we each and as couples headed to our rooms, stripped, jumped in the shower, washed the yuck off, played just long enough to extinguish the 'heat' emanating from the loins then met on the pool deck then dove in and had a good 45 minute swim before it was time to go take yet another shower and get ready for dinner.
Of course partners and mates checked very, very carefully for any sunburned anatomy. Andy was a bit red on his back and shoulders but it was nothing that the lotion supplied by the hotel couldn't take care of – the relief could possibly have been accentuated by Harry's expert application of same?
Dinner was excellent, enjoyable, entertaining, lighthearted and relaxing all at the same time.
Mom, dad and Jeremy decided to take a walk down to the shop area and muse around while the rest of us goofed off in the arcade on the promenade level of the hotel. Perhaps an hour and a half later, they returned. We decided to go for an evening swim since the sun was over the building. Upon arrival, Benji was cleaning the bottom of the pool.
Dad performed a cannonball spraying water everywhere including, unfortunately, Benji's shorts, legs and socks and shoes. Dad exited the pool after seeing what he'd just done, quickly walked to Benji and they began talking.
The rest of us were excited to see Benji so we made our way to him, performed the perfunctory high-five, the guy bump hug and then a rapping of knuckles. He was all smiles and dismissed the bit of water saying it would soon dry, and no big deal of any of it.
Dad asked, “Benji, what are you doing here working for the hotel?”
Sheepishly, he answered matter of fact, “I'm making money to help my mom with our expenses. It's okay; I enjoy what I do here. The work is easy, the pay is pretty good, and I get to meet a lot of fine people like you, your wife and your sons.”
“I'm sorry if I intruded, Benji. I just wondered because of your work elsewhere.” Dad said softly.
“No, no, you didn't intrude sir. Sir, I don't work in the Temple. It's my calling. Everybody has a calling. That's mine. I'm very happy.”
Antoine said to dad, “Working in the Temple is a great honor bestowed on Benji by his great grandfather. <Benji casually nodded his agreement>. His people are very proud of their heritage. They honor their ancestors. Benji, it is typical for the gifts to skip a generation, right?”
“Yes, that is true. He who was my father was not, he did not... it skipped his generation for the most part although my what you call 'uncle' had the gift but he misused it... he was a very bad man. Unfortunately, he crossed the wrong people... he passed into the next world a very lonely, bitter, and angry man. Luckily, we did not meet his occasion very often, maybe once a year or every other year.”
Dad started to say something but Benji interrupted him, “Sir, my mother is an outcast to our society. She has no husband. She has nothing to offer except her kindness. Kindness has nothing to do with our patriarchal way of life though... in fact it can be a liability. She will ask nothing from my dad's family because it would not be given so she makes no request of them. Neither do I because if I were to make such a request then it would dishonor her. She's the last person I would ever dishonor. I love her. We get by on very little because we have very little and our needs are few.”
Dad said, “I'm sure your mother is very proud of you... she has to be... you are a fine young man... honorable is the right word. I am eternally grateful to you and to your mother for raising a very good son. Since you ask nothing for yourselves, would you do me the honor of accepting my invitation for your mother and you to join us for dinner tomorrow afternoon?”
“Oh no, we could never afford such an offer, I'm sorry, I must decline your invitation. I must get back to work.” Benji said hurriedly.
Dad said, “I'm sorry I do not understand. Today you spoke to my family about Realms of Giving and Receiving... does that not apply to you?”
A tiny trace of anger crossed Benji's face. He took a step back... all the while he was looking at dad. “I must go now.” Benji turned and took two steps before Antoine said, “Benji, you are Conflicted. Allow us the Realm of Giving. You are our friend. And because you are our friend your mother is also our friend. It is the Way.”
Benji stopped in his tracks. After a pause he bowed his head to nobody in particular. He turned around to face Antoine. He said, “You are correct. It is the Way. You are a good student... much better than I. I will not dishonor your presence. Please excuse me.” He began rapidly walking away from us with the net in his hand.
Andy looked around at his family, “Are you just going to let him walk away like that?”
“I will not dishonor him, Andy.” Antoine said as a matter of fact.
That didn't satisfy Andy or Harry. They looked at each other then took after Benji despite Antoine's admonishments.
Harry stood in front of Benji. Andy took Benji's arm in his. They then led Benji to a table where they and a somewhat reluctant Benji sat and talked for a few minutes.
It was noticed that both Harry and Andy had their hands on or in Benji's at all times. We saw Benji's shoulders slump then rise then slump again. He then squared his shoulders, got up then headed for the stairs located at the backside of the pool and out of sight.
Andy and Harry came running over to the family. They had smiles on their faces and were giving each other plenty of high-five.
Happily, Andy said, “Benji has agreed to join us for dinner – but he and his mother cannot come to such a fine hotel as we are staying for our trip.”
Harry continued, “Dad, they have no good clothes. Their life is very simple. The clothes Benji wears here are hotel issued clothes. His mother works in a factory. She wears very light clothes because of the heat. They are worn.”
Andy added, “We'll go eat in a restaurant of their choice in their area – this is the only way.”
Both boys stood still and quietly waited for response.
Mom asked, “Where did Benji go?”
Andy happily answered, “He went down to the servant's shack... wait... here he comes.”
Shocked beyond belief, we saw Benji return. Happily he stood in front of us. His khaki shorts were way too big on his small frame, and his shoes were threadbare and worn down to their nubs. His dirty white shirt appeared filthy dirty and tattered. The offset was his bright teeth, the center of attraction to his genuinely happy smiling face. He said, “This is my … what do you Americans call it... 'Element'?”
A couple walking over to us caught our attention. They were dressed immaculately; prim and proper, and they carried about them a haughty air of arrogance. The man spoke, “We came specifically to this hotel so that we wouldn't have to deal with the likes of beggar kids. Get out of here kid. Go back to your slum. Honey, call management right this moment to get this vagrant removed! I've never seen the like.”
Benji stood in front of the man, bowed before him and began to say something but dad stepped forward, pulled Benji under his arm and held him protectively. Mom was pissed... we'd never seen her pissed before.
Dad said to the asshole, “Sir, I'm not sure what made you say what you just said... why is not important. You've dishonored this boy and my family. May I suggest you and your wife enjoy your time as we 'were'? There is plenty of room for everyone.”
“Is this beggar your son... if he's not then mind your own fucking business.”
Dad said forcefully, “This is MY business. Now go set down before I call management. I have nothing further to say to you and your wife.”
Mom wasn't finished, “You have no idea who you are talking to. Benji here is a very fine boy. He's very proud of his heritage. He belongs here more than you do. You sir, and you ma'am are the beggars. Your mouths and thinking are absolutely and totally and disgustingly filth.”
Just then the man reached for Benji, touched him. Dad knocked the guys' and away. The guy grabbed dad's hand then they both wrestled, both trying to get control of Benji. Antoine meanwhile had had enough. Matt, meanwhile, had his arm around Antoine's waist and was telling Antoine that dad could handle the situation, to just give him a minute. Antoine would not hear of it then quickly walked to the man and dad. He grabbed the man under his armpit and squeezed hard causing the man to release his hand on both dad and Benji.
Antoine said with calm clarity, “You have dishonored my father and my kindred spirit. Do as my father told you. If you must persist then I must persist.”
The man got into Antoine's face, “Just who the fuck do you think you are talking to me like that? I'll have you thrown out of this hotel and right into jail. With a dick like you've got and your black face you'll definitely be the center of attention and somebody's sweetheart within 15 minutes! You're a freak and it's disgusting; put some clothes on for Christ sake.”
The man then looked to mom and dad, “God help you, haven't you taught this black bastard a modicum of respect and common decency?”
Dad took hold of Benji's shoulders then urged the boy to stand behind him. He got into the man's face and said, “You sir, are talking about my son. You have no right...” The man, with his eyes bugging out, faster than dad or Antoine could react, gave dad a powerhouse blow to the chin knocking him into the pool.
Two things happened simultaneously, (1) Jeremy, Peter, Allen and Angel dove into the pool and retrieved dad from the deep water, and (2) Antoine knocked the man down onto the concrete pavement and then began to push his thumbs into the man's eye sockets... but Matt's screams gave cause for Antoine to rethink what he was about to do. Instead, he leveraged the bottom of his foot into the man's neck – not injurious but enough to hold the guy down. His wife was yanking Antoine's ears as if she wanted to pull them off his head. Antoine reached back and slapped the shit out of her... she prudently backed off and away.
Okay, 3 things happened simultaneously, as dad was being retrieved and the man was being subdued, hotel security and police arrived. Mom quickly told the officers what had happened... which were validated by the man's wife's screams of brutality and assault they quickly detained the man and sat the wife down in a chair by side the pool.
Benji, meanwhile, had been tossed to the pavement when dad was knocked off balance. He lay unmoving on the pavement. Matt was shaking him. Andy was slapping Benji in a way to arouse him. The fucking cops walked right by the boys, stepped over Benji to get to dad who was, by then, sitting in a chair with mom and the guys standing around him.
Once the dude was detained Antoine went to Benji, stopped Andy and Matt then pulled Benji into his arms and began speaking to him softly yet firmly, telling him to come back to us, that he has work yet to be done. He then said to the nearest cop, leaving no trace of doubt as to what he said and why, “Get the paramedics here, this boy is hurt.”
Dad, he got his wits back quickly at seeing Benji lying in Antoine's arms. Mom, meanwhile, started checking Benji's pupil reactions, his pulse, respiration and level of consciousness. During her ministrations she leaned down to kiss Benji on his forehead. A couple of minutes passed by then he began 'coming to'. Mom and dad then sat him up. Benji shook his head a few times.
The police observed everything but they weren't, in the least, interested in Benji's well being since he was a rag kid.
Soon, the shift supervisor arrived on the scene. Mom and dad had stood Benji between them, dad's arm firmly around Benji's shoulders while mom stood by him with her arm around his waist.
The supervisor said, ““Oh, sir, I am so sorry. Please, please, please accept our apologies for this intrusion on your family's privacy and enjoyment. We saw it all on our monitoring system. I will press charges sir. As of right this minute they are no longer guests at our hotel. Their belongings will be tossed to the street under a bus. They won't last 5 minutes.”
Then with hatred written on his face and in his body language he said to Benji, “Get out here you urchin. You have dishonored our guests. Be gone with you.”
Benji attempted to leave mom and dad's embrace however they'd not permit the child to walk away, instead dad got into the supervisor's face, and said, “Benji did NOT bring dishonor to our family. You, however, have dishonored and disgraced him.”
“Sir, please no. I'll never get another job. I'll just leave, let me go.” Benji lamented.
“No Benji.” Dad said.
Benji said, “I'm not worth it sir. I am just a servant. I'm fired. I must go. He can have me arrested then what would happen to my mother? I'm already a disgrace to her honor. Please, let me go.”
Mom pulled Benji away then took him to the other end of the pool. Antoine, Peter, Allen and Angel escorted them while Jeremy, Antoine, Peter and David maintained their presence by dad's side.
When Benji was safely aside, dad calmly said, “Sir, this boy saved my family's life, particularly my son David's life. He is honored and revered. He is of high honor. You dishonorably fired him. We don't need this hotel. Have our belongings ready to leave in 30 minutes.”
Dad and the guys then walked to where Benji was with mom and the guys leaving the police officers and hotel security staff, and the supervisor shaking their heads in disbelief.
Benji was thankfully okay.
The supervisor came over then forcefully grabbed Benji's arm and yanked it hard which knocked Benji off balance sending him to the pavement. Antoine quickly shoved the supervisor away then gave him a pinch in the neck. At the same time the officers arrived. Dad said, “You either arrest him or I'll have my son teach this guy a lesson on respect.”
Seeing that dad was dead serious, while Antoine had the guy begging for mercy, they arrested him and took him away. One of the two officers said, “We are sorry for this confrontation. Beggar children hold no honor in our society. I don't know how he got to this hotel in the first place. I will check it out and more than likely the hotel will be fined. However... we have seen the honor you and your family have bestowed on this child. Accordingly, we will honor him as your own.”
Mom said, holding the phone in her hand, “Jim, we're leaving this hotel. The limo will be here in 20 minutes. Sir, <looking at the police officer> these children have no choice with their life. They've been thrown into circumstances they are not prepared for. The children are your future leaders. Come on kids, let's get packed up.”
The supervisor was handcuffed and led away. By then the man and his wife, the idiots who started the whole mess, were themselves led off, all the while directing expletives toward our family.
The police officer said, “They will be charged with multiple counts of assault on your family. We are very sorry this has happened. We will be in contact with the hotel's owner to try and work something out to your benefit. Once again, I apologize.” Then he walked away.
Benji said, “I must leave. I have dishonored my mother. I must leave and tell her of my failings then I must find another job.” He turned and headed toward the stairway leading down – the same stairway he'd traveled to retrieve his common everyday clothes he was wearing.
Dad said to Benji, “Wait up. We're going with you but... <dad chuckled> we need to put our clothes on first.”
Benji looked back... seeing us all there standing before him naked as they had we'd been born, he smiled and nodded. He had a way about him – we became aware of our nakedness... let's just say that the top of the hotel just about went up in flames because of our near spontaneous combustion...
We took off for the elevator bank then went down to our rooms. After taking quick showers and getting dressing we congregated in mom and dad's room.
When we arrived, Benji was profusely apologizing for the trouble brought upon us because of him. He was inconsolable and wouldn't listen to mom and dad's assurances to the contrary. He was about to leave when a knock on the door interrupted our conversations, and his departure. Benji, frightened ran to the bathroom and closed but did not lock the door.
Antoine looked at dad then he went to the restroom, opened the door, went in then closed the door behind him.
Benji was standing the sink, trembling, knowing his fate, worrying about the dishonor he'd bring to his mother, the loss of their income, and the unlikeliest of his getting another job in the hotel industry.
Antoine walked to him. Benji allowed Antoine to gather him in his arms and hold tight. Antoine said softly, “Benji, you are an honorable person. Those people are dickheads; you have no right to be treated like that. Your grandfather will help you. I know he will. He's a good man.
Benji stated quickly, “No, he must not be told. I will tell him in my own time. I must go now.”
Antoine said, “Benji, you are in Conflict. Find the Balance. It resides within you. Trust that it will all work out... give and take... The Realms of Giving and Receiving are life forces... they are our True Nature. Dad will work something out for you. Trust him. Trust me. Trust our brothers.”
Benji looked into Antoine's eyes. He saw truth.
“You are correct. My mother, she worries about me. I worry about her. I can't let her down.”
“Trust me Benji, something will work out. I see great things for you.”
Benji smiled weakly and then nodded.
Dad answered the door.
A well dressed man bowed deeply then introduced himself as Tzu Chan, the owner of the hotel chain. He relayed his deepest sympathies for the problems our family had experienced during our stay, and that he would go to all lengths to make right.
When Benji, wearing his rag clothes and not the hotel attire, and Antoine exited the restroom, Tzu looked at Benji with concern and perhaps a bit of disdain. Benji, filled with fright, took three steps back. Tzu said to Benji, “Come. I must speak with you, alone.”
Dad said, on Benji's behalf, “Mr. Chan, Benji is with us. We will not permit him to be further dishonored. Speak to him with us present.”
Meanwhile Antoine was speaking with Benji. They whispered back and forth. Benji then smiled, nodded, and playfully slapped Antoine up the back of his neck.
Benji then walked to Tzu. With dad at his side, Tzu said, “You are not in trouble. I want to make things right for this family and for you. Mr. Blake, here is my offer, provided Benji is agreeable.”
Dad nodded then looked down to Benji. We all gathered around Dad, Benji. We laid our hands on his shoulders, back, and Andy put his arm around Benji's waist.
Tzu looked surprised at the solidarity our family was showing Benji. His wheels spun for a moment then he said, “I saw everything that happened. I'm not sure why you changed your attire... but I'm willing to put the infraction aside. If you will accept, we have a Guest Relations position available. You will work long and hard hours meeting and greeting our guests as they arrive for conventions held here. You will be given nice clothes to wear. You must wear them at all times. A stipend will be arranged for you to wear attire other than what you are wearing now.”
Tzu then became quiet... waiting for Benji's answer. Benji stood still for a moment as he processed the offer.
He then bowed before Tzu. In a very quiet voice he said, “Sir, your offer is very generous. Thank you. I cannot accept. My mother... she awaits my arrival with a paycheck. I must honor her.”
Dad said, “Mr. Chan, you did not say what Benji would be paid. Is there something you can do so that Benji can hold his job? His mother works hard in a factory under very deplorable conditions. Benji must honor her.”
Mr. Chan's demeanor softened considerably. He said to dad, not Benji, “His pay will increase 3 times. Ask him where his mother works.”
Benji waited for dad to ask him of his mothers' employment. Mr. Chan slightly grimaced... it was in his eyes. He said, “Very well. Mr. Blake, I hope you understand our culture. We are unable to put Benji's mother into a management position. While our hotel is forward thinking in its business we are also held by our culture. I am sure you understand. We have a position in customer relations. We've not been able to fill it for some time. The job is very demanding; the hours are long and strenuous. She would be working indoors. She would not be put into a position of harassment as she is now experiencing during her travels to and from work. She too will receive stipends for food, supplies, and clothing as appropriate. Her salary will remain as it is in the factory.”
Dad said, “The pay scale is not acceptable. She is obviously a hard worker for being paid so little. She is dedicated, dependable, trust worthy – these are obvious values Benji has – who else taught him his values, no?”
Tzu turned to dad after looking at Benji who was still trembling, “Very well. In US Dollars, she will earn $400.00 per week. And since their hours will be long, I am prepared to have them live on site. We will have a site prepared and available for them tomorrow.”
Dad said, “What will Benji be paid?”
“He is currently being paid $45.00 per week. Three times that is $135.00.”
“How many hours will he be required to work?”
“The children work 12 to 14 hours per day, 7 days per week. They are fed whatever is left over from the kitchen. Their food costs are deducted from their salary, of course.”
Dad replied, “That is not acceptable. This child should attend school during normal school hours in a regular school so that he can learn, so that he can be a productive member of your society. He should spend time with his mother – they are all alone together. His mother should work no more than 50 hours per week. Benji should work no more than 20 hours per week, and in no event later than 6pm. If these conditions are met then his salary of $135.00 per week is adequate. This child and his mother should eat adequately.”
“They will have an area adequate to fix their own meals then. We will provide them food with which to prepare healthy meals.”
“One other item.”
Tzu looked at dad like he was a Martian from outer space. Reluctantly he nodded.
“Benji has great abilities. He must be in contact with his grandfather on a regular basis. Sometimes he must be away at his grandfather's castle. He must be free to attend to his and his grandfather's great and revered activities. Their abilities saved my son's life.”
“He will work 4 days a week. His salary is reduced to $100.00 per week. This is my final negotiation.”
“One more thing.” Dad said then after a pause to see Tzu’s response. Tzu’s eyes went narrow – he wasn't angry. Dad and he were playing cat and mouse. Finally, Tzu relented. With a reserved smile he nodded.
“Benji should be afforded the opportunity to play with other children his age. Perhaps he could determine a sport to become involved with and participate in.”
Tzu smiled. He said, “My son plays the American equivalent of soccer and what your country calls football. Which would you be interested in Benji?”
Benji, through his tears, said meekly, honorably, “If I can... soccer.”
Tzu said, “It is a demanding sport. It requires stamina and perseverance. You will be fed well to build your energy.”
Benji stood tall, squared his shoulders, “Yes sir, I will not let you down, I promise. Thank you sir. I will work hard. Thank you. Thank you.”
The room erupted into cheers yelling “BENJI!!!!!”
We all then gathered around Benji and stood before Mr. Chan. As one, we bowed respectfully. Mom and dad joined in our prolonged gesture of appreciation.
*** To be continued