Aquitaine – a symbol of power and domination, a mighty kingdom
Meet Valerie. She’s a tall divorced woman with long dark hair living in her dream house with glass doors overlooking the sunbathed waters of Cape Ann. She’s a painter you see, and right now she’s putting the final touches to a sunset painting. As a struggling artist, her work is finally paying off. Although, not enough to pay for the house. The balance is taken care of by Joel Converse, her ex husband.
You find out these things about Valarie when you turn to the 14th chapter of Ludlum’s The Aquitaine Progression. At 670 pages, it’s a thick volume of plot twist that you’ll find hard to put down after the fourth paragraph. It’s about some six military warlords who want to rule the world, and they call themselves Aquitaine. They want to start a war, killing top government officials and dropping bombs, and, because they’re the ones who will be sent to stop it, the plan is to take over from there.
The person chosen to stop them is Joel Converse, former military man turned lawyer, all around tough guy who lights a cigarette every five pages. Only, Aquitaine find out what he’s doing even before he puts a dent in the assignment. And now Joel becomes the hunted.
But, to tell you the truth, I don’t like Joel very much. I find him annoying. I mean he can spot a loose wire and throw a punch but I don’t like the way he talks, the way he tries to lace humor with muscle, it really bugs me.
Anyway, I’m still waiting to find out if he’ll get back together with Valerie; I think they’re about to have sex. I’m still waiting to find out if Joel can stop the conspiracy. It would be a happy ending, what with Aquitaine chasing him down like an animal, you kinda want him to win. With all those fags and silly talk though, I wouldn’t be surprised if he also gets lung cancer.
Mostly, I’m waiting to find out what happened to Teacher Jane.
See, when I was in pre-school, I modeled. Both with clay and on the runway, only, I sucked at the former. I remember this one time, it was prize giving day, and it was entertainment time. We were meant to do skits and things on the stage. Parents would flock in front with their cameras and it was all jolly, up until the actual prize-giving where they’d award fancy lunch boxes to those who were good at coloring.
Usually, I got nothing, apart from a smiley face on my arm so I’m motivated enough to show up the following term.
I was the averages, you see, I never took home any trophies. In fact, I floated through most of my pre-school unnoticed.
Although, there were times when I’d touch a girl’s legs and she would pout her lips and snap her fingers at me and say, “Must!” And that was it. Minutes later I’d be getting the ear twister by a teacher with fat arms and a stern face and I’d cry my eyes out. Other than that I was pretty much a ghost.
I modeled. On that prize giving day, I put on a suit and bowtie and did the runway. That day I decided I wasn’t going to be an average; I was going to take home a lunch box. Must!
So I did my own version of the cat walk and almost broke my hip. Laughter and applause flooded onto the stage and I thought, ‘Wow, I could make some money out of this.’
Anyway, when I got off the stage the first person to give me a pat on the back was a teacher, my teacher. I remember a white dress, I think, and red lipstick and shiny earrings and she looked dashing. Her name was Teacher Jane. And I loved her.
I remember her face, but, only vaguely. I remember her throaty voice and her lean body. And her laugh, she would laugh and slightly throw her head back. Teacher Jane. That laugh made you feel safe, it really did. And when she drew a smiley face on your arm you didn’t want that moment to end. It tickled your skin and you felt a little warm in your shorts. You wanted to stuff her in your bag and take her home with you.
There were times when someone would be late to pick us up from school. And, when it was Teacher Jane’s turn to wait with us, she’d let us play with crayons and squeeze glue stick all over ourselves. Teacher Jane was cool people.
I wonder, whatever happened to Teacher Jane?
I wonder, where did life take her?
I wonder, did she ever have kids of her own.
Maybe she had grown up wanting kids. Maybe all she wanted to do was be a mom and then life happened and she couldn’t have children. So she made the lemonade with becoming a kindergarten teacher.
Maybe she met a guy. And she fell in love with him and they had three beautiful kids. Maybe they moved into a bigger house and she quit her job and she went on to build a school of her own. Maybe that guy turned out to be an ass and she took the kids and she left his ass.
I want to know what happened to Teacher Jane. I want to find her and know how she’s doing. And then I will tell her I never forgot her laugh. I’ll tell her how her laugh made me feel, and, I’ll remind her how she laughed at me once when I went number 2 all over myself.
The school was Twin Birds Academy. Teacher Jane. Help me find Teacher Jane