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When Preston and Symphony had arrived at the Lesane Estate, they charged toward the space where the laboratory and the home met. Trevor Lesane greeted them by swooping to their level and giving them a bear hug.
“What didn’t you learn today, young lady?”
Symphony giggled. “I’ll tell you what I learned. I learned that you can go without studying and still ace the test on conductors and passengers on the Underground Railroad.”
“Wait a minute, princess. You’re going to have to study if you wish to achieve. This might have been a fluke and I’ll let that slide this once, but let’s mind our studying.” Lesane turned to his son. “And you, big fellow, what have you got to say for yourself?”
“We studied cave formations.”
The Goulding Z-Set parked itself and allowed its last occupant to go into her house. Saffron entered the kitchen where her family stood.
“Well, hello there, Mrs. Lesane,” Lesane said.
Saffron walked up to her husband and kissed him. “Pleased at our young scholars, are we?” she asked.
“I like our boy’s report, but the youngest offspring is a bit troubling. Did she tell you that she didn’t study for her history test?”
“No. She failed to mention that detail.” Saffron held her little girl’s face in her hand and peered straight into her hazel-brown eyes.
“Now, how many times have I told you to prepare for your studies?”
“But I got an A,” Symphony did not whine. Her voice was steady and as assured as an attorney in a courtroom.
“I’m proud of you as I’ve said. But that’s not the point, Miss. So, what will you do the next time? When the material is a bit more challenging? When you’re faced with the choice to know what you are studying? Don’t let me find out you forwent knowing your lessons again. Understood?”
“Yes, mama,” Symphony said, deflated.
"Now, get upstairs and study,” Lesane said. “That goes for the both of you.”
The two children fit themselves into the elevator to reach the upper levels of the mansion.
Lesane looked at his wife. Her dark brown hair and brown and white skin melded to form a vision of some Nubian woman warrior. He shook his head.
“I think that that boy’s going to be alright. But our little girl….”
“She’ll be just fine. Don’t fret about it. How’s the project coming along?”
“I’ve got the Brainchildren in hot pursuit of what will be needed to develop this new drug I’ve devised.”
“What does it entail?”
“Well, it involves taking those cocaine and heroin samples and synthesizing them into a drug which would inhibit the user from taking those substances ever again,” Lesane said.
“And I’m guessing that Barber and Knight have their hands full.”
“Yes. With the two of them, who needs henchmen?”
Saffron smiled. “Whatever may come of this endeavor, please commit to the task of delivering hope to what some might call hopeless.”
“Yes, and if I can stop them from using in the first place, my work would be even more beneficial,” Lesane said. “Do you think that Symphony is taking after her father?”
“It’s possible. Every time you try to bring up the fact that she should be more studious, she jumps to the fact that she excelled on some assignment or quiz. She might be destined to follow in your shoes,” Saffron said.
“Oh, no. I don’t shy away from my status as an eighth grade dropout and what I’ve accomplished despite my limited schooling. But I don’t want that for my children. They’ve got to take after you before me. Oh, no.” Lesane shook his index finger.
“I would have to agree, Trevor. I mean Preston is going to enter high school next year and after that will be college. But Symphony seems to be on her way to her career without regard for her schoolwork.”
“You’re the teacher. I think that you should sit her down and encourage her to focus on her talents as a student who can score high marks without paying much attention to the source material,” Lesane said.
“I can hope that she continues her streak of commendable report cards but I also want her to achieve those high marks while retaining the knowledge and applying it to the real world. Mr. Chemistry, do you see what I’m getting at here? We should shackle Symphony to her desk and coerce her to cram as much information into that pretty little head of hers and whip her if she struggles to break free from our chains of the intellect,” Saffron said.
“Now, there you go. While I think your sense of humor is rather excessive, we should instill in her a sense that learning isn’t all about just getting the best score on a paper. That’s important and something to strive toward, but there’s more to it than that.You see? That’s why I married you. You’ve figured this whole thing out and I’m just fortunate enough to be in awe of your presence.”
Saffron placed her tongue in her cheek and cut a side eye at her husband. “You’re mean,” they both laughed.
“So, what’s next in the world of Saffron Lesane?”
“I’ve got to get my students to grasp the derivatives,” she said.
“I remember studying calculus at the library and thinking this is some out of this world stuff. But I felt that I had to get it, if I was going to understand mathematics as a whole.”
“And that’s why I married you. I knew that I could be confident that someone else knew what limits and infinitesimals are without getting a blank stare in return,” Saffron said.
Lesane made a face as if struck dumb. He then pulled his mouth into a grin which bore his white teeth.
Saffron and Lesane embraced. With a few taps and a swipe of a tablet, Lesane controlled the thermostat, sending the temperature a little cooler. The couple extracted a head of cabbage and some smoke turkey meat from the refrigerator and commenced to making dinner.