Finally one October night, as he lay awake, troubled by the phantom pain from his missing arm, Gerald reached a decision. He quietly climbed out of bed and tiptoed out of the room, then strode resolutely toward the front door. His pajama sleeve flapped in the breeze as he marched purposefully across the porch in his bare feet, down the steps and over to the giant oak. Once there he turned and unconsciously imitated the strength of the mighty tree in his stance: back straight, head erect, he stared out into the infinite night sky. “Jodi, I demand you leave me.” His voice resounded firm, measured, insistent.
“W-what are you s-saying?” She portrayed herself running her fingers through her hair; her brow creased as she grappled with his order.
“1 demand my independence. I’m determined to play the role of real human for a change. You must abandon me; I will learn to function on my own.” Apprehension permeated his resolve as evidenced by the beads of sweat that dripped off his forehead. Simultaneously he discerned within himself a sublime certainty regarding the wisdom of his judgment and an excitement stirred his emotions. What trials would the future bring for him to face alone?
“B-But, Ger. All humans are guarded by angels. Please don’t force me to disappear.” His ears deafened to her entreaties; he willed himself not to concede.
“Of necessity I’ll be laboring to develop skills I’ve never required. But you have to be elsewhere if I’m to become proficient as an independent individual.”
“Ger, I’ve been assigned to you – please, don’t banish me.” Her image sprang into his awareness as she thrust her whole self toward him. Her hands stretched out in pleading gesture; she wore her trainee shift to convey an ultimate humility.
Her persistence only enraged him, “Why can’t you just go!” He stormed away from the tree toward the picnic table and plopped down on its bench. He scanned the edge of the woods, at a world of perpetual nighttime – the darkness into which he resolved to venture alone. “I need to become a complete man: able to handle emergencies, figure out crises, and maintain vigilance.” He whirled around, muscles taunt, voice anguished.
“Can’t you see, Jodi? It’s imperative. I demand to talk with your supervisor.” As his voice grew more decisive, the words were brusque.
“I’ll consult him.” And the dejected angel vanished.
Jodi’s arrival startled Jeff. “Why are you here, Jodi,” he barked. His critical tone shifted to gentle concern when he witnessed her drooped shoulders and forlorn face. “What is it, Jodi? What’s wrong?”
“Please, Jeff. Convince Gerald that I should remain with him. He’s of the opinion he’s an incomplete human because of our partnership. Please speak with him -- he asked for a meeting with my supervisor. He wants me t-to leave.”
“Well, he has free will – humans do -- and that includes the right to dismiss you if he chooses.” Jeff’s warning was mitigated with empathy for his trainee’s desolation. “But, I’ll debate his arguments with him.”
A couple hours later, Gerald slipped into a fitful sleep, excited but yet fearful of his momentous decision. Jeff left his current project which involved both the supervision of guardians of homeless orphans in India and the gathering of statistics on the best methods of helping parentless children. The goal was to determine what approaches achieved the most enduring results in that forsaken population: Guardian researchers were eager for some actual numbers to process. Although absorbed by the implementation of current experiments, he responded to Jodi’s request and flew to the opposite side of the globe. Entering Gerald’s dream, he greeted, “Hello, Gerald, I’m Jeff, Jodi’s supervisor. How can I be of service?”
“Give her a different assignment. Don’t misunderstand. She’s wonderful. I love her – she’s a valued companion. But my independence from her is a requisite to my overcoming my deficits. I guess…uh, she’s too resourceful – I, er, haven’t developed survival skills with her superhuman assistance.”
“Did you thoroughly consider the ramifications, Gerald? Are you confident this is what you desire?” But Jodi’s supervisor, as he formed the question, recollected his prophesy from some three decades back. He realized the prediction was coming to completion and he could change little.
“Very definitely! How can I develop each part of me when my angel’s continuously on the scene to save the day?”
“So how much harm is there in collaboration? Together you are assuredly accomplishing much: the audience for “What America Is Thinking” gains inspiration and empathy with each column. Your family thrives and your community adores you.”
“I’m blessed: there’s much for which to give thanks. But what am I deep down inside? Only a distractible child!” <
“Gerald, as you are aware, you were born with deficits in your concentration that contribute to your impulsivity. Those difficulties are unrelated to Jodi.”
“But because of her I’m not overcoming them. Reassign her, Jeff, and furthermore I demand there be no replacement.” Gerald’s tone left no room for compromise.
“As you request, Gerald, Jodi will be reassigned and no guardian will take her place. You possess a free will and a right to exercise it. But do you realize you will be the only person on the planet without a guardian?”
“Yes, a bit grandiose. But I must do this. I’m compelled.”
Jeff had no other choice. The decades old prophesy had been fulfilled. Nevertheless, the supervisor was saddened: who enjoys being proven right in such disconcerting circumstances? ... From Jodi: Guardian Angel in Training, Part III Chapter 2.