The Victim

Chapter Three: Ascent

Cleansing

The following weeks, the whole university witnesses its ‘cleansing.’ It starts when the teacher is accused of racism after tweeting “I don’t think white people should be forced to stay out of campus that day,” referring to the commemoration of a date where black people earned certain rights. The commission expeditiously expelled him after a quick ‘trial’ where he did not have the chance to speak in his own defense.

The commission was weak and scared of being too soft on racists, misogynists and rapists. And my friend from school could smell their fear just as I could. Almost every day, there was a new scandal. It was as though every teacher was morally corrupt. And most of them weren’t expelled by the commission, no. Many were demoted and allowed to keep their jobs, but the constant harassment and public humiliation eventually made them quit.

Thanks to the interviews and my relationship with my friend from school, I became virtually untouchable. The teachers wouldn’t so much as challenge me. Some, who didn’t care about me before, now took a special interest and asked if I needed help to review something, or if I wanted a deadline extended. I could have cheated, I could have demanded they raise my grade. But I didn’t because there is a certain pride in personal achievement that I wasn’t willing to throw away.

So I studied and worked hard like everyone else, with no teachers trying to stand in my way. I managed to get through law school. My friend from school soon moved on to more important matters. She continued the work she had done in tol, except without uncle’s support. She was able to hire a lot of talented computer scientist and built a very promising startup devoted to “extracting useful information from social networks.”

During the following months, the whole country became more and more split between left and right. In fact, the whole western hemisphere became split. There were radical parties on both sides in every democracy. Several parliamentary democracies were ruled by failed governments because the votes were split between up to four different “strong” parties. I could feel degeneracy taking over the world. Westerners hating themselves more and more for being, well, westerners.

“Oh, but your husband is a leftist and you belonged to a leftist organization,” you say. So what? Again, what side you support doesn’t really matter. I see policy as a means, not an end. I’ve always found it funny how the western hemisphere just sort of weakened itself. The great colonial empires were wiped out not only because of world wars, but also because their own people despised that image of themselves.

People didn’t want their nation to be great at the cost of other nations that couldn’t defend themselves. So many colonies won independence not just because their masters were militarily weakened, but because they were morally weakened. And that disgusts me. Oh, come on. I probably know what you think of me right now. You probably have the faith in the “self-determination of every People” ingrained in you, and every word I’ve just said is acid to your ears. But I don’t care, because no one is recording this, no one can use this against me. Because, well, you’re the only one I can say this to.

Anyway, back to my life, which is way more interesting than my brain-farts. After college, I didn’t join any law firm, and it wasn’t for a lack of offers. No, I got married to the man I hated the most in the world. He had murdered, lied, and tricked me into killing a man. But worst of all, he was weak-minded. His uncle shared part of my contempt for him, but he was too caught up in his own sense of “legacy.” His nephew had to become a great politician. Anything below that was unacceptable.

Immediately after the wedding we began preparing for his mayor campaign. This time there wouldn’t be any last-minute surprises, like what happened with his sister. He turned out to be decent with politics. He always sold his a-word to the highest bidder, caring little or zero about party line. He was a radical pragmatist, the only political affiliation that lasts a lifetime.

He secured the position mainly thanks to his uncle’s support. Though I like to think I had a hand in it too. After he became mayor, I became the mayor’s wife and nothing more. It’s like I stopped being the protagonist of my own life. As part of the deal, we had sex once, to conceive. I made it as dull and unappealing for him as possible, to spare me having to go through it ever again. Luckily, one time was enough to get me pregnant.