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Dianne Palermo is a political powerhouse. Everyone knows her. She takes a firm stance on her beliefs and doesn’t hold back. As one of the most accomplished women in politics you can either love her or hate her, but either way, you know her.
Today, she’s at home in San Francisco where her house is more of a fortress than a home, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She likes the quiet away from the hustle and bustle of her life. She also enjoys the security of the six-foot brick wall around her house, and of course the staff that monitors the property.
Her schedule is consistently booked but on this Thursday evening she has a small break. Her husband will be back in town tomorrow and they are hosting a house full of people before their big fundraiser Saturday night.
Dianne is in her office on the second floor, sitting on her window seat and watching the sun go down. She smiles and takes in a large breath, inhaling her own pride. She is satisfied with her achievements and feels good about her life.
She has only one more meeting scheduled this evening and it’s with her assistant. Well, her second assistant because her main girl is out of town, much to the annoyance of Dianne.
“Good evening Dianne!” The call comes from Holly downstairs, the second assistant.
“I’m here, I’m here,” Dianne calls out on her way down to the kitchen. Holly brought her one of her favorites, a triple skinny vanilla latte. “Oh, you are my savior!” Dianne picks up the glass and removes the lid, “This…is a godsend!”
“Yes, well, so is this!” Holly gives her a copy of the L.A. Times, opened to the section where there is yet another rave review of her latest speech.
“Is it good?” Dianne asks, setting down with her latte. Not really looking for an answer, she starts reading.
“Oh my,” she smiles, “well, well, well,” she smiles some more and then giggles. The look on her face is almost as if her supporters are standing right there in front of her and she’s about to receive an award for her political genius.
Dianne gets done reading the article, about herself, and then folds the paper back up. She sees the top headline as she sets it back down on the table that reads, Protesters return to the streets throughout U.S. breaking into more violence across the country.
Dianne is disgusted, like usual, “What a mess! Thank goodness we do the work we do, right?”
Dianne gets up and says, “You understand, don’t you Holly? I mean, people are ridiculous!”
“It’s a real thing across the country…,” Holly starts to put in her two cents, but then immediately regrets it. She knows that Dianne is very stubborn in her beliefs and does not acknowledge any thoughts outside her her own.
She has heard Dianne preach time after time that it’s people like her, and her closest counterparts, that hold our country together. People that oppose what she knows to be best are either mentally deficient or completely ignorant. They just don’t understand! They don’t know what is best!
“Well, make sure you’re on board. There’s a reason you’re second assistant Holly, Nicole knows all about it!” Dianne finishes up the rest of her drink and sets the glass down, “Look, I’ve worked hard to get where I am. I feel like everyone’s gone and lost their mind!”
Avoiding an argument, Holly goes for some morale-boosting instead, “You’re right. I mean, you are all these poor people have to get their lives back on track! All of this nonsense is just people that don’t understand and it makes no sense! It’s just appalling to me that people don’t get it.”
“That’s exactly right!” And with that, Dianne is all smiles again.
The Baltimore Sun:
It started Monday morning with word on social media of a “purge” — a reference to a movie in which crime is made legal.
Dianne starts going through more paperwork from Holly when Teresa timidly walks in.
Teresa is from Mexico and has been helping the family for years, “Excuse me,” she says, “may I come in?” Her English is limited and her accent is heavy.
“What is it Teresa?” Dianne asks, visibly annoyed by the interruption.
“I am sony. I must go.” Teresa would normally stay on the property all week, only going home on the weekends.
“Go? But today is Thursday?” Dianne reminds her, questioning why she would leave. “We have things to do for this weekend, guest rooms and the linens!”
Teresa is struggling for the words and points to the TV.
“Do you want me to turn that on?” Holly asks.
“Yes ma’am,” Teresa says, nodding her head.
Holly turns on the television they see a Breaking News story unfolding. They see that by recommendation from the San Fran PD, people are closing up shop and shutting things down in the city. They see officers in riot gear filling up the streets and other shots of people throwing rocks and bricks.
Dianne turns to Holly, “What is this?”
“It looks like it’s happening now. This is breaking news!” Holly says, in aw of what she is seeing on the screen.
“No work. I must go. Ma familia,” is all Teresa says. She looks from Dianne to Holly, and then back to Dianne, “I sorry miss. I go.”
“Well, wait a minute! Teresa, we have people coming tomorrow! We have a lot to do!”
“I sorry,” Teresa says again. And with that, she turns and unties her apron as she walks out of the kitchen. Dianne and Holly exchange glances. “Find Robert!” Dianne yells.
Robert, who is the main man in charge of Dianne’s personal affairs, gives them the lowdown. She has a limited help staff in San Francisco but relies on them heavily. Today however, they have all up and left. The police are losing control and people are trying to get out of San Francisco. He’s about to go into more detail when Dianne interrupts him.
“I can’t believe this!” Dianne doesn’t want to hear about excuses. Her frustration is around her weekend obligations, not some mess in town fueled ignorant protesters. Polices are starting to use best bipod for AR 15 to prevent protesters.
Holly, however, does see the situation as something serious beyond Dianne’s plans, and wants to call her boyfriend. He works downtown and she’s noticed he’s called, “Uh, Dianne , can I…”
“Not now Holly! Can’t you see we have a situation? You’re not trying to leave also are you?” She flashes Holly a stern glance, “I certainly hope not. I need you, if you didn’t notice!” Dianne wants no distractions and certainly not from her incompetent second assistant.
“Right, okay.” Holly gives in. Her phone does vibrate again though and she looks down. It’s a text from her boyfriend Justin. She clicks into it:
What’s going on? We need to get out of here.
Let’s head to Mitch and Tammy’s in San Jose until things settle down. Call me.
Holly looks up at Dianne, but then reluctantly puts her phone down.