It ends tonight. It has to or else I can’t go on. No one can look at me the same if I don’t go through with this. There are two more red lights then a left on Fields Street and then I’m there. This black body of chrome will be parked on the pier, the last place he’ll see. My family is counting on me, I have to protect our name, but does it matter if I protect myself?
My nails are digging into the leather wheel. The windshield is becoming clouded with the heat of my breath and the winter air of the world outside. I try to notice everything passing by, but my mind has other ideas for me to gnaw on. The lines on the road become a blur. My mind takes hold. I keep hearing the same line. He ratted us out. He went against the family that was his, even though his blood was not ours. What am I supposed to do now? There is no other way.
I try to realign my head while I grasp at the knobs of the car’s radio. The stations find Paul McCartney’s voice in the air and bring it to my ears. He tells me it’s okay, I will find a way through this long and winging road. Is he right? Does the situation he sings of have anything to do with mine?
I never asked to be a mob daughter. I woke up one day from a blackness, was slapped, and given the baggage I could hardly carry that came with my last name. Borecelli, the family who has helped more people fall asleep with the fishes then an insomnia lab. I can’t help but always love them though. When I look at my Aunt Flossie I see her giving spirit, but cops in the area see her fists. They know the knuckles are cracked due to the time she set them against Jimmy Dinapoli’s skull. When I see my father, I see the man who is rock and confidant, but others see The Don, they see the cement shoemaker himself. I don’t have the same views as the badges and the outsiders. When I look towards my bloodline I see my happiness. If I were to even trip on a stair there would be a family members hand, helping me up, another one finding a way to break open the foundation of the step. How could I not help them? They’d die for me, so why can’t I find my spine and stand up for them tonight?
The first stop light beams through the tinted glass. Although a lighthouse in the darkness of the New York skyline, it’s yelling out to me, telling me to avoid the rocks and find my way to shore. I cannot help but think I would rather not find my way tonight. The radio station is becoming a buzzing in my head as I replay the voices of the past. They are becoming louder. I feel his hand on my shoulder.
We met at Frankie Delmagio’s mother’s birthday. She was turning 68 and my sister had decided I needed a new color for my hair. She thought I was unlucky with the boys and found hope in a box of hair dye we picked up after we picked up to many glasses of scotch. When I woke up before the party my sister pranced into my room and couldn’t wait to show me what she had done. She had turned my dark blonde curls into beach blonde ringlets of old fashioned movie stars. Although inebriated she did an amazing job and couldn’t help but brag. She hoped my new look would bring the boys over to me that night.
In my defense, I wasn’t unlucky with boys; I was just unlucky with time. No matter who it was, I always had something more important to do. My grandma Mimi had employed me at her bar, Shifty Ricky’s. It was my home away from home. The mahogany bar carved from the blistered hands of my great grandparents. The blood that ran through there was thicker than the walls. Although it was just a building, it was family. I worked my way from hostess to a bar help at 21. Mimi was proud of me and my father became even more prideful of having the grand baby who his Mother gave her wholehearted blessings to. I wanted to make everyone proud, pay them back for their undying love. The only way I could accomplish this was to work day and night, give it my all, and prove my worth.
I worked too much to give all my attention to a boy. I was sure I’d marry eventually but wasn’t looking for anything. Then again, that was my thought before I looked at him. He told me years later it wasn’t the blonde hair that struck him at the party, but my green eyes, my mothers. He came over and asked me to dance. The muscles he had didn’t impress me but I did notice. His hair was shaggy and had a California surfer charm to it, hard to come by in the slicked back ways of New York.
We snuck out of the party and found a bench in the hot night. He explained how he felt acceptance being in my family tree although it wasn’t his roots. I understood without him having to explain further. My family would reach out to any hand in the world. No matter who you were, your situation, you’d find sanctuary with us. Our cooking could revive a hungry man’s smile; my father’s jokes even made a nun giggle once. We took in anyone, but there was a fine print to every friendship. If you were with us, you were with us to the bitter end. The end wasn’t pretty if you went against us. I saw the end early on and when he walked into my life I was hopeful he’d never see it either. But hopeful isn’t really being realistic in the mob scene of New York.
There wasn’t anything particularly amazing he and I said when we met. It was just the electricity. When I got home I was told there was a power surge in Manhattan, ironically it happened around the time we kissed. From that point on everyone took him in as fast as I did. They loved him because I loved him. My father even took him under his wings, letting him tread on territory most don’t go.
Even though I didn’t have the time to be with him, he would never take my excuses. Mimi always kicked me out of the bar when he came around him. The family was secretly plotting to help me fall in love, and I admit I didn’t mind. I fell so quick I never got a chance to savor it, until now.
Until right now I guess I didn’t realize him and me felt something so many people don’t. I felt worth more than my last name, I felt like someone needed me to breathe, and not the other way around. Now I feel like I’ve been played. He read the fine print! If he loved me so much why did he kill one of mine? He took a gun to my blood. Now we both have to deal with the consequences we knew were there
Wait, how did this happen? I’m on Fields Street. I didn’t notice the last light and suddenly the street sign is yelling at me to turn around. What if I do? I can make it out of downtown in an hour. It’s too late out for there to be any traffic on the bridge. We can get a plane to anywhere. We can buy things along the way. Doesn’t matter where we go, doesn’t matter that we do, we’ll be together. We can make the electricity surge somewhere else, but just not here. Just not tonight.
He touches my thigh. I shiver suddenly.
“Are you okay?” He asks me as we turn the corner. The pier looms in the background. My father’s car on the end of the pier, his cigarette smoke pours from the window. There’s no turning back, he sees us. I find the words and turn to my lover, my best friend, my Christian.
“I’m fine. I think I’m just a little tired. Sorry.” Christian nods and looks out the window. I see my father get out of the car as we roll closer.
“Christian.” He turns to me. I can see it out of the corner of my eye that he suddenly knows. It’s too late.
“I’m sorry.” I whisper to him. His hand juts out and grabs mine. It’s too late. I stomp on the brake. In a flash of moments my father’s hand rips open the passenger door and like that, Christian is gone.
I hear a muffled scream. Bang. A splash. It is over. I sit alone.
“Are you alright?” A deep voice pipes in. It’s my brother; he must have helped get Christian down river.
“Yes.” I lie. I twist my wedding ring of my finger.
The radio begins to hum again. My hands are limp in my lap. My brother leans over and grabs one. We are silent. We are family.
Created: Jul 18, 2010Document Media