Mafia, Chapter 4
you just come back home? Regis---I miss you. I haven't been able to
sleep. I haven't been able to do anything. I just want to make
things right with you. I apologize. I apologize.”
My dad and Patricia are in the living room watching Kairo beg me to come back. Patricia is eating this shit up. The girl literally has tears in her eyes like she's watching a daytime soap opera when the perfect man comes back.
Kairo was the perfect man. He was a lawyer. He was beautiful enough to be a model. He was caring. He was sweet. He was dedicated and would never cheat on me. He would never raise his voice at me or push me around. He opened car doors for me everywhere we went. He was raised right. He was the perfect man.
And I hated every minute of it.
what are you apologizing for?” I ask him, “I was the one
who left you.”
“All I'm saying is I could have done better.”
“No you couldn't have,” I respond.
butts in at that moment, “Cornbread just listen to him. Listen
to what he has to say. This is the most romantic thing I've ever
seen in my life.”
“I'm going to make things right with you,” Kairo states, “I promise. I don't want anyone else but you. I want...I want my husband back.”
This is the hard thing about Kairo. He's so sexy. He's standing there looking like a young Shemar Moore. He even has on one of his fly suits that fits him just perfectly. He squints at me in the darkness almost trying to seduce me with those eyes of his and I have to admit for a minute I'm almost hypnotized by him.
be so easy to go home with him. Live this perfect life. Adopt some
kids and live happily ever after with Kairo. That's all he wants.
I know exactly how my life would turn out and that's what bores the fuck out of me.
“I'm not giving up,” Kairo explains.
dad steps in at that moment, “You don't have to give up, young
man...but it's getting kind of late. You'll have to pick this up
Kairo isn't the type to argue about it. He smiles at my dad, “I'm sorry sir. I just love---”
“You love my son. I get it. I get it. Have a nice night,” my dad cuts him off.
Kairo smiles at that moment. He looks over at me almost wanting me to walk out with him. I don't. As soon as the door closes though I can see Patricia's judgmental stare. She is looking at me like I've completely lost my mind.
you joking?” Patricia asks me, “You have a younger,
sexier version of Shemar Moore begging to be with you and you're not
That's the thing about Kairo. Sure he looked like a sexy Shemar Moore wannabe, but he was too...perfect. It's hard to describe. There was never one hair out of place. He didn't curse. He went to church every Sunday. He spoke with perfect grammar. It was too neat. It was too perfect. It just didn't excite me.
“It's not for me,” I explain.
There's no other way I can explain it.
“Well is he bisexual, because I'll take him up on his offer,” Patricia jumps at the opportunity.
think she's only half joking when my Dad opens the door at the
moment, “Goodnight Patricia.”
“You need to talk some sense into your son,” Patricia tells my dad.
“Goodnight Patricia,” my dad says again.
I'm sitting in that living room after Kairo leaves. For years I've felt the same feeling that I feel now. I felt like I should be leaving with Kairo because this is the best offer that's ever going to happen. Kairo was...the safe bet.
My dad walks over to me. He puts a hand on my shoulder.
“You aren't making a mistake,” he tells me.
“You're my son. I know you,” my dad explains, “When you were young we got you a puppy. Do you remember that?”
I shake my head, “A puppy? No...”
“Well you were just 4. We took you to the dog shop because you wanted a puppy so bad. We tell you to pick out a puppy. There are all these beautiful healthy looking dogs around. You know which one you pick? You pick the lame dog with three legs and breathing problem. The dog barely stayed alive for 2 weeks.”
I'm laughing at that moment. I don't know why me and my dad are laughing at this dead dog. It just sounds like something I would do though. It's the first time me and my dad laughed in so long. It's the first time we really shared this moment.
“I'm such a fuckin' weirdo,” I finally admit.
like the strange and unusual. You don't like anything that comes to
easy. You've always been that way. You get it from me.”
“Like you and Mrs. Fontana.”
He nods, “Yeah. Like me and Mrs. Fontana.”
“I spoke with Carmine. He's not going to tell your secret.”
“Good because I had no plans on leaving this place anyway,” my dad explains, “I love that woman, Jr. Every day I go to war over that woman. And one day...one day she's going to leave her shitty ass husband for me. I go to war everyday Jr. and that restaurant is all I have left to keep me close to her. That is my battlefield.”
I don't question my father about how his relationship with Mrs. Fontana begins but I can see it by the next day. The week passes by relatively quickly. Within the week Mrs. Fontana comes to eat at the Sicilian at least four times a week. Every time she comes my dad just looks at her. It's kind of romantic to tell the truth. It's kind of beautiful really.
“He's here again,” Patricia tells me, “He brought you these.”
We are at the front of the house. Patricia hands me flowers. I hold the flowers up and in the next minute Danny walks over and grabs them out of my hands.
“Aw for me...I thought you weren't interested,” Danny smiles.
“Hell you can have them,” I state.
Patricia grabs them from Danny and hands them back to me, “No he can't. They are from Cornbread's ex. That fine ass man sitting over there. Everyday this week he comes into the Sicilian. He brings Cornbread some flowers. He orders two meals. One meal for him and one meal for Cornbread in hopes that Cornbread will finally come join him. It's the sweetest thing I've ever seen in my life.”
Patricia lets out this deep sigh as she points at the table that Kairo is sitting at. Sure enough Kairo has come in again. He has two ordered lobster risotto. He eats one and leaves the other one just sitting there.
“That's kind of creepy,” Danny says.
“Thank you,” I tell Danny.
“He's just saying that because he wants to fuck you,” Patricia lets me know.
Within the past week it hasn't been a secret Danny uses every excuse possible to flirt with me. He's a cute guy and sometimes I wonder what it would be like to give him a shot. Then I see Charming Carmine walk in with the other gangsters and I can't even remember who Danny is. Danny who? All I see is Carmine.
laughs, “Your cousin isn't lying. You're an attractive guy
Cornbread. You have the right to be picky. But I get it. You like
the bad boys. I see you eyeing the Fontana table.”
Patricia gives me a hard look, “Don't tell me you're really into that gangster?”
I shrug, “Fine. I won't tell you.”
That isn't good enough for Patricia, “Have you lost your mind. You have a lawyer. Not a paralegal. A legit lawyer who wants to be with you. He's not asking for a one night stand either. He's asking for marriage and you choose the gangster?”
She doesn't get it. Danny is laughing when Patricia says that. I don't think he gets it either. I probably look stupid to everyone around. I'm the dumbest guy ever.
doesn't matter. Carmine hasn't paid me any attention all
“Well maybe it's because they are preparing for Big Paulie to get out of jail,” Danny explains.
“Whose Big Paulie?” I ask.
Palazzolo...Boss of the Moretti family,” Danny explains, “Word
is he's getting released. This isn't good news for the Fontanas.
See when Big Paulie got locked up, Leo Fontana was left to run
things. For the past five years or so Fontana has been in charge of
the Moretti Crime family. With Big Paulie being released...people
are nervous about how Crazy Fontana is going to be able to deal with
“None of that talk in here Danny, back to work. The Fontana table needs refills,” Patricia states clearly getting nervous every time someone even mentions the mafia lifestyle.
“I'll help out,” I state.
“You sure?” Danny asks.
“Yeah it's slow up front,” I respond.
I walk up to the table at that moment. I walk over refilling the glasses. For the most part they seem to be completely busy talking whatever they are talking about. None of them seem to be paying attention to me.
“I don't get why we have to make nice with this guy?” Nuts Fontana is saying.
talking to his father. The two of them barely notice me or thank me
for refilling their glasses. When I get to Carmine though he
completely ignores me. I mean he even turns away from me. I feel
like shit all of a sudden. How do you just fuck somebody and just
straight ignore them afterwards?
I just felt like...I don't know. I felt like shit.
Bananas is Big Paulie's guy,” Crazy Fontana tells his son at
that moment, “We have to make nice with him because when Big
Paulie gets out he's going to expect us to be on the same page. How
many fucking times I have to explain it to you Nuts? What are you
“I'm with Nuts,” Carmine jumps in at that moment, “That Joe Bananas is a coward. He's only a made guy because he's fucks Big Paulie's digusting sister. Out in Philly you know what they're saying about Joe Bananas?”
“What are they saying?”
“They're saying he's a rat.”
Crazy Fontana takes a deep breath at that moment, “Listen. He's Big Paulie's guy. For not, we have to go with it. At least for now.”
he comes,” Crazy Fontana says, “Let's go to his
“Are you serious?” Carmine asks, “ You're Underboss. You don't kiss that guys ass. He kisses your ass.”
“Carmine I'm not doing this with you. You coming.”
“I'm not going to no Rat table. I'm not shaking no Rat hand,” Carmine states.
The rest of the table gets up and follows Crazy Fontana to a table across the room. I'm assuming the guy who they are talking about is Joe Bananas. He's a tall ugly, pest looking guy with this real dingy looking appearance about him. The rest of the guys that come into the Sicilian are usually dressed nice but this Joe Bananas guy looks like they found him on the street somewhere. I can tell why Carmine is annoyed by him.
As the table empties to these guys going to talk to Joe Bananas, Carmine is alone. I walk over and smile at him.
“Is there anything I can help you with, sir?” he asks.
“Sir? What are you being a smart ass? Why are you calling me that?” Carmine asks.
shrug, “I figured you didn't want anyone to think
“I told people we knew each other. That's all people need to know. It's no one's business what I do. You think I'm embarrassed of you or something?” Carmine asks but then raises his eyebrows, “Or maybe you think I'm a pussy...”
I look over at Carmine, “I never said that.”
“I'm not no pussy. If I say I'm cool with someone I'm cool with them. I don't care if you were Ru Paul. Now whatever we do between the two of us is the two of us, but I'm not going to act like I don't know you. You hear me?”
Hearing that makes me feel a little bit better. I really was assuming that Carmine was ignoring me because maybe word got around the Sicilian that I was gay. I figured he just didn't want that to fall on him.
you weren't ignoring me?”
“You haven't even looked my way all week,” I explain.
are you Princess Diana?” he asks me, “You want to get all
in your feelings on me? I don't recall you reaching out. If you
wanted to say hi, why didn't you sissy your ass over here and say hi
to me? What---you want me to chase you or something?”
“No it's just. I'm not used to...”
“Is this guy bothering you baby?” a voice says.
I can almost feel my heart stop when I turn to see Kairo standing there. Not only was he standing there. He was calling me baby in front of the boy that I had a fucking crush on. My face is so red that at that moment I might as well have been a white boy. I'm so fucking embarrassed that I can faint. Carmine's reaction to Kairo standing there was just priceless. He just raises an eyebrow a cool eyebrow.
“What? Black Regis hiring squares as security guards now?” Carmine asks.
“Square?” Kairo asks.
doesn't even get the term. I grab Kairo by his arm, “Kairo I
wasn't being bothered. You need to leave.”
“I'm not leaving.”
“What are you deaf?” Charming Carmine asks him, “The kid says to leave him alone. You want me to repeat it for you? Because my baretta is really loud you fuckin' dumb square weasel.”
Kairo gives him a hard look.
“You don't need to be working here Regis. These people...they are like...gangsters...” Kairo explains.
roll my eyes at Kairo. He is such a square. What did it take him
all week to discover that I was working at a Mafia haunt?
“Who you calling a gangster, square?” Carmine asks, “I'll let you know that I am a law abiding contributor to society---”
“Right ask his probation officer,” someone butts in.
I turn and I see that it's Joe Bananas walking up. He isn't alone. He is walking up with his people plus the Fontanas. Joe has this real serious look on his face. He stands over the table like he's a big shot and for some reason he seems to be expecting Carmine to stand up at the table for him. Carmine isn't standing up at the table.
Carmine shakes his head and stares over at me, “Like I was saying...to you, Cornbread. Lose the square.”
It's a slight. It's a clear slight. I do use that opportunity to walk away from Kairo. I know Kairo isn't going to take this laying down though. Kairo goes back and sits at his table. A part of me knows that he just doesn't want to be in an area where so many 'gangster's' are coming back. Joe Bananas is rolling with a lot of guys. Then again Carmine's father is there with his people as well. They all seem to be wanting to keep the peace and get along---except Carmine.
Carmine is barely acknowledging this Joe Bananas character. He has no respect for him whatsoever.
Joe Bananas looks over at Carmine, “What am I? Chop liver? Don't you see me talking to you? What am I? Invisible?”
Carmine continues to pretend like he doesn't see Joe Bananas.
what's the dinner special tonight.”
“I can bring over the specialty menu,” I state.
Bananas looks over at Leo Fontana, “Fontana, you're son is
being a little direspectful. I come into town and he doesn't come to
my table. He doesn't speak. Now he's ignoring me and carrying on
this conversation with this no-body Mulignan nigger like I don't
exist. What is this? Some kind of slap in the face?”
“It will be a slap in the face if you don't apologize for calling him a nigger,” Carmine states.
The words are harsh and I can see it a million miles away. Carmine gives Joe Bananas this hard look at that moment. Things get really quiet in the whole restaurant. I can see in the distance my cousin Patricia. She is running to call my dad from the back. It's almost like they know the drill. Carmine is giving Joe Bananas the hardest look I've ever seen.
“You hear this? You hear how your son disrespects me?” Joe Bananas asks.
That kid over there I hear is the owner's son. You did disrespect
that kid,” Crazy Fontana defends his son, “You can't just
go around calling people niggers and mulignans and what not. This is
a new age.”
“If he's a goddam nigger. I'll call him a goddam nigger. What is this? Speech therapy? You Staten Island guys I swear. You getting soft.”
“You calling us soft?” Nuts Fontana says.
“He's not calling me soft. Call him a nigger one more time,” Carmine threatens Joe Bananas, “See what happens.”
“What'll happen? Tough guy. What'll happen if I call the guy a nigger?” Joe Bananas asks.
Fontana puts a hand out blocking Nuts Fontana at that moment, “Joey.
Listen. You're Big Paulie's guy. This is family. Let's sit.
We'll get some meatballs. We'll get some red wine. We'll get some
hookers for you later. Everything's back to normal. What do you
say? How about that?”
Things get silent again.
“Wine on the house!” my father calls running out from the back at that moment.
Joe Bananas looks hot. Still he sits at the table with Carmine. Somehow Crazy Fontana managed to ease this over. By the time my father brings out the red wine the gangsters have all for the most part moved on. Everyone except Carmine that is.
I watch as he heads to the back.
I find Carmine in the back smoking a cigar. He looks stressed out.
“You ok?” I ask him.
are you? A shrink?” he asks me, “I need a smoke. You
follow all your customers into the alley?”
“Only the ones I had sex with,” I laugh.
gives me a glare and smiles a little bit, “What if the sex was
I shrug, “Well I probably wouldn't follow them. I guess I don't have to worry about that because the sex that we had was amazing.”
Carmine puffs on his cigar a few times.
“I could use some of that now actually.”
I'm actually tempted. Carmine is sexy as hell. The way he leans up against the wall and puffs clouds of smoke in my face at that moment turns me on. It's almost like he's doing it on purpose. I can smell the cuban. I inhale the smoke coming from his mouth at that moment. I can't help but to lean in against him on the wall.
I'm kissing him. I'm kissing him slowly. I'm pretty my mouth up against him. It tastes so good. Smoke mixed with Carmine.
After almost a minute of kissing he stops, leans his head back against the wall and smiles.
“I wanted to do that all day,” I explain.
should have,” he flirts with his cool Carmine demeanor, “I
liked it. You kiss like a little bitch. But I like it.”
“You can't say things like that.”
“They aren't romantic,” I laugh at that moment, “You're supposed to say romantic things. Isn't that how this goes. Boy meets boy. Boy romances boy. Boy falls in love.”
Carmine laughs. It's a hearty laugh.
It's deep and raspy as though he probably has been smoking one too many of those cigars. It's amazing how he stays in such amazing shape when he is constantly smoking those things.
the wrong kind of boy,” Carmine explains, “If you want
that kind of guy you'd best go find that square that gave you flowers
and what not.”
“You saw the flowers?”
Carmine laughs, “Er-eh...”
I can't help but to blush.
you were paying attention. You were acting like you weren't paying
attention but you really were,” I state at that moment feeling
a little warmth in my heart, “You noticed that Kairo gave me
“Listen don't gas your head up. I pay attention to my surroundings. Never know when someone is going to pull something. Flowers isn't something you see often at a place like this. Gangsters don't buy flowers for their ladies much. You know.”
“Is that what you are? A gangster?”
“I'm a law abiding citizen...”
I roll my eyes, “Oh please. Save that for the jury.”
Carmine takes a large puff. He grabs me like he did before and pushes me up against the wall. He's so rough. He's so strong. He's so...hard. I have to admit that I like it. I like it the way he's manhandling me. He pushes me so hard that I almost hurt my back. If Kairo had pushed me that hard he would have been apologizing but Carmine doesn't seem to give a damn if I'm hurt by it or not.
Carmine gives me this hard look, “What if I was...a gangster. What if I was a street guy? Shouldn't you be scared of guys like that? Guys like that---they ain't no good.”
“I'm not scared.”
“You get your feelings into me...you'll get hurt.”
“I'm not scared.”
“If you're not scared then you're dumber than I thought you were,” Carmine explains leaning in at that moment and giving me another kiss, “Just a dumb little black boy with lips as soft as a bitch.”
“So why do you keep kissing them?” I state, “That doesn't make sense.”
“Why do you keep following someone you think is a gangster into dark alleys? That's how people end floating face down in the Hudson River. I guess both of us find ourselves attracted to things that don't make sense.”
“So what are we going to do about that?” I ask.
find myself letting my fingers run through Carmine's fingers. At
first he lets me but the longer we do it he seems to get
uncomfortable. He takes his fingers away from mine and shoves them
hard into his pockets.
He shrugs, “Listen---things are going to get a little odd. I disrespected a guy named Joe Bananas tonight. He's not going to take kindly to that. The guy is normally a pussy but now that Big Paulie is getting out of jail all these fucking cowards are coming out of no where and deciding to grow a set of balls. Things are going to get hairy. It's probably best a square like you stay away from me.”
The warning is clear.
“I'm not a square and besides everything turned out peaceful tonight. He seemed like he was over it.”
he says, “You definitely don't know the life. That guy isn't
going to forget a slight like that. He's going to make his
move...unless I make my move first.”
“Kill him,” Carmine explains, “It might happen in the restaurant.”
Carmine was telling me more than I expected him to. He seemed to actually trust me for some reason. He puts on this rough exterior but here he was telling me all his business as though we were friends for years. The fact that he is admitting to me that he is thinking about killing someone blows my mind. I look at Carmine and my heart beats a few times fast.
I can tell my dad. We can make sure this Joe Bananas guys isn't
allowed in the restaurant.”
“The last thing your Dad needs is more drama.”
“Are you saying my Dad is in danger?”
no. Please no!
“Do you have any idea what happens to men who sleep with Mafia women?”
“My dad isn't just sleeping with your mother. He's in love with your mother,” I explain.
grabs me at that moment, “Shut up.”
Carmine pulls out his gun at that moment, “Did you hear that. Someone was listening to us...”
Carmine takes off running at that moment around the corner. He keeps running. I turn the corner at that moment and I am chasing behind Carmine. Someone was spying on us. Someone was listening to our conversation.
Who was it though? Who the fuck was it!
The person takes off running and Carmine fires shots into the streets wildly after the person. The person is way too far though. He's way too far to be shot down.
stop! You're going to hit something.”
“That's the fuckin' point dumbass,” he tells me.
It's no point in telling Carmine that this wasn't romantic to call someone dumbass. I don't think he would give a fuck. Maybe that's the reason I like him. He doesn't give a fuck.
don't even know who that is?”
“It's a street guy. A normal guy wouldn't be fucking running away,” Carmine explains, “What if the person saw us kiss? Oh fuck! It can even be worse. What if they heard what I said about our parents?”
“Maybe---maybe they didn't.”
“Don't be stupid Cornbread,” he responds, “They ran.”
My heart is racing. I'm scared to death.
“What should I do?”
“You need to listen to me. Listen to me very clearly. Do you love your father?”
He says it with such a deep accent it sounds like Fah-vra. At first I don't even know what he's saying but I play it back. The only person in Staten I honestly really love is my dad. The fact that he's asking me this scares me. Carmine doesn't seem like he's joking either.
seems honestly scared and bothered right now! This is serious!
“God yes. I do...”
“You need to get back inside. You need to warn your father. Someone knows that he's sleeping with my mother. He needs to leave Staten Island now or he's dead...”
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