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Angelia (aka “Nothing But A Photograph)
by Miles Rost
Colin Marchese did not know the pain his father went through.
Dominic “The Dom” Marchese was a major gangland figure in Cincinnati, Ohio. He made a name for himself, and was on the way to being a big name. Something changed in 1988, however, and 15 years later, the shell of “The Dom” had just been laid to rest. His college-aged son, the inheritor of the estate, sought to get the family fortune out of the “family business”, just like his father in the later years.
But Colin still had questions.
Why did my dad suddenly turn from his path? Why did he become so…distant?
Part of being the inheritor of the estate, he was able to see the contents of his late father’s desk. No one besides himself and one trusted confidant, who died months before, ever went into it.
He opened the main desk drawer, and immediately found a small leather-bound notebook. It was well-worn, and when it was opened, the smell of his dad’s pipe tobacco rushed into his nostrils. He turned the yellowed pages of the little book until a date caught his eye: December 14, 1987. Colin stood up from the desk and walked to his favorite chair in the corner, looking out toward the small pond on the estate.
December 14th, 1987,
Ah, bella! I met the most wonderful lady today. Flying from Genoa to London, to the Big Apple, it was a treat to see this beautiful vision. Her name is Angelia, and she was my stewardess for this flight. Belissima! She’s such a sweetie. Her family is Italian, they’re actually from a village near my own, but she’s been living in London for a long time. She makes things so sweet around here, and she’s going to be on the flight to New York! I’m hoping to get a chance to talk with her more.
He paged further through the journal to see more about this ‘Angelia’ that seemed to capture his heart. He soon enough found an answer in a later entry.
March 27th, 1988,
Ah, the trees are blooming their beautiful flowers today. They are very bella serra. Angelia and I spent a weekend together, going through the old haunts of New York. I showed her Lugee’s Pizza, which is now some sort of sandwich plane. Nothing like Katz’s, though. I showed her that place. She seemed impressed by the fact I could pound the pastrami down like no other. Wait until later on tonight. Heh heh.
Colin had to laugh, reading the rest of the entry. Apparently, Dad liked her a lot, and he decided to show her how much. He decided to read on through 1988 to see where things went wrong.
December 20th, 1988
Angelia called me just before I went to bed. She said that she’ll be flying back and spending Christmas with the family. I am hoping little Colin can take a liking to her. It’ll be the first time he’ll meet her, and it is important if she’s going to become the new mother of my children. I love her very much, and I cannot wait to make her the new Mrs. Marchese. She’ll be perfect for the family, perfect for the biz, and she’ll make the new empire proud.
He smiled, though he was a little fuzzy on who she was because he didn’t remember meeting her, even though he was 4 at the time. He turned the next page, and read. The mirth that was on his face dropped as he read on.
December 22nd, 1988
I cannot believe it. Morto infinito. I am crying so much. The news just said it. Pan Am Flight 103, the flight my beautiful Angelia was on, blown up over Scotland. Why? Why, God? Why did you take her away? She was going to be my wife! I just… <scribble> I don’t <scribble> get the bastards. I don’t know what to do…
Colin realized, much too late, that his dad’s turn to introspection and reservedness was caused by this. He looked for more information, more reaction, when he came up to the last page.
January 2nd, 1989
She left me with nothing but a photograph. All I have of my bellissima, my beautiful Angelia, is a photograph. I don’t see how I can go on. She was everything, just as much as Diana was before she passed on. I just don’t know where to go from here. My kingdom for my bellissima.
He looked at the next page, and instead of writing, he found a photograph of the woman his father had pined for. The one who was the love of his life, and the one who moved him to eventually slow down the family operation. His father was right, as she was a very beautiful woman. Beautiful brown hair down to her shoulders, dressed in the powder blue Pan Am uniform that hugged every single curve of her Italian frame, and a smile that could warm the coldest heart.
“She would have made a wonderful mother,” he said to himself, out loud, as he looked out the window. He had business to do, but he would have to remember to take a trip to Scotland to give his possible mother the honor due her from the family.