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Authors: S. W. Frank

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #United States, #African American, #Romance, #Anthologies

Aftermath (24 page)

BOOK: Aftermath
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After everything he’d gone through over the years, even the tragedy, he’d finally arrived at a place where he embraced the moment and could declare he was actually happy.

Alfonzo stood at the large window of the office building
overlooking part of
downtown Bayamón
listening to
legal updates from his defense
attorney
.

Martin was the long winded type, great for the courtroom but not when you’re talking to someone with a lot on his mind. The brain starts to drift,
pseudo-
listening,
as it
sifts
through un
important
shit.

Alfonzo
gazed down at the scenery, watching the pedestrians and cars. Daydreaming high above the tropical trees encased in glass and mortar.

His mom returned to New York and despite the mother son discord they were able to have a civil conversation about the children
.
Lou hadn’t uncovered anything on Bruno DeMarco and
t
he
Capo t
o keep digging
. Nobody’s
squeaky clean
, not even a baby.
He
wasn’t comfortable with his mom seeing Bruno and when he
broached the subject an argument ensued. So, he stayed away from the topic to maintain peace and
they were at an impasse.
He kept
security detail
on her, and that’s really about all he could do. How do you
force
your mom to stop dating someone?

You can’t!

His babe,
Selange managed to surprise him yet again.
The
woman sprung on him
the grad school schedule, the morning he was about to leave for work. She wanted a ride to the campus to speak with the admissions counselor about her schedule. Apparently, she
applied last year and deferred
admission for this semester.
H
e understood the unspoken
;
she was fulfilling her
personal goals
to receive her Master’s Degree and wasn’t asking his permission
.
She was asserting her individuality and he had nothing but respect.

He thought about the Langston Hughes poem, titled
‘A Dream Deferred
.

He quoted it
verbatim:


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like
a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And
then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--

Like
a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

Like
a heavy load.

Or does it explode?’

He got it
…he understood, because it’s exactly what he was doing
, living his dream with his woman. W
hatever
,
dreams she had, as long as it included him, he supported
one hundred percent. He
wanted h
is babe
happy.

The
upside
,
her courses were available on-line, except one which she had to take twice a week at the University in Bayamón.
The personal bodyguard wasn’t negotiable.
Everybody, even his wild cousin Jessica had somebody watching her ass.

Then
there’s Giuseppe,
oh man,
eversince he learned they were brothers,
the dude
called him almost every day and that was far too much.
Brotherly overkill he
termed it. He announced he planned to visit
soon for
a change of scenery and Alfonzo hoped he didn’t plan on staying a month. A week with Geo was
too long.

The lawyer’s monologue drew to a close and Alfonzo exhaled, about goddamn time!

He took a seat behind the large desk.

“The District Attorney’s going to formally drop the charges. You have to appear in court Monday morning
at
nine sharp. Don’t pull another disappearing act
like the last time
. Do you know the grilling I got
from the judge
?”

Alfonzo interrupt
ed then
, “That’s why you’re paid big bucks Martin.
I had a funeral to attend.


Out of the country
, which you failed to notify me about. You could’ve
forfeited
your bail.”


Yeah, you never told me what excuse you gave.


The goddamn truth.
You had
to attend a funeral. Your
pictures were
all over the news the next day.”

“So, how you get out of that one?”

“How else, I fucking paid.”

Alfonzo laughed, “So, the grilling was just a show.”

“It’s all a show
, you know that. Life really is a form of entertainment.”

“Thanks
.
"


Anyway,
here’s the good news. You and
the
ex-wife’s accounts are clear. The hold’s off
, so you can t
ell that woman of yours
she shouldn’t have any more problems
on the financial end. T
he FEDS and the IRS
are
off her case. Also, tell her I’m
donating ten thousand toward one of those scholarships. I like what she’s doing
. We
got a lot of rich folks who care more about golf and pissing on the less fortunate than taking some of their money and
assisting
deserving kids.”


Te
n-thousand, not shabby, up it to fifty and
you’ll impress the
woman of your ph
ilanthropic
ways.
Which we both know is a bunch of bullshit, since there’s nothing reasonable in your high-price legal fees.

“Fifty it is,
only because
I’ll recoup it from you eventually. I’m sure you’ll need my
legal
services again.”


Y
ou’re on retainer
.”

Martin chuckled, “Bunch of ma
larkey.
With you there’s always unexpected extra’s. I’m about to raise my fees since you like monkey’s who dance.
I’ve been dancing quite a few years and I need
a
new
outfit
.

“As long as you dance circles around the legal system on my behalf, I’ll pay
it. B
uy some tap shoes
while you’re at it then you’ll give me a good laugh.”

“We talk the
same
language
…m
oney.
See you
on
the seventeenth at nine sharp. I’ll ring the day before, just to remind you
.

“Alright
,
now let me get back to work to pay off my legal bill before you bankrupt me.”

Alfonzo hung-up and immediately called
Selange. She was probably in class but he didn’t care. He wanted to give her the news. 

“Alfonzo, I’m in school
,

s
he whispered, “
i
s everything okay?”

Alfonzo laughed. He felt like the bad influence trying to spring the hottie from
a
boring
class. He could’ve text
,
but
he wanted
to hear her voice.
She’d been
play
ing hard
to get
. She was taking the dating stuff to a whole new level,
saying since he wanted to go the traditional route then they’d have to abstain from sex.

Unh-huh, exactly!

Now what type of bullshit
is that
?

This happened last week when he opened his big-mouth and said
,

He didn’t understand how people went about dating in the old days without having sex. Shit he’d die.”

“Well, you won’t die without sex Alfonzo.”

“Hell yes I will.”

“I’ll help dispel the myth. No more sex until we’re engaged, how about that?”

She slept with Allie every night since.

She didn’t know it, but she had inadvertently issued a challenge and that was how to get her to relent and in bed. Sure, he could go and buy an engagement ring, but what fun is there in that? Nah, he wanted her to want him with no strings attached.

He planned to speed-date.
He gave her
flowers
,
bought her
a rare book on poetry,
signed over the
deed to
a chic
storefront
on
Seis Calle
n
ear his
office
because he
knew she’d lease it to Jessica for her boutique and he wasn’t wrong.
He was a perfect gentleman in disguise.
On Saturday, he
planned to surprise her with a trip to New York City for a performance of Othello. He had the tickets right there in
his d
rawer
.
S
elange
loved the Met and he figured, give her food for the mind and she’d feed him with her body.
Y
e
p, he knew what the hell he was doing
. She
wanted abstention, he
wanted sex
now
!

“Yeah, babe, everything’s bueno. Just wanted to tell you, they’ve released the hold on your money.”

“That’s a relief. I’ll talk to you later I’m in the hall and the professor
’s giving a l
ecture.”

“Yeah,
what’s the course again
?”

“Critical Theory.”

“You’ll ace it.”

“I don’t know Alfonzo it’s hard.
I’ve been out of school too long.

“Hey, don’t put failure in the brain.
Tonight I’ll help you study.”

“Okay.”

“Don’t make plans for
lunch;
I’m coming by after your class to feed you.”

“Aw
that’s sweet. These girls are going to
gawk
.”


Yep, t
he chica’s are go
ing to say,
wh
oa
look
at that
ugly
dude with that
fine
chica, look at her
mami
…am I right girl?
” He joke
d.

She laughed and it
made him feel good to hear her mood lighten,
“You cannot imitate a girl
–ugh, terrible.
Okay
honey
I
really
have to
go;
the professor’s peeking in the hall
right now at me
.
Bye.”

“Hasta luego.”

He chuckled; this
dating shit was fun. Then the secretary stuck her head in the office and he straightened himself. “What’s up
Georgina?”


Security
says there’s a guy
in the lobby to see you. He says he’s your cousin Sergio.

“Ah man…you got to be kidding!” Alfonzo exclaimed.
Nico confirmed the con-man was indeed their kin.
He’d checked hospital records, snuck in the dude’s apartment and took
DNA samples which matched Nico’s. Since he and Vincent were twins they’re genetic markers were similar and this kid…no…grown-ass man downstairs was indeed Vincent’s son. “
Cristo
!” He loved Vincent but this joker of a son was someone he’d rather not deal with. He smelled trouble in the guy and trouble isn’t what he needed.

“Do you want security to send him away?”

Alfonzo leaned forward resting his elbows on the desk, “What time is Jack coming?”

“Ten thirty.”

He drummed his fingers on the desk contemplating. He decided to hear the man out. Yeah, he thought and reclined. He made himself relax
. This was going to be
interesting. “Tell
security
to let him up and have Lou strip search him when he arrives on the floor. Have him confiscate all of his electronics and jewelry
then you can let him in my office, Georgina.”

BOOK: Aftermath
2.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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