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  1. #1
    Mafia relations (Sojourn)

    Mafia relations (Sojourn)

    March 27th 2017 - Five minutes after midnight

    The small street he had grown up in seemed to be empty, at least right now. A black car stopped around a corner, and a man stepped out of it, carrying a box. The man was tall and lean, and was wearing a dark grey suit, a white shirt and a dark tie. The box he carried seemed to be heavy, judging by its size, but the man carried it with relative ease.

    After checking again if nobody was around, the man walked into the small area where he had lived during his miserable childhood. While he walked, the man remembered his past. Lorenzo Martinelli. Back then everyone called him Enzo. The only child of a poor immigrant couple. They were so poor they would probably all starve to death if he had a sibling. They could barely afford to feed a family of three, let alone another person.

    But it had gotten worse. Papa had died in suspicious circumstances, and he had become the man of the house at the tender age of thirteen.He didn't have an education, and nobody would hire a poor Italian boy for anything other than mowing a lawn. But there were no lawns where he lived. Everyone else was as poor as his family. So, Lorenzo used the only thing he had going for him - his fists.

    At first, he would simply use them to rob smaller kids from richer areas. With time, though, someone noticed he was good. And he was taken under a Don's wing. He started as an underground fighter, making his 'boss' a lot of money. They started calling him Il Toro. The Bull. He was as strong as one, that was a fact. But he wasn't that stupid, either.

    With time, he started slowly climbing up the corporate ladder. He was an underboss now, and it was just a matter of time until he reached the top.

    Lorenzo was almost there, but he had never forgotten his roots. The place he had come from was still just as poor as it had been when he was a child. And Lorenzo didn't want any other child to have to take the path he had. Sure, he was rich now, and he could give his mamma a comfortable life. But it was still the kind of life nobody should have to lead because they had no choice.

    That was why he was here now. Classes were about to start, and he had heard that many families couldn't afford supplies for their children. He knew how it felt to be this poor, and he had dropped out of school for that and other reasons. And he didn't want any other child to have to do so. So, he planned on dropping off a box with all they could need at the back of a house whose owners he could trust. He was sure the family would understand what he wanted and split the supplies among the children.

    The plan had been to leave the box there and slip away quietly before anyone could see him. Fate didn't want that to happen, though. As he was leaning over, a cat slipped between the man's legs, causing him to drop the box. In the silent night, the sound could have been an explosion.

    "Cazzo!", the man cursed out, hoping nobody had noticed the sound. As he didn't plan on staying around to see, the man turned his back and walked away, as quickly as he possibly could.

  2. #2
    Jasmine David

    It was about midnight and Jasmine David knew she should try to get some sleep. But the young woman couldn't. She was busy making posters for the school supply drive. It was very important to her. She had grown up in this neighborhood and had just recently moved back to it after she had gotten her Master's degree in Education and accepted her new job. This school year was going to be her first year as a teacher. Teaching at her old elementary school. Sadly, some things had not changed since she had went there. Like the fact the school was very low on the list for public funding. Or that most teachers didn't stay there long. They would work there long enough to get experience needed to get a job at a more prestigious school.

    Jasmine knew what it was like to grow here and she wasn't about to give up on the kids. She planned to work at the school for a long time. Her parents, immigrants from India, had moved out of the neighborhood when she had graduated high school. They had finally saved enough money to buy the flower shop, building and all, that they had been working at since they had moved to America from the elderly woman who had owned it. They had moved into the apartment above it with her younger sister, Dahlia. Her parents had offered to let her move in with them when she had finished college, even in one of the other two apartments they were fixing up to rent out but she refused. Jasmine wanted to make it own her own, not live with her parents all her life. She wanted them to focus on their business and Dahlia, who wanted to become a doctor. Besides, it was enough that they were letting use their business as the main headquarters for her school supply drive.

    She was fine with moving back here, where most of her students lived as well. The place she was renting was small, but good enough for her and her cat. Although it could use some work. It needed fresh paint, newer appliances, the sink seemed to leak, but for what she was paying...She couldn't complain. It was within walking distance of her school and many small shops. If she needed to go to a bigger store, there was a bus station not far from here. Although her apartment could use some damn air conditioning. It was so hot. Jasmine wiped the sweat from her forehead and decided to open up one of the windows. Let some fresh air in. She then walked to get a drink from the kitchen when she heard a small crash.


    She said, when she realized the screen on the window wasn't installed correctly and her cat was able to get out. There was probably a cat in heat he wanted to meet. She really needed to stop putting off getting him fixed. She set her glass of water down and grabbed her shoes.

    "Rajah! You little dip shit, come back here!"

    Jasmine yelled once she was outside, trying to be figure out where he went. Naming the little male orange tabby cat that was a little joke. Jasmine used to get teased about her name, considering the princess from the Disney movie 'Aladdin' shared her name. Although her parents were florists and named their daughters after two flowers they loved. Sharing her name with a Disney princess had just been a coincidence. Jasmine had learned to embrace it, though. If some little kid thought it was cool she shared her name with the princess and it got them to open to her, then Jasmine thought that was great. She knew how hard it could be for kids here, her soon to be students, how hard it was to open up. To care about school when you didn't always know if you'd have dinner. The princess had a tiger named Rajah. This Jasmine certainly couldn't afford a tiger but she thought it was funny to name her little tabby after him anyway.

    As Jasmine looked for her cat, she heard someone cursing and the sound of something dropping. Jasmine headed that direction and heard Rajah meow. When Jasmine reached him, he was sitting on top of the box the man dropped.

    "Rajah, what did you find?"

    She asked him, petting his head as he purred. He seemed pretty pleased to have scared the man. She looked inside the box and was surprised to see school supplies in it. She wondered who the man was that going to drop off a box of school supplies in the middle of the night.

  3. #3
    Lorenzo Martinelli

    As soon as Lorenzo got into his car, the man took a deep breath. He had probably come pretty close to getting caught, because of that blasted cat. Once sitting down behind the dark glasses, Lorenzo checked himself for injuries. Apart from a slightly sore ankle, everything was fine, so the man turned on his engine and took off.

    While he drove back home, Lorenzo was thinking about what he had just done, and what he could do more to help. While he knew making sure the children had school supplies, Lorenzo also knew that there was more they needed. And there was much more than he could humanly do alone. Still, he was more than willing to do whatever he could.

    Which was why, along with the school supplies, he had left a small typed note. The note read: Please split these among the children as needed. If more is needed, please call this number, followed by a number that seemed to be a mobile phone.

    It was a mobile phone indeed. Lorenzo wanted to make sure that the kids would have enough for the school year, but also make sure that nobody would find out who was donating to them. The phone was a cheap, prepaid one, and hadnít even been bought by him, to make sure nobody could track the phone down to Lorenzoís name. His mamma had taught him about not letting his left hand know what his right hand did, and he took it very seriously. That, and he didnít want someone to not take his help because of hisÖ activities.

    With a sigh, Lorenzo stopped on a red light and let his mind wander back to the past. Seeing his old neighborhood had brought back so many memories. Living there as a child had been frustrating. He had struggled with everything. The language sounded difficult. People didnít particularly like him. Sure, he was a difficult child, but he was a child. He was scared, and fear led to anger. Anger led to the life he had now.

    And if he could prevent other children from taking his path, he would. It was too late for him. But it might not be too late for them.

    When the light turned green, Lorenzo snapped back into present after hearing someone shout something in the car behind his. Shaking his head, the man started his car again and carried on driving home. He had to stop thinking about his past. There was nothing there for him. Not anymore.

  4. #4
    Jasmine David

    The man was long gone. Jasmine had no idea who had dropped off the box, but she did appreciate it. She had attended the elementary school she would be teaching at and she knew how hard it was for many of the parents to get their kids proper school supplies. This donation would definitely help. She picked up the box and her cat. Holding one under each arm.

    "Come on, Rajah, let's get back inside."

    Once back home, Jasmine made sure to shut the window and that the door was locked before letting her cat of her arms. She'd have to stop putting off getting him fixed. The next person he approached might hurt him, instead of running off. She set the box down on her kitchen table and decided she'd look at it better in the morning. It was late and she always had full days ahead of her.

    The next morning, after she got her coffee and toast, Jasmine inspected the box. There was a nice amount of school supplies. She was surprised to see a note as well. More could be used, but she didn't want to sound greedy to the mysterious man. But she thought a thank you was definitely in order.

    Jasmine dialed the number and left a message.

    "Hello, this is Jasmine David, one of the teachers at the elementary school. I found your donation and wanted to personally tell you thank you. I will make sure the children get it."

    She paused a moment and left a call back number. She wasn't sure if the man who dropped off the box would ever call her, but she did appreciate his generosity and wanted to make sure he knew that. She got dressed and headed to the school with the donations. She needed to get a set of class rosters, that way she knew how many donations they would need to make sure all the kids had enough supplies.

  5. #5
    Lorenzo Martinelli

    Lorenzo had not expected to get a thank you call. Not that he thought people were ungrateful - even though most were. He just didn't really expect anything back for what he had done. Financially, that had meant very little for him. And emotionally, if Lorenzo were to be honest, he felt good about himself having been able to help out a little. Hopefully he would be able to make sure no child would go without to the point where dropping out of school would be their only option. He didn't wish anyone else to find themselves as desperate as he had. Sure, things had turned out just fine for him. But Lorenzo knew that his story was a rarity. Not everyone made it good. Some didn't even make it to the end of their teen years.

    The reason why Lorenzo didn't pick up the phone as it rang was not because he didn't want to. He had been busy the entire night, as usual, and fallen into a deep sleep in the morning. Once he woke up, though, he went for the phone and checked his messages, surprised to see that there was a voice message.

    Pressing the button to hear the message, Lorenzo was even more surprised. Jasmine David. He remembered her, of course. Dark skin, dark hair and eyes. Her parents worked with something related to flowers. He wondered how she was. He had no idea she had even become a teacher, but, oddly enough, it didn't really surprise Lorenzo. It seemed to fit her.

    Making a note of the number Jasmine had left, Lorenzo got up and headed into his bathroom. He took a shower, brushed his teeth, and went out to get dressed. Once dressed, he went to see his mother, made sure she didn't need anything, and then finally went into his office, dialing the number he had been given from the phone he had bought for this purpose alone. For some reason, he really wanted to talk to Jasmine.

  6. #6
    Jasmine David

    Jasmine had been taught to thank people for their kindness. Sadly it seemed people were generally selfish beings, so anytime a person thought of someone else, her parents had taught her and her sister to thank them. 'Thank you' was such a simple phrase but not used as often as it should be. And she certainly wanted to make sure the mysterious man who Rajah had scared off knew that Jasmine was very thankful for his donation.

    Not that Jasmine expected to get a phone call back. She assumed that either her message would be deleted without being heard or the person would pay it and feel good about himself and then delete. It surprised her to see the number she had dialed showing up on her caller id. She put a bowl of water down that she had for Rajah down on the floor and answered it.


  7. #7
    Lorenzo Martinelli

    Lorenzo wasn't even sure why he had called Jasmine back. Something within him wanted to hear her voice again. He knew they had grown apart, and that there was no place for him in her life now - and vice-versa. They had taken vastly different paths and made vastly different choices, and there was nothing that could bring them together now.

    Still, he wanted to help her out in any way he could - even if it meant anonymously sending school supplies for the kids.

    After hesitating a little, he decided not to say his name. The voice on the other side, the one Jasmine would hear, was a deep voice, but it sounded like it belonged to a young man. The Italian accent wasn't too strong, but it was still noticeable.

    "Hello", the man said, his voice firm and quiet. "Thank you for calling", he carried on. "Is there enough for all the children, or is anything more needed?". Before Jasmine could object, he carried on. "Please, tell me whatever else is needed, I am really looking forward to be able to help a little".

    Once he had added his request, Lorenzo felt silent, wondering how he could supplement on what he had already sent without actually meeting Jasmine - no matter how much he wanted to - and without sending one of his guys to do the work.

  8. #8
    Jasmine David

    Jasmine had no idea the man she was talking to was someone she had grown up. If she had, she'd be very surprised. She had lost touch of a lot of her friends from the old neighborhood. Since moving back, she had saw a few people she remembered. Two of the girls she had went to school with were mothers now and had kids attending her school.

    The man she was talking to sounded younger. Around her age and Italian. But the accent wasn't too strong. Most likely a son of an immigrant, not an immigrant himself. He sounded almost familiar but she wasn't sure why.

    "You're welcome and thank you again for the donation. It will help a lot."

    When he asked if they would need more, Jasmine was about to object. She had been taught to not be greedy. But since he was willing, she replied.

    "Sir, anything you are willing to donate would be very much appreciated but please don't feel obligated to do so. I'm just trying to help as many students as I can. But if you would like to donate more you are more then welcome to."

  9. #9
    Lorenzo Martinelli

    Lorenzo was being serious when he said he was willing to donate more. While he hadn't pursued an education, he wanted other kids in his old neighborhood to have the chance to. And if that meant he had to personally make sure none of them lacked the materials they needed, that was what he was willing to do. Money was no object, after all.

    When Jasmine finally accepted his help, Lorenzo sighed in relief. He was really concerned that she might not accept it.

    "Very well", he replied, still thinking about what he was supposed to do. Deciding that there would be no way of doing this without either meeting Jasmine or providing his name, Lorenzo thought the second option would be less awkward. After such a long time, she would probably not even remember him.

    "Please, do make a list of everything you need, and then go to the stationary store on 42nd. It's called All things paper. The owner there is an old friend". He paused and took a deep breath, really hoping she wouldn't remember him. "Get anything you need for the children, and tell Mrs. Baker that Mr. Martinelli will pay her for it all, will you?", the man completed, hoping that would be helpful and not get him in hot water.

  10. #10
    Jasmine David

    "I will do that."

    Although she certainly would not be greedy. Her parents had always told to never be greedy when someone was showing you great kindness. Which is what this man was doing. He was being very generous to the children who attended her school. She wrote down his instructions so she would not forget.

    "I will and-"

    She was about to say thank until she wrote down his name. Martinelli. She used to have friend with that name. Enzo was what all the kids called him. She hadn't seen him in a long time. Not since high school. They had went their separate ways. She to college and him....Well, she wasn't sure. She hoped he was still alive and doing well. She had always liked him and missed him. He had always been very nice to her. Even when other kids wanted to pick on her because of her skin color or her name.

    "Wait...Do you know Enzo...I mean, Lorenzo Martinelli? He and I used to be friends."

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