Monday Matinee - "HER FATE" Episode Two

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, January 15, 2007

Please do not leave spaces ...park next to the car in front of you.
Concession Special this week is an extra large popcorn
and a large ice cold Pepsi-Cola for $1.75

There were some complaints about noise from some of our older guests...
Angell, keep down the talking this week please.

If you have not read Episode One - You can find it HERE

Paul Angelino grew up in the Bronx, NY. His family had been in the Bronx for three generations, ever since his great grandfather and great grandmother had sailed over on a crowded, filthy ship to find a better life in the “land of opportunity” in America in 1920. Nineteen year old newlyweds, sailing into New York harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty, Giovanni and Amelia Angelino held each other tight and cried tears of joy.

Paul had visited Ellis Island in 2002 to view their names on the “Wall of Honor” after having their names added the year before. It gave him chills to see his great grandparents honored with tens of thousands of other people who made their way to the United States over the years. He had never met either of his paternal grand-grandparents. They had both passed away before his birth, Amelia in 1980 after a bad fall, and Giovanni in 2005, after a fulfilling 104 years.

His childhood on Lurting Avenue was something Paul would not change for all the money in the world. His was a tight knit family. Paul grew up in an attached two family home just down from Morris Park Avenue. He lived with his mother and father, Maria and Salvatore and two sisters, Genevieve (who everyone called Jenny) and JoanRose. Paul was the middle child, with Jenny, two years older and JoanRose two-years younger.

Growing up, Salvatore’s parents lived in the other side of their home. In 2005, when Giovanni, Jr. passed away they moved in Paul’s maternal grandparents, Alfonzo & Mary Abunti. Both in their eighties, they were still able to care for themselves, though Maria and Salvatore had taken the car keys from them when they moved in.

Alfonzo & Mary had a difficult life, and their daughter Maria strived to make sure they were comfortable in their twilight years. Maria had two siblings. Alfredo, or Al as he was known, had been killed in action in Vietnam in 1965. Her sister Celia had married Joseph “Joey Smiles” Combino, which had upset the entire family. Joey Smiles was part of the Carlucci family in New York. A low level soldier, Joey had risen in the ranks over the years.

As the years went by, the tensions lessened some, as Joey took such good care of Celia. They had a home on City Island which looked out at Hart Island. Unfortunately their one child, Joey, Jr. had developed a drug habit and, in 1999 during an armed robbery of a bodega in Manhattan, had shot and wounded the clerk. Using the store security cameras and the testimony of the clerk, Joey, Jr. was identified, arrested, put on trial and was sentenced to a 20-life term in 2002. He was sent to Sing Sing with a possibility of parole in 2022 when he would be 49 years old.

Across the street, in a single family home were Aunt Annilynn and her husband, Vincent Costello. Paul grew up playing with his cousin MaryElizabeth, who was the same age as Jenny. His other three cousins were younger, Joseph who was four years younger would tag along when he was twelve and Paul 16, and Paul watched out for him on the streets. The other two cousins were Alex who was 6 years younger and Candice, who was 16 years younger then Paul. Paul could remember as a 15 year old, how strange he felt for his cousin MaryElizabeth when she told him she would be having another sibling as she turned 17.

As did his sisters and cousins, Paul attended St Xavier on Haight Avenue and then headed to Fordham Prep as his sisters attended St. Raymond Academy High School. During high school, Paul decided he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Salvatore was a chef and had worked in restaurants all over the Bronx as Paul was growing up. For the last 10 years, he worked at Frankie & Johnnies Pine Tavern on Bronxdale Avenue. The Pine was a popular spot for NY Yankees and teams coming into town to play the Yankees. The restaurant was packed with baseball memorabilia and also served some of the best food in all of New York.

After graduation, Paul attended the CIA, the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY on the banks of the Hudson River. Paul graduated second in his class and began working at Il Incontro in Manhattan. Located on 46th street off of Second Avenue, when Paul joined the kitchen staff it became apparent quickly to the owners that their new hire had many more skills then their current head-chef. Within a year, Paul had taken over the kitchen, revamped the menu and turned a barely existing restaurant into one of the most talked about dining experiences in New York. Many other, more established restaurants came calling after Paul, but he was loyal to his first employers.

By 2000, Paul had established himself, at the age of 26, as one of the chefs for the new millennium. It was on the first day of the International Seafood Show in Boston, that he met Mary Stewart. They hit it off immediately and spent the rest of the show attending seminars and walking the exhibitor floor. At night, Mary showed Paul “her Boston,” even giving him a tour of the restaurant at Oceana where she was Day Executive Chef.

Over the next two years, Paul and Mary took turns visiting each other, trying to decide which city they would settle in. The answer was presented to them that year.

In January of 2002 the owners came to Paul and asked if he wanted to move to Florida and open a new restaurant with them in Miami. Paul spoke with Mary and could tell Miami was not in their plans. The new owners then gave Paul the option of buying them out.

At the same time, Mary heard about a small restaurant in an office building across form South Station in Boston that was coming available. The people running the place had decided to not renew their lease.

After a few trips up for Paul and negotiations on the lease, Paul and Mary had signed the lease and taken control of the space. After two months of redesign and staff review and hiring, the P&M Pub opened in June of 2002 and immediately received a good review in the Boston Globe.

The menu was American with a hint of Italian. Paul managed the kitchen as Mary took control of the main dining room.

The setup of the restaurant made for a bit of ingenuity. The main entrance lobby of the office building split the restaurant in two. To the left was the bar area and to the right, the dining room. Food was served on both sides.

The reviews continued to bring more and more customers to the P&M and sometimes reservations were closed out two weeks in advance. Paul and Mary watched the local restaurant scene and in 2004 when they saw that a 20-table bistro on Newbury Street had failed and they inquired as to the lease options.

Their financial advisor had told them that they would be stretching themselves to the limit trying to handle both establishments but Paul kept telling Mary they could make it happen. Mary finally agreed and on September 16th, Villa Maria opened.

Once again, the review from the food critics were better then could be expected. The Villa Maria was another rousing success for this new superstar team of the Boston culinary community.

What Mary was not aware of, is that Paul had gotten assistance in the financing of Villa Maria from his cousin MaryElizabeth's husband, Joey “Deuce” Fabretti. Joey was six years Paul’s senior, but Paul knew Joey’s sister Angelina growing up. When he would be over Angelina’s after school in the 7th grade, Paul would see Joey coming and going. Even then Joey was involved in petty thievery and small heists.

Over the years, Joey would have a new car each year, always wore the best clothing and had a different woman on his arm each night of the week. You could always find Joey in downtown Manhattan hanging at one of the numerous nightclubs operating at the time. During the day, Joey would sleep late and then get into his car and head into Manhattan around 6 pm. Each week he would receive a paycheck from Galliano Construction.

Joey was well connected into the Carlucci family. He was a longtime friend of Sal “Sallyboy” Carlucci, the son of the Boss, Don Vicente Carlucci. The Don was in his early eighties and it had been whispered that he would be stepping down soon and allowing his son to take the reigns of the organization.

Getting assistance from Joey was not as easy as it would seem. Joey had to get an introduction to the head of the Boston area Family Stevie Bunoccioco. Then he needed to request permission to make the loan. He explained this was a “family” favor and was in no way going to have anything to do with a restaurant in Stevie’s area.

Stevie gave his blessing to the arrangement only after an honorarium of $50,000 was made to his home Parish. Father Paul said a prayer to God the morning he found the satchel on the altar. Inside was the exact amount needed for repairs to the heating system. God did work in mysterious ways, Father Paul thought as he took the money to be deposited in the Church’s maintenance account.

Paul and Joey had a contract that would allow Paul to pay Joey back over 10 years at only 10% interest. When Sallyboy heard the terms he scolded Joey, “Family or no, you can’t be givin’ your money away..whattaya stupid or sumthin?? This isn’t even a real relative, it’s your wife’s cousin not yours” Joey explained that growing up, he knew that Paul was a good kid and then told a story few knew about.

When his sister Angelina was in ninth grade, she had a mouth that used to get her in trouble all the time. One day after school she was by herself walking down Morris Park Avenue when she was approached by a group of Latino girls from her school. One of them bumped into Angelina and Angelina began giving her lip. As the group began to circle in on Angelina, it was Paul, seeing this about to get ugly, who came out of the candy store on the corner and got in the middle.

Paul knew the leader of this group well, as he had helped her get through geometry the year before when they were going to the same school. Being six foot tall with black wavy hair, sparkling hazel eyes and a smile that would melt an iceberg did not hurt. He negotiated a truce between Angelina and the group and even made it possible for Angelina to become friends with the other girls.

Joey had heard about this from his sister a few years later when they saw a review of Paul’s skills at La Incontro. Paul himself did not know why Joey was giving him such a good deal, other then thinking it was as a favor to Joey’s wife, MaryElizabeth.

Getting the loan from Joey allowed Paul to not have to deplete the savings he and Mary had acquired and a year and a half later, after Villa Maria had been named “Best Of” by Boston Magazine, he asked Mary to let him show her something one Monday morning.

It was August and the day was warm as they walked along the Boston Common, holding hands and people watching. When they got to the townhouse on Charles Street, Paul stopped, turned and kissed Mary deeply. “And sir, what was that for?” Mary inquired. “I love you darling and you have made me the happiest man alive. Our restaurants are doing well, and I thought we should finally stop renting, what do you think?”

“Paul, you know I would love our own home, but can we afford that now?” “Mary, we can. Our credit is as good as it gets, the two places are booked solid every night and I found the perfect place for us to grow as a family. Turn around”

The gasp from Mary’s throat caused a man walking his dog to stop and look as he passed them. Paul just looked at the man and smiled.

“Paul, how can we ever afford this?” “It has been on the market for a while, and the realtor told me they would accept an offer that we could afford. Do you want to see inside?”

Mary Angelino was looking at the most beautiful town home she had ever seen. What will her mom and dad say when they come to visit? They always worried she would not be able to afford something like this. In school, growing up in Andover, Massachusetts Mary was always the dreamer and never the studier like her older sister Barbara. Barbara was very artistic growing up, but also had a mind for math and science. Mary on the other hand was more the athlete and not very good in math and sciences.

What she also did very well is cook. Beginning as a six year old, while Barbara was coloring or out playing with friends, Mary would watch her mother, Alice, and her mother, Sarah in the kitchen on Sunday after Church. In the beginning her Granny Sarah would give her a small piece of dough to knead and turn into her very own biscuit. Then she was helping make the vegetables and then, when she was 16, the two women came to Mary on a Monday and told her, she would be in charge of the following Sunday’s meal.

It was like you had told her she had won the lottery. All week she planned. Developing and then throwing out meal after meal until she finally settled on a roast with roasted rosemary red potatoes, a corn soufflé, snap peas sautéed in butter and her special biscuits. Mom told her she could shop and gave her the funds to do so. On Thursday, Mary asked Barbara for a ride to the store and the two girls went off shopping.

That Sunday, Mary could not sleep and was up at 5:00 am tinkering around the kitchen. As usual it would be the four Stewarts, Granny Sarah and Grandpa Ben, who lived across the street and Aunt Barbara and her husband Montgomery “Scooter” Haverford and their two children. Babs and Scooter had married in their thirties, and their children Scooter, Jr. and Margaret (who everyone called Muffy), were 10 years younger then their cousins. They lived in Cambridge, and would drive the 45 minutes to Andover for the family meal each Sunday.

The meal was a complete success and Mary was amazed at the satisfaction she felt cooking for others. It was on that day that she announced she was going to be a chef and own her own restaurant someday.

This was not what her parents had in mind. They expected her to go into business like her father who was an Executive VP at Prudential in the Professional Money Management division. Finance was the legacy of the Stewart family. Her paternal grandfather Wilson Stewart retired after 30 years running the Strategic Partners Mutual Fund at Prudential. Now in his eighty’s he and his wife of 60-years, Granny Missy, lived in Boca Raton, FL.

But Mary had made up her mind and during her junior year of college she applied to a number of schools and finally selected on The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia, where she concentrated on degrees in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management.

Mary graduated at the top of her class and had offers from restaurants around the country and even a few in Europe. She accepted an offer to work at Oceana on State Street, overlooking the Boston Harbor allowing her the security of being in a city she knew intimately.

She rented a small apartment on Summer Street and began spending time with family and old friends once again. Then, six months later, at the International Seafood Show she met Paul Angelino.

Once they began dating, Paul made the trip to Andover to meet Mary’s family. The reception he got was a bit chilly especially from her uncle “Scooter” who kept asking questions about the Mafia and the show The Sopranos.

Paul’s family was a little warmer to Mary, though his Grandma Mary kept asking anyone who would listen “why the blonde was so skinny?”

In September of ’02, Paul took Mary to a Boston Red Sox/NY Yankee game. Throughout their relationship, the one thing they had always agreed to disagree on was the Yankees and Red Sox. Whenever the Yankees were in town, they would attend as many games as possible. On this night, with the Yankees already up by 3 runs before the top of the fourth inning, the Public Address Announcer asked the crowd to turn their attention to the large screen in center field. On the screen were the words:

Mary My Love-
Marry Me - Paul

When Mary turned to Paul, he was on one knee holding a beautiful 2-caret marquis diamond ring. She immediately began shaking her head and saying yes and the entire stadium erupted in applause, even though the groom-to-be was wearing a Yankee cap.

They were married on August 9th, 2003 at the Chapel at Andover Academy and then a large reception was held under tents in the Stewart’s backyard. Both families mingled during the wedding and it was written up in the Boston Globe.

For the last 3 years they had been living in a rental at the Back Bay Concierge on St. Alphonsus Street. It was small, but with two restaurants to run they didn’t spend a lot of time at home.

Now, standing in front of a Town Home that could possibly be theirs, shivers made their way up Mary’s spine. At that moment the front door opened and Paul introduced Mary to Chandler Wilkins the realtor. They toured the home and Mary was hooked.

The Town home was three stories. The front door was three steps up off the street. Once inside the outer front door you were in a small entry. The inside door opened into the first floor with a hall to the back of the home and the stairs to the second floor straight ahead.

The living room was to the left. It was 12’ x 20’ with a Bay window looking out onto the street. To the right was the formal dining area. It was approximately the same size as the living room and also had a large bay window allowing for plenty of light. They were happy to find out the sellers were including the crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

Further into the home was the kitchen. It was large, had plenty of windows along the back wall of the house looking out onto a small backyard. It had an open layout spanning the entire width of the home. The current owners had a small seating area to the left with a plasma TV hanging on the wall and the everyday table and chairs.

The kitchen had an oversized stainless steel refrigerator/freezer, an island with a prep sink, a stove with 5 burners and a grilling area. There were also 2 wall ovens and a deep fryer unit built into the counter. There was even a pass-thru into the Dining Room to help with serving. A perfect arrangement for two chefs.

The second floor had a den and three decent size bedrooms. The top floor was the master suite with matching walk-in closets and large bathroom which included a spa tube and shower with 12 jets built into the walls.

Later that evening they discussed the finances and Paul promised they could swing it. The next morning they made an offer a million below asking and it was accepted by mid-afternoon.

They closed and moved in on August 1st, 2006 and held a cocktail party two weeks later that was attended by over 100 friends and business associates.

Both the restaurants continued to do well and Paul was able to make his payments to Joey without a problem. The holidays were a special time as Paul and Mary found out a week before Christmas that Mary was pregnant and due in August of 2007. They celebrated with Mary’s parents and aunt and uncle and Paul’s mom and dad also flew up along with his sisters and their husbands and his niece Amelia who is seven and was worried Santa would not find her.

They were both disappointed that Mary’s sister, Barbara would not be able to make it home from California. Barbara and Mary had a falling out five years ago and had been circling each other since then. A few months ago Barbara called and something in her voice kept Mary from hanging up.

Mary could tell immediately there was something wrong with her baby sister, but Barbara was holding back. All she would say was that there had been a man in her life, but he turned out to be different then he appeared. Mary was not happy that she would have to wait a few months to find out the whole story, but also did not want to lose her sister again.

February 6, 2007 began like any other Tuesday for Paul. He was up at 4:00 am. to go down to the docks to pick out fish for the restaurants. On his way, he noticed a car behind him for a number of blocks but it turned just before the docks and headed toward the tunnel to the airport. After making his selections he headed over to South Street and the P&M Pub. There was more traffic on the roads now, but Paul could have sworn the silver Escalade he noticed in his rearview mirror was the same he saw earlier.

The day and evening went by quickly and Paul was exhausted at the end of the dinner service. On Tuesday’s Mary worked at Villa Maria, but they spoke on the phone a few times.

Now Paul got into the car and drove back to their new Town Home. When he pulled into his spot he saw a silver Escalade parked down the block.

Mary was home when he walked in and, as was their custom, they made a small drink and sat on the couch and discussed their day before heading to bed.

The next day, Paul spent most of the day on Newbury at Villa Maria going over the new menu with his head chef. That evening, Paul and Mary were due to visit Aunt Barbara and Uncle Scooter for dinner at their home. They normally did not stay away from the restaurants during the week, but this was Babs and Scooters Anniversary and was a do not miss event.

On the drive over Paul turned to Mary “I have to tell you, everywhere I look I see Silver Escalades. I am beginning to think maybe it is a sign that we should be buying one.” Oh Paul, why would you want a huge SUV in the city? I certainly have no interest in driving one,” Mary stated. They dropped the subject and had a great night at the party.

On the way home Mary yawned and then laughed. “What’s so funny gorgeous?” “Well, now I am being haunted by your SUV premonition, there is a Silver Escalade right behind us.” Paul had not noticed, but when he glanced in his rear view mirror a shiver went up his spine.

The Cadillac made a turn a few blocks later and Paul kept glancing in the mirror but saw no sign of the car again.

When they got home, they entered their home and went right up to the third floor and prepared for bed.

“Paul, I need some juice, do you want anything?” “No babe, I am fine, but you know, we really should have a small fridge up here for moments just like this.”

Mary laughed as she went down the stairs. Paul stood at the sink and brushed his teeth and washed his face. As he scrubbed the soap off, he heard a foot step on the stairs and rinsed the soap off.

He took the towel and dried his face. As he lowered the towel he looked in the mirror to see two masked men behind him in the bedroom. One was holding a gun to Mary’s temple and there was blood from a cut somewhere under her hairline. She was white and shaking and small sobs were muffled by the duct tape covering her mouth.

Paul turned, feeling even more powerless because he was standing in his boxer briefs and nothing more.

The intruder who was not holding the gun to Mary’s temple was also holding a pistol, which was pointing right at Paul’s belly.

“You don’t want to do anything stupid; your pretty wife here wouldn’t appreciate it.” With that his left hand flew out and slapped Mary across the mouth. Her head flew backward and her cries grew louder through her gag.

Paul moved forward quickly, but not quick enough as the gunman’s right hand with the gun came flying out catching Paul at the bridge of his nose. Blood spurted from his nose covering his chest and the floor where he had collapsed.

“I told you not to be a wiseass.” That was the last thing Paul heard as the gun came down on the back of his head and the world went dark...

An Original Work Of Fiction Copyright 2007 - V.E.M.
Any resemblance to actual people living or dead is purely coincidental.


NIGHT & DAY : Duke Ellington; Composer: Cole Porter
BLACK CODES: Wynton Marsalis; Composer:Wynton Marsalis

20 Of Your Sparks

  1. Travis Cody Says:
  2. Dangit!! Now all I want to do is turn the page!!!

  3. Lizza Says:
  4. Noooo, what happens next? It's hard to type with just one hand; I'm peeking at your blog post from behind the fingers of my other hand. I enjoyed your storytelling, Bond!

  5. Angell Says:
  6. Wow - Oh yeah....

    *whispers so she doesn't anger anyone*

    Vince, another great story from a wonderful WAS your imagination right?

    *looks over her shoulder for Bruno and da boyz*

  7. Liz Hill Says:
  8. Good continuation V. Keep it coming.

  9. TRAVIS: Thanks dude.. appreciate it from a writer.

    LIZZA: Come on back next week to find out...heheheh... typing with one hand... nah not going there

    ANGELL: TY and no Bruno back there

  10. TURN: TY

  11. Mags Says:
  12. Yes! La Cosa Nostra and food?!?!

    My kind of story!

  13. Piacere Says:
  14. you know Guido's family by chance????? BWAHAHAHA

    Great prose - keep it comin'!!!


  15. MAGS: Glad you are enjoying

    PIA: LOL..his, mine, and many others... Thanks, must be the Holiday... not too many readers today

  16. Coco Says:
  17. Sorry I'm late - couldn't read this at school.

    You know WAY too much about the ... um ... businessmen with common interests, Vinny. Is there something you're not telling us?

    Don't like serials. Nope. Want the rest right NOW!

  18. COCO: Sheesh.. watch Goodfellas and you know this stuff... out of all of that all you got was the mob?
    It seems like that is all anyone focused on...

    OH you will all be so surprised...

  19. Coco Says:
  20. Oops - forgot to mention that I loved the musical selection:
    "Night and Day" by Cole Porter. What band is playing, though? I haven't heard that arrangement before, I don't think. I'm thinking it's a more current recording of this standard. Harry Connick on piano, maybe? Naw, he'd sing, too ...

  21. Meribah Says:
  22. Wowsers! You sure can write! I look forward to the next installment!

  23. Tisha! Says:
  24. Good memories from the Bronx! Thanks Bond!!

  25. Sorry I wasn't reading this morning. I had a play day -- took the kids down to see Another Desert Rat, and I didn't want to read this entry while being interrupted (aren't you proud me for giving my kids my full attention for a change?!)

    But, I'm here now, and I send kudos along again. You already have enough readers bowing at your feet, so I'll refrain..for now...

  26. TopChamp Says:
  27. Is the man about to kill them? Hold them for ransom? Why is he there?

    Hurry up.... I'm a step closer to next monday than most commenters here and it's no close enough x

  28. Tisha! Says:
  29. Enjoyed hearing your warm voice on the show last night, suits your personality so well and you were magnificent!

  30. Maryfly Says:
  31. great story hon! Was wondering how the two were going to coincide. Waiting for more.

  32. COCO: All music is always credited at the botom of the post. that is the Duke Ellington of my favs

    MERI: Ah shucks thanks..glad you are enjoying

    TISHA: How much of it did you know?

    SONGBIRD: kid play days are cool... glad you are enjoying...

    TOPCHAMP: hummmm maybe we will find out next week...

    TISHA: As does was fun to do that with Doc.

    MARY: Glad you are enjoying

  33. Unknown Says:
  34. Aaaaah! A "coitus interruptus"!!!
    But a great one - LOL
    I will remain on THE COUCH till Monday. No one gets my seat... NO ONE =)
    Beware - I have a pillow and I´m not afraid to use it!

    (But I will leave some room for the other readers - I guess THE COUCH has enough pace for all of us... just want to make sure to have a window seat next Monday LOL)


Music On The Couch