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I Give Devise and Bequeath (4)
After what he had witnessed, Marco and his father never spoke a word of it again.
Marco watched and listened, to everything and everyone even more intensely, constantly learning the art of knowing what is actually being said. Reading between the lines. This included the women's gossip, but especially when other men came to visit his father occasionally, he would stand behind the door to eavesdrop whenever he could get away with it. Once he overheard Gianni telling his mother to let the boy be. Marco knew then that he was supposed to be listening. He in no way loved his father less; it was fair to say he found a new respect for the dual persona of this enigmatic man. He realised his father's strength was the family, which did not just incorporate their household, but a much wider spectrum. The older he became, the more he could see the esteem his parents received at weddings, funerals and other large celebrations.
Marco was an above average student without having to put much effort into his studies. His listening and recall skills were honed so perfectly, he could have a conversation with one person and still listen to the gist of another conversation going on nearby. So he missed nothing, an aptitude, which would serve him well in later years.
At the age of seventeen, he fell in love for the first time. She was a beautiful, blonde fifteen year-old, two classes his junior. They would meet secretly after school three times a week to hold hands and exchange kisses. He would dream of a future with her and of the ultimate possession. With his hot young blood surging through his veins he would often try to take liberties to touch her budding breasts, but she would not allow it. Debby would plead for him to stop for the sake of her virginity. This he understood, and he would back off reluctantly. Once his mother had seen them together, and a mighty row ensued when he got home. Mother was irrationally beside herself, calling the girl an Irish prostituta and other derrogative names. Marco, gently wrapped his arms around his mother, which always calmed her down instantly, and promised he would eventually marry a nice Italian girl so she should not worry. This young love continued right up to his graduation ball to which he had to invite a girl from his own class. He asked Isabel Montana, a pretty Italian girl, who gladly accepted the invitation of the best looking and smartest boy in the class. They danced all night and when he brought her home she was expecting the almost obligatory kiss but he only said goodnight and turned leaving her standing on her doorstep, upset and furious. The following day he went to meet the object of his love but she did not turn up. He sought out her best friend to find out what could have happened, only to learn that Debby had had a date with someone else the night before and it had gone terribly wrong for her. Although enraged, with an anger he never knew before, he kept a calm appearance. He tried to call Debby, but she would not speak with him. It took him no time at all to find out who had been her date, as the bragging of the football team's captain circulated the school within hours.
Marco went to the Italian Club to seek out his father, who was initially very surprised to see him. Gianni introduced Marco to those he did not already know and took him into a small back room office. Without knowing it at the time, Marco sealed his future with the first few words he uttered to his father, in a steady, strong voice, "I have a problem". He explained to his father what was on his mind with calm, unequivocal determination. Gianni too, had been watching his son closely and from afar, since the night Marco became a man, and knew this was the moment he had been waiting for. The strength he had always felt emanating from Marco's quiet calm, was irrefutable. Gianni had found his heir apparent. He told his son, the problem would be taken care of.
Two days later for the final football match of the season, the team's captain, was not on the field but lying in hospital with two broken legs, the result of which would cause him to limp for the rest of his life.
Marco decided to go to business college for four years and work part time in the club. Here he was always listening and learning the ways of men and the business. He never saw Debby again, but dated many willing young college girls, never falling in love and terminating any relationship that seemed to get too involved. Taller than his father, Marco turned into a handsome, muscular man with a sharp mind, and a mild external manner. After graduating from college he worked full time in the business, and for a few years did not have to use the words "I have a problem".
Not until he ran into Deborah again…
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Unless I get run over by a car or somebody stabbs me to death, I will keep reading you.
Loved it as always,
killea: You give me such confidence to continue, thank you for your ongoing support, Bert