I was awoken by a pretty flight attendant tapping my shoulder gently. I startle from the touch. I am taken back as her bright fake smile is inches away from my face. Her hand is resting on my shoulder.
“Sir, we have landed at our destination. The plane is empty, it is time for you to exit the plane now so we can board the next set of people. Thank you.” She keeps smiling at me. I politely smile back and get myself situated.
“My apologies ma’am! My trip was quite exhausting. There is no rest for the weary is there?” I make small chit chat with her while getting my bags gathered from the overhead bin.
“Yes.” She says with a weak smile. I could tell she was tired.
“I bet most of the people were on vacation or visiting family. My sorry ass is working like a dog, you know, business as usual! It is good to be home!” I tell her. I take a big breath in then close the bin. I give her one last glance.
“I hope you have a safe trip and good day.” I put my hat on and tip it towards her before I leave.
Another over bearing trip to New York. I had to meet with the Caruso family about the money exchanges that were happening that all of a sudden we’re starting to not add up correctly. They were starting to question some of the transaction that were taking place. Truth is, no thanks to Ricky’s more than one slip up back at the casino; I had to get my ass all the way to New York in time to straighten things out before anything else got taken out of context. Mr. DeSanto wouldn’t let it be any other way. What choice did he have in the manner? He hired this young punk dumb ass who thinks he knows it all, and this is what we get in return for hiring him... bad slip ups and bad guys on the other end of the business questioning our motives. Mr. DeSanto had to send me to these folks, otherwise we all be dead or in jail and neither is looking too pretty from where I’m standing. So long story short, I went and I spoke with them to clear it all up so our names weren’t mud. Unfortunately Mr. DeSanto needed a well headed person back home at the casino since I had to do the traveling part, so my partner Joseph hung back to take care of the the floor and whatever else that was needed taken care of at the casino. He was second best, so he had to stay back to hold down the fort and be there for Mr. DeSanto’s beckon call during my absence. I was starting to get exhausted more so than I ever have been before. I was always running. I was either running around the casino, if not that, I was running around the streets or taking trips to the desert. If I wasn’t doing that, I was jumping on a plane heading to only God knows where at this point in my life. I was running ragged. My life became so complex in the short six months I decided to work at the biggest money making casino under the biggest well known name around. My life really changed the moment I stepped foot into that office and shook his hand. Who the hell would have thought I be part of something even bigger? I sure as fuck didn’t, but what can I say? We all have choices in life and this is what I chose. I keep choosing it, saddest part about it, I ain’t even that old to be this tired, but what’s more sad about it, I was in love with what I did and the life I was leading. I don’t know, Maybe, maybe this whole business wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I started to see it as a game and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue playing it. Yet, something about this power, this importance and money was a lifestyle that I couldn’t picture myself not having. I mean without this, what was I? Who was I? Yeah, it was a game alright, an exhausted, shady, get your ass killed or in jail type of game, but I was willing to play that card. This job and these people you work with become a part of you, become you in a way, like family, there was no way in all hell I wanted or could walk away now from something only losers dream about. I was living their life of being on the top, most people would kill to be there. Truth is, I have killed to get me here. I wiped my hands clean of it, did what I needed to to put it past me and moved forward. That’s what you have to do when decide to shake hands with people like Mr. DeSanto, it’s like shaking hands with the devil. I thought about my trip to New York as I waited for the rest of my luggage to arrive, how imperfect my situation truly was though, but I couldn’t leave. I had to stay as of now. I was trapped and if I tried to pull out, especially now; I could be a dead man. That was the cards I was willing to gamble when I shook Mr. DeSanto’s hand. I knew that too and I think because I knew that, I wanted this life more than ever. Who wouldn’t want it? Money, power, and fear to anyone who tried to mess it up. I also knew what falling in love felt like and looked like, true love that is. I had everything else fulfilled in my life. Now I could actually feel and know in my heart what love was. I wasn’t infatuated with the idea of someone. I could sleep with any girl I wanted, most guys could. That didn’t phase me or please me. I wanted to make love with someone I was in love with and knew that person was in love with me back. I wanted to build a family, a home, a while life with this person, and I had her too.... almost! Every minute of my day in New York I thought about coming back home to her.
After almost an hour of waiting, the rest of my bags came. I quickly swung them over my back and walked at a fast pace towards the garage where my car was parked, hopefully untouched.
“Welcome to Las Vegas.” A lady holding the door open for me greets me. I can only smirk. ‘I live here dip shit.’ I think, but my mouth is being kind with a sweet thank you. I get into my car and speed off to Cecilia Patruna’s condo. That was the girl I was falling harder for every day. My life didn’t make sense if I couldn’t win her over and have her by my side. I didn’t worry or have any concern with the bastard she had a child with; he will be gone sooner than later thanks to Mr. DeSanto. I knew I had important business to attend to, but I couldn’t stop thinking of her. I had to see her before anything else could be done with my return back home.
I sped all the way to her condo, for the record, She hated her condo, but she stayed because of the view of the Nevada mountains and blue skies. She got up so early because of the little one. She didn’t complain anymore despite her telling me she wasn’t a morning person. She said that she got to enjoy the sunset with a cup of coffee every morning and that made living in the condo worth it until her lease was up. She told me this is why she moved here of all the places in the whole wide world. She chose to leave the east coast for something better and more beautiful. She was trying to run away and start fresh. What drove her here though, “It’s the hot sun and the desert sands with the beautiful views. Plus the distance and glamorous flashing lights of the Las Vegas strip always pulled at me. I’m telling you, you can’t get this shit in New Jersey or New York or any other suburbs dump!” I smile remembering her words and how her voice sounds. I couldn’t wait to lay my eyes on her again. It’s only been a week since I been away from home, but returning back and getting to see that face and hear that laugh again was what kept me going now. A part of me knew I shouldn’t be making a detour to see the girl I was falling head over heels for, but I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t think a man could fall in love. I didn’t believe in it, but when I saw her that day in the casino with the sad-lost look on her face next to that jerk, something set fire inside of me and I haven’t been the same since I got her name. I had to see her, I wanted to see her. I wasn’t sure how fond she be of seeing me though with no contact for the week I have been gone.
I pull up to the condo. I take a big deep breath in then out. The weather was really something today, eighty degrees with not one cloud in sight. I climb out of my car and knock on her door.