Someone once said, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."
My mind wandered as I sat in the 24 hour dinner. I had been sitting in the booth near the window since 2:00am. It was now 5:00 am. My mind was turning over and over and I just couldn't sleep, so I sat in the dinner drinking coffee.
In my brief case was the private detective's report. It detailed all the times my loving wife had cheated on me in the last 6 months. It also contained video and 8x10 photos of these events...
It was a very thick folder
I was waiting for my lawyer's office to open, I had the first appointment of the day. As I sat there, I thought about my life.
When I was 10 and my sister was 6, they took us out of class one afternoon. We were taken to the Principles' Office. There sat my Uncle Vito and his wife. Our mother and father had been killed in a traffic accident that morning. They were here to take us to their home.
My Uncle Vito and his wife were not really relatives of ours. Uncle Vito was actually my mother's god father, but he was all the relation we had. And he was making sure that my sister and I had a loving home to go to.
Actually Uncle Vito didn't have a home, he had an estate, but as a kid I didn't understand the difference. Uncle Vito's "house" was on 20 acres of lush grass in the best part of the county. There were barns with horses, a huge pool, guest house, and much more. The whole estate was surrounded by a huge wall. There even was a gate across the driveway with an armed guard. There were also armed guards walking the wall.
Uncle Vito liked his privacy.
I didn't know it then, but Uncle Vito was the head of one of the largest crime families in the US. Because of his security, rivals just couldn't get to him. But they did arrange for my mother's and father's accident. It was meant to be a message to him.
I found out later, there was a terrible price paid by attacking Vito's family. Within the next two years, everybody associated with that crime syndicate, and their friends and families disappeared. Uncle Vito had sent his return message. He annexed their "businesses".
My sister and I grew up in that wonderful home. We were surrounded by friends and family. We looked upon our cousins as if they were brothers and sisters. We were a family.
Once done with my schooling, I had an MBA, and I was working at a small company my uncle seemed to own, although I couldn't actually find any paperwork that indicated he did. One day he called me into his study, and asked me to do him a favor. It seems that he had been accessing my progress over the last few years and felt I was ready for more.
He had just come into "possession" of a small restaurant in the suburbs. He asked if I would like to learn the restaurant business because he wanted to turn it over to me. I wasn't a blood relative, he couldn't take me into the family businesses with my cousins, but he wanted to make sure I had something.
I said yes (one didn't turn down Uncle Vito). And my career as a restaurateur began.
It was an instant success, maybe because all of Vito's "friends" started eating there. But soon, it caught on with regular people and I was off and running.
One day a distant relative showed up with blue prints. It seemed that Uncle Vito wanted the size of the restaurant doubled by adding a large party room. Construction started the next day.
Remember what Uncle Vito wanted, Uncle Vito got. I guess I could have been put out by the way they just started building, without any of my input, but then I wasn't paying for anything either.
I just went with the flow.
Once the construction was finished and everything was progressing nicely, I got so busy that I couldn't think straight. The party room was very popular with my uncle and friends. The doors were thick, and the walls were sound proof. Sometimes he brought family and friends to dine there, including all the wives and children.
Other times there were just groups of very hard looking men behind those closed doors. They entered and left via the external entrance, which was designed to accommodate the arrival of wedding parties. Only these weren't wedding parties. They were some of the heads of the largest crime families in the US.
Whenever they showed up, my regular wait staff suddenly had the night off (with pay), and were replaced by hard men with bulges under their coats. My regular customers seemed not to notice the changes.
The only thing I noticed is that none of my regular customers would complain about anything those nights.
One night my uncle was entertaining another gentleman, from the west coast, and his family. They were as close to being friends as could be considering their occupations. One of my uncles' "associates" stopped me in the main restaurant and said that, at my "leisure", my uncle would like to introduce me to his "friend." While I didn't actually "drop everything" and come running, I didn't keep Uncle Vito waiting very long. (I do have an MBA, you know, I'm not exactly stupid.)
I soon found myself being introduced to one of the most beautiful woman I ever saw. She was your typical "Italian" beauty. She was about 5'6" tall, with a body to die for. She had raven hair about shoulder length, olive skin, deep dark eyes, and was just a few years younger than me. I was so overwhelmed; I made a fool of myself trying to talk.
I think it was at that point I fell in love with her.
Since it was Saturday night, the restaurant was very busy, and I had to excuse myself and return to being the "boss." About an hour later, I was, "carefully", explaining something to one of the substitute waiters, when I saw her leaving the banquet room, and start for me. I assumed that there was a problem in the room requiring my attention.
I was floored when she explained that she wanted to see how a restaurant was run, and asked if I would show her around.
So for the next 4 hours, I'd like to say that I was suave and sophisticated as I showed her the in and out of the business, but in truth I acted like an idiot. But she acted nice and I thought I might have made a nice impression.
The next day, a limo stopped outside my apartment and there she was asking me to show her around the area. She said she was bored hanging around with her father and my uncle and wanted to be with me. We had a wonderful day. She even went to the restaurant with me when it was time to open and stayed until closing.
The next couple of days were a repeat, until I was summoned to my uncle's study. Once there he quickly got to the point. He wanted to know my intentions toward his friend's daughter. He explained that his friend was a "very" protective father, and would not allow any "fooling" around with his daughter.
I may have thought I was falling in love, but I was not falling into "stupid". For the rest of the week I kept her at arm's length whenever she showed up.
A Road Trip to LA
A couple of months later, I was back in the study. Uncle Vito was explaining that his "friend's" daughter wanted to open an Italian Style restaurant on the west coast and would I take a couple of months to help them get started.
My restaurant just about ran itself, so I accepted, he then gave me the "look", and told me to have fun, be careful, and remember about protective fathers.
When I got to the coast I found a restaurant exactly like mine, right down to the light fixtures. I was flattered.
I spent the next two months helping her get the restaurant up and running. We hired chiefs, wait staff, dishwashers. We stocked shelves, and did all the stuff you need to do to get up and running.
.... There is more of this story ...