Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chapter 26

The following day was everything Amadeo hoped it would be.  All of his brothers and sisters were there.  His oldest sister Giovana and her husband Daniel were there with their twin four year old boys, Keith and Kevin. Santa and her husband Alejandro drove the two hours in with their three year old Michael and announced that they were expecting again to shouts, cheers, hugs and claps on the back.  Dante and his very pregnant wife, Beth Ann held court in the living room, surrounded by the Di Marco's, his parents, his sisters Teresa and Carmela and their boyfriends as well as Gabe and Con with their girlfriends. 

Con's girlfriend Maritza had brought her little sisters, Jo Lynn, who was six and had conveniently brought along her copy of Amelia Bedelia, and her four year old sister, Katie who immediately got along like the proverbial house afire with the twins.

Angelo's brothers, John and Paul, were there as well with their girlfriends.  Paul's girlfriend had brought along her youngest siblings, her eight year old brother, whose name was Trey but whom everyone called Turkey, her six year old brother Jeremiah, and her five year old sister Miranda who automatically gravitated toward Jo Lynn and began an animated discussion about books they had in common.  The two girls were best friends by the end of the day.

At first Trey and Jeremiah stayed close together and didn't really mix with the other children, but Keith had run up to them, inviting them to play. Soon he was joined by his brother Kevin, then Katie who rattled off a list of games they could all play culminating in her poking Trey and yelling, 'You're it!  Ruuuuuuun!'  Before anyone knew what had happened Jo Lynn and Miranda had joined the fray and the house was filled with shrieking, laughing children who ran upstairs, and downstairs, calling from room to room and floor to floor.

Amadeo had warned him that his family was 'a little loud' but that had been a gross understatement.  The Rossi's were, exuberant, to say the least.   They spoke loudly, they laughed even louder.  Mr. Rossi was a riot and had a joke ready for every contingency, and his son's Dante and Gabriele were just like him.  Eventually it became a contest between the three of them to see who could crack the best, or worst, joke.   Angelo's ribs hurt from all of the laughing he'd done in just the past hour alone.

At first it was all very nice but soon Angelo's head began to hurt.  The shrieks of the children were becoming ear splitting and he was sure that the glass in his hand would shatter given enough time.  He swore he could feel it vibrate in his hand every time one of the children came near.

Seeing his discomfort, Amadeo tugged his friend's sleeve and lead him out into the kitchen, which was blessedly child free at the moment.  "Come on, Ange, let's get you some aspirin, huh?  Find a quiet place for a little while."

Angelo grimaced.  "I can't, not really.  I mean, I can have aspirin, gladly.  Gratefully.  But dad said I'm not allowed to go off anywhere without Paulie or John to keep an eye on me." he admitted with a deep blush.  "I'd rather just stay on the couch in plain sight than have to ask either of them to baby sit me."

Amadeo shook out two aspirin and gave them and a glass of juice to his friend.  "Come with me." he said, leading Angelo back toward the living room.

"Now, stand here and look pathetic," he whispered to his boy before leaving to stand behind Mr. Di Marco.  He leaned down and whispered in the man's ear, pointing toward Angelo and then toward the backyard.  At first Angelo was afraid that his father was going to say no, but there was apparently something in Angelo's face that gave truth to whatever it was that 'Deo had said and his father nodded, giving a pointed look to his friend and saying something with a no nonsense expression.  'Deo crossed his heart and gave the man his best boy scout salute, even though he'd never been one.  

Amadeo came back to his friend and whispered with that glint in his wicked sunlit coffee eyes "We have his majesty's blessing. Let's away before he changes his mind and puts us both in the dungeon."

Angelo smiled and waved at his father and followed his friend into the back yard.  Some of the canopy tents were still up, as were several of the picnic tables, since the Rossi's planned to spend the bulk of the day outdoors as soon as they began to cook lunch.  Johnny, Amadeo and Con had erected an above ground swimming pool and spent the previous day and night checking it to see if it were filling properly and making sure it didn't overflow.  They'd put the ladder nearby but not in just yet for fear that one of the little ones would get outside before the adults were there and try to climb in.

"C'mon Ange. This way."  'Deo said with a grin, leading him toward a quiet, shady part of the back yard.  He lead his friend to a tree in the corner and pulled a rope that was hanging, then stepped back to avoid being hit by the ladder that fell down.

"You OK with rope ladders, Ange?"  'Deo asked.  But it was an unnecessary question as Angelo was already half way up.  Amadeo grinned and followed, climbing in and pulling the ladder back up.  Angelo was already on his back, arms pillowing his head, looking with great interest at the tree house they were in.  

The tree house was big enough for the two of them and perhaps Milo if he sat in the corner with his legs crossed, and was only tall enough for 'Deo to kneel without hitting his head on the roof.  He reached into a corner and pulled the lid off of a cooler, pulling out two Cokes and using an opener that was hanging by a string on the wall next to it.  He offered the Coke to Angelo with a grin.  Then he pulled the rope ladder back up.  He was very much aware of Mr. Di Marco watching them as they'd climbed the ladder and that was his way of assuring the man that they weren't going to disappear anywhere any time soon.

"Two questions."  Angelo said.

"Shoot." replied Amadeo, closing the hatch that covered the entrance in the floor.

"One, how'd you know we were gonna get permission to come out here, and two, how'd you get the ladder back up here in order to pull it down?" he grinned.

"I didn't know your dad had ordered a babysitter for us," 'Deo said, including himself in The Sentence, "But I knew once he saw how miserable and in pain you were he wouldn't say no or press the issue.  And to answer your second question, I knew it was going to be super noisy and I figured you'd need some place quiet to get away to, so I stashed the Cokes up here and then used the pulleys to get the ladder back up to keep the babies out.  Can't risk them getting hurt now, can I?" he replied, turning on the transistor radio to the local pop station.

"Devious."  Angelo said, taking a swig from his cold soda.  He sighed in relief at the feeling of the cool drink and the cooler air as Amadeo lifted the flaps that covered the windows, tying them to hooks in the ceiling.

"So," 'Deo said with a glint in his eye and a suggestive smile, "I have a few ideas about what we can do to make the time go by." he said, leaning toward Angelo.

Angelo's breath caught but before he could say anything, Amadeo reached past him and snatched up a deck of cards.  "Setback!"

"A**hole!" Angelo protested.

Amadeo put on a mock frown.  "Language young man.  Language!  Gentlemen do not resort to crude language to make their point."

"Oh shit in a hat, man, you sound like my father!  Way to kill the mood!"  Angelo said, flopping melodramatically, but carefully, backward onto the floor, which he couldn't help but notice was wide enough in either direction to accommodate them lying down if 'Deo didn't mind bending his knees just a little.

"Angelo!" Amadeo said in a warning tone.

Angelo sat back up, stuck his tongue out, then licked his lips suggestively, his eyes glued to Amadeo's as he leaned in closer and closer, only to blow a raspberry once he was close enough to shower his friend.

"Angelo...!  Hey, what *is* your middle name, anyway?"

Angelo tilted his head back slightly and gave his friend a little crooked grin.  "Benedetto, what's it to ya?"

"Angelo Benedetto, watch your mouth young man.  And you blow one more raspberry at me you'll regret it."

Angelo responded with a few choice words that would have astounded his parents, who were still convinced that their youngest didn't know things like that.

"Watch your mouth little boy."  Amadeo fairly purred, the glint back in his eyes.

"Or what, Sister Mary Demonica, you'll get the ruler?"  Angelo quipped, unsure where this was leading but finding it intriguing.

"Last warning, little boy."

"Yes, ma'am.  I'm sorry, Sister. I won't say bad words anymore."  Angelo said coyly from beneath lowered eyelids, replacing words with gestures which would also have shocked his parents no end if they'd known he knew them.

"That's it, brat, you're in for it."  Amadeo growled, grabbing his boy by the sleeves and pulling him forward.

Angelo's eyes widened, wondering if Amadeo hadn't been kidding around as he'd thought.  "Hey!  Hold on..." was all he managed to say before Amadeo had his boy over his lap.

He wriggled to free himself, his mind raced to find the words with which to protest this treatment, until the first spank fell.  Just a little sting, but by no means painful, quickly followed by another, and another, and another.  Amadeo was targeting spots that had Angelo gasping in a way that a spanking had never made him gasp before, and eliciting physiological responses that a spanking had never gotten from him in his life.

"Now, little boy, are you going to behave yourself?"  Amadeo scolded.


Amadeo grinned and continued to spank his boy, who at some point stopped trying to wriggle away but instead lay there with his eyes closed, taking deep breaths.

"Are you going to behave now?"  Amadeo asked, amused and a little aroused as he felt his boy's appreciation digging into his leg.

"Unnnnnhhh."  Angelo responded articulately, his eyes still closed.

Amadeo stopped the impromptu spanking and pulled his boy up to sit on his lap, holding him close and kissing him, loving the boneless way Angelo lay in his arms, allowing himself to be positioned and kissed in any way that 'Deo wanted.

Neither of them had any idea of how long they'd been kissing, nor what would have happened next if a voice hadn't begun to serenade them from the grass beneath.

"Let me in, whee-ooo.
Whee-ooo, whee-ooo
Whee-ooo, whee-ooo, hoo-ooo-ooo, whee-ooo,
I can see the dancin', (let me in)."  Milo sang, flawlessly providing the lead and chorus, accompanying himself effortlessly.

"The silhouettes on the shade (silhouettes).
I hear the music (music),
All the lovers on parade (oh).
Open up (let me in), I wanna come in again,
I thought you were my friend."

"Crud, I love Milo but his timing stinks." Amadeo griped.

"Uhhhnnn."  Angelo agreed.

"Pitter patter of those fee-ee-ee-ee-eet.
Movin' and a-groovin' with that be-eat.
Jumpin' and stompin' on the flo-o-o-o-oor.
(Lemme in) Let me in! (Open up.) Open up!
Why won't you open up that door? (Let me in.)"

"Come on lazy bones, get up.  Here, take a handful of ice cubes."

"An' do what, put em in my pants?" Angelo asked tactlessly.

"You're gonna need em for your backside if you don't do what I tell you.  Wash your face, go sit there by the cooler.  Shoo!" he whispered back.

Angelo growled but did as he was told, taking and opening another Coke and surreptitiously holding it between his thighs.

"I hear (open up) music let me in (music).
I wanna come in again.
Let me in (let me in), a-well I heard it just then.
I thought you were my friend."  Milo sang, then shouted without a break "What the heck are you guys doing up there?  Throw the ladder down!" before he began to sing again.

"Whee-ooo, whee-ooo
Whee-ooo, whee-ooo, hoo-ooo-ooo, whee-ooo,

Milo hummed the instrumental portion, then continued singing:

"Pitter patter of those fee-ee-ee-ee-eet.
Movin' and a-groovin' with that be-eat.
Jumpin' and stompin' on the flo-o-o-o-oor.
(Lemme in.) Let me in!. (Open up.) Open up!
Why don't you open up that door? (Let me in.)  D'ya get the hint yet guys!?"

"I-ah-I (open up) hear music, let me in (music).
Oh, I heard it just then. Let me in. (Let me in.)
I wanna come in again.
I thought you were my friends!" he sang even though the ladder had been lowered moments before.

"Whee-ooo, whee-ooo, hoo-whee-oo.
Whee-ooo, whee-ooo, hoo-ooo-ooo, whee-ooo.
Hoo-ooo-ooo, whee-ooo."

He began the fade out, clicking his fingers and swaying his hips, his voice going softer and softer as though he were walking off into the distance.

"Mi!  Stop that howling before you get every dog in the neighborhood here to see what died, and get up here!"

"Took ya long enough!"  Milo griped back as he climbed the ladder, although he hadn't minded the wait since he loved the song and he liked to sing it.

"Ange, grab a Coke for Mi, would you?  Mi, pull the ladder back up, k?"

"Bossy bossy bossy."  Milo grumbled, hauling the ladder back up and shutting the hatch once again.  He turned to thank Angelo for the soda and stopped to take a closer look.  "I think you guys've been up here too long.  Looks like Ange is gettin heat stroke."  Milo observed.

"Nah, he's fine.  He's just mad that he lost at setback."  Amadeo reassured him casually, gesturing toward the abandoned cards on the floor.  He ignored the raspberry that Angelo blew at him in response but noticed the little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

"So to what do we owe the honor?  I thought you said you couldn't make it today?" 'Deo asked with a grin.

Milo laughed, "Yeah, dad was gonna make me and Mikey stay home today but we were making so much noise he caved and let us come over.  Mikey is with the other kids in the front yard making a hellacious racket, and mom and dad are in with the other 'growed ups'.  Oh yeah, your dad told me to tell you that they're gonna start the cook out in a little while so they're gonna need all hands on deck."

"So tell me, what the heck happened the other day?"  Milo asked.

At the other boy's blank looks, Milo expanded.  "Both of your dads called.  Twice!  Looking for both of you!  What's the deal?"

The two other boys had the good grace to look embarrassed.  "We went to Ketterly's and sorta got lost."  Amadeo admitted.

"Both of you?  Sheesh!  And hey!  Whyn't you call me?  I'da gone!"  Milo protested.

"Sorry, man, it really was a spur of the moment thing, and we only meant to be there a little while." 'Deo replied.

"Ange, you're a bad influence on our Mad Man here."  Milo laughed.

"Milo!" said Amadeo warningly.

"Mad Man?"  Angelo asked with a grin and a sly look.


"Yeah, this is the kid who put himself on a schedule when he was six years old.  This guy just doesn't lose track of the time like that."


"Mad Man?  Really? How'd you come up with..."


"You gotta see him wrestle, Angelo!  One look at his face makes his opponents wanna go running for the hills."


"Mad Man."  Angelo repeated, grinning.

"Hush you!"  Amadeo threatened.

"All right, all right."  Milo laughed, "So tell me, what went on yesterday?  It was the most exciting thing that happened all day."  Milo continued, "I'm betting that if you'd gone missing a little while longer it'd'a been in the papers today.  Spill."  Angelo and Amadeo took turns relaying their edited version of events from the day before, including the story about Nicky, which was frankly driving the two of them crazy, not knowing the entire story.

"Wow, creepy.  I wonder if there's some way to look up old newspaper stories to find out what really happened?"  Milo conjectured.  "But it happened in Pennsylvania right?  Or was it Philadelphia, I forget.  What year did it happen, again?"

Before Amadeo could respond, another voice drifted up to them.

"Little Pigs, Little Pigs, let me in!" came a familiar voice.

Without missing a beat the three boys chimed, "Not by the hair of our chinny chin chins."

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down!"  Johnny Di Marco said with a grin.  He took several deep breaths and cracked everyone up by sneezing violently.

Milo scooted over and opened the hatch to throw the ladder down again.  The tree swayed slightly as it took Johnny's weight.  He poked his head in and looked around. "Wow, this is cool!" he said.

"Guys, squeeze into the corners, I think we can fit him."  'Deo said.

"I don't think so..."  Johnny said uncertainly.

"C'mon, where's your sense of adventure?"  Angelo asked with a grin.

"I left it safely on the ground with my common sense."  Johnny replied even as he tried to compress himself to fit through the hatch.  There was a tense moment when everyone was sure that Angelo's older brother was going to get his shoulders jammed but he managed to wriggle in with a sigh of relief.  The other boys squeezed themselves into the corners in order to give Johnny enough room to get in and close the hatch so he didn't run the risk of going through butt first.

"This is really cool!"  He said again, then paused to thank his little brother as he handed him a Coke.

"Johnny," Angelo said tentatively,  "Can I ask you a question?  I mean, and get an answer?  A real answer?"

Johnny Di Marco frowned and shrugged, "I guess.  I guess it depends on what the question is." he replied, taking a swig of his soda.

"Look, Johnny, Dad told me about his friend Nicky from way back, but... he didn't tell me the whole story.  I know there was more to it and it's been driving me and Dae crazy not knowing.  Would you tell us what happened, if you know?"

Johnny frowned again.  "I dunno, squirt.  If Dad didn't tell you the whole story he mighta not wanted you to know it, ya know? He might think you can't handle it yet."

"Giani!  You guys gotta stop thinking about me like I'm a little kid still.  I'm sixteen, and honestly I know more about stuff than mom and dad like to give me credit for, but they look at me and see a little kid in diapers, no matter how big I get!"

"Please, John," added Amadeo, reasonably, "We aren't little kids anymore, and we'd really like to know.  We understand that whatever happened was pretty bad, and we learned a lot just being told the bare bones.  If you told us the whole story it would help cement the lesson. Please?"

"I'm not a baby, Giani!  Come on!  Please?"

His older brother sighed in frustration, "I know you're not a baby, brat, but I gotta tell ya, when I finally heard the whole story it kinda freaked me out, and I was older than you are now."

"Giani, please?"

Johnny glanced at the other two boys and saw the same hopeful expression on their faces.  He huffed out a sigh and said "OK, I'll tell ya, but I swear to God you guys have nightmares afterward I don't know nothin' bout nothin', got me?"

Obtaining solemn promises from the three younger boys, Johnny began his narration.

"OK, so it was like 1915 in a nice little town in Pennsylvania.  Everyone knew everyone else and nearly everyone was related somehow, got me?"  Johnny began, waiting until his brother and his friends nodded.  "So anyway, Nick got into a big fight with his dad and ran out of the house.  When he didn't come back that night everyone in town started looking for him.  Days went by and there was no sign of him. The police just said he'd run away and he'd come back when he got tired and hungry enough, but he didn't go home."

"Nick's mother was sick and getting sicker as the days went by.  She was the one who finally suggested the morgue.  No one wanted to believe it, no one wanted to be the one to go check.  His father finally went and there he was."  Johnny paused to take a breath and swallow.  The story still bothered him.

"Don't stop now, John!"  Angelo protested.

"Sorry kid, it's just a really... horrible story, even now." he took another deep breath and leaned toward the three boys, lowering his voice.  "Nicky'd been... well he'd been... you guys know what rape is?"

The three boys nodded, they'd heard stories, but none of them had a clue as to how one would rape a boy.

"Well whoever killed him raped him first, there was... well never mind that, but that's what happened.  And then according to the story, whoever did that, killed him afterward. Cut him up pretty bad.  There were knife wounds all over his body, his chest, his back, his arms.  The police said it looked like he'd put up a real fight but whoever did him musta been bigger and the kid never had a chance."  Johnny said, reluctantly.  "Look guys I honestly can't bear to talk about it.  I think I told you enough." he said looking at their slightly green faces,  "Too much actually.  You guys gonna be ok?"

The three boys nodded, taking careful swigs from their bottles of soda to ease their stomachs.

"Ah, God, I shoulda never told you... what was I thinking?" he berated himself.  "If dad finds out I'm a dead man."

"No, Johnny, we really appreciate what you did.  It shows that you don't think of us as little kids, and we're obliged that you'd tell us when no one else would." 'Deo said quietly.  "Yeah, it's a vicious story, but by you telling us, well it just makes us understand better than we did." he continued, mentally kicking himself for worrying the Di Marco's like that.  He vowed to himself that he was going to be the best unpaid hired hand the Di Marco's ever had.

"All right, well," Johnny sighed, "I only came up to tell you guys that we're starting the cookout and we need everyone to help."  He looked closely at the three boys, "You guys sure you're gonna be ok?"

"Yeah, Johnny, honest." replied Angelo.  "And thanks again.  Thanks for telling us and treating us like we're adults and not kids."

"Ok brat, come on down then." Johnny said, finishing off his Coke and carefully squeezing himself in reverse through the hatch.

The three teenagers sat quietly for a few moments.  Angelo vowed to add Nicky to his thoughts, and wondered if perhaps Nicky and Peter knew each other where they were.  They stashed their empties in the corner by the cooler and climbed back down.  'Deo secured the ladder and rope once again, and the three of them dove into the blessed distraction of chores and running errands in preparation for lunch.

It had been a beautiful day, everyone had eaten themselves into a coma, the children had swum until they were worn out and there had been nearly as much water on the ground as there had been in the pool.  It was about ten o'clock at night, Gia and Daniel, who were staying the night, had tucked the twins in hours before. Alejandro and Santa had bundled Michael into the car and headed back to the base an hour before, little brothers and sisters had been picked up and were safely home, leaving everyone else sprawled across couches, chairs, rockers and cushions on the floor, sipping coffee, tea or Cokes and engaging in quiet conversation.  

Johnny Rossi, who had at one point during the day insisted that the other adults call him Pazzo, since there were too many Johnnys around now, was in the process of telling yet another one of his jokes.  He reached the punch line, delivering it with perfect timing.  Everyone burst into appreciative laughter.  Beth Ann especially seemed to like it since she continued to make a delighted sound even after everyone else had stopped laughing.

"It wasn't that funny, Bethie."  Dante said with an apologetic grin toward his father.  He reached over to give his wife a hug.

Beth Ann, for her part, began to laugh again.  "It's not funny!" she cried.

Everyone was confused until Mrs. Di Marco took in the whole picture before jumping to her feet with a delighted smile on her face and clapping like a school teacher trying to get her student's attention.

"Mr. Dante Rossi!  I suggest you go start up the car now.  Pazzo!  Go get her overnight bag!  Paulie, you call ahead to the hospital.  Teresa?" she called toward the fourth oldest Rossi child, "Do you have her doctor's number here?  Yes?  Give him a call would you bella ragazza?  The rest of you start setting up the cribs, we'll need them in a few days.  Datti una mossa! Abbiamo bambini sulla strada!" she crowed.
(Bella ragazza - beautiful girl) (Get a move on!  We have babies on the way!) 

She and Natie arranged Beth Ann on the couch with her legs elevated and a throw blanket covering her from the waist down.  Beth Ann alternated between laughing and crying while everyone bustled around her.  She clutched her mother in law's hand on one side and Mrs. Di Marco's on the other.  "It's too early!  It's too early." she cried.

"Shhhh sweetheart," said Natie reassuringly, smiling gently and brushing her daughter in law's hair away from her face. "They're not that early. They'll be fine, bambina.  You'll be fine."
(little girl/baby girl)

Julia turned toward her son Johnny and quietly reminded him to make sure they laid down towels and blankets in the back seat so that Beth Ann could recline and be as comfortable as possible for her trip to the hospital.  The young woman gasped as another contraction hit her.

Angelo quietly approached his mother from behind and handed her a cool, wet cloth.  Julia smiled at her youngest and ran a thumb down his cheek briefly before turning back to the young woman beside her, gently running the cloth over her sweaty face.  Softly she began to sing to the worried mother to be:

Bella e bianca
vola vola
mai si stanca
gira qua
e gira la
poi si resta sopra un fiore
e poi si resta spora un fiore."

"Ecco ecco
a trovata
bianca e rosa
gira qua
e gira la
poi si resta sopra un fiore
e poi si resta spora un fiore."

"We're ready." Dante said breathlessly, kneeling beside his wife.  "How are you, mia bella?  How are you holding up?  Can I do anything for you to make you more comfortable?"

"Can you carry her to the car?"  Natie asked.

"Anything for my baby." he said, crouching down and lifing his wife carefully.

"Mamma Rossi!  Stay with me?  Please?  Mrs. Di Marco?  Please?" the young woman cried, unwilling to let go of the two women, her previous aplomb gone in the face of the actual impending births.

"Julia, la mia piccola colomba.  You call me Julia."  She looked over toward her friend, "Natie?  You sit at her head and I'll sit at her feet?"
(my little dove.)

"Sounds good.  We're with you, Bambina.  Hold our hands.  We're with you."  Julia, Natie and Beth Ann were quickly situated in the back seat while Dante and his father took the front seats.

"Call us, Daddy!  As soon as you can, please?"  Teresa asked as she shut the doors behind them.  Pazzo gave her the thumbs up as his oldest son backed the car out of the driveway and made their way quickly and carefully to the hospital, Julia and Natie taking turns singing comforting songs to the soon to be new mother.

In the upstairs guest bedroom, Angelo, Amadeo, Milo and Johnny struggled with the cribs while Paul tried to read the directions.  "This is crazy!  I hate to say it but Dan's bundles of joy are probably going to end up sleeping in a drawer! This is insane! You need a degree in engineering to make heads or tails out of it!"

"It can't be that hard."  Amadeo said reasonably, "Maybe we're all just frazzled and need to calm down a little.  Come on.  Bethie isn't going to be home tonight, that's for sure.  Let's go to the kitchen and make a sundae or something.  Once we're calmer we can try this again, OK?"

"I could go for a root beer float."  Johnnie said.

"Hot fudge sundae." Milo said dreamily.

"Banana split!" added Angelo.  "Um, do you have bananas?"

"Yeah, I think so.  Let's go."

They arrived in the kitchen to see that 'Deo's sisters, Carmie and Teresa, had had the same idea and were in a makeshift assembly line with Gabe's girlfriend Teddi, and Con's girlfriend Maritza.  Johnny's girlfriend Heather was gathering ingredients while Paul's girlfriend Theresa took out extra bowls and spoons.

"Hey Paulie! Did you know that Dae's sister Teresa and I have similar names?"

Paul looked back and forth between the two women.  "Yeah, I just realized it now.  You're both Theresa, right?"

"Teresa Maria, without an H," she said gesturing toward 'Deo's older sister, "And Theresa Marie with an H!" she continued, pointing to herself.  "How cool is that?" she said with a wide grin.

"Uh oh, I just realized!  Does that mean that we're going have to start calling one of you Pazzo too?" Carmie quipped, grinning, scooping out ice cream.

"Nope, we came up with great nicknames."  Theresa replied.

"I've always like the name Terri, so I'll stick with that," said Teresa.

"And since that's my nickname too, I've decided to go with Misa." said Theresa.  "What do you think?"

"Misa?" Paul asked, confused.

"Well," Theresa said with a little blush, "You know what my mother calls me."

"The-re-sa Mi-sa Mun-chie-kins." he sing songed.  Her mother had seen the movie Wizard of Oz and had called her Munchkin from the day she'd been born. 

"Shhhhhh!  Big mouth!" she mock scolded, as the others laughed, "But yeah, so I figured I'd stick with Misa."

"Awwww, I'd so much rather call you Mun-chie-kins!  It's sooo cute!"  Paul said, leaning forward to pinch her cheeks.

"Move em or lose em, buddy." she threatened with a smile.

"Oh, come on, you know I'm kidding... Misa," he said, trying out the new nickname as he reached out to gather her into a hug.

"Oh Lord," said Terri, wide eyed.

"What's wrong?"  Carmie and the others asked.

"What names are they going to give these poor unsuspecting babies?  Did they ever mention names?!"

The kitchen became oddly quiet as everyone ate their sundaes and pondered the little injustices called names that parents inflicted on their kids.



Let Me In   by  The Sensations (1962)
Label             Argo

Pazzo - crazy

Maritza's little sisters: Jo Lynn (6), and Katie (4)

Milo's brother: Michael/Mikey (8)

English Lyrics to Farfallina

Beautiful and white
Fly and fly
Never get tired
Turn here
And turn there
And she rests upon a flower
And she rests upon a flower.

Here, here,
I have found her
White and red
Turn here
And turn there
And she rests upon a flower
And she rests upon a flower.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to mention that I got the lullaby, Farfallina (Butterfly) from Mama Lisa's World,
    This, and one other lullabye that will appear later in the story are both from this site.
    My apologies, and thanks, Mama Lisa, for putting these songs up for us to enjoy.