Do you really wanna know what happened ..... I mean really..... think before you go on, because I have no time for those just seeking entertainment. Once you turn the page you have to open your mind, you have to believe .... for your own sake . You haven't left yet .... well it shows something ..... Ready? Here we go:
I don’t know why I am writing this. I guess because I’m tired and afraid. No, no, that was the wrong way of putting it. I’m tired of BEING afraid. Yes, that’s it. The most silly thing is to have fears when you are sixty, especially if they’re from your childhood. And yet here I am, putting this crazy story on a paper.
My name is Edward Zikawitz, I’m a lonely old man who has nothing more than his apartment and his pension. Oh....., and yes, his memories, you can’t get rid of those, even if you try.
You could make a list of the drawbacks of being a lonely guy and probably would come up with enough of them to fill up a book. But I could always think of one advantage to it- you never have to worry about seeing your close ones sharing your failures, your grief, your FEARS. That’s what I believed anyway. And I’m sorry for doing this to you, my reader, for placing my burden on your shoulders. But I have to leave some record of what happened, because I’m already starting to feel that none of it was real.
Ok let’s start. It was the thirties, time of the great depression and New Orleans like any other part of America or the entire world for that matter, had its fare share of hardships. But it’s only now, looking back, I can see that it was a bad time. Then I was a kid, who saw life only through the prism of constant struggle for survival. Hardship was a norm of the day. I won’t lie and say that I have no good memories about my childhood. However, even though some of them still make me smile, I wish no one a similar fate.
My father left us, that’d be me and my mum, when I was six. My mother died not long after that from lung cancer, leaving me, an eleven year old boy, homeless and alone with no clue of what to do. Now, you have to agree that these days it happens rarely, if ever, that a kid of such age left on a street without proper care. But back in those days it was not so uncommon. In fact there was a whole bunch of us roaming the streets of New Orleans trying to get by. I had some good friends, boys of the same age as me, orphans like me and we looked after each other as best as we could. The good memories I was talking about earlier, mostly involved spending time with them. Except for those that bring me back to the fruit shop and the girl behind the counter. I'd better tell you about her, I suppose, as she is the major part of my story.
Angela Rossi, oh boy was I nuts about her. She was fourteen, a year older than me. And she was the most beautiful creature I ever saw. I still dream about her. I always wake up crying. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. As I said she was working behind the counter serving customers in her father’s fruit shop. He originally came from Italy about twenty years before the event of my story, but he lived in New York. He ran into trouble with some gangsters of the neighborhood and had to leave. Angela told me they had some relatives in New Orleans, who helped them to settle down. Her father had some savings on which he managed to start his business and that was when I met Angela. I had a job at that time selling papers and considered myself a respectable, well off man. Funny thinking about it now. I’ve done so many things since then, was involved in many projects, not of a least importance, I might add, but never in my life I felt so proud, so important, as I did when I was screaming out headlines, trying to sell papers. Anyhow, I trailed off. I was going to my usual spot when I saw Angela talking to a woman who looked awfully like her, (turned out to be her mother). She was a lean girl of average height, almost as tall as I was, still too young to be considered a women, but old enough to be considered the idol of beauty for a boy of my age.
With dark thick hair, that lay strait almost to her waist, silky-olive skin and big hazel eyes that when you looked at them the only word came into mind was VELVET. She was nothing short of perfection, at least that’s what she seemed to me.