XXXIV. Relations to the Italian Mafia
“What are you doing?” I mouthed, eyes skimming towards the bunk beds. Mr.Davenson informed us that each of us should be sleeping on our own individual beds.
Josh slid to my left side and began wrapping his arms around my waist. He turns me to the side and whispers, “I’m upset. Cuddle me.”
I sigh, knowing if I push any further, Ricardo will wake up.
“I’ll leave early for soccer,” he mumbled, pulling my back further towards his chest.
I pat the hand on my stomach, quietly telling him, “Fine.”
When the sun beamed into my eyes, I turned my body to no longer see Josh’s presence. Releasing a yawn, I stretched my arms and back but halted when I saw Ricardo sitting across from me. Ricardo sat at his desk chair, pulling on his socks. My eyes refused to blink as he tugged on a classy pair of black shoes. He rushes his fingers through his damp hair, indicating that he showers early. There wasn’t a tie around his neck, preferably an exposure of the chest with the top two buttons still unbutton.
Ricardo looked up and continued tying his laces. Pushing back the sleeve, he stares at the gold watch. “Wow. Little perv, you sure can sleep.”
Furrowing my brows to understand his meaning, I turn my head towards the alarm clock. My eyes widen at the time, and I leap out of bed. I somehow slept through my alarm, “How is that possible? I set the alarm last night!” I grabbed my uniform and rushed towards the restroom.
“Ah. Yes, I turned it off.”
I stop my tracks in front of Ricardo, “You touched my alarm clock?”
He nods, “Yes, it was too loud; but, it did help me get out of bed. Next time, set it fifteen minutes earlier.” He grabs his backpack and leaves the room.
I scoff at his ridiculous command. Once the door closed, I grabbed my shoes and intended to throw them at the door; but realized that I was late enough. I let out a ridiculously high pitched shriek before running into the bathroom.
“He touched my alarm clock!” I told Crystal, who was leaning against the row of lockers.
She continues chewing the piece of gum inside her mouth before blowing a bubble. It popped. “You got a hot Italian guy in your bedroom, and you’re angry at him for touching your alarm clock?” she laughed.
“How dare he? After all, I went through with Josh yesterday, attempting to make peace between them, and he touched my alarm clock! I didn’t even have time to brush my hair.”
Crystal rushes her fingers through the tangled strands. “Explained why you look like an untamed horse.”
I glare at her, “You’re not nice either.”
Crystal pretends to be scared, “Woah. You are upset.”
“Hey, there gorg-” Ahmend stop talking once he saw me, “What the fuck happened to you?”
I glared at him, but instead of responding, I slammed the locker shut. Crystal giggled, “It’s because of her roomies.”
“Ah,” Ahmend nodded. Suddenly, there was a brief silence in the air before everyone resumed their conversation in a whisper-like tone. I noticed how everyone was looking in one direction, and I motioned my head towards the spotlight. My head automatically tilted, seeing none other than Ricardo walking inside the building. A single strap was hanging off his shoulder and another holding what I presumed to be the school map. Without taking another step, a group of people began crowding him.
“Who’s that?” a girl whispered.
“Ricardo Winston,” another girl responds.
“Rumors say his family does business with the Italian mafia.”
“Are you serious?” I was the one who asked that question, causing them to stop talking. Crystal grabs the handle of my backpack and pulls me back. “Did you hear that? I’m living with a mafia member!” I couldn’t hide my excitement. I had always seen those types of people on tv, and now I’m living with one.
“You do not seriously believe that, right?” Crystal question.
“He is a prince...royalty." I point at Ahmend, who was twiddling with his nose. “And you came here on a helicopter.”
“You seriously think that Pandora Academy will allow someone who’s affiliated with the mafia to go here?”
“Why not?” Ahmend asked.
“I don’t know?” She threw her hands in the air. “Because it’s ridiculous?”
“I believe it,” Madison’s voice pitched in, and I turned my head to see her along with Mason and a few of their groupies. It seems they only travel in packs. Not too long after, they disappear. I’ve always wondered how Madison does it, hearing others’ conversation while merely passing by them.
“Look!” Crystal exclaimed, “Mafias and all those shits only exist in movies!”
“Why don’t we just ask Ricardo?” Ahmend suggested, and I turn my body once more to see him standing behind Crystal.
Crystal turned around, a very steady movement, and without feeling a hint of embarrassment, she asked: “Is your family linked to the mafia?”
Ricardo’s mouth opens momentarily before it closes. By now, there is a crowd around us, waiting for his response, “Who are you?”
“I’m Crystal with a C; not a K,” Crystal puffs her chest. “Now, answer the damn question.” Sometimes, I wish I can gather as much courage as Crystal, who is standing up to someone who may or may not hold a link to the mafia.
“No,” he responded, “My family isn’t linked to the mafia.”
“Ha!” Crystal outburst.
“Now, can you move?”
Ricardo lifts a hand and taps his forefinger against a locker. “This is mine.”
Crystal’s mouth gape open, and she nods, releasing a hesitant chuckle. “My bad,” she waved her hands in the air.
While Ricardo pressed in his locker code, Crystal stood there, staring at him.
“Do you mind? I want something called personal space.”
Crystal puckered her lip. “Then why is everyone surrounding you?”
Ricardo looks around, “Do you guys need something?” he hissed slowly, and everyone turns their heads, pretending to converse with one another or walk away.
“Woah,” Crystal clasped her hands together. “How did you do that? Can you teach me to be mean like you? Like people keep coming up to me and the-” I nudge Crystal’s waist seeing the irritation on Ricardo’s face. “What is it, Hailey? Don’t you see? I’m asking-”
“Will you shut the fuck up?” Ricardo snapped, slamming the locker that he opened a mere second ago.
“Excuse you?” Crystal’s sassy tone pitched in the air as her head motion in a circular formation.
Ahmend grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me back, away from the danger zone.
“I don’t fucking know you, so do-” before I can even fathom what occurred, Crystal slammed Ricardo against the lockers causing the whole school to drown in silence.
“Don’t you fucking pull that shit on me. You’re new here, so let me give you some pointer Winston. Unlike my cousin, I will bite back,” Crystal whispered. It’s true, between Josh and Crystal, she is the more violent one.
Ricardo chuckled, snapping his head lightly to the side before grabbing Crystal by the shirt. Without taking a single blink, he slammed her against the lockers. “I don’t know who the fuck you think you are but don’t think all because you’re a girl-”
Crystal punched Ricardo in the face causing him to stumble slightly.
She smirked and slipped her backpack on the floor. “Someone hold my damn earrings because shit is about to go down for real. Spaghetti, I’m going to teach you what your mamma should’ve taught you.”