Billionaire's Childhood Love

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Mamma [Extra 1]

Ricardo′s POV:

I held the phone close to my ear.

“How’s my cucciolo doing?” Her soft voice whispered through the phone.

I smile, and the chair twirled back and forth, “I’m good, mamma.”

“Did you eat?”

Unconsciously I nod, “I ate.”

“Good food?”

“Fruits and veggies.”

“Green veggies?”

“What other vegetables would I eat, mamma?”

She giggles, a warm sound, “Don’t you sass your mamma. I will go over there and give you a good spanking.”

I groan and hang my head back, “Mamma.”

“I won’t if you-” she stops, and then it starts. I stop twisting the string and listen to those gruesome coughs.

“Mrs.Maranzano-”

“I’m fine. Just get me a cup of water.”

I frown, “Mamma.”

“I’m f-”

I turn the chair towards the desk and stare at the family photo. “Mamma, you’re not fine.”

She drinks the water and exhales, “I’m fine, Cucciolo.”

Silence.

“Mamma is fine. Really.”

I ran my thumb across mamma’s face. I wish I could be there with her and not here.

She clears her throat, “Now, apologize to the woman who gave life to you.” she sang, pretending to be okay.

I twist the long string hanging off my shirt around my finger, “I’m sorry.”

“Yes, that’s right. I am the boss.” she laughs. Mamma always does this. Pretend to be okay in front of her loved ones.

“Mamma, I want to go home.”

She exhales, “Mamma wants you here too.” Silence. “You don’t hate mamma?”

I shook my head, “I told you-” many times, “I could never hate you.”

“Even if I was the one who sent you away?”

“You didn’t. Papa did.”

She exhales, “Ricardo. Your papa wasn’t the one who-”

“Why?” I question. “Why do you always defend him, mamma? He is the reason you’re trapped inside the mansion. He never let you out.”

“Your papa. He’s scared; you know that.”

I press my head further into my hand before running it down my mouth.

“I don’t have the best health, cucciolo, and your papa knows that.”

She always does this.

“He doesn’t want me to get hurt.”

She always defends that man.

“He doesn’t show it well, but he does care about everyone.”

No matter what he does to her.

“You know he can’t express his emotions well. It’s...how he was raised.”

Papa didn’t grow up in the best environment. Let’s say I’m glad my bisnonno is dead, and I rarely see noona. I ran my hand up and down my face before swallowing. It’s futile to discuss this type of topic with mamma. I know it.

“Mamma-” I look down to the string on my shirt and twist it again. “I...May I come back for the holidays?”

She exhales, ”Cucciolo, why do you always ask for permission?”

Because of papa.

“Of course you can,” she said eagerly, “I can’t wait to see you! Your papa hired these renowned chefs, and they taught me all these dishes. I cannot wait for you to taste them during Thanksgiving! Also, Christmas! Oh! Christmas will be so much-” I listen to her endless chit chat about the upcoming holidays.

“I miss you.”

I smile, “I miss you too, mamma.”

She gasps, “With all my chattering-” I don’t mind her mindless talks. It means I get to listen to her voice longer. “I forgot to ask. Is Clark treating you well? He isn’t mean, right?”

I exhale, “Yes.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re doing well in class?”

Silence.

“Ricardo.”

“Well-”

“Ricardo Chisai Timberland Winston Maranzano. I heard from Clark that-”

I grunt when she calls my full name. The greatest punishment mamma had ever given her children are their names. “Mamma, I got a tutor.”

“I heard, but-”

“I’m studying.”

“Really?”

“Well, I will study. I-”

The door creaks open, “I’m just saying, HayHay. We should do our projects on nails. We can sample my nails.”

“No one can afford your nails.”

They stop walking.

“Who’s that?” Mamma said in a teasing voice. “Did I hear a girl’s voice?”

I stood up, “No one.” I rushed out the door.

“No one?” She scoffs, “We are someone! I am Crystal!”

I slam the door shut.

“Crystal?” Mamma continues her tease. “Who is this, Crystal?”

I stood in the hallway. There were some students there, staring at me. When I glare at them, they avoid their eyes. Quickly, I ran towards the elevator.

I hate it when someone listens to me talk to mamma. It’s supposed to be our time together, and that stupida bionda along with that deficiente had to disturb us. She isn’t supposed to be in the room right now. Why is she here?

The elevator door opens.

Blue eyes.

We both glare at each other.

“Cucciolo?” Mamma calls for me.

Fuck.

I turn to the left and rush towards the emergency staircase. In any other time, I would’ve finished that damn stare down with that fucker, but I can’t today. I rushed down several floors and sat down in the corner, “I’m here, mamma.”

“Why do you sound so out of breath?”

“It’s nothing, mamma.”

I can hear the sound of heels clicking.

I look up to see purple underwear. I blink and look up farther. There seems to be no privacy in this building. Steadily, her red lips curve into a smirk as she mouths: “Mamma.”

“Are you okay?” Mamma asks.

The sweats beam down my neck. I want to hang up, but I don’t want to hurt mamma’s feelings.

“Cucciolo?”

Madison’s smile only widens as she mouths: “Cucciolo.”

Shit.

Shit.

Shit.

She squats down, and her skirt moves up. “Hello, mamma.” her voice swirls into the phone.

I push Madison’s face back, “What the fuck are you doing?”

Mamma gasp, “Ricardo!”

“Ow!” Madison fake weep, “Ricardo! That hurts! Please, get off of me.” Her loud voice echoes inside the stairway.

“Ricardo! What do you think you’re doing over there?”

“Mamma, I didn’t do anything to her.” I frantically yell while glaring at the girl in front of me.

She continues weeping, “Ricardo. It hurts.”

"Stop it,” I hiss.

“Ricardo. I swear if you’re-”

“I’m not. I promise. Here, talk to her.” I grab Madison by the collar and pull her in. “Tell mamma you were just playing around.” I attempt to say as calmly as possible. I have half a mind to push her down the stairs, but I don’t want mamma to hear my first murder.

Madison bit her lower lip, and her eyes curled into a mischievous glint. She held out a hand, and with a sharp breath, I lay down the phone. She places it on the speaker. “Hello.”

“Are you okay?” Mamma asks.

Madison laughs, “We were just playing Ricardo’s mamma. May I call you Mrs.Winston?”

“Of course! Are you Ricardo’s friend?”

Madison looks at me and grins, “Of course, Mrs.Winston. In fact, we’re great friends. Right?”

I ground my molars and mouth: ”Fuck you.”

“Is that true, Ricardo?”

I close my eyes, “Yes, mamma.”

Mamma squeals, “Oh! Ricardo’s friend! You have a friend! What’s your name?”

“Madison Everhart, Mrs.Winston.”

“That’s a cute name.”

“Thank you.” She used her fake goody two shoe voice.

“Madison. I know we just met, but may I ask a favor?”

I shook my head.

Madison planted her chin against her palm, “Of course!”

“Can you please watch out for Ricardo?”

I grab the phone, “Mamma!”

“I’m worried! You only visited America a few times. What if someone makes fun of your accent?”

"No one makes fun of my accent,” I respond. No one dares to even look at me.

Madison grasps the phone from my hand, “Don’t worry, Mrs.Winston. I promise. I won’t allow anyone to make fun of his accent or the way he walks.”

“People think he walks funny?”

“A little.”

“Madison!”

“It’s my fault!” Mamma cries playfully, “He fell down the stairs once when he was younger, so sometimes-”

“Mamma!” I scream while Madison stifles a laugh.

“Who are you talking to?”

The laughter abruptly stops.

“Ricardo.” Mamma’s voice was no longer playful.

“I see.”

“Would you like to talk to him?”

Silence.

“Ricardo would love to hear his papa’s voice,” mamma said. She always does this, forcing this irregular bond between papa and me.

“Ricardo,” papa said.

I switch off the speaker and place it on my ear. “Hello, Papa,” I responded.

Madison blinks a few times before she stands up and walks away. I guess the girl knows when to step back.

“How are you?”

“Good.”

“Eating well?”

“Yes.”

“Sleeping well?”

“Yes.”

“How are your studies?”

I swallow, “Not so well.”

“I see.” his voice seemingly fades, “Clark told me he acquired you a decent study partner.”

“Yes, papa.”

“Don’t disappoint your mamma and me.”

“Anthony!” Mamma said, ”Cucciolo, don’t pressure yourself too much. Just do well. Okay?”

I nod, “Okay, mamma.”

“Don’t worry. When I was your age, I didn’t do so well in high school, either.” She attempts to comfort me. “You.” I assume she is talking to papa. “You go away. Go take a shower. You’re making my baby boy feel sad. Shoo. Shoo.”

I can imagine it.

Right now, papa exhales. Then, he kisses mamma’s cheek before he goes into the bathroom.

Now, mamma starts her tangent again.

She does this often.

She does it when she is...lonely.

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