It is not possible to go backwards. We must go forward. Always forward. ~ Pope Francis
Zeke and Mickey sat on a sofa in Zeke’s apartment. A half-eaten bag of taco flavored chips sat on a scratched coffee table. The coffee table was courtesy of Zeke’s skill at dumpster diving. The lights were out, the shades pulled, the TV off. The boys were sitting silently, the only sounds were the pop of a beer can opening, the slurp of beer, an occasional burp, and the tossing of an empty Bud can toward a wire trash can ten feet away. The wire trash held four empty cans, eight empty cans were scattered on the floor nearby the basket.
Mickey nudged Zeke, “Can I talk?”
“You’re talking, Mickey. What do you want?” asked Zeke turning around and peeking out from behind the shade.
“You see anything?” asked Mickey.
“Nope. Nobody is out there,” said Zeke.
“Zeke, I’m going crazy. How much longer can we keep holding up in your place?”
“We’ve only been here a little over an hour. Take it easy. Give time for Nonna’s curse to work. Those things don’t work right away, they take a little time,” said Zeke.
“I’m starving. When I drink beer, I need food.”
“Have some more chips, it’s all I got, if I don’t count Frosted Flakes,” said Zeke.
“Can we send out for a pizza?” asked Mickey.
“With what? We spent the money Tony Gallino gave us,” said Zeke.
Mickey shrugged, “I been holding out, Zeke. I got a stash. I been saving up for a new PlayStation.”
“How much you got?” asked Zeke.
“If you think I’ve been taller the last two weeks, I been cheating a little. I keep the money I’m stashing in my right shoe.” Mickey untied his right shoe, took off his sock, stuck his hand in his sock and pulled out ten and ten ones.”
“That had to hurt, Mickey,” said Zeke.
“I only limped a little. But you never said nothing,” said Mickey.
Zeke felt a tinge of guilt. He said, “Go order us a pizza. Give a fake name so they won’t know who it is.”
“Gottcha. I’ll go in the other room so I won’t disturb anybody who might be watching us watching them.”
Five minutes later Mickey came back in the living room, “Anything going on?”
“I keep checking, the coast is still clear,” said Zeke.
Thirty minutes later, a knock on the door, “Pizza.”
“Wait a second,” hollered Zeke. Then he turned to Mickey, “Look through the peep hole, make sure it is the pizza delivery guy.”
“Okay,” said Mickey as he walked toward the door. He placed his eye against the peep hole. “He’s carrying a pizza box from Lombardi’s.”
“Lombardi’s? Are you nuts. Tony Gallino’s boys hang out there.”
“It’s okay, I didn’t give my right name,” said Mickey, then he opened the door.
A big burly pizza guy with a Lombardi’s pizza delivery shirt on said, “I gotta pizza for Pope Francis.”
Mickey said, “That’s me.”
The pizza guy handed Mickey the pizza, then stepped inside knocking Mickey and pizza aside. He pulled a gun and said, “Don’t do nothing stupid. You two gonna come with me. Mr. G wants to have a conversation with you.”
Mickey had stumbled to the floor, but still held the pizza box. He looked up at the pizza guy, “Can I take the pizza with me?”
Poor Zeke and Mickey, they’re in trouble now. Will Tony Gallino let them go? Will Nonna’s curse work in time to save the boys.