May 6, 2024 -Chapter Nineteen – “The Bad Seed”

Loretta pulled into her sister’s driveway and cried for ten minutes. The children watched without knowing why their mother was so upset and crying. The two little ones started to cry as well. They had heard some loud arguing at home during the night but were too young to understand what was happening to their family.

When Loretta was finished crying, she looked between the tall seats of her car and spoke to her children. “I’m sorry guys, I’m just a little under the weather today.” She didn’t reveal the troubles that were on her mind. “Lets go in and see your aunty. We’re having a sleep over for a few days while daddy works. He’s very busy at the moment.”

She gathered the kids together and they walked to the front door. The house was large and very beautiful. Her sister’s husband worked for her father in the cartel and money was never an issue. The smallest child asked if she could ring the bell. “Of course Kathy,” was Loretta’s reply.

“How are all of you? Come in, come in, was the response from Mary, Loretta’s sister and the children’s aunt when the door opened. She hugged her sister tightly and kissed her cheek. She bent down and kissed each of the children. “Look how big you are all getting. I can’t believe it. Let’s go into the living room and get settled. I have rooms picked out for all of you. Or you can share with your cousins if you want. We’ll work that all out over dinner. Come on, we have pizza, hot dogs and macaroni for everyone.” Mary looked at the children and smiled.

The children got settled and started watching the T.V. or playing games on devices that they had brought with them. They were soon quiet and content. Their cousins soon joined them. The many girls sat quietly watching T.V. and coloring. The boys were soon nudging each, grabbing each others ears and slugging their respective shoulders. All was back in balance in the world, for the moment.

The two women returned to the kitchen after the children were all accounted for and seated in the living room. The two women then sat down at the kitchen counter as Mary poured two glasses of white wine. “What the hell is going on with Sam, Loretta?” “Oh. I’m not really sure. All kinds of crap seems be coming our way. I’ve been getting phone calls from a strange woman and I’m finding things that make me believe Sam is Cheating on me.” Loretta broke down and cried again. Her sister wrapped her arms around her as Loretta heaved in convulsions of misery. “It can’t be true Loretta, Sam wouldn’t do that to you.”

“That’s what I thought, but then luggage arrived on my door step just as the woman on the phone had said it would. “It was supposedly for me to use to move out. What am I supposed to think?” “It all seems contrived to me Loretta. Maybe someone is trying to get at Sam through your jealousy. He has many enemies. You know that.” “That’s what Sam says. I’m so confused Mary. I’m at my wits end. “Well, let’s call daddy. He’ll have an opinion on this, I’m sure. And maybe a solution.”

Tony Lugano was Mary and Loretta’s father. He was second in line to the the leader of one of the largest cartels in South America. He had hundreds of men at his disposal in many countries around the world. He could do anything to anyone in any place at any time with just one phone call. He had made Sam what he was today. Tony had the power to do anything he wished as long as he asked his superior. His boss’s name was never known or spoken of to anyone other than himself. This unknown man was a man of high standing in many countries and never suspected of any crime. He came from a prominent family with holdings all over the world. He counted kings and presidents as his friends. So Loretta’s father had told her, anyway. “Remember, the world is never as it seems, my daughter.”

In Santiago, Chile, the phone sitting on an antique desk, rang in a large yellow room with a very high ceiling. The floors were red clay tile. A fountain bubbled in the back courtyard outside of a gigantic Spanish hacienda. Horses ate placidly in their corrals. The woman who answered the phone was thin and beautiful. Her hoop earrings dangled against her smooth white skin under her auburn hair. “Hello, Mr. Lugano’s office. How may I help you?”

“Maria, this is Mary Luzon, is my father in?” “Yes, I will send your call to him. He is on the patio with your uncle, Don Francisco at the moment.”

Yes my Darling Mary, how are you?” “I’m fine but you need to talk to Loretta. She is having a difficult time right now.” “What is the matter? What’s happened?” Don Francisco looked on intently as he heard his brother speak. He was learning a little more about the conversation as the minutes passed. He could just barely hear his sister’s voice from the phone held tightly to his brothers ear. “I will hand the phone to Loretta. “Her she is.” Mary handed the phone to Loretta and she began to cry once more.

My dear Loretta, what is the matter?” How may I help you?” “I’m not sure father, but I think Sam is having an affair?” “Oh my daughter, I’m so sorry if it’s true. But perhaps there is another explanation. He doesn’t seem like the type of man that would do that. You are a good woman. Are you as attentive to him as you should be? You know we men are an easy puzzle to solve my dear.”

“I think so daddy, but the world is full of younger women looking for a man like Sam. As time passes it is harder for a wife to keep a man with all of these other women coming around. Especially if he is successful and wealthy as my Sam is.” “I will talk to him and see what I might find out. Don’t be too sad. It is all perhaps just a momentary thing if indeed he has been unfaithful.

I would think that my circumstances and his would make him think twice, but we men do love a new pretty young face looking up into our eyes.” “The you will talk to him daddy?” “Of course I will. I am your father and you are my treasure along with your other sisters. I will call him tomorrow. I have a few things I have to deal with on my desk today. Some issues have come up in Peru and Argentina. Those bureaucrats always want more money for doing less.” “Thank you daddy. How is Esmeralda?” “She is fine, but she is not like your mother, sadly. She does her best, but perhaps it is me. My love for your mother and her’s for me was a rare one.” “I know daddy, but try to give Esmeralda a chance. It’s only been a year or so since you married her.” “Your mother has been gone ten years and I still feel the same as the night of the accident.”

“I don’t want to bring up sad memories daddy. I will hang up now. Please call Sam and then call me after you talk with him. Perhaps he will be more open with you than he is with me. But please don’t hurt him.” “Alright my love, I will see to it. Give my love to all of my grandchildren, please.” The phone went dead and Tony looked at his oldest brother seated across from him.

“Sam is at it again. One girl friend isn’t enough for him. He is making a fool of my daughter. You must talk to him before I do and find out the truth. I will handle it my way if you can’t settle this thing to Loretta’s satisfaction. He must be more discreet or taught a very hard lesson.

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I’m telling another true story on stage tonight at Malainey’s Grill & One Hell of an Irish Bar at 168 N. Marina Drive in Long Beach, Ca. The video will be on Instagram with the others from pervious events at R. C. Hand if you can’t make it to the show.

Don’t forget that “Sunrise, Sunset’, my book of short stories is now also available on Audible.