Sal is sitting at his desk and I can tell by the expression on his face that he’s more than just a little surprised. The experienced businessman and reputed mobster quickly regains his composure though.
He’s a lumbering man, large and wide with shiny black hair slicked back with grease. He has fat, wobbly jowls that seem to make his chin and neck blend to gather in one uniform lump. His brow is furrowed with deep creases from scowling, likely at his organized crime minions. That dark round face sits atop a very fine white business suit. The whiteness of it is impeccable, a sign that Sal does not do his own dirty work.
Fiona gestures toward me with a flourish of her free arm.
“Hello Daddy! Meet Joey!” she announces proudly.
Fifteen minutes later, Fiona is still talking. Sal sits, listening politely. I stand there nervously waiting for my turn to speak.
“…and he’s real smart Daddy and always treats me nice,” Fiona rambles.
Sal looks unexpectedly bright eyed, open and sincere with a jovial disposition.
“Well, Mr. DuPlacey, you seem to be a very nice kid and genuinely care about my daughter, so I’m happy to meet you,” Sal says with a grin and a nod.
Sal turns back to his daughter, beaming with fatherly pride.
“I’m glad to see you happy, honey.” Sal smiles.
Sal’s tone changes, more serious, but still friendly.
“We guys need to have a talk to really get to know each other. Could you step out for a few minutes so I can talk to Joe, man-to-man?” Sal asks.
Fiona happily heads out the door, looking at me and grinning as she passes by. I’m still a little nervous.
“Sure thing Daddy, I’ll just be outside when you guys are done chatting.” She happily skips out the door.
Once she is out the door and out of earshot, Sal is suddenly stern. His eyes narrow, pulling in those deep furrows on his forehead, suddenly tough.
“Okay, kid, cut the shit! You know who I am and I know you’re a sneak thief. The reason I wanted to meet you is ‘cause I got a job that I need your skills for,” Sal levels.
The sudden change in tone crumbles the exterior mask of strength I was struggling to maintain, leaving me surprised and exasperated.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish