Angelo once made a promise to his love Maria Anna to protect her family and keep an eye on her brother, Anthony. Despite the costs Angelo has kept that promise.
I remember those days, I remembered the promise I made to you, Maria Anna. I held your hand for so long saying everything would be okay. It still will be okay.
Is it over? I hope, I’ve done everything that I can and used all the energy I have. All I can hope is that this chance might be the one. I won’t be around to find out one way or the other. Was it worth it? Yes. For one minute with you, I would go through that fire a thousand times, whenever you asked me. My devotion to you remains strong even now.
What is it like? Where you are.
Is it peaceful?
Do you see the things we dreamed of seeing? Do you see more than snow across this city? Do you see more than Snow falling across this cold place? I always thought you deserved better than stone no matter how beautiful. Do you see summer in the fields? So many things we’ve missed.
“Was it worth it? What you did to our mates?”
Anthony’s voice, he would be angry with me. He thinks I have narrowed his horizon. He now has a chance you did not have. I pray he can wake up to take it.
“Why won’t you respond?”
“I made a promise. Maybe one day you’ll understand”
I thought ahead, in his anger little Anthony didn’t realize his gun was empty. I can hear him screaming at me, a gun flying past me.
“Wait. You said a promise”
He’s awakening; he realizes where we are now.
Scrunch Scrunch Scrunch
He’s running now. I know where he’ll go. He knows a few of your hiding places. He’ll look there for answers. I hope they bring him peace. I’m tired now, All I can hope is I will see you soon.
Thump Thump Creak
I need answers. I found her book, the one Maria Anna hide from everyone. I hate that I am invading her privacy, but I have to know. I can see it. She wanted to visit family in the country for an October festival. Ever since arriving here we hadn’t left the city. It was too expensive but this year we could afford such a trip. She was planning on traveling with Angelo. Why didn’t I see this? Our sister Clarice probably saw this. You two were so close, and losing you took so much of the brightness from her eyes.
I need to go back.
Angelo is still there, resting by the tree next to your grave. My need to know has only increased. I know what he did to our mates. I know they were not good people but they were our ticket out of here, out of this slum.
“Angelo. What did you promise?”
He doesn’t move so I move closer. Why would he sleep in this snow?
It is everywhere.
Why did I not see this before? What have not seen all this time? I failed to see so much and now it is too late. Angelo is as cold as the Maria Anna’s stone.
It is Father Allegra, flanked by two police officers. They do not have the angry look I expected. The police are looking at Angelo with a look of regret and thankfulness. What happened? They are thanking him.
Father Allegra stands by me while the police take care of Angelo’s body in a way I hadn’t expected them.
“He saved them you know.”
“The wife of Officer Brannon Acqua, seven months into their first baby. For Officer Acqua, it was his young wife and niece who they adopted after his sister passed in childbirth. Angelo was apparently at the bank when his mates decided to take something, not theirs. The witnesses all say that they would be dead If not for what Angelo did.”
I could only stand there in shock as the officers thanked me as well. That I was with Angelo in the end, he was not alone.
Clarice was here too, she shouldn’t have to see another body like this. There was no time to hide the blood. I look to see her holding up far better than I expected. She is stronger than I knew.
“He said he made a promise”
“To Maria Anna… He promised her to keep an eye out for you. Maybe keep you from going with the wrong crowd.”
With the sun moving low across the sky, I saw something I never did before. Eyes open, I could see the snow covered buildings I once saw as a burden. It was beautiful. Why did I not see this before? Were my eyes this closed? Why now with Angelo’s death am I thinking about all the things I did not see?
All this time I wanted the money to run from this place. I wanted out of this place so badly I made friends anywhere I could. Now I do not want to run.
Kneeling by her grave and the tree where he died I made a promise. However difficult it would be, I would become something I never considered before now. I would join the police force and keep this city safe. Even if I ran there would be people like my mates who would try to rob a bank and kill anyone in their way. I cannot run from that, but I can do everything in my strength to protect others, like Angelo, tried to protect me.
I just wish I had seen it before now.