Later that day, I helped bring down the mob families, both of them. I don’t remember how fast it happened, it being no more than a blur. After hours of pain in the razzer department, I decided to help them out. As long as I stayed cool, I could pull it off, and get on with my life, going straight again.
I have tried to adapt as I write this journal. This journal that happens to be my safe, sacred haven. Without it, I’d be knackered and away in the head. So much I owe to this simple notebook.
They would’ve confiscated this notebook had I not demanded I keep it or they would not find the families. Might I only hope that today is my last day eating straws out of the cup, and taking me life in me own hands every time I turn a corner.
I’ve prayed for survival, I’ve prayed for guidance. But most of all, for my family. There is no such thing as a thief who steals and gives to the poor, but today…and over the past few weeks…I have become one, one that works not for personal gain, or glory, but for my family. If anyone is to enter this journal after my death, might I say as a last note, and as an imparting saying: This is my story, and my life.
Frank checked his stolen watch. Two hours and twenty minutes until they boarded the ferry. Glancing out the window of the cab he was in, he watched people struggling by as they trudged through the snow in the afternoon. He wouldn’t be seeing this place for long time. His family was already at the ferry. They were waiting for him, unsure where he was. He felt a combination of emotions; he wanted to cry, cry that he’d been stupid enough to go into the gangs, stupid enough to be duped into code ‘Oranging’ a shop, and stealing from another one as well. He also wanted to reach his family, his mother’s now strong, happy, embracing arms.
But most of all, he wanted it to end. He wanted it all to end, for it to stop, to be appreciated fully for his heinous, yet productive crimes; well, they did save my family, right? But how was he supposed to live with his shame, his humiliation, his work, and, above all—
“Oi. Yeh did say The Margate, right?” The cab had stopped, and the driver had turned in his seat to grin at Frank, a friendly gesture he hadn’t seen since Midtown.
“Em…right. Yeh, that’s right. How much do I owe yeh?” Frank dug into his pocket, and felt around, but the driver shook his head.
“Laddie…not too often I get a nice boyo like yeh ridin’ in me cabbie. During these troubling times, normally I’d charge three dollars for the eleven-mile trip. But yeh look like yeh got enough troubles. Free of charge.”
Frank couldn’t believe his ears. “Ye’re in yer wick!”
“Nah, I’m not jestin’. Just jolly and be on yer way. Make sure yeh tell yer folks at home about me; especially if yeh’ve got a lady friend, eh?”
The man smiled again, and Frank felt closer to the man than he’d ever been to his father. Stepping out of the cab, Frank smiled and replied, “Ye’re a man of God, sir, yeh really are.”
“Never mention a daisy when its roots got cold on it.” And with a final smile, he drove off promptly after Frank closed the door.
It was bitterly cold, but not as bad as the morning had been. Walking along, a microphone in his ear hissed, “Where the hell are they? Our men have got steaming piss in this temperature.”
Frank rolled his eyes, trying to ignore the comment. “They’ll find me, just be patient. Guarantee I’m a dead boyo if yeh don’t close down on ‘em at the ferry. They’ll think I’m runnin’.”
“Which ‘ou are.”
“Not from you, but damn straight.” Frank continued walking, and glanced to his right. Three men dressed in dark clothing exited two vehicles, and began moving forty meters to his right. Frank noticed the same happening to his left.
“Yer recording device workin’?”
“How the bloody hell is I supposed to know?”
“Smart feckin’ aleck,” the policeman replied.
Frank heard the ferry horn, glanced left and right, then began to run. He was no more than fifty feet away from the dock, and knew the ferry was going to launch in approximately five minutes. Jogging along, he reached the dock, and was about to walk up the inclined plane when—
He saw Juve standing there, his eyes pale and teary and his body rigid. “Why’re yeh leavin’?”