Wednesday, March 28, 2007

John and Regina Meet

Vinny pulled into the parking lot of the Long Island restaurant. He climbed out of the car and opened the door for Regina.

"Thank you, Vinny." She went to the back door and unlocked it.

"Is there anything I can do for you today Mrs. Cavelli?" Vinny asked, following closely behind her.

Regina couldn’t say what she really thought, or she might have to repent later. Besides, it wasn’t Vinny’s fault her husband was the way he was.

"I’ll be in my office getting some paperwork done. I really don't want to be disturbed. When the staff comes in, will you let them know that?"

Vinny nodded and then walked over to the bar. The bar was made out of beautifully crafted oak, with a dark brown finish, and a dozen or so stools that neatly line the one long edge. Behind the bar was a large mirror with grapevines etched along the edges. The left side of the mirror held two shelves with all the different alcohol and mixers lined up on them. On the right were the drinking glasses. At the end of the bar a television set hung from the ceiling. Vinny walked behind the bar and poured himself some mineral water. He turned on the television. He might as well watch TV, since there wasn’t anything else to do.

Regina walked to the back office next to the kitchen and unlocked the door. The key in her hand was the only one to this room, her inner sanctum. It was the one place she could be herself and not have Anthony's eyes watching her. She’d decorated the room with soft shades of blue and gray. She had made the curtains herself; they matched the small love seat. A rectangular coffee table and a plush, round chair sat at the other end of the room. Her desk was made of mahogany, a present from Anthony's father. He loved mahogany and gave it to her when she bought the restaurant. The restaurant was a good distraction. Anthony’s father was kind to her but she resented him for the pain he caused her family. She struggled with her feelings for Poppy. If it wasn't for her bargain with him, then she wouldn't be married to Anthony. But she’d no choice. If I hadn’t married Anthony then . . . She decided that she wouldn't dwell on the past. She had done what she had to do. The future of her child was at stake now, and that changed things for her.

Regina had so much on her mind that it was hard to know what to do first. Who could she trust with the information from Anthony's black book? She knew Anthony had some cops on the payroll; one for sure. He’d been very careful not to reveal who it was, not even to his own men. And lately it had felt to her like Anthony was having her watched twenty-four hours a day. Both she and her baby would be dead if she gave the copies to the wrong person. Lord? Help me to find someone I can trust. Guide and direct me in this situation. She opened up her drawer where she kept her Bible and opened to the book of Acts. Her eyes fell right on Acts 2:25-28:

David said about him: 'I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. My body also will live in hope, because You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.”

Oh Lord, thank You for Your word of encouragement to me, Regina prayed. The knock on the door startled her. She wasn't expecting anyone because she had asked Vinny not to disturb her. "Who is it?"

"It's Vinny, Mrs. Cavelli." He opened the door a crack to stick his head in and continued, "I know that you didn't want to be disturbed, but you have some visitors that insist on speaking to you. It's a couple of cops."

"Show them in."

Vinny walked in, followed by two men. The blonde haired one walked over to her with a smile on his face, holding his badge in one hand and extending the other one.

"Mrs. Cavelli, my name is Detective John Nelson and this is my partner, Detective Frank Holstrum."

Frank nodded his head in acknowledgment.

Regina didn’t extend her hand but simply looked the two detectives over, saying nothing. She wondered if God answered prayers this quickly.

Since there was no response from her, John continued. "If you don't mind, Mrs. Cavelli, we’d like to ask you a few questions." He took out his note pad from his pocket and opened it up.

Cops made Vinny nervous. He interrupted, "As I told you before detective, Mrs. Cavelli is a busy lady, and she ain’t got time for your questions."

"Does Mrs. Cavelli have a tongue or do you always speak for her?" John asked, sarcasm sliding through his tone.

Before Vinny could protest further, Regina raised her hand to stop him. "I have a tongue, detective. Forgive Vinny. He’s very protective of me. So, what type of questions would I possibly be able to answer for you?"

Vinny gave Regina a confused look.

"Well Mrs. Cavelli, I have questions regarding your husband and some of his business affairs."

"In that case, why don't you ask him your questions?” Before he could answer, she continued, "I'm quite sorry, because I don't know anything whatsoever about my husband's business dealings. He doesn’t tell me how to run my restaurant, and I don't tell him how to run his business. So I have nothing I could possibly help you with. I'm afraid you've wasted your time coming here and now you’ve wasted mine as well. If that is all, gentlemen, I have work to do. Good day to you both. Vinny, please show the detectives to the door."

Conversation over, she returned to her paperwork as if they weren’t there.

John was a bit surprised by her words and her cold manner. Everything he'd ever heard about her or read described her as gentle and kind. He was not expecting this forceful, strong-minded woman who didn't even give him a chance to speak. He decided he wasn't giving up that quickly.

"Here's my card, in case you change your mind."

Regina didn’t look up, so he placed it on her desk.

"Good day, Mrs. Cavelli. Sorry to have troubled you. Let's go Frank."

After the three men left, Regina picked up the card and looked it over. He had written his home number on the back. She quickly copied it and placed the number in her pocket. Vinny walked in to see her looking at the card. She pretended not to notice him standing there and tore up the card into little pieces and threw it in the trash. Vinny smiled as he watched her.

"Is there anything else I can do for you, ma'am?"

"Thanks, but no. If you don't mind, I'd like to finish up my work."

Vinny closed the door to her office, took out his cell phone, and placed a call. Anthony answered on the first ring.

"What's up?"

"It's Vinny, boss. I thought you’d like to know who just paid your wife a visit. It was that detective."

"What happened?"

"He wanted to talk to her, but she just blew him off and sent him packing. She was really something," Vinny was quite impressed with the way Regina handled herself.

"Interesting." Anthony paused, considering what he wanted Vinny to do next. "I want you to bug her office phone just in case she decides to contact him."

"I don't think so boss. She ripped up his card."

"Don't question me, just do as I say."

Anthony hung up in Vinny’s ear. Vinny hadn't meant to upset him. I was just that you would think a man could trust his own wife. What do I know? I do as I’m told.

Regina sat at her desk and prayed, Lord, can I trust Detective Nelson? Should I call him or not? Nelson - why did that name sound so familiar? She thought about it and then remembered the cop guarding her parents was also named Nelson. She wondered if there was any connection. It was something she’d have to look into. She placed her head in her hands and sat there for what seemed like an eternity. She could feel the God’s peace. She reached for the phone number in her pocket and dialed. As the phone rang, her heart took a flying leap. Suddenly she wasn't sure if she should do this. He couldn’t possibly be home already. His answering machine picked up. What should she do? Should she leave a message or not? She got scared and hung up the phone. Maybe she'd try again later.

© Nadine Z. 2007


Shionge said...

Oh Wow...I shared the anxiety with Regina and hope that Vinny won't bug the phone :D

Thank you for a nice read Nadine.

Becka said...

You write very well.