To listen to that on top of both Tommy’s and Dario’s eulogies, you’d think the world was a gloomy place without Thomas Ferrano Sr. Doting father and grandfather. Great friend. An employer any employee would give their eyeteeth to have the pleasure of working for. A man with business savvy that was enviable.
They did well at sharing the best parts of their father with the world and I was sure there was truth in their words. That they would, deep down, miss him --- miss the parts of him that they held dear.
Luc spoke as well. She read poetry instead of speaking about him.
Tess didn’t get up. She was still a wreck from the loss of James and I quietly suspected that the anger on her face whenever she wasn’t in conversation with someone had to do with not knowing how to feel about her father’s passing, given that other problems with him had taken the father of her boys away. Her eyes had dark circles around them. Her skin was pale. She was not in great shape at all. Eddy spent most of the time keeping Tess’s boys and his and Luc’s twin girls occupied. Sarah had Luc and Eddy’s baby, Nicholas, in her arms all day, too.
Lisa was mostly very quiet, but played an excellent hostess to the guests. She had what I’d describe as a perfect Monalisa smile the whole day. I suspected she’d fall apart later, alone. It’s what I’d do. It’s what I did. I kept it together as we had to go through the motions. Tommy and Dario had behind-closed-door meetings that day with several men that felt reminiscent of The Godfather movie when everyone wanted to see the head of the family during the wedding. I spent most of that time with Bianca and her mother, drinking cup after cup of coffee.
We didn’t get home until well after midnight, the day dragging on with so many requiring time with him.
Tommy had said that it was expected, but the expression on his face that day hurt me right in the heart and I broke down for him. All my tears that day were for the Ferrano children, for Lisa. Not for Tom.
The meetings were brief, but there were many of them and he had to listen to men pay respects and had to have a few minor discussions about business dealings. That night, he told me that he’d be putting everything in his brother’s hands while we got out of town for a bit.
“Need a breather, baby. Gotta get outta here before I fuckin’ lose it. We’ll go. Get away for a bit and then get the family to meet up and be there when we get married. Figure it all out. That okay? Pick a place. Gotta wrap some shit up first, then I’ll take you and we’ll get a little break.”
I had nodded, tears in my eyes, while in his arms as he held me so close it was like he was trying to absorb me into his skin.
He held me until I fell asleep, still in our funeral clothes. I didn’t break away because I suspected I was an anchor for him at that moment, maybe even a life raft.
We were eloping, getting married on a beach. No one knew but the immediate family and that was how we wanted it. Tommy wanted us to slip off the grid for a while and eloping and then an extended honeymoon was the perfect way to do it.
I woke at about four o’clock in the morning alone. I went downstairs for a glass of water and, not seeing him on the main floor, headed for the basement. I heard him from my spot at the top of the basement stairs. He was down there beating his punching bag.
“Hey.” His voice broke me out of thoughts of the funeral, the past.
“Hi,” I said, snapping out of my daze.
“Watching me sleep? And you thought I was the creepy stalker.”
I gave him a big creepy smile with my best impersonation of psycho eyes. Not that he could likely see it in the dimness of our room.
He leaned over and kissed my nose. “The rest of our time in Aruba, all up to you. Whatever you wanna do, we’ll do.”
I sobered. “Oh. Um… it’s okay, I---”
He cut me off. “Nope. Serious. We’re here. We made it. We got through Mexico, we survived Vegas, and then all the drama with Pop? We’re alive and breathing. We’re on vacation. Let’s enjoy the rest of it. Distract me. Play tour guide. Whatever you wanna do, baby girl. Tourist crap. A hundred beaches. Whatever. For the next few days, then Costa Rica and we plan our wedding.”
“Really? It’s not gonna feel like a trip to the dentist for you?”
“Don’t worry about me. Just… whatever you want.”
“No, baby. Serious. Whatever you wanna do the rest of the time we’re here.”
I smiled and cuddled in. “Okay.”
We cuddled a while longer and I knew by his breathing he wasn’t asleep again.
“What did you wanna be when you grew up?”