At A Burger Joint

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Review Chain
We see things differently with age, but remember them as they were. Now in his old age, Furio can't help but to think how he got here.

Submitted: April 13, 2017

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Submitted: April 13, 2017

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When the clock strikes 7 P.M. it's as if there are 10 different colors illuminating the sky. It's April, and it'll only play this picture until mid-September, until the sun rests much earlier in the day. This was the San Gabriel Valley as I remembered it then, and the scene is the same even now in my old age. However, the sight of it invokes no feelings of adventure or purpose as it once did, but reflections of the past. 

  As the red sun sets to the west and the purple mess creeps from the East, I can't help but think of my business partner, Lo. 
  "Do you remember what they'd always say to us at the first Meetings?" He told me a long time ago in a burger booth, on the wrong side of 25, in the SGV. We had just created The Directorate. 
 
"Hey, Noodle Boys! Noodle Boys!" I said in a thick Irish draw. McLeod would always bust our balls, I suppose that's why he's not with US anymore. I laughed after reminiscing on this.  
The Directorate was a group commitment to regain control of imports and exports within and outside of the United States. The Directorate had minimal objectives: Racial Harmony, Expansion, and Cash.
 "They always forgot you have a little frijole in you too," He smiled. 
"You're one to talk..." I drank from my styrofoam, and then continued, my back up against the side board; feet hanging out of the booth. Cooled out. "You can never make your mind on Bahn Mi or Kung Pao." This was us... race never mattered and only got in the way when somebody else thought it held clout. But, it never tore us apart completely. There were the times it tried to, but we loved and respected one another too much to let the business suffer.
"My personal favorite: 'Cocktail Kids.' Now that one never sounded too bad."
Silence comes over us both, and to on lookers we probably came off as immature businessmen shooting the latest gossip about whatever they thought really mattered in the world. If they knew what we did and how we did it then they'd label us differently. Maybe criminals, or murders. Regardless, this was their first time witnessing us. To me... It was just another night out with my Boi. Only, by this time we were two of the richest men in the whole U.S. But, we wanted that kept secret.
"Did you ever doubt this commission, Lo?" I was much more sincere now and curious as to how my partner viewed our success. He stayed quiet for a few seconds, not glancing over at me. This Lo I knew. This question was one he really had to think about, for Laurence Trong was a man of quick and attentive thoughts.
  "Yes." He answered sharply.
"What was it?" I sat upright, feeling both critical, and curious.
"The chip you like to wear, Furi," Everybody else calls me Furio, or Caporegime when they feel the need to show respect. It comes with the title, for I was not one to easily assert superiority by means of class or anything else. My skin is tan, and yet man is still man. Green is the true color that has tormented me throughout my life. 
The color green has killed more of my family members, women, soldiers and associates than any other color out there. Green is who I fear, not a White or Brown or Black or Tan or whatever culture they think is what, and why. All colors have one common enemy: Green.
  "My concerns were always with the family and our associates." 
" 'Money for the Masses.' I know, I remember that. I was on the laptop writing off our expenses from Tokyo. It was the night you had Kishi in the room as the Cosmo. You two were going on about baby names and which ones were the cutest. You dawg. You were supposed to marry her," Slaps his knee, and the wrinkles in his eyes turn up makings his eyeballs completely invisible. This was my best friend. 
  "Kishi loved the business," I let out a sigh of relief.
  "She was never going to replace Sasha," He began to sound unhappy. "You just plowed through them to find a replacement, but you used up your 3 by the time you met Kishi. Sasha was your last hope for something true. Number 3," He had trouble saying.
  "She was something wasn't she?" I said, looking out toward the sunset and what was left of it. 
"She's not here in the physical, but I know she'd be proud." 
"I should've.."
"Don't, don't even finish that thought, Furi. Just let it go for now."
I take a long look at the black in my coffee cup and realize Lo has always looked out for me. A real pal. One that would die for you and you the same if it ever came down to it. 
  "That why I've got you, Lo; you know how to chisel the chip," A big wide smile, no teeth.
  "Just don't grow it any bigger, we've got a lot of work ahead of us," He said to me as we watched the rest of the sun go to sleep. This was my best friend, and if I had to live this life all over again... I would've gladly taken the bullet. My best friend.
 
 
 
 
 
 


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