Deja Vu

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“Oh grandmother, I still can’t believe it!” The young blonde haired woman exclaimed as she gushed with excitement. “Two days from now I’m going to be in Europe.”

“Well its nothing that you don’t deserve.” The older woman smiled back. “I’m very proud of you, and all that you’ve accomplished.”

“I don’t think mother would agree with you on that.” Jenny D’Angelo replied. “She thinks the entire trip is a colossal waste of money.”

“Your mother thinks everything is a waste of money.” Connie D’Angelo laughed. “And besides, it’s my money that’s paying for this trip, so she doesn’t have anything to complain about.”

With that, Jenny joined in the laughter. She knew she really shouldn’t be enjoying a joke at her mother’s expense, but she couldn’t help it. In many ways, Connie had always been closer to her than her mother. Despite the 38 years separating them, they were more like girlfriends than family.

The trip to Europe had been Connie’s idea. She had been so impressed when Jenny graduated from High School a year early and then gained acceptance to an Ivy League College.

In addition to covering all the expenses for three months on the continent, Connie was also buying Jenny a new wardrobe for the trip. Between the two of them, they had two shopping bags full. The rest of what they had bought would be delivered to Connie’s tomorrow. Knowing her daughter-in-law would have something to say about all the new clothes, Connie had wisely put her own address on the deliveries.

“It’s still early, what say we head over to Kou-feng’s for lunch.” Connie suggested.

“Great.” Jenny responded. “But only if you let me treat you this time.”

“All right.” was the reply.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

An hour and a half later, the two women had lunch behind them and were headed down Main St. Along the way, both women turned men’s heads. An action that they both took so much for granted that neither gave it much thought.

Jenny was 5’5″, with long blonde hair that ran to the midpoint of her back. Deeply tanned, she wore a pretty yellow blouse and a short blue skirt. A firm set of breasts pressed against the yellow material, highlighting a youthful, athletic figure. She had been on the gymnastics team in school and all the hours spent practicing were self-evident.

Standing a few inches taller than her granddaughter, Connie long ago gave up trying to keep a slim figure. Instead she had concentrating on keeping her body firm and hard. Extra pounds she may have gained over the years, but very little of it was fat. She worked out as much as she could, maintaining a form that most women her age could only envy. Blessed with a more than full figured bust when still in her teens, she couldn’t defy the long term effects of the laws of gravity. But no one said that she had to submit to them without a fight. What gray that dared appeared in her hair was banished by frequent trips to her hairdressers.

Connie wanted to put as much as she could into this last day she would spent with her beloved granddaughter. She was really going to miss Jenny, but glad she was able to give her the opportunity to travel. She had considered going along with her, but eventually rejected the idea. Better Jenny go with the other girls from her school. It would be a better experience letting her be on her own.

It had taken all her authority as the matriarch of the D’Angelo family to get Jenny’s parents to agree to the trip. Stephen, her son, had been more than willing to let Jenny go. He had a great deal of faith in his daughter, and knew that he could trust her accordingly.

Stephen’s wife Barbara, on the other hand, had been opposed to the trip from day one. It was a waste of money she’d said. A young girl couldn’t be trusted out on her own. Why when she was her age…

Connie remembered all too well what Barbara, or Babs as she liked to be called then, was like at that age. She was a simple minded blonde airhead that more than lived up to the stereotype. She was, Connie believed, her son’s one great mistake in his life. Try as she could, Connie had been unable to keep him from being swayed by a pretty face and a big set of boobs. Nothing that could have come out of her mouth was going to carry more weight than the things Babs was doing with her’s.

So she had reluctantly watched when they married at 19. A year later, she could almost forgive Babs for marrying her son when she gave birth to Jenny. It turned out that Babs, now calling herself Barbara once again, couldn’t find the time among all her social activities to give Jenny all the attention she deserved. Over the last 17 years, Connie had been more than happy to fill the void.

“I’ve copied down all the places you told me to see.” Jenny said as they crossed the intersection. “Sometimes I wish you were going with me.”

“We’ve already gone over that.” Connie said as she stepped onto the curb. “You’ll have a much better time with your friends.” She added, wondering if she sarıyer escort really believed that.

“Maybe, but I wish…”

“Hey Jenny, Jenny D’Angelo!” Said a strong masculine voice from the right of the two women.

Jenny turned around and saw the tall dark haired young man who had called her. He stood about 6’1″ and had short curly black hair. The muscles of his chest and arms were highly defined and it was obvious that he took exercise seriously. The blue T-shirt he wore clung to him like a second skin. Legs as well developed as his arms stretched out from a pair of red shorts.

“Hi Jenny.” He repeated.

“Jack!” The girl exclaimed as she jumped forward and gave him a sisterly hug. “When did you get back?”

“Last week, I’m staying at my mom’s.” Jack answered.

“It’s so good to see you again.” Jenny continued, her eyes never leaving his face.

“You too,” He replied. “I heard how you graduated a year early. I knew you could do it.”

“Thanks.” Jenny beamed. “So what are you doing now?”

“Football scholarship at State.” Jack answered. “But I still need to work during the summer to cover some of the extras.” He added as he handed her one of the flyers he had been passing out.

A quiet cough from behind Jenny reminded her of her grandmother’s presence. Slightly red at her oversight, she turned and introduced her.

“Grandmother, this is Jack Marziatto.” She said. “Jack, this my grandmother, Connie D’Angelo. Jenny continued turning back to Jack.

“Jack and I both went to school together, he graduated last year.” She continued.

“That’s something that your granddaughter deserves most of the credit for.” Jack interjected. “If not for her tutoring, I’d have been in the fifth year of high school instead of the freshman year at State.

“You passed the exams.” Jenny laughed. “I just helped you study.”

“Marziatto, I used to know a Marziatto family a long time ago.” Connie said as she looked at the young man’s face, a strange look on her own. “They lived over on 10 St.”

“That would’ve been my grandparents.” Jack answered. “They moved over to Bakersville in the early sixties. My parents moved back here about ten years ago when I was 9.”

“Come to think of it, I only remember the Marziatto’s having four daughters.” Connie remarked. “How could you have the same last name?”

“Well that’s a little piece of the family skeleton.” Jack replied, the humor in his voice showing that he had no problem dismissing the long ago scandal as anything but ancient history. “Grandma got divorced after being married about five years. It was such a messy divorced that she had both her son’s names legally changed to Marziatto.”

“And your grandfather was?” Connie asked, a look of anticipation on her face.

“Johnny Coravelli.” He replied. “Why, did you know him too?”

Connie’s face now went pale, as all the blood seemed to drain from it. She felt dizzy for a second and had to take a moment to compose herself.

“Grandmother!” Jenny called out as she saw her stagger for a moment.

“I’m OK,” She lied. “Just felt dizzy for a moment. Getting old can be a real bitch at times.” She added with a laugh.

“I’m sorry, Jack.” She said as she took a deep breath and regained control of herself. “You were saying?”

“His name was Johnny Coravelli.” He repeated. “In fact I was named for him. My dad didn’t share grandma’s aversion to his memory. Did you know him?”

“I’m sorry, but the name doesn’t ring a bell.” The older woman said. “It was a very long time ago after all.”

“I guess so.” Jack said. “I’m sure if you’d known him you’d remember. He was a musician. My dad told me he was quite a character. Always getting into some kind of trouble or another. I met him a few times a couple of years ago. That really set off grandma. I can still hear her going on about what a good for nothing he was. Then, when he got me a tattoo for my 16th birthday, she really went through the roof.”

“He got you a tattoo?” Jenny gasped.

“Just a little one.” Jack said as he pushed up the left sleeve of his shirt, revealing a small blue shark on his upper biceps. “He had one just like it.”

“He must’ve been quiet a character indeed.” Connie remarked as she stared at the tattoo, trying to sound dispassionate.

“That he was. It’s a pity he passed away last year. He was only 57. The doctor said it was too many years of abusing his body with one thing or another.”

“Well its good to see that you don’t take after him in that respect.” Connie noted, taking another long good look at the young man.

“No, I try to take care of myself.” He answered. “But that’s way too much about me.” Jack concluded as he turned to Jenny. “What about you, what have you been doing?”

Connie didn’t seem to hear as Jenny told Jack all about her impending trip to Europe and how she would be going away to college in the fall. The older woman’s attention was riveted on the muscular sefaköy escort young man. She seemed to be studying every feature of his face, something she hadn’t done in a long long time.

“I guess I’ve kept you much too long.” Jack finally said.

With that, Connie finally snapped back to her surroundings.

“You must have a lot of things to do before your trip and I’ve got to get back to handing these things out.” He concluded as he indicated the pile of flyers in his hand.

Connie took one of the flyers and glanced at it. It was an advertisement for a small group of college boys, calling themselves, Jocks Inc., who hired themselves out to do odd jobs over the summer. She recognized the masthead, she had hired two of them last year to paint the guest house. It was a good way for them to raise money for school.

With a smile and a wave, Jenny said good-bye.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Soon they reached the parking lot where they had left Connie’s car. After storing the bags in the trunk, Connie slid behind the wheel. No sooner had they pulled out into traffic when Connie turned to her granddaughter.

“A really nice young man.” She remarked. “Very good looking too. Are you sure all you did was tutor him?”

“Well…we did go out a few times.” Jenny admitted. “But nothing really came of it.”

“Did you sleep with him?” Connie asked nonchalantly.

“Grandmother!” Jenny shot back in a mixture of mock anger and surprise.

It wasn’t that Connie had asked if she had sexual relations that surprised Jenny. It was that she had asked about if she had done it with someone specific. Something she had never done before.

After all, it had been Connie that she had come to last year when she had decided that she was old enough to make that decision on her own. Knowing that Barbara’s attitude on the subject was, “Well if she’s going to do it, what can I do about it?” Connie again took her mother’s place.

She’d sat Jenny down and explained to her the pro and cons of being sexually active. Of how she thought she had all the answers when she was Jenny’s age, when in reality she had been very ignorant. It didn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out that Jenny’s father had been born six months after the wedding. That all said, she had made an appointment for her at one of the best Gynecologists in town and had the doctor help her choose the best form of birth control for her.

“Oh Jack and I made out all right.” She finally replied, enjoying the ease she could talk to her grandmother about anything. “But in the end we decided that sleeping together wouldn’t be the right thing to do. I’m really not looking for just a good fuck, I want there to be something more between us. Jack was enough of a friend to understand that. I mean, I’m sure the sex would’ve been great. But I want to be able to have something else afterwards. Jack’s the complete opposite. He just wants to have a little fun, and not have to worry too much about tomorrow. Once we got that worked out, we became great friends.”

“I see.” Was Connie’s only reply.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It had only been a week since Jenny had left for London and already Connie missed her terribly. She had talked to her on the phone a few hours ago and was overjoyed to know that she was having a great time. Yet no sooner had the receiver dropped back on the cradle than she was again filled with an emptiness.

“I should have never given up control of the restaurants.” Connie said out loud to herself as she turned off the television. “At least that would’ve given me something to occupy my time.”

Five years before, on her fiftieth birthday, Connie had turned over the control of the three D’Angelo restaurants to her children. In addition to Stephen, she had a second son named Peter who was now 35. Her daughter Angela had just turned 31.

Aside from Jenny’s mother, Connie was more than pleased with her children’s marriages. Each of her children had been given a share in their own restaurant as well as operational control. Connie of course retained majority control of D’Angelo Enterprises.

Her’s was still the final word. She owned that much to her late husband. Vinnie had literally worked himself to death, suffering a fatal heart attack when he was only 46. It was his dream to see the single family restaurant that he’d inherited from his own father grow into a chain. Connie had made sure that dream had come true.

It was her distrust of Barbara that caused her to hold her shares. Deep down, she believed that her daughter in law didn’t have the desire for hard work that running the restaurants required. If she had any real control, she would quickly be pushing the other’s to sell out for a fast buck. Peter and Angela understood that. When Connie died, her shares would skip a generation and be split between the 7 grandchildren. She had arranged for trust funds for all of them. Each silivri escort would get their full shares on their 21st birthday.

Connie loved all her grandchildren, but it was always Jenny that occupied a special place in her heart. She was more like a daughter than a granddaughter, a reflection of what Connie was like when she was that young.

“When I was that young.” Connie repeated to herself. “When I was that young I definitely wasn’t sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself.”

With that, she rose from the chair and went looking for her address book. What she needed was a little companionship. Maybe even a little roll in the sack. Connie had hardly been celibate in the dozen years of her widowhood. She’d been actively pursued by a number of men, even taken a few as lovers. But most lost interest when they finally discovered that if marriage was a possibility, any control of D’Angelo’s wasn’t.

Twice in the last ten years she’d even had one night stands with younger men. Both times with the summer help that she hired to fill in for her waiters when they went on vacation. The young men never stayed long and no one ever knew. It gave her an ego boost to know she could still satisfy a younger man.

In fact, during her first year of widowhood, Connie had even had a brief lesbian fling with Maria Fortunato, one of her neighbors. It was Maria who had initiated the affair and Connie had been curious enough to let it develop. Most people thought it was so nice for Maria, a widow in her own right, to spent so much time with Connie during that difficult first year. No one ever suspected what was really going on. When the traditional mourning period finally ended, the men began to call once again and the affair faded of its own accord. It had been an interesting experience to say the least and had helped fill a temporary void in her life.

Connie made a few calls, but had no luck. It was already Friday night and most of them men she knew had already made plans for the weekend. Those that she knew would be available were available for good reason and she wasn’t that desperate.

Putting the book back down, Connie picked up the light blue advertisement sitting next to it on her desk. It was the flyer she had been given by Jenny’s friend. She remembered that she had called them the other day to hire one of the boys to work on her patio deck this weekend. Bill Ross or something like that, was the boy they had told her would be coming. Just as well she stayed home tonight.

“Maybe I should have just asked them to send me over a young stud.” Connie laughed to herself.

Her laugh filled the room for a few seconds, then silence returned. The house once again seemed very empty.

“You are definitely getting to be a horny old lady, Connie D’Angelo.” Connie thought as she dropped the sheet onto the table.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Late that night, long after dinner, Connie found herself unable to sleep. Uneasy with the whole idea of sleeping pills, she instead poured herself a glass of wine. Still, sleep would not come. By the time she was on her second glass, she decided to do a little of that cleaning out of the basement storage she had been doing on and off for the last two months.

Connie carried a box of mementos up from the basement. She hadn’t looked at this old junk in almost 30 years. Yet lately she had begun to feel nostalgic. Sipping her drink, she was surprised that most of it was in such good condition. She had Vinnie to thank for that. He figured that these things would mean something to her someday and had been very careful in packing them away. They were the memories of a young girl named Connie Esposito, and of a time and place far away.

Shifting through the layers of the past, the dark haired woman found a stack of old 45’s. Removing the plastic wrap around them, she smiled as she read off the labels. Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Buddy Holly, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Monotones, Fats Domino, and of course Elvis.

A bright smile on her lips, Connie thought of those long ago days when she and her girlfriends had visions of passion listening to such hits as Peggy Sue, Book of Love, Blueberry Hill and Why do fools fall in love?

“I haven’t heard some of these in years.” She said out loud. “I wonder if they are still good?”

As she placed one of the small records on the entertainment center’s turntable, Connie wondered what her grandchildren and their MTV oriented friends would think of this music? Placing the needle on the first groove, she concluded that they would no doubt view them in much the say way she had viewed her parent’s big band albums. Old fogey music!

As the sounds of her girlhood drifted across the room, Connie went back to the storage container. Various books were soon piled alongside the case, along with piles of snapshots.

Finally, at the bottom of the box, Connie found what she’d been searching for. Remarkably preserved, it was a framed color 11 x 14 photograph. In it were four young men in blue jackets. It was obvious that they were musicians from the instruments they carried. Standing next to and in front of the quartet were three young girls. The dark blue lettering on the drumhead read “Johnny and the Bluecoats”

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