Outtake: Full Circle #Antony
Fridays are now going back to regular outtakes, so yay! And every Monday, the blog series, whichever one I am currently posting, will update with a chapter. Currently, it is Naz and Roz. So, do you have an outtake you would like to see from me?
Great, add it in HERE.
Please note, I don’t promise to write your outtake. Sometimes I pick from the pile, and sometimes I write whatever the heck I want for that Friday. AND, on that same note, I write these a month ahead. Also, put more than characters names in the outtake form, because otherwise, I simply delete it.
Now, onto the outtake:
An Antony Outtake
Antony Marcello stopped counting his birthdays when he turned eighty. He refused to have another birthday party after that age, too. He didn’t see the point, and everyone else enjoyed it far more than he did. He rarely remembered his birthday anymore unless his wife thought to tell him it was that specific day, but that was just fine, too.
Still, despite his age … and no, he refused to even think his age, now, he’d not forgotten a single thing about his life. From his earliest memory, that one of his father giving him the red pocketknife like the one he gave to all of his sons, too, to the sweet words his wife told him before she fell asleep next to him in bed the night before.
He forgot none of it.
Antony considered that a gift, all things considered. When his body began to show his age, and so did his health, his mind stayed the same. People joked that couldn’t possible be true when he told them, but they were wrong.
He knew it all.
And he told those stories over and over again. To every and any Marcello that cared to listen—they all listened—and to anyone else they brought home to be a part of their family, too. He told their stories, their history … that legacy he’d started all those years ago, and he kept talking. Because when he was no longer here, who was going to tell those stories?
Who would remind them?
They needed to carry it on.
Like he had.
“Have a blessed day, everyone.”
Antony glanced up from the bible in his weathered hand, realizing Sunday mass was over. Unlike years ago when he would have made sure to listen throughout the entire mass, now he did well to not fall asleep after the first fifteen minutes.
He still came, though.
Cecelia made sure of that.
Speaking of which …
“Come on,” Cecelia said beside him, smiling at him from the side. “Catrina is making dinner for everyone tonight, and I promised to help her.”
It was more like his sweet wife would bark orders, and Catrina would follow along because she loved her mother-in-law. The same way the rest of their sons’ wives loved Cecelia. Antony gave himself credit for that, and his sons, too.
They picked the right women.
“I need to make a stop first,” he said.
Cecelia’s brow dipped. “For what, Antony? You have a cold. You don’t need to be lingering—”
“I am,” he promised, standing from the pew. “Besides, Lucian will come with me. Won’t you, son?”
Down the pew, already standing with his wife and oldest son, ready to leave the church, Lucian didn’t even hesitate to say, “Sure, Papa.”
“See,” he told Cecelia. “I’ll be fine.”
“But what do you have to do?”
“I thought I might go say hello to John.”
His wife stiffened a bit, but quickly nodded. “Okay.”
Lucian lingered a few steps behind his father, and Antony was grateful. They all hovered too much, and he hated that. Like another reminder that he was no longer a young man, and he needed help occasionally.
And then there was Lucian … one of his only sons who seemed to have a good grasp on the fact that Antony wanted to keep as much of his pride as he possibly could throughout the rest of his life. He didn’t get too close, he never grabbed his father’s arm to help him up the stairs unless Antony asked for it, and he didn’t once mention his father’s age.
“Do you want me to come up to the headstone with you?” Lucian asked quietly.
“If you want to speak with him,” Antony returned.
“It has been a while.”
“I’m sure John knows that, too.”
“Thanks for that.”
Antony chuckled. “And I’m sure he is also happy that you live your life, Lucian. What more could he want for you than what you’ve become, hmm?”
“Right,” Lucian replied quietly.
Silence followed them through the old graveyard. Past the newer section that had been added over the last decade, and through the middle section where a good portion of Antony’s family and friends had been buried over the last twenty years. He recognized a lot of the names on the headstones, but he kept walking.
One slow step at a time.
Until he found him.
Standing in front of the gravestone that marked his best friend’s final resting place, on one side of John was Lina, Lucian’s biological mother, and on the other side, Paulie had been buried with his wife. Next to Paulie’s stone was a section of grass, untouched, and with no stone.
That was where Antony would be buried.
And Cecelia, too.
They’d decided that a long time ago. It hadn’t been a sad thing, and he so hoped that when the time came, his sons, and the rest of their family, wouldn’t cry for them. He, and Cecelia, too, wanted them to celebrate.
They had lived a good life.
He had the memories to prove it.
Lucian stayed behind a couple of steps as Antony moved forward.
“John,” Antony murmured, bending down though it took far too long to do so, and he would need help to get back up, “it’s been a while, old friend.”
But like everything else in his life, he remembered John vividly. From the time they were boys, still too young to be called men, until the day he put John in that hearse for his final ride. He couldn’t forget the lines of his friend’s face, or the color of his eyes. And he remembered him as he was, because Antony had never gotten the chance to grow old with John like he had with Paulie, or even his wife.
Would he have had more kids?
Married Lina someday?
He didn’t have enough memories, even if his mind was full of them. He didn’t get that lifetime of friendship with John, so he was hoping heaven would give him that chance. And if nothing else, that was why he wasn’t afraid of death now.
He had people waiting for him.
And he missed them.
“It’s finally happened,” he told the gravestone.
He reached out, and brushed the bit of dirt from the letters of John’s last name, the Grovatti staring back at him in thick, block letters.
He’d needed to come here today and tell his old friend, just in case John wasn’t watching—although Antony believed he was—that the son of his son had taken back what had been stolen from him all those years ago.
His family name.
All of it.
John, the one that had come after the one murdered long before his time, had taken it back for them. With the help of the son of Antony’s son. Because sometimes, if one was lucky enough to live as long as Antony did, then they were also lucky enough to see life come full circle.
What went around, came back around.
“They did it, John. They did it for us.”