THURSDAY, 24TH DECEMBER, 2009 (CHRISTMAS EVE)
Joseph was wearing a white suit, similar in cut and tailoring to the one he wore on the fateful night of my birthday almost three months ago. Nadine, whose hair had been turned into a chic bob, was to his right, wearing a green pantsuit. As for Charlotte, she wore a figure-clinging red dress, exposing her arm and breasts to the elements, with only a gauche black bolero keeping her from frostbite. They resembled the Italian flag, and I thought it an insult to Italy.
“You fucking bastard,” Joseph said. “You thought that you could get away with it, didn’t you?”
“I could say the same of you three,” I replied.
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Nadine screamed. “I knew that we shouldn’t have hired those Albanians.”
“Did you fuck them?”
“That’s not the point, bitch.”
“She fucked them,” I muttered under my breath.
“I’m so glad that you four are here tonight,” Joseph continued. “This is the Dream Site, where the finest Shakespearean plays are performed in the summer. Tonight, we have a treat for you. William Shakespeare Presents: The Death of Graziano Buonfiglio and His Friends.”
“Shakespeare never wrote such a play,” Brandon said.
“OH, FUCK YOU!” Charlotte snapped.
The terrible trio walked off the stage, their guns at the ready, and came within ten feet of us, even as we took a few steps back, clutching each other.
“I know you killed my grandparents!” I yelled. “I also know you killed Evan! And I know that you all tried to have my friends killed, too!”
“Oh, and we did a damn good job of it, didn’t we?” Charlotte replied. “And you thought that all I was good for was being kicked off of the Next Top Model franchises on either side of the 49th Parallel.”
“Whatever, bitch!” Mykhaylo snapped.
“Oh, shut the fuck up, you Slavic slut-puppy. I was too kind, putting in just those tablets of GHB. Had I added one more, you’d be dead, motherfucker.”
I looked at Mykhaylo, and he looked like he was about to rip her head off. “YOU TRIED TO KILL ME!” he roared, lunging toward Charlotte. But Charlotte aimed at him… only for her gun to jam.
“Jesus H. Christ,” she muttered, opening the chambers. There wasn’t a damn bullet inside. I pulled Mykhaylo back as Charlotte looked at the gun. “FUCK!”
“You’re worse than a serial rapist, you fucking whore,” Mykhaylo sneered at Charlotte.
“Can we get on with this execution?” Nadine replied nervously. “We have a party to attend at 9PM.”
I rolled my eyes. Once again, they were more concerned with their appearances and social calendar than anything real humans talk about.
“Oh, you’re going to hell, asshole,” Nadine said, aiming her gun at me. But she, too, fell victim to nothing coming out of it. She opened the chambers to reveal several marijuana joints inside.
“You put your joints in a gun?” Claire laughed.
“At least I’ve had children,” Nadine retorted.
Even with her arm in a sling, Claire came close to decking the bitch. But we pulled her away, gently as to not harm her arm.
“God, you women are ridiculous,” Joseph scoffed.
“Hey, bastard!” Nadine snapped at him. “Don’t blame us. You were the one who doled out the guns. Wouldn’t it have hurt you to check for bullets beforehand?”
“Mom! Dad!” Charlotte exclaimed. “Remember what we’re here for: to take these bitches out. We don’t need guns.”
Oh, this was just getting so annoying. As they bickered, I looked at my friends and we slowly walked backwards toward the entrance. But then, Joseph looked at us and fired his gun. We all ducked at the same time. And then, Joseph opened the chambers in his gun to reveal… rubber bullets. This had turned into a farce. Joseph screamed and threw his gun onto the ground.
We walked back towards them. “Ha-ha!” I said in my best Nelson Muntz impersonation. And then, with all three members of the Buonfiglio family looking at me like they wanted to tear me limb from limb right there, my tone turned serious. “I want to ask all three of you a question: what did I ever do to merit what you did to me?”
No response from either of them. “Well?” I asked again. “Non parlate inglese? (You don’t speak English?)”
“YOU WERE BORN, THAT’S WHY!” Joseph screamed.
Joseph calmed down. “You… were… born.”
“We never planned on having you,” Nadine added. “We wanted to wait until 1982 before we had another kid. But no, your fucking aunt Tatiana had to marry some Tuscan dork and invite us to the damn wedding.” She walked towards me. “And then, all it took was a bottle of wine and some Barry Manilow, and we ended up doing it. Frankly, the sight of him naked makes me sick. Nine months later, you came.”
I could not believe what I was hearing. “You could have had an abortion,” I said, “or at least given me up for adoption.”
“Oh, that would have been too easy. No, those nine months of pregnancy were the worst of my life! They were the worst of your father’s life, too! I was experiencing the most excruciating pain imaginable, and your father was losing clients faster than some people lose their minds!”
“All this because of some fucking superficiality reasons?” Brandon replied. “Wow, you are one fucked-up bitch.”
“WAS ANYONE TALKING TO YOU, ASSHOLE?!” Joseph snapped at him. “NO ONE WAS!”
“Oh, get bent, Tony Soprano!” I interjected.
“Anyway,” Nadine continued, “when you were born, everyone was oohing and aahing on how special you were. You weren’t. You were a fucking nightmare! Do you think that I enjoyed drinking and drugging? NO! YOU drove me to that!”
I was unmoved. “Babies are born all over the world, and women go through labour all the time, and rare and messed-up is the woman who blames her problems on that,” I said. And then I walked up to her and slapped her clear across the face. Surprisingly, she didn’t fall back on her ass. But when she lunged at me, she fell face-forward. As she got up, I couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Do you want to know why we killed your grandparents?” Joseph asked. “Well, it’s pretty simple: when it came to you, they were always in the fucking way! Always inquiring about you, always looking out for your interests, always taking you someplace special, and NEVER leaving us alone! They weren’t your parents. WE are!”
“Then you should have acted like them, and not like a bunch of terrorists!” I screamed. I was slowly getting riled up. “You should have taken a number from them, instead of spoiling Charlotte and Ryan and leaving me not even one miniscule scrap.”
“So what? I deserved the spoils!” Charlotte exclaimed. “Speaking of Ryan, we know that you two did the Jerry Springer thingy.”
Now, things were getting serious.
“What Jerry Springer thingy?” Brandon asked.
“INCEST!” Joseph yelled. “This faggot fucked his older brother!”
Yes, that’s right. That’s my big secret, people. For much of my teenage years, I had a sexual relationship with my older brother Ryan. It started one night, after Joseph beat me up again, and I was crying in my closet. The door suddenly opened, and Ryan pulled me out. He held me in his arms as I cried, and after ten minutes, I stopped crying. We looked into each other’s eyes, and suddenly he was on top of me, on my bed. He was the first guy that I ever kissed. And it didn’t stop. It went on from 1996 until 1999. At least once a week, he would come into my room, even on the nights that I had avoided Joseph and Nadine and Charlotte, and we would make love. We never engaged in penetrative sex, however. It was mostly making out and oral. That’s why Ryan left: Joseph and Nadine found out, they had a big argument, and he left home that night, never to return.
I turned to my friends, who had inquisitive looks on their faces. I nodded, acknowledging what I had done. And then I turned to the terrible trio, and calmly said, “And I’d do it again.”
“Excuse me?” Joseph replied.
“Yeah! I slept with Ryan, and I would do it again! And do you want to know why? Because he loved me. He truly loved me. He never made me feel bad, he never took me for granted, and he always made me feel better after all you bitches went to town on my ass!”
“Did you sleep with your grandparents, too?” Nadine sneered. “If you love them so much…”
“Nadine, you fucking bitch…” I shook my head. This was the first time that I had ever referred to Nadine by, well, that: Nadine. “Credit me with some discretion.”
“What the fuck did you just call me?” Nadine snapped.
“You heard me. You never were my mom, so I refuse to call you ‘mom’ or ‘mother’. To me, you’re Nadine Buonfiglio, the mother from hell to end all mothers from hell.” And then, I glared at Joseph. “Joseph, you’re a terrible lawyer and an equally worse father.” Finally, I looked at Charlotte. “Savannah doesn’t deserve you at all, harlot.”
For the first time, in a long time, they looked as if they were on the defensive. Their faces, previously facades of conceit mixed with indifference, were now visages flush with fear. I now had the power, and I was not going to waste this opportunity. My physical strength was coming back, as well.
“I have been wracking my brain for most of my life, wondering what I did or said that compelled you to subject me to some of the most inhumane activity a person could endure,” I said. “And now, you tell me that I was the arbiter of your failures as human beings, so I deserved to be beaten up. Even if I died, it wouldn’t change things at all. You’d be still miserable pieces of shit looking for the next person to blame. Well, that all stops here.”
I looked at my friends. They gave me looks of encouragement. “You were so bent on destroying me that you decided to destroy ANYONE who blocked your path. You killed my grandparents, you killed my fiancé, you drove family members away, and you threatened to do the same with Mykhaylo, Brandon, Claire… even Aparecida was a hurdle that you had to eliminate, didn’t you?”
I looked directly at Joseph. “You had some of your goons rape her! She gave you her time and attention, even if she didn’t give you her pussy, and THAT is how you repaid her?! All the women you’ve fucked over the years; did you dispose of each one of them like you disposed of Aparecida?”
“You tell him!” Claire cheered.
“I may never understand fully what compelled you all to do what you did,” I continued, “but I can live with that. I can live with the fact that Evan and my grandparents are in a much better place. And I can live with the fact that I now have friends and family and my cat to help me make it through life. And I hope that you can live with what you did. Because what you did is sickening. What you did is so horrible; there are mass murderers who would be offended!”
At that moment, tears began to well up in my eyes. But I decided to let them flow, rather than wipe them away. “Do you see these tears?” I asked, pointing at my eyes. “I’ve cried more in my lifetime, than the combined lifetime tears of ten random people on the street. You’ve caused these tears to flow! And you know what? I’m glad I’m crying right now, because it shows that I have feelings! It shows that I have a conscience! It shows that I am a MAN!”
I took a deep breath. “You’re not going to get away with what you did. You took the lives of five innocent people, people whose only ‘crime’ was to love me! You tried to take the lives of four others who loved me! And now, you want to take MY LIFE too! Well, guess what? It’s not going to happen, you fucking wops. Because much to your dismay, I’m still going to be here, surrounded by love and happiness, while you bitches rot in prison for all eternity! Why? Because I’m Graziano Giancarlo Marcello Buonfiglio, THAT’S WHY!”
That felt great. I turned and saw Brandon, Claire, and Mykhaylo applaud. They had smiles on their faces. And then, Claire’s face turned from happiness to fear.
“LOOK OUT!” she screamed.
I turned and, in the blink of an eye, I saw Joseph with the gun in his hand. He had picked it up, and was taking a bullet out of one of his jacket pockets. He slid the bullet into the chamber, closed it, and said, “That was a wonderful speech, Graziano. Such wonderful, final words.” And then he aimed the gun at me, and then…
Suddenly, the gun dropped from his hands, and fell onto the cold ground, and the bullet popped out of the chamber. And then, a bunch of police officers stormed the Dream Site. I don’t know how many of them were present, but it was certainly more than enough. They swarmed us, and before I knew it, Joseph, Nadine, and Charlotte were in handcuffs. At that moment, snow began to fall on us.
The police led us from the Dream Site to the parking lot outside the Grenadier Restaurant, where a flotilla of police cars, an ambulance, and plenty of media awaited us. With all the lights and snow, it was clearly a dramatic sight. The police swept Joseph, Nadine, and Charlotte into separate cars. As she went in, Charlotte turned around and screamed this at me:
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! SAINT GRAZIANO THE GOOD?!”
I simply turned to her and said, “No. But at least I’m not the Devil.” And then, I turned to Joseph and said, “By the way, that $500,000 you hid at the old house? It belongs to me now. Merry Christmas!”
And within moments, they were gone, heading for jail, cold and unmoved to the bitter end. Meanwhile, as a precaution, the paramedics loaded me into the ambulance and I was off to Toronto General Hospital. Brandon, Claire, and Mykhaylo soon followed. At the hospital, after over two hours of examination, the doctors cleared me to leave, as I had held up remarkably well under such excruciating circumstances. I gave the police my statement, and around 11PM, we all left the hospital. After Claire and Mykhaylo hugged me, they went back home to resume celebrating Christmas with their families. Brandon and I went back to our apartment.
After we entered our apartment, Brandon and I hugged again. This time, no tears and no “I’m sorry”. We sat down on the sofa and watched Christmas Eve from St. Peter’s Basilica. We watched as some Swiss lady jumped Pope Benny the Dict XVI, much to our amusement. As the clock struck midnight, signaling the arrival of Christmas, we exchanged Christmas greetings and more hugs. The telecast of the glorified drag show from Vatican City ended around 1:30AM, and by that time, Brandon was fast asleep.
I turned off the TV, and walked into my bedroom. Britney was on the bed, and she leapt into my arms. I had never been happier to see her. We snuggled on my bed for a few minutes, and then I got undressed. I went into the kitchenette and found a tin of Danish butter cookies on the counter. I popped in a Brent Everett DVD, sat down with my tin, and for the rest of the night, engaged in an early Christmas gay porn marathon.