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  5. A Second Chance-Mafia Romance


I stretch my hands to the bedside table while still keeping my eyes closed. I am trying to find my phone to switch off my alarm. In trying to find my phone with my eyes closed, I end up knocking it off the table. I open my eyes, groaning. I move towards the edge of the bed and look at the ground. I try to find my phone to switch off the damn alarm.
“I hate my life,” I say to myself as I pick up the phone from the floor and sit up on my bed.
I unlock my phone and check for new messages as I prepare to drag my lazy ass to the bathroom to take a shower. I know sitting here checking messages on my phone will make me late for work, but I could care less. My life can’t get any worse. After replying to a few messages from my mom and elder sister, I stand up from the bed and walk to my bathroom to get ready for work.
I step out of the bathroom after a quick shower. I put on my uniform for work before walking to the kitchen to make something for myself to eat. Once I am done eating, I throw the dirty dishes in the sink and step outside my house to the bus station.
“Good evening, boss,” I say to Mrs. Layla as I walk past her office. I am working the evening shift today. I’m not too fond of evening shifts because they start late in the day and end late at night. Nothing is nice about it.
“How are you doing today, dear?” Mrs. Layla says, stepping out of her office.
“I am good, Mrs. Layla; how about you?” I say as we walk into the kitchen together. I work in a restaurant as a kitchen assistant. I hope one day to become a chef.
“I am good also; get any sleep this morning?” She asks, concerned. Mrs. Layla is like a mother to me. She is one of the reasons I don’t worry about my job here, but it does not mean I take her kindness towards me for granted. I just know a few minutes late won’t make her fire me.
“I got a little sleep” I walk over to my station.
“That’s good to hear. Don’t worry, one day the nightmares will stop,” She says, patting my back before walking away.
“I hope so too,” I say, taking in a deep breath as I wait for the head chef to give me instructions on what to do first.
I hardly get any good sleep. I usually find it hard to sleep, and when I fall asleep, I always wake up from the same nightmare. Something terrible happened to me half a year ago, and even though it’s been almost a year. I still can’t forget that horrible incident because I dream of it every night.
I shake my head to drive away the images of that day as they start to appear in my head. I try to focus my attention on the patch of potatoes in front of me.
“It’s been six months Melina Davis. It’s time for you to move on. It was not your fault. You need to stop blaming yourself for what happened. You did everything you could,” I tell myself as I wipe the tear that dropped from my eyes. I stare at my hand that automatically landed on my stomach as I recall the events of that day. I genuinely need to move on from the incident that happened that day. I just hope I can with time.
I say goodbye to all my co-workers as they leave the restaurant to go home. The waitress on duty tonight had to rush to the hospital, so I am the one in charge of closing up. She is a good friend of mine, so I volunteered to help her lock up tonight. I wait a few minutes for the last customers to finish eating before taking their plates to the kitchen to wash them.
After I am done washing the plates, I make sure everything that is supposed to be turned off is put off. I switch off the light in the kitchen and walk back into the restaurant to close up. I forgot to switch off the lights in the restaurant first, so I will be using the front door to leave instead of the back door.
I walk into the restaurant to find all the lights switched off. Did I switch them off and forget. I don’t remember doing so, but anyway, it’s off, and that’s what’s important. I have already locked the back door, so I will still use the front door to leave.
I walk towards the front door, and as I turn the doorknob, a voice I loved but hadn’t heard in six months echoes in the room. The lights in the restaurant also come on.
“It’s not time to go home, principessa. I am hungry; get me something to eat,” A male voice says
I tightly shut my eyes as his voice registers in my brain. I hold the doorknob tightly as I pray to God that my ears are not working correctly tonight.
“There is no need to be scared, principessa. I am just here to get back what’s mine” With my back turned, I can still imagine the smirk that would be graced on his lips right now, and even if I want to deceive myself, it’s not him. My body can’t because anytime it hears that Italian accent of his. My body always reacts to it.
“Tho-m-m-as,” I stutter as I try to say his name. I feel tears building up in my eyes from how long my mouth has missed calling his name.
“Turn around!” he says, with less playfulness in his voice than before
“I can’t,” I manage to say even though my body is shaking from the tears pouring down my face
“You can, and you will. Turn around and look at me!” He says with his voice raised a little higher
“I’m sorry,” I say, wrapping my arms around my body as more tears fall from my eyes. I know many people would be confused as to what is going on, but I don’t even know where to start from. All I can say for now is that I will soon be a dead woman in the next couple of seconds.
“Ho detto, cazzo, girati e guardami Melina. (I said fucking turn around and look at me, Melina),” Thomas says, banging his fist on what sounds like a table.
I don’t understand Italian, but I don’t need to. Pretty much anyone can tell from his voice that he is angry at me for not wanting to turn around. I slowly turn my body away from the door and face him. I immediately fall to my knees once I turn around. I locked eyes with his ocean blue eyes that only ever held love and adoration for me. I shed more tears as the only thing I see in them now is hatred towards me. I know I don’t deserve his love anymore, but it does not mean it hurts any less to see him look at me this way.
“Come closer” He uncrosses his legs and rests his hands on his knee.
I shake my head in the way of saying no. I have heard the things he does to people like me. There is no way I am going closer to him.
“Melina, don’t annoy me, come closer” He already sounds annoyed with my refusal to go closer to him.
“I’m sorry I swear I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t have a choice” I slowly try to increase the distance between us but remember I am in front of the door, and there is nowhere for me to run.
“Really, you didn’t want to do it.” He sounds like he genuinely believes me, but I can still detect the sarcasm in his voice.
“Yes, I swear.”
“That’s odd considering you are his wife. I find that hard to believe. Now come closer and don’t make me repeat myself.”
I do the opposite and try to get away from him because if I thought he had hatred in his eyes the first time, I locked eyes with him. I don’t know what I would call the look he has in them now. I don’t get to go far because one of his goons grabs me by the hair and drags me closer to him.
“Did that kill you?” He says as I sit down on the ground in between his legs
“No-o-o-o,” I stutter.
“You still look the same way you did the first day I saw you,” He says, tracing his finger on my face. I shut my eyes and wait for him to smack me hard across the cheeks, but he doesn’t. I open my eyes and find him staring at me. I look into his eyes, and for a split second, I see the look he would have had for me if things didn’t go the way they did six months ago. He had this look of peace in his eyes for finally seeing me after a long time, but I am not sure I saw it well because it only lasted for a minute, and my eyes might be making me see what I wish.
“Where is my money?” He asks, grabbing my chin in a tight hold as he makes me look him dead in the eyes
“I don’t have it,” I say, avoiding eye contact with him
“Do I look like I have time to waste, Melina, tell me where my money is, and I would make your death a little easier than supposed to”
“I swear I don’t have it. James took everything.”
“Where the fuck is my money, Melina” He increases the pressure on my chin. My jaw is slowly cracking the more he holds it. He is going to dislocate my face if he doesn’t let go. I bite the inside of my cheeks to keep the scream threatening to rip out of me.
“I don’t have it” My words come out in a low whisper because of how much pain the hold on my chin is affecting me.
“It seems we have to do this the hard way then,” He says, roughly letting go of my chin. I gently massage my jaw to ease the pain and slowly open and close my mouth to release the sore muscles there.
“What do you mean?” I ask, panicking he might do something horrible to me. I expected him to kill me, but if he plans to keep me alive, he must want to torture me. Oh my God, please let me be wrong.
“Leo, get the car ready and get Kimberly on the phone. Let her know she has a new specimen to test out her torture methods,” Thomas says, standing up from the chair as he walks out of the restaurant.
“Please no, I swear to you, Thomas. I don’t know where the money is. Please believe me,” I scream as one of the goons, which I have come to know, his name is Leo, drags me outside the restaurant.
“I will see if you will still say that by the time Kimberly is done with you,” Thomas says, entering into a car while Leo throws me into a van.
I am about to scream for help when I suddenly feel something pierce into my skin. I look at Leo, who has a syringe in his hand. Before I can comprehend what’s happening, I start to feel dizzy. My body gives out on me, pulling me into altering darkness.

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