As much as she disliked the filthy rich who didn’t reinvest in the community, Isidora promised her friend she would support her boss’s function because she put a lot of work gathering these people together. Scanning the room didn’t long for her to see none of the elite planned to cough up any money but Isidora loved spoiling people’s plans.
“Isidora…” Shilpa warned.
“Don’t you dare do anything crazy. My job is already on the line if this function goes belly up without meeting our financial gain by the end of the night.”
“What’s the goal?”
“Thirty thousand dollars.”
“That’s it? Too low in my opinion.”
Isidora sat with her arms crossed, smirking.
“I know that look. Don’t do anything, I’m serious.”
“You know how I feel about severely stiff crowds. Everyone here is so full of themselves but what they really need is to relax their butt cheeks.”
“Izzy!” Shilpa looked around to see if anyone heard her friend.
“I’m just saying.”
“That’s my boss. I’ll be right back. Remember what I said.” Isidora chuckle knowing full well she wasn’t going to heed her friends warnings. The promise she made Shilpa wasn’t the only reason she showed up, she had Safe Haven in mind. Every target she chose would write her a check without fail, but first she had to loosen them up. Lively music and alcohol did wonders in a crowd of tight asses.
To many people’s dismay, Isidora got what she wanted simply by asking and flashing a smile. But she was no fool though, she spotted the twinkle in a mans eye when he thought he was going to get lucky. She used their simple minds for the gain of her community center. Someone ought to pay for wasting her time and there were no better people than these.
There was a band playing soft music to accommodate the mood and constant mingling. The elite were all sizing one another up. Isidora set her sights on the drummer asking him if he knew selected songs she scrolled through on her phone. He nodded yes and told her he would talk things over with the band and get back to her. After a brief intermission the drummer gave her the okay, the look of mischief burned in his eyes matched her own need to inject some life in the party. No one was paying any attention as she secured the strap of an electric guitar around her shoulder until she let a riff fly.
Guests turned, caught off guard, wide-eyed looking around confused. Isidora loved disturbing the flow of all things proper. In the back of the room, she spotted Shilpa horrified, hands clutching her face. She’d thank her later for all the wallets she was about to open. The first song she belted out was something new she was sure the crowd had never heard of, but they’d get into the groove sooner or later. Kaleo’s No Good throbbed in the air as she played and stomped along to the beat. If she had to guess, the older women in the room had to be in the late fifties or early sixties. Their faces were tuned up in disapproval and disgust but their husbands on the other hand began rocking side to side or tapping their feet.
Isidora knew she had enraptured all male attention on her and there was nothing their wives or girlfriends could do about it. She didn’t know of any man who hadn’t wanted to get a little free sometimes. Like she planned, men were flagging down drinks left and right. That’s right fellas, drink up and open those money bags. Ties were coming undone and suit jackets were shed with each song she sang. She even worked herself into the crowd dancing, men surrounding her. With the final song complete, Isidora got a standing ovation like she had in her professional entertaining days. Striking while the iron was hot, she outright asked for two thousand dollars for Safe Haven while playing up this function as well. Kill to birds with one stone.
“Excuse me. This is my husband you’re asking to fund your delinquent center of misfits.”
“Actually ma’am, not one of my kids are trouble makers, so it’s only right to contribute to the futures of Boston’s best and brightest.”
“Oh you don’t fool me, I’ve heard about that center of yours.”
“Mr. Donovan, yes?”
“Yes, that’s may name.”
“I know this is your wife, but which of you actually holds the purse strings?”
“Of course I do.”
“Excuse me, dear, there’s no need for you to take as much credit for the success of my company. Ms…”
“Oh, my name is Isidora Torres.”
“Ms. Torres, two grand isn’t much to part with in my line of work. I can write you check right now.”
“Honey, you’re drunk. We do not give to people like her.”
“You are not giving anything, I am.”
“Safe Haven Community Center truly appreciates any donations we receive. If you like, you’re more than welcome to stop by when you’re not so busy.”
“I’ll be sure to take you up on your offer Ms. Torres.” Before the night concluded, Isidora’s grand total was a hundred thousand dollars, all in the form of checks. She’d make sure to cash them as soon as the banks opened tomorrow morning. Can’t have them voiding their checks. Shilpa’s efforts brought in a substantial amount, well beyond the thirty thousand she was shooting for.
“You are crazy.”
“That’s what I’ve been told. But my kind of crazy helped you keep your job.” Her best friend hugged the life from her bones, giggling like a kid with a lolly pop.
“I really appreciate it Izzy.”
“And here you were embarrassed of me.”
“I wasn’t embarrassed. I was afraid I was going to lose my job because of your antics.”
“I wouldn’t put your livelihood in jeopardy for no good reason. Anyway, I’m going to get going. It’s late.”
“Call me when you get home.”
“I’m not going home. I’m heading over to my father’s house.”
“Oh, tell Mr. Karuso I said hello.”
“No, I meant my biological father.”
“What? When? How long has it been since you found him and why are you now just telling me?”
“I’ll see you later Shil.”
Throughout her adolescents, Isidora had plenty of time to think of what to say to her father once she met him. For reasons unknown, she never held a shred of animosity toward him but her mother was a different story. Somehow she felt wronged by a woman she didn’t remember. Without a doubt, she knew her adoption was somehow orchestrated by her mother, she just felt it in the pit of her gut. Just to prove right her instinct, she asked her lawyer to look into the reason she was separated from her father. He brought her more information than she expected.
She learned she had two older brothers and an older sister. They were quadruplets and the last know address for her father was right here in Boston. There was also a police report accusing her father of child abuse. There were even pictures of one of them with bruises, and the report was filed by her own mother. Things didn’t add up, even if her father did abuse them, why didn’t their mother keep them instead of putting them up for adoption? Didn’t the police question her motive? Seemed all too convenient to Isidora.
But her mind had already been made up to track down her father to listen to his side of the story. Just as fate would have it, her father was served to her on a silver platter. It was one of those chance sightings that was almost too good to pass up. Not even owning a picture of him, she recognized him instantly from a distance. She had inherited his jet black wavy hair, structural frame, gait, speech and his smile. He was olive toned where she was more on the brown side; must have inherited that from her mother. But there was no mistaking it, he indeed was her father.
She could have approached him then, but was satisfied with searing his image in her mind. There would be another time and that time had come five years later. Isidora wanted to make sure her life was somewhat in order before they met for the first time. Her thoughts were lofty ones. When has her life ever been in order? So, she decided to show up and say hello, quick and simple, the way she liked things. Judging by Anson’s expression, she knew he hadn’t busted up his own family and the fault ultimately lied with her mother.
Pulling up to her father’s house, she studied the exterior, it looked warm and slightly expensive as did the whole neighborhood. Seems he did well for himself. Getting out of the car, she lingered on the concrete path a while before taking one step after the other up to the screen door. She pressed the doorbell and a half second later the porch light came on.
“Yes. It’s late, I know but I’m here to see you.”
“No, it’s never too late. Come on in.”
“Did I wake you?”
“No, I was in my study looking over documents. I’m glad you came by.”
“I come and go like the wind. How are you?”
“Not bad at all.” Anson stood staring at his daughter in amazement, still not believing she was right before his eyes. He embraced her to make sure she hadn’t been a figment of his imagination.
“I’m not the touchy feely type.”
“Deal with it.”
“Missed you too dad.” Tears stung his eyes and a lump formed in his throat he tried to swallow down. “Emotional are we?” she teased.
“I’m normally not like this.” Releasing her, he scanned her face finding his likeness in hers. “Why don’t you hate me?”
“You’re the last person I’d hate. Besides, I know you didn’t put us up for adoption. I don’t blame you.”
“I blame me for letting it happen. I was so blind by Ava I didn’t she what she was plotting.”
“You’re not God. You’re not supposed to see everything. It’s water under the bridge as far as I’m concerned.”
“I didn’t get to raise any of you. We were cheated. I tried to get all of you back but Ava made it so it was a closed adoption. I was charged for a crime I didn’t commit. I have a criminal record because of her!”
“I read the report. Don’t worry too much, she’ll confess one way or the other. I’ll make sure that child abuse charge disappears.”
“There’s nothing you can do.”
“Oh, you have no idea the things I’m capable of. So, we need to start somewhere building up our relationship, how do want to proceed?”
“I held you the longest when you were born. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. You never cried when I had you in my arms. You wailed every second when you were close to Ava. You even came out the womb quiet, we all thought you were dead.”
“For the most part, I live a quiet life. I’m a loner until I’m not.”
“Alexander is like that. I find it strange the way Alex instantly took to you. What’s going on with him?”
“You should know, you’re his father.”
“He shares very little with me.”
“Suppose there’s a reason for it.”
“Maybe he doesn’t trust me. Did he tell you anything about his life?”
“No. Even if he did I wouldn’t tell you. I can tell he’s a private person and I don’t believe in betraying someone’s trust. You’re going to have to put the work in yourself. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure him out.”
“I’ve tried. I really have.”
“He and I are a lot alike, that’s why he took to me so quickly.”
“What does that mean?”
“I’ll leave it up to you to figure out. But I will say that if you ever cross me, you’ll live to regret it. Where Alex chooses not to deal with confrontation, I dive headfirst and I make good on everything I say. If you can manage to with my blunt nature, then we’re good. Can you do that?”
“You just threatened me.”
“I don’t make threats, only promises.”
“You should know, you got that from me. I’m the last person who’d be afraid of you, kid.”
“Well, it looks like we’ll get along just fine. Do you have anything to eat, I’m starving?”
Next part here: Full Circle
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