Final hit

  What these little rascals don’t understand is: killing a person is not as easy as it used to be.
  I’m not making excuses, this is a fact. Nowadays, there are cameras everywhere-on the highway, in buildings, outside buildings, there is always a camera staring at you. If you bring a cell phone, the police can locate you through the signal. This is crazy. That’s how they solved the case of Joey Rabito’s killing of Casoni.
  In the past, I could sneak in through the back door along the alley, and with a bang, the task was completed. In half an hour, I will go to Wendo restaurant with Carlo, eating macaroni with clam sauce and drinking Chianti wine. Dessert may be pancake rolls with cream, which is Carlo’s favorite. We talk and laugh, but we never talk about business, only women, baseball or politics. We want to enjoy a dinner, because we know that the old man will pat our back the next day, hand each a wad of cash, and say, “Thank you for your service, gentlemen.” He is a quiet person. .
  Carlo and I have worked together for more than 40 years. The police and FBI agents in the New York metropolitan area know us well, but they never trouble us. We are so good. In many cases, I feel that the police did not intend to solve the case at all. If they are real enough, they might tell you that they are secretly grateful because we didn’t kill good people.
  At that time, I was a member of a respected family. I was invited to baptisms, weddings, and Sunday dinners. If I went to a brothel run by an old man, I never had to pay. Never. Of course, if the service is excellent, I will tip, nothing more. Do you want to know why I don’t have to pay? Because I am trusted and respected by others. Now that the old man is gone, I am an old man in the eyes of the young killer. No one takes me or the old rules seriously. But let me tell you: I am 72 years old and still breathing. Most people in my business live less than this long, including Carlo.
  That kid, they called him little Tommy, and he didn’t want to listen to anything I said. He wanted to kill someone, and he wanted to get it done yesterday. I told him that this kind of thing takes time and must be very careful, but as I said, he doesn’t want to listen to it. “That’s it,” he said.
  Before his father Tommaso “Tommy” Fortunato died, he asked me to take care of this only child, and I promised him that I would. It has been six years since the old man died of a stroke, and now I have become a burden in the family. No one invited me to dinner, no one asked me how I was doing. I thought I would become Tommy’s mentor, but he didn’t mean it. I often think that the only reason why he didn’t kick me out of the house is because I know all the family secrets. To be precise, I know where those killed are buried.
  Every morning, I would walk to Wendor Restaurant and read the newspaper while eating breakfast. In the afternoon, I sometimes visit Jimmy Nicolosi in the nursing home. He used to manage the gambling business for Tommy. We all call him Nichols. We will talk about the past together, mainly I’m talking about it, because most of the time, Nichols doesn’t know who I am. I ate dinner at the Cardone restaurant, then went back to the dilapidated apartment and spent the rest of the time in front of the TV.
  I am a loyal soldier who has been loyal to this family for decades, but now, little Tommy has avoided me. In the past, he used to sit on my lap and called me “Uncle Anjie”, but now he almost never calls to greet me.
  But he called tonight.
  ”I need you to do something for me,” he said.
  The child will only call when there is a need. I wanted to tell him that I was not interested, but thinking of the promise to his father, I said, “No problem, when?”
  Of course, there was no time to prepare. “I’ll be over.” I said.
  I took out a black suit from the closet and polished my shoes with a brush. Your dress must show respect for yourself and your work, as Carlo taught me this way. I have always been proud of my work. I have done various things for this family, but my specialty is to eradicate dissidents. I cannot tell you how many people I have killed in the 50 years of serving the Fortunato family. Frankly speaking, I can’t remember, this is not something you can record in the log. Sometimes, I feel like an old man, trying to remember how many women I have conquered in this life. After a while, those faces began to blur. I’m on the scene, I remember the murder, but I or Carlo did it? Who knows? However, I know that the number of people who died in my hands must be more than 80. This is the merit of my life. I believe that every bastard I kill has rotted in hell. Maybe I will go to hell too, but I am more concerned about the afterlife. Now that Tommy has become the eldest of the family, it is no secret that I am excluded.
  A month ago, I passed by Wenduo Restaurant and went in and ordered coffee and donuts. I was sitting at the counter while a guy who smelled of aftershave was sitting next to me. He is dressed in an elegant suit, his shoes are polished, and an inconspicuous tie. I don’t know who he is, but as soon as he sits down, I understand. There were 15 empty seats at the counter, but he sat down next to me, read the newspaper and drank coffee, and whispered: “Since the old man died, everything on the farm has changed, hasn’t it?”
  I didn’t say a word. After a while, he stuffed a business card under my coffee saucer and said, “We want to talk to you.”
  I pushed the business card back under his newspaper with my fingertips, and whispered, “Gosh, Do you want to kill me?”
  He continued to drink coffee. After a few minutes, he threw $3 on the counter, then stuffed the business card under my coffee saucer, “We won’t treat you badly, Angelo.” After that, he left.
  His name is Braddock, Lawrence G. Braddock, an agent of the Pittsburgh Field Office of the FBI. I put my business card in my jacket pocket. I did not call him. But a week later, he called my apartment. I said, “My number is not registered, how did you get it?”
  He snorted, “Are you kidding me? I belong to the FBI and I can get any number.”
  There is an abandoned brick factory on the outskirts of Alquipa, where my father died of exhaustion in his early years. Behind the brick factory is a pebble jetty that stretches to the Ohio River, almost covered by bushes. I met him there. We were standing on the water’s edge, small waves beating against the shallows, and the air was filled with the smell of oil and mud.
  ”In the past,” I said, “in the years when the brickyard was started, whenever the barge loaded with clay came to this pier, several workers including my father got busy. They shoveled like rain and put the barge on the barge. Unload the clay.”
  ”Honest work.” Braddock said.
  ”Stupid’s job.” I said, “When he got home, he was too tired to walk. He didn’t even have the strength to go to the yard to play baseball. His body was completely destroyed and he died at the age of 57. .”