(Excerpt from Edwin Decker’s unpublished first novel: Angel)
Vito didn’t believe much in God in his young days. He devoted himself toward becoming an outrageously successful businessman. Success, of course, meant wealth. And he was wealthy. Sanitation was his expertise. At 23, he owned and operated two sanitation districts, seven convenience stores, and a not-too bloody loan-sharking service on the side.
Tessie worked for Vito in his Bronx convenience store. She liked Vito, was even attracted to him. Unaware of his greed and womanizing, what Tessie saw was a sharply-dressed man, tall and dark. He noticed her too. He loved her girlishness and innocence as she thoughtlessly put cash into his till – into his wallet – without a second thought.
“I could teach her much,” he thought, watching her fingers deftly clack register keys and flip her thick, black hair from her eyes.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Tessie,” she replied.
“When do you get off work, Tessie?” (He was so bold.)
“About eight o’ clock,” she replied, all the time thinking how she couldn’t wait to tell everybody. How proud they would be of her.
“I’ll pick you up at eight,” he said, kissed her hand, and floated away.
As he walked toward his Mercedes, Vito preened his hair and smiled.