In the morning they had temporally forgotten the terrible events at the Calabria Club and how badly Salvo was injured. Was he still critical and fighting to survive?
Rossana phoned the hospital and spoke with the ward Matron. She said that Salvo was still critical but in stable condition and he was allowed to receive close relatives.
Luke remembered the previous night, and gave thanks to God for his good luck to still be alive after the brutal attack. A miracle had saved him and Salvo from death.
But who was really behind the attempted murder, and wanted him out of the way? If it was Maso Garrone, was it because he still wanted Lola? Or if wasn’t him, was it because they suspected him to be behind Vito’s killing?
Certainly, there wasn’t any impediment in Lola to be free; she could easily obtain a divorce any time she wished. They had lived separately for over three years, more than the time requested by the law of this country to concede a divorce.
So, there must be something else behind this assault, something that he couldn’t explain or understand. Nevertheless, the facts remained unchanged. What ever the reason was, he realized that a contract has been put on his head, so he must act carefully and be aware of any danger.
He must see Michael and see if he, through his acquaintances, had found any clues that were behind the contract. He, through time, had always avoided litigations and had refused to be involved in his family’s business. But this had cost him dearly. Innocently he had been secluded for three years behind bars. Coming out from jail The Family had compelled him to take revenge on Salvatore’s murder.
That has also been contrary to his principles. Now, more then ever, he felt he have been abandoned even by his own family. He was left alone, fighting against those who wanted him six foot under. Hell, why did he have to go through all this? Why wasn’t he left out of the business and allowed to peacefully enjoy a normal life like the millions of people living around him?
He had always wanted a simple peaceful, free life, particularly now after he had found Rosanna’s love. He wanted to stand by himself for his own principles and live his life in the way he liked better, having Rossana by his side, and together be themselves in their dreams. He wanted to travel with her, visiting the larger cities around the world, entertaining people in the most famous nightclubs, from Las Vegas to Paris, and from Rome to Tokyo. He wanted to enjoy the best that life could offer them, have fun together and make love to Rossana anytime they wished.
He admitted that one of his recurring dreams was to be rich and famous, and to see his name written in large fluorescent letter on billboards above the most important cabarets in the world. That was his dream. He was looking to have glory. He wanted his name and Rosanna’s to jointly appear in the local news. Yes, he was ambitious. Yes, he wanted people of the cosmopolitan world talking of him. But he was looking to be famous as a composer and a musician, and not certainly as a gangster.
And Lola? Damn her. Over the short time they have been together she had cost him so much. He wished to be able to work in a real money value how much Lola has cost him over the two years together in emotions and disillusions. Did he ever get anything back from her?
Very little has come back from her. It was nothing else but the illusory pleasure of sexual copulation, a cry of what real love is. Most likely any prostitute in the Cross could have given him a similar physical pleasure. She had been nothing but a bitch, all the time. She had been a heavy burden in his life.
He concludes, ‘I must get to the bottom of all this as soon as I can or else my dreams of glory and happiness with Rossana, will be destroyed before it starts.’
That morning, at the hospital, Luke met Maria. She was still there from the previous evening, in great despair and on the verge of exhaustion.
“Why is this happening to me? Why is God punishing me so cruelly?” Maria asked Luke, while tears welled in her dark eyes.
“Don’t despair… Salvo will be fine soon. Have you heard from the doctors? What have they said?”
“They only said that Salvo is in a critical condition and we have to wait and see. He is my only son, Luke. I cannot lose him.” And saying so, she burst into hysterical tears.
Don Beppino arrived at the hospital at this time and Maria seeing him, was overtaken by fresh commotion. A compassionated nurse came to her rescue.
“Don’t cry Mrs. Caruso,” the nurse was saying, “Please come with me. I’ll give you a medication so you’ll relax for a while. Don’t worry about Salvo. He’s a strong boy and he’ll make it.”
Maria was gently taken away by the nurse and Don Beppino came to sit next to Luke,
“Tell me what you know, Luke. Who ever is responsible for this will pay dearly. I’ve been told that another contract is on you, Luke. I checked with the Liottas. But it doesn’t come from them. They stick to the agreement we took. At the moment I don’t know who’s behind it and why.”
“Michael has promised to find out who paid the contract. I should know soon from him.”
“When you know more, send me a message, and I’ll take care of it. Capito?”
He had promised Maria to be with her to the hospital that afternoon. A specialist is to visit Salvo, and there could be some good news about his health.
Dr. Fergusson reassured Maria with, “A complete recovery of Salvo could be possible, but at this stage it’s premature to guarantee that. This is a long hard process that takes years to restore his full use of his legs. We need a miracle, but it’s still possible.”
“At least we’ve some hope, Maria. I’ll give you and Salvo all my help.”
“Yes Luke, you really love the boy. It means a lot to me.”
“You are having a difficult time, Maria. You must be brave for Salvo’s sake. He’ll need a lot of dedication and love from you. He could be in a wheelchair for a long time, and be in and out of hospital for physiotherapy. Bu he will rely on you, Maria, to work the miracle at home, slowly and patiently, devoting your time to him and making him exercise and activating his muscles with massages. At the end you’ll see your Salvo walking again. I know, it’ll be an exhaustingly long job for you, Maria. I will support you in the best possible way because I love the boy.”
“I don’t know how to thank you Luke. With your help we will be able to manage things.”