“Falling off Earth”
We were back in town now and I knew that I needed to get in touch with the Leonardi’s. It had been way too long since the wedding but yet it was only about a week or so. It just seemed like an eternity to me. I didn’t like not knowing what was going on with him. Michael said he’d come to the local hospital with me, where they had rushed Uncle Frank the night of our wedding.
I dressed simply in a cream-colored pant suit. I didn’t want to look like a total scrub or anything. Michael just wore nice dress jeans and his usual button down baby blue shirt. It was our first time going out as Husband and Wife but unfortunately it was to the hospital that we were going. I had to find out about Uncle Frank and see if there was anything I could do for him or the family, at least. I know we could never ever come close to repaying him for all that he did for us. But we could at least be there for him, in his time of need. I was hoping that Aunt Joy and his family didn’t think anything bad about me coming around. They were such good people who I was sure wouldn’t mind the intrusion. After all it had been about a week now.
We got to the hospital and finally found a parking space but it was like a mile away. I hate parking that far. Guess I’m a bit spoiled is all. The walk was nice though, as they had all these beautiful flowerbeds. I actually took pictures with my cell phone of them. I’m sure people thought that was weird but I just loved taking pictures and would any chance I got. I had to get my photo albums organized. Pictures were in a heap and piling up on me. I even had old film from about ten years prior to now and had no idea what was on these rolls. I would soon develop them and I was sure to be surprised by all of them. I couldn’t imagine what I had taken all those rolls of film of at that point in time.
We made our way inside the door, to the front desk. I asked for a visitor’s pass to see Frank Leonardi. They asked me if I was family and I said “no” but wanted to say “yes”. But it’d be pretty hard to explain it all so I said nothing. They probably would not have asked for proof or anything but I am an “honesty” type of girl. The lady then said that she had no record of that patient being there. I said well he was brought in on my wedding night. He had a heart attack and wanted to make sure he is all right. I had to go on my honeymoon and haven’t heard from his family, as yet. The lady looked at me like I had ten heads and simply replied “We have NO RECORDS for that patient being here.” I waited and went on. I said to her that she must have some kind of records because that man was brought in here at around 7:40 p.m. on my wedding date about a week ago. She looked up with her black-rimmed glasses under her eyes and said again “I’m sorry dear, I have absolutely NO RECORDS of that patient being here that day or any day recently. I can’t tell you any more than that. This is just how it is and we have no records for this person here in our database.” She said with a tone of total disgust.
I decided I wasn’t going to press the issue with her any more. I told her that I needed to speak to her Supervisor right away. She replies “that I can make an appointment to see her on Monday, when she gets back from vacation.” She squealed with a harsh tone to me. Again looking over her black-rimmed glasses with her black bangs tasselled over them. She looked so evil but she didn’t scare me. I had matched wits with the best of them and survived. Who the hell did she think she was? Michael ushered me out of there before I really caused a scene with this black widowed lady. She was irate and I was in no mood for her. And where the hell was Uncle Frank now? Was he even alive? Where was his family and why hadn’t they called me? It was like he’d fell off the face of the earth. I told Michael we needed to get right home so I could make some damn calls. I was so fucking mad and it wasn’t at all funny. This lady only added to my frustrations with her callousness and lack of concern for what I was saying. Michael knew I was pissed off and didn’t dare say a word to me, the whole damn ride. We sat in silence with me huffing and puffing, while plotting my next move.
I knew it, nothing ever stays the same. We can never just be happy and live life. Some goddamn drama always had to come our way. I’d never just have a quiet normal type of life. Here we were in the rat race of things again. I had to make some calls and fast. I had to get to the bottom of this. I would call every damn hospital in the county if I had to. Uncle Frank had to be at one of them. He helped me and now I had to find out what happened to him. I knew he needed my help now. So, that was just what I was going to do. I was going to help Uncle Frank now. How on earth could Uncle Frank ever be a fucking “missing person”? He is way too old for this and if I didn’t know better I was getting gray hairs by the minute while only being 30 years old now. This was just too insanely ridiculous to imagine to me. I got home and rushed in the door. I was so pissed off I almost forgot to kiss the kids “Hello”. They are so damn sweet to me. “Hello Mommy!” they all said in unison. It was too cute for words and I was loving how the “Mommy” sounded now. I loved being a Mother now and I just loved everything about my life. But now I had work to do. I told Sarah and Heather to please give me a few hours. I told them after that they could have the night off but that I was on pressing business now and it couldn’t wait.
I went in my bedroom door and locked the door behind me. I went to my office set-up in my room and got on the computer to check a few things out. I pulled up old mob related articles on the Leonardi’s and other mafia types. I did some research like I had never done before. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on this. I felt that time was not on my side or Uncle Frank’s either if I wanted to find him. But did he really need me to find him? Or did he even want to be found? I just didn’t have any clue or any answers now. I just knew that I had to do this and that was all I knew. Michael stayed downstairs and away from me. He knew whatever was going on was my deal and I needed to do it alone.
I made what seemed like hundreds of calls but am sure it was more like twenty or so. I even called my friends at the Police Department but they could care less about an 88-year old Mob Boss. I could understand their dilemma but they already knew about him. They also were pissed off that he got the job done for me and not them. So, they were yet again useless to me.
I had no choice I was alone in this matter. I tried to call the Leonardi’s house and their landline had been shut off or something. It was strange because an old woman answered and said that I had the wrong number. But just two weeks ago, it was the right number. It made absolutely no sense at all to me. No one could do all this in this short of a time. It just wasn’t possible or was it? I just didn’t have any answers and none of it made any logical sense to me. But I had to try to do something here. I told Michael I was going out and he didn’t even ask me to where. I told him there was something I needed to do. I left in a hurry forgetting to even kiss him goodbye or give him my usual kiss on the cheek. He understood so I knew it was fine. He just whispered, “I love You, Sammy.” As I walked out the door. I didn’t answer back but heard those words.
I went to 76 Grand Mile Road in the town of Armonk, New York. I was flabbergasted by what I saw there. The point was I saw nothing. Uncle Frank’s house was gone from that road. There was nothing there. No house, no barn, no horses or even a field with fences. It was all gone. Like it never existed, at all. The ground didn’t even appear to be dirt. It had a big grassy space on it. SO, it didn’t look like the house had been demolished and buried. It looked more like nothing was ever standing there, at all. How could this be? How could this happen? What the hell was going on here? Was I now going insane or something??? I was pale as a ghost and now didn’t know what to think, feel or even do.
No one would ever believe this one. No one would ever expect this. They’d think I was crazy telling this story but the funny thing was that this was a true story. I don’t know who did this or how they accomplished it but they did do it. It wasn’t my imagination, nor was I a crazy lunatic woman with a vengeance for the truth about Uncle Frank and his “missing person” status. I was as sane as the day I was born. There was no sane explanation for any of this. But I would search for Uncle Frank until I found him. This was not going to happen to me and it was surely not going to happen to Uncle Frank. I was not going to let this happen.
Uncle Frank was there for me so many times and now I was going to be there for Uncle Frank no matter what. He needed me and I needed him. Falling off the face of the earth well, that’s just not an easy thing for anyone to do. But somehow Uncle Frank had managed to accomplish this feat. I was im-pressed but really fucking disgusted by it all. How could he do this to me?
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Photo & Book Excerpt By Chrissy Smith