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Monday, April 29, 2013

Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise-A Fictional Story-9

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Living Under the Loan Shark’s Shadow

Harry’s life was going downhill fast, especially when he began borrowing from loan sharks at extremely high interest rates. Harry had been pacifying the loan shark with small payments from time to time which didn’t even make a dent in what was owed. The interest on the loan kept getting higher and higher, making the balance due greater than what he originally borrowed. Harry had defaulted on his loan with “Nino the Butcher,” the new loan shark in town. Everyone in Brooklyn knew who Nino the Butcher was, and that he always found a way to collect on his loans.

At midnight, Boobala heard the doorbell of her apartment ring violently 6 to 7 times. Opening the door, Boobala saw a dark-featured, vicious looking gent. He held something in his hand that looked like a switchblade. With the most menacing tone, he slapped the switchblade in his hands, saying: “Tell your husband that Nino wants his money paid in full by tomorrow at noon or else.”

Boobala shuttered at the sound of his words. She closed the door locking it quickly behind her. She was shaking all over with fear. Harry didn’t even bother to ask who it was. He had a hunch that soon he would be dead if he didn’t come up with the money.

Harry was thoroughly frightened, not knowing how to get out of this dilemma. He started to berate and insult Boobala, blaming her for not caring about his fate. “You mother F@#!$@%, you’re despicable and worthless. You don’t know how much I despise you. It’s your fault I’m in this predicament!” he screamed at the top of his voice. Needing someone to hate to give purpose to his meaningless existence, Harry balled his fists and punched Boobala. Her nose began to bleed heavily. She started to cry hysterically, not knowing if her nose was broken, which only enraged him more. He hit her again, knocking her to the floor and kicking her. Blood was dripping from her mouth.

He pulled her up by her hair, yelling: “You ugly bitch, are you listening to me at all? I said to go and get some money from your Uncle Marvin or your friend Myrtle.” He began to shake her by the shoulders, screaming “Do something, don’t just stand there looking like a freaking idiot!”

Accustomed to the frequent violent outbursts, the neighbors kept their doors closed. They never liked Harry and avoided him like the plague. Nonetheless, Boobala in horrendous pain and still bleeding, tried to calm him. The more she tried to calm him the angrier and more out of control he became. Harry was raving mad as he paced the floor of his apartment nervously. He yelled in desperation. “The only person in this whole world that I could count on and who has the money to bail me out is Uncle Jake. Why now of all times is he vacationing in Florida? I don’t even know how to reach him!”

The ranting and raving finally stopped. An awkward silence filled the air. Boobala was shocked to see Harry staring at her, not uttering a word, as if he had descended into a trance. After sitting there for what seemed like forever, Harry buried his head in his arms on the table and began crying: “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die,” which he kept repeating.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep…

Nino the Butcher had a notorious reputation in Brooklyn. He was getting tired of Harry jerking him around with his smooth talk. This time Nino meant business. There was no way out. Harry was now trapped by the consequences of his gambling vice. The mere thought of such an outcome sent a wave of dizziness surging over him. Feeling sick, anxiety rising in his chest and experiencing symptoms of nausea, he had a terrible urge to vomit. He got up from the table to go to the bathroom, when suddenly the pain was almost more than he could handle. “Boobala!” Harry cried, trying to keep the panic and fear from showing in his voice. Another wave of pain swept over him, taking his breath away as he fell onto the floor grabbing his chest. Boobala ran to his side as he lay on the floor in a motionless heap.

“Harry?” Boobala said anxiously, shaking her husband’s shoulder gently. “Please Harry, open your eyes.” Silence answered her. Boobala tried shaking him again, in a much louder tone of voice she cried “HARRY, HARRY! PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES!” There was still no answer. She sat there in shock, her body shaking with heart wrenching sobs. Reality was just starting to sink in as a blade of unbearable pain twisted in her heart. Realizing that he was gone, she screamed at the top of her lungs: “Harrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy!!!”

Boobala’s ordeal was finally over. Harry had died suddenly from a heart attack at the young age of 36. Boobala could not believe that Harry was dead. She was heart-broken but also relieved. He had always been in the best of health, hardly ever experiencing a period of sickness. Although she hated him for his physical and verbal abuse, she still loved her psychopath of a husband. I guess you could say theirs was a love-hate relationship, an on-again/off-again love affair. They had been married for 17 years. Now she was a widow at age 35. For good or bad, Harry shared her dawn of love, her first sexual experience. A strong addiction which she found was hard to kick. The role of victim seemed to fit her fairly well.

Not having any life insurance or a nest egg to fall back on, Uncle Jake had to pay for the funeral expenses. Uncle Jake was retiring and wanted to give up the apartment and move to Florida. He had to get away from Boobala. He told her that she had to leave. Picking up the remaining pieces of her life, she ventured out in search of a better and more peaceful way to live.


Can Dreams Come True?

Boobala had no social life other than her one and only childhood friend, Myrtle, who was always concerned about her well-being. Since Myrtle lived on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, Boobala was able to get a one bedroom apartment near her. As in every tenement building, you can’t avoid having a nosy neighbor. In Boobala’s case, that role was served by Mrs. Grime. She was an elderly woman who lived alone, always needing someone with whom she could talk. Never having the good graces to shut up, she went from one neighbor’s apartment to the other, looking for freebies, smokes and the latest dirt. Boobala avoided her nosy neighbor at all costs.

Boobala was now making considerable money as a Buyer/Product Manager-Women’s Apparel for a local department store. Papa and mama had passed on. Uncle Marvin sold the business and retired to Florida with his wife Ethel. All Boobala did was work, saving every penny that she earned. No one, perhaps, ever had a greater fear of being poor than herself. She cringed at the thought of losing all that she had worked for to create a name for herself. She was deathly afraid of being caught out in the cold, unfriendly world, unable to find work, destitute with nowhere to go. Being the frugal person that she was, Boobala would shop locally instead of taking the elevated train on Marcy Avenue.

As it was her way, whenever she came across sweepstakes entries in the stores, she would fill them out hoping, that she would eventually win something. She had been doing that for several years. It was becoming a monotonous practice to fill out the entry forms. Somehow, on this day, the picture of a ship in the shop window seemed to attract her attention. It stood out like a blinking neon sign, beckoning her to look. Boobala approached the window and began to read, thinking it was the usual ‘blah, blah, blah.’ The poster offered a free cruise, all expenses paid. She kept debating whether or not to give it one last shot. Finally, not able to resist the temptation, she filled out the form for the umpteenth time, forgetting all about it until the day the door bell rang and the man dressed in a sailor’s suit delivered the telegram…

 

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