A gripping true story of immigrant italian family saga.
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The Last Child
Katherine arrived at the bowling alley. She was tying the apron
strings securely behind her back. She noticed a young man walking in.
He had brown hair and green eyes with a ruddy complexion. He was
five foot nine with a slim built. Katherine approached the young man,
she seated him at a near by table, “May I take your order?” As she
held out her note pad, she pulled out her pencil that was stuck on the
side of her ear. The young man says, “Yeah, a beer and some peanuts.”
Katherine walked away to fulfill the young man’s order. He raised up
from his table to play a game of bowling. Katherine returned with the
young man’s order, but he was not at his table. She began to look for
him, then spotted him as the bowling ball left his hand. He jumped up
with excitement, when all the pins fell down.
The young man was walking back to his table wearing a big smile.
Katherine already sat his drink down with his bowl of peanuts, “Is
there anything else I can do for you?” Katherine asked with a friendly
grin. He stared at her for a long moment, then he said, “Yes, there is.”
Katherine waited to hear his request. She was most surprised to hear
the order was, “What is your name?”
“My name is Katherine, but I’m known as Katie,” she replied
very nervously. “Funny, my mother’s name is Katy also,” chuckled the
young man. “Yeah, that is funny. I don’t like it too much for me,” said
Katherine with a frown. She desperately wanted to know his name,
but she was way too shy to ask. Without hesitation, he reached for
her hand to introduce himself as John Rymer, “It’s very nice to meet
you,” smiled John. Katherine gently gripped his hand back with her
response, “It’s very nice to meet you too.”
“Katherine! Katherine!” yelled her boss, who was standing there
with his arms folded under his chest. “Customers are waiting, go and
serve them,” said her boss with a stern voice. “Oh yes sir, sorry sir,”
Katherine replied after she snapped to attention. Katherine turned to
John with worry, “I have to go back to work, “Will you?” John didn’t
let her fi nish. He gently put his fi nger on her lips in his soft foreign
accent and he said, “Your customers are waiting.” Th e bowling alley
was closing, one by one the customers were leaving. Katherine was
sweeping the floors, wiping off the counters and putting the chairs
on top of the tables, so the floors could be mopped. Katherine said
goodnight to her co-workers as she untied her apron, folded it up and
The Last Child
placed it in her bag. The boss helped with her coat, then she put a scarf
on her head and tied it under her neck. Katherine’s boss opened the
door, then locked it behind her.
It was a chilly night, Katherine was walking a fast pace to her
destination, the subway. All of a sudden, a long slender hand appeared
resting on the shoulder of her coat. A mysterious German accent voice
speaks, “Can I walk with you?” Katherine screamed with fright, and
was instantly relieved to fi nd out it was John sneaking up behind her.
She brought down her hands that were covering her face. She gave her
consent by saying, “Yes, I would like that very much.” A laughing John
was amused that he had frightened the young girl as they walked down
the sidewalk. The chilly night air was blowing about. John slipped his
one hand in his jean pocket and holding a cigarette with his other hand
as he asked, “Are you from the Bronx?”
“No, not originally, I was born in Pennsylvania, but I was raised
here in the Bronx,” replied Katherine.
“How old are you John?” asked Katherine.
“I’m twenty one, and you young lady?”
“Oh my, I’m fifteen,” replied Katherine.
“So where are you from John?” asked Katherine with a eager tone.
“Yeah uh, where did I come from,” said John smiling.
He tossed his cigarette and tucked his hands in his pockets of his
long grey coat. He was shaking a bit as the chilled air was filling the
inside of his open coat forcefully breaking through his white t-shirt.
John’s foreign German accent captured the teenager’s interest as
he told his story. “I just turned two years old, when my father Henry,
mother Katy and I arrived in America in 1923 from Germany.
Like so many immigrants, my parents were searching for a better
life here in the states. To our advantage, my Aunt Lina has lived here
six years at the time of our arrival, we moved in with her on 2020
Monterey Street, that’s where we live today and that is my hard luck
story,” said John. “What line of work are you in?” asked Katherine.
“I’m a freelance writer. I work independently for a newspaper.
I make a good average of six-hundred dollars annually,”
“Oh my, that’s a lot of money!” said Katherine. John laughed, “It’s
okay, it helps the family, that’s all that matters to me. I got my dreams
like the next guy. I’m a starving artist. I would love to work for Walt
The Last Child
Disney someday.” They both looked at each other and laughed. John
bumped Katherine off the sidewalk.