School Days
By Shelleigh Boyd

"Son, come on down, your father's waiting," Mikayla Profaci called to her six-year-old son. The curly, dark-haired little boy bounded down the stairs. "Now, let me take a look at you." She placed her hands on his shoulders and turned him around. "Honey, come take a look at your son."
An older version of the little boy entered from the kitchen, kissed his wife and knelt down to his son. "Ready for your first day of school, tiger?"
The little boy nodded. "Yep! I can't wait to show off my lunchbox!" He looked up. "Daddy, can I go get my lunchbox now?"
His dad looked up at the boy's mother. "Is his lunch packed?"
She nodded and said, "It's on the table. Why don't you get two cookies from the cookie jar and put them in it for dessert?" The little boy scampered off to the kitchen.
His father stood up and embraced his wife. "How did I ever get to be the luckiest man in the world?"
His wife put her arms around his neck and kissed him. "You met me, silly. Remember?"
"Oooh, you're doing that mushy stuff again." The little boy shriveled up his nose at the 'yucky' sight.
His mother glanced at her watch. "If you don't want to be late for work, you'd better get a move on, sweetie," she regretfully said to her husband.
The Profaci males headed out. On the way to school, the little boy jabbered on and on about how much fun he was going to have. His father wasn't really paying attention to his son. He was thinking back to his school days and how he'd evolved from the chubby little boy everyone picked on to the man he had become. He could still hear the taunts of the kids as he made his way across the cafeteria. "Tonyboy, Tonyboy, Tonyboy the chubby boy," the group of fifth graders chanted. He did his best to ignore them and not let their words get to him. Fifth grade was not an easy time for any child, but it was even harder for a little boy who had yet to lose any of his baby-fat. "Just wait til I grow up, I'll show them," Antonio Profaci muttered to himself. "I'll become the Godfather and have 'em all rubbed out. Better yet, I can be a cop and have 'em arrested, cause I'm sure most of these jerks will turn out to be criminals."
At that moment, his destiny was set in motion. After school, he ran home and proceeded to tell his parents about his decision. His father agreed to help his son however he could. Since Tony's father owned a bakery in the neighborhood, he was on a first name basis with many of the cops from the local precinct. He used his connections to get Tony one-on-one meetings with as many policemen as he could. Mr. Profaci continued to help his son until he graduated high school and went straight to the police academy. The proudest moment of his life was attending Tony's graduation from the academy. Tony made his father even prouder when, several years later, he became a detective and was assigned to the very precinct where he'd learned about police work, the 2-7.
That was the crowning achievement of Tony's life, until the day he met his future wife, Mikayla Logan. They'd met about a year after the breakup of his relationship with his long-time girlfriend, Shirley Crosetti. He was introduced to Mikayla by her brother, Tony's good friend and fellow detective, Mike Logan.
"Daddy, we're here," Douglas Profaci tugged on his father's sleeve.
Tony shook his head and returned to the present. "Okay, sport." He pulled the car over to the curb. "You have a good day, Dougie, and make lots of friends, okay?"
The little boy nodded, got out of the car, then took a few steps toward the school building. Suddenly, he abruptly turned around, ran back to the car, and wrapped his arms around his dad's neck. "I love you, Daddy."
Tony returned his son's show of affection with a bear hug of his own. "I love you, too, son." Finally, Douglas broke away and dashed up the sidewalk. Tony Profaci watched his son enter the building, then drove away with a broad smile on his face, armed with the knowledge that on that day, years ago, he'd made the right decision.


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