Father Always Liked You Best

Note: Some people simply shouldn't be parents, particularly when they play favorites. Mario was disowned at a young age because he was so unruly and mischievous. His brother, Giovanni was preferred over him because of his discipline and charisma. Despite mixed feelings for his single father, Mario returns with a rather lucrative job and makes amends with his father and brother.

Chapter 1—Jealousy Between Brothers

Mario Gioletto had always been a "problem child" since his entry into the world. His younger brother, Giovanni, was a progidy in everything he did and had an unmistakeable charisma about his character. Mario secretly hated his brother. Giovanni looked up to Mario and often dressed like him but their father, Cesario, was always disciplining Mario and fawning affections on Giovanni who always did what he was told. Cesario was unfaithful to his wife and he was left alone with the kids. Hanna, the mother and wife of the kids would not tolerate infidelity and always had trouble disciplining Mario, while Giovanni was their favorite.

Mario was so sick and tired of being treated as second best. Giovanni wanted to admit that he loved him but he never said so out loud. He would risk the relationship he had with his father, who treated him like royalty as well as his masculinity. And nothing was more sacred to an Italian than family ties if he was male, as his masculinity. Mario snapped, getting irate and threatened to rearrange Giovanni's face. Cesario got inbetween the both of them and slapped him so hard he went flying into a wall.

"Get your belongings and get out !", Cesario shouted at the top of his voice. Giovanni his his tears and his sadness upon seeing his brother disowned but he began a new chapter in his life, not knowing if Mario was alive or dead. Somehow, deep inside, Giovanni knew he would see Mario again when he had matured and learned to control his hair-trigger temper.

Chapter 2—Out In The Big, Bad World

Mario was angry at his father for disowning him at first and he still contained a lot of odium for his younger brother. But as he began to make his way in a cold, cruel and unfeeling world he learned whom to trust and whom to ignore. Working odd jobs, he had been able to fund his own education and upon completion of high school had been able to find his first job. Fortunately, this position was extremely lucrative and he had been able to survive in the cuthroat world of finance, stocks and bonds.

While Mario had been searching through his only scrap book, he had reflected on the trips he had been able to take with the hard-earned money he had made. As he was reminiscing when he saw a photograph of his brother. Mario had almost forgotten about his younger brother but upon seeing the picture his eyes filled with tears. He knew that he had to make amends with his father and brother, and bring the family back into balance. It would take some time for the psychological healing to occur but it would be worth it to reunite with those he loved.

Chapter 3—Son, I'm Proud of You

When Mario began the search for his father and brother, they were living in different areas of New York. He had finally been able to unite the family in a local Italian restaurant that was owned by a family friend they had known since they were babies.

"I paid for this dinner, none of you have to worry about the bill.", Mario said, smiling.

Cesare and his brother hugged him at the same time. Cesare was impressed with how well Mario had been doing. Giovanni knew that his brother was destined for greatness. Mario got to become reaquainted with his father, and met his new sister-in-law, Cecelia. Giovanni was going to be married sometime during the spring in the coming year. Mario couldn't have been happier for him, and Giovanni promised he would set him up on a date with one of Cecelia's friends.

Mario hadn't been on a date since his days in middle school but he was willing to give it the old college try. He was thankful his brother was so helpful. Cesario was still speechless but at last he had been able to open up to his estranged eldest son.

"You really changed. I am so proud of you son. I knew you had it in you, although I never wanted to admit it. I'm sorry I was such a bastard in the past. I hope you can forgive me for what has been done. I can't take what I did away, but I never stopped loving you.", Cesare said, embracing Mario and patting his back firmly.

"Of course I forgive you, pop. The past is gone. We have time to make new memories as a family now. I'm just glad I could prove myself to you.", Mario said, happily. The father, brother and Mario had embraced each other once more. It was indeed, a time for rebirth and renewal. Mario had discovered just how important family was and there wasn't anything that would change this fact.

Chapter 4—Restoration

Soon, Mario had met Cecelia's best friend, Barbara. Barbara had heard a lot about Mario by way of Cecelia and Giovanni. They had talked about his best attributes in hopes that the date would go well and would lead to many more dates down the road. Of course, Mario was very nervous about going out on his first date in a while, but he handled it with charm and charisma.

After the date had gone off without a hitch, Barbara had decided to continue seeing Mario and getting to know him better. Mario called Giovanni as soon as he had settled in to watch some television.

"Bro, you there ?", Mario said, getting the beginning of Giovanni's recording at first.

Quickly, Giovanni picked up the phone and laughed.

"I was in the shower, but luckily I was close to finishing. How did the date go ?", Giovanni responded. Mario laughed heartily and sighed euphorically.

"I know it's a little early to say this bro, but I'm in love ! She's an amazing person. I can't wait to see her again. Thank you, you sly dog you.", Mario said.

"No need to thank me. It's really nothing. I'm your brother ! I care about you, and I want to see you happy. Blood is blood, right ?", Giovanni said, humbly.

"That means a lot, 'Vanni. We need to get together, real soon like. What do you say to getting together this weekend ?", Mario offered.

"Marvelous idea. Maybe Barbara can come too.", Giovanni said.

"Superb ! I'll let her know and I'll get back to you and see if she is availible this weekend. Keep in touch, bro.", Mario said, finally hanging up the phone. Later on in the evening he called Barbara and had been able to set up a time for the family's next get together. Granted, Mario was a little anxious to be meeting Barabara's family but it was an inevitable step in what was to come in Mario's immediate future.

The hurts of the past had faded and no longer had any place in Mario's heart. The family was whole and had been able to assemble every weekend, even with their hectic schedules. Giovanni was getting married soon and Mario's relationship with Barbara was growing stronger daily. Mario hoped to get an engagement ring for Barbara during the coming year, but it was obvious how much he loved her. He had never been this happy, not since he had gotten his first

car, which happened to be a used Firebird. Now he had a Ferrari and life was only beginning to become better.

Epilogue

From time to time, of course there would be the occasional qubbling between family members but nothing of any consequence or anything that couldn't be solved by simply talking matters out and make the bonds of family even stronger. Giovanni was now married and was eager to welcome a son or daughter into the world sometime in the fall. Mario had gotten Barbara an engagement ring and was planning to marry her next spring. Hanna had even become part of their lives again although she had remarried and was part of a different family. Despite all of this she loved her sons and the original family she had left behind. The Gioletto family was even larger now, but the family's motto was "the more the merrier". They were blessed with so many people that could be trusted for anything and could keep a secret whatever the cost. There would be no more strain and love would reign between the two different families. Hanna had concluded life was far too short to be consumed with emotions that could destroy such blessings as togetherness. So, despite past hurts and mistakes the entire family remained close together through thick and thin.

The End

March 8, 2006