Love, Luck and
by Jerry Guarino
Joseph Bosco looked down at
the sidewalk, after hearing the bird whistle in
the tree overhead. Thats when he saw the
worn, twenty-dollar bill caught in the stray
roots breaking through the sidewalk. Hmm.
How about that? and he put the bill in his
pocket. Joe learned one important lesson growing
up. He didnt believe in luck but whenever
fortune passed his way, he would say it was
Gods will and accept it. In fact, Joe
attributed everything that happened to him to Gods
will, good or bad. Much less stress
he used to say, much less disappointment
Most everyone accepted Joes philosophy of
life. His friends liked the fact that he was so
even tempered, never too high or too low. At
holiday gatherings, he could be counted on to
balance out the histrionics and emotional
outbursts of his Sicilian family. At work, he
would be the voice of reason when an argument
ensued. His matter of fact personality worked
just about everywhere, except when he was dating.
When Joe was a boy back in
1995, he had his first crush on Sorana Antonelli,
a pretty eighth grader in his English class. They
were sitting in the movie theater, sharing a box
of popcorn. Sorana, like Joe, was from the poor
side of town, but that doesnt matter.
I like your dress Sorana.
Thanks Joe. Sorana blushed. I
like your shirt.
Joe and Soranas first date was everything
it should have been. Their infatuation continued
for two years, until Soranas parents moved
out of state. As it is with young love, both of
them were heartbroken. They tried to keep in
touch but high school pressures and other
interests gradually pulled them apart. Later in
life, he wished he had been more persistent and
not just accepted their breakup.
George took the papers from him and filed them
into the briefcase. We have a vote coming
up at 2:00pm, so I will pick you up after lunch.
Get me something at the deli George. Id
like to do some reading. Ill be in my
Corned beef on rye?
You know it George.
Senator Joseph Bosco sat in his office reading
the paper and eating his lunch when his secretary
Excuse me senator. You have a visitor.
Who is it, Hannah?
Her name is Sorana Antonelli. She says shes
an old friend.
Joe stood up, smiled and gestured her to let
Sorana in. He got up to greet her at the door. As
Sorana entered, she saw Joe with open arms.
Senator Bosco, do you remember me?
Sorana, youre not allowed to call me
senator. How are you? He gave her a long
hug, and then pushed her back while holding on to
look at her. I cant believe it. Whats
going on with you now?
My parents are retired down the shore. The
Midwest winters were too much for them now. I
came back to visit.
But theyre in good health?
Oh, theyre fine. Just spending their
days walking on the boardwalk and nights watching
Sit down please. Hannah, get us some snacks
and soft drinks please.
Right away senator. Fruit and vegetable
plate and iced tea? Joe glanced at Sorana
for approval, and then gave Hannah the thumbs up.
They sat at the round table in the private room
adjoining his office.
They each noticed the others ring finger,
naked, providing an answer to one question.
The life of a senator; dont you have
anyone special in your life?
I was married for a few years, but she died
from cancer in 2009.
Im so sorry. I shouldnt have
No Sorana. Im glad you did. Its
time I moved on.
So you didnt have any children?
No, that was a mixed blessing. I wanted a
family. What about you?
Well, I was engaged for two years, but he
cheated on me so we called it off. At least I
didnt marry someone who would be unfaithful.
But at our age, Im wondering if Ill
ever find love.
Our age? Youre only 31 dear. Im
sure any man would be lucky to have a beautiful
and intelligent woman like you.
Sorana blushed. Well, several have made
offers, but after the engagement, Im
hesitant to trust.
Joe took Soranas hand and looked at her
with a gentle smile. You could always trust
me. Sorana put her other hand on top of Joes,
more than just flirting.
Yes. You were my first and best love.
Hannah noticed the intimate moment and knocked
gently on the door. May I bring this in now?
The senator took his hands away and gestured her
in. Thank you Hannah. That looks perfect.
Sorana agreed. Hannah closed the door behind her
as she left. Joe and Sorana had an intimate and
joyful lunch together.
George knocked on the door. Senator, its
time for that vote. Joe looked at his
Thank you George. Is that the only vote
this afternoon? Yes senator. You have
a rare afternoon off.
Perfect. Sorana. I have to be away for
about an hour, then Id love to spend the
rest of the day with you. Are you free?
Sorana made a tongue in cheek pretense of
propriety. Yes, senator Bosco. I would like
that very much and shook his hand. Joe
rolled his eyes.
Its Joe, dear, remember? Hannah,
would you please help Sorana for the next hour
and Ill meet her back here at 3:00.
Of course senator. Sorana, would you like
to go to the Smithsonian for a bit. I can have
the senator meet you there.
Oh, that sounds lovely. Is that OK?
Joe gave Hannah thumbs up, and then said to
Sorana. Of course, much better. Now you
know why I hired Hannah. Have my driver bring her
to the museum and Ill meet her there at 3:00.
Very good senator. Hannah nodded to
Joe, then whispered to Sorana. Sometimes
these votes go longer so dont worry if hes
a little late.
Joe and George hurried out to make the vote.
Sorana walked leisurely through the museum,
admiring the marvels of flight, from daVincis
flying machine to the space shuttle. She was
every bit as lovely as Joe
had thought when they were kids, but now she was
a striking, mature woman. Her pleated grey skirt
over cranberry knee socks, L.L. Bean blouse and
cardigan indicated her New England education. She
had gone to Boston College, just a few miles from
Harvard where Joe went to school. But they never
ran into each other there.
Several men made extended glances at her while
she walked; Sorana smiled back at them but didnt
encourage any more. She was secretly glad that
Joe was ready and able for a relationship and she
still felt that initial chemistry they had as
The senator found her at the museum. He came up
behind her and gave her a friendly hug and kiss
on the cheek; others noticed this public display
of affection. Isnt that senator Bosco?
said a man who was admiring Sorana.
Im afraid so, Bob said his
friend. Women like that arent
available very long. Looks like the senator has a
new love or a mistress.
Oh, Joe. You made it on time.
Joe took her hand and walked her away from the
others. So, what would you like to do now?
Sorana squeezed his hand, acknowledging his
gesture. I like the museum but maybe we
could go somewhere a little quieter to talk.
As a senator in Washington, D.C., Joe knew all
the best places for quiet conversation, whether
it was for behind the scenes deal making or for
greeting a constituent visiting from New Jersey.
They went to one of his favorite cafés and found
a table for a glass of wine. They sat in a corner
booth, but not completely in private; several
people noticed their body language but couldnt
hear their conversation. He was not ashamed to be
seen in public with a beautiful woman.
I didnt think I would see you again.
Thank you for coming to visit me.
To be honest, I was hoping it would turn
out this way. I have been so blessed except for
having someone to share with. Thats when I
remembered how happy we were as kids. I guess
that sounds a little desperate. She lowered
Joe held her hand. Sorana. You know what I
always say. Everything happens for a reason. We
were meant to meet again. You are not desperate;
you need the right person in your life. So do I.
Maybe thats why I havent moved on.
Sorana felt relaxed and gave Joe a smile that let
him know how happy she was. Is it a problem
if we spend time together? I wouldnt want
to complicate your public image.
My image will probably improve being seen
with you. My colleagues are always trying to set
me up with a lawyer clerking at the court or one
of their staff interns. Thats not what Im
Well, Ill let you decide how much
time you can give me. What hotel would you
recommend here? Her coy question suggested
a lot more than a recommendation. Both of them
knew where this was going.
A hotel? Nonsense. You can stay at my
townhouse in Georgetown. Where is your baggage?
At Union Station in a locker. I took the
train from New Jersey.
Joe confirmed his feelings with a hand on Soranas
arm. Thats fine. After our drink, Ill
call my driver and we can pick it up. Then we can
go freshen up before dinner.
They went to Union Station. Joe went inside while
Sorana stayed in the limo. A bird whistled in a
tree just outside the entrance. A homeless man
sat near the lockers holding a sign that read can
you spare some love? Joe reached into
his pocket and took out the twenty-dollar bill he
had found that morning.
Here you go friend.
The circle was completed. It wasnt luck,
just the way it was supposed to be.