CHANNILLO

Prologue
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April 7, 2020
Monday
4:52 AM
Makati City, Philippines

 

To my dear sweet Marissa,

15 years ago today, you and the kids walked out of my life. And I very much deserved that. 

That gloomy, rainy Tuesday morning still haunts me to this day. It was 9:30 AM, and I’d just gotten home from the welcome birthday bash the guys threw for me. My head was spinning and I reeked of Recuerdo Mezcal and a full night of decadent behavior. I was still getting my bearings straight when I saw your note sitting on the dining table. 

“We’re done.” Concise and cold-hearted. 

My stomach dropped. I was literally shaken. Logic was non-existent at this point. I slapped myself to check if this was all real. I threw things. I was raging on the outside but weeping deep down inside. Just like that, you, Luca, and Gio were gone. I had no idea where you were headed and where to find you. 

What the fuck, huh? I would’ve preferred you hurling a cast iron skillet at my head then storming out of the house. But this is how you’ve always been. You weren’t a fan of the big drama show, and that’s one of the million things I love about you. 

But like I said, I can’t really blame you. All those sleepless nights I’ve caused you, lying on an empty bed, not knowing where the hell I was or if I was still alive. Those random visits from the DEA, when you were forced to cover for me and my whereabouts. The trauma that I’ve put you and the kids through. I was a piece of shit husband and a useless absentee father to our two sons. After 14 years of marriage and living this kind of life, I guess you’ve finally had enough. 

I had my reasons for keeping this part of my life under wraps. I didn’t want you, my beloved family, to have any knowledge about my affairs. All of these may incriminate you when shit hits the fan, and I didn't want to risk that. Harrowing and heart-wrenching consequences aside, this was for the best. 

Well, I turned 50 today, and I realized a few things. The biggest one being that you deserve to know the truth. You can’t be kept in the dark any longer. So here I am, baring my every single facet of my life through this memoir. A compilation of journals dating as far back to my years as a young punk trying to find his place in this world. When I came to terms that I was differently wired from the rest of the sane majority. 

Honestly, I never thought I’d make it this far. But heck, the day is still young, and there’s a good chance I’d be roadkill by the time this gets to you (if it ever does). So consider this as my love letter from beyond the grave. 

But I’m still hoping that we’ll once again cross paths. I want to know the real side of your story. At the very least, I’d want to look into your eyes and let you know how much you still mean to me. I don’t see it happening, but hey, a man can dream, right?

'Til death parts us,
Tonio

Next: Chapter One: "Boys Don't Cry" (1)

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