My parents are dead, my biological ones anyway. They died before I was old enough to even remember them and I think that’s a blessing. You can’t miss what you don’t remember right? I was taken in by the Malvernis almost instantly and adopted pretty soon after. They’ve only ever treated me as a daughter and a sister, never like I was anything other than family. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a Malverni, there’s no question about it. Although my father and FIRST Malverni weren’t biologically related, they were brothers in every other sense of the word and so it came to no surprise to anybody that they took me in. My biological father was the only non-Italian in the family but he may as well have been Italian. He spoke the language, converted to Catholicism, married an Italian woman from a prominent family and decided to align with the Malvernis rather than the Russians. Even now, over twenty five years since his death, my dad still speaks really fondly of Alexei. People that knew him tell me I may have the temper of an Italian woman but the rest of me is all him. I think he’d be proud of me, as proud as he would be a son.
My family is complicated. The moral compass is a little… off. For generations they have been part of an crime family and not the petty stuff, the organised kind. What? Really? No waaay. Organised crime never went away, especially not in our home country, definitely not in Italy. It just works differently, they’re part of the establishment of now. They’re business men, political figures, they’re everywhere and nowhere. They're not effectively camouflage kings. People know or at least suspect they're not all they seem but there's nothing they can do about it. They were driven into moving underground by the lack of loyalty. People couldn’t be trusted not to repeat what they’d heard or talk for a lighter sentence. Before people would have died rather than talk but that was the old world, things are just different now. The Malvernis survived because we’re family, united by blood and more. Who can you trust more than family?
Being raised as a Malverni you’re taught to respect your elders and not just in the sense you don’t talk back and all that shit, whatever they say to you may as well be law. You do as you’re told, no questions asked. Whatever my father has ever asked of me, I’ve always done. There’s no person in the world I could ever respect more. He led the family to wealth and security, nothing more could’ve been asked of him. He was my idol. I didn’t want to be like Disney princesses or some A-list celebrity, I wanted to be just like my dad. We were very close, I can’t remember a time in my life when we weren’t. He called me his ‘Bambolina’ which translates to little doll, it’s a term of endearment in Italy. I would have followed him to the ends of the Earth, truly I would. Considering I was not biologically his child, he never treated me any different… I actually felt like one of his favourites honestly. If he hadn’t taken me in, I don’t know what kind of life I would’ve had. Everything great and good in my life, I owe him for.
When my father decided to step down and allowed Gianfranco to step up, I struggled with it. I have a lot of respect for Gian, he was his right hand guy for as long as I can remember and it was always known he would be the successor. He was the eldest, arguably the most vicious and definitely the most capable but well, if I’m being honest I guess I just didn’t trust him to the same degree I trusted our father. I feel guilty for that, I had no right to ever doubt him. I had faith in our father’s decision that it was time for a change and that Gianfranco was ready. He’s definitely not father, his leadership style is different but I give him the same level of respect and loyalty that I have for our dad. So when he said we were coming to Ashwick, I took it in my stride and came. I actually rather liked the place. I’ve lived a thousand lives already in my years on the planet and I can safely say some of my best memories were made here.
In little old Ashwick I met one of my bestest friends, Julissa Gotti. I mean that girl is a motherfucking queeeen. I can safely say I’ve never met anybody like her before or since. I met a guy who I thought would be the love of my life, Mordecai but actually he turned out to be the love of 2 years of my life. They can’t all be ‘the one’ though, am I right? It was complicated and messy and it made it clear to me that maybe I can't date normal guys. How can I be myself around them if I can't tell them what myself and my family do? We ended up with an unplanned child and I was completely terrified. I always wanted to be a mother but not out of wedlock and definitely not unplanned. I was furious at myself for being so careless and stupid. That’s not the kind of person I am, I’m meticulously organised so to fuck up to this degree, I was astonished with myself. When Mia was finally born though, I felt love like I had never felt before. She was perfect, completely and utterly perfect and I felt guilty for all the negativity I'd had about it all before she was born. I was on cloud nine and everything was perfect… except it wasn’t. I didn’t take to motherhood as well as I should’ve had. I still partied and was a little wild. I left Cai home holding the baby. We eventually broke up for good and it had been inevitable I guess. It was a good thing too because he slept with somebody else and got her pregnant and if I’d known before I probably would’ve killed him or maybe have seriously maimed him because you know, some fates are worse than death.
I guess as a whole it helped me develop more of my identity as Roma rather than Roma Malverni. It was nice to be in a place where people weren’t terrified of talking or even flirting a little bit with you because they knew what you, your father and your brothers were capable of. Leaving was hard but my dad wanted me to come home so that's what I did. He had his reasons and although I probably could’ve stayed and I should’ve stayed, I wouldn’t without my family. If it isn’t abundantly clear all ready, they are pretty much my world. I do regret it though, I regret leaving my baby behind. I missed a part of her life and I’m never going to get that back but my father asked and at that time I wouldn’t have said no to him.
I feel like I haven’t described the family dynamic quite right, I mean it isn’t some kind of cult, I don’t just blindly follow anything and everything I’m told. I have my own thoughts and opinions on things and they definitely don’t always agree with Gian. I will always support him though, particularly when in the company of others. The image of a united front is much stronger than people give it credit for. I will definitely bring up my grievances once we’re alone though and I mean I will really tear him a new one if I feel like I have to. We’re siblings as well as colleagues and sometimes they’re the best combination and sometimes they’re the worst but either way, I have his back, no matter what and he knows that.
So I guess the next big question is, why the fuck am I back in Ashwick? We do a lot of what most would consider crazy shit but we have our limits and so when we were asked to do something that went a little beyond what we do, we said no. Now there’s not a lot in this world that frightens me but this guy, the guy we turned down scares the shit out of me. He should terrify anybody in their right mind. That’s why we’re back, we’re laying low until he calms down and he forgets about us little Malvernis. I mean hell will probably freeze over first but you know, wishful thinking. I suggested Ashwick because we knew the area and people so I guess it was a bit of a comfort blanket kinda choice. As far as my family is concerned, I haven’t told them I’m planning to stay permanently. Moving around is kinda part of the whole laying low thing but I can’t leave my baby again. If we all planned on staying long term then we’d have to parley with the Mexican-American group that have apparently moved into the area so they know we’re not interested in stepping on their turf and that has to go well because we really can’t afford to be creating more trouble because my baby is here and we’re trying to keep a low profile. I’m not sure I’ll be able to help myself though.
Being a Malverni right now is very fucking difficult and not great for life expectancy but I wouldn’t change it for the world.