Victor Berkhalter’s office was on the 24th floor of a skyscraper on Wall Street. He was a middle aged thin man with a full head of hair. His jacket was on the coat-rack and his sleeves were rolled up. Outside his window, the early Spring sun rose over Brooklyn and the East River. His back was to the window, his voice lost in a phone conversation:
“All right, well let’s just let it go bankrupt. I mean who cares? We made our money, the company’s no good anymore.”
Silence; someone was speaking on the other end.
“Well they’ll find other jobs. C’mon this is New York City, there’s jobs everywhere, recession or not.”
“Look, to be quite honest with you, I don’t really care.”
“Mr. Berkhalter,” his secretary came on the intercom. He took notice of it, “There’s someone here to see you.”
“Well,” Berkhalter said, “Whoever it is, tell him to wait.” He returned to his phone conversation, “It’s Social Darwinism Charles, survival of the fittest. I’m fit, and the employees are not.” He began to laugh.
The door was slammed open hitting the wall causing some of Berkhalter’s company trophies to fall of his shelf and shatter on the floor. A big scary looking man with grayish hair stood in the doorway.
“What the hell?” Berkhalter dropped the phone and jumped up.
The big scary man stepped into the office leaving room for Angelo to walk in. Angelo was wearing a black leather jacket and black fedora. He himself looked quite intimidating, but nothing compared to the big scary man spotting a brown suit and tie. Amy walked in next wearing a blue pantsuit, glasses, and holding a briefcase. She stood by the doorway in a non-threatening manner.
“Who the fuck do you think you are?” Berkhalter screamed, “Grace!” He ran for the door, but the big man pushed him back.
“Grace won’t help you Vick,” Angelo said calmly.
Berkhalter ran back behind his desk and picked up the phone, “I’m calling security!”
Just as Berkhalter began dialing the numbers, the scary man picked up the Office phone. His strong arms yanked the phone chord from out of the wall. He then threw the phone right through the window, shattering the glass. Berkhalter cowered slightly in fear.
“Vick,” Angelo said, “You need to take it easy. The sooner you calm down, the sooner we can get down to business.”
Berkhalter now saw that the scary man had stepped back and that Angelo was standing before him. He would much rather deal with the younger less intimidating man than the one who was destroying his office.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Michelangelo Giovanni,” The son said with a very professional tone of voice. He pointed to his cousin, “This is my sister Amy,” Amy nodded her head. Angelo now pointed to the big scary man next to him, “And this is our associate Vinnie Montana.”
“Giovanni?” Berkhalter attempted to hide his fear, but his knowledge of the Giovanni family, and the infamous Vinnie Montana, shook him to the core, “As in Giovanni the mob boss? He died a couple weeks ago.” Obviously, he followed the media.
“Yes, but his business moves forward,” Angelo quoted Don Gotti’s wise words.
“Well let me tell you something right here right now,” Berkhalter snorted pointing at the young man, “If you think you can come in and muscle me, I have to tell you, I’ve got the best lawyers money can buy!”
“Mr. Berkhalter,” Amy was much more respectful as she opened her briefcase pulling out some documents, “I’m sure you’re aware that these layoffs were conducted in an illegal manner. The workers were not given advance notice of their termination, nor were they given unemployment benefits as is required by law. Furthermore, we have enough evidence to prove that you have been pocketing company profits yourself. Should you choose to take legal action, I’m afraid we would have no choice but to bring your illegal practices to the attention of the court.” Amy removed her glasses and stared at the company president.
Berkhalter was certainly surprised by Amy’s professionalism, but he wouldn’t relent, “Listen, I know what you want. You just want me to hire all those Greasers back, well you can forget it!”
“Mr. Berkhalter,” Amy said more annoyed this time, “I find name calling to be extremely unprofessional-“
“Hey Amy,” Angelo now looked to his adopted sister, “Wait outside for a minute will you?” He then looked to the company-man, “Vinnie and I are gonna have a talk with Mr. Berkhalter.”
Amy did as her brother asked. She put her glasses back on, closed her briefcase, and walked out of the office.
“Vinnie?” Angelo looked to his big associate, “You want to take it from here?”
Outside the door of the office, Amy pulled out a book, picking up where she had last left off. Not one sound that came from that door phased her. At first, Berhalter’s anger could be heard:
“You touch me and I’ll blow your-“
His voice was replaced by screams and moans, his own sounds of pain, as sounds of thumps, bumps and broken glass echoed outside into the hall. Berhalter’s receptionist was frightened by the commotion, but kept her mouth shut for her own safety. Amy was completely lost in her reading. As she turned another page, she heard her brother’s voice:
“You’re no businessman Vick, you’re a fucking parasite!”
Berkhalter’s sounds of pain became more and more intense. Everyone in the hallway got up from their desks and slowly walked towards their boss’s door. They knew the big guy had something to do with this. They imagined him bashing Berkhalter’s head into the table, breaking his legs with a bat, and smashing his face into the window. No one made a sound. Amy’s eyes briefly left the book and gathered everyone within her site. Her eyes were not threatening, but intimidating no less. The workers began to walk back to their desks fearing this young girl may do damage herself. The noise briefly stopped.
“Vick?” Angelo said, hearing a painful inaudible response, “You’re gonna cut the bullshit. Hire back the employees you screwed over. You’re not going to fire anyone else without our permission,” Some slight commotion was heard, “Or out the fucking window you’re gonna go!”
“NO!” Berkhalter’s voice was heard loud and clear.
Amy kept her eyes peeled on the book as if she couldn’t care less about what was going on. She was a fast reader, turning the page every twenty seconds.
“I’ll do whatever you want,” Berkhatler said, “Let me go!”
“Let you go?” Angelo laughed, “I’m not sure that’s the right thing to say when you’re dangling out a 24 story window? Okay if you insist.”
“God Damn it Giovanni!” Berkhatler screamed, “I already said I’d do whatever you want, now let me back in!”
Finally, things began to calm down in the office. There were murmurs heard, but no one could understand what was happening. Finally, after ten minutes, one last thump echoed from the office. The door opened to reveal Vinnie Montana, his suit a bit messy, and Angelo, who’s outfit was as clean as when he came in. Amy turned around to see her colleagues. Angelo handed her a piece of paper, which she carefully placed in her briefcase along with the book she was reading. Vinnie’s presence was made known to all the employees there. None would dare look into this scary man’s eyes.
“All right,” Angelo said, “Let’s get going.”
“Was there a problem?” Amy asked as the three of them walked down the hall like they owned the place.
“Not at all,” Angelo said calmly, “Berkhatler is actually a very reasonable guy.”
They disappeared into the next room, cuing everyone to slowly open the door to Berkhalter’s office. He was lying on the floor, his body covered by his suit-jacket, until his receptionist lifted the jacket. It was a gasp heard all around the building. Victor Berkhalter was now unconscious, his clothes in rags, his legs broken, his face covered in blood, with an enormous scar across his cheek. His hair almost looked like some of it had been pulled out. His office was also a mess with his desk having been turned over, his various trophies and memorabilia shattered all over the place, and his window now broken. He was alive, but he would never be the same. Some of the employees, including his secretary, ran into help him. However, most of the employees preferred to just walk away and pretend they didn’t see anything.
Back downstairs, the Giovannis’ driver opened the doors for them. Vinnie rode shotgun, while Angelo and Amy got into the back.
“I think we’ve got a bright future ahead of us Aims,” Angelo said as he got into the car.
“We’ll see,” was all Amy could bring herself to say.