Sonny & Mike Fan Fiction
 

Coney Island

In the summer of 1975, ten-year-old Sonny Corinthos gets a surprise visit from his long lost father. Short Story.


Sonny Corinthos sat on his stoop. It was going to be a very hot day and he already knew he wouldn’t spend anytime inside. At least not until late tonight when it was time for bed. His mother had left early for work and his stepfather was asleep. Deke had worked the nightshift and probably wouldn’t be up until the afternoon. His stepfather had made it clear that Sonny wasn’t welcome inside the house when he was home, so Sonny had spent most of the summer at the Cerullo’s house or roaming the neighborhood. He would usually play stickball at the corner, go to the movies, and every once in a while ride the subway to see a Mets game. Sonny had used to like the Yankees, it was his father’s favorite team and he had taken him to games when he was younger. But Sonny hadn’t seen his real father for over three years now. He didn’t know if he would ever see him again. He didn’t care either. Sonny had more important things to worry about than his father. His whole world focused on protecting his mother from Deke. That’s all that mattered nowadays.

Sonny reached into his pocket to see how much money he had. Maybe he would walk down to the corner store and buy a comic book or a soda. At least that would kill some time until he went over to the Cerullos.

“Hello, Michael.”

Sonny looked up at the man standing in front of him. It was his father.

Mike looked down at the boy that was sitting on the steps. He couldn’t believe how much Michael had grown since the last time he saw him. He must be ten or eleven now. Mike had lost track of the time. He had gone to the Belmont Race track yesterday and had been really lucky, winning big on several horse races. He thought he’d stop by the old neighborhood and see Adela and his son.

Sonny stared at his father, not sure how to react. He had secretly wished he would see him again, but never thought it would really happen.

“I’m your father,” said Mike, seeing the confusion in his son’s eyes. “I know it’s been a long time,” he added.

Sonny stood up, full of mixed emotions. “Pop,” he finally said, more to himself than anything.

Mike smiled with relief. “Yeah. How are you doing?”

Sonny took a heavy swallow, his back was still sore from the last beating his stepfather had given him. He wanted to tell his father so many things. But he knew he never would. He would always keep his secret.

“Michael? Don’t you remember me?” asked Mike, not sure what to make of his son’s response to him.

Sonny nodded his head. “My name is Sonny,” he stated. “No one calls me Michael anymore.”

Mike rubbed is face with nervousness, sensing this visit would not be as pleasant as he had hoped. “Sonny,” he repeated.

“Yes,” Sonny responded. “Ma’s not here. She’s at work.”

Mike felt disappointment. He had really wanted to see Adela. “When will she be home?”

Sonny shrugged his shoulders. “Tonight. She works long hours.”

“I see,” said Mike. “Are you here by yourself?”

“What do you care?” Sonny answered tersely, knowing this man didn’t give a damn about him.

Mike tried to ignore his son’s attitude. “What about your stepfather . . . Deke? Is he around?”

“Why?” asked Sonny, feeling a rage building up inside of him. He wasn’t about to wake up his sleeping stepfather. He would definitely get his wrath for that.

“I thought I would take you out for the day,” explained Mike. “Maybe it would be a good idea if I asked his permission, since your mother’s not at home.”

“I don’t need anyone’s permission,” Sonny said boldly. “I could do whatever I want.”

Mike studied his son. He wasn’t sure what to make of him. He didn’t blame him for being angry with him. “Do you want to go to Coney Island?”

Sonny looked at his father with surprise. He had thought he would leave, since he knew he was really here to see his mother. But he also wasn’t sure he wanted to spend time with his father. It was just too hard. He knew he would disappear out of his life as quickly and mysteriously as he showed up.

“Come on,” coaxed Mike. “I scored big at the track. We can make it a day.”

Sonny felt very confused. He looked up at his father, wanting desperately to go with him.

Mike looked up at the sky. “It’s going to be a hot one,” he predicted. “It would do you good to go out to the beach. It’s cooler there.”

Sonny put his hands in his pockets. “Okay,” he said simply. “I’ll go.”
~-~-~-~
Mike was struggling to connect with his young son. They had ridden the subway to Coney Island in silence. His boy seemed to hate him. He would barely look at his father and seemed so different then Mike had last remembered him. Mike came to the sudden realization that he had lost his son. Not that he ever really had him, but a feeling of dread came over him. He didn’t belong in his son’s life anymore. He wasn’t welcome. He wondered if Michael was close to his stepfather. Maybe that was the reason his son was giving him the cold shoulder. Or maybe it was simply because Mike had failed his son. He was the one that had left his child and he couldn’t blame anyone but himself for that.

Mike walked with Sonny through the crowds of Coney Island. It seemed like everyone had the same idea on this hot summer day. Mike had always loved Coney Island and he remembered taking Adela here on one of their first dates. It was the first time she had been to Coney Island and Mike had spent the whole day showing her the sights.

“Michael . . . I mean Sonny. Would you like something to eat?” asked Mike.

“Okay,” answered Sonny, compliantly.

Mike pointed to the concession stands. “How about a hot dog? Hamburger?”

“I like chili dogs,” said Sonny. “What do you like?”

“I love chili dogs,” smiled Mike, hoping he was finally breaking the ice with his son. “And I love french fries.”

Mike and Sonny sat at a table overlooking the boardwalk. There was a slight breeze from the water and Mike was again starting to feel full of regret. He watched as his son ate his lunch. He was ashamed to admit he didn’t even know what grade Michael was in. He didn’t know what he liked to do. He didn’t know what his fears were. He wondered if Adela and Michael were happy. He wasn’t sure, as his son seemed to have a sadness about him that Mike couldn’t seem to shake.

“Would you like to go on some rides?” asked Mike.

Sonny took a bite of his french fries. “How long are you staying?”

Mike took a sip of his lemonade. He decided to be honest with his son. He owed him that much. “I won’t see you after today,” he explained. “I’m just passing through, Michael. I was in Brooklyn and I thought I’d see how you were doing.”

Sonny looked at his father with a blank stare. He wasn’t surprised by his answer. “Will you see Mama?”

“Should I?” Mike asked nervously. The last time he had seen Adela she was angry with him.

Sonny thought about the question. He knew that his father had made his mother happy. He still didn’t understand why he had left them. His mother was so sad now. Sonny would do anything to see her smile again. “I think she would like to see you,” he said quietly.

“Then I’ll see her,” agreed Mike. “So how do you like your stepfather?” he asked, trying to make conversation.

Sonny suddenly lost his appetite. He pushed away his food and looked towards the beach. He had never hated a man as much as his stepfather. He didn’t want to talk about him. He just wanted to try and enjoy this time with his real father. The person he wanted so desperately back in his life.

“He’s a cop, isn’t he?” Mike interrupted Sonny’s thoughts. “I’m sure he’s a nice man.”

“I’m ready to go on those rides now,” said Sonny, standing up, praying his father would drop the subject.

Mike stood up too. “Sure,” he said.
~-~-~-~

Mike smiled as he saw how much Sonny was enjoying himself. This was the third time they had ridden the Ferris wheel, as Mike simply couldn’t say no to his son. He wanted to give him a good time and it seemed like he had succeeded.

Sonny was having a great time. His father had let him go on any ride he wanted. He had let him get all the food he could eat. They had seen all the shows, played games, and won prizes. Sonny didn’t want this day to end. But he knew that soon enough he would be back home, where everything Sonny said and did was met with the iron fist of his stepfather.

Mike looked at his watch. “Maybe we should start heading back.”

Sonny didn’t answer his father. He was enjoying the ride and he looked down at the crowd below. “How high do you think we are?”

Mike looked down. “Really high.”

“Can we go again?” asked Sonny.

“Well,” said Mike. “I think we need to call your mother. She’s probably getting worried about you.”

Sonny shrugged his shoulders. “Okay. But can we stay here until it gets dark? I like to see the lights.”

“I don’t see why not,” said Mike, enjoying this day as much as Sonny.

The Ferris wheel stopped and now Sonny and Mike sat high, overlooking the beach. Sonny looked out towards the water. “Where do you live?”

“Here and there,” answered Mike. “I kind of move around a lot.”

“Why? Don’t you want a home?” asked Sonny.

Mike thought about the question. “I like to move around, Michael,” he said with seriousness. He still couldn’t get used to calling his son Sonny. He would always be Michael to him.

The ride started moving again. “You hurt Mama really bad,” said Sonny with bluntness. “She didn’t deserve to be treated like that.”

“I’m sorry about that,” said Mike. “But you two have a new life now. You don’t need me around.”

Sonny suddenly got upset. He looked away, hoping his father wouldn’t see his tears.

“I’m no good, Michael. When I was around all your mother and I did was fight,” continued Mike. “It’s better this way. I can’t hurt you and you can have a better life. Deke can take care of you. He has a steady job and can give you a stable home. I can’t do that for you.”

Sonny’s tears started to flow now. He fully realized what his father was saying. He would never come back. He wasn’t there to rescue Sonny. He wasn’t there to take his mother away from that horrible man Deke Woods. It was up to Sonny. He would be the one that would have to figure out how to save them. How to get them out of their nightmare. It all hit him at once and now he was openly crying.

Mike felt terrible. He didn’t mean to upset his son, he was just trying to be honest with him. “Michael, don’t cry.”

“Who’s crying,” Sonny yelled with anger. Now he was sorry they were stuck on this ride. He wanted to get away from his father. He continued to look away, trying to compose himself, but for some reason the tears kept flowing. Maybe it was because he had held them in for so long.

Mike didn’t know how to respond. It seemed the more he said the more upset Sonny became. He decided to stop talking. He hesitantly reached over and tried to comfort his son. He pulled him close to him and held him. At first, Sonny was resistant, but then his body relaxed and he let his father hold him. “I love you, Michael. That’s why I’m telling you all of this. I can’t be in your life, don’t you see? It won’t work.”

Sonny closed his eyes. He was angry that he had allowed himself to cry. He wasn’t a baby anymore and he didn’t want his father to see him cry. But it felt good to be held. It felt good to be comforted. Sonny had felt so alone since his father had left him. He had yearned that he would come back. He had returned today, but Sonny knew it would end in a few hours. And in his heart he knew that it would be better if his father never came back. He couldn’t go through this heartache again. He released himself from his father’s embrace and decided at that moment to let go of his father. To never need him, to never love him, and to never yearn for him again. He was alone now.

The Ferris wheel came to a stop again and it was time for Mike and Sonny to get off the ride. They walked together in an awkward silence. Mike wanted to say something more, anything to explain things better to his son. But he knew there was nothing more to say. Sonny was walking ahead of Mike now and he was starting to lose him in the crowd. “Hey,” he called out.

Sonny stopped, waiting for his father to catch up.

“What’s your hurry?” asked Mike. “I thought you wanted to stay here until dark?”

Sonny looked up at his father with cold eyes. “I’m going home,” he said. “My mother needs me.”

Mike looked at Sonny with confusion. “I’ll take you home.”

“I can get back by myself. I do it all the time,” Sonny explained evenly to his father. “I don’t need you to go with me.”

Mike didn’t know how to respond. He had wanted to take his son back home. He had wanted to see Adela. He wanted to end things better than this. But the look in his son’s eyes told him the night would not end anything like that. And there really wasn’t much Mike could do about it. He understood his son’s defiance and, in a way, he respected it. Mike didn’t deserve his son’s love or his respect. “Michael . . .”

“I’ll be fine,” Sonny assured him. “You have places to go. Don’t worry about me.”

Mike reached in his pocket. He handed Sonny some change for the subway.

Sonny shook his head. “I don’t need your money.”

But Mike’s money was burning a hole in his pocket. He handed Sonny a wad of cash. “Then can you give this to your mother? Since I won’t be seeing her tonight, I’d like her to have this.”

Sonny hesitated. He didn’t want anything from his father.

“Please,” whispered Mike. “Take it to your mother. It would mean a lot to me.”

Sonny took the money from his father. He put it in his pocket. “I have to go,” he whispered, looking towards the ground.

“Goodbye, Michael,” said Mike, unsure of how the day turned out like this. He had thought things were going so well. “I guess I’ll see you around.”

Sonny looked at his father. He wanted to tell him to never come back. He wanted to tell him to go to hell. He wanted to tell him about Deke. A flood of emotions came over him, but he quickly composed himself. He went over to his father and gave him a hug, knowing it would be their last one. Knowing he would never allow his father into his heart again. “Goodbye, Pop.”

Mike hugged his son back. “I love you, Michael. Don’t ever forget that.”

Sonny released himself from his father’s embrace. He turned away, not looking back at his father. He simply started walking away, his heart full of pain and his eyes full of tears.

Mike watched as his son disappeared into the crowd. He covered his face, as his own tears started to fall, knowing he had just broken his son’s heart.


The End


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