Hello. My name is Jane Peony Giovanni Winters and this is the story of my life.
I know I don't have much time left. A paper plane told me so. There will be no chapters. This is my writing, in the rough, nothing held back. My editor promised it will be published immediately after. Here we go. Enjoy.
Jane. Sweet, short, simple. In my lifetime, I had wondered if I were given a different name would my entire life had been different? Would I be the same woman that I am today?
Maybe. Maybe not. I will never know for sure. But He knows and He had a plan for me.
Let's start at the beginning, shall we? Born in Manhattan, New York 1921. Julia Giovanni my mother. Father disappeared from the beginning.
I was half English, half Italian. Big blue eyes, soft blond hair. My memory begins solidly at the age of two. Mother worked in a cleaners. Back then, women didn't have the rights to get certain jobs.
I remember my happy go lucky self would walk with her at 5:30 in the morning to open the store. Her boss was so lazy; she was the only employee and she had to do everything herself.
I would sit in my favorite chair and watch as customer after customer came in. And boy did she work hard. But her work ethic didn't help with her salary.
She would get fifteen cents an hour and that was considered lucky. A negro woman, who had lived next door to us for some time, only earned fifteen cents a day! She was a housekeeper for the rich folks. I would see her drag herself to her apartment, next door to ours. Well, she died a year later. I guess it all caught up to her.
Three years past and Mother got a part time job working in a factory. So she was working twice as hard at two different jobs. I was forced to walk home by myself after kindergarten each day. And that was how I met my Daniel.
It was snowing. Afternoon class ended and I was walking the streets. Homeless men were sitting, rattling there cups. I could only look at them with pity, too poor to spare a dime. Mother asked me to get a pie from the local pizza parlor. I walked in, gave the cashier my order, and sat patiently on the bench inside.
Ding! The door opened and in walks a young boy around my age.
"Hey grande fratello!" (Hey big brother!)
He had clear blue eyes and jet black hair. I watched him walk up to the cashier and hug him.
"Daniel! Come oggi andata a scuola?"
(How was school today?)
"E 'stato bello. Mi puoi fare uno dei vostri aerei fantastici?" (It was good. Can you make me one of your fantastic planes?)
"Arriva subito!" (Coming right up!)
The cashier disappears into the back of the store and the little boy turns to me. He walks over.
"Perché sei solo? Dove sono la tua mamma e papà?" (Why are you alone? Where is your mommy and daddy?)
I could only look at him wide eyed. I had no idea what he was saying. He kept staring at me and tried a different tactic.
"You don't speak Italian, do you?" He had a little accent. I shook my head no.
"Weird. How can you be Italian and not speak it?" I shrugged my shoulders.
"You don't talk much huh?" Another head shake.
He smiles and holds out his hand.
"The name's Daniel Theodore Winters."