If it had been Diesel who'd bit the big one, Velma woulda never recovered, thought Graziella to herself. Not that she wished it had been the other boy and not Riff, she was just thinking things for the sake of thinkin' 'em, something Riff had never really approved of her doing much of. Now she didn't need his approval for anything, so thought she did.
She was proud of herself, and damn it, she deserved a little recognition, even if it was only her recognizing her own self.
She hadn't cried when she'd heard the news, hadn't cried at the wake, or the funeral, hadn't cried in the days that'd come after. She was a Jet girl, and Jet girls ain't 'sposed ta cry. That's what Riff had always said, but then again it was never her that needed to be told anyways. No, it was Velma, Minnie, Clarice, even Pauline, and that tomboy Anybodys. They'd cried, she hadn't. Even Baby John had shed some tears, but she'd stood strong. Between Riff's drunk s.o.b. of a father, his mother having gone long before him, and Tony's mother, a sweet sentimental woman who'd held her longer than necessary and cried onto her shoulder, mourning both her sons, as she'd seen Riff as much her own as Tony.
Anybodys sister was there, and Action's mother, sluts the both of them, and somehow they'd mustered up a bit of emotion too, but not Graziella.
"Graz," he'd said so many times before, "You're the closest thing to family I got left, and even you could take me or leave me."
"You've got Tony and his folks," she'd shook her head, "And don't forget, you're gonna be the one to leave me."
"Not if you don't want me to," Riff would say, "I ain't goin' nowheres without ya."
"I don't think either of us get to make that choice," she'd answer.
"Yeah, well, don't think so much," he'd laugh, and then they'd kiss and all would be forgotten until the next time he got sentimental.
She never got sentimental; it just wasn't her style. She knew that they were only here for a short amount of time, and nothing that either of them could say or do would change it, so why bother trying. Why bother getting all bent out of shape over something they had no control over? Graziella wanted to get her kicks while she was still young enough to get 'em, and before she'd settle down with a nice Italian boy from a good Catholic family, to start a big Italian-Catholic family and that'd be that. Why not live while they were alive? She knew, even if the rest of them didn't, that they wouldn't live forever. Good ol' Graz wasn't quite as dumb as everyone made her out to be.
Graziella wasn't crying, because she'd accepted Riff's death a long time ago.