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I think I've got involved with the Albanian Mafia..

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I'm quite hesitant about posting this but I think I will. I haven't told any friends about this yet, I don't really want them to know, such is my unease about the whole situation. So, you internet strangers are the first people I've told. I think this place is good because there's a good mixture of people and I haven't given much away about myself so don't have to worry about people knowing too many details about me. I actually wrote this all alst night but I'm going to post it now. I'll try and keep this as short as possible but I imagine this'll be a pretty long post:


Backstory: I started working on the tills at a supermarket about 10 months ago. It's a big store and usually pretty busy, with only a couple of quiet periods in the evening, early morning and, strangely, around 2-2:30.


Really early on, when I'd just started, this guy came to the till when the place was quiet, around 2:30. He was medium height and build, with gelled black hair slicked back, a goatee and a really expensive looking leather jacket. The guy looked like a ****ing mafia boss. As the weeks went on, I'd got used to the job and to the regular customers. The mafia guy was one of them. He'd come in a couple of times a week, always at around 2-2:30 and always looking very stylish and mafia-ish. I noticed that he had a foreign accent and a chunky rolex watch which only added to the image. His purchases were just banal things; newspapers, the odd chocolate bar, pint of milk, that kind of thing. He always paid in pound coins, which he kept in a little see-through plastic bag, the type that I would empty money into the till from. I assumed he was the owner of an Italian restaurant or something.


Anyway, a couple of months into the job, the mafia guy came to my till, as usual around 2-2:30 when the store was dead. Instead of the usual pint of milk he was buying dozens of bottles of wine and champagne, which I helped him box up. "Having a party are you?" I asked. "Yeah, I got some friends from Italy come over tomorrow night," he replied. Yus! I was right, the guy is obviously from the mob. Italy! "You from Italy are you?" I asked politely. "No, Kosovo." He paid with his card and left with his wine and champagne. 'Hmm...Albanian Mafia then. Must be', I thought, my imagination running wild.


The months passed and the mafia guy kept coming to the supermaket at about 2pm one or two days a week, as regular as clockwork. We engaged in further small talk, and I learnt his name. I'll call him Lorik (after FM legend Lorik Cana, an Albanian). He also told me he was in his 30's, and had a wife and kids. I won't bore you with all the conversations we had, but what I'm trying to say is that we began to know each other a bit and were on good terms. As there'd be few customers in the store, he'd often stop to chat for a minute or two and ask me about university and stuff. I'd ask him about his holiday's he'd often go on, to Italy and back home to visit his parents and even to New York. I even plucked up the courage to ask him about what it was like growing up in Kosovo. I'd often think about asking him how he ended up in the UK but it didn't seem appropriate. We'd exchange remarks about football and stuff like that too. He had been coming to my till (he nearly always comes to my till) for the past 10 months, twice a week, so it's hardly surprising we'd get to know each other. I'm sure plenty of you have become familiar with your regular customers after a certain time of work. I know my dad passes a homeless guy on the way to work every day and after a while they got familiar with each other and now talk briefly. It's that kind of thing.


A couple of weeks ago, I was walking round town and just randomly spotted Lorik, stylish as ever walking towards me. We spotted eachother and I said hi, thinking that would do. But he, obviously out of politeness, stopped and asked me about work. We chatted for a bit, shook hands and went our seperate ways. Since then, he's become even more friendly when I see him in the store, joking, telling my boss: "he's a good guy, you give him a raise" and shaking my hand when I leave and saying "bye my friend". My co-workers are impressed, clearly thinking I'm "in" with the mafia that we all imagine he's involved with. Well...


Today, Lorik came to my till as usual. "What time you finish?" he asked, and I told him. "I have something that might interest you, gimme your mobile number and I ring you tonight." He usually spoke like this, short bursts with a clear foreign accent. Caught by surprise, I didn't know what to say, "Er...what...interested in what?" "Just to make some extra money, I ring you tonight when you finished if you like." I gave him my mobile number and instantly regretted it.


He called this evening. He told me that his brother, Lorik Jnr, had some work for me if I wanted. Just helping Lorik Jnr unpack some boxes full of cigarettes and "other things" into a van, staying with them and Lorik Jnr in a warehouse overnight and packing them back in another van that's expected at 5am. He said Lorik Jnr will pay me £500. 500 ****ing quid for lifting a few boxes and a sleep-over?! That's more than I earn in a month. I asked him what "other things" would be in the boxes, but he wouldn't really tell me "this and that" he said. I was concerned. "I'd really appreciate it if you could do it, it's a two man job and we're short on men. You're a good guy, and so's Lorik Jnr, as long as you don' mess him about, you know what I mean?"


In 24 hours time I'll be in a warehouse with a strange Kosovan I've never met.


What the **** was I thinking?

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