There’s a new neighbor in the cul-de-sac and Jolyne’s dad hates him.
Ten year old Jolyne comments while she spies him on his phone, walking into his house through the blinds of the living room window, “He’s Mr. Brando, right?”
“He’s a smarmy piece of shit,” corrects her dad, who’s in the kitchen making Mom and himself tea. He’s visiting them for the weekend.
“He’s kind of hot,” her mom adds thoughtfully from the dining table, then tries her best to look acceptably disapproving when Jolyne’s dad pokes his head out to give her a look and Jolyne makes a face. “Doesn’t excuse him from being a turd, of course.”
“A turd,” Jolyne repeats, fascinated with the insult. “That’s funny.”
“He’s not hot,” Dad says flatly. He sounds almost offended. “Don’t you have a boyfriend?”
“I also have eyes.”
“What’d he do to you?” Jolyne asks him with fascination. Her dad isn’t very friendly, but it’s unusual that he’s so mad with someone he’s just met.
“... We’ve met before,” he says shortly. He says to Mom, “If I—”
“No punching people,” she immediately vetoes in a moment of good intuition, which he accepts with an acceptable amount of grace. “Dio Brando is my neighbor, not yours. You don’t have to deal with him afterwards.”
Jolyne says with great interest, “Mr. Brando’s walking around outside now, and he’s naked!”
Both her parents jerk to look at the window, Dad looking like he’s about to lift a chair and snap it in half with his bare hands, and Mom like she genuinely wants to see.
He’s not actually naked— but he’s certainly halfway there. Her mom whistles. “He works out.”
“Eew,” Jolyne complains. “That’s nasty. Dad’s right, you do have a boyfriend.”
“Mr. Brando obviously wants people to see all of him,” she says primly.
Then her dad says slowly, “Jolyne.”
He pulls his wallet out, rummages through to hold up a twenty dollar bill, and Jolyne is immediately interested. “I’ll give you this if you do a favor for me.”
“Jotaro,” her mom says in her best scandalized tone, but her voice is shaking with laughter. “Don’t hire Jojo to attack him, Christ.”
“Uh… what’s the favor?” Jolyne asks.
“Go to Dio Brando’s house tonight,” her dad says, and his expression is turbulent and stormy as he continues, “And take a shit on his doorstep.”
There’s a moment of silence, and then her mother begins to laugh like the world’s ending. Her dad doesn’t even react to this, just offers the twenty.
She thinks it over slowly, then shrugs and says in a way that makes it clear she’s learned it from a movie or book. “Ok,” she says, “But make it forty.”
He raises a brow. “Thirty.”
Over her wheezing, Mom says, “Jotaro, you don’t even live here!”
There are many ways to describe what happens that night, but here it is: Jolyne eats dinner at 8:30, then politely asks to be excused. Upon her exit from the dinner table, she heads to the bathroom and stuffs her pocket with toilet paper. Then she sits around and waits for a while.
“Mom, Dad,” She calls at around nine. “I’m gonna go to Mr. Brando’s place now.”
“Ok,” her mom says, “Be safe.”
“I’m putting the money in your room,” her dad says.
“Bye,” she calls, then closes the front door behind her.
Mr. Brando’s house is pretty much exactly the same as her’s, which makes sense. Pretty much all the houses in the neighborhood are pretty alike. The shiny new Porsche out front isn’t, though, and as Jolyne steps onto the Brando driveway to admire how obnoxious it is for a moment, a voice from behind her calls out.
“Who are you?”
She whirls around in fright.
It turns out to be a teenage boy a few years older than her, looking to her with curiosity. He's got rather pretty, long blond hair and and an outfit that her mom would call "positively scandalous," in the most admiring tone possible.
“This is my house,” he says. “Are you lost?”
“I’m not,” Jolyne says. “I’m your neighbor. I live over there.” She points to her house.
“Yeah,” Jolyne says seriously. “I’m Jolyne.”
“Giorno Giovanna. It’s nice to meet you,” he greets her. “So, Jolyne. What are you doing out and about tonight?”
“I thought this was Mr. Brando’s house.”
“Yes, he’s my father. We have different family names.”
“Oh! Like me and mom,” Jolyne says. “She’s Catalano and I’m Cujoh.”
Giorno tilts his head, and he looks marginally more interested now. “Kujo?” He echoes, as if the name means something to him. “If I can ask, what’s your father’s name?”
“If you’re asking ‘cause you think our dads know each other, I think they do.”
“Hmm,” Giorno says noncommittally. There's the strangest look on his face, and he looks at Jolyne again, as if he needs to reassess her.
“Hey Giorno,” Jolyne says, because it’s starting to get cold and she really wants to go back to watch TV, “Can you go away now? I gotta go do something.”
He flashes her a sympathetic look. “No can do,” he says, but it’s not without apology. “If I’m guessing correctly, your father sent you, didn’t he? It’s probably nothing good for me. I am living with ‘Mr. Brando,’ after all. I’ll let you go for free though, I won’t tell anyone you were here.”
Jolyne thinks on this seriously, and acknowledges that she too would not want Giorno to shit in front of her house, even if his dad told him to. Temporarily stumped, she ponders, and then—
I’ll let you go for free.
Free, she mouths and moment of inspiration strikes her. She says, “If I pay you to go away, will you do it?”
He blinks with surprise, laughing a little. “Bribery? How much are we talking here, Jolyne?”
He shakes his head, smiling. “Twenty.”
“For you, little lady, I’ll make a discount. Fifteen.”
“Ten,” she says, to which he nods.
“I can work with that,” he says. “I’ll keep my father occupied for a while, alright? Have a nice night.”
He walks to his front door, unlocks it. The door shuts behind him, and his voice can be heard as Jolyne sneaks up to the doormat.
“Father, I’m back.”
“Giorno,” Mr. Brando says, surprisingly distinct. “How much?”
“... Not enough,” Giorno admits, and his voice seems ashamed. “I’m sorry, father.”
While he speaks, Jolyne pulls down her pants and gets comfortable in a squat. She keeps listening as sounds of something being pulled out. There’s a silence.
Then Mr. Brando says, “Let’s be clear here, Giorno. Who are you?”
“I’m your son.”
“And what does that mean?”
“Nothing,” Giorno replies. “It doesn’t mean anything.”
“You’re here because I found you talented. You’re loyal— and loyalty is measured in your ability to follow my commands.”
“When I tell you,” Mr. Brando says, “That you have a quota, you must meet it. If you don’t, I don’t see why you shouldn’t move back in with your mother.”
Jolyne, who’s rather enraptured with the conversation at hand and not really paying attention to what’s coming out of her butt at the moment, suddenly lets out a loud, machine gun fart.
She freezes. The conversation stops.
“I’m horribly sorry,” Giorno says, distressed. “That was not intentional. I meant no disrespect. I ate something foul for dinner.”
Bribery is great, Jolyne realizes. Giorno is the best.
And then it’s Sunday morning, and the sun is shining in southern Florida. There are flowers in a vase by the windowsill, and birdsong can be heard outside. There’s nothing wrong in the world.
“Mr. Brando’s at the door,” Jolyne announces unnecessarily, and is punctuated by the sound of someone screeching outside.
“Good grief,” Dad says, putting down his newspaper. “What a ruckus.”
He walks to the door as Jolyne continues to eat her cereal. Her mother bites into her toast.
"YOU," Mr. Brando screeches from the door. “I should have known it was one of you Joestars that lived here!”
“Dio,” her dad says flatly. “Good morning.”
“You put shit, ” Mr. Brando yells, “On my porch!”
“What the fuck are you talking about,” her dad says irritably.
“Go and see it for yourself if you don’t believe me! Shit! Shit! Shit on my doorstep! You had your dog shit on my property!”
"I can see it from here just fine. Congratulations. The pile's almost as big as your ego."
“I don’t have a dog,” her father says with an edge so sharp it cuts to hear. “Unless you’re saying I walked up to your front step, pulled down my pants and shat there like a fucking animal.”
“Wr…” Mr. Brando suddenly screams. “WRYYYYYYY!”
The door slams shut, and the cry muffles. Her dad walks back, picks up his teacup and newspaper as if nothing happened. He says, “What an asshole.”
Tuesday comes and her dad’s already left with promise that he’ll come by in a month. Jolyne, twenty dollars richer and new cool neighbor-friend acquired, is rather pleased with the results of this visit.
It’s her mom’s boyfriend, Richard, who pats her on the head and asks her that day, “So how was your weekend, Jolyne?”
“Well, Dad visited,” she replies. “He gave me twenty bucks."
"Yeah," she says. "Dad's the best."