The five boys outside the restaurant are competing for attention with the pretty young woman standing in front of them. She’s laughing as they puff out their chests and hold out triumphant fingers to show how old they are. They’re all five as Catanese as can be, swaggering in their sleeveless basketball tunics and hi-top trainers. One, bolder than the rest, stands up from the bench where they were all seated in a row and flicks his hair out of his eyes with a nonchalant toss of his head. “I’m going into terza media, you know.” He throws a scornful look at the younger boys beside him, the smallest of whom laughs and flings back a retort as quick as lightning, “Yeah, ‘cos that makes you the capo dei capi!“
Both boys have identical sleepy-lidded eyes and hairstyles shaved short around the back and sides, but with the hair left long on top. At a guess they’re brothers, or at the very least cousins, and they’re probably all a part of the large group taking up most of the internal seating area, who have been getting more and more raucous as the evening has worn on. They’re currently singing traditional Sicilian songs at the top of their lungs while the kids take a break and hang out in the square. The older brother shrugs, uncaring, at the younger one, and carries on showing off for the girl. Lucky for her she’s probably ten years older than he is; if he’d reached puberty she wouldn’t have stood a chance against his disarming grin and overwhelming self-confidence. In a few years’ time fathers all over the neighbourhood are going to have to lock their daughters up against this one, for sure.