Sunday, September 2, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) came back home from a very sweaty tennis practice. He and his best friend, Jack Andrews, played singles, and they had to cover the whole sides of their own court. It was very humid today, but that did not stop Jack or Levi from playing their most favorite sport. Asad Prejesh, their other friend, spent the whole day in downtown Boston with a few mutual friends. He was really not in the mood to play tennis as he thought it was way too hot to even be outside.
Yet, he was still outside with their friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi.
Mackenzie Burbanks, Levi’s long-time girlfriend, was out earlier today with a few of her friends, Suzanne Gopal and Jennifer Watson. Once she and her girlfriends called it quits for the rest of the day, she resorted back to the apartment and put on some comedy TV shows while waiting for Levi, Jack, and Asad to return.
Around 2 pm, Jack and Levi returned to the apartment. Jack decided to take a shower first, and Levi decided to relax in his room. Mackenzie was still watching TV, as she did not feel up to going outside due to the hot weather.
Boston is a great city, but sometimes it can get a little too warm.
After his shower, Jack decided to go back out and meet up with Asad. Levi decided to shower next, which only took him about 20 minutes.
Mackenzie was half-awake by the time she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. Turning around, she realized it was Levi trying to get her attention. She was a little tired from watching TV for a straight hour and a half, so she reached for the remote to turn off the TV.
Levi turned off the TV for her.
Both Levi and Mackenzie lay on the couch together, enjoying each other’s company. Both of them being introverts, they didn’t feel the need to really carry on a conversation. As long as they were both in the same room together, this inseparable couple could not be any happier.
Levi was wearing his gray t-shirt with the words, “Rhode Island” on the front. He lay with his back on the couch, with his hands behind his head.
A few minutes later, he slowly pulled up his shirt, so that his belly button was exposed. Mackenzie could also see the ends of his ribcage when he would breathe in. And she also thought she could see his heart thumping away against the left side of his chest.
Levi is very thin-chested.
He took her right hand and put it against his chest, so that she could feel his strong heartbeat. He then covered her hand with his left hand, with both his and her hands flat against his chest.
Levi’s eyes were closed, and he was smiling. Mackenzie was also in an elated state herself. She leaned over to kiss him on the lips. When they started kissing, Mackenzie could feel Levi’s heart pounding. She knew his genuine love for her, and how they have successfully maintained their relationship for nearly 13 years.
Levi and Mackenzie will both be 27 years old this year.
Levi’s heart was very fast, yet mostly very steady. Mackenzie thought she may have felt her boyfriend’s heart skip a beat a couple times.
Her hand stayed on his chest, and he was perfectly alright with that. Her eyes were closed as well, and she envisioned hearing his heartbeat with every pulse.
His heart was pounding much harder now than during tennis practice, and it could possibly have burst in his chest if he wasn’t too careful.
Not like that would happen, though.
Both Levi and Mackenzie were elated, until they heard the door open. A few seconds later, Asad came inside the apartment and saw the couple on the couch in the common area.
“Okay, lovebirds. I’m home,” Asad announced.
“Shit, where’s Jack?” Levi responded, quickly pulling his shirt down.
“Oh, he’s out and about.”
“I thought you two were doing something together.”
“Jing and Kev were too tired. Besides, it’s too hot to do anything,” Asad replied.
“I agree,” Levi remarked.
“Jack should be coming home soon. Pizza tonight?”
“You beat me to the punch.”
“Levi’s heart nearly punched me in the hand,” Mackenzie blurted out. Levi’s face turned beet red, but he laughed it off. So did Asad.
January 6, 2019
Jack Andrews, Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Asad Prejesh, Jing Hao, Kevin Maggliardi, and Mike Wong all ventured out to downtown Boston to hang out for a few hours. Levi’s girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, was having a girls’ day in with a couple of her friends to watch movies.
The six boys were at their favorite coffee shop during the middle of the day. They all went out for pizza, and now they felt like getting themselves a cup of coffee. It was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and all six boys were sitting inside the coffee shop talking about nothing other than tennis.
Jack looked over at Kevin and realized that he wasn’t nearly as talkative as he normally is. Kevin had dark spots under his eyes, which Jack noticed earlier today, but now he didn’t look well at all. His nose was very red now.
“You alright, Kevin?” Jack questioned.
“Yeah, I’ve got a really bad cold. I thought I could do more than what I really could do,” Kevin replied.
“Yeah, take it easy.”
“I think I’m gonna head back to Cambridge soon.”
“Yeah, you probably should,” Jack said.
“I’m like really tired all of a sudden,” Kevin responded.
“Alright. Let us know when you get back.”
“I will. I just started getting a pounding headache. Didn’t hit me in the chest like it usually does.”
“Well, that’s good.”
“Yeah, I think I’m gonna head out now. I really don’t feel well at all.”
Kevin picked up his backpack off the floor and said goodbye to everyone. He headed toward the door toward the common, where he was going to pick up the red line to take him back to his apartment in Cambridge. Once he got back home, he was very likely going to fall asleep as soon as he could.
The other five boys were going to stay out until about 5 or 6 in the evening, and then they were all going to get ready for the week ahead of them.
“Kevin’s been really sick for the past couple days,” Jing said.
“He sounded really stuffed up when we all met,” Jack replied.
“Yeah, he has a bad cold. He told me that he might take tomorrow off from work to recover.”
“Yeah, hopefully he will consider that.”
“The only other time I saw him really sick was when he had the flu in college. Then, he got me sick with it,” Jing remarked.
“That’s nice of him to give you the flu!” Jack chuckled.
“I mean, I’ve seen him when he’s had a cold, but it didn’t hit him as hard as this one has. Or I might be wrong.”
“The flu sucks worse.”
“Yes, it does.”
Jack was at their table with Mike and Jing. Kevin had made it home, and by the time he took off his shoes and lay on his bed, he was passed out. Chances were pretty good that once Jing came home, Kevin would still be sleeping. Their two other roommates went to New York City for the weekend, and they were likely not coming back until at least 9 pm tonight.
Levi and Asad were at the counter looking at what desserts to get. Asad wasn’t sure what he was going to get, but Levi wanted to get something for Mackenzie.
“I’m thinking about getting Mackenzie the fruit tart. What do you think?” Levi asked Asad.
“She like strawberries, doesn’t she?” Asad responded.
“Yes, that’s her favorite fruit.”
“Are you getting sick, too? You sound really stuffed up.”
“I think so. I hope Kevin didn’t give me his cooties,” Levi said.
“He probably did,” Asad remarked.
“I took a sick day on Friday because I was really not feeling well. I feel better now, but I hate my nose right now.”
“Get Mackenzie the fruit tart!” Mike greeted Asad and Levi.
“That’s what I’m thinking about getting her!” Levi exclaimed.
“What do you guys want to do after this?”
It was Kevin Maggliardi’s and Shanti Lee’s freshman year of high school in Rhode Island. Kevin spent an evening playing soccer with some friends. Afterwards, Shanti came over to Kevin’s house to watch some cartoons. Kevin was really sweaty and winded, but Shanti didn’t mind. After a semester of having little to no confidence in himself since he‘s very shy, he started feeling better about himself. When Kevin fell asleep, Shanti put her ear against his chest and listened to his heartbeat. His heart was a bit fast and somewhat painful sounding, but it was very steady and strong.
Kevin Maggliardi, Levi Cranston’s (The Magic Video Game) friend, and Kevin's girlfriend, Shanti Lee, decided to spend a quiet evening at Kevin’s Cambridge apartment. No one else was home. Kevin had spent the afternoon with Jing Hao, Mike Wong, Levi, Jack Andrews, and Asad Prejesh. They went into downtown Boston to try an Italian restaurant that they had never been to before.
That evening, Jing, Mike, Jack, and Asad were going to some bars. Levi and his girlfriend, Mackenzie, spent an evening together at their apartment in Allston.
Kevin and Shanti decided to put on some goofy adult cartoons for a bit, while feasting on Indian food. Kevin was on the outer end of the couch, sitting sideways, while Shanti was nestled between him and where the pillows meet on the couch.
Her head was on his shoulder, and his head lay on top of her head. He took a deep breath, and Shanti wrapped her left arm around his chest. Then, she put her ear between his left armpit and his left breast. While she could hear his deep breathing, she could also hear his quiet heartbeat. She looked up, and Kevin’s eyes were closed. He must have been a little too tired of watching cartoons for over two hours.
Shanti got up and turned off the TV and returned to her place on the couch.
“Hey, Kevin?” Shanti asked.
“Yeah?” Kevin responded sleepily.
“Can I hear your heartbeat?”
Without hesitation, Kevin pulled up his shirt up to his collarbone. Shanti could see his ribs every time he took a breath, and she also thought she could see his heart beating through his skin. His belly button was exposed, and she wanted to poke it with a q-tip. Her ear was pressed firmly on the lower part of his left breast, and she just paid attention to the intense whooshing of blood through his mitral valve.
“Your heart is so loud, fast, and strong. Are you nervous?” Shanti asked.
“No,” Kevin replied quietly with a soft smile.
He took a very deep breath, and Shanti noticed a couple skips in his heartbeat. She thought that was super cute.
“What is your heart rate, if you don’t mind my asking?” Shanti questioned.
Kevin checked his watch, which has that feature.
“122,” Kevin stated.
“Sounds way faster than that,” Shanti said. “I’m gonna get it to pound really hard for me. So get ready.”
Shanti was wearing a white floral button-down shirt. She unbuttoned the top three buttons, so the top part of her chest and part of her bra were exposed. Her ear was still on his chest. She heard even louder and deeper heartbeats inside Kevin’s chest. He must have been getting really excited, so he checked his watch again.
“134,” Kevin replied.
“Good!” Shanti exclaimed.
Kevin’s left arm was wrapped around Shanti. She took his right hand and placed it on the top part of her chest, so that he could feel her fast and strong heartbeat as well. He placed his left hand over Shanti’s left ear, so his heartbeat was all she could hear. He was starting to breathe really hard, as he was so excited.
They were super happy with doing nothing other than this for at least ten minutes.
“Shanti?” Kevin got his girlfriend’s attention, with his hand still on her chest.
“Yeah?” Shanti replied.
“You ready to find out how fast my heart is beating?”
“Oh my God! You have a shit ton of adrenaline flowing through you.”
Kevin let out a soft smile and then was quiet. His eyes were closed again, and Shanti thought he made a soft and cute noise through his mouth. His breathing was steady. His heart was racing, and chances were that it wouldn’t slow down any time soon.
Kevin Maggliardi, Jing Hao, Mike Wong, and David Rogers met at freshman orientation at their college in Boston. They were about to start school but had moved on campus beforehand. After being introduced to their classmates, the four boys went out to eat and then played video games in Kevin’s and Jing’s room until 4 am.
The next day, Kevin woke up at 1 pm, and Jing at 11 am. They had all planned to hang out today. Kevin decided to have this day to himself and re-energize. He took an afternoon and explored two big name colleges in Cambridge.
Kevin Maggliardi was walking over to Levi Cranston’s and Jack Andrews’ Boston apartment. He was tired after an intense workout, and he didn’t want to do much.
Jing Hao, Mike Wong, and Asad Prejesh were going to Cambridge. Levi, Jack, and Kevin weren’t up to joining them.
When Kevin walked into his friends’ apartment, he noticed that Levi was sleeping. Jack was watching stupid cartoons on TV.
“Hi Kevin,” Jack said.
“Hi Jack,” Kevin replied sleepily.
Levi was sleeping on one couch. Jack was sitting on one end of another couch. Kevin fell asleep on the couch within ten minutes.
It was Friday evening, and Kevin Maggliardi and Shanti Lee decided to spend tonight together. Their friends were hanging out in downtown Boston, but Kevin and Shanti wanted to be alone. They ordered pizza and watched goofy cartoons. They then went into the moment. Kevin’s arms were wrapped around Shanti, and he lay his ear against her chest. He heard her grunt softly. Not only could he hear her heart beating very fast, he could also feel it pulsing against his ear. Shanti was playing with Kevin’s hair, while he still listened intently to her strong and somewhat painful-sounding heartbeat.
Kevin and Shanti were together on a walkway alongside the Charles River in Boston. They decided to race each other as far as they could. After three minutes of sprinting, they took a break. They lay on the grass, and Kevin found himself listening to Shanti’s pounding heartbeat and strong breathing. She pulled up her sweater, and her undershirt and belly button were exposed. He thought he could actually hear her blood flowing through her heart, it was pounding so hard it could burst in her chest. He also saw that her belly button ring was pulsing with her heartbeat.
Like around June 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, were out and about on the mean streets of Boston. Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh were in their apartment playing video games for the evening. Their new friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi, invited them all to play video games, but everyone else declined. Especially since Levi and Mackenzie had a date, and Jack and Asad just simply did not feel like playing tennis.
It was around 6 pm, and Jing and Kevin walked over to the nearby tennis courts, where they all practice. They were planning to stay for at least three to four hours.
“Should we run around the track first?” Jing asked.
“We always do, so I think that answers your question,” Kevin replied.
“Okay, so let’s do it.”
“We need to leave around 9:30, because Levi wanted to chat around that time.”
“I think we’ll be done by then,” Jing said.
“Usually, we are,” Kevin remarked.
“When is Sheridan coming to the States?”
“Next week. He is stopping in Dublin first.”
“To do what?”
“To party there, I think.”
Sheridan is Kevin’s oldest brother, who is 32 years old and lives in London to pursue his doctorate degree in biomedical engineering. He has another brother, Graham, who is 29, and lives in New York City for work, as he works in IT. His only sister, Addison, is going to be 27 years old in a couple weeks, and she lives in Chicago for graduate school. Kevin just turned 25 years old, and Jack, Asad, and Levi view him as their little brother. Kevin is originally from Cranston, Rhode Island, pretty close to Levi’s motherland.
Levi and Kevin met at their tennis coaching job. Levi works in IT for one company in Boston, and Kevin works in IT for another company in the same building, so they very often commute to work together.
Levi, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad share an apartment in the Allston neighborhood, while Jing and Kevin have a place in Cambridge. It is either a fifteen minute commute by bus, or a thirty minute commute by foot.
Jing is from Garden City, a suburb of New York City. He is 25 years old, and has a younger sister, Amanda, who is 23 years old. He and Kevin met when they went to college in Boston. Jing also works in IT, and he is looking to go into grad school pretty soon.
“This weather is pretty nice,” Jing remarked after a couple laps around the track.
“Yes, it is,” Kevin responded. “What time is it?”
“Time for you to get a watch.”
“I have never heard that one before!”
“No?” Jing asked, taking things a bit literally.
“Nope,” Kevin rolled his eyes and smiled.
“Time for tennis?”
“Time for tennis. We have a few hours.”
“We agreed 9:30, right?”
Tennis practice was a complete blur. By the time they got on the tennis courts, it was already 7 o’clock in the evening. They had a couple hours before they’d have their phone chat with Levi, Jack, Mackenzie, and Asad later tonight.
A couple hours later, Jing and Kevin were really tired, sore, and sweaty. They headed back to their apartment in Cambridge, where they would get ready for the night. It was Thursday evening, so one more day before the weekend.
That’s why they all needed to chat.
When they got into the apartment, Jing beat Kevin to the shower, kinda pissing Kevin off.
Kevin used this time to lie on his bed to stretch his back out a little, and to throw a tennis ball against the ceiling. He decided that now was a good time to call Levi, and so he did.
“Hey Kevin, I have you on speaker,” Levi answered on his end. He and everyone else must have been out in the common area.
“Hey, how’s it going?” Kevin asked.
“Well, Mackenzie and I are back from our little date. We ventured out on the harbor walk and the North End.”
“Very nice. We’re all gonna check out the harbor walk again this weekend, right?”
“I wouldn’t mind doing that. We could also go out to Cambridge, whatever works for you,” Levi said.
“Well, I’m totally open. Jing is taking his sweet little time in the shower,” Kevin replied.
“I figured as much.”
“What is everyone else doing?”
“Well, Mackenzie is in our room. I think she’s on a phone chat with her family. Jack and Asad are in the kitchen heating up some leftovers from the night before.”
Jack and Asad had some Indian food from last night that they decided to heat up now, after spending at least two hours playing video games. They were being summoned into the living room to come up with some plans to hang out that weekend with Jing and Kevin.
“Hi Kevin,” Jack responded once he and Asad walked into the common area.
“Hey guys,” Kevin responded back.
“How was tennis?”
“It was pretty great. I beat Jing on all matches, so that was nice.”
“I wish we were there to witness it,” Jack said.
“I know! You missed out on a great evening,” Kevin exclaimed.
“Well, we were playing tennis on TV.”
“Not as fun.”
“Next time, we’ll play all of you.”
“Sounds like a plan. Well, Jing came in, and I’m going to shower. I’m disgusting.”
“Okay, you do you.”
October 20, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Jack Andrews, Asad Prejesh, and Jing Hao were at their apartment in Allston, playing card games. It was around 7 pm, and they were expecting their other friend, Kevin Maggliardi, to get to the apartment around 5:30 pm. They knew that he had some errands that he needed to run, but they had not heard from him until about 30 minutes later.
At 7:15, they heard a knock on the door, and they knew it was Kevin. Jack walked over to the door because he knew that he was going to be really shaken up.
“Hey Kevin,” Jack greeted their friend at the door.
“Hey,” Kevin responded quietly.
“We’re all here in the common area,” Jack said.
“That’s good,” Kevin replied.
“You wanna talk about it?”
“Maybe in a bit. I need to catch my breath.”
“You ran all the way here?”
Jack and Kevin walked together into the common area, where everyone else was. They noticed that Kevin was absolutely not himself. He seemed really tired and out of breath, and he was really sweaty, after sprinting two miles from the scary incident. He appeared to be very shaken up, and Jack let him lie on their couch.
Levi and Asad put away the games, so that they could focus on helping get Kevin stable. No one has ever seen him like this before.
Asad got a pillow from his room and put it on the couch for Kevin to lay his head on. Kevin lay sideways on the couch, trying really hard to catch his breath. His hands were on his chest, most likely feeling for his heartbeat.
“My heart’s pounding,” Kevin remarked quietly.
“It’s okay, buddy. You’re safe here,” Jack replied.
“So what happened?”
“I was being followed and then held at gunpoint,” Kevin said.
“Oh shit. You didn’t lose anything, did you?” Jack questioned.
“I lost like $12 in cash, but that was about it. I didn’t have my wallet on me, so I lucked out. When I gave him what I had, I distracted him, and then I bolted. I think I ran like two or three miles. And then my asthma acted up a bit, so that was great.”
“Why did he follow you in the first place?”
“I have no idea why I was a target. Maybe it was because I had my backpack on me.”
“Yeah, who knows? But, at least you’re safe.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever feared for my life.”
Jing and Asad walked over to Jing and Kevin’s apartment in Cambridge, only a 30 minute walk on foot. Their two other roommates, David Vittorio and John Harold, wanted to hit up downtown Boston in the evening, so all four boys were going to head out that way shortly.
Levi and Jack decided to stay back with Kevin. They would probably watch TV for the rest of the night and let Kevin stay over.
“Hey Kevin,” Levi got his friend’s attention after he accidentally fell asleep for a few minutes.
“Yeah?” Kevin asked softly.
“Something similar happened to me when I was a kid.”
“I used to walk home from school, and I was approached twice in eighth grade,” Levi remarked.
“Oh wow,” Kevin replied.
“Yeah. It was pretty scary. When I was walking home from school, some old guy asked me if I was cold, since I didn’t have a coat on. That terrified me, so I bolted back to my house. That was the first time, and we thought we had everything settled. Then, a month later, someone screamed random crap out of their car, and I thought it was directed at me, so I ran back to my house. That was when I was walking to school. I couldn’t go to school that day, because I was too terrified.”
“I will be.”
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