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.”
From The Magic Video Game 3: Mystery of the Island
It was August 2012, and Levi was, of course, sleeping very soundly on his stomach. Olivia had walked into the room because it was 10:30 in the morning, and he needed to wake up.
Victoria came upstairs with her because she had a possible prank up her sleeve. But then, she thought it would be completely futile to do a prank on Levi because he would probably sleep right through it.
Instead, the two girls just watched him sleep.
"Isn't Levi cute when he's sleeping?" Olivia asked her older sister of two years.
"Levi is cute when he's sleeping, but he's also kinda gross," Victoria replied.
"Well, he sometimes drools, and he also sometimes has nosebleeds. Oh, and he often sneezes when he just wakes up."
"I think that's actually kinda cute," Olivia remarked with a shrug.
"Okay," Victoria answered with her hands up in the air as if surrendering.
"I really like it when he sleeps on his stomach."
"I'll give you that. He's pretty cute when sleeping on his stomach."
"You talking about me?" Levi asked his two older sisters, half-awake.
"Morning, Levi!" Olivia exclaimed.
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
It was April 2014, so really not that long ago. Levi was home from college for the weekend, and he and Victoria had some brother-sister time at the mall in Merrillville. Since about three years ago, Levi and Victoria have gotten closer, because in summer of 2011, both kids were sick with a sinus infection for pretty much the entire summer. Levi was going into his sophomore year of college, and Victoria was not quite done with her undergraduate career, as she had one more semester to go. Really, both kids have always been pretty close, but they definitely knew each other’s similarities and differences.
Levi was hoping to find at least a couple shirts with his favorite band logos on them. He was also interested in some lights for his apartment in college, so he wanted to go to at least a few stores. Victoria was, however, more interested in the latest fashions, so she wanted to spend as much time as possible in the mall.
It was definitely a cooler day, so Levi was wearing his black athletic jacket with a white stripe down the arms, his favorite grey shirt, and jeans. Victoria was wearing her favorite skinny jeans, blue and green cami, and white cardigan, so she was most definitely trying to live up to her definition of fashion in one way or another.
It was now eight o’clock at night, and Victoria and Levi walked toward the food court to see what they could get to eat. They were hoping for something relatively quick because they wanted to finish up on their shopping. At least Victoria was hoping for that. Levi couldn’t have cared less. He was happy with what he had bought with his own money.
A couple new t-shirts from his favorite rock bands, a set of water show speakers, and a lava lamp. Since he has an obsession with lights.
And Victoria decided to spend at least $86 on new clothes and a set of water show speakers. Just because she thought they were cool. She cared a little more about expanding her wardrobe. Levi cared a little more about expanding his array of lights and adding a few more rock band shirts to his wardrobe.
The two kids got tacos from the food court.
“Want to hit up the bar once we get home?” Victoria asked, once she was done with one of two tacos.
“I thought you would never ask,” Levi answered.
“Craft beer again?”
“That’s usually what I go for.”
“I want a mai tai. That just sounds good right now,” Victoria remarked.
“I want a cider, come to think of it,” Levi said.
“You and your cider.”
“And you like to try anything and everything.”
“Yep. Something different every time.”
“That’s good, though.”
Deal. Victoria and Levi could easily drop the car off at the house and then walk down Lincolnway to see what bars they could go to. They technically live in downtown, so they could do that. Levi’s best friends, on the other hand, couldn’t do that as much. Unless they went over to Levi’s, and they’d all walk together.
Tonight was nice enough that Victoria and Levi could walk from the house on Elmhurst Avenue to a bar or two. Tonight was not nice enough to wear Hawaiian-print shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. It just wouldn’t work out. At least for now.
Once Levi and Victoria finished eating their delicious tacos, they walked around the mall a little longer. Until the mall closed at nine o’clock at night. Then, they walked outside toward Victoria’s car. They got into the car after two minutes of walking in the parking lot and headed home. Victoria turned on some rock music. Their favorite.
“When do you want to play tennis again?” Levi asked Victoria.
“The next weekend you come home?” Victoria answered.
“Works for me.”
“Yeah, I wish I played tennis more often.”
“Well, I’ll be home for the summer, so we will need to play much more often,” Levi said.
“Deal,” Victoria replied.
“Mackenzie’s been wanting to play as well.”
“We’ve been meaning to play at school, but things just….” Levi stated when he heard a loud crash.
Well, snap. The car had stopped. No one seemed to be hurt at the moment. Neither Victoria nor Levi had any idea what was going on right now. Victoria tried turning on the ignition, but the car wouldn’t start. She started crying. Levi had no idea what to do. He heard Victoria muttering cuss words under her breath, and he saw that his older sister of three years stepped out of the car to assess the damage done to it. Being curious as he was, he also stepped out to see what had happened.
Victoria started to cry harder when she saw how damaged her car was. Levi saw what exactly had happened. There was a pick-up truck that was stopped; the driver was apparently waiting for someone to back out of the parking space, and Victoria’s car had run into the back of the pick-up truck.
“Hi,” the driver acknowledged Levi’s presence, but he was clearly not happy to see him.
“Hey,” Levi responded quietly.
“Did you do this to my car?”
“No. My sister did.”
“I hope she has insurance,” the driver remarked somewhat rudely.
“She just didn’t see you,” Levi replied, trying his hardest to defend his older sister of three years.
“Yeah. Sure she didn’t.”
“What all happened to your truck?”
“Pretty good sized dent I’m sure.”
Levi had a very pleasant conversation with the driver of the pick-up truck. Victoria didn’t want to see the damage done to her car. She had tried turning her car back on with absolutely no success. She called their mom.
“Hello?” their mom answered.
“We were in a car accident,” Victoria tried saying through her tears.
“We were in a car accident.”
“I can’t understand you. You’re not coming in clearly,” their mom remarked, starting to get worried.
“I ran into a….”
“Victoria, give it to me,” Levi said plainly to his sister. Victoria handed him the phone, and she continued crying.
“Levi, what’s going on?” the kids’ mom answered.
“We were in a car accident,” Levi replied, as calmly as possible. His phone was pressed firmly against his left ear, and his right hand was tugging at the top part of his unzipped athletic jacket. The bottom part of his t-shirt was right at the button of his jeans. He pulled his t-shirt down and went back to tugging at his jacket.
“What?! Is everyone okay?!”
“Yes, we’re fine. Shaken up, but I think we’re okay.”
“Okay. Where are you?” Mrs. LeVole questioned sternly.
“In Merrillville. We just left the mall. Victoria ran into a pickup truck,” Levi remarked. He could feel his heart pounding very hard in his chest. Even though he was just as shaken up as Victoria, he was somehow able to stay calm on the outside.
“Oh dear. How bad was the damage?”
“Okay. We’ll get there as soon as we can.”
“Ah! We’ll see you then.”
Levi hung up after another minute of talking to their mom, and he handed the phone back to Victoria. The driver of the pickup truck was still not happy with what had happened, and Victoria was clearly not paying attention to where she was going. She and Levi were obviously deep in their conversation for her to not pay attention at all. Both siblings were quite shaken up, and they knew that they had to deal with the police and likely have her car towed for a little while.
The kids’ mom was on her way to the mall where the accident had occurred. The kids’ dad, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve, were at their dad’s friend’s wedding in Chicago, so they could most definitely not come out to Merrillville at this time. Louise and her family were in Oberlin, Ohio, visiting her husband’s family. And Elizabeth and her husband were in Naperville, Illinois, visiting her husband’s grandparents, who live there.
The police had come within five minutes and interrogated each party. And a witness who heard the crash when she was walking toward her car. She didn’t go up to the scene because she didn’t know what to say. She didn’t want to make the situation any worse than it was, and she didn’t want to get on anyone’s nerves, according to her thinking.
The two kids got everything that they had bought from the mall out of the car before it was towed.
“Are you guys okay?!”Mrs. LeVole, their mom, asked as she walked quickly up to her kids.
“Yes, we’re fine,” Levi answered for himself and Victoria, who was way too choked up to say anything.
“I see Vicky’s car is about to get towed.”
“The car won’t start.”
“Oh dear,” their mom responded. Victoria was sitting on a curb with her head in her arms, which were somehow resting comfortably on her knees. When Mrs. LeVole calmed down, she and Levi sat on the same curb, but a little farther away from Victoria because they knew that she needed her space at this time.
“We were talking, and I guess she wasn’t paying attention to her driving.”
“That’s happened to me before, actually. A week before our wedding.”
“I think I remember you telling us that once.”
“Back then, it was a horrible experience. Now we think it’s funny. But I’m hoping that there isn’t too much damage to Vicky’s car.”
“I do, too.”
When they all finally arrived back to their house in downtown Valparaiso, Mrs. LeVole went to bed. Victoria and Levi didn’t want to go upstairs. They didn’t want to go to a bar. And Victoria didn’t want to go to her apartment, even though her friends were still there. She wanted to stay here, especially since the sofa she was on was way too comfortable for her to get off it.
She called Jayneley, one of her roommates, to stop by the Cranston’s house to give her whatever toiletries and fresh clothes that she might need for the time being, as she was staying over at her family’s house for the night.
In five minutes, Jayneley came over to the house. The front door was wide open, so that she could come on in without having to wait for someone to open the door for her.
“Hi, Jayneley,” Victoria greeted her good friend from the sofa. She clearly did not want to get up. Jayneley walked over to where she was.
“Hey. What happened?” Jayneley replied.
“Levi and I were in a car accident.”
“Dang it. You guys aren’t hurt, I hope?”
“No,” Victoria answered. Levi wasn’t in the common area. He was getting himself something to eat, since he was hungry again.
“Weren’t you two going out tonight?” Jayneley asked, quite curious.
“We were going to.”
“I saw that in the group message. I just got off work, so you know.”
“Thanks for dropping off my stuff.”
Once Jayneley left, which wasn’t too much longer, Victoria and Levi decided to stay in the common area and watch as many comedy movies as possible until they both fell asleep. Levi heated up some barbeque chicken from earlier. Victoria was not hungry, so she didn’t want anything to eat. She just wanted to get her mind off everything that had happened tonight. And Levi didn’t think he could blame her.
The next morning….
“Levi? Are you awake?” Mrs. LeVole said as she gently shook her son.
“No,” Levi answered quietly. It was noon, and he fell asleep on the sofa at two o’clock in the morning, since both he and Victoria could not fall asleep until then.
“It’s noon. You might want to think about waking up.”
“Why? What’s going on today?”
“You’ve been sleeping for so long. Victoria has been up since nine o’clock this morning,” the kids’ mom remarked.
“Okay,” Levi replied just as quietly, pulling his plush throw over him. It was so obvious that he did not want to wake up.
“Louise and her family are coming over in an hour.”
“Fine. Have it your way.”
“Sorry, Levi. You’re gonna have to start moving.”
“God, I’m sore.”
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi had Jack, Asad, and David over for an afternoon, and they were going to play tennis later. Right now, they were just playing video games in the common area of Levi’s house. They were playing a lot of classic video games right now because of how warm it was outside. The boys were most definitely not in the mood to go outside and play tennis right now, so they obviously had to find some alternatives.
It was nice just having the three boys over at the house because all four boys could have their own video game controller. No one had to fight for a video game controller. And no one had to wait for their turn to get the video game controller.
“Yo, Levi. Where’s the cookie truffles you were telling us about?” Asad questioned Levi.
“We have some in the fridge, man,” Levi replied.
“I’mma get some for me. Who wants some?”
“I think we all do, bro.”
“What are they for anyway?” Asad asked, quite curious.
“I don’t think they were for anything,” Levi replied.
“So you just got some cookie truffles for the heck of it I guess?”
“Yo. I’mma get some.”
“Cool beans, dude.”
Asad walked over to the refrigerator to get some cookie truffles for himself and everyone else. Mostly for himself, though. Because he was in dire need of cookie truffles. Really, Mr. Cranston took the last of the cookie truffles from an event that he took part in with his band in Chicago. There were only eight left, so there was enough for everyone to have two. Unless someone else took all of the cookie truffles without Levi’s consent.
Well, really, without anyone’s consent.
Asad slowly opened the door to the refrigerator. He felt a little weird opening the door because this was the second time in all of his time of being friends with Levi that he even considered touching the refrigerator.
That was over ten years ago. Levi became friends with Asad and David very shortly after he became friends with Jack in fourth grade.
Once he opened the door to the refrigerator, Asad saw food. Lots of food. Mostly healthy food, like vegetables and some fruit. And some milk as well. But he saw no sign of the cookie truffles that he was hoping for.
“Are you looking for something?” Levi’s sister asked Asad, out of the blue.
“Oh hi, Olivia,” Asad said as he quickly recognized who was talking to him.
“Evelyn Maeve and I ate the last of the cookie truffles.”
“Oh. Whoops. We didn’t know.”
“Sorry about that, Asad,” Olivia remarked, feeling genuinely sorry for the boys.
“It okay, Olivia,” Asad replied.
“There are butter cookies in the pantry, in case you might be interested.”
“I love butter cookies!”
“Thought you did!”
“So, what are you up to, Olivia?”
“I’m actually getting ready to go bowling with my boyfriend, Cameron, and my best friend, Audrey. Evie Maeve and her good friend are also going. Do all of you wanna come?” Olivia offered.
“We’re practicing tennis soon, I believe,” Asad answered.
And Asad was more than certain that he, Jack, Levi, and David were going to practice tennis for at least two hours later today and then pig out at their favorite fast food joint of all time. Olivia was going bowling with her soon-to-be-again boyfriend, Cameron Sedley, and best friend, Audrey Bersigno. And Evelyn Maeve and her best guy friend, Randy Morrison, were coming as well.
Once they came home from work, the Cranston’s parents were going over to Louise’s house. Once they came home from whatever they had planned to do this afternoon, Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve were also going over to Louise’s house.
Meatball party tonight. It was going to be pretty great.
Asad has always had a secret crush on Olivia, even though she has had an on-and-off relationship with Cameron for a long time. And, to be honest, he still has a crush on her to some degree. However, he decided to just keep it at the friend level, unless Olivia and Cameron might eventually separate, for that would most likely not be the case at this point.
Basically, Olivia and Cameron needed some time to regroup before continuing their relationship.
“Who wants to play with the speed bag?!” David shouted from across the room. No one could remember a time when the four boys were super hyper. Well, really, they could. They just didn’t want to admit it at the moment.
“I do!” Jack shouted.
“I do!” Asad shouted.
“I don’t want a nosebleed,” Levi remarked.
“How long have you been playing with the speed bag, Levi?” David asked.
“Not all that often, actually.”
“You hate that thing, don’t you?”
“Yes and no. It’s given me a nosebleed before, but I like to play with it sometimes.”
“Oh, I see.”
“My dad wanted it up, so we have it up.”
“Does he play with it?”
All four boys thought the idea of having a random speed bag in the garage was beyond hilarious. Why did Mr. Cranston and Levi make a father-son agreement to put a speed bag in the garage when they were renovating it a long time ago? More like nine years ago when they were really trying to clean it out, but they made the garage a much more pleasant place to spend quality time.
They even put a treadmill in there.
Jack, Levi, Asad, and David decided to quit playing video games, that they had played for a little over two hours, and go outside and get some fresh air. They weren’t quite ready to play tennis yet. However, they did want to check out the renovated garage.
What would have been the garage is really a cool place to be.
There is a treadmill facing a small TV, with a huge box fan next to the treadmill but at an angle toward the treadmill. There is another box fan facing a love seat that is on the other side of the treadmill. There were even some cartoons that were hung on the walls. According to everyone who has set foot inside the garage, they have all thought of this as more of a game room than anything else.
And they were probably in their right minds when saying so.
There was the little speed bag that hung on the relatively short ceiling of the garage. Levi somehow really wanted to try playing with the speed bag. He was quite confident in himself, even though he has never really had much interest in the speed bag in general. No one else did either. They have always just liked the idea of having a speed bag attached to the ceiling.
“You still gonna take up boxing, Levi?” Jack teased his best friend.
“No way, Jose,” Levi replied.
“I personally think you’d make a great boxer.”
“Why? Why would you say that, Jack?”
“Cuz you’re….” Jack begun.
“JACK ANDREWS!” Levi interrupted.
“Dang it, Levi. You nearly stole my thunder.”
“Did I really?”
“No. Not really.”
“Whatever you say, Jack.”
Truth is, Levi really doesn’t care to take up boxing. However, he has liked the idea of a speed bag being in the garage, as does his dad. Maybe the garage would be more or less similar to a fitness room; there is a treadmill, a speed bag, and maybe a few other things. Including a love seat. That would most definitely make Levi’s summer. Another way of “training” for tennis season as a senior in college.
As several minutes passed, Levi became more familiar with the speed bag, so he started punching it harder and harder. He was basically rolling the speed bag from one side of the ceiling to the other side. As the thoughts of anything and everything random remained on his mind, his punches grew harder and harder, as well as his heartbeat and his breathing. Levi was very aggressive with the speed bag.
“LUNG!” Levi shouted at the top of his lungs.
“Wait. What was that all about, man?” Asad asked.
“I just shouted something random, dude.”
“It’s a random word, Asad,” Levi remarked.
“Of all the random words we know, it had to be ‘lung,’” Asad replied.
“Yes. It had to be lung.”
“That is actually one of my favorite words. You stole it from me, Levi!”
“I thought that was my favorite word.”
“Now, it’s not.”
Oh well. It’s always a little fun to be a little random at times. No. Actually, it’s always a little fun to be a little random all the time. And it’s always a little fun to shout the most favorite random word every once in a while.
Jack tried playing with the speed bag after Levi. Asad tried playing with the speed bag after Jack. And David tried playing with the speed bag after Asad. Even though all four kids played with the speed bag for a little while, no one else other than Levi shouted a random word after they made their last hit on the speed bag.
Then, it was time for tennis. Or so everyone thought.
“Guess what, guys?” Jack said to everyone.
“What, Jack?” David asked.
“I accidentally left my tennis equipment at home.”
“What exactly do you mean by equipment?”
“I’m talking about my tennis rackets, my tennis balls, my tennis this, my tennis that,” Jack replied quite humorously.
“So, everything tennis you left at your house. On accident, I’m assuming?” David asked, just to clarify.
“Yes. Even the word, ‘tennis,’ I left at home.”
“Well, we’ll need to get the word ‘tennis’ for you before we go to the high school to practice.”
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 Boston 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 26 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.”
From The Somewhat Perilous Plot of the Patriotic Mosquitoes
Some of the Patriotic Mosquitoes were sitting inside the conference room. They wanted to hold a meeting there to discuss any further plans that they might have had to take over the three supposedly fictitious islands. Taking over Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai would definitely take a lot of work on their end for sure.
Johnny Morthland, also known as Sam, the leader, tried to wait patiently for his other friends or henchmen. Whatever he was in the mood to call them.
While the other Patriotic Mosquitoes filed into the conference room one by one, they could clearly hear the sound of Sam's hands tapping the table rather loudly.
With a glass table like the one that they have in the conference room, one would assume that the sound would cause the whole earth to explode. And that would most definitely not be the most fun to see on a Saturday night.
As pretty much all of the Patriotic Mosquitoes entered the conference room, Sam stared at all of them in disgust.
He wanted to start the meeting on the right foot, as many would say. But that was apparently not happening today for them. He adjusted his hat and cleared his throat.
“Ahem,” Sam cleared his throat.
“Hi Sam!” Lisa, one of the female Patriotic Mosquitoes exclaimed.
“Quiet, Lisa. Today, we have a very important meeting regarding our plan to take over Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Buffoon Land.”
“Don't you mean Wakahakai?” Josh, another Patriotic Mosquito asked.
“No, Josh. I mean Buffoon Land. Land of the Buffoons,” Sam replied.
“Who has any memory of the pledge of the Patriotic Mosquitoes?”
“Sounds about right.”
With the exception to Sam, the other Patriotic Mosquitoes have already been too incompetent. What was the rest of the meeting going to be like? How was it going to turn out? Sam was very curious to find out.
The Patriotic Mosquitoes stood up for their own pledge. They took their hats and flipped them upside down on their heads, and they let all of their arms rest at their sides. Then, they stood on their tip toes and read some words from an overhead projector, since they couldn't remember their own pledge.
“I am a Patriotic Mosquito. I do the duties as a Patriotic Mosquito. I cook food like a Patriotic Mosquito. I really like spaghetti. Except when it doesn't have garlic on it. I like garlic as a Patriotic Mosquito. Garlic is food for the mind. And Patriotic Mosquitoes have good minds. Except for when they draw on the walls. Then that is not the way of the Patriotic Mosquito.”
Then they sat down.
Sam looked around the room. He was not too happy with what he saw. The other Patriotic Mosquitoes were conversing about their next lasagna baking party while Sam tried to stare them down.
The leader stared down Lisa, who was basically the center of attention. She was the one who decided to organize such a party. And, of course, it was going to take a lot of time to plan it. She and Josh were considered the Co-Events Coordinators of the Patriotic Mosquitoes. And Sam never seemed to really care for any of their ideas for events.
“Shall we begin?” Sam broke the chit chat of his fellow friends or henchmen.
“Breaking news! Josh and I have finally come up with the idea of a lasagna baking party!” Lisa exclaimed.
“Lisa, what does a lasagna baking party, of all things, have to do with our current plan?”
“I thought of that as an idea for after we take over the islands.”
“You're thinking way too far ahead,” Sam remarked.
“How about we do both at the same time?” Lisa asked.
“Shall we begin?”
“I guess so.”
Lisa sat back in her chair and pouted. She was not happy about her lasagna baking party being canceled. And, for that matter, so was Josh. Not really that their lasagna baking party would be canceled, per se. Their party might have to be called off until further notice.
Of course, Sam had absolutely no problem with that.
The other Patriotic Mosquitoes sat back in their chairs and stared at Sam. As if they were really expecting something from him. They waited to see if he was going to say anything else about his ideas of taking over Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai.
Sam knew it would take a little while to get them to pay attention.
“So, do any of you fellow Patriotic Mosquitoes have any ideas on how to take over those three islands?” Sam asked.
“I suggested that we have a lasagna baking party, but you said no,” Lisa said.
“Of course I said no.”
“How about we just suggest that they sell fajitas?”
“Carry on. I'm starting to like that idea,” Sam said.
“So, if those three islands sell just fajitas in their local restaurants, then we can take over the ownership of all those restaurants and combine them all together,” Lisa remarked.
“That's a bit lofty, but I like the idea.”
“Maybe we could branch off between fajitas and mostaccioli and have two combined restaurant chains compete against each other?”
“I don't know where you're going with that. Where does the idea of having a mostaccioli restaurant chain fit in to this picture?”
“Just thought about it.”
Sam wrote down, on a large sheet of college ruled paper, the idea that Lisa seemed to have on her mind. This was actually not a bad idea.
But how would they find out what the restaurant policies and regulations are on each island?
And how would they be able to take ownership of all the Italian and Mexican restaurants in all three islands?
The other Patriotic Mosquitoes conversed amongst themselves for a few more minutes while Sam was trying to make sense of Lisa's idea, even though he liked it. Sam would most definitely want to hear his other comrades' ideas, as long as they weren't absolutely ridiculous. Of course, that would be a bit of a challenge for him to find out which ones he actually liked.
A few more minutes later, the Patriotic Mosquitoes were conversing about the potential lasagna baking party that Lisa had planned. She knew she still wanted to have it. Even if it meant that they couldn't plan such an event while they were also planning to take over Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai.
With a pound of the gavel on the oak podium, Sam got everyone else’s attention. He was hoping that the remainder of this meeting would be a little more serious. If that was actually going to happen. There was one idea in the works already. And then it would be nice if there could be at least one or two more ideas coming their way.
Then the Patriotic Mosquitoes would have a better chance of taking over the islands.
Sam waited patiently for the other Patriotic Mosquitoes to cease their conversations. He assumed that all of the Patriotic Mosquitoes would like to get out as quickly as possible so he wanted to also get out as soon as possible.
“Any other ideas?” Sam questioned his fellow Patriotic Mosquitoes.
“I has an idea!” Tony shouted in a great Italian accent.
“What might be your idea, Tony?”
“We should either incorporate our Pledge of the Patriotic Mosquitoes to all of the islands, or we should incorporate that one Italian song that I really like. I don't remember the name of it, though.”
“Can you tell us how it goes?” Sam questioned.
“Well, I know it involves a baritone sax and a tambourine, and the words are in Italian,” Tony replied, still in a spot-on Italian accent.
“Very well. I like that idea, too.”
“However, I think the Pledge would suit us better, as it considers all of us as one.”
Sam wrote that other idea down on the same sheet of paper. Lisa, of course, was talking very loudly about her lasagna baking party. She was hoping to have this party, as well as a wine tasting to go along with it. Since her favorite wine is pinot grigio. Like everyone else who is a Patriotic Mosquito.
Five minutes later, Sam pounded his gavel on the podium, hoping to get everyone’s attention. It looked like there were only a select few choices of how to take over Texamilio, Galavanti Island, and Wakahakai.
“Well, out of all of us, I only have two ideas on how to take over the islands. We need to decide on one, and we need to decide on one soon,” Sam remarked.
“You all should like mine!” Lisa exclaimed.
“Let's give everyone a say, Lisa.”
“Alright! But I want everyone to know that mine is super amazing!”
“Okay, Lisa,” Sam said, now starting to get very annoyed.
“But, but….” Lisa began.
“I like the idea, Lisa, but I don't want to just say whose idea is the best one until we all reach an overall consensus.”
“No buts about it.”
All of the Patriotic Mosquitoes were given a sheet of paper and a pen to vote on their favorite idea. Instead of coming up with an agreed consensus, they ended up conversing about the lasagna baking party.
Sam was getting fed up with the other Patriotic Mosquitoes. He could imagine smoke flying out of his head; he was that frustrated. And his face would turn red, and his head would get so big with the frustration that his hat would jump off his head and turn upside down.
Five minutes later, due to hearing Lisa talk more about her proposed party….
“Well, since you all seem to be really excited about plotting to take over the three islands, I have made the overall decision. And you will have to deal with what I decide that we do,” Sam announced, after all but five minutes of him not talking at all.
“But, but….” Lisa began.
“So, I decided that we should….”
“So, with all of these factors coming into play, I decided that we should….” Sam began.
“But, but...” Lisa interrupted.
“Lisa, that is very rude.”
“So, with all of these factors in mind, I have decided that we should incorporate our Pledge of the Patriotic Mosquitoes for the three islands. And there is absolutely nothing you can do to change my mind at this point.”
From The Magic Video Game
It was the next morning, and Olivia just woke up. She looked at the clock, which said eight o’clock in the morning. She looked over at Levi, who was still sleeping soundly. He looked as if he was at peace because his breathing was very steady.
He was sleeping on his side, and he was snoring quietly. Olivia could hear him snoring, so she decided to grab a book, which was on the coffee table, and she hit him on the back. This woke him up quickly. Not only did he wake up to that; he woke up in a horrible mood. Levi gave his older sister a deathly stare.
“Can you grow up, you immature weirdo?” Levi asked as he glared at Olivia.
Olivia couldn’t help but laugh a little at Levi’s reaction. She was pretty sure he would react in that similar fashion, given that he is not at all a morning person. She then decided to go to the kitchen to get a bottle of cold water, since she was pretty thirsty.
When Olivia returned to the bedroom, Levi was lying on his back, with his hands behind his head. His shirt was pulled up to his chest, and Olivia was pretty sure she could see her younger brother’s heart beating against his skin. It was pretty creepy, but also pretty cool. Olivia decided to set her alarm clock on her phone and lay it against Levi’s chest. Her phone was moving up and down with Levi’s fast heartbeat.
The alarm clock on the phone went off at 9:30, and Levi felt it go off on his chest. He picked the phone up and threw it across the room. Levi basically found himself crying while fighting to go back to sleep. He was now lying on his stomach, and Olivia had to take deeper measures to try to get him out of bed.
Today was going to be super productive.
Olivia now found a long knitting needle in a random place in the room, which was overall pretty messy. She used it to poke Levi in the armpit. He jumped quickly and turned over to glance at Olivia.
“Owie,” Levi responded feebly.
“When are you gonna get out of bed?” Olivia asked.
“When pigs can fly.”
“I think we’ve already established that.”
“You think we’ve already established what?”
“Pigs can fly.”
“Are you joking?”
Levi didn’t move. He still lay on his stomach, mindless of what was going on today. He didn’t really care about that right now. All he wanted was to stay in bed and get as much sleep as he could. It’s summer. What else is better in the summer than getting too much sleep?
“Okay? I am going to get out of bed when Sasquatch invades the planet,” Levi said.
“A lot of people don’t know who Sasquatch is.”
Levi hit his head with his hand. How could anyone not know who in the sam hill Sasquatch was? He tried going back to sleep. Once again. This time, his hands were underneath his chest, therefore squishing them. He could feel his own heart beating in his hands, like a small bird trying to flap its wings.
“Seriously?! When are you going to get out of bed? We have a ton of fun things to do today, bro!” Olivia said cheerfully.
“I know. When the cure for Kleine Levin Syndrome is found,” Levi answered matter-of-factly.
“Again, most people don’t know what Kleine Levin Syndrome even is.”
Olivia had to shrug her shoulders once again. She found that it was obviously very hard to wake up her younger brother. Levi, of course, made a few more attempts at falling asleep. Olivia let him sleep for another five minutes. After those five minutes were up, she felt obligated to poke him again in the side with the knitting needle.
“Owie,” Levi responded, this time not so feebly.
“That’s what you get when you’re a sleepyhead who loves to sleep in,” said Olivia.
“Fine. I’ll get up.”
He sat up on his bed with his eyes closed. Poor Levi. Of course it would take him a long time to really snap out of it after he was roused out of bed by his older sister. When Levi finally came to his full senses, he felt like he had just jumped into a pool.
“Ewwww….I’m so sweaty,” he said.
“Ewwww….you so sweaty,” his sister repeated jokingly.
And it was true. Levi finally got up and looked at himself in the mirror. He was a total sweat bomb that invaded Wakahakai. His hair looked damp and messy. He still had streaks of sweat pouring off his face. He had sweat stains on the front of his shirt and his armpits.
“Yeah. This is gross. I’m gonna shower. Now,” Levi said to Olivia.
“Yeah. That is gross. Go shower. Now,” Olivia answered back.
Levi picked out some clean clothes from a drawer and headed toward the shower. A few seconds after he had left the bedroom, Olivia had to laugh again. As a matter of fact, the room was actually pretty cold. There was no way Levi could have broken out in a sweat this morning.
Olivia must have had another trick up her sleeve.
She poured water on his armpits and shirt right before he woke up. Not to mention that she also dumped some of the bottle’s contents in his hair. She obviously did very well on this trick. Levi would be dumbfounded once he found out about the feigned sweat.
It was fifteen minutes later, and Levi came back into the room. He was shirtless, and he was wearing his plaid shorts. He walked over to the coffee table and took a drink out of the bottle of water.
“Were you thirsty?” Olivia asked Levi.
Levi looked at Olivia suspiciously. Now, he thought she was up to something. He put the water bottle down and noticed that it was empty. Surely he didn’t drink all of the water in the bottle.
“Olivia?” Levi questioned.
“Yeah?” Olivia replied.
“Did you….pour some water on me before I woke up?”
“And you wanted me to think I was sweating?”
Soon after, Marty came into the room. Levi was still lying on the mattress, but he did not make any more attempts to go back to sleep. If he did, he was most likely going to be annoyed by Olivia.
Marty had tall glasses of what looked like pina coladas in his hands. He offered one to both kids. Olivia and Levi both accepted the polar bear’s offer, and they simultaneously put the glass to their lips. After a few dainty sips of the drink, Olivia put her glass on the coffee table. Marty was not so sure whether she really liked the drink or not, or if she just wanted to savor the flavor. Levi, on the other hand, downed the whole pina colada in one sitting.
“I take it that you liked it,” Marty said, primarily to Levi, with a smile on his face.
“Yus,” Levi answered quietly with a smile.
“And you, Olivia?”
“It was good. I didn’t want to just drink it all in one sitting,” Olivia said.
“Well, it’s on the house.”
“Did you get a ladder?” Levi asked.
Everyone looked at Levi after his random question. Five seconds passed, and then they all had to laugh pretty hard. It was funny because of how abrupt it was. Then, Marty had something that he needed to tell Olivia and Levi, and he had to tell them pretty soon.
“We have plans to visit Princess Spaziana,” Marty said.
“W-wait. Is this basically where we rescue the princess? Is this some sort of trick or something of the like?” Levi asked with utmost curiosity.
Levi just shook his head. There was yet one more thing that had to catch his eye. When Levi looked out the window, he saw that there was a lovely aurora display in the sky. He decided to look out the window for quite some time. It was exotic things like this that have always interested him.
Levi’s secret ambition is to take a trip out to Alaska and spot the auroras in the sky, and he wants to take his friends with him. He has jokingly made plans to take his friends to Fairbanks, Alaska, have a campfire, and just look at the auroras. Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh, his best friends, said that they would be game for a trip like that. David Savino and the Boca twins hadn’t said anything about this proposition yet, but they would probably rather make a trip to Hawaii. Levi had no idea that auroras even existed around Hawaii. Surely, they don’t. This was probably a figure of imagination.
This really couldn’t be happening.
“Well, we told Princess Spaziana that we would meet her at 2:30 this afternoon at Aurora Mall,” Marty said.
“Speaking of auroras,” Levi said, without paying much attention to what Marty had just said.
Olivia and Marty walked over to the window and also saw the pretty auroras. Right now, there were streaks of turquoise and fuchsia that filled the sky. The two kids have never seen anything of the like before. They were both amazed at what they saw.
“Yep. Wakahakai is the only place around Hawaii where auroras occur. It makes sense that Wakahakai is the best place to live,” Marty said proudly.
“I’d love to live here, if I couldn’t live in Rhode Island,” Olivia said as proudly.
“How is Rhode Island?”
“Amazing. We were both born there, and most of our family resides there.”
“We go to Rhode Island for a few weeks every summer,” Levi said.
“I’d love to go there some time,” Marty said.
“It is amazing to say the least.”
Olivia wrapped her arm around her younger brother, and he, in turn, let out a heavy sigh. Thanks to their small talk about Rhode Island, he really wanted to go there now. Badly. Of course, it was really nice in Wakahakai, hence the auroras, laps of luxury, and whatnot. But Rhode Island is Levi’s second home, and home is always where the heart is.
Levi thought deeply about what Princess Spaziana might look like. She would probably look nothing like his girlfriend, who has basically been an angel sent to him by the Good Man. But curiosity decided to get the best of him, and he had to inquire about her looks.
“Is Princess Spaziana remotely pretty?” he asked.
“Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous,” Marty answered.
“What does she look like?”
“Brown hair, blue eyes, hearty smile, fair skin, big heart, I don’t even know where I can begin on all this. And her middle name is….Aurora.”
Merry Christmas, friends! To those of you who don't celebrate, hope you're having a great day!
As promised, here is yet one more blog post for this week. And here's the surprise. Do you remember how I talked about how each family in each series celebrate Thanksgiving? Well, today I'm going to talk about how each family celebrates Christmas, so here we go!
The Ingram's (Rockybado): Dawson, Brett, David, Brody, and Toby Ingram come from a very small family. They have some family fifteen minutes east of them, as well as both sets of grandparents. After the immediate family opens presents, they invite their extended family over to spend the day with them. Normally, the Ingram's are the hosts. However, sometimes hosting alternates between households. For lunch, the family likes to do fried chicken and a few other sides. Then, they spend the afternoon relaxing at the house. Then, for dinner, the family likes to get Chinese food and look at some Christmas lights around Merrillville and Crown Point. When they have dinner, they like to watch a non-Christmas movie. Mostly comedy or sci-fi.
The Grzedek's (The Jazzy Island of Dinosaurs): Andrew, Caleb, Adam, Cameron, and Alyssa Grzedek come from a large family. They have a lot of family all over Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area. Starting December 23rd, the family visits their extended family members. Sometimes, they will go to their relatives' houses. And other times, they will have relatives come over to their house. On Christmas Day, the immediate family starts the day by opening presents and then going to their paternal grandparents' house for a Polish feast. They have turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and bread rolls. But everything else consists of Polish dishes. At least most of the Grzedek side of the family come together on Christmas Day to celebrate. Until the end of the day, the family spends time with their relatives, and they have another Polish feast for dinner.
The Baranovsky's/Cranston's (The Magic Video Game): Louise and Elizabeth Baranovsky, and Victoria, Olivia, Levi, and Evelyn Maeve Cranston come from a medium-sized family. They have family from Northwest Indiana and Rhode Island. The family does celebrate Hanukkah, but they do not go all out for it. However, on December 23rd, Levi spends Christmas with his girlfriend's family. On December 24th, the whole family celebrates Christmas with both sets of grandparents and second oldest half-sister, Elizabeth, and her husband, Paul Weiner. On December 25th, the family starts the day by opening presents. In the afternoon, the oldest half-sister, Louise, and her family come over to the Cranston's house, and they have a "cook-out," where they have a picnic-style Christmas lunch; they do not believe in traditional in the slightest. Everyone relaxes throughout the day. Then, they all go to look at Christmas lights and afterwards get Chinese food. After eating dinner, they all play many random games.
As you can see, each family is different in celebrating Christmas/Hanukkah. And, no matter how you are celebrating today, I hope the rest of your day is nothing short of amazing!
You Know Who
From The Magic Video Game 3: Mystery of the Island
It was the next day, and Levi was watching one of his favorite game shows in the evening with Victoria and Olivia. Evelyn Maeve went to a birthday party and probably wouldn’t be back until around nine o’clock at night. Their parents ordered pizza for the family, and their dad drove over to get their order. Their mom drove Evelyn Maeve to the birthday party.
Victoria was spending an evening at the Cranston’s house on Elmhurst Avenue in downtown Valparaiso. Since she lives in an apartment a few blocks away, she decided to just walk over here. Louise Baranovsky, the oldest half-sister, also lives around here, but she and her family were leaving for Rhode Island tomorrow to visit family. However, since she and her husband, Brian Soriano, have small boys at home, of course they would have to focus on more packing and last minute tasks. Elizabeth Baranovsky, the younger half-sibling, was in Chicago tonight with her husband, Paul Weiner.
The three kids were okay with being together tonight. They didn’t have to do anything that required leaving the house, so that was all good. Mindless of anything else going on at the moment, Victoria, Olivia, and Levi sat around in the living room with a glass of white wine in their hand and chips and salsa on the coffee table while watching TV. They had nothing better to do besides watch game shows and then possibly some stupid comedy shows.
“I wonder if Janice will win,” Olivia said all of a sudden.
“I would assume so. She’s got the most amount of money,” Levi replied. “And they’re right at the third toss-up.”
“No. I mean the final round. We all know she’ll make it that far.”
“I like Janice, so I want her to win.”
“Why do you like Janice so much?” Victoria asked her brother.
“She clearly knows what she’s doing,” Levi remarked.
“I was hoping Tim would win.”
“What do you have about Tim?”
Levi’s response. Victoria has consistently been annoying Levi with the guys that she likes, even though she has never had serious relationships with many of them. Victoria was in one serious relationship in college, and they eventually broke up because he is from San Diego, and she is from Valparaiso. They were sure that the long distance would put a damper on their relationship. Their relationship lasted a year and a half before they realized the truth about distance. Victoria has had on-and-off relationships with other guys that wouldn’t last more than six months, and she has been single for about a year. And so have her other roommates, which would make things slightly easier for all of them.
Olivia was in a relationship with her friend, Cameron Sedley, for five years before they both realized that they wanted nothing more than just a friendship, and also since college was coming up. Olivia and Cameron went to the same college, but they wanted to expand their horizon on friendships and potential relationships. This happened in July 2009, and Olivia and Cameron are still very close friends to this day.
Levi, of course, is a rarity in today’s dating world. He asked Mackenzie Burbanks to be his girlfriend four days after he had his tonsils taken out, which was October 19th, 2005. They have been dating since that day, and their relationship has always been strong.
“Hey, Victoria, you were telling me about David Wolff, right?” Olivia asked her older sister of two years.
“Oh yeah, David,” Victoria responded with an awkward smile.
“Do you still like him?”
“I’ve seen him before. He’s cute,” Olivia remarked.
“He’s mine. Get your own man!” Victoria exclaimed. Levi rolled his eyes.
“Well, if you’re going to be so possessive!”
“I like him!”
“So, when are you going to talk to him?”
“I don’t know.”
Levi didn’t care about David Wolff, some hot employee at some restaurant in Valpo. He knows of him, but he has never talked to him. The only reason why he knows of him is the fact that David and Victoria were in the same graduating class in high school. They graduated in 2007, so a little while ago.
Try seven years ago around this time.
David and Victoria were actually friends in high school, and they have somehow stayed in contact ever since. However, since Victoria has started liking him, she has found it harder and harder to talk to him via social media and texting. She could have a great face-to-face conversation with him, but she would have absolutely no idea what to say in a text message.
Olivia likes David as well, but he is not Cameron. As a matter of fact, Olivia was planning to go bowling with him in a couple weeks, after he came back from Italy, a vacation that his family surprised him with for his college graduation. And, of course, Levi and Mackenzie would be invited to the bowling event.
“How do you know David?” Levi blurted out specifically to Olivia.
“Victoria and I have gone to the fast food joint, and we spoke with him,” Olivia replied.
“Jayneley still works there, right?”
“Yep. She’s going into her fifth year as a manager, even though she transferred from another store.”
“Oh wow. Is she planning to do anything else soon?” Levi asked.
“Either move higher up or go into another industry,” Olivia replied.
“She seems to like what she does.”
“She doesn’t really mind it. However, she is starting to look at other jobs.”
“Okay. How many interviews do you have next week?”
“Five at least.”
Olivia was hoping to get a good full-time job within a month of graduation from college. She was hoping to go into marketing after graduation, so that was what her focus was on. Levi was hoping to find some excitement in his apprenticeship with their dad. Even though she is working full-time, Victoria was hoping to start a relationship with David Wolff. And Levi could not have cared less about that. And also Olivia, to a degree.
David has long brown hair to his chin, a skinny build, and is 6 foot 1. A couple inches taller than Levi, who has a similar build. His hair is shorter than David’s, though. That is Victoria’s idea of an attractive guy. Olivia likes that idea as well, but she is more into guys with dirty blonde hair, like Cameron.
And Evelyn Maeve was just having fun at her friend’s birthday party.
“Levi, what are your plans for tomorrow?” Victoria asked.
“I’m going over to my friend’s house tomorrow,” Levi replied without putting much though into what he said.
“Why? What’s up?”
“My car’s in the shop. Still. And I was hoping that someone could take me to Elizabeth’s tomorrow,” Victoria remarked.
“Wow. That sucks about your car,” Levi said.
“Yeah. Stupid car accidents.”
“I’ll attest to that.”
“Oh yeah, because you were in the car with me.”
A week ago, Victoria and Levi were headed back home from Crown Point after visiting their second oldest half-sister, Elizabeth. Half-way into their trip home, a car hit the trunk of Victoria’s car. Also known as a fender bender. Thank goodness everyone was okay, but it was obviously a scary experience for both Victoria and Levi, even though it was only a minor car accident. The two kids were well, but the car’s fender came off, and the car itself needed to be fixed.
Who knew how long it would take for Victoria to get her car back?
Victoria and Levi did not want to think about that right now. Levi was hoping Janice would win the game. Victoria was hoping Tim would win the game. Olivia was hoping for world peace. And for Janice to win the game. All three kids were hoping for the pizza to come soon. Surely their dad would be home soon, as well as their mom. It could be as short as five minutes, or it could be as long as thirty.
After eating pizza, Levi was hoping to go over to a nearby pizza shack and play some video games on some arcade machines. Hopefully, Olivia would go with him. Victoria would probably do some last-minute shopping with the parents to get some more stuff for her apartment.
Right now, the game was the only thing that mattered.
“Are you up for arcade games tonight?” Levi asked Olivia.
“I should be,” Olivia replied.
“Why would you not be?”
“What are we doing tonight?”
“Victoria has some shopping for her apartment,” Levi remarked plainly.
“Depends on what else we have going on,” Olivia said.
“I haven’t been there in a few weeks.”
“Neither have I.”
“So why couldn’t we go tonight?”
“I don’t see why not. JANICE IS GOING INTO THE FINAL ROUND!”
All of a sudden, Levi and Olivia jumped off the couch and high-fived each other. Then, they were just as loud as loud could be. Victoria just looked at them blankly and started feeling sorry for herself. Not that she really had any reason to. It was just that she was hoping that the hot auburn-haired guy would win.
Because of their “bet” that Janice would get to participate in the final round of the game, Olivia agreed to go with Levi to the pizza place on Highway 130 and play arcade games. Victoria still needed to go shopping for her apartment, and both parents were going with her, so that would leave Olivia and Levi at home with a lot to do.
The question was, what exactly would they do? They figured it out already.
Victoria received two separate texts from both parents. The kids’ dad tried ordering pizza, but the order was wrong. The kids’ mom ended up spending more time talking with one of her friends at Evelyn Maeve’s friend’s birthday party. Even though the pizza order might have gone horribly awry, the evening would still hopefully be good and eventful.
Or eventfully good, as one might say.
“I have good news, guys,” Victoria announced to her siblings in a somewhat sarcastic manner.
“What is that?” Olivia asked for Levi and herself.
“We will have to wait another few minutes for our pizza because they got our order wrong.”
“That’s wonderful. What was our order?”
“We ordered one cheese and one vegetable, both large. But they gave us one medium cheese and a large vegetable, and they were about to charge us for both large pizzas, even though they made us one medium,” Victoria explained.
“Oh wow,” Olivia answered.
“The chips and salsa are good, though.”
“But Dad should be home in no more than ten minutes, and same with Mom.”
‘That’s good to know.”
Janice lost the final round, but she was still a winner in Levi’s and Olivia’s eyes.
From The Magic Video Game 2: Time for Tennis
It was about 10:30 in the morning, and Levi was planning to go to Chicago with Mackenzie and her dad. They had a list of things that they had wanted to do, and Levi was very excited about this opportunity to be with them when walking around Chicago.
Mackenzie’s three brothers, Brent, Jesse, and Andrew, and their mom went to downtown Valparaiso to visit the kids’ cousins. Mackenzie and their dad already had plans to explore downtown Chicago, and they were going to have a great day.
It was now about 10:50 in the morning, ten minutes before they were leaving for Chicago, and Levi had told Mackenzie that he would be over at her house at around this time. However, when Levi did not show up, Mackenzie tried calling him several times. After at least six failed tries, the phone calls always went straight to Levi’s voicemail.
“Snap,” she said after she hung up the phone.
“Is he not answering?” her dad questioned.
“No. And it’s 11:02!”
“He could just be running late.”
“He said he would come.”
“Just relax, sweetie.”
“Levi is usually on time when it comes to things like these, and I know we need to leave soon.”
“Isn’t he a late sleeper?”
Mackenzie didn’t say anything for a few moments. She could not remember whether Levi loved sleeping in late or not. Today, it seems that a lot of teenagers love to sleep in late. And Levi was probably one of them. It was evident that Levi’s love for sleeping in had yet to cross her mind.
“Oh my God. That’s probably what he’s doing.”
She started crying. Mackenzie was really looking forward to having her boyfriend come with them to Chicago. She would not have minded so much the fact that she and her dad were going on a day trip there, but she did not like the fact that Levi just didn’t call her. Mackenzie hung her head down and cried even harder. Her dad walked over to her and tried to make things a bit easier.
Meanwhile, Levi was still sleeping. He was in the clothes he wore yesterday. He forgot to put his ankle brace on; he was so tired from a busy and fun day.
It was now 11:06, and his mom came upstairs to check on him. She gently shook his arm so that she could at least try to get him to wake up. After about five minutes, the boy woke up very slowly. When he finally sat up on his bed, he could barely open his eyes. He brought his knees up to his face, and his head was on them. His arms were wrapped around his knees. Levi was trying to wake himself up by taking in a few deep breaths and exhaling slowly.
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” she said.
“Hello,” Levi quietly answered once he was more awake.
“Did you remember that you were going to Chicago with Mackenzie today?”
“They already left.”
“They were going to leave around 11.”
“What time is it now?”
Levi quickly got out of bed and ran toward the kitchen. His heart was pounding so hard to the point that it could actually burst inside him. His stomach hurt to the point that there may, in fact, have been butterflies flying around in there. And his palms were sweaty from just being woken up, as well as being very upset about the whole situation. His phone was on the counter, next to some breakfast cereal, and he quickly dialed his girlfriend’s number in a matter of heartbeats.
After a few rings….
“Hey, you finally decided to call,” Mackenzie answered.
“Yeah. I’m really sorry,” Levi said.
“What were you doing all this time?”
“I literally just woke up.”
“I saw that you called six times.”
“I sure did.”
“I’m a heavy sleeper.”
“I’m sorry about today. I really didn’t mean to pull what I did,” Levi apologized.
“It’s fine. We’ll just have to plan something else, I guess,” Mackenzie replied.
“I know. I really have to make this up to you.”
“Okay. What do you want to do?”
“Question is….what do you want to do?”
“Well, I’m partial to just playing video games.”
“I’m cool with that.”
“That should work.”
“Alright. See you then.”
Levi sat at the kitchen table feeling very bad about what he had done. Yet, he also thought it was pretty hilarious. Evelyn Maeve found her older brother and skipped in his general direction. She had her butterfly wings attached to her, and she was wearing a halo made out of garland from a previous Christmas pageant that her friend wanted her to be a part of, since she was also in it.
Apparently, Evelyn Maeve’s intention was to be a fairy today.
“Herro,” she said gleefully.
“Herro,” Levi answered back.
“Are you supposed to be somewhere?”
“I was supposed to be in Chicago with my girlfriend.”
“And I overslept, so I’m here.”
Levi went back up into his bedroom to put on some everyday clothes, and then he came back down to eat some leftover mostaccioli from the night before. He and Evelyn Maeve watched some cartoons for an hour. Soon after the next show was coming on, their mom found them on the couch. She was finished with some work that she had to do for her job. Victoria and Olivia were at their half-sister’s house; they visited Louise, who was not feeling very well today.
“What doing, peeps?” she asked.
“Watching TV,” Levi answered.
“Watching TV,” Evelyn Maeve repeated softly.
“Want to do Mexican food for lunch?” their mom asked.
Levi’s and Evelyn Maeve’s mouths dropped. They ran to the closet by the door and hurriedly put on their shoes. Then, the three went to the nearest Mexican restaurant to eat….Mexican food.
Not Chinese food.
An hour and a half later, once they came home from their outing, Levi received a phone call from Jack. He missed the call at first because he basically did not hear his phone go off. Once he found out that Jack had tried to call him, he decided the best thing to do would be to call his best friend back.
After dialing Jack’s number and a few rings….
“Herro, Sir Levi,” Jack answered his phone.
“Hey. What’s up?” Levi answered.
“Hey. I tried calling’ you, but you no get my call.”
“Very funny, sir.”
“Well….how was your….date?”
“You want to know the truth, don’t you?”
“Yes. Yes, I do.”
“What?! What is that supposed to mean?” Jack questioned his best friend.
“I overslept. We were going to Chicago at 11, but I woke up at 11. So, we’re playing video games instead,” Levi replied.
“You should make a cake. Simple as that.”
“I never thought about that.”
“Well. Now, I want you to meet two new amazing people who may join our posse.”
“Great. Who are they?”
“Benny Wickford and Nathaniel Linden. I made up some sweet names for them!”
“Benny is Benny Bear. Nathaniel is Lindy,” Jack explained.
“I like Lindy!” Levi exclaimed.
“I know! Well, come over to the tree house in fifteen minutes….if you can.”
“It’s on the ground.”
“Right. It is a house made out of a tree.”
Levi got ready to go over to Jack’s house. He was actually going to meet two new friends today, who were most likely tennis nerds, just like the whole posse. He ran upstairs to get his sandals, since he has always put them somewhere in his bedroom. Levi was fine when he put his flip-flops on. But, when he ran downstairs, he tripped on one of the stairs and fell the rest of the way down.
“WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” Levi shouted at the top of his lungs.
It was obvious that Levi somehow found a little bit of fun in falling down the stairs. His mom, however, heard the loud noise from the kitchen, where she was sitting. She was far from entertained. As a matter of fact, her post-traumatic stress disorder was definitely kicking in.
“LEVI! ARE YOU OKAY?!” she shouted.
“Yes, I’m fine. I just fell down the stairs.”
“You didn’t hurt yourself, did you?”
“No. It was actually quite fun. Jack wanted me to go over to his house made out of a tree.”
Mrs. Cranston then drove her son to Jack’s house, which is literally five minutes away from their house. Only he doesn’t live in downtown Valparaiso. He lives on Shamrock Lane, which is on the west side. Once Levi and his mom exchanged their casual “I love you’s,” Levi went up to the house to meet up with his best friend, and then Mrs. Cranston and Evelyn Maeve were going grocery shopping. Victoria and Olivia were planning to come home in thirty minutes, as was their dad.
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