From Rockybado 4: Running Up a Hill
It was David’s senior year in high school, and Brody’s junior year. They were both on the tennis team, and so was Adam Levistad. With this in mind, it was right in the middle of tennis season, and the boys’ tennis team had a tournament today. This was the fourth tournament in this season, and the boys were excited about hopefully doing well today.
Except for Brody.
David’s younger brother had been sick for a little over a week, causing him to miss this past Tuesday and Wednesday and come back to school on Thursday. Because Brody didn’t miss school on Friday, he was allowed to participate in today’s tennis tournament. However, what he thought he had did not just go away. As a matter of fact, he started feeling worse after he woke up this morning.
“Wake up, Brody,” Mrs. Ingram said as she came into the room to wake up Brody.
Thank goodness Brett was not at home at the time. He was at a university on the north side of Indianapolis. Because Brett was not at home, this meant that Brody did not have to deal with any pranks whatsoever.
“Do I have to get up?” Brody asked sleepily.
“Do you want to play tennis today?” Mrs. Ingram asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Aren’t you feeling better?”
“No, I’m not,” Brody replied even more sleepily.
“Well, what should I do?” Mrs. Ingram asked.
“I want to play, but I feel like I’m going to throw up.”
“Oh no. Let me check your temperature.”
Mrs. Ingram ran out of the bedroom and got the thermometer in the hall closet. When she returned with it, she noticed Brody lying on his back on the futon with his hands behind his head. To her, this might not have been a good sign. Mrs. Ingram gave Brody the thermometer to put under his tongue. After a minute or two of waiting, it was time to see the results.
“Would you like to know if you have a fever or not?” Mrs. Ingram asked her son.
“Sure. Go ahead and tell me,” Brody answered.
“So, I don’t have a fever?”
“No. It’s about what it’s supposed to be,” Mrs. Ingram replied.
“I think I’ll try practicing and see how I am after that,” Brody remarked.
“Sounds like a plan. If you’re at the point where you feel really sick, let me know.”
“Now, I’ll need to take you, David, and Adam to practice today since Adam’s mom is at the hospital visiting her friend who just had a baby.”
Brody slowly got out of bed. He was still feeling nauseous, but he thought that it would be a good idea to at least show up to practice and see how he felt during the day. He put on some clothes and tried to make himself look at least a little presentable. Five minutes later, Brody threw up, but he thought he was going to feel better throughout the day.
He sat inside the bathroom for about ten minutes because he wanted to be close to the heater. Also, Brody was waiting to feel a little better so that he could still play today. He then came downstairs and ate a few saltine crackers, but he didn’t feel like eating much else. Brody did not talk to anyone at the table; he was only hoping that he wouldn’t throw up again today.
“You’re really not feeling well at all today, are you?” Mr. Ingram asked his fourth son.
Brody slowly shook his head.
“Should he stay home today, Marsha?”
“We both agreed that he would call me if he gets really sick,” Mrs. Ingram answered her husband.
“Whatever you say. He does not look well to me.”
“I seriously think he should stay home,” Mr. Ingram remarked in his somewhat thick British accent.
“This has happened to him before, and he was able to pull through,” Mrs. Ingram said.
“I’ll be fine,” Brody finally stated.
“You sure, hon?”
“I think so.”
“If you say so.”
David was feeling fine; he actually wasn’t sick at all this week. And neither was anyone else. For some very odd reason, Brody was the only one in the family who had actually gotten sick. And he was really sick this time around. Of course, Mr. Ingram wasn’t sure if Brody would be able to make it through practice. And Mrs. Ingram believed that he could get better throughout the day.
Let’s see how today goes.
Mrs. Ingram picked up Adam from his house, since he doesn’t live too far away from the Ingram’s house on Garfield Court. Adam and David, of course, started talking. Brody, however, did not feel like conversing with anyone. He just stared out the window and hoped to the Good Man that this would all pass.
Fifteen minutes later, due to random and unnecessary traffic, David, Brody, and Adam were at the high school, ready to play tennis. The two older boys walked over to some fellow tennis players and started conversing with them. Brody, on the other hand, did not talk to anyone, since he was not feeling well at all.
Normally, he would be talking a mile a minute with everyone on the tennis team. But, at the moment, Brody’s stomach hurt, and he didn’t know why he was at the high school today.
Brody decided that he should at least try to practice with the team. The practice time seemed like a complete blur, as in the fact that it had gone by so quickly. But, at the same time, it seemed like forever that Brody’s match was going to end. He played against one of his teammates for about an hour.
When he just finished his practice match with one of his teammates, Colin Nichols, Brody started feeling sick again. He was afraid to run to the bathroom because he didn’t want to risk throwing up in front of the Good Man and everyone else. Instead, he slowly walked to the school and headed toward the men's bathroom.
There was no one in the men’s bathroom, so Brody made himself as comfortable as possible. He entered a stall, closed the door behind him, and sat on the floor. Brody really did not want to throw up, but he didn’t think that he had any choice whatsoever. For fifteen long minutes, he just sat there thinking about everything, but nothing at the same time. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to get sick today, but he also didn’t want to get any sicker than he already was.
Brody started throwing up all of a sudden.
Between bouts that lasted about two minutes, he rested his head in his arms, which lay comfortably on top of the seat. Brody thought that it would be good for him to come home, but he didn’t want to miss this tournament. Since he loves to play tennis so much, and missing one tournament could mean the end of the world.
Well, not really.
A few minutes later, during a bout of throwing up, two football players came into the men's bathroom. The first thing that they heard was the sound of Brody throwing up. The two football players, named Javon Peterson and DeShaun Golding, wanted to help the poor guy out, but at first they weren’t quite sure who was in the closed stall “worshipping the porcelain idol.”
But then they knew.
“Brody?” Javon called the boy’s name.
“Hello?” Brody replied quietly.
“You okay in there?”
“No. I’m puking my guts out, and I feel like I’m going to die.”
“Oh dude. Would you like us to get you something? Like a drink or something?” Javon offered.
“Can you get a drink from a vending machine? I don’t care what it is,” Brody replied, even more quietly than before.
“And how did you know it was me in the stall?”
“Your hoodie’s on the floor, and it says B. Ingram on it.”
“I have some money that I could give you.”
“Don’t worry, bro. It’s on us.”
Then, Javon and DeShaun ran out of the bathroom toward the cafeteria, where the vending machines were. Brody heard the two football players making crazy high-pitched noises as they were running toward the cafeteria. After laughing to himself for a few seconds, he was hoping that this would all be over as soon as possible.
Of course, Brody threw up again.
Javon and DeShaun were running as fast as they could to the vending machine, they continued to make crazy high-pitched noises. In the cafeteria, there was another group sitting at the tables, listening “intently” to the advisors as they were describing to their group what to expect when out and about. Apparently, the group was leaving campus as well.
“WE HAVE A SICK DUDE TO TAKE CARE OF!” Javon shouted as loudly as he could.
“WOOOOOOOOOO!” DeShaun shouted louder than Javon.
The group, of course, stopped everything they were doing and gave the two football players weird looks. There must have been some understanding that Javon and DeShaun had good intentions, but why did they have to announce their intentions to the whole world? What were the advisors of the one group going to do?
Javon and DeShaun chose a light soda from the vending machine for Brody, and then they returned to the bathroom where Brody was most likely still throwing up.
“Sup, Brody?” DeShaun said after they came back.
“Sup,” Brody answered.
“Here’s your drink. Hope you like light soda.”
“Are you still gonna stay out of tennis today?” DeShaun asked.
“Probably,” Brody replied. “I already called my mom, and she’s picking me up.”
“I know. I was looking forward to tonight.”
“I hope there are more tourneys.”
“There are. I really wanted to play in this one.”
Brody didn’t feel as if he could play tennis, given the circumstances. He had already arranged for his mom to pick him up from the high school within fifteen minutes. While waiting for her, Brody stayed in the bathroom and sipped on his soda. Once his mom let him know that she had arrived, he left the bathroom and headed out of the school toward the car. After Brody and his mom would arrive home, Brody was probably going to sleep for as long as possible.
A couple hours later, David and Adam left with the rest of the tennis team for the tournament. Everyone had to have felt bad for Brody because he couldn’t participate today. While some team members formed their own conversation groups and talked about random subjects, David and Adam listened to David’s music and conversed amongst themselves.
“Sucks about Brody,” Adam said to David.
“I know. We all thought that he was getting better,” David remarked.
“Didn’t he miss a couple days of school last week?”
“Tuesday and Wednesday.”
“What was he sick with?” Adam asked.
“He had a cold, but now I guess it’s the flu,” David answered.
“Sounds like it.”
“He didn’t look well at all today.”
“No, he didn’t.”
“I’m amazed that he was able to pull a great match with Colin Nichols.”
“I am, too.”
The high school tennis teams were already at their destination. The boys got ready for today’s tournament, which, of course, was a complete blur. Then, it was time for the tournament, and everyone on the team had to get mentally ready for it.
An hour later, the tournament began.
From Rockybado 2: A Run in the Game
Brett Ingram looked at his electric guitar with complete admiration. David looked at Brett’s science formula posters with complete admiration. And Brody was looking at both of his brothers with a look of confusion on his face. David and Brody are Brett's younger brothers.
“Hey, Brett?” Brody tried to get his older brother’s attention.
“Yays?” Brett answered, suddenly taking his eyes off his guitar.
“How are you after a couple days ago?”
“What do you mean?”
“You thought a girl was cute.”
“Oh. I did?”
“….I thought you said that.”
“Oh. I did.”
Brody knew how extremely sarcastic his older brother was being right now. Of course, Brett probably still had that girl on his mind. He just didn’t want to say it. And Brody probably did not understand the whole story about what happened when Brett laid eyes on the pretty girl for the first time. Basically because Brett was not at all open about it with him.
“Yeah. She’s cute,” Brett blurted out.
“Her name?” David asked.
“It’s a Serbian name, and I can’t remember it offhand. But I do have it in my phone. She wanted me to call her back.”
“Did you?” Brody questioned.
“Can I be honest with you?”
All three boys laughed pretty hard. It has always been in Brett’s nature to forget something simple as that. He can remember the hardest math equations, the most complicated chemical bonds, and the physiology of the breathing apparatus. But he often forgets to call people who ask him to.
Oh well. It happens.
While Brett, David, and Brody were still sitting in Brett’s room, Brett went back to looking at his electric guitar with complete admiration. David went back to looking at Brett’s science formula posters with complete admiration. And Brody went back to looking at both of his brothers with a look of confusion on his face.
He didn’t want to say anything now because, really, he didn’t know what to say at this point. Brody couldn’t think of anything else to talk about. David couldn’t think of anything else to talk about. And Brett wanted to pull out his electric guitar and practice.
And then it occurred to Brody.
“Oh, Brett?” Brody tried getting his older brother’s attention.
“Yays?” Brett answered.
“You will see her at bowling practice, won’t you?”
It took a little while for Brett to answer Brody’s question. Simply because he had thought about avoiding it. But why, though? This really had nothing to do with either David or Brody. The youngest brother in the room was just curious, and he just wanted to ask a curious question. Simple enough.
After two minutes of complete thought….
“Yes, Brody. I will see her today,” Brett answered reluctantly.
“We will let you practice on your guitar,” David said.
And Brody and David left Brett’s room, so he could practice a little bit on his guitar skills. The two boys then went into their bedroom and made their beds. And then, they decided to play classic video games together until further notice. Probably for only an hour, though. Because it was already 10:30 in the morning.
January 6, 2019
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Jack Andrews, Asad Prejesh, Mike Wong, Kevin Maggliardi, and Jing Hao spent an afternoon in downtown Boston. Kevin left early because he was really not feeling well. Once he got back to his apartment in Cambridge, he fell asleep on his bed. He didn’t even bother pulling his covers over him, he was so out of it.
Around 4 pm, he heard a knock on his door in his subconscious, but he didn’t wake up. It was his roommate, John Harold, who slowly opened the door. Kevin was sleeping on his stomach, with his head buried in his pillow. When John knew that he was still sleeping, he closed the door and let Kevin sleep a little longer.
A couple hours later, Jing came home from an afternoon in downtown Cambridge with everyone else. He needed to get ready for the week, and he was hoping that Kevin could come with him to get his groceries. But he wasn’t sure if he would be up for it.
Jing slowly opened the door into Kevin’s room and noticed that he was still sleeping. He walked up to him and gently shook him.
After a few minutes, Kevin slowly stirred in his bed. His eyes were still closed, and he slowly waved at Jing.
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” Jing said to his friend and roommate.
“Good morning,” Kevin replied quietly. “What time is it?”
“It’s six o’clock.”
“AM or PM?”
“Your ma,” Jing replied.
“Very nice,” Kevin remarked even more quietly, pulling his pillow over his head. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears.
“How do you feel?”
“So I take it you don’t want to go back out tonight?”
Kevin decided to take the next day off work to recover from his cold. He actually started to feel a burning sensation in his chest, most likely from coughing so much. It didn’t hurt for him to breathe, but he was at least mindful of it. His nose was really stuffed up, and he felt worse now than he did when we was out and about with everyone else.
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?”
October 13, 2018
Kevin Nathaniel Maggliardi, one of Levi Cranston’s (The Magic Video Game) friends whom he met in Boston, was spending the mid-day on the phone with his older brother, who lives in London.
Kevin's older brother, Sheridan Charles Maggliardi, who is 32 years old, just recently had his tonsils removed after several bouts of strep throat. At the age of 32 years old, no one would or should expect that to happen. Kevin felt that it was his job to walk him through the recovery stage, since he himself had to have his tonsils taken out at the age of 12, and that was in 2006.
Kevin is now 25 years old.
"Dude, I feel like shit," Sheridan spoke quietly on the phone.
"How's your throat?" Kevin asked.
"It hurts like hell. I want ice cream."
"Then, get someone to give you some."
"My girlfriend is out, and my other friends are playing a show. I really don't want to get up," Sheridan remarked.
"That was me when I had mine out. My throat really hurt for the first three to four days, and then I started feeling better," Kevin said.
"This is Day 7. I should be getting over this by now."
"Isn't it worse when you get your tonsils removed as an adult?"
"I don't know, I don't care."
"So, what are you doing to keep you busy?"
"Watching TV. What are you up to, aside from talking to me?"
"Not much. Taking it easy today, I think."
Kevin was lying on his stomach on his bed, with his laptop facing him, since he was talking to Sheridan that way. He hadn't really planned anything with his friends today, since he wanted to get his laundry done, and he felt that today was a good today to not do anything extravagant.
His friends, Levi Cranston, Mackenzie Burbanks, Jack Andrews, Jing Hao, Asad Prejesh, and Mike Wong, were spending an afternoon playing board games and card games at Levi's, Mackenzie's, Jack's, and Asad's apartment in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, but Kevin declined. He wanted to take today to spend talking to Sheridan and helping him through recovering from his tonsillectomy.
Kevin had not left the apartment at all today, and he was perfectly okay with that. It was now 1 o'clock in the afternoon Boston time. He woke up at 10 am, showered, and started on his laundry. Today was his day, and he was going to make the most out of it.
Although Sheridan and Kevin were still online, they were silent for about five minutes. Sheridan looked totally out of it. His eyes were half-way open, he had an ice pack around his neck, and his hair looked pretty unkempt. In May, Sheridan decided to cut his hair to match Kevin's hairstyle.
Kevin couldn't remember if he had brushed his hair this morning. Either way, it didn't look horrible.
"What are you watching right now, Charles?" Kevin asked his older brother. Sheridan has always gone by "Charles" or "Charlie" to his family and friends. Kevin has always gone by "Kid" to his family.
"Some rubbish I can't understand, given my state," Sheridan remarked.
"What TV shows have you gotten into?"
"I'm putting some on, once we end our call," Kevin remarked.
"You're literally doing nothing today?" Sheridan questioned his younger brother.
"Nope, and it feels wonderful. Haven't left the apartment at all today."
"My friends and I hung out at our place last night. So I think it's a good idea to take a day off. Jing, Wong, and I are doing something tomorrow for sure."
"That sounds fun."
Friday, April 19, 2019
A couple of Levi Cranston’s (The Magic Video Game) friends, Kevin Maggliardi and Mike Wong, decided to spend this evening together working out. Levi, Jack Andrews, Asad Prejesh, and Jing Hao spent an evening in downtown Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Kevin and Wong had been wanting to run up all of the flights of stairs in Wong’s high rise building in Cambridge, and now was the best day to do it.
“Are you ready to die yet, Wong?” Kevin asked his best friend with a smile.
“As ready as always,” Wong responded, flexing his right arm.
“Me, too. Ready?”
After a brief warm-up session, the two boys started running up each flight of stairs. After about five flights of stairs, both boys started breathing a little harder, but they still felt like they could accomplish this feat.
Twelve flights of stairs in, and Kevin noticed himself gasping for air, and his face felt flushed. He was not going to let this stop him. This was his goal for over six months, as was Wong’s. He had used his inhaler before running up the stairs.
Wong started feeling a burning sensation in his chest, and he could hear his heart pounding in his ears. He didn’t care. They were a few flights up from the top, and this was not going to stop them.
Before they knew it, they made it to the top. Both Kevin and Wong slowly finished their last flight and found a ledge to sit on. They were both breathing very hard and were extremely sweaty.
Wong’s chest hurt even more than it did before. He tried some deep breathing exercises without much luck. He had to catch his breath before he could relax.
Kevin’s hands were on his chest. He could both hear and feel his heart racing. He thought it could pop out of his chest at any moment. He buried his head inside his shirt so that he could dry the sweat off his face.
“Well, unless we decide to shower, I don’t think we should go anywhere tonight,” Wong remarked, after a few minutes.
“I’m winded. I don’t think I’d want to go anywhere tonight,” Kevin replied.
“How are you now?”
“Almost recovered. How about you?”
“I’m fine. Your face is flushed,” Wong said.
“It feels flushed. You in the mood for pizza?” Kevin asked.
“Of course. I’m probably gonna be hungry within the next hour.”
“I call a large pineapple and ham pizza for myself. What about you?”
“Feeling cheese today. My heart is racing.”
“Just take some deep breaths. You’ll be okay.”
From Rockybado 4: Running Up a Hill
John Garfield, David Ingram, and Brody Ingram left the house and drove toward Andrew McCalsky’s house, which is not too far away. When all four boys were in the car, they were on their way to Lake Michigan to spend a day at the beach. But they weren’t actually going to the beach. They were going on a hike, something that the boys have always enjoyed doing together.
They knew the hike was going to last about an hour, but they didn’t care. They all had their water bottles with them, and they were going to a fast food joint in Merrillville, Indiana afterwards. So, of course, they were all happy.
While the boys were walking on the green path toward the lake, they all had random conversations about how some people were able to put seven huge white grapes in their mouths, as well as The Hawaiian Geeks, the awesome free concert that Andrew and his older brother went to last night, and goofy high school and college memories.
And then John and David started their own conversation about how each other’s full-time jobs were going so far.
“So, David and I made a bet a few days ago,” Brody remarked half-heartedly.
“What is it now?” Andrew asked, very amused.
“He wants to see me run up a big hill after we’ve gone up to the lake.”
“Nice! Are you gonna do it?”
“Definitely!” Brody replied.
“So, is this a real bet, or is it just something for funzies?” Andrew questioned his best friend.
“Oh, it’s a bet. He told me that if I don’t die while running up the hill, he will pay for his and my food today. But if I do die, then he will do one of two things. He will either just pay for his own food, or he will try to see if I might have money in my own wallet.”
Of course, Andrew and Brody had to share a laugh.
“Oh, Brody. You crack me up.”
“Any time, bro.”
Before they knew it, the four boys were finally at the lake after their one hour and thirty minute hike. Andrew, Brody, David, and John stood at the top of a hill, looking at the pretty blue water and a gray silhouette of the Chicago skyline. It was really a pretty sight. And, of course, they don’t do this often because Lake Michigan is often out of their way. After a few minutes of trying to catch their breaths and staring at the immense beauty, they all debated if they should run to the beach.
Of course they would. Why wouldn’t they?
The only guy who did not have to take a puff on his inhaler was John, since he doesn’t have asthma. The poor kid had to wait for everyone else, though. But then everyone was ready to head down to the lake for a little while.
“I’ll race you guys,” John remarked to the other boys.
“I’m in,” Brody said for Adam, David, and himself.
A few seconds later….
“On your mark, get set….BANANA PEEL!” David exclaimed.
The four boys ran as quickly as they possibly could to the lake. They were all wearing their gym shoes, but they could feel the weird feeling of the sand brushing up at them. It wasn’t so bad running down the hill to the lake, but the challenge that Brody was given by David was most likely going to prove otherwise.
Brody won the little race that they had, with John coming in second, Andrew in third, and David last. Oh well. The person with first place would win absolutely nothing. Just a fun guys’ day on the lake.
The boys didn’t really do much on the beach. They skipped rocks. They walked around for a bit. But not much else. For some very odd reason, there were few people who were actually on the beach. There was an older couple who seemed to enjoy themselves and the sun tan that they were both about to get. Also, there was a family with two girls who made sand castles and ate hot dogs.
But they were the only people on the beach, besides the boys of course. Andrew, Brody, David, and John walked a little further toward a steep hill that David thought could be a challenge to Brody. They wanted to be by the water, but, because they still had their gym shoes on, they didn’t actually get close enough to the water. The four boys walked toward the steep hill and eyed it for a few moments. David was hoping that Brody, being the extremely headstrong person that he is, was ready for the challenge that lay ahead of him.
“Hey Brody, are you ready to die yet?” David asked his younger Irish twin brother.
“I have prepared for it,” Brody replied without much thought.
“You ready to run up that hill?”
“Again, I’m prepared. Am I supposed to sprint or can I run a little slower?”
“Your call. Whichever is best for you, but you just have to make it up that steep hill without dying. Cool?” David explained.
“Cool,” Brody remarked, not quite sure if he was truly ready for this challenge. He looked at the hill and started to have doubts. However, his huge sense of being headstrong got in the way after a few moments.
Brody did a few stretches before the challenge. He threw his arms over his head and bent over backwards. Because of this, his shirt was pulled up so that his stomach and belly button were supposed, his mop of brown hair touching the sand. Then, he sat down and stretched his legs. Brody knew he had this challenge, and he was going to kill it.
A few minutes later….
“Are you ready?” David asked.
“Yes, I’m ready! You know how I am!” Brody exclaimed.
“On your mark….get set….”
The three boys cheered loudly for Brody as he attempted to run up the hill. And they saw him go for it. In his mind, Brody knew that he was going to achieve his goal by running up the hill. Partially because he was hoping that whatever he ordered from the fast food joint was on David, but also because Brody has always been a very stubborn person who believes that he can do anything as long as he puts his mind to it. No matter what the consequences would be afterwards, Brody was going to run up the hill, hopefully with no problem.
Brody was still running up the hill; David knew that he was going to try to make it all the way up. After Brody made it half-way, and was, of course, going to go for the whole way, the three boys started making their way up the steep hill. They ran a bit of the way, but then they decided to walk the rest of the way. After seven minutes of the journey up the hill, they found Brody lying on his stomach on the ground, breathing very hard.
“Congratulations, Brody. You won the bet,” John stated.
“What?” Brody asked, still breathing hard.
“No, you really won. You made it to the top with no problem,” David remarked.
“I’m lying on my stomach, trying really hard to breathe,” Brody spoke quickly, then having to take another breath. He could feel his heart pounding hard in his chest, which actually hurt with each heartbeat.
“Whatever you order, on me.”
Check out Rockybado, Rockybado 2: A Run in the Game, Rockybado 3: The Invasion of the Naughty Blue Aliens, and Rockybado 4: Running Up a Hill
For some double awesome stuff, check out The Crazy Chicken Escapade and The Somewhat Perilous Plot of the Patriotic Mosquitoes!
It was March 27, 2017, and Brody Ingram (Rockybado) had just received news about his new IT job for a good company out in San Francisco, California. His girlfriend, Julia Jaconetti, is going to move with him. She has been considering graduate school for marketing, but she is currently a full time online tutor, and her hours are a bit off. While maintaining this gig, she will look for a full-time opportunity out in the Bay Area.
Brody’s brother, David, is planning to go to a university in San Francisco next fall to study IT, as well as Brody’s best friend, Andrew McCalsky. Although they are planning to move to San Francisco, they are not going to do so until summer 2017, so that they can get organized for the time being.
It was 8 o’clock in the morning of moving day, and Brody was supposed to be awake by now. When David walked into his room to check on him, Brody was still sleeping soundly on his futon. He looked pretty comfortable, too. His comforter lay loosely on top of him, with part of it already on the floor. One of his pillows was on the floor, touching the farthest point of his comforter. Brody was lying on his stomach, on top of his blue body pillow that he has had since he was in seventh grade, shortly after he had his tonsils taken out.
Even though David wanted to let Brody sleep for a little while longer, he knew that he had to wake up Brody. His new job will start at the beginning of April, but Brody and Julia needed a little bit of extra time to get moved into their place, which they will be sharing with Brody’s cousin’s friend, Kevin Iacobucci and his girlfriend, Lesley. Brody has been battling a cold for a few days, and this was most likely going to put a damper on his moving experience from Merrillville, Indiana to the West Coast.
Brody, being as he always is, will make light of today, even if he isn’t feeling 100 percent.
There were a couple other things that David needed to help Brody pack, such as his futon and bedsheets, toiletries, and his laptop. David, Toby, who is David and Brody’s younger brother, Andrew, and Adam Levistad, David’s best friend, were going to help Brody and Julia move to San Francisco. David asked his fiancée, Olivia Flavenshevich, if she was available to help, and she said no.
David walked over to Brody and gently shook him. Within a few minutes, Brody slowly woke up. Then, he fell back asleep. Even though he has been excited about moving to San Francisco, he was not feeling too well this morning it seemed. His nose was all stuffed up, so he couldn’t breathe out of it. All he wanted to do right now was to sleep in as late as he possibly could.
“Hey, Brody,” David said to his younger Irish twin brother.
“What?” Brody answered in his sleep.
“Julia is here.”
Brody woke up slowly. He was still not in the mood to do much of anything. His throat was still a little sore from the cold that he was battling, and it was pretty hard for him to breathe. David felt pretty sorry for Brody, since this was all very bad timing, but he still needed to get ready for his move to San Francisco.
In general, Brody was pretty excited about the move, but the cold was not doing him any favors whatsoever. While waiting for Brody to take his sweet little time getting ready for the day, David invited Julia inside their apartment for a cup of tea. They both knew Brody would take a while, so why not wait for a bit?
“How’s Brody doing?” Julia asked David.
“Well, he could be doing better,” David half-joked.
“Of course. I’m assuming it’s just a cold?”
“That’s all it is, the man cold.”
“He needs to man up, then!” Julia joked.
“Of course!” David replied.
“What time do we need to leave?”
“I think noon. Andrew, Adam, and Toby are coming over around 10 am.”
“What kind of tea would you like?”
David set out his pot of water on the stove, and waited for it to boil. Julia couldn’t wait for her oolong tea fix. And, once Brody would finally wake up, he would likely make English breakfast tea for himself. Since that is always his go-to flavor.
Julia noticed David’s shirt, since she has never seen him wear it before. It said, “Deutschland” on it, with the German flag showing underneath the letters. She has seen both him and Brody wear t-shirts that they got from London a while ago, but she somehow didn’t know that David studied German in high school and college.
Brody also studied German in high school and some college.
“When did you go to Germany?” Julia asked David.
“In 2013. Brody and I both went there for a month during the summer,” David replied.
“Oh awesome! Did you like it?”
“Absolutely I did. Running in Germany is so much different than it is here.”
“I’ll bet. I didn’t know you run,” Julia said.
“Sometimes, but Brody is much better than I am,” David remarked.
“What did you guys do there?”
“My parents gave me and Brody a package to Germany. One of their friends had planned to go to Germany, but their plans fell through, so we took that opportunity.”
“That sounds like it was a great opportunity. Where were you?”
“Mostly in Munich, but we explored as much of Germany as we possibly could.”
Brody finally got up, but he didn’t go into the common area with everyone else. He stayed in his room and played on his phone. Of course it was going to take him a little while to get up. But it was already 8:30 in the morning, and he still had some things he needed to pack. Only three and a half hours left to do everything, and their friends were coming over in a little while. The boys’ family was coming over at 11 o’clock, just to make sure everything was moved out of Brody’s room. And also to give them some of their mostaccioli that they so love.
“Good morning, Brody,” David greeted his younger Irish twin brother with a smile, as Brody finally walked into the common area to be with everyone.”
“Hi,” Brody replied quietly. He was obviously still out of it.
“Fancy seeing you here so early.”
“Very funny, David. Now, will you help me get things?”
“What things?” David asked.
“You know….” Brody remarked with a roll of the eyes.
“Is someone not a morning person?”
“You’re not either.”
“That’s true. Want some tea?”
Brody didn’t say much else. He sat loosely on the leather recliner as he was fighting to stay awake. Hopefully the English Breakfast tea would perk him up somehow. David was thinking it would. He was pretty excited about going to San Francisco for a few days. He took this week off work to get Brody and Julia situated in their new apartment. And they’d likely see a few places and do a few things while there. This would likely be the last time that David would go to San Francisco as a visitor, as his plan is to move out that way this summer. His plan is to move to San Francisco with Andrew by July. They had a lot of things that they needed to get taken care of as well.
The tea was made, and Brody slowly walked over to get himself a cup of tea. Julia was sipping her tea as well, but somehow David fell asleep within fifteen minutes. If he was so awake and energetic one minute, then how could he be asleep the next?
David was all sprawled out on the couch in the common area, with a plush throw blanket over his legs. There was a pillow that was partially over his head, and his left hand was on top of his chest, moving up and down with his steady breathing. He looked very comfortable, and no one wanted to wake him up.
Julia stayed at the apartment, even though David somehow fell asleep out of the random.
“How are you doing, Brody?” Julia asked.
“I’m okay, just a little sore is all,” Brody replied. He still lay sprawled out on the recliner, drinking his tea.
“Whatever happened to David?”
“I don’t know. This is the first time I’ve seen this happen to him!”
“Que interesante!” Julia exclaimed in Spanish.
“Bellissimo!” Brody replied back.
“You ready to move to San Francisco?”
“Absolutely, I am. I just wish I wasn’t sick.”
“Is David sick, too?”
“Maybe a little.”
David was sound asleep, and both Brody and Julia knew it. He must have started getting a little sick, too. Brody started getting sick a week ago, and he was still fighting the noble battle. Getting sick right before the excursion to San Francisco seemed to be one of the worst times to get sick. David’s face was a little red, especially around his nose. He must have been awake the whole night trying to get things organized for him and everyone else going to the Bay Area.
Brody and Julia could both hear David snoring loudly. They couldn’t help but laugh. Not just at David’s faint snoring, but also at random things. If one person started laughing, the other person would join in, and the other way around.
David had not planned on falling back asleep, but he did.
“David, wake up!” Brody shouted at his older Irish twin brother.
“Brody!” Julia exclaimed.
“He was supposed to help me pack.”
“I can help you pack.”
“What about you? Did you get your stuff packed already?” Brody asked.
“Last week,” Julia replied with a smile.
“I wish I was like that!”
“I’ll teach you.”
“Show me your ways!”
David still lay comfortably on the couch for the time being. It was 9 o’clock in the morning, and Brody and Julia started packing what was left of Brody’s room in their apartment. After Brody leaving, David, Andrew, and Adam have been planning to bring in Adam’s cousin, Ben. After David and Andrew leaving, Adam and Ben have been planning to bring in a couple mutual friends to split the cost of rent, since it would then be only the two of them.
Brody got up off the recliner, and he took his and Julia’s mug and put them both in the sink. David also had a mug, but half of the English Breakfast tea was still in it. His breathing was steady, and his left hand was still on his chest. He just moved his right arm and loosely put it over the pillow, which was over his head.
Fifteen minutes later….
“Wake up, David!” Brody shouted.
“Wha….“ David replied quietly.
“You awake, bro?”
“Now I am.”
“San Francisco, though!” Brody exclaimed.
“Can’t wait,” David answered in his sleep, moving over on his side and pulling his blanket over him.
“Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey.”
“No, Brody. Not that joke again.”
“Yes, that joke again!”
“Julia, make him stop!”
David slowly got up from his little catnap, and then he, Brody, and Julia packed everything on Brody’s side of the room. There was really not that much left. But, once they all got everything officially packed, Brody resorted back to his leather recliner. Julia sat right next to him, wrapping her arms around Brody’s chest. David proceeded to make his signature steak skillet, but then he realized that their parents were coming over to give them their signature mostaccioli.
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.”
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.
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