Matthew Rhodes Bacaluso-Leyman (Rhody) spent the weekend in Evansville, Indiana with his dad, since he went on a college visit. They decided to make a foodie trip out of this, and had planned to spend time in southern Indiana, northern Kentucky, and they had even planned a day in St. Louis to try out some barbecue places there.
It was Saturday morning, and they had planned to go to St. Louis for the day. Around 8 am, Rhody woke up to his heart pounding really hard in his chest, and he could hear it in his ears He also had some slight nausea, and his breathing was relatively shaky. He had realized that he had a panic attack in his sleep and did what he could to calm himself down in order to enjoy the rest of the weekend.
“Hello, is this Kevin?” A strange number came up as a text message on Kevin Maggliardi’s phone.
“Yes, who is this?” Kevin texted back, 30 minutes later.
“Linda Matmatuan. We dated a few years ago, and I dropped the ball on you. I understand if you don’t ever respond to this message, but I truly wanted to apologize for what I did to you. Totally inexcusable, but I was in a very bad place emotionally, and I couldn’t commit to a relationship.”
“Oh, yeah it’s fine. I’m dating someone else now.”
“I actually have a young daughter now, and that really changed my outlook on life. I’m also engaged, and we live in Somerville. I wanted to see if you would be interested in being friends again. I really liked you, but I was too afraid to commit to something serious at that time. Michelle and I also still talk,” Linda texted back.
“I still talk to Michelle sometimes, and yeah that’s fine,” Kevin texted back.
“Want to meet up through video chat some time?”
“Yeah, sure. Can I bring my girlfriend with me?”
“Yeah, of course. My friends and I were gonna do a group chat tomorrow evening if you wanna join.”
Matthew Rhodes Bacaluso-Leyman (Rhody) was visiting Boston for a few days. He and a few other friends, Levi Cranston and Kevin Maggliardi just came back to Levi’s apartment from a run. A few other friends, Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh, were at the apartment watching TV.
“Sup, Rhody,” Jack greeted Rhody. Levi and Kevin came in behind him and went to different rooms.
“Hey, guys. What’s everyone up to?” Rhody asked.
“Just watching TV and waiting for Jing Hao and Wong to come over. Mackenzie is out with her friends for the afternoon.”
“Nice. You guys didn’t miss much today. The run was brutal.”
“Yeah, it’s chilly outside, so that’s why we took a pass,” Jack replied.
“Kevin, Levi, and I all have reactive airways, so it hit us all a little harder than usual,” Rhody said.
“Where are Kevin and Levi? I didn’t see them come in.”
“They’re resting for a few minutes. They were both complaining of some chest pain from the cold weather.”
“How are you feeling?”
“I’m better now. My chest hurt for a few minutes, and I spent a few more minutes after that coughing up a lung. But that didn’t last for long.”
Kevin Maggliardi and his three older siblings were at their parents’ house in Cranston, Rhode Island for Thanksgiving. At the time, Sheridan, 29, was living in Boston. Graham, 26, was living in New York. Addison, 24, was living in Chicago. And Kevin was still a student and living in Boston.
Although Sheridan and Kevin lived close to each other and are very close, they otherwise keep their lives pretty separate. Sheridan was living with a couple of his friends in Cambridge. Kevin was living in the Allston neighborhood with his friends, Jing Hao, Mike Wong, and David Rogers.
Graham and Addison were helping their parents make their traditional Italian food for Thanksgiving. Sheridan came home after getting coffee with a friend. He was walking toward the kitchen, and then Kevin quickly ran through the walkway leading to it, quickly scaring Sheridan.
“OH MY GOD!!!!” Sheridan shouted.
“BOO YA!” Kevin screamed.
“What the hell, man. My heart nearly exploded.”
“Charlie got scared. Ya dingus.”
“Don’t ever f*cking do that again,” Sheridan said, trying to catch his breath.
“You alright?” Kevin asked.
“No, of course not. I’m gonna like die over here.”
“No, it’s not that bad.”
“Still, don’t do that.”
Like around June 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, were out and about on the mean streets of Boston. Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh were in their apartment playing video games for the evening. Their new friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi, invited them all to play video games, but everyone else declined. Especially since Levi and Mackenzie had a date, and Jack and Asad just simply did not feel like playing tennis.
It was around 6 pm, and Jing and Kevin walked over to the nearby tennis courts, where they all practice. They were planning to stay for at least three to four hours.
“Should we run around the track first?” Jing asked.
“We always do, so I think that answers your question,” Kevin replied.
“Okay, so let’s do it.”
“We need to leave around 9:30, because Levi wanted to chat around that time.”
“I think we’ll be done by then,” Jing said.
“Usually, we are,” Kevin remarked.
“When is Sheridan coming to the States?”
“Next week. He is stopping in Dublin first.”
“To do what?”
“To party there, I think.”
Sheridan is Kevin’s oldest brother, who is 32 years old and lives in London to pursue his doctorate degree in biomedical engineering. He has another brother, Graham, who is 29, and lives in New York City for work, as he works in IT. His only sister, Addison, is going to be 27 years old in a couple weeks, and she lives in Chicago for graduate school. Kevin just turned 25 years old, and Jack, Asad, and Levi view him as their little brother. Kevin is originally from Cranston, Rhode Island, pretty close to Levi’s motherland.
Levi and Kevin met at their tennis coaching job. Levi works in IT for one company in Boston, and Kevin works in IT for another company in the same building, so they very often commute to work together.
Levi, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad share an apartment in the Allston neighborhood, while Jing and Kevin have a place in Cambridge. It is either a fifteen minute commute by bus, or a thirty minute commute by foot.
Jing is from Garden City, a suburb of New York City. He is 25 years old, and has a younger sister, Amanda, who is 23 years old. He and Kevin met when they went to college in Boston. Jing also works in IT, and he is looking to go into grad school pretty soon.
“This weather is pretty nice,” Jing remarked after a couple laps around the track.
“Yes, it is,” Kevin responded. “What time is it?”
“Time for you to get a watch.”
“I have never heard that one before!”
“No?” Jing asked, taking things a bit literally.
“Nope,” Kevin rolled his eyes and smiled.
“Time for tennis?”
“Time for tennis. We have a few hours.”
“We agreed 9:30, right?”
Tennis practice was a complete blur. By the time they got on the tennis courts, it was already 7 o’clock in the evening. They had a couple hours before they’d have their phone chat with Levi, Jack, Mackenzie, and Asad later tonight.
A couple hours later, Jing and Kevin were really tired, sore, and sweaty. They headed back to their apartment in Cambridge, where they would get ready for the night. It was Thursday evening, so one more day before the weekend.
That’s why they all needed to chat.
When they got into the apartment, Jing beat Kevin to the shower, kinda pissing Kevin off.
Kevin used this time to lie on his bed to stretch his back out a little, and to throw a tennis ball against the ceiling. He decided that now was a good time to call Levi, and so he did.
“Hey Kevin, I have you on speaker,” Levi answered on his end. He and everyone else must have been out in the common area.
“Hey, how’s it going?” Kevin asked.
“Well, Mackenzie and I are back from our little date. We ventured out on the harbor walk and the North End.”
“Very nice. We’re all gonna check out the harbor walk again this weekend, right?”
“I wouldn’t mind doing that. We could also go out to Cambridge, whatever works for you,” Levi said.
“Well, I’m totally open. Jing is taking his sweet little time in the shower,” Kevin replied.
“I figured as much.”
“What is everyone else doing?”
“Well, Mackenzie is in our room. I think she’s on a phone chat with her family. Jack and Asad are in the kitchen heating up some leftovers from the night before.”
Jack and Asad had some Indian food from last night that they decided to heat up now, after spending at least two hours playing video games. They were being summoned into the living room to come up with some plans to hang out that weekend with Jing and Kevin.
“Hi Kevin,” Jack responded once he and Asad walked into the common area.
“Hey guys,” Kevin responded back.
“How was tennis?”
“It was pretty great. I beat Jing on all matches, so that was nice.”
“I wish we were there to witness it,” Jack said.
“I know! You missed out on a great evening,” Kevin exclaimed.
“Well, we were playing tennis on TV.”
“Not as fun.”
“Next time, we’ll play all of you.”
“Sounds like a plan. Well, Jing came in, and I’m going to shower. I’m disgusting.”
“Okay, you do you.”
“Hi Rhody, how are you doing?” Matthew Rhodes Bacaluso-Leyman’s (Rhody’s) best friend, Zach Niornski, asked over the phone.
“Like complete shit. This started a couple days after my dad and I came back from our college visit in Evansville. Literally one of the worst colds I’ve ever had,” Rhody responded.
“Sorry to hear that. But how was the weekend getaway?”
“We were gone from Wednesday night to Sunday evening, and we had a blast. Didn’t realize how awesome the college is. As of now, that one is my top choice.”
“And you’re planning to go into engineering, right?” Zach asked.
“Mechanical engineering. And you’re planning to do something in computer science, right?” Rhody responded.
“Yes, I think so. Just not sure where I’m going yet.”
“Yeah. I just can’t think that far ahead right now.”
“Did you go to school today?”
“My throat is on fire,” Matthew Rhodes (Rhody) Bacaluso-Leyman said to his older sister, Jayne, who was in his room with him at the moment.
“How long has it been since you had your tonsils out?” Jayne asked.
“I don’t even remember, like a few days ago, I think. I’ve just been playing video games for most of the time, though.”
“Did you want ice cream or something? Dad wanted me to ask you.”
“No thank you,” Rhody replied.
“Okay, Dad and I are going out for a few hours. Mom is here if you need her,” Jayne said.
“Ok. Thanks, Jayne.”
“Levi said he’s free to come over if you want.”
“I’ll think about it. I’m really not feeling too well.”
“Alright. See you in a few hours.”
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."
“So, we all booked our tickets to San Francisco for May,” Levi Cranston said to his former neighbor and good friend, Matthew Rhodes (Rhody) Bacaluso-Leyman, over the phone.
“Very nice. Wish I could join, but my friends and I are going to Orlando that same week,” Rhody replied.
“Who all is coming with you?”
“Zach, Brett, your sister Olivia, Audrey, Graham, Ayaan, Allen, Jerome, David, and my girlfriend Ally. Who’s coming with you to San Francisco?”
“Jack, Asad, Savino, Kevin, Jing, and Wong. Mackenzie, Shanti, and everyone else are having a girls’ weekend,” Levi replied.
“You’re visiting a few friends there, right?” Rhody asked.
“Yes, two of Brett’s brothers live out there. And a couple other friends as well. Savino lives in San Jose, and he is going to meet us there.”
“Very nice. I love San Francisco.”
“I do as well. How are you feeling after last week?”
“Much better, I tested like five times to see if I had Covid, because my throat was on fire. It was just a bad cold. But now Zach has a bad cold, and we were going to see Brett’s band perform at a pizza place nearby.”
September 7, 2018
It was Saturday afternoon, and Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and his friends, Kevin Maggliardi, Jack Andrews, Jing Hao, Asad Prejesh, and Mike Wong decided to play a friendly game of soccer. Mackenzie Burbanks, Levi's girlfriend, and Shanti Lee, Kevin's friend and love interest, were sitting on the grass watching the boys play soccer. It was a pretty intense game so far.
"So how long have you and Kevin known each other?" Mackenzie asked Shanti.
"Since we were four," Shanti replied.
"So have you ever dated since then?"
"Casually, yes. But we never really went steady. We thought about it, but he went to school here in Boston, and I was in LA."
"What did you study in LA?" Mackenzie asked.
"I studied to be a hair stylist," Shanti replied.
"What do you do?"
"I'm a graphic designer, and Levi is a systems engineer, so he's the IT nut."
"As is Kevin."
The girls were still watching the intense game. It was Kevin, Mike, and Jing versus Levi, Asad, and Jack. Not that it really mattered, because they were doing this for fun. Of course, Kevin and Levi were the more competitive and active in the game. Jack wanted to be the goalie for his team, so he wouldn't run as much. Jing felt the same way for his team.
When the boys took a breather, Kevin ran over to where Shanti and Mackenzie were sitting, and fell to the ground on his back. Shanti noticed that his hands were underneath his head, while he was trying to catch his breath. Kevin was not wearing a shirt, so Shanti could see the ends of his rib cage every time he took a breath. While his right hand was still underneath his head, he let his left hand rest comfortably on his chest. Shanti thought that she could see her friend's heart pumping violently against his hand, and she thought it was kinda cute.
"Put your arm down, Kevin," Shanti said to her incredibly sweaty friend.
"This feels so good, though," Kevin replied.
"But you're so sweaty."
"That's what soccer will do to you."
"Are you alright?" Shanti asked, noticing that Kevin was still breathing hard.
"Yup. Couldn't be better," Kevin stated, drawing in a deep breath and pressing his left hand firmly against his chest. He then heard his stomach gurgle loudly, and his face turned a little red.
A few minutes later, Kevin recovered and got back up. With him being all sweaty, he had picked up some grass on his back. Shanti wiped off what grass she could get with the back of her hand and realized how sweaty he really was. Kevin ran back to the field to play some more soccer with everyone else.
The game got even more intense, even brutal to some extent. A few of the boys tripped on nothing and fell on top of each other. The soccer ball hit one of the boys hard enough in the chest, causing him to lose his breath for a few seconds. All of the boys were extremely sweaty after an hour and a half of soccer in this weather.
Once they all decided to call yet another breather, Kevin noticed that his nose was starting to run. He wiped his nose with his left arm and noticed that he was having a nosebleed. With that in mind, he slowly walked over to the side and knelt down facing the grass and pinched his nose to stop the bleeding. He already had blood on his face, which dripped down to his chest and stomach. The only way that he could have had such a nosebleed would have been from breathing in too hard and potentially causing a lot of pressure in his nose.
"Good game, everyone!" Jack shouted as he clapped humorously. He then noticed Kevin pinching his nose, and he still had some grass on his back.
"I hope Kevin's okay," Levi remarked.
"You alright, Kevin?"
"Yeah, had a nosebleed," Kevin replied. "A shower would be nice."
"Yeah, I think we are done anyway," Jack stated.
"Once we all shower and whatnot, I'm thinking sushi in downtown tongiht."
"Hell yeah we should."
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