Kevin and Shanti were together on a walkway alongside the Charles River in Boston. They decided to race each other as far as they could. After three minutes of sprinting, they took a break. They lay on the grass, and Kevin found himself listening to Shanti’s pounding heartbeat and strong breathing. She pulled up her sweater, and her undershirt and belly button were exposed. He thought he could actually hear her blood flowing through her heart, it was pounding so hard it could burst in her chest. He also saw that her belly button ring was pulsing with her heartbeat.
Like around June 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, were out and about on the mean streets of Boston. Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh were in their apartment playing video games for the evening. Their new friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi, invited them all to play video games, but everyone else declined. Especially since Levi and Mackenzie had a date, and Jack and Asad just simply did not feel like playing tennis.
It was around 6 pm, and Jing and Kevin walked over to the nearby tennis courts, where they all practice. They were planning to stay for at least three to four hours.
“Should we run around the track first?” Jing asked.
“We always do, so I think that answers your question,” Kevin replied.
“Okay, so let’s do it.”
“We need to leave around 9:30, because Levi wanted to chat around that time.”
“I think we’ll be done by then,” Jing said.
“Usually, we are,” Kevin remarked.
“When is Sheridan coming to the States?”
“Next week. He is stopping in Dublin first.”
“To do what?”
“To party there, I think.”
Sheridan is Kevin’s oldest brother, who is 32 years old and lives in London to pursue his doctorate degree in biomedical engineering. He has another brother, Graham, who is 29, and lives in New York City for work, as he works in IT. His only sister, Addison, is going to be 27 years old in a couple weeks, and she lives in Chicago for graduate school. Kevin just turned 25 years old, and Jack, Asad, and Levi view him as their little brother. Kevin is originally from Cranston, Rhode Island, pretty close to Levi’s motherland.
Levi and Kevin met at their tennis coaching job. Levi works in IT for one company in Boston, and Kevin works in IT for another company in the same building, so they very often commute to work together.
Levi, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad share an apartment in the Allston neighborhood, while Jing and Kevin have a place in Cambridge. It is either a fifteen minute commute by bus, or a thirty minute commute by foot.
Jing is from Garden City, a suburb of New York City. He is 25 years old, and has a younger sister, Amanda, who is 23 years old. He and Kevin met when they went to college in Boston. Jing also works in IT, and he is looking to go into grad school pretty soon.
“This weather is pretty nice,” Jing remarked after a couple laps around the track.
“Yes, it is,” Kevin responded. “What time is it?”
“Time for you to get a watch.”
“I have never heard that one before!”
“No?” Jing asked, taking things a bit literally.
“Nope,” Kevin rolled his eyes and smiled.
“Time for tennis?”
“Time for tennis. We have a few hours.”
“We agreed 9:30, right?”
Tennis practice was a complete blur. By the time they got on the tennis courts, it was already 7 o’clock in the evening. They had a couple hours before they’d have their phone chat with Levi, Jack, Mackenzie, and Asad later tonight.
A couple hours later, Jing and Kevin were really tired, sore, and sweaty. They headed back to their apartment in Cambridge, where they would get ready for the night. It was Thursday evening, so one more day before the weekend.
That’s why they all needed to chat.
When they got into the apartment, Jing beat Kevin to the shower, kinda pissing Kevin off.
Kevin used this time to lie on his bed to stretch his back out a little, and to throw a tennis ball against the ceiling. He decided that now was a good time to call Levi, and so he did.
“Hey Kevin, I have you on speaker,” Levi answered on his end. He and everyone else must have been out in the common area.
“Hey, how’s it going?” Kevin asked.
“Well, Mackenzie and I are back from our little date. We ventured out on the harbor walk and the North End.”
“Very nice. We’re all gonna check out the harbor walk again this weekend, right?”
“I wouldn’t mind doing that. We could also go out to Cambridge, whatever works for you,” Levi said.
“Well, I’m totally open. Jing is taking his sweet little time in the shower,” Kevin replied.
“I figured as much.”
“What is everyone else doing?”
“Well, Mackenzie is in our room. I think she’s on a phone chat with her family. Jack and Asad are in the kitchen heating up some leftovers from the night before.”
Jack and Asad had some Indian food from last night that they decided to heat up now, after spending at least two hours playing video games. They were being summoned into the living room to come up with some plans to hang out that weekend with Jing and Kevin.
“Hi Kevin,” Jack responded once he and Asad walked into the common area.
“Hey guys,” Kevin responded back.
“How was tennis?”
“It was pretty great. I beat Jing on all matches, so that was nice.”
“I wish we were there to witness it,” Jack said.
“I know! You missed out on a great evening,” Kevin exclaimed.
“Well, we were playing tennis on TV.”
“Not as fun.”
“Next time, we’ll play all of you.”
“Sounds like a plan. Well, Jing came in, and I’m going to shower. I’m disgusting.”
“Okay, you do you.”
October 20, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Jack Andrews, Asad Prejesh, and Jing Hao were at their apartment in Allston, playing card games. It was around 7 pm, and they were expecting their other friend, Kevin Maggliardi, to get to the apartment around 5:30 pm. They knew that he had some errands that he needed to run, but they had not heard from him until about 30 minutes later.
At 7:15, they heard a knock on the door, and they knew it was Kevin. Jack walked over to the door because he knew that he was going to be really shaken up.
“Hey Kevin,” Jack greeted their friend at the door.
“Hey,” Kevin responded quietly.
“We’re all here in the common area,” Jack said.
“That’s good,” Kevin replied.
“You wanna talk about it?”
“Maybe in a bit. I need to catch my breath.”
“You ran all the way here?”
Jack and Kevin walked together into the common area, where everyone else was. They noticed that Kevin was absolutely not himself. He seemed really tired and out of breath, and he was really sweaty, after sprinting two miles from the scary incident. He appeared to be very shaken up, and Jack let him lie on their couch.
Levi and Asad put away the games, so that they could focus on helping get Kevin stable. No one has ever seen him like this before.
Asad got a pillow from his room and put it on the couch for Kevin to lay his head on. Kevin lay sideways on the couch, trying really hard to catch his breath. His hands were on his chest, most likely feeling for his heartbeat.
“My heart’s pounding,” Kevin remarked quietly.
“It’s okay, buddy. You’re safe here,” Jack replied.
“So what happened?”
“I was being followed and then held at gunpoint,” Kevin said.
“Oh shit. You didn’t lose anything, did you?” Jack questioned.
“I lost like $12 in cash, but that was about it. I didn’t have my wallet on me, so I lucked out. When I gave him what I had, I distracted him, and then I bolted. I think I ran like two or three miles. And then my asthma acted up a bit, so that was great.”
“Why did he follow you in the first place?”
“I have no idea why I was a target. Maybe it was because I had my backpack on me.”
“Yeah, who knows? But, at least you’re safe.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever feared for my life.”
Jing and Asad walked over to Jing and Kevin’s apartment in Cambridge, only a 30 minute walk on foot. Their two other roommates, David Vittorio and John Harold, wanted to hit up downtown Boston in the evening, so all four boys were going to head out that way shortly.
Levi and Jack decided to stay back with Kevin. They would probably watch TV for the rest of the night and let Kevin stay over.
“Hey Kevin,” Levi got his friend’s attention after he accidentally fell asleep for a few minutes.
“Yeah?” Kevin asked softly.
“Something similar happened to me when I was a kid.”
“I used to walk home from school, and I was approached twice in eighth grade,” Levi remarked.
“Oh wow,” Kevin replied.
“Yeah. It was pretty scary. When I was walking home from school, some old guy asked me if I was cold, since I didn’t have a coat on. That terrified me, so I bolted back to my house. That was the first time, and we thought we had everything settled. Then, a month later, someone screamed random crap out of their car, and I thought it was directed at me, so I ran back to my house. That was when I was walking to school. I couldn’t go to school that day, because I was too terrified.”
“I will be.”
It was Friday evening, and Kevin Maggliardi and Shanti Lee decided to spend tonight together. Their friends were hanging out in downtown Boston, but Kevin and Shanti wanted to be alone. They ordered pizza and watched goofy cartoons. They then went into the moment. Kevin’s arms were wrapped around Shanti, and he lay his ear against her chest. He heard her grunt softly. Not only could he hear her heart beating very fast, he could also feel it pulsing against his ear. Shanti was playing with Kevin’s hair, while he still listened intently to her strong and somewhat painful-sounding heartbeat.
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