Kevin Maggliardi, Jing Hao, Mike Wong, and David Rogers met at freshman orientation at their college in Boston. They were about to start school but had moved on campus beforehand. After being introduced to their classmates, the four boys went out to eat and then played video games in Kevin’s and Jing’s room until 4 am.
The next day, Kevin woke up at 1 pm, and Jing at 11 am. They had all planned to hang out today. Kevin decided to have this day to himself and re-energize. He took an afternoon and explored two big name colleges in Cambridge.
Hello and Happy Sunday.
As we all know, 2020 took a turn for the worst, and we are *now* recovering from everything that has happened since then. Things have been incredibly busy on my end, and I honestly feel that I’ve lost touch with my passions and hobbies.
With that in mind, I don’t feel that I have been up to speed with everything going on as well. With that in mind, I am going to give you all an update on my friends from Rockybado.
1. Dawson Ingram, the oldest of the Ingram’s, is married to the love of his life, Daniela, and they have two adopted twin daughters, Olivia and Amelia. Since the end of 2016, they have maintained two houses, one in Valparaiso, Indiana, and one in Lincolnwood, Illinois. Their permanent address has been in Lincolnwood since 2017, and they have rented their Valparaiso home to a college friend.
2. Brett Ingram, the second oldest, lives in Brooklyn, New York, and dated Olivia Cranston from 2017 to 2020. They broke up during the Covid-19 pandemic, realizing that they were not the right romantic fit after a while and could not see themselves getting married. They broke up by mutual agreement, but still remain good friends. Olivia has stayed single to regroup and decide what she really wants in a relationship, and Brett has been dating a Vietnamese woman since February 2021, and things seem to be going well.
3. David Ingram, the third of the boys, lives in San Francisco. He has been working in the fintech field since he and Brody moved here. His best friend, Adam Brown, has lived in the city since 2019, and they live together. Both guys are not in relationships at this time.
4. Brody Ingram, the fourth, also lives in San Francisco. He is in a very serious relationship with his long-time girlfriend, Julia Jaconetti. Brody works in IT, and Julia works as a paralegal. They both live with David Ingram, Adam Brown, and Andrew McCalsky in a 4-bedroom apartment in San Francisco.
5. Toby Ingram, the youngest and only adopted boy, lives in Chicago, on the north side. He is not in a relationship and lives with three other friends from college. When Dawson needs his daughters babysat, Toby makes himself available to make it work. He is an accountant, just like Brett.
It was October 15th, 2005, and Levi just woke up from sleeping for nine and a half hours. He played video games with two of his four older sisters until two o’clock in the morning. Victoria, 17, and Olivia, 15, woke up at about eight o’clock in the morning to make breakfast. Evelyn Maeve, 5, was keeping Levi company. Their parents had to work. Louise, the oldest, a 25-year-old manager at a business in Crown Point, was working for only half of the day today and would come over at noon.
It was already 11:30 in the morning, and Levi woke up, took a shower, and put on some everyday clothes. When he was in the bathroom getting ready for the day, he looked in the mirror and saw a reflection of himself, an absolute mess. His dark brown hair was messy from sleeping for a long period of time. He had marks all over his arms from moving around too much on the couch while sleeping. Levi was recovering from strep, so he wasn’t quite himself yet.
When he came downstairs, the first thing he grabbed from the refrigerator was a glass of ice cold water. He lay back on the couch, where their cats, Duchess and Prussia, were waiting for him. The cats walked up to Levi, lay on his stomach, and purred. Levi decided to pet them while watching his favorite cartoons.
“Levi, we made our Italian skillet,” Olivia said as she walked into the living room.
“I’m not really that hungry,” Levi answered weakly.
“That’s unusual. You normally eat. A lot.”
“I know. But I feel sick to my stomach.”
“You should eat a little something, though. Do saltines work?”
“I’m okay with that.”
Olivia gave Levi a few saltines and a can of light soda, so that he could have something in his stomach. While watching TV, he thought very much about Mackenzie Burbanks, one of his good friends from school. Knowing each other since the age of eleven, Mackenzie is someone Levi has always been fond of. Her brown hair, brown eyes, and beautiful smile would always make Levi consider a relationship with her. He closed his eyes and imagined this relationship until he heard the front door open.
It was now 12:30 in the afternoon, and Louise arrived at her half siblings’ house from work. She brought some chocolate turtles from the local candy shop for them. Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve ate their share of the candy, but Levi did not feel like eating much, since he still wasn’t feeling well. He continued to watch some stupid cartoons while the pain in his throat gradually worsened.
Thirty minutes later, he suddenly developed a horrible taste in his mouth, accompanied by a sore throat, cold sensation, and intense nausea.
“I think I have a draining abscess in the back of my throat,” he said, terrified.
“Okay. Let me call Mom and Dad,” Louise answered calmly, for she knew what she was doing.
Once Louise got off the phone with their mother after five minutes, she and Levi headed to the hospital. Victoria, Olivia, and Evelyn Maeve stayed home and hoped that things were going to be fine.
By the time Louise took her younger brother to the hospital, Levi started crying very hard. His throat hurt badly, and he still had the bad taste in his mouth. He felt very sick, and his head was pounding. He was then starting to feel very dizzy. Once the doctor called the two into the examining room, Levi felt a little relieved.
The doctor performed all of the possible procedures that every doctor would. He mainly checked Levi’s throat to make sure nothing was very serious. When the doctor could see Levi’s tonsils, it was obvious that there was a ruptured abscess on the side of his left tonsil. There was an abscess on his right tonsil as well, but the doctor did not want this one to also drain suddenly.
The doctor knew he had unpleasant news for both Louise and Levi. He asked Levi how many times he had strep in the past few months, to which Levi responded that he had strep at least twice every two months. This peritonsillar abscess was the fourth one he had had over the course of five months. The doctor said that Levi needed to have his tonsils taken out, and he needed them out soon.
Once Levi found out the news, he remained calm on the outside. However, on the inside, he was horribly nervous. Levi remained emotionless in his appearance. He found himself breathing more heavily. He could also feel his heart pounding hard against his chest. He wasn’t sure if he felt like crying or if he just didn’t want anyone to see his true emotions. He was scheduled for surgery in an hour and thirty minutes. This was plenty of time for their parents to arrive at the hospital before Levi’s tonsillectomy.
Once his parents arrived at the hospital with Levi’s favorite plush dinosaur, Levi clutched the toy. He pretended that it was Mackenzie, and he hugged it tightly so that he could get his mind off the obvious. Their parents also did whatever they could to calm Levi down before he had to go to the operating room. Once Levi’s name was called by a nurse, he could feel his heart rate skyrocket a second time. He and his parents went with the nurse to the prep room. This was where Levi had to have yet another physical examination, where the same possible procedures that a doctor or nurse would perform were actually performed. Levi was then taken to the operating room.
Before he knew it, he had the laughing gas mask put over his face. He was told to breathe deeply. Levi focused on his breathing while also listening intently to the fast beep-beep’s of the heart monitor. He was very nervous at first, and then he thought about Mackenzie. She would be there in spirit, with her ear pressed firmly against his chest so that she could actually hear his strong heartbeat and the gentle whooshes of his breathing. She would tell him that she loved him and that he would make it through the surgery very well. This calmed him down a lot. He noticed that his heart rate slowed down a little, and he wasn’t breathing too hard. He was now in a state of peace.
“I love you, Mackenzie,” Levi thought before he fell asleep. When he was finally under the anesthetic, the surgeons started operating on his throat. Things were going well enough until one surgeon accidentally cut a sensitive spot right above Levi’s tonsils. This spot was so sensitive that the surgeons could not stop the bleeding for about five minutes.
“Oh no!” said one surgeon.
“We missed,” said another surgeon. “What do we do?”
“We will have to cauterize the wound. Cauterization wand?”
The surgeons tried to use the cauterization wand, but the surgical instrument was not working for some reason. No one knew why they could not cauterize the second injury.
“Oh no! The wand isn’t working,” The second surgeon reacted.
“Shoot!” exclaimed the first surgeon.
“What are we going to do?!”
“Second best option. We will have to stitch the cut together.”
Once the spot was stitched together, the surgeons felt better about the whole situation. They believed that Levi was going to be in a lot of pain once he woke up, but he would be okay at least. Once his tonsils and adenoids were taken out, he was wheeled into the recovery room.
“Levi, wake up,” said a nurse.
Levi opened his eyes. His vision was blurry. He felt hot. His throat felt hot. He was incredibly thirsty. Above all, he wondered where his parents were. When he was able to return to his senses, he did not feel much different. His throat hurt even more now than it did before surgery. It felt like he had four cases of strep throat, all at once. His throat also felt very hot, as if a flame torch had been forced down. His parents then came into the room.
“Hey, Levi,” his dad said calmly.
Levi really did not feel like talking much.
“Worst. Day. Of. My. Life,” Levi muttered quietly.
A nurse then came into the room.
“Would you like cherry, orange, or grape?” Nurse Michaelson asked him in a motherly manner.
Levi pointed at the grape popsicle. The nurse gave the grape popsicle to Levi’s mom. His mom opened the wrapper, and then held the popsicle while Levi was slowly sucking on it.
Nurse Michaelson felt very sorry for Levi, based on the hearsay that she was given about the trouble the surgeons went through just to take out his tonsils. She, a big woman probably closing in on 60, always smiled sympathetically. She wanted so badly to make the atmosphere in the recovery room slightly more comfortable.
“How’s your throat, hon?” Levi’s mom asked while she held the popsicle up to Levi’s mouth.
Levi shook his head, meaning that it really hurt.
“One of the surgeons accidentally cut the area above where Levi’s tonsils used to be, and the surgeons could not control the bleeding. So, they had to stitch the cut in order to stop it,” the nurse explained with utmost compassion.
Levi let out a heavy sigh.
“So, that’s why it hurts so much?” Levi questioned softly.
The nurse slowly nodded.
“Would you like to see what your tonsils looked like?” Nurse Michaelson questioned Levi, who, in return, shrugged his shoulders.
He didn’t care that much about what his tonsils looked like. Nurse Michaelson brought in a small bag with two enormous blobs of tissue inside it. At first, Levi was pretty grossed out. He grew nauseated for about fifteen minutes, and then he did not think his tonsils really looked that bad.
“Can I keep my tonsils in a jar?” Levi questioned the nurse with a weak smile.
There were five seconds of silence, and then his parents and the nurse started laughing very hard. Levi couldn’t help but smile because he was proud that he made everyone around him laugh.
“I wish I could say yes, but if you did, your tonsils would decay, and they would smell horrible,” the nurse responded.
Levi shrugged his shoulders. He really could not stand the fact that he had a burning sensation in the back of his throat.
“Did someone force a burning muffin down my throat?”
“Your throat may feel hot because of the cauterization wand that the surgeons used.”
Levi let out a heavy sigh. It was obvious that he really was not himself. On a normal day, he would never assume that anyone forced a burning muffin down his throat; much less would he have much interest in keeping his tonsils in a jar in his backpack.
“Je m’appelle Levi Cranston. J’habite a Valparaiso. Je suis americain. Je parle français.”
“Are you taking French right now?”
“Yes, sir. I love it.”
There were five seconds of silence. The nurse and Levi’s parents could not help but laugh. Levi let out another weak smile. He was completely out of it. The anesthesia was slowly wearing off. And then….
“I love you, Mackenzie!” Levi then blurted out with tears in his eyes.
“Awwww,” his mother answered sympathetically while moving closer to him to wipe his tears with some facial tissues.
She then put her hand on his chest to calm him down. Levi cried himself back to sleep. He and his parents stayed in the recovery room for another two hours.
Then, they went home.
Four days after the surgery, he still felt horrible. He got up to brush his teeth and put on clean clothes. His mom took a few days off to take care of him. She came into the living room where Levi was resting.
“Hey, sweetie. How do you feel?” his mom asked, and Levi shrugged his shoulders.
“My throat hurts. I feel like I was pushed out of a 64-story building. I’m hot. I’m tired. And I want a cold drink,” Levi answered plainly.
“Cold water sound good?”
“Oh, and Mackenzie called about two hours ago. She was wondering if she could come over. She’s worried about you,” his mom said as she was walking to the refrigerator to get her son a glass of ice cold water.
Levi started thinking about Mackenzie again. After five minutes of some intense contemplating and pondering, he let out a weak smile.
“Can she come over?” he questioned.
“It’s up to you. How do you feel?” his mom answered with another question.
“I’m okay with that.”
Levi eventually called Mackenzie when he finally felt up to it, which was later that day. He dialed her number. Levi almost dialed the wrong number at first because he couldn’t remember Mackenzie’s number. However, after a few tries, Levi had the right number. And, after Mackenzie heard her phone go off, she answered it.
“Herro, Revi,” Mackenzie answered the phone rather humorously.
“Hey. Want to have a video game party?” Levi asked.
“Okay! Can I come over in about thirty minutes?”
“All right. See ya!”
After Levi got off the phone with Mackenzie, he went up to his bedroom. He searched for a specific ring that had a small plastic pink flower on it, which was a ring that Victoria didn’t want anymore. Levi then put the ring in a small jewelry box and hid it in a place where no one would find anything obvious. Mackenzie came to his house thirty minutes later. She knocked on the door. Levi answered it.
“Hey, Mackenzie,” Levi said with a weak tone in his voice.
“Hey. How are you feeling?” Mackenzie answered back.
“My throat hurts.”
“Oh well. I have some games that we could play today.”
“I’m cool with that.”
Levi and Mackenzie spent at least two hours playing video games. After the two kids finally quit playing them, Levi went up to his room, took the small jewelry box, and put it in his pocket. He went downstairs and lay back down on the sofa. He slowly moved the box in his hand.
“Hey, Mackenzie?” he questioned a little softly.
Levi could feel his heart banging against his chest. He was very nervous about this.
“Yes, Levi?” Mackenzie answered politely.
Levi took a deep breath as he took the box out of his pocket. Fifteen seconds later.
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Levi questioned as he opened the box with the ring.
“Are you serious?!”
“Yes!” Mackenzie answered as she grew speechless to the point where she started crying.
She reached over to where he was and hugged him tightly. It was pretty obvious that Levi was not feeling well. He started shivering, and Mackenzie put some blankets over him. She then decided to stay for another hour and watch some cartoons with him.
Levi’s mom came into the living room where Mackenzie and Levi were because she wanted to check on Levi. She had a conference call that she just finished. When Levi wrapped himself more tightly in his blankets, his mom looked at Mackenzie.
“Mackenzie, you should probably head home. Levi might have a fever.”
Afterwards, she checked her son’s temperature. He had a 100.8 degree fever. Mackenzie definitely needed to go home.
Before she left for home, she gave Levi another hug and kissed him on the cheek. Levi let out a heavy sigh and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Once Levi’s mom drove Mackenzie home, Levi fell into a blissful sleep for several hours.
Jack Andrews, Levi Cranston, Asad Prejesh, Kevin Maggliardi, Jing Hao, and Mike Wong hung out in downtown Boston for the day.
Things were going so well until later that afternoon when the boys overheard a heated argument involving two guys. When they started screaming at each other, Kevin noticed himself starting to hyperventilate. He was held at gunpoint a few months ago, and this was a trigger for him.
Jack noticed Kevin freaking out, so he took him to a nearby bathroom to get him to calm down. Levi, Asad, Jing, and Mike decided to just hang out at Boston Commons.
“It’s okay, Kevin,” Jack said to his friend, while they were in the bathroom.
“I don’t know,” Kevin replied while still breathing hard. He was in tears, since he was badly triggered.
“What do you want to do?”
“I think I’m gonna go home. I think I’ve had enough fun for a day.”
A few seconds later, a guy walked past them and noticed Kevin crying.
“Girl,” the guy remarked in a deep voice.
Jack and Kevin looked at each other, and started to laugh. A few minutes later,, Kevin went home, and Jack hung out with everyone else.
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.”
About my Blog
My blog contains anything and everything one should know about my books. Aaaaand a lot more as well.