We are almost at the end of 2018 (I can't believe it), and we are all wondering what we will end up doing next year. In fact, we are all wondering what we will end up doing next month. All things are quite possible. In case you are wondering, here is what everyone from each series is up to now.
* Dawson Ingram, the oldest of the five boys, is married to his wife, Daniela Ingram, and they adopted two girls, Olivia and Amelia. They live on the southwest side of Valparaiso, Indiana.
* Brett, the second oldest, lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his friends. His girlfriend, Olivia Cranston, and her best friend, moved to Brooklyn from Hoboken, New Jersey. Brett is a CPA and freelance musician.
* David Ingram lives in San Francisco with Andrew McCalsky and a couple other mutual friends. David is in school for his Master's in Cybersecurity, and Andrew works as an IT Administrator for a company in the heart of the city.
* Brody also lives in San Francisco, but he lives with his longtime girlfriend, Julia Jaconetti. Julia is an executive assistant for a financial firm, and Brody works as a web developer.
* Toby, the youngest, is still in college in Chicago. He is trying to decide if he wants to stay in Chicago after college, or if he wants to move to San Francisco, New York City, or Boston.
The Jazzy Island of Dinosaurs
* Andrew Grzedek is a social media manager for a company in Chicago. He lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood with a few of his friends. His girlfriend, Eliza Colbert, lives in Wicker Park, so not too far away from him.
* Caleb, the second oldest, lives in San Francisco. He is a freelance musician and is also an office manager for a small consulting company.
* Adam and Cameron, who are twins, also live in San Francisco. They moved out there right after graduation from college and moved in with their older brother, Caleb. Both twins are engineers.
* Alyssa, the youngest, is getting ready to go to college. She plans to play tennis while away at school.
The Magic Video Game
* Louise Baranovsky, the oldest, is happily married to her husband, Brian Soriano, and they have three boys together. They live in downtown Valparaiso, Indiana.
* Elizabeth Baranovsky, the second oldest and youngest of the half siblings, is married to Paul Weiner. In 2016, they moved from Crown Point, Indiana to Philadelphia.
* Victoria Cranston, the oldest of the Cranston's, is married with two girls. She and her little family live a few blocks away from Victoria's parents and oldest half-sister.
* Olivia Cranston lives in Brooklyn, New York.
* Levi Cranston lives in Boston. His younger sister, Evelyn Maeve, is attending college in Boston next fall, and he could not be even more excited.
Stay tuned for my next Thanksgiving post!
You Know Who
As we all know, today is Thursday. But it's not just any Thursday. It just so happens to be Thursday, November 15th. We are EXACTLY one week away from Thanksgiving, and we are trying to get our turkeys in a row before all of our cousins seventeen times removed show up at our front door this time next week.
First of all, I want to go over a few more facts that no one has known about us from The Magic Video Game. What's going on in 2018.
* Levi Cranston started fourth grade in complete agony because he knew no one, and he was painfully shy at the time. He moved into a new school system.
* The school nurse introduced him to his now best friends, Jack Andrews, David Savino, Asad Prejesh, and Mackenzie Burbanks.
* Levi fell in love with his long-time girlfriend, Mackenzie, in sixth grade. Somehow, he knew that she was "the one" for him.
* Levi confirmed his own feelings for Mackenzie when he could feel her heart beating against his arm when it was wrapped around her chest.
* For their 10-year anniversary, Levi gave Mackenzie a stuffed teddy bear with a recording of his own heartbeat.
* On the day after Levi had his tonsils taken out, he spent the whole day crying because, first of all, he had extreme throat pain. Secondly, he thought Mackenzie only viewed him as a friend.
* Levi has always been working very hard to become more outgoing. It has definitely paid off in the long run.
* Adam Dahnwright bullied Levi in grade school because Adam also had feelings for Mackenzie, who obviously did not have feelings for Adam. Right before Levi moved to Boston in 2017, Adam apologized for his actions, and Levi forgave him.
* Adam is in a relationship with a girl named Maria, and they live in Bakersfield, California.
* Levi works in IT, and coaches tennis on the side. He, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad live in Boston.
You Know Who
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi and Mackenzie were sitting on a bench at the newest park in downtown Valparaiso. They had explored for about an hour and now wanted some time to just sit somewhere and think about life in general. Levi sat with his arms wrapped around Mackenzie. She sat close to him with her head on his shoulder. They didn't really want to converse right now. They were just in the mood for enjoying each other's company without having to say very much. Surprisingly enough, there weren't that many people at the park. It was not that bad of a day, so this was odd.
It was actually a nice day. A lot nicer of a day than a lot of people might give it credit for.
For Levi and Mackenzie, this might have made it a lot more romantic. The only other people at the park were a mom and her baby girl. Well, she isn't really a baby, more or less a toddler. This toddler, probably about three or four years old, was enjoying herself at the park. Her mother was probably hoping for a girls’ night out with a friend of hers. And Levi and Mackenzie were hoping that this mom and her child didn't mind them just sitting on the bench. In fact, the mom and kid would probably consider that boring. But Levi and Mackenzie didn't. They were having the time of their lives.
Right now, they just needed a break from it all.
Before they decided to sit on a bench at the park, they had gotten ice cream from their favorite ice cream parlor on Morgan and Lincolnway. Afterwards, they just wanted to walk around downtown. After all, Levi lives on the west side of downtown. And, even though Mackenzie lives closer to the high school, she was able to ride her bike to Levi's house. It was such a nice day to do so. And Levi and Mackenzie could walk from Levi's house on Elmhurst Avenue toward the city center. It isn't that far of a walk, so they were willing to do that anyway.
Levi and Mackenzie were still sitting on the bench. They still said nothing and enjoyed each other's company a little more. Who cared what the mom and kid thought?
"You having a good time?" Mackenzie asked Levi as she gently nudged him.
"Oh, absolutely," Levi replied.
"You are way too cute for your own good. I hope you know that."
"What else can I say?"
"Right. What else can you say?" Mackenzie teased.
"I can say a lot of things, but I can't think of anything at the moment," Levi answered.
"Are you having a brain freeze from that ice cream?"
"I never really thought about that. It was so good though."
"Yes, it was. You got horchata again, right?"
"Yes, my favorite. You got cake batter, right?"
"Yes, my favorite."
Levi and Mackenzie couldn't stop laughing at their own cheesy jokes. At least they both have a really good sense of humor. And everyone has thought that Levi and Jack are bad. And they have also thought that Levi and Rhody are worse. But Levi and Mackenzie could also make others laugh. And that is really all that would matter.
The two kids still sat on the bench, unsure of when they would continue their excursion. They might resume their excursion in thirty seconds. Or they might resume their excursion in thirty minutes. They had no idea what might be in store for them in that amount of time.
"What would you like to do now?" Levi asked his girlfriend of almost nine years.
"Anything," Mackenzie replied with a smile.
"Well, what exactly does that mean?"
"I'm open to anything. We could hit up that Spanish restaurant up the street and get some sangria."
"That sounds like a great idea," Levi remarked, taking Mackenzie's hand.
"My brothers love that stuff," Mackenzie replied.
"You once said that your oldest brother will come down to Valpo just to get this sangria?"
"No, not exactly the only reason. What I said was that this is the only place that he gets sangria."
"Oh, I must've heard wrong."
Once Levi and Mackenzie were holding each other's hand, there was a warm feeling from this. Mackenzie could also feel Levi's pulse through his hand. All this meant was that Levi is alive and well, and that would always be the case. The lady and her daughter left the park, and it was just Levi and Mackenzie there. This was a nice feeling because they could both sit at the park together at night, and this is what they've always wanted.
They didn't want to just sit here though. They wanted to explore a little more. All in all, this was more or less their "break time" from exploring downtown Valpo. They didn't say much for another ten minutes or so. And they were ready to go back on their adventure.
Levi and Mackenzie got up from the bench and headed east on Lincolnway toward Washington Street. Mackenzie was in the mood for sangria. Levi was in the mood for tapas and sangria. At least they had a mutual interest tonight. As long as they both had their sangria fix, that would be all that mattered to them tonight.
Levi was walking with his hands in his jeans pockets. Mackenzie was walking with her hand clutching her purse. Levi nudged Mackenzie on the arm with his arm, and Mackenzie reciprocated. It was more or less a game between the two of them. And there would be absolutely nothing wrong with that.
"So, Vicky and I played tennis earlier today, and something really funny happened," Levi remarked.
"What happened?" Mackenzie asked.
"You know how the courts are surrounded by that fence?"
"A ball got stuck in the fence," Levi said.
"Whoa! How does that happen?" Mackenzie replied.
"Magic, I guess."
"In my time of playing tennis, I have never had anything like that happen to me."
And Levi was absolutely right. He has never had something goofy like that happen to him before. However, a lot of his friends have experienced that. Now, it was his turn. And it was also Victoria's turn. Who knew that she could pull off something like that? Especially in her smaller experience in tennis. One would think that Levi would pull off something like that because he plays tennis all the time. But he has laughed at his friends who have pulled that off. It has always been funny to see a tennis ball stuck in a fence.
"Were you able to get the ball out of the fence?" Mackenzie asked.
"Well, we did eventually. But Vicky was, of course, taking pictures of it before I took it out," Levi replied.
"Was it hard to take it out of the fence?"
"Nah, not really. I just had to pull it out."
"And I didn't know Vicky was that good at tennis," Mackenzie stated.
"Actually, she is good. She played tennis for a year in high school and then she quit," Levi said.
"That was the same thing with my brother, Andrew. He played tennis in high school until he was a junior. He wanted to play for fun."
"I honestly love the competition."
"It's fun to watch you play."
"It's fun to play."
Levi and Mackenzie walked around the square for a bit. They didn't want sangria yet. They wanted to see what might be going on at night. Then, they would get their sangria fix. And they would also get their tapas fix. They walked side by side, with Mackenzie's right arm wrapped around Levi's left arm. They went back to not saying much. They went back to just enjoying each other's company. This was all they needed for now. And they were perfectly fine with this.
It was the perfect summer night to go out. There was a nice breeze. It wasn't too hot outside. It wasn't too cool either. It was around 70 degrees outside. There weren't a lot of people out, strangely enough. They were probably at the bars or eating at restaurants. Which meant that Levi and Mackenzie could take downtown Valparaiso at their leisure. They walked back around the new park. However, they didn't actually go back there.
"Levi?" Mackenzie got her boyfriend's attention after a while of not saying very much.
"Yeah?" Levi replied.
"I want to go to the mall soon."
"That would be great."
"I want a pair of those water show speakers like you have," Mackenzie remarked.
"I love those speakers," Levi said.
"I want a pair, and Andrew wants a pair."
"Strangely enough, I got that one pair on the same day as the accident."
"Oh, the one with you and Vicky involved?"
"Yes. But the speakers are still pretty great."
At least the water show speakers would serve Levi well. Even if they reminded him of a pretty scary time. The car accident wasn't even that bad. It was just a matter of a car getting rear-ended at most. But going to the mall is always fun, especially when looking for water show speakers. And going to another store to get t-shirts from their favorite rock bands and video games. And going to the food court to get food. Overall, the mall has always been a great hang-out place. And Levi and Mackenzie would definitely have gone tonight. But the mall would most likely close within an hour and a half.
With that in mind, Levi and Mackenzie decided not to go to the mall tonight. They still had their hearts set on getting sangria. Just because they were in the mood for it. The two kids walked toward the Spanish restaurant. To their surprise, they saw two people that they know very well. They were not coming out of the Spanish restaurant. They were just walking around and eating ice cream. They probably went to the same ice cream place as Levi and Mackenzie did. These two kids that Levi and Mackenzie know we're walking in the opposite direction as they were. Levi and Mackenzie ran into Victoria and her now-boyfriend, David Wolff.
"Fancy seeing you here," Levi remarked to his older sister of three years.
"I know. Small world, I guess," Victoria replied.
"What are you up to?"
"Just out and about with David."
"You got horchata ice cream, too?" Levi asked.
"Of course! My favorite," Victoria said.
"I convinced David to get the horchata ice cream as well."
"Where are you headed now?"
"David's brother's garage band is practicing, and we want to hear them perform. Where are you off to?"
"We are getting sangria."
Enough small talk for now. Victoria and her boyfriend, David, went off to his brother's garage band's practice. Levi and Mackenzie briefly thought about going to that as well. However, they don't know David's family too well. And, also, they were most definitely in the mood for sangria and tapas. Going to a garage band practice could wait for now. Levi and Mackenzie wanted to have some time to themselves, and they believed that sharing sangria would be ideal for them at the moment.
"Vicky’s known David since high school," Levi remarked as he and Mackenzie continued to walk toward the Spanish restaurant to get their sangria fix.
"I think my brother knows him," Mackenzie stated.
"Cool guy, but I don’t really know him. Vicky has always liked him."
"Yeah, didn't she have him over quite a few times back in the day?"
"I think she did," Levi replied.
"Yeah. I remember him. Is he also in a rock band?" Mackenzie asked.
"He's not, but his triplet brother is."
"What are his brothers' names?"
"Daniel and Derek."
"Do they look anything alike?"
"No, not really."
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
Levi continued to play video games with the younger nephews. Even though Evelyn Maeve was in the same room as them, she didn't play video games. She wanted to watch them play, as well as sit with Duchess and Prussia, the family's cats. Duchess was sitting on Evelyn Maeve's lap. And Prussia was sitting by her right side. Evelyn Maeve was waiting for everyone to decide what they wanted to do. Levi was more focused on the game that he was playing. And the two younger nephews were amazed at what they were watching Levi do on the TV. But they needed to make a decision on what they wanted to do as soon as possible. At least Evelyn Maeve thought this to be the case.
"Levi, what are we doing?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"Ice cream," Levi replied, still focused on his game.
"Okay. When are we going?"
"I'm going to finish up this round, and then we'll go."
"How long will that take?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"When pigs can fly," Levi replied half-heartedly.
"Well, we're still trying to figure out how to make pigs fly."
"You know what I'm thinking?"
"Horchata ice cream."
At that, Levi dropped everything that he did and got up to put his shoes on. That had to work for Levi, and Evelyn Maeve knew it would. The other kids were excited as well. Olivia was just okay with getting out of the house for a while with their mom. They were both getting their hair cut today, so they were most definitely looking forward to the mother-daughter bond time that they would have. Then, they would most likely go in town and have lunch at one of the restaurants on Lincolnway. For them, today was going to be good as well. They were not going to leave until 12:30, and it was only 11:30. Levi, Evelyn Maeve, and the three nephews were planning to leave at noon. Their plan was to eat a quick lunch at the house, and then they would head out to the other side of downtown.
"What do you guys want for lunch?" Levi asked everyone.
"Wanna just make cheese sandwiches out of that French bread that we need to use up?" Evelyn Maeve inquired, trying to sound more grown up.
"That sounds good to me. We should have enough."
"We have enough of those bread rolls that will feed us and then some, and then again...."
"Very funny, Evie Maeve," Levi remarked, shaking his head.
"You'll want two sandwiches, right?" Evelyn Maeve asked with a smile.
"You and that saying."
"I've had that saying for a while now."
"I know you have."
Levi wanted to make the sandwiches, since he has a certain way of making them that he likes. He cut the six bread rolls in half and put provolone, mozzarella, and asiago cheese between the halves. He made one for Evelyn Maeve, the three nephews, and two for himself. He was just that hungry so he knew he'd want more than just one sandwich. He also took the carton of milk and poured everyone a glass of milk, assuming that was what they'd want. Once Levi made the sandwiches for everyone, he had everyone sit at the table and eat lunch. The three nephews were goofy, as usual. Evelyn Maeve and Levi couldn't help but laugh at them trying to create as many bubbles as possible by blowing into the milk through the straw. Back in the heyday, Levi and Evelyn Maeve both did that with their milk. And they thought it'd be funny to try it now.
"How many bubbles can I make?" Lemmy asked everyone.
"I see ten," Levi half-joked.
"Wanna try, Wevi?"
"No, thanks. I'm good."
"You should make some milk bubbles!" Lemmy exclaimed.
"Maybe not right now," Levi replied. He is a craft beer enthusiast.
"Want to get ice cream now, since everyone is done with lunch?"
The five kids left the house and walked toward the city square. Evelyn Maeve was making some goofy small talk with the nephews. Levi was listening in on what they were saying and couldn't help but laugh to himself. The kids walked from Elmhurst Avenue to Chestnut Street, which took them to Campbell, then taking that to Lincolnway. The kids walked a ways on Lincolnway until they reached Morgan Boulevard and Lincolnway. Then, they all knew where they were. The kids were more than excited to go to the ice cream parlor. Evelyn Maeve was excited to get horchata ice cream. And Levi was also excited to get horchata ice cream. They were hoping to make this order simple for everyone.
"Hello!" The person behind the counter greeted everyone in a friendly manner.
"Hello," Levi replied.
"What can I get for you today?"
"I would like two orders of horchata ice cream in the waffle cone, and three orders of cake batter in a waffle cone."
"I WANT HORCHATA ICE CREAM!" Lemmy shouted excitedly.
"Okay, three orders of horchata and two orders of cake batter," Levi replied.
"Will that be all for you then?" The person behind the front counter asked.
"Caleb wants vanilla!" Lemmy shouted.
"Okay. Sorry about this. Three orders of horchata, one order of vanilla, and one order of cake batter," Levi said.
"That is fine. Will that be all for you?"
"Yes, for now."
Levi paid for their orders, and when they got their ice cream, they all sat at a table by the door. The young nephews were shoving the ice cream in their mouths. Levi was amused at what their nephews were doing. Evelyn Maeve was also amused at them. Levi and Evelyn Maeve were just enjoying their horchata ice cream. Lemmy and his two younger brothers were enjoying their ice cream and being goofy little kids. They all sat in the ice cream parlor for another thirty minutes. Levi walked back up to the front counter and asked for a cup of water. Then, they were all ready to head out. The three kids wanted to go back to the house. And, as a matter of fact, so did Levi and Evelyn Maeve.
The five kids took Morgan Boulevard from Lincolnway up to Chicago Street, which would take them to Elmhurst Avenue. A walk like this would last about twenty minutes. Evelyn Maeve was making more small talk with the three boys. Levi stayed amused at the conversation that was going on between everyone else. He was texting Jack on the way home because they were hoping to get a tennis practice in this evening. He wasn't too sure if this would happen though, since Jack might already have had plans. David knew that he couldn't practice tonight, and Asad said maybe. Mackenzie, Levi’s girlfriend, knew she couldn't because she was visiting her grandparents tonight. Then, it would most likely just be Jack and Levi practicing tennis tonight.
"Yo, are you gonna play tennis tonight?" Levi asked his best friend via text.
"Yo. Not too sure. Might have plans tonight," Jack replied via text.
"I know. This happened last minute."
"What's up, man?" Levi questioned.
"My cousin's dad has a wedding shower in St. John," Jack answered.
"Hope it's fun, if you go."
"We are still debating."
"Why wouldn't you go?"
"We're not sure."
It wasn't too long before Levi, Evelyn Maeve, and the nephews returned to the house on Elmhurst Avenue. Twenty minutes later, they were finally home. Levi wanted to play video games. Their nephews wanted to watch him play. Evelyn Maeve made herself some peppermint tea. She felt like having tea now, so she went for that so-called “temptation.” Levi was too focused on his game, so he wouldn't want tea right now. And the three nephews didn't want milk or anything. Once she was done making her tea, she walked back to the common area and watched Levi try to beat his game. He was that focused.
"DANG IT! I MISSED!" Levi shouted at the top of his lungs.
"How?" Evelyn Maeve asked.
"I tried hitting the ship from the side. Oh well."
"How many more tries do you have?"
"Oh, I dunno," Levi replied, feeling slightly discouraged.
"How long have you been playing this game?" Evelyn Maeve questioned.
"A while. I should've been able to beat it by now."
"Have you ever beaten it?"
"With a baseball bat? No."
Levi is sweet as can be; he is a master at sarcasm. He can pull off sarcasm very well, especially on his family and friends. He knew that was not what Evelyn Maeve was asking. But Levi wanted to lighten the mood and make everyone laugh. The little nephews would probably not have gotten the joke. They were too busy watching Levi play video games anyway. So they probably weren't even listening. A few minutes later, Levi lost the game, and he quit playing. Now, the nephews wanted him to read a book to them. So Levi picked out the most difficult to read science fiction novel that he could find in the bookshelf by the TV.
Once he sat back down on the couch, the three nephews sat next to him. Levi opened the book and started reading everything in goofy voices. The three nephews were amused that they could listen to their fun uncle read something much over their head. And Evelyn Maeve was amused that Levi was enjoying himself while reading that book in funny voices. All in all, an interesting way to spend a summer afternoon. It was 2:36 in the afternoon, and Louise was most likely coming around 4:30, so Levi had enough time to continue his reading. And Evelyn Maeve had enough time to collect more “stories” for her social media app. Levi continued to read as much of the book as he could in all different kinds of voices. The time seemed to go by very quickly with all of that going on.
And then Levi heard a knock on the door.
Only he didn't answer the door. He had his hands tied up with the reading and such. Evelyn Maeve answered the door. It was Louise, and things must have been going well for her husband's sister. The kids' mom and Olivia were going to be home around five o'clock in the evening. The kids' dad ended up making a stop in Crown Point to visit Elizabeth, the kids' other half-sister, and her husband, Paul Weiner. Evelyn Maeve made some small talk with Louise. The three nephews heard their mom's voice and clung to Levi's arms. They were having a great time here with Levi. They obviously did not want to leave yet.
Louise had been talking to everyone else. Levi continued to play video games with his nephews, who were still trying to cling to his arms. They were just watching him try to beat the level that he was on. And Evelyn Maeve was also watching them. This was quite entertaining for a little while.
"Boys, time to go home," Louise shouted toward the common area.
"NOOOOOO!!!!" Lemmy shouted.
"David Lemster Baranovsky-Soriano, we have family friends coming over tonight."
"But I want to stay with Wevi!"
That was most definitely not enough coaxing for Lemmy. He was hoping to stay at the Cranston's house and watch Levi play video games. And Evelyn Maeve was pretty fun as well. Lemmy was having a great time. And so were his two little brothers.
Levi finished his video game, and Lemmy jumped up in his arms. Caleb Ogden wanted Levi to carry him as well. When he walked toward Louise, who was in the kitchen, he was carrying Lemmy in one arm and Caleb in the other arm. Andrew Harrison was with Evelyn Maeve in the common area. This was going to be interesting.
"Looking for these knuckleheads?" Levi asked his oldest sister.
"Yes!" Louise exclaimed.
"You might want to get them, or they might decide to come with me."
"What would they do at your get-together? Just curious," Levi remarked. Lemmy's head was pressed firmly against Levi's chest.
"Yeah, I guess I see where you're going," Louise said.
"Would it be cool if I had them for another few hours?"
"If you say so. Just don't get them too excited about fried chicken."
"Don't worry. I will."
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
It was around 9:15 in the morning, and Levi just woke up. He got ready for the day and then walked downstairs to the dining room table. He didn't eat anything yet. Instead, he put his head in his arms, which were resting on the table and tried to fall back asleep. He had no idea why he woke up so early. This was most definitely not right for him. And it was most definitely not right for anyone else in the house. Everyone was at home at the moment. The parents were conversing in the common area. Olivia was with them. And Evelyn Maeve was trying to keep Levi company.
Somehow, Levi was able to fall back asleep at the table. When Evelyn Maeve knew about this, she went into the common area to be with everyone else. Everyone knows that Levi is not a morning person. And, because of this, they knew not to bother him. But the two family cats, Duchess and Prussia, didn't know that. They both got up on the table and rubbed their faces against Levi's arms. Levi didn't move. He was sound asleep. However, he heard the home phone ring, which was by his left arm. He slowly grabbed the phone without moving his head, and he answered it in the nick of time.
"Hello?" Levi answered sleepily on his end. He was so surprised that he could hear the phone ring.
"Hi, Levi. You just woke up?" Louise asked.
"Yes, I did."
"Sorry I woke you up."
"What time is it?" Levi asked, half-awake. Louise knew that, in her little brother's voice, he had just woken up.
"It is 9:30," Louise replied.
"Oh wow. It's so early."
"For me, it is."
Levi was still on the phone with Louise. However, he had no idea how well he could converse with his oldest half-sister. Given the fact that he was half-awake and was trying to fall asleep. Levi had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But Louise wasn't nearly as confused. She just knew that Levi was just now "getting out of bed." Levi knew that he wanted to go back to bed. And no one would be able to dispute that. Not on Levi's terms. He would know that for sure.
"I was calling because I will need one of you guys to babysit my kids," Louise said.
"When?" Levi asked, fighting to wake up.
"Around noon, if that would work."
"So, what's up?"
"My sister-in-law has an emergency," Louise answered.
"Everything okay?" Levi asked.
"It will be. She needs to have her appendix taken out, we think."
"Been there, done that."
"That is true."
"She'll have a great time, that's for sure."
Levi then got off the phone with Louise. There was absolutely no way that he'd be able to go back to sleep. It was probably good that he couldn't. Louise's sons, David Lemster, or Lemmy, Caleb Ogden Brian, and Andrew Harrison, would be here within an hour, and Levi needed to be awake for them. Primarily because of how rowdy they really can be. Evelyn Maeve has kept them in line in the past. However, a fourteen-year-old girl couldn't do everything by herself. Sometimes she would need a little help from her brother. And he was perfectly okay with spending at least some time with them. He has actually helped calm them down in the past.
Evelyn Maeve somehow realized that Levi was now awake. He still had his head in his arms, which were resting on the table. But his adopted sister knew that he couldn't be sleeping now. With that in mind, she walked over to the dining room table and stayed with Levi to keep him company. She was actually excited about their nephews coming over. Levi wasn't as excited. He was more excited about going upstairs and falling asleep on his futon. But then again, maybe not. He probably wouldn't be able to do such a thing at this hour. Rather, it would be a better idea to converse with Evelyn Maeve.
"Morning, Levi," Evelyn Maeve said as she came into the room.
"Morning, Evie Maeve," Levi replied, still sleepily.
"Our nephews are coming today."
"Yes, at noon."
"That will be nice to have them over," Evelyn Maeve commented.
"For the most part, yes. But they can be a bit of a handful, especially Lemmy," Levi remarked.
"True. Lemmy can be very rowdy.
"And he's nearly eight years old."
"Eight year olds can be so rowdy though."
"Oh, I know."
Levi still didn't want to get up right now. He was okay with their nephews coming over. But he has always hated the mornings. But mornings have always loved him. This was a total catch 22 for Levi. He and Evelyn Maeve wanted to spend time with the little nephews, but they wanted some more time to get ready for the day. The idea that their nephews were coming over motivated Levi to wake up more quickly.
He got ready for the day, and then he came back downstairs. Levi saw Olivia sitting at the dining room table. He wasn't quite sure what she was doing at first, so he left her alone. Levi made himself another sandwich. He was hungry again. Then, after he quickly ate his sandwich, he forgot to make his bed. Before doing anything else, he ran upstairs to do that. Then, he knew that his nephews would come any time soon. He had to come back downstairs. And he thought he needed to come back downstairs soon.
"Hi, Olivia," Levi said as he walked downstairs.
"Hey," Olivia replied, finishing a novel.
"What are you reading?"
"I think I read that book once," Levi stated.
"You did?" Olivia replied, looking up at Levi.
"If I can remember correctly."
"It's a great book. You should read it again!"
"I probably will, but I'm not much of a reader."
"Me neither, but I love murder mystery."
A few minutes later, Levi heard a knock on the door. He ran toward the door to open it. But he tripped and fell to the floor. Hard. Olivia ran toward the door to open it. But she tripped on Levi and fell to the floor. Hard. Then, their mom helped Olivia and Levi get up, and she walked toward the door to open it. She couldn't quite understand why they would think they'd need to run to the door. Maybe they wanted to see their nephews that badly. At least neither Olivia nor Levi was hurt. But neither of them could get to the door in time.
Louise was standing at the front door with her children, waiting to come in. She has a key to the house, but she somehow left it at home. With this in mind, she would need someone to let her in today. Even though Olivia and Levi were not seriously injured, they were embarrassed and amused, all at the same time. And their mom was also amused. She opened the door for her first daughter and kids.
"Hello!" Mrs. LeVole, their mom, greeted Louise at the door.
"Hello!" Louise greeted back.
"So, you're handing over your kids for a while?"
"Yes. Brian's sister needs her appendix out, and we were going to see them."
"Hope everything will be alright with them," Mrs. LeVole remarked.
"She is going to get surgery in forty-five minutes, and she'll be in Merrillville," Louise said.
"Yes. We caught it early."
"Things like that you never know will happen."
After they all came into the house, Mrs. LeVole and her oldest daughter, Louise, were conversing at the dining room table. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve were drawing cartoons with Lemmy. And Levi was sitting on the floor in the common area with the two younger twin boys. Mr. Cranston, the kids’ dad, was going to be home in about an hour, as he was coming in from Chicago. So he would be able to make goofy voice impressions to everyone once he'd come home. Levi wanted to play video games, and the two younger boys wanted to watch him. Andrew Harrison was interested in a stethoscope, which was somehow lying on the floor. Who would have done something with this? Levi probably couldn't remember what someone might have used the stethoscope for. But the one twin wanted to try it out.
"What is this?" Andrew Harrison asked Levi.
"It's called a stethoscope. You put the round piece on your chest, and you can listen to your heartbeat with it. Wanna try it out?" Levi offered.
A few moments later....
"I can't hear anything!" Andrew Harrison exclaimed when he had the round piece on his chest but didn't have the ear pieces in.
"You don't have the ear pieces in," Levi replied.
"Can you help me?"
Levi gently put the ear pieces in the little kid's ears. Then, he took the round piece and put it on the little kid's chest. Levi couldn't help but watch his nephew get so interested in hearing his own heart beating. After all, he is pretty little, so he probably couldn't remember hearing it before. Caleb Ogden seemed uninterested. He would rather be playing video games than trying something new. He watched, but he didn't participate. Andrew Harrison, who was interested, then put the round piece on Levi's chest. Levi was perfectly okay with this, after being so afraid of his heartbeat at a young age. Since he has been dating Mackenzie, he outgrew that fear.
Levi closed his eyes when his nephew was listening to his heartbeat. There wasn't any reason, he just felt relaxed at this point. Andrew Harrison put the round piece everywhere on his chest because he's only a little kid and doesn't know any better. This had been going on for about two minutes, and then Andrew Harrison was a little sick and tired of listening to heartbeats. Right now, Levi didn't really care to listen to his own heart beating. He just wanted to continue playing video games. And so did Caleb Ogden. Andrew Harrison was sitting on the couch staring into space. However, he didn't see any aliens. That would've been weird.
"What should we do?" Evelyn Maeve asked Levi out of the blue. She had just walked into the common area from the kitchen.
"We're just playing video games at the moment," Levi replied.
"Well, I was thinking later."
"There are lots of things for us to do with the kids."
"Yes. Lots," Evelyn Maeve repeated.
"What were you thinking?" Levi asked, still focused on his video game.
"Ice cream. Cupcakes. Cream soda. Anything else sugary."
"Whatever floats your boat."
"We can decide later."
From The Magic Video Game 2: Time for Tennis
Levi stayed up until 2 in the morning playing video games. As always. When he finally went to bed, he noticed that his little sister was waiting for him. She was sleeping on the left side of the futon, the side against the wall, with her pink teddy bear in her arms.
It was now 9 o’clock in the morning, and Evelyn Maeve woke up. She saw Levi sleeping very comfortably on his futon. The girl really wanted to wake her older brother up. However, she knew how he always has been, and so she decided to let him sleep in a little longer.
It was now about 9:30, and Levi somehow heard his phone go off. He didn’t have an alarm on it or anything; the ringtone sounded like that of an old alarm clock. Levi was sleeping on his right side when he heard his phone ring, and he was able to answer it in no time at all. He didn’t even look at the caller ID.
“Hello?” Levi answered feebly.
“Who am I speaking to?”
“No, seriously. Who am I speaking to?”
“The. Fat. Pigeon.”
“The. Fat. Pigeon.”
Levi didn’t answer back. Instead, he just hung up the phone. The boy tried very hard to go back to sleep. He was now lying on his stomach, making attempts to sleep in a little longer. His head was underneath his pillow, and he was sprawled out on his bed like a spider. Levi was really not in the mood to talk to anyone. Of all people, the Fat Pigeon.
Levi’s phone rang again, and he answered it.
“….What are you doing?” he asked the same person over the line.
“I’m going to Mexico!” the Fat Pigeon exclaimed.
“I just woke up.”
“Good! So, I can tell you that I’m on my way to Mexico!”
“Well, good for you. I’m going back to sleep now. You woke me up.”
“I called that I’m going to Mexico because I knew you’d be jealous!”
“I don’t care. I don’t really like Mexico that much anyway,” Levi replied.
“We are going to Cancun!” The Fat Pigeon announced gleefully.
“I can’t wait!”
“Well, it was nice talking to you.”
“Don’t hang up yet! Well, you’re so nice!”
Levi hung up once again. He lay back down on his futon, breathing hard. First of all, why would the Fat Pigeon want to call Levi anyway? Did the Fat Pigeon want Levi to be jealous of him just because the he was going to Mexico, and Levi wasn’t? The Cranston’s have been to Mexico before, but Levi never really loved being there that much. When they vacationed to Mexico, he liked where they were, but he hasn’t shown much interest in going back to the same place again.
For five minutes, the boy was lying on his stomach. He knew his shirt was pulled up some, but he didn’t really care. His left ankle was sweaty because he had left it in his brace all night long, but he didn’t take it off. Duchess came in and lay right next to him. And the cat started purring like a motorboat. All Levi wanted at this point was to be able to go back to sleep. But his phone rang. Once again.
Levi had to pick it up this time.
“What do you want?” Levi answered, annoyed.
“Oh, and did I mention Adam Dahnwright?” the Fat Pigeon answered back.
Levi thought very hard about why the Fat Pigeon had just mentioned Adam Dahnwright.
“What happened?!” Levi asked, almost angrily.
The Fat Pigeon did not say anything else. Instead, he was humming and whistling some music from Levi’s favorite video games. Levi grew even more annoyed that the Fat Pigeon was now trying to avoid his question. This could really have led up to some serious manners.
“What’s going on?!” Levi questioned, extremely annoyed.
“You never gonna catch ‘im!” The Fat Pigeon joked.
“That one game you had?”
“Don’t tell me he took it.”
“Well, he did.”
“Good. Now, I will have to go over to his house to retrieve that video game.”
“Yeah. I think you will have to.”
Levi rolled his eyes and hung up on The Fat Pigeon one more time. He was so mad that he could even envision smoke coming out of his ears. Not that smoke really came out of his ears, since that can’t really happen. But that was how extremely furious he was.
The boy quickly brushed his teeth, combed his hair, and put on some clothes. Afterwards, he walked downstairs into the kitchen. He saw Victoria and Olivia sitting down, drinking some tea. Evelyn Maeve was in the common area with Duchess and Prussia. When Levi’s two older sisters saw him, they knew that something wasn’t good.
“Hey, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” Victoria joked.
“Very funny,” Levi answered blandly.
“Victoria,” Olivia warned their older sister.
“Yeah. This is very serious.”
“Apparently, Adam Dahnwright took one of my video games last night.”
“I want it back. Now,” said Levi.
“I understand that,” Olivia answered.
“And I want one of you to come with me to get it back. I am not going there by myself.”
“Where does he live?”
“Bond and Campbell.”
“I’ll come with you.”
Adam Dahnwright is really not a bad kid. Really, he is not. However, he really thinks it is funny to pick on someone, like Levi, who may pose a threat to him in the near future. Basically, Adam thinks he is “all that,” meaning a direct sense of arrogance. Not that Levi isn’t arrogant, since he can be as well. But Adam tends to have the mentality that he should be entitled to, at least, everything.
It really shouldn’t be like that. Should it be?
It took Olivia five minutes to find her shoes, put them on, and tell Levi that she was ready to go. The weather wasn’t all that great. But not all that bad either. No one was quite sure what would happen in a thirty minute time span. It could stay partially sunny. But it could also start down-pouring any minute. Olivia and Levi were going to “bite the bullet” and walk to Adam’s house.
“Was it your most favorite video game?” Olivia asked Levi on the ten minute walk there.
“One of them.”
“Well, you will get it soon. Stay positive.”
“The question is: how did he take your video game?”
“My assumption is that it fell out of my backpack, and he took it that way.”
“Oh, so you know how he might have taken it?”
Olivia and Levi were at Adam Dahnwright’s house in no time at all. Olivia opened the door as Levi was standing almost directly behind her. He was really not in the mood to have to pick fights with Adam. Levi felt a huge lump in his throat, and he started feeling a little sick to his stomach.
This had to go well.
Adam’s mom opened the door after a few seconds, and she seemed very concerned at first. This lady, plump and dirty blonde-haired, seemed the opposite of her son. Or, hopefully, that was the case. The Cranston’s don’t know the Dahnwright’s all that well. However, both moms have run into each other at grocery stores and fast food joints in the past.
They have always seemed friendly toward one another.
“Hi,” Mrs. Dahnwright greeted in a kind manner.
“Hi. How are you doing?” Olivia answered.
“I’m doing well. How are you?”
“We’re doing well.”
“That’s good. I’ve run into Lisa many times at the supermarket. She’s very nice.”
“Why, thank you.”
“Hi,” Levi answered coyly.
As soon as Adam heard Levi’s name, he quit playing video games, ran into his room, and hid. He knew what Olivia and Levi were here for. And he was not going to admit his guilt. Oh well. In the future, when Levi and Adam are both in their twenties, they will probably admit their share of the guilt. It usually happens that way.
Or at least it should.
“We have a video game that we would like to pick up,” Olivia said.
“Oh yes. Adam, Adam, Adam. I never know what’s going on in that kid’s head. I would like to think that he just picked up the game and brought it home to make sure it was okay. But, also, I know he can be a bit of a brat,” Mrs. Dahnwright answered.
“At least it’s safe.”
“I know exactly where it’s at, so I will just bring it to you.”
Adam’s mom went into the living room; Olivia and Levi were standing in the dining room, which leads into the common area. Mrs. Dahnwright looked through the video games and found the one that the two kids were looking for.
“Looking for this?” Mrs. Dahnwright asked.
“Yes!” Levi exclaimed with sudden tears in his eyes.
“Thanks!” Olivia said to Adam’s mom as they left for home.
Once the two kids were walking back to their house on Elmhurst Avenue, Olivia said, to her younger brother:
“That was easy, don’t you think?”
The two kids continued to walk in the direction of their house. Inside, Levi was screaming with joy and jumping up and down until he couldn’t do it anymore. However, on the outside, Levi remained pretty calm. He was just glad to have his “best friend” back, his beloved video game.
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
It was eight o'clock in the morning, and Levi's alarm clock went off. The constant beep-beeps were coming from the clock by his nightstand. Levi slowly moved his left arm toward the alarm clock and tried turning it off. His hand consistently missed the right button, so he gave up on that.
He clenched the same fist and subconsciously raised it above the alarm clock. He clearly wasn't quite sure what he was doing, since he was still half-asleep. However, he did know for sure that he did not want to get out of bed. The question was: why was his alarm clock set to eight o'clock in the morning? That is way too early for him. Levi's fist pounded on the button on the alarm clock.
That worked, at least for a little while. Levi was able to sleep for two more hours. Once that time was up, he subconsciously heard his alarm go off again. This time, Levi knew what was going to happen. He was in control of everything, and he was going to get what he wanted, which was more sleep. Levi was not going to guess which button to press to turn off the alarm clock, and he was also not going to pound down on it.
He had another idea.
He was going to push the whole clock off the table with his hand. The somewhat lightweight object fell to the ground with a loud crash.
Levi stayed in bed. He did not really care to get up right now. Levi knew that Prussia, one of their two cats, was snuggled up next to him for the time being. And, with this in mind, he was enjoying his time sleeping on his very comfortable futon. Then, his mom came into the room.
"Levi, Rhody's coming over in thirty minutes," Mrs. LeVole said to her son.
"Why?" Levi asked in his sleep.
"Well....you invited him over."
"You told me yesterday that you wanted him over, so I assumed you invited him," said Mrs. LeVole.
"Oh, I did?" Levi remarked, semi-smart-alecky.
"He said he's coming in about thirty minutes."
"Okay. He can wake me up."
It did not take long for Levi to wake up and get ready for the day. He came down to the kitchen after taking a quick five minute shower and made himself some cereal, since he was in the mood for it.
He then lay on the couch in the common area so that he could focus on waking up before his friend came over. It was now 10:25 in the morning, and he heard a knock on the door. He slowly got up and opened the door to find out that it was Rhody.
“Hey, Rhody,” Levi greeted his friend and neighbor at the door.
“Yo,” Rhody responded.
“Wanna play some video games?”
“I’m down for some of the classic stuff.”
“Cool beans. I’ll set up the system,” Levi replied.
“What have you been up to today?” Rhody asked.
“Woke up about thirty minutes ago.”
“Yeah. Same. I just did not want to get out of bed.”
“I didn’t either. My cat didn’t want me to wake up.”
“That’s right. Always blame it on the cat.”
“Well, Prussia was just being too cute.”
It was one of those extremely lazy days. Levi had Rhody over since 10:30, and they had spent all of their time playing video games. Levi ate something when he had just woken up at 10 in the morning, but he was starting to get hungry again. Honestly, Rhody was starting to get hungry as well.
When it was Rhody's turn to play, Levi decided to lie on his back on the floor. His stomach started to make very loud noises, and Rhody could hear it. He laughed to himself while playing his turn. Levi's face grew as red as a maraschino cherry. He couldn't help that his stomach was being loud today. And Rhody was probably going to laugh at him for that.
"Want to order Chinese?" Levi asked his neighbor and friend.
"I thought you'd never ask," Rhody replied.
"I guess I was reading your mind."
"I think you were."
"I'm just really hungry, and I want Chinese," Levi remarked.
"Where do you want to go?" Rhody asked.
"I think you know."
"I think I know as well."
"Should we go out then?"
"Yes. Let's walk there."
“We have nothing else better to do, so why not?”
Levi and Rhody were not the only ones home. Levi's mom was at home, but she was working on a mini project for her own business. Victoria was at her apartment with her friends. Olivia went to Louise's family's house with their dad and younger sister, Evelyn Maeve. And Rhody's sister, Jayneley, had the day off. So, with that in mind, Victoria, Felisha, Bonita, and Jayneley were most likely planning to go to Chicago today.
It was a nice day to do so. Levi's mom was not going to be at home for very long. After finishing up on her project, she was planning to go to Louise's house as well. Levi was invited to go, but he said no because he had Rhody over. He would probably come over to Louise's once Rhody had to go back to his house.
It took Levi and Rhody a little bit of time to think about what they wanted to do. Sure, they were most definitely hoping for some Chinese food. However, Levi was hoping for Chinese food a little earlier. Rhody just wanted to eat something.
Levi was finishing up on his turn on the game, and then he could talk about what he wanted to do. Rhody helped himself to some milk because he was in the mood for it. He watched his friend and neighbor play the video game. He waited for him to lose the game so they could get food somewhere. Levi was just focused on getting to the next level. Two minutes later, Levi couldn't stop shouting at the game. He had lost, and now he was ready to get food.
"Rhody, let's get Chinese food now," Levi remarked after he regained his composure.
"Sounds good to me, bro," Rhody replied.
"Which one do we go to? Should we go to that one on Lincolnway by the university?"
"That's my favorite one. LEECHEE NUTS."
"LEECHEE NUTS," Levi repeated humorously.
"Now that's what I'm talking about," Rhody said.
"Should we walk there?"
"It's a thirty minute walk."
"I'm down for that."
Levi and Rhody walked over to the Chinese restaurant. They knew it was going to take a while to get there. The two young men probably should have taken the car, but why not take advantage of this nice day? Even though the Chinese restaurant is in the uptown area of Valparaiso, Levi and Rhody were most definitely up for a nice walk. It might take them about thirty minutes to walk there, but it was worth it in the end.
What else would they want to do?
Levi didn't feel like driving when he knew for a fact that he and Rhody could easily walk there. And Rhody's car was in the shop. He has had issues with his car for a week. It was time for him to get it in. When they arrived at the restaurant, they were quickly seated, and they sat at a booth to wait for the server to ask them what soft drinks they’d want.
"What do you call a cow with no legs?" Rhody asked.
"I don't know. What do you call ‘em?" Levi asked.
"Here's another one, Rhodes. What is the difference between a fish and a piano?"
"Tell me another one, Levi," Rhody said.
"Why not that one?" Levi asked.
"You've told me that thirty million times already!"
"Yes, Levi. You definitely have."
"I can't think of any other joke at the moment."
There were two kids who could somehow fit the profile of menaces. They were sitting at a booth, eating their food. The kid with the long blonde hair, Adam Dahnwright, glanced up and saw some people that he would want to make a menacing conversation with. The other kid, who has shorter curly brown hair, glanced up as well.
At first, they didn't want to do anything. They were hungry for Chinese food. Then, Adam was hoping to make a menacing conversation with Rhody and Levi. He knew exactly what he wanted to say. He just had to find the right time to make such a menacing conversation. And, at least the Fat Pigeon could be somewhat trusted with that.
"Look, Randy. Our friends are here," Adam stated.
"They are," the Fat Pigeon replied.
"This was pretty....unexpected, I guess."
"Tell me about it. I didn't even know that they even liked coming here."
"Oh please. You know how Levi is," Adam remarked.
"I know how you are," the Fat Pigeon said.
"Very funny, Randy. Very funny."
"It's a joke. I hope you know that."
"I was kinda playing into it, to be honest."
"Sure you were."
“Are you going to say hi to them?” Randy asked.
“Definitely, Randy. Of course I’m going to do that,” Adam replied.
“Do you know where they’re sitting, Adam?”
Levi and Rhody sat down to eat their Chinese food, and they didn’t pay attention to who all might have spotted them. A few minutes later, the two knuckleheads, named Adam and Randy (The Fat Pigeon), walked over to Levi and Rhody’s table and wanted to make some conversation with them.
This conversation was most likely going to be somewhat goofy and hilarious because Adam has never had a “serious” conversation with Levi before. The Fat Pigeon has never had a “serious” conversation with Levi before either. In fact, The Fat Pigeon has always been one to follow Adam’s lead.
“Hi friends,” Adam greeted Levi and Rhody.
“Hello,” Rhody said for Levi and himself.
“What are you doing?”
“Drinking water. What are you doing?”
“Standing here,” the Fat Pigeon replied for Adam.
“Makes a lot of sense,” Rhody answered.
“Are you busy?”
“We have tennis practice later.”
“Didn’t know you played tennis, Rhody.”
“I don’t. I just watch my friends play tennis. Are you busy?”
“Me and Adam are going to Adam’s grandma’s.”
After Adam and the Fat Pigeon left Levi's and Rhody's table, there was complete silence for all but a few seconds. Then, Levi and Rhody could not stop laughing. It was so obvious that Adam and the Fat Pigeon wanted to make this conversation as menacing as possible. It didn't work. And Rhody and Levi knew it wouldn't. They just continued to eat their Chinese food because of how hungry they still were.
They were both on their fourth plate, and they were thinking one more plate would suffice. After eating here, Rhody and Levi were greatly consider getting ice cream from their favorite place on Morgan and Lincolnway. So, basically, on their way back to Elmhurst Avenue. Unless Rhody wanted to come with Brody to his oldest half-sister's house, on Lafayette Street.
“How are the lo mein noodles?” Rhody asked.
“They’re really good. Get your own,” Levi replied.
“I haven’t gotten the lo mein yet. I was going to go back up and get another plate. Probably just full of lo mein.”
“How many plates have you gone through?”
“This is my third plate. How about you?” Rhody questioned.
“Same. I want another plate full of lo mein,” Levi remarked.
“It was weird seeing Adam and the Fat Pigeon.”
“Yes, it was. I’m hungry.”
“I’m also hungry.”
It has been a while since I have given out any facts about my writing projects. Most of what I've done included samples of my writing projects, since I have been so busy.
Now, I want to list 10 new facts about The Magic Video Game. Since it has been so long since I have listed anything.
* Levi Cranston works in the IT department for a company in Boston. He just recently earned a promotion for his hard work.
* His girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, is a graphic designer.
* Evelyn Maeve, Levi's younger sister, is currently a senior in high school, and she is planning to attend college in Boston. She decided that she wanted to leave the Chicago area, and Levi could not be any more excited about that!
* Olivia, Levi's older sister, does social media work for a company in New York City. She now lives in Brooklyn.
* Victoria, another older sister, lives in Valparaiso, Indiana with her husband and two daughters. She works part time so that she can spend time with her kids.
* On top of his full time job, Levi is a part time tennis coach. His best friends, Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh, coach tennis as well.
* Levi, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad share an apartment in Allston, a neighborhood in Boston. They do a ton of get-togethers with a few friends who live a couple blocks away from them.
* Levi is an avid tennis player, runner, and always around for a game of pickup basketball.
* In Fall 2016, Levi was involved in what could have been a horrific car accident. His car was t-boned by a drunk driver when he attempted to turn left on his parents' street, soon after he moved to the other side of downtown Valpo. Luckily for Levi, his car was t-boned on the passenger side, and he was the only one in the car. He walked away with a minor concussion.
* David Savino, one of Levi's best friends, now lives in Arizona. For Memorial Day weekend of 2018, David flew to Boston to visit Levi, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad. One night, Mackenzie hung out with a few friends in Boston. Levi, Jack, Asad, David, and a couple other Boston friends played video games straight from 6:30 in the evening Saturday night to 6:30 in the morning on Sunday. They went through ten medium-sized pizzas.
* Levi is painfully shy. He does not like having a lot of acquaintances. He prefers having a smaller group of really good friends.
* Levi does not like small talk. He would prefer spending time with his friends and girlfriend by doing something other than just sitting around and talking.
That is all I have for right now!
Stay tuned for more about my blog in the extremely near future.
You Know Who
From The Magic Video Game 4: The Upbringing of a New Comedian
It was most definitely one of those typical summer days when no one wanted to wake up as early as they probably should. At nine o’clock in the morning, Levi was still sleeping. Per usual. However, even though the morning was proving to be very lazy, he was planning to ride his bike over to his girlfriend’s house later this afternoon. All of his friends were going to be busy today, with the exception to Rhody, who would probably walk with Levi and Mackenzie over to their favorite wing place.
Spontaneity is the key to happiness.
The kids’ mom was at work, and their dad took the day to work at home. Then, he was going to have some father-daughter time with Olivia, who had to cancel her plans with her friend, Cameron Sedley, because he had last minute plans with his family. They had a family reunion to go to in Hobart, so that would hopefully be fun.
Again, spontaneity is the key to happiness.
Evelyn Maeve had plans to go over to her friend’s house for a little while. Who knew how long she would be there? And what were they going to do, since both of them live in downtown? Would they just walk around downtown Valparaiso? Would they get ice cream? Would they follow Levi, Mackenzie, and Rhody to their favorite wing place?
Spontaneity is the key to happiness. Or is it?
“Is Levi still sleeping?” Evelyn Maeve asked Olivia. They were sitting outside, drinking oolong tea.
“I would imagine,” Olivia replied.
“Yeah. He’s never awake at this time.”
“Nope. Not at all.”
“So, are you still hanging out with Cameron?” Evelyn Maeve questioned.
“No. He has to go to Hobart today,” Olivia replied.
“His aunt is hosting a family reunion, and Cameron’s family found out about it last night.”
“It’s fine. We’re seeing each other tomorrow. And besides, Dad and I are golfing this afternoon.”
Olivia’s friend, Cameron Sedley, used to be her boyfriend. Right now, they just want to be friends but might eventually be back together. Olivia has actually thought about living in Spain for a year, and Cameron has also liked that idea. They dated for quite a few years but then they suddenly didn’t like the idea of dating, at least for now.
Unlike Levi and Mackenzie, who have been together for almost nine years.
Olivia saw Levi sleeping on his back with the left side of his face in the pillow. He seemed to be very comfortable with his comforter wrapped around him. She saw that her little brother's breathing was very steady, and also that his right hand was at his side, and his left hand was on his stomach.
Hoping to not wake him up, she slowly and strategically moved both of his hands so that they were on his chest so that he could feel his own heart beating. His right hand was on his chest and his left hand was covering his right hand. Olivia was amazed at her younger brother’s long bony fingers that lay on top of the life inside him.
"Can you feel your heartbeat, Levi?" Olivia asked her younger brother of a little over a year.
Levi nodded in his sleep. According to Olivia, this was pretty cute.
"Is it fast?" Olivia asked.
Levi nodded again in his sleep. It was only 9:30, and Levi had stayed up until about four o'clock playing video games. Of course, he was going to sleep in. Olivia sat with him for about five minutes because she was hoping that he would wake up as soon as possible.
Because today should be good.
“Olivia, what did you do?” Evelyn Maeve spoke as she entered Levi’s room.
“I didn’t do anything,” Olivia replied.
“Just look at our brother.”
“Did you draw on his face or something?” Evelyn Maeve questioned, somewhat confused.
“Nope,” Olivia replied quickly.
“Then, what should I see?”
“Just how Levi’s sleeping.”
“Okay. I trust you.”
Evelyn Maeve walked over to where Olivia was sitting on the floor. Since the past ten minutes, Levi didn’t move at all. He was somehow sleeping on his back, which is not normal for him. And his hands were still on his chest, feeling his heartbeat, thanks to Olivia. Both girls thought this was really cute, especially Evelyn Maeve, who then decided to put one hand over Levi’s hand to see if she could also feel his heart beating.
She could. Probably the most beautiful thing that would happen to her today.
After a minute, she used the same hand to shake him gently. Levi didn’t move. Pretty obvious that he was still sound asleep. He had been sleeping for only five and a half hours, so he was probably out like a gourd.
“His heart’s really strong,” Evelyn Maeve said to Olivia with a smile.
“I’m sure it is,” Olivia replied with a smile.
“Should we just let him sleep? He won’t even move when I try to wake him up.”
“I’d say for another hour. It’s only 9:45.”
“When are you guys going golfing?” Evelyn Maeve asked.
“Not until about one o’clock, because Dad still has some work to get done,” Olivia answered.
“At least you have some time to play some video games.”
“Yes, at least.”
“Can I join? I’m not going over to Randy’s until 1:30.”
Olivia then had that look on her face, indicating that she was going to do something quite menacing. Evelyn Maeve had absolutely no idea what was on her mind. Right now, she didn’t really even want to guess. She wasn’t quite sure if Levi would be involved. She wasn’t quite sure if she would be involved. Evelyn Maeve just waited to see what her older sister was going to do.
Tension was building up. Quickly.
Then, Olivia was about to make her move. While still sitting right next to where Levi was sleeping, she quickly shoved his right arm, pushing him toward the wall. She may have meant for this to be funny, or just to wake him up. Evelyn Maeve was just appalled. She has never seen her sister do that before, from what she could remember.
“OLIVIA!” Evelyn Maeve shouted.
“GOD!” Levi shouted.
“Wakie wakie, eggs and bakie,” Olivia semi-sung slowly and cunningly.
Levi was not amused. His eyes were closed, and he just wanted so badly to go back to sleep. He had only been asleep for five and a half hours, and that is most definitely not enough for him. Levi was still lying on his futon, but he turned over and pulled his covers over him. Then, he somehow found his pillow and put that over him as well.
Now, Levi went back to sleeping on his stomach. Normal.
Olivia was now starting to feel bad about what she had done, and Evelyn Maeve was now starting to get amused by everything that had happened. Olivia is really not that mean. Obviously, she just wanted to wake up her little brother because it was already 9:45 in the morning.
Note to self: that is the absolute worst way to wake him up.
The two girls went back outside. They didn’t have oolong tea in hand anymore, but that was okay. They just wanted to sit outside for another hour because at least the weather was nice at the moment. It was probably good that they let their poor brother sleep for at least another hour. Then, he would have six and a half hours of sleep.
“I am never going to wake Levi up that way again,” Olivia remarked.
“Good,” Evelyn Maeve replied.
“What time is it now?”
“Now, it’s….10:30. Should we wake him up?”
“Probably,” Olivia responded.
“How are we going to wake him up now?” Evelyn Maeve asked.
“I’ll be gentle this time around.”
“Sounds like a plan. What are you going to do?”
“I’m just going to resort to shaking him gently.”
Olivia and Evelyn Maeve went back into the house to see their dad working on stuff for….well….work. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve waved at him, and he waved back. He had his earbuds in, so he was probably listening to some classic rock music in order to get his tasks done faster.
Listening to music can get a job done more quickly. No joke.
The two girls walked up the stairs to Levi’s room and saw that he was still sleeping. It was 10:30, like Evelyn Maeve said. Levi was still sleeping on his stomach, with both arms wrapped around his body pillow. Olivia and Evelyn Maeve thought this was cute, but they both agreed that he should probably at least think about waking up now, considering the time.
Olivia shook her younger brother gently. After a few seconds, Levi was slowly stirring. His head went up for a second, and then he let it fall down in his pillow. He let out a heavy sigh and, as both Olivia and Evelyn Maeve predicted, he tried to go back to sleep. At least they were being a little more gentle to him this time around.
“Hey, Levi?” Olivia said quietly to his little brother.
“What is it?” Levi responded even more quietly.
“You might want to wake up now.”
“It’s already 10:30, and don’t you have plans with Mackenzie and Rhody?” Olivia replied.
“Later,” Levi replied in his pillow.
“How many more minutes should we give you then?”
Levi held up two fingers in the form of a peace sign.
“Two?” Olivia clarified.
Levi nodded sleepily.
Poor Levi. He really needs his sleep, and the fact that Olivia and Evelyn Maeve interfered with his sleeping made it slightly worse. The two girls left his room and returned outside to where they were before. And they waited for another thirty minutes until Levi finally woke up and joined them.
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.”
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