Chapter Nineteen: Goodbye and Hello
_____ sat in the living room with Feliciano, Lovino, and Ludwig in the early afternoon when they heard a loud knock at the front door. Ludwig stood up to get it, _____ following close behind. When he opened the door, in burst a young man who stomped over to _____, standing mere inches away from her with a rather irritated air about him.
_____ giggled at her friend. “Yeah, Alfie?”
“Is your crap packed?”
She raised an eyebrow. “Alfie, it hasn’t been a week yet––”
“Don’t care!” Without warning, Alfred picked _____ up and slung her over his shoulder. She let out a quiet "Oof!" as her torso was forcibly bent around his shoulder, and she hung there like a rag doll. Alfred walked up the staircase to _____’s room and dropped her on the bed. He picked up her almost empty suitcase off the floor and lay it on the bed beside her.
_____ sighed. “Alfie, what are you doing?”
“I’m helping you pack so you can move on to the next house,” he replied as he began opening drawers and stuffing the items inside into the suitcase.
She grinned. “You’re really determined, aren’t you Al?”
“Hell yeah! I mean, I even went over this schedule before I even came to your house and offered to take you! If you don’t keep to the schedule, then––” He stopped himself mid-sentence, then continued to pack.
_____ scooted over to the edge of the bed. “Then what?”
Alfred sighed and flopped down beside her. “I had to go and get permission from the people that run the dorms to let you visit. To put it simply, they don’t like. . .outsiders. They just like when all their little students are in their own little houses and obeying all the little rules.”
“So you had to come up with a schedule for me so they wouldn’t just up and kick me out?” she asked slowly.
He rubbed the back of his head. “Yeah. They even wanted a date and time for when you leave.”
_____’s face fell slightly at this. She knew she would have to leave some time––she had known even before she arrived there––, but now that she had become friends with them, she didn’t want to go. “What did you tell them?”
“July twentieth,” he answered quietly, taking off his glasses and cleaning them with the hem of his shirt. “I had a little meeting with the directors yesterday, and they threatened to kick you out earlier if you didn’t follow the schedule.”
_____ sighed. “Well. . .I still have a month.”
“Twenty days,” remarked Alfred.
“Yeah.” She stood up and picked up a shirt and put it in her suitcase. “So, whose house am I going to now?”
“No, sorella! You can’t go!”
“Feli! Get off my leg!” _____ tried to pry Feliciano off her leg, but he held on for dear life and even tightened his grip around it. She put down her suitcase and used both hands to get him off, and eventually he gave in and fell backwards onto the floor.
“But, sorella!” he cried. “I don’t want you to go!”
_____ felt a pang of guilt resonate in her chest, then it worsened slightly when she imagined what he would act like when she actually had to go back home. She knelt down beside him. “Hey. Feli, look at me.”
Feliciano lifted his head to look at her, tears falling down his face.
She pursed her lips, then sighed and gathered the small Italian in her arms. “Hey, baby. It’s okay. I’ll only be gone for a little while.”
He reciprocated the embrace, and he made a small whimper every now and again as his tears continued to fall. “Sorella. . . !”
“Shh,” she cooed. “It’s okay, baby. It’s okay.”
After a minute of holding Feliciano, _____ stood back up and smiled at Lovino and Kiku. “See you later, guys.”
“Atode o ai shimashou, _____-san,” said Kiku. He then bent over and bowed respectfully.
“Yeah, yeah, don’t let the door hit you in the ass when you leave,” Lovino blurted out.
“Fratello!” protested Feliciano as he stood back up. “That’s not very nice! Apologize to sorella!”
A look of conviction crossed Lovino’s face for a moment, then was replaced by a look of surprise when he heard _____ giggle.
_____ smiled at the Italian. “See ya’, Lovino.”
Lovino pursed his lips, a light shade of pink dusting his cheeks as he looked down at the floor.
“Well then,” she said as she picked up her suitcase. “I guess I’ll––”
_____ looked back behind the three in front of her and saw a certain albino being supported by his brother. She furrowed her brows in irritation.
Gilbert chuckled at her. “What? I just wanted to say goodbye.”
She rolled her eyes and sighed, stepping over to him and wrapping her arms around his neck. “See you, Gil.”
“Bye, Fräu,” he whispered. “Und thank you.”
_____ smiled and kissed his cheek before looking at Ludwig. “Come on, Luddy. You know you want some love.”
Ludwig rolled his eyes and patted her head. “Tschüß, Fräu,”
She looked him in the eye. “Take care of him, okay?” she mouthed and pointed to Gilbert when he wasn’t looking.
_____ grinned and turned back toward the door where Alfred stood waiting. She looked back once more and smiled warmly. “See you later, guys.” She hopped through the doorway onto the front porch and shut the door behind her. She followed Alfred down the sidewalk past several houses.
“So where am I going this time?” she asked him after a long moment of silence.
“Right,” said Alfred. “Well, y’know Ivan?”
“And you met his two sisters at the mock conference.”
“That’s who you’re staying with.”
_____ frowned slightly. “Oy.”
“Yeah,” breathed Alfred. “Sorry. You got the house full of crazy people this time.” He snapped his fingers. “Oh, yeah. And someone else lives there, but I forgot who.”
The two eventually came to a poorly-kept house at the end of that row of dorm houses. As soon as they reached the front yard, Alfred dropped _____’s suitcase and turned back around. He said quickly, “You’re on your own from here, girl,” and power-walked off.
_____ blinked, then sighed and took up her suitcase. She stepped up to the front porch and knocked on the door. It opened a few moments after, but _____ didn’t see anyone in the doorway. She stepped inside and looked around. “Hello?”
“Um, h-hello, _____,” said a quiet voice from beside the door.
_____ whirled back around and saw a young man with wavy, dirty-blond hair and glasses, a very long cowlick shooting up from his head and down to the front. He wore a plain red hoodie and blue jeans, and in his arms he clutched a small teddy bear.
_____ nodded slowly at the stranger. “Hello.” She blinked when she realized who he was. “You’re Alfie’s cousin, right?”
He nodded. “Yes. I’m––”
“Matthew,” _____ finished for him, sticking her hand out and smiling at him. “I don’t think we had a very good first meeting. I’m _____.”
Matthew smiled and took her hand. “It’s very nice to finally meet you, _____.”
_____ made a slightly confused face when he said “finally”.
“Ah, yes. Alfred used to tell me and Francis a lot about when he lived next door to you.”
“He talked about me?”
“Interesting. . .” A shade of red colored _____’s cheeks. So he talks to everybody about me, huh? she thought.
“So!” She brought her hands together, turning her head this way and that. “Where are the girls?”
“Oh, yes.” Matthew turned toward the living room nearby. “This way.”
_____ followed him to the living room where she caught sight of the two young women sitting on opposite sides of the room. One of them sitting in an armchair with her legs brought up to her chest, her large breasts attempting to push them off the chair and back onto the floor. She had short, silver hair and dark sea-green eyes. The other was sitting properly on the couch on the side closest to _____ and Matthew. She also had silver hair, but it was longer, reaching down to the middle of her back, and her eyes were a dull gray color. She scowled when she saw _____.
“_____,” said Matthew, “these are Ivan Braginski’s sisters, Natalia and Yekatarina.”
Natalia grunted and crossed her arms. Yekatarina smiled at _____ and stood up. “Laskavo prosymo, druzi!” she said as she made her way toward the two, making sure to keep a safe distance when walking by her sister. She took _____’s hand. “It’s wonderful to meet you!”
“It’s nice to meet you, too,” answered _____, laughing nervously.
“Come on, _____.” Matthew took hold of her suitcase. “I’ll take you to your room.”
“Okay.” _____ followed the Canadian to her new room and sat down on the nicely decorated bedsheets.
When he was sure she was fine and settled in, Matthew headed for the door. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll leave you to it, then. Let us know if you need anything. And dinner should be ready by about six.”
_____ glanced at the clock on the nightstand, which read 5:15 P.M. She nodded. “Okay. Thank you, Matt.”
Matthew’s cheeks turned a light pink at the sound of his nickname, then he replied, “You’re welcome,” and walked out.