And remember: there will be a quiz on Monday, class."
The entire class groaned except for Annetta who was at the top of all of her classes. From the corner of her eye, she could see her childhood friend, Lovino, who was fast asleep in his desk. He may have been her friend, but he, in no way, was as smart as she was.
" Annetta whispered and poked the snoring Italian with the eraser of her pencil.
" Annetta said again but in a louder voice. "Wake up. School's out."
"Hnng! Che cosa
?" Lovino mumbled and opened one of his golden eyes.
"Class is over, Lovi," Annetta repeated. "Come on. Get up."
Lovino groaned and wiped the thin trail of drool from the corner of his mouth.
"How-a long was I asleep?" he asked and began to pack his things into his school bag.
"Long enough to sleep through the last announcement," Annetta answered.
"We have a quiz on Monday."
Lovino began to swear up a storm. "It's the friggin' weekend! Why-a would anyone want to study over the-a weekend?!"
Annetta giggled and closed the flap on her school bag. "Last time we had a quiz, you were complaining about having it on a Friday because you didn't have enough time to study during the weekdays."
This made Lovino curse again. Annetta frowned.
"You got a really bad score on your last quiz," she said. "And the one before that, and the one before that."
"Don't-a remind me, Annie
" Lovino said glumly.
"I have an idea: would you like me to help?" Annetta offered.
This made Lovino perk his head up. "You'd do that?"
"Lovi, I'm your friend," Annetta laughed. "It's the least I could do after knowing you for so long."
Lovino tore his eyes off of Annetta and pursed his lips. "Fine," he said. "But-a we're going to my house. I don't want-a my stupid fratello poking his head in the library or your dorm."
It was strange, but while Feliciano and Annetta lived on-campus in Academy W's dorms, Lovino lived a few blocks away with his upperclassmen friend, Antonio, after agreeing to split the rent.
"That's fine with me," Annetta smiled. This could be a good opportunity to spend time with Lovino like they used to before they started going to high school.
"Che palle! I don't-a see why we have to bother leaning this shit!" Lovino growled and tossed his pencil on the table after getting another question wrong.
"It's going to help you in the future," Annetta said flipping through her textbook. "How about we take a break?"
"Finally!" Lovino smiled and ran off to the couch.
"We've only been studying for half an hour," Annetta giggled under her breath. She went to the kitchen to see if she could find a snack to eat. Lovino and Antonio had a large kitchen particularly because Antonio loved to cook, and Lovino liked to eat. She opened the fridge expecting there to be some leftover pasta or gazpacho, but there wasn't a single tomato dish in sight.
Oh dear, Annetta thought amusingly to herself. No pomodori in the pomodoro boys' fridge. The world will definitely turn on its ear now.
Sighing, she went to find Lovino on the couch passed out from "so much studying." As she stared down on his gently snoring self, she couldn't help but form a smile on the corner of her mouth.
Lovi would be much more cuter if he were always like this, she thought. Come to think of it, because he's sleeping
Annetta's large brown eyes fell on the protruding strand of curled hair that stuck out of Lovino's right side of his bangs. It bobbed back and forth as Lovino began to snore and toss his head around in his sleep. She recalled Antonio telling her about never attempting to pull Lovino's curl or something bad might happen, but she never exactly found out what. Ludwig had said the same thing about Feliciano's curl. The Vargas brothers were strange, indeed.
A little yank couldn't hurt, Annetta thought and ducked behind the couch in case tugging Lovino's curl involved involuntary puking or exploding.
Here goes nothing
Holding her breath, Annetta began to tug softly at Lovino's curl. Nothing so far. She tugged a little harder. From the other side of the couch, she could hear Lovino begin to mumble something in a southern Italian dialect.
"This isn't so bad," Annetta giggled softly and began to repeatedly tug at the curl of the still-sleeping Lovino.
Suddenly, Lovino let out a loud moan. It sounded so ambiguous mixed with pain, irritation, and
"Fuck! What the hell is going on?!" Lovino cried out sitting up just as Annetta pulled her hand away from his curl. He looked around, and bent over the couch. "Annie, what-a sort of stupid trick are you trying to pull?"
"Your curl," Annetta said quietly trying to suppress a smile.
Lovino raised his eyebrows at his friend and made a face. "Don't-a you something else better-a to do?"
"Actually, I do," Annetta said. "The two of you have actually run out of pomodori."
Lovino face-palmed. "Che palle, that's-a right! Salsa-slurper told-a me to get some after school! This is-a all your fault!"
"Mine?" Annetta arched her eyebrows.
"Sì!" Lovino insisted. "You kept-a me so distracted that-a I completely forgot!"
"If it's not too much trouble, then I'll go with you," Annetta offered. After some resistance and hesitation, Lovino finally agreed to let her tag along.
"Lovi, what do you say we make some pappicci* tonight?" Annetta suggested looking at the selection of tomatoes.
*Molise dish consisting of pasta and tomatoes
"Sì, that sounds good," Lovino agreed as he picked out a large selection of tomatoes from the display.
"Then Toni won't have to cook this time," Annetta said as she picked some tomatoes out, too. As she reached for a large, ripe tomato, Lovino's hand fell on hers as he reached for the same tomato. In a quick motion, she retracted her hand and looked away.
"What the hell has-a gotten into you?" Lovino asked as he put the tomato into his shopping basket.
" Annetta stuttered. "I th-think that's enough pomodori."
Lovino blinked. "I think so, too."
The rest of the grocery shopping was done in silence. Whenever Lovino would look directly at Annetta, she would always turn away and pretend to look for something.
What's wrong with her? Lovino wondered.
After the two of them returned to Lovino's home, they began to hear a jovial whistling coming from the living room.
"We're back, Toni!" Annetta called out into the house since Lovino never announced his return.
The whistling stopped, and Lovino and Annetta could hear footsteps coming to the front.
"Hola, Lovi! Hola, Annie!" Antonio greeted. "Oh, you've brought tomates! Gracias!"
"De nada, Toni," Annetta smiled and walked to the kitchen to set the tomatoes on the counter. "We were going to make pappicci tonight if that's alright with you."
"Sí, of course!" Antonio smiled back. "It's nice that you're keeping Lovi company. He gets really grumpy when it's just the two of us."
"That's-a because you never bring-a anyone but that stupid frog face over!" Lovino snapped referring to Francis. Antonio just laughed obliviously and helped Annetta wash some tomatoes.
After dinner, Annetta resumed studying with Lovino, but this time, she kept her face hidden behind her book. Lovino noticed that this friend was acting strange and spoke up.
"Hey, Annie," he said. "Is-a there something wrong with you? Did you-a hit your head or something? You're acting much-a more strange than usual."
"'Than usual?'" Annetta asked furrowing her eyebrows hoping he couldn't see the red shade that was most likely visible on her normally olive skin.
"Sì," Lovino nodded. His curl bobbed up and down making Annetta's eyes move up and down to follow it. He frowned. "What are you looking at?"
" Annetta said bashfully and looked down.
"That's what you said last time," Lovino pointed out.
"Spit it out, ragazza!" Lovino shouted.
Annetta began to burst into a fit of giggles. She was used to Lovino being so short-tempered; she was the only one who was used to it besides Feliciano and Antonio.
"You're such a strange one, Annie," Lovino said with a scrunched face.
"Do you really want to know?" Annetta asked quietly.
"Sì! Why else would I ask?!"
"Ummm, I actually want to know, too," Annetta admitted quietly.
"What?" Lovino said.
Annetta pointed a hesitant finger to the curly ahoge that Lovino sported.
" she began. "Why does Toni say I shouldn't pull it?"
Lovino's manner suddenly began to change; he became extrememly flustered, and his tan-olive skin began to grow a deep tomato-red.
"Th-Th-That's-a n-none of your business, Annie," he said.
Silly Lovi, Annetta thought.
"If you won't tell me, I'll have to find out for myself!" She leapt without warning at Lovino's exposed curl and gave it such a hard yank she was afraid she might've pulled it off completely. Lovino began to let out a whimper and his face grew even redder than before as he fidgeted in place.
" he whispered.
He sounds so cute when he was helpless, Annetta thought half-guiltily and half-amused.
" Lovino whimpered. "I'm-a warning you
"You're so cute, Lovi," Annetta giggled. D-Did I really just tell him that? She continued to tug harder at Lovino's curl hoping to get more reactions out of him
When Lovino broke the kiss, he was breathing hard like he had just gotten out of physical education.
"Finally got you to stop
" he panted. "I warned you
" His face couldn't have been redder. "See what you made me do, you stupid ragazza?"
"Sì," Annette whispered, her face nearly as red as Lovino's. She stared into Lovino's flustered eyes and rubbed her hands nervously together.
"D-Do you mind if I do it again?" she asked timidly.
Lovino gave Annetta a strange look. "What are you saying? Unless
Not being able to resist anymore, Annetta reached out and gave his iconic curl another hard tug. Like a reflex, Lovino smashed his lips forcefully onto hers, but she continued to pull at it until she was almost out of breath.
Desperate for air, Annetta finally let go of his curl to take a breather.
"Ti amo, Lovi," she panted.
ragazza, Annie," Lovino breathed. "But
that's what I love about you, too
"Oh, Lovi." Annetta began to blush and gave his curl another hard yank earning an annoyed chigi! sound from him.
"Wait until I tell mis amigos about this!" Antonio whispered to himself in delight as he snapped a quick picture on his cellphone as Annetta continued to pull at Lovino's curl. This time, she didn't stop.