The boys were surely having fun. Monty is a pro as he has been grinding this game for years. Segar, despite having started much later, just a few days ago, also proved his competitiveness. Just as they are about to go for the tenth match, the front door unlocked, and a familiar voice speaks up:
“We are home! Come downstairs for dinner!” - It was Segar’s father.
Segar and Monty quickly hit the cancel button as they heard it. Keeping their manners is vital, but maintaining their credibility score in Call of Soldiers can not be ignored. Then, they quickly come to the kitchen. Monty makes some formal greetings and tries to help Segar’s parents prepare dinner. Having known that there would be a guest today, Segar’s mom put in a lot of effort for this meal. For tonight’s dinner, there is fried pork and vegetable soup. She also asked her husband to buy some stir-fried cabbages from a local vegan restaurant. It was ironically overpriced if you think about the fact that vegans often promote their lifestyle as a way to solve world hunger. Of course, as a certified drinker, he also bought a bottle of Colska but put it in the cabinet right away the moment Segar’s mother glared at him. After ten minutes, the table is set. Segar’s mother and her spouse sit next to each other, facing the boys.
“So, you are from Xalos, right? Great city, I have been there before. What’s your name, kid?” - Segar’s father starts the conversation.
“Nice to meet you, sir! My name is Monty. I can help around the house while staying here. Don’t mind asking for my help once in a while.” - Monty’s response is filled with enthusiasm.
“Only once in a while?” - Segar’s father chuckles.
His mother slaps her husband's arm to remind him not to start teasing Monty this early, they have just met.
“Don’t listen to this drunkard, dear! And please, be our guest only! Having you to be friends with our son is great enough already. To tell you the truth, Segar coming out of his room is a rare sight here. Please, take care of our son too.”
“Mom!” - Segar reacts. His mother was right though.
“Thank you for your kindness, ma’am! I would love to be Segar’s friend too.”
“Say… Monty, do you know how to drink?” - Segar's father continues.
This time, his lovely wife pinches his thigh real hard. She does not want the expansion of alcoholism to happen in this household. One drunkard is enough. She then changes the topic so that Monty will not have time to answer that.
“Monty dear, have you finished the paperwork to get you into the Academy?”
“Ah… Thank you for your concern ma’am. I have finished them all and transferred them to Lieutenant Montana this afternoon. Do you have any problems?” - Monty replies in the most polite way possible.
“Partly. The part related to Segar and us has been solved. But, we will have to make a trip to the suburbs tomorrow regarding Segar's grandparents. Do you want to join us, dear? I would love it if you can. Leaving you here with a certain someone does not put my mind at ease.” - She keeps pinching her husband while talking. The pinching becomes harder in the last sentence.
“Oh! I would love it too! I want to discover Colville more, it’s really beautiful!” - Monty chuckles. He tries really hard not to notice Segar’s “I’m in pain” face while answering.
“Great! Enjoy the meal while it’s still warm, dear!”
They decided to cut all the small talk for now and started enjoying the food. Segar’s father has given his scheme about making a new drink mate. Guess that bottle of Colska is for himself now. The meal was wonderful. After that, Monty helped Segar with his duty: washing up. With more dishes today, his help would be useful; However, the kitchen sink did not have enough space for both of them and just made the work harder. So, they decided to take turns cleaning the dishes. Then, the boys went back to the bedroom and continued sticking their eyes to the phone screens.
11:00 P.M, both are now exhausted from excessive screen time. They then brush their teeth and turn on the sleeping lamp. Monty asks Segar if he has any spare mattresses at home.
“What for? Are you going to sleep on the floor? My bed is for two people, you know?” - Segar pats on the other side of the bed while talking.
“I can? Thanks!” - Monty joins Segar on his bed too.
“You don’t mind sleeping on the side, do you?” - Segar asks.
“No? Do you not hate sleeping on the side?”
“I’m fine either way. Sleep on the side so that if you try to hug me, I can just kick you down.”
Monty fumes a bit on his answer. They decide to chat more before going to sleep.
“You seem to love this place huh? Is it that nice? How is Xalos” - Segar can not help but to question Monty about his unrequited excitement for Colville. Segar has been living here for his entire life. But never has he seen someone who loved this damn city.
“Xalos is a big city with multiple skyscrapers. It has everything you need. Megamarket, fancy PC rooms, top-tier universities, big companies, everything you can think of. It’s convenient, but also monotone. During my time in high school, living in Xalos could sometimes feel suffocating. Sure, as you told me on the bus, Colville is pitiful. But the scenery, the not-so-fresh air due to the factories, they bring me refreshment. Today is my first day being here, but I already felt like being on a vacation, and not for some annoying paperwork.”
Their endless questions for each other and the cool breeze of a summer night slowly lured them to sleep. Monty, who is used to having a bolster by his side while sleeping, hugged Segar unconsciously. Segar can not kick him down the bed now. But if Segar were awake, he would not too. Monty’s cool skin is just what he will enjoy in this torrid summer.