Luca and Daniella stood outside their new home. No parents, no aunts & uncles, no friends. It’s as if they were just plopped into the world with no one to depend on other than each other. Daniella was a teenager, just aged up. Luca was at the beginning of his young adult years, and on the list of things he didn’t have was a job.
He’d used all his savings to purchase this house off the beaten path for him and his sister. He didn’t like being bothered by people, and he figured at the end of a long dusty lane in Windenburg was the perfect spot.
Daniella had gathered all of her courage and had agreed with Luca that this was the house for them. She didn’t need much beyond her books. Well… she needed people. She really needed people. But she trusted Luca’s judgement when it came to her, even if she didn’t trust his judgement when it came to himself. If he thought this is where they needed to be, then she would make the best of it, and just do a lot of travelling to get to the people.
As they looked at their home, they were each momentarily lost in thought.
Luca: Why the hell doesn’t the walkway extend all the way to the drive?
Daniella: That mailbox which will soon house our bills sure looks ominous. I wonder if we have enough money to buy more books for me, and more shirts for Luca…
They looked at each other, realizing they really only had each other to rely on for now. Their very first action as new residents was to give each other a reassuring hug.
After the hug, they both felt better. They breathed in their surroundings, feeling for just a moment that things might be alright. No fear, no responsibility, just the wind in their hair.
Then Daniella said, “now that we’ve established we’re not going to die out here all alone, when are you getting a job? And also, can you help me with my homework?”
Luca may or may not have freaked out momentarily.
After he calmed down, he got a job. He didn’t want to lie to his sister, so he owned up that he joined the Criminal Career. He’s always had a mean streak, though it hardly ever showed itself to his beloved baby sister.
Seeing as how he barely graduated high school himself, she just accepted what help he could provide. And she kept her thoughts to herself, for now, about his choice in jobs.
She finished her homework, proud of her big brother for getting a job, even if it was that kind of job. And he didn’t do so bad helping her with her homework, she only had to ignore one third of his answer suggestions. They were about to head inside for lunch when a bunch of people showed up.
They announced themselves as friendly neighbors, much to Luca’s chagrin.
Luca: What is the point of moving out here if the people can still get to us?
Daniella: People!! Lovely new strangers who will become my friends!! Happy dance, unh, unh.
Soon enough, the people were in their little house, sitting on all the available surfaces. Daniella was happily chatting away, getting to know the Windenburg residents.
“So let me get this straight, the name of your company is Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe? Interesting…”
Luca was nonplussed, and he was losing the battle with his inner meanness. If they didn’t stop all this pointless chatter and small talk, someone was going to get told their mother may or may not be a llama.
After more jokes, mostly about the loaf of bread one of those plumheads brought, Luca had enough.
“Listen, no one care about your stupid tattoos, or your stupid feather earrings, or that the bread is good! I just want to watch this rerun of The Nightly Show in peace! Is that too much?,” Luca wondered aloud furiously.
“You’ve got your nerve,” responded Siobhan, the cutie in the pink dress replied. “You’re not even wearing a shirt. What kind of crazy grown man walks around in front of guests dressed like that. Go sit back down and leave us to our pleasant conversation with your sister!”
Not too long after that, everyone else left. They ended up having a good time in spite of Luca’s behavior. Daniella made everyone a garden salad, and her outgoing personality won everyone over. They each agreed on the way out that they were happy with their new neighbor. Ulrike stayed behind to chat.
“Why is your brother like that?” Ulrike asked.
“Girl, I don’t know. I think underneath it all he gets nervous around strangers and that’s why he explodes. My mom always thought about having him tested to see if there was anything really really wrong with him, but now they’re gone, and I’m not about to suggest we get him tested.”
Luca smirked in the background while he ate his salad: Let them say whatever they want. All that matters is that this last nosy neighbor follows the rest out my door.
Daniella got up to washed the dishes. She had a feeling that life in Windenburg would always be like this. Her brother running away the people. Her being nice to the people so they considered staying. And her doing all the cooking and cleaning. When she first started thinking about it, she smiled. It was nice to feel needed. And as long as Luca was taken care of, he stayed pleasant and loving.
After the last guest left, Daniella was starting to get stressed as she thought about all she’d have to be responsible for just to maintain a happy home. She decided to read a book because nothing worked better to improve her day like a good book. She grabbed one and tried to read in the cozy nook she’d setup for herself. But the noise from yet another The Nightly Show rerun affected her concentration. She chuckled at Luca’s shirtlessness, thinking Siobhan had a point. Then, with a shrug, she gave up on the book.
With no book to read and no dishes to clean, Daniella took a look at their finances. Sure, Luca was only going to make $19/hour for the first few days at his new job, but this purchase was worth it for peace of mind. She went to her room, locked her door, and let the focus find her. It was, for Daniella, a perfect ending to their first day in Windenburg.