Nostalgia

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Antonio had spent the evening cleaning out his mother's attic, looking for some of his old belongings as he prepared to move to the city. Now that he was out of university and ready for his own apartment in Madrid, Antonio wanted some of his old childhood stuffed animals and other belongings to remind him of home when he felt homesick. He was moving from Granada to Madrid, so he knew he'd eventually want some things from home to keep him from missing his small southern home in the capital city.

The dusty attic was filled with boxes and boxes of old family heirlooms and history. Antonio had found tons of old maps and dusty paintings in a chest at the corner of the attic, yet hadn't found a single stuffed animal. Antonio had even found a 16th-century rapier in an old velvet case. He went downstairs and asked his mother about it and she muttered something along the lines of "your ancestors were conquistadors...blah blah blah... Ferdinand and Isabella... blah blah blah...Renaissance painters...blah blah blah blah."

She seemed really dismissive when he asked about it, so Antonio decided to leave his mother alone. Obviously she wasn't too proud of their conquistador heritage. Antonio put the rapier back in its case and pushed it back into the corner of the attic where he had found it. He didn't want to dig up any old family treasures that would require an entire history class to explain. All he wanted was his stuffed animals!

Sliding a few of the boxes he had already rummaged through aside, Antonio crept further into the attic until he saw a box labelled "Italia". Antonio furrowed his brow for a moment in confusion before he remembered that from ages six to nine he had lived in Italy. Antonio's father was a professor who worked at the University of Granada, and when he was six his father was offered a three year job at the Sapienza University of Rome. When his father took the job, the entire family packed up and moved to Rome.

Antonio had forgotten about Rome for a while. Now, at age twenty-five, all the memories came flooding back to him. He suddenly remembered having to learn Italian, seeing the colosseum for the first time, and spending hours and hours at Sapienza while visiting his father at work.

Now, overwhelmingly curious as to what was in the box, Antonio ripped the tape off and looked inside. There were tons of books, like Cómo Aprender Italiano para Españoles and Roman Architecture for Dummies, and there were also a bunch of little figurines and what looked like touristy knick knacks. There was also a manila envelope labeled "fotos", which Antonio quickly slid out of the cardboard box. He was really curious to see what kind of pictures were in the envelope.

Using his thumb to bend the metal tabs of the envelope, Antonio opened it and slid his hand inside, curiously taking out a handful of pictures to sift through. The first one was a picture of the whole family in front of the house where they had lived for three years. Antonio suddenly felt the nostalgia kick in as his eyes roamed over every aspect of the picture. He chuckled as he noticed his mother wearing the same pair of shorts she had worn a few days ago. She obviously did not like to revamp her wardrobe very often.

Antonio set down the picture and moved onto the next one, which was a picture of him jokingly picking his nose and sticking his tongue out to look silly for the picture. Antonio figured he was about seven there, he looked so little. The first few pictures were of the colosseum, as the entire Fernandez-Carriedo family was starstruck by the sight when they first saw it. His father must've taken a dozen pictures of it.

The next few pictures were of their house, which brought back a ton of memories from the back of Antonio's mind. He remembered doing homework at the dining room table, eating pasta on the breakfast bar, and watching his favorite Italian cartoons in the living room.

The next picture nearly made him drop the pile. Antonio had to rub his eyes to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. The picture, which opened a floodgate of memories, was of Antonio being kissed on the lips by a light-haired Italian boy by the name of Lovino. Lovino Vargas.

"Lovino Vargas..." Antonio muttered under his breath as his thumb traced the bottom of the picture. It was like seeing a ghost.

Lovino Vargas was Antonio's best friend from the moment he had stepped foot in his new house when he was six. Antonio distinctly remembered the first time they had met. Antonio was moving all of his things into his new house and he remembered the amber-eyed boy walking right up to his front porch and asking him if he was going to be his new neighbor. Antonio remembered only being able to speak a little bit of Italian, so he had no idea what the boy was saying, but he knew from that point onwards they were going to be friends.

The two spent every day together as children, and were practically inseparable. Since they lived directly next to each other, the two would often have sleepovers at each other's houses. Antonio remembered that in between their houses was a little alleyway, and the windows of their bedrooms were facing each other, so they set up a pully system so they could pull things back and forth between rooms. They also spent hours and hours on end collecting bottle caps together. They used to make bracelets and little rings out of the cool caps and sell them to the old ladies in the market so that they could buy candy for themselves. Antonio vividly remembered Lovino's collection being impressively large, and he also remembered that when Antonio moved, he gave all of his bottlecaps to Lovino so he could keep collecting them.

Antonio found himself smiling widely as he remembered all the antics he and Lovino used to get up to in their little houses in Rome. Looking back down at the picture, he laughed. He remembered it as his last day in Italy. He had just turned nine a few months before, and Lovino was eight, and neither of them had ever experienced being separated by such a large distance. Antonio remembered that on that day, the two had calculated that Rome and Granada were approximately 1,385.5 miles away from each other and approximately 2,229.7 kilometers away from each other.

Antonio remembered his last day with Lovino, and how they both didn't fully understand how far away Antonio was moving, and how they would probably never see each other again. When they had finally spent the entire day together, and Antonio's father had told him it was time to go, the two were both crying, not wanting to be so far away from each other. That was when the photo was taken.

Antonio remembered Lovino's tear-filled "ti amo, Antonio" and then the moment when Lovino grabbed his face and pulled him in for a kiss. Antonio's parents must've thought it was funny, so they snapped a photo. In the picture, Antonio's eyes were wide open, and Lovino's face was bright red, but Antonio remembered it as one of the best, yet saddest, moments of his childhood. All he remembered thinking as a nine year old was how much he loved his best friend, and how if he could've shared that kiss forever, he probably would have.

Antonio set the photo down after feeling his heart ache a little. Where was Lovino now? They had never kept in touch. Antonio was pretty sure Lovino was the only person he had ever loved more than anything in the world. Lovino was the center of his universe for four years, yet he had never kept contact with him. Why was that?

Looking back into the box, Antonio's eyes opened wide at the sight of a bottlecap at the bottom of the box. Picking the cap up in between his forefinger and his thumb, Antonio looked at it closely. It was a purple cap from a San Pellegrino soda, Antonio's favorite. Looking at the other side of the cap, Antonio noticed something written in messy, childlike writing:

❤ Lovino

Antonio had never felt the urge to see someone as badly as he had now. He had to find Lovino Vargas. He had to.


Alright kids along w/ posting my other drafts, i'm re-publishing this story as well... I'm trying to storyboard this one so that I can continue because Spamano is my fave yet I've never finished a spamano fic. anyway thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed

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