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 right where it begins, kate!
"i may have sampled some to make sure it wasn't poisoned," she admitted, unable to shake her grin. he probably thought she had gone a bit crazy with all her smiling... maybe she should reign it in? even if she tried though, she would start thinking of how excited and how thankful she was for leone, and then she would be right back to where she started. "but we should go to central park and eat more." she would grab his arm and start leading the way (as was her way), but she wasn't entirely certain where central park was... she knew it was between a lot of skyscrapers, but that's about it. sense of direction had never really been her strong suit. "oh, you need to tell me about your ma's birthday! did she love the scarf? she wasn't too upset with you, right?"
emily
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"oh, well... a good thing to know. that it's not poisoned," he said with a little laugh, looking down at the bag again. it was sort of a weird thing for her to say, but he didn't comment on it. he was too distracted by the big smile on her face anyway. she just seemed thrilled to be there, which was nice. it wasn't as if she was forcing herself to spend time with him because she'd been too nice to turn down his offer. then she was agreeing to central park and taking his arm. she clearly liked leading. she'd done it to him all over the store, but obviously he was going to have to take over at some point. he had to assume she knew where central park was, since she started to lead the way, and for now, she was heading in the right direction. "she won't admit to it, but she does love the scarf. she's been wearing it every day since, though maybe she wants to make sure she gets my moneys worth out of it." she'd called him foolish of course, but he thought it'd been in an entirely affectionate way.
kate
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age 27
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"don't worry, i- i was joking," she said quickly at his look of confusion, lest he think she might actually attempt to poison him. did people even poison one another any more? it seemed a tad archaic. fi couldn't help but laugh at leone's admission his mother wore her scarf every day now. she was pleased that he had gotten something practical that his mother could use every day, but also a gift that she would have never purchased on her own. "she probably didn't want to show how much she loved it, because surely your siblings' presents paled in comparison," she commented as they strolled arm in arm down the street. "how many siblings do you have?" fi paused at the corner of the next main crossroad, a frown momentarily interrupting her joy as she realized she had no clue if she was even going the correct direction. "i don't actually know where i'm going," she admitted, hoping he could point her in the right direction.
emily
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age 25
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"i know," he said, just as quickly, because he didn't want her thinking he believe she'd actually try to poison him or anything. no, he certainly didn't believe that. but it wasn't exactly something anyone had joked about with him before. maybe it was something from back home for her... or maybe the italians he knew just weren't as humorous. he smiled a little, "well, my siblings aren't old enough yet to be making enough money. my parents are keeping them in school." they'd insisted he stay in school for as long as possible, too, until he was finally able to help with the income of the household. "my sisters made her a cake, though." she'd had no issue thanking and praising them, and he knew despite how hard she'd been on him, she truly did appreciate the scarf. "i have three sisters and a brother. all younger than i am." he paused with her, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye, seeing the hesitation and the small frown that for the moment interrupted her previously bright expression. then he laughed as she admitted she had no idea where she was going. "you did have me fooled for a moment. you were going the right way," he told her, now leading her across the street, continuing on. "just another eight blocks or so."
kate
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"so you're the impressive older brother that they look up to then?" fi questioned in a gentle, teasing tone as she smiled over at him. she still didn't know what he did for a living, but she could tell he was one of those people who were successful at whatever they put their mind to. he just had that look about him. "and what do you do? if you say you're actually a world-renowned baker, then i might have to take back my coffee cake." she wanted to know everything about him. where he currently worked; what he wanted in life. everything. blushing as leone said she'd had him fooled in terms of knowing where she was going, she offered him a nod and a bashful smile. "me mam always says i can be overly self-confident at times." and then he was leading the way, and her smile slipped easily back into place as they moved through the bustling city. "i think i might be falling in love with this city," she admitted quietly, earnestly as if the possibility were some major, earth shattering news.
emily
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he laughed, shrugging, "i guess maybe they look up to me... my brother, at least. my sisters probably wish i would go away most of the time." he liked to tease them more than they liked. most of the time they were screaming at him, which meant his mother would end up screaming at him to stop messing with them. but wasn't that what big brothers were supposed to do? "don't worry, i can't cook a single thing," he assured her. he was banned from the kitchen; at least while food was being prepared. "i don't do anything special... i do construction." it was what a lot of italians went into. he enjoyed it well enough; he hoped that one day he'd be able to construct one of those skyscrapers. "my parents own a grocery in little italy." maybe one day he would own it, but for now it made more sense for him to branch out and bring in income elsewhere.

"i don't think being overly confident is an issue... it's not going to get you into any trouble right now, at least." he was there to make sure they didn't get lost. after a moment he took hold of her hand instead, making it easier to walk one behind the other when necessary. her hand fit so perfectly in hisown... he tried not to think about it too much. he smiled as she said she was falling in love with the city. "it's easy to do..." of course, he'd basically grown up here, so he'd come to love it easily. "where did you live before? were you in a city?"

kate
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fi couldn't help but chuckle as he described what sounded like a tumultuous relationship with his siblings. no doubt his sisters weren't always pleased with their older brother, but she was sure they would adore him once they were older. unless he was one of those overly protective brothers... in which case, they likely wouldn't warm up to him until they had found the man of their dreams that leone couldn't scare off. "construction? is that dangerous? i mean, aren't you ever frightened something might fall from the sky and hit you?" okay, maybe that wasn't a common occurrence, but what if he was one of those men who hung from rafters? was that even safe? she didn't want him to get hurt! "a grocery? will you give me the address? i would love to visit," fi said earnestly, excited by the idea of exploring little italy. sally said italians made some of the best food.

she liked that he approved of her confidence. even if it was false confidence. glancing up at leone as he grabbed her hand, she couldn't stop the grin that took over her features as she gave his hand a quick squeeze. she liked him. a lot. "outside of cork in a little town. we lived in a cozy cabin on the coast. i like the docks here. reminds me of home, but not nearly as breathtaking."

emily
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"i suppose it is dangerous... i don't really think about that," he responded, shrugging. the last thing he need to be thinking about while balancing at some height was how dangerous it actually was. he never forgot to be careful, but constantly worrying about it was probably more dangerous. "i'd like to work on one of the skyscrapers some day," he told her, motioning toward one in progress. being that high was more exhilerating than frightening. if he'd been afraid he probably would have looked for a job elsewhere. though, he wasn't sure what else he'd do.

"sure, i can even take you there, maybe." if they had time. he wasn't sure how long they'd spend looking at other things, and he really didn't want his mother to get the wrong idea if he brought a girl around. she'd start thinking he was courting this girl, who he still barely knew, and maybe even thinking about marriage. his mother would get ahead of herself, for sure.

he weaved them through a crowd before they were walking side by side again and he could actually respond to what she'd said. "i've never been outside of the city. sometime i think i'd like to go back to italy. just to visit. i don't really remember it," he commented. this was home to him, though part of him was still very much connected to italy.

kate
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age 27
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posts 28801 posts
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"are you one of those thrill seekers? my ma always warned me about them," fi teased, although she was genuinely curious. in addition to his job sounding terrifying, it was also brave to scale those heights and create a permanent building. leone was building new york! "one day i'll be able to brag about knowing someone who built a skyscraper." despite the danger (in her eyes), she respected his passion. he had big dreams for himself. "maybe one day you'll build a hospital, and i'll work there." it didn't hurt to dream, right?

fiona nodded eagerly at his offer to take him by his parents' store, but a quiet voice in the back of her head reminded her that she didn't want to give anyone the wrong impression. meeting his parents when her own were so far away sounded overwhelming. what if they thought she was trying to take advantage of their son in some way? what if they disliked the irish as much as ms. johnson loathed the italians? laughing as they weaved through a crowd, she glanced over at leone when he admitted he'd never left the city. sure, everything one needed existed in the city, but america seemed so impossibly big. how had he not explored further? "leone, you need to see more of america!" she scolded, before quickly adding, "although i imagine italy is beautiful. do you have a lot of family back there?"

emily
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he laughed, glancing at her as she teased him, "i suppose you could say that i am. it takes very specific men that'll climb that high," he commented. risking falling to an almost certain death once they got so high. leone didn't let it affect him; he went about on those tall buildings like he might as well have been on solid ground. it was a good thing his mother never actually saw him working or she'd give herself a heart attack. or tie him to a chair at home so he could never return to the job. he looked at her curiously as she mentioned a hospital. "is that what you want to do? work in a hospital?" it was definitely different from working as a shopgirl, and if that was her dream, he did hope she would pursue it and not let anything stop her. his mother would probably call her silly; point out she should just find a nice young man to marry and settle down as a wife. and maybe look pointedly at leone in the process. maybe he wouldn't take her to his family's shop just yet.

he thought his mother would like her, perhaps too much, despite the fact she was irish. though, obviously, leone marrying a nice italian girl would be preferable. but that was a bit much to think about right now. he and fiona weren't even involved. he was simply showing her around the city. he laughed again, "i don't have the time to see more of america," he pointed out. he did have to work after all, and maybe a part of him didn't see what the rest of america had to offer him. after all, he lived in new york city. "oh, lots of family. we italians have big families. my mother had eight brothers and sisters and my father, ten." that meant lots and lots of aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousins... on and on, all in italy, except for a few that had moved to america as ell.

kate
pronouns she/her
age 27
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posts 28801 posts
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"oh, yes," she admitted shyly at his question about working in a hospital. "i want to be a nurse, but i don't have enough saved for classes yet." her dad was one of the only people she'd ever told about her desire to be a nurse. it was part of the reason he was so adamant about her immigrating to america. her mother and sister were of the mind that a woman's place was in the home raising a family, but fi had always crazed more than that. certainly a woman could have a family and pursue a passion, right? not that she was planning on starting a family any time soon. no one was even courting her, and she was perfectly fine with that. despite sally's constant reminders that she didn't have a man.

"you do have time! why are you wasting it with me? you should be riding a train up the coast," she shot back, a playful smile lifting the corner of her lips as she dodged a particularly dour-looking man in a suit. even after more than a month in new york, fi was still shocked by the amount of people who were crammed into the city. when she'd first arrived, it was overwhelming. she'd never seen this many people in her entire life! it wasn't nearly as overwhelming now, but every once in a while she craved a space to hideaway from the world. eyes widening as leone described his huge family, she attempted to come to a stop on the sidewalk but was promptly plowed into by a large woman. "how do you keep all of their names straight?!" she exclaimed. "i can't even imagine what family gatherings would be like," she continued, still stunned. it sounded like his entire family could have singlehandedly repopulated ireland after the famine!

emily
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age 25
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he should have expected that she'd have some goal in what she wanted to do with her life, rather than just be a shopgirl. from the little time he'd spent with her thus far, leone got the idea that fiona was the sort of girl with big dreams that wanted to do far more with her life than raise some children and take care of a husband. he could certainly admire it, and he'd even encourage it. she could have easily been a wife and mother in ireland, without moving half a world away from her family. it only made sense she'd want to do more. though there was always the issue of money. he hoped she would be able to save enough.

"money is also an issue," he pointed out, smiling a little. his mother had been upset enough about him wasting money on a scarf for her. but if he were to spend his money on train tickets, even he would see it as a waste. that was money better spent on his family than on himself. he was fine remaining here in new york city, and maybe someday he would have enough of his own money saved up it wouldn't seem like such a waste to travel somewhere.

he kept a tight hold on her hand, throwing a look after the man that bumped into her. though, that was the way of the city, that didn't mean he'd take kindly to anyone bumping into her. but he tried to encourage her along at a pace that the bustling citizens kept. "oh, i can't keep all of them straight, for sure. at least, the more distantly related," he responded. he tried, but since he hadn't seen any of them since he was little, it was rather hopeless. he didn't know much what family gatherings were like either, but it might have been something like his neighborhood, when people would get together as apartments of italians tended to see each other as family. the community aspect carried over from italy... or so he was told.

kate
pronouns she/her
age 27
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posts 28801 posts
points 663000 points
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"sometimes i like to imagine what life would be like if i didn't have to worry about money," fi sighed in response to leone's comment. when it came down to it, money was always an issue, wasn't it? what would life be like if she had been born into money? life would be easier that's for sure but would she have been happy? it wasn't always the most fun, but she liked the feeling of earning everything she had. it was rewarding. but if she were rich, then she could travel the world from the luxury of a first class cabin. she would also like to purchase her parents a new cottage that didn't have a leaky roof, but if her family were rich, then they probably wouldn't be living in a home with a leaky roof anyways.

"walking in this city can be awfully exhausting," she commented as she caught back up to leone, her grip on his hand tightening to ensure she didn't risk losing him. "you italians are everywhere. do you ever have a moment alone?" she asked, genuinely curious. sure, there were plenty of irish in brooklyn, but she still hadn't found anyone who felt like a second family. from what she'd heard about the italians, they treated everyone like they were family. it sounded nice but overwhelming at the same time. "i know your ma may not have approved of your frivolous spending, but i'm glad i met you," she told him earnestly before her eyes caught sight of a massive green park stretching ahead of them a few short city blocks away. "is that it? it's bloody massive!"

emily
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age 25
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posts 1376 posts
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the world certainly would have been an easier place for people like them if money were not an issue. it was hard to imagine what he would be doing if he didn't need to worry about having money to care for a family. instead, he had to worry about such things. he had to worry about a future where he would be married and have children, who he would need to care for and make sure they were able to at least have a new pair of shoes every year. he didn't mind so much, if he didn't have money, as long as he was as happy as his parents had always seemed to be.

he laughed as she said walking in the city was exhausting. he could see that, with the pace set by many of the people that had grown up here. anyone that had some place to be and several blocsk to cover by a certain time. it made for many people hurrying and rushing about. he glanced toward her, "i don't, no. i share a room with my brother." their small apartment didn't offer any place to be alone. "if i want to be alone, i leave for awhile." he'd roam the city. it was how he'd become so familiar with where everything was, while his mother probably wouldn't be able to find her way around outside of little italy.

"i'm glad i met you, too," he told her with a smile. he wasn't sure why he'd felt so instantly connected to her. maybe it was just the way she had about her. the moment she'd approached him, she'd seemed like she was already a friend. like she was already familiar with him. he looked out at central park, grinning, "that's it," he told her, hurrying across the street as the light turned and soon they were in the green haven amongst all the buildings.

kate
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age 27
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posts 28801 posts
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new york was so different from home. everyone was always rushing about here, and they were more often than not fairly rude about getting to wherever they needed to go as quickly as possible. it was one of the reasons fiona had hesitated to venture off and explore on her own. she didn't desire getting trampled. being with leone helped though. with those broad shoulders and callused hands, no one could push him around. she had even noticed in their walk so far that a few people even stepped out of the way for him. okay, a few of those people had been women who were pausing to gaze at him longingly, but they made way for him nonetheless. but the fact that he rarely enjoyed a moment to himself? she couldn't imagine that. "but even if you leave, you're constantly surrounded by these people," she commented, gesturing at the bustling crowd around them. this whole no privacy issue was something she continued to struggle with.

eyes lighting up as they crossed the street to the park (was park the right word for this place? she couldn't even see to the end of it!), she pulled her hand from his once their feet hit the grass. "it's so beautiful," she breathed, before skipping off a few steps and spinning in three or four circles, her skirt fanning out around her, before dizzily stumbling back to him. "where is your favorite place to sit? you need to try the coffee cake."

emily
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