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The Diary of Nico di Angelo

Chapter Text

Hi, I'm Nico! 19/11/1939

I guess I should start with Dear Diary? Isn't it like a girly thing? Anyway.

I'm Nico di Angelo, seven years old and I live in Venice, Italy. I go to a school in the centre of the city and I am not that much of a student.

It's mostly because letters seem confusing to me, even though everyone has no problem with them. The only one that has the same problem is my sister Bianca. But more to that later...

You, my very lucky friend are my diary! You should be honored and so am I. The truth is you were a present. Yes, you heard right. My sister Bianca gave you to me because I got a 19/20 in a Maths test.

I decided you would be my diary, but it's not like I will be like these little girls that hide them from everyone and stuff.

You must be wondering who this Bianca I'm talking about all the time is. She is my sister, and one of my best friends. She is older than me and always helps me out when I need her. She is my most beloved person in the entire world.

Then I haven't told you a thing about my mom. Her name is Maria di Angelo and she is the best mom ever. She likes to play with us and acts like a child, but is very serious when needed. (More to that later) I love her very very much.

Another person I love is my grandpa, though I don't see him very often. He works as a diplomat and mostly travels in America, Washington DC to be precise.

Some times my mom, Bianca and I travel with him and that's when we have to wear our good cloths and be deadly serious or not go at all. (Pretty difficult it is not to laugh when you look like an Italian penguin, thank you very much!)

You probably wonder, what about your dad?

Well, I'm not sure either. I have never met him. When I ask mom about it she changes the subject quickly like she is hiding something. But I think we are happy the way we are.

Now, I supposedly do my homework, but I saw you where I discarded you in the morning, with your pirate design on the front and decided to write something, just for a test.

Oh, my mom saw me, she is telling me to focus. I'll write again tomorrow hopefully.

Bye! Nico.

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Dear Diary, 20/11/1939

Indeed, I chose to start this way. It can be fun.

Today I'm really excited 'cause I learned something that made my day.

And then I did something that made my day even more.

As you'll keep reading here, you'll understand that one thing I love are pirates.

They are fascinating! They spend their lives on the sea (which I also love) gaining money and partying all day. I'd love to be one of them.

Black beard, Red beard all these famous pirates... I wish u could be them. The only thing I miss is a beard.

I even have a pirate suit, which I sometimes wear and play pirates with my sister. I have a hat and an eyepatch and a pretty cool sword. I practice a lot with it, but if I wanted to be honest with my self it will never be of any use to me, sword fighting...

Anyway, today as I was heading to school, I saw a poster about a pirate-themed festival that begun today.

I was really happy all day long and could not pay attention to the class (more than usual) until the bell rung and I was free.

As soon as my mama came to take me home, I stated trying to convince her to take me to the fastival.

"Mama, please! Bianca would love it too! We have to go! How many times will we have the chance to do this?" I pleaded her.

"Alright, bambino, but we have to ask Bianca too. She may want to study." She replied.

After a while, Bianca's class was over and when mama asked her, she begun to say she was too old for this (a total lie, as I will prove later on) but as she saw my look, pleading her to say yes, she said she could modify her program. That's why I love Bianca.

We strolled down our house, to leave our books and so that I could wear my pirate suit and then we went to the festival.

There was an actual pirate ship! AN ACTUAL PIRATE SHIP! I could not believe my eyes. There were pirates and they thought us children all the tricks they did and Bianca bought a hat too along with a fake knife.

"Yay, now we can play pirates together even more realistically!" I said.

"Hm, of course we can little brother. Argh!" She said and suddenly she was no longer old to play with us.

It was one of the best nights of my life, and I was sad when we had to go, but the festival lasts for three whole days!

That's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 25/11/1939

A pretty cheesy beginning again.

You may have noticed that I did not write in the past few days.

Well I decided that I should not write every day, like, if nothing interesting happens.

The highlight if this days was a fly flying into my milk drowning itself. RIP fly.

Besides that I was really bored. The reason I write today is because I was thinking all day long.

Just thinking. About life, the future, my family and stuff like that. I don't usually become the artistic type, but it was a day full if wondering.

One of the main questions I had was what about my future? What will I do when I grow up?

First of all, will I go to college? I would love that, actually.

But what would I study? I mean...you know ideally I'd be a pirate, but that's unlikely (*sad face*). Perhaps I could be a soldier. In the army. Fighting there is a close to fighting pirates.

But, I keep hearing things grown ups say and I think that our army is not a good one. Whatever that means.

I could be a sailor! Yes, that's it! That's even closer to pirates! But that suit.. Send not-so-comfy.

The other thing is, will I have a family? Well I know Bianca and Mama will be there for me, but I mean like a wife, and kids.

Kids.well I'd love to have kids. They'd be funny and I'd play with them all the time. Even pirates.

Now, wife...I'm not sure about that. Well I mean, it would seem weird, being with someone, I mean a woman...I mean...I..uh...I have no idea. Well of course I can't be with a man that's for sure. That'd be crazy.

But really the thought of me having this perfect family moment, kissing my wife and all, seems so....distant. Don't judge me.

Even now, being with a girl would be weird.

I remember when a few months ago, at the first day at school Sylvia, one of my classmates confessed her feelings to me.

She said she liked me and she'd like us to be more than friends( whatever that means) and then gave me a kiss. Like, in the mouth.

I was not expecting it for sure and I have to admit that my first thought about it was 'gross!' But that should not be the case. Sylvia is considered the most beautiful girl in the school.

I try to avoid her ever since. Now she says that she is with Marco, a boy from my school. He is considered the handsome one at the school.

I did not care at the slightest. I'd rather be with Marco, than Sylvia. I mean, uh...that sounded wrong, I didn't mean that. Of course I did not. Eeww.

That's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 30/11/1939

Yes, I did it again.

Today was a bad day. For one reason. Letters.

I was in my Italian class and we were doing reading. Ugh... I hate it.

"...mangiava la torta al cioccolato preparata per il suo compleanno." Said Marco and I knew it was my turn next.

"Nico, could you please continue to the next paragraph." The teacher said.

"I...um..."

"We are in page 55."

"I know signiore."

"Then what are you waiting for?"

"Suo...p...padre era... arabo. No not arabo. Arrabbiato...Suo..."

"Thank you very much signore di Angelo." The teacher said with a sour face.

"Haha, stupido." Said Marco from the front desk.

The teacher did not hear him, or at least he didn't say anything about it.

In the break, everyone was laughing at me, calling me stupido and stuff like that.

When my mama came to take me home, the teacher said they had to talk in private.

When she returned, she looked at me with a sad face. We returned home and then she said I had to try harder.

I try the best I can. Bianca has the same problem but she is a good student. I don't know how she does it, but I wish I could do it too.

At school I am considered "popular" (though it is complicated) but people always call me stupid because of my letter problem. The letters seem to flicker and change place with each other.

The most popular boy in the school is Marco. He is good in sports and strong too, so he is popular among the boys and he is really beautiful (of course I can't judge that) so he is popular among girls.

I am popular among girls, since they have told me more than once they think I am pretty beautiful and have confessed their feelings (and I guess you know the answer I gave them) but I'm not so popular among the boys due to the fact that I am not really interested in sports. I do have a few boys for friends too.

But I think if not for the letter problem, I'd be more popular.

Am I really stupid? Why can't I read like other people?

That's it for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 1/12/1939

No comment to the introduction.

Remember how we talked about why I hate letters? I hate them even more now!

This morning, as I was going to the bakery to buy some bread (it's a Saturday so I had no school) I met Marco, that was going to play with some other kids.

"Hey, Stupido!" He called. "Where do you think you are going?"

"None of your business Marco." I said, passing through.

Then, he grabbed my arm as if to stop me.

"School is the other way, little stupido. Don't you have your privet lessons to learn the alphabet?" He mocked me.

Still he held my arm not letting me go. I was feeling uncomfortable, him touching me without me wanting him to.

I pulled away and gave him a push not with strength, but for a reason, I felt a gust of energy flowing through me and Marco fell on the ground.

I did the only think I could think of. Run.

I did not buy bread after all, which is a same, because there is no better way to eat the last scoops of your soup than bread.

I returned home, and decided I'd try harder at school, but I still hate letters.

See you soon,
Nico.

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Dear Diary, 4/12/1939

Yes, I said dear diary again.

Today I found out Bianca could be even more awesome.

I mean, she was already, she's the best sister ever and I'd never question that, but she keeps overcoming herself everyday.

This morning, I had the blues, 'cause I was thinking about what Marco said and how the teacher had talked to mama. Ugh... That look she got... I hope it was not disappointment.

Bianca, as usual, wanted to cheer me up.

We were eating breakfast at the kitchen and she started joking while she poured honey to my pancakes.

"Nico, what would a skeleton order in a bar?"

"Why would I know?" I said irritated.

"A beer and a mop." She replied and I felt a smirk forming in my face, but it soon faded.

"Oh, come on bambino, are you going to be like that now?"

"Mhmph." I replied.

"Come on, is this about what happened the other day?"

"Maybe."

"You know, I have the same problem and I cope with it. Perhaps if you try a bit harder, you could..."

"Bianca, I try. It is really difficult. Ugh, I hate letters."

"Why would a pirate need letters?" She said.

A grin firmed in my face. She was indeed right. Why would a pirate need letters? That made my day. I didn't think about the incident all day long.

When we arrived home, Bianca said she would go somewhere and return later. Mama told her to be careful and winked at her. I had no idea why, at this point.

She returned, about half an hour later holding a big box. It was wrapped as a present in a bright blue color.

"That's a present for you, Nico. " she said.

"Bianca...what for?" I asked.

"To cheer you up and because you are such a good little brother. "

Now, if I had to say the truth, I did not deserve a present. She could buy me ice cream to cheer me up, and I could be a better brother than that. She had already bought me the diary (well, you) and now that? I felt a bit spoiled.

"Where did you find the money?" I asked.

"It's from my savings." She replied. "Consider this a Christmas present as well."

I could deal with that. Though I did not want Bianca to spend her savings like that.

"What is it?" I wondered.

"Open it to find out."

I tore apart the wrap and mama watched with a smile on her face. Bianca helped me and when I saw it I was overwhelmed with joy.

"Awesome!" I said, hugging Bianca in excitement and she hugged me too. "Thank you Bianca."

It was a big pirate ship (around 4 feet) made of wood and painted in a darkish color. It had bright sails and high docks. On top there was a comfy nest of the raven (as we pirates like to call it) and on the sides were canons. There was a big steering wheel and a big hangar full of treasures.

Bianca and I made figurines out of wood (well we begun doing that, it takes time) and we already finished the captain, the parrot and we still have to make the sailors and an enemy for them to fight.

We named it Angel and I curved it on the side, right next to the golden mermaid that was in the front. The name itself is inspired by our family name di Angelo.

Now I'm going to play with Bianca and Angel,
Nico.

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 6/12/1939

Don't you dare comment that.

Today, mama became even more awesome too.

She is now bumbing heads with Bianca. (Metaphorically of course.)

So, today as we were eating dinner, she said she wanted to talk to me.

When we were over, Bianca went to her room to study and the two of us stayed at the kitchen.

I didn't really wanted to stay, because I wanted to go play with Angel, but I did.

"So" she said "you may remember that your teacher talked to me the other day."

I felt a feeling deep inside me, like my stomach was inside out. I felt like that when mama was disappointed.

"He said that you haven't improved." She stated dryly.

"Mama, I have improved, I read more easily than I did last year! You know I have a problem! I'm sorry to diss appoint you, but I try as hard as I can. And I'll try harder!" I said standing up from the table.

"Nico, I'm not disappointed with you."

"You are not?"

"No, mio amore, I know letters are not easy for you. It comes with the..."

"The what?"

"Nothing. The thing is that I told your teacher that I did not care what he said. I had told him before, how you have a problem and that he should deal with it. That's why I pay him after all. Not to be Whiney. "

"Really?"

"Yes bambino. What did you think?"

"That you were disappointed."

"No Nico I'm not. I only want you to try harder. School is an important thing nowadays. Can you do that?"

"Of course mama."

"Perfect. Now go play, that's all."

I ran upstairs to my room with a big smile on my face. Instead of playing, I'm writing this.

I'm so excited! I thought my mama thought I was a stupido like everyone else, but instead she said the teacher HE was a stupido.

That's why I love her,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 8/12/1939

Yes. I did it again.

Today we wrote an essay in class, about our favorite summer vacations. Of course I did horrible, letters, you know, but that's not the point.

I remember plenty if my vacations. Besides from these trips to America to accompany grandpa at work, I am pretty much of a traveler. (Like a true pirate)

This summer, 1939, I went to Greece with my mama and Bianca. We visited a town in the north named Katerini and we really had fun! Well, there wasn't much to see, but we visited a small village just outside the city name Letochoro. There was a battle there, during the Greek rebellion.

Then we went hiking on mount Olympus, which is really close to Katerini. The nature was beautiful but it was so high! It is the tallest mountain in Greece. Did you know that the ancient gods were supposed to live there? I didn't see any of them... Hehe.

After that we visited the grave of Philip of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great that was named Vergina. It was inside a hill. After that we returned home.

The other holidays I remember were the ones in Split. Split is a city in Croatia that is very classic in style and we visited the palace of Diocletean a king, that his name looked pretty greek. I don't remember though... I was six at the time,in 1938.

The palace was great and even though we did it visit many sites, I had the most fun because my mama and Bianca played with me all day long.

I chose the vacations in Split to write in the essay but I'm not sure it is worth a good grade. I think I wrote Bianca's name wrong. Buanca or something. The letters flickered.

Have you ever been on vacations?

I guess not. You are a diary. You don't even have legs...right?

See you soon,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 19/12/1938

Can you not.

You may have noticed that I haven't written in a while.

Well...life was pretty boring. I thought there was nothing to say. And I don't want to do this diary like 'aw,my dear diary...I can't decide what to wear ' and stuff.

I just think, that when I'm famous, it's gonna worth a lot.

So, today I chose to write you for a very special occasion and a very special person.

My grandpa visited us today. As I may have mentioned he lives in WashingtonDC so we don't see him very often.

Today though, he visited without any warning and to all of us, it was the best surprise we could have.

I love my grandpa. Besides from the fact that he likes pirates too, he is my grandpa. He always have a saying: "My child's child, is twice as my child." Very touching, isn't it?

We both like to play pirates and to eat chocolate flavored ice cream.

When he arrived he brought us presents. Souvenirs mostly from Washington.

To mama, he brought a shampoo that smelled like Manganaya. I had no idea what this was and neither did she, but it smelled great.

To Bianca, he brought a wood carved pencil, that had the shape of a fox.

To me, he brought a little book with pirate songs. I don't sing much, but pirates are pirates.

Then I showed him Angel and we played until late.

He is sleeping in the spare room we have for when he visits.

Now, it's really late and I have to go to sleep. But before I go want to hear a song? A pirate song.

'Ay ay ay
Pirate life
Why would
You be so great?
Ay ay ay
Rum, treasures and girls!',

Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 20/12/1939

Yes.

Today I discovered that I am in love. With chocolate cake. I really am.

You see, grandpa is still here and last night he requested that mama would make him her famous chocolate cake.

I had never tried mama's chocolate cake before. It just didn't happen.

So as we were eating dinner, mama said she had made desert and after we finished she took out a cake. It was decorated with white sprinkles of powder sugar and inside was a dark, delicious chocolate cake.

Now, I love chocolate. I always take chocolate ice cream and prefer hot chocolate than a glass of milk. But chocolate cake... Not something you'd find that easily in Venice nowadays.

So when I tasted mama's cake I was fascinated. Bianca did not eat it because she said she was full. Well...more for us I guess. Grandpa loved it too.

Oh, I have more news! Tomorrow we will be leaving for America and we will spend our Chrismas there! I love it that we will be with grandpa.

Also, we stopped school for the holidays and we will begin again in 8/1 next year. That is really good because I have no homework to do besides from a Maths problem and a small essay. I will di them when we return from America.

Now, I have to go pack my stuff, because we are leaving tomorrow at noon,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 21/12/1939

I did it again.

I am writing to you from the airplane to America.

At 12 o'clock we left the house and traveled to the nearest airport and from there we took the plane to Washington DC.

I sit next to Bianca and mama sits next to grandpa behind us.

I have taken everything I'll need on the trip. Angel and her crew, a pencil, cloths, my pirate sword and you. (Of course I saved some space for the Christmas presents. I'm not a fool.)

I have been to America a couple of times before, the last time being in May.

Now, you're gonna say, wow, Nico, how do you talk with people in America? You're Italian!

Even though I have my usual letter problem, I have learnt to speak English at a very high level for my age.

Through the trips I practiced and I have English lessons at school. The letter problem was not a big deal in speaking. But try me writing an essay in English...please don't.

Also due to grandpa living in America, he thought me some advanced English. Do you speak English? I hope so.

We will be staying in grandpa's house in DC (which is massive, he is an ambassador so it had to be) and at Chrismas day we will be in a party. Even the president could be there! (Well maybe not)

Bianca is sleeping now, that's why I wrote, but I have nothing more to say. Next time I'll write, we will be in America,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 25/12/1939

I won't comment the entry due to the holiday spirit.

Merry Christmas! It is indeed Christmas!

I didn't get the. Chance to write something since we arrived in Washington DC. We were really busy and tired.

We had a walk around the city, we visited the White House and we did our Chrismas shopping. I hate shopping... (Well maybe not if we are shopping for toys, but that's different)

This morning, Bianca and I woke up and ran to the Christmas tree to unwrap our presents.

Grandpa got a painting from Bianca (she draws really well, like a professional), another chocolate cake from mama all for himself (I envy him for that) and I got him a pair of Christmas socks, with little reindeers on them. (Don't judge me I don't have much money)

Mama got a necklace from grandpa, a mug that read 'back off, I'm a mama bear' from Bianca and a Christmas apron withSanta on it from me. (Perhaps she could bake some more chocolate cake with it...)

Bianca, got a green hat from grandpa (something she loved), a new notebook
From mama and I bought her some Chrismas candy that was shaped like snowmen.

Now, I got a new pirate hat from grandpa (good, because the old one was almost torn apart), a pair of shoes from mama and even though Bianca had bought me Angel, she got me some candy.

You may have noticed that all my presents were Christmas themed. Well that was the point. I wanted them to be under the same category.

At 12 o'clock we had dinner, here at grandpa's house. Grandpa has no idea how to cook, so mama did. Thank god.

She made stuffed turkey, baked potatoes, a delicious salad and stuff like that and we ate them all until we were full.

Now we are taking a nap so we have taken our rest and we are awake for the night. It is the Christmas party tonight.

I'll inform you how it will go tomorrow.

Merry Chrismas,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 26/12/1939

Not in a mood.

The Christmas party was awful. Just awful.

I should probably start from the beginning.

We were at the house, preparing for the party (which we should not call a party, really) and mama was helping me dress up.

Without letting us know, she had taken our good cloths with us. Ugh, I should have known.

Bianca, was already dressed, in a light purple dress, matching her great hat grandpa had bought her. She had no problem with it.

Mama was wearing a dark blue dress with a pearl necklace. Her hair was pulled back into a tight ball over her head.

Grandpa was wearing a tuxedo with a black tie and golden buttons. His few hair was stuck on his head like a cow had licked him.

As for me, I was wearing black pants from a funny fabric, a white shirt, with a black jacket over it and mama was struggling to tie my papillon. Which was also black. On the corner, a pair of black shoes were waiting for me. Do I have to analyze my underwear?

Mama had previously used a green gel to flatten my hair and the lift them up, just a bit on the front. I looked like a penguin.

'Mama, why do I have to dress like that?' I asked pouting.

"Because, bambino," she replied "you know we have to look good. It's an official dinner."

"So I thought we were calling it a party? How come now it's a dinner?" I said.

She did not reply. When she was done with the thing that was trying to suffocate my neck she said we were ready to go.

Outside, a black car was waiting for us and it took us to a relatively big building. I was secretly hoping that the 'party' would be at the White House. It wasn't. Boo-hoo.

We entered a big salle with chandeliers on the ceiling and a distinct green carpet on the floor. Against the right wall were some stairs, with white designs leading up. On the left was a second smaller salle with a few small coffee tables.

In the centre of the main salle was a big table, more like a buffet, with food on it.
When I say food I mean little appetizers. From the ones you rather swallow than chew.

When I looked at the guests I saw about 30 men, most of which were either bold or with a few hair. They all wore suits and tuxedos and spoke quietly and with a face that said 'hey, I'm rich'.

Then there were a few women that wore fancy colorful dresses and expensive jewelry.

The children were even less. Besides from Bianca and me, I could see a young boy, around Bianca's age, with red curly hair that wore a similar tuxedo with the rest and a boy around a year older than me with darker skin, but really intense eyes. Their color was that of a leaf in autumn.

Mama and grandpa took a glass of champagne each and started talking with the crowd.

Very few people talked to them, though and they looked at us weirdly like we did not belong there. They were kinda hostile.

Bianca joined mama and grandpa pretending to be one of high society. Psss, that's what she lives for.

Mama told me I could go meet the other kids, and so I did. I learnt that the ginger boy was the son of an American diplomat that lived in Seattle and his name was Robert. The other boy was the son of some African nation's ambassador. He was francophone and he spoke no English. His name was Donjee, I think.

Donjee could not communicate so he sat next to us at the base of the stairs. I spoke with Robert, a bit and he told me that his parents had told him not to speak too much to us, Italians. I think it had something to do with the war...

Bianca came to see how I was doing a while later and Robert suddenly forgot all he knew about us Italians.

"Oh, hello my lady, I'm Robert Smith, delighted to meet you." He said to Bianca and they strolled together towards the buffet, their arms crossed.

Usually I'd have beaten up the guy for touching my sister, but she seemed to have fun and it was Christmas so I let him go.

The whole time it smelled funny. It was like a combination of smoke, farts and old people. The windows were all closed so you couldn't breath.

I could not see a party, or a dinner. Thankfully I had eaten to hell at lunch. I saw no cake so it was definitely not a party.

What's more, the president did not show up at all. Boo-hoo again.

I was bored to death the rest of the time and by the time we went home was 2 o'clock in the morning! So I slept till late.

I just woke up and I decided to inform you how it went. Awful.

I'll write tomorrow too,
Nico.

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 28/12/1939

Holiday spirit.

Snow! Finally! Snow!

For us, living in Italy, snow is something we don't see very often. But, In Washington DC snow is pretty common during the winter.

In Venice we see snow for a few days every year and still it is just a few. The cannals don't help either.

But here there's over than a meter if snow and it will probably last a month or so. I'm so excited. Well...actually we won't stay a month. We will be leaving at 4/1 next year.

Anyway, Bianca and I played all day in the snow and we were really tired when we returned and our cloths were wet too. We had a snow fight. ( I won of course.)

She was always telling me not to get her hat wet, but that happened anyway. We saw the African boy we met at the 'party' walking at the street with his mom, and he looked at us weirdly. (Maybe because we were Italians, maybe because we were playing in the snow while he was wearing his tuxedo pretending to be important. And imagine I liked the guy...I mean, like a friend, not that, um...)

I'm leaving the topic again, so Mama told us not to get dirty before dinner, so we stated away from the mud, but still tried to have fun at the fullest. Bianca had her mind elsewhere (I bet that's why her hat got wet). She kept talking about that boy, Robert, she had met and how brilliant he was, how he was a citizen of he world and stuff like that... I can't see what she saw at the guy. (Not that I can judge that, of course)

Again I'm getting out of topic. We decided to make a snowman tomorrow, and I asked grandpa if he happened to have any carrots available, but he did not, so we will use a celery. A funny snowman he will be...

I'll write tomorrow to tell you how he ended up,
Nico.

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 29/12/1939

I may accept the fact that I start with dear diary every time.

Today, Bianca and I, built a snowman.

We sculptured his body into the snow, so it looked like a human (more like three stacked tomatoes), then we put two small branches as his hands.

Bianca brought a scarf and some buttons. With the scarf... Well you know what we did. And with the buttons we made his eyes, mouth and even body.

I brought an old hat of grandpa's he could wear and the old celery we had permission to use. He looked weird with a celery for a nose.

Then, we had to decide on his name. I suggested we call him Snowbeard and Bianca suggested we call him Robert (I hope not the Robert I knew). She didn't like my name and I didn't like hers. So we settled for the standard snowman name, Frosty.

We wrote his name on the snow with big letters.

Later this day, Bianca's friend Robert appears from the corner of the street. 'Oh, great' I thought.

"Robert, how come you are here?" Asked Bianca.

"Oh, well, I learned you lived at this side of town, and I'm just a few blocks away, so I thought I should pay a visit." He said casually, as if he's not stalking my sister.

"Great!" Bianca said. "How have you been doing, since Christmas?"

"Oh, you know, the usual. A meeting with the president, some meetings at the house... My father is very busy you know."
I knew the jerk was lying.

"Oh, Robert, that sounds fantastic." How could she believe him?

"What have you been doing?"

This time, it was me that answered. "Nothing really. We played with the snow mostly, you know made a snowman, we call him Frosty. "

I received two different looks at a time. One was from Bianca and said 'Nico, stop! You're embarrassing me in front of Robert!' And one from the ginger that said either 'Really kid, who asked you? Let the grown ups talk' or 'Really, you played with the snow? Like kids?"

It was probably both. " what are you, like five?" He said to me. "Bianca, you must be a really good sister, sacrificing all your free time to play with the babies. Am I right?"

Bianca looked at me, and the at Robert. She knew that if she said she just played for me (which was a lie, I assure you) she hurt me and if she said she enjoyed it, she'd make Robert leave and think she was a child.

"Speak better to my little brother!" She said and made a step towards him.

"Bian-" he tried to say.

Then my sister started rapidly talking in Italian (you don't need to know what she said) and walking towards the American with a fast pace. The ginger had to take steps back and at a point he slipped and fell in the snow and some mud, right were the F from the snowman's name was.

Of course I laughed.

He stood up and looked at Bianca, that had a mixture of anger and sadness in her face. He rubbed the mud, trying to take it off his 'awesome' cloths and looked at Bianca angrily. "What's the problem with you, weirdo?" He said at her. "You know my parents were right I had to stay away from the fascists!" He then left rapidly.

I'd have usually kicked the guy somewhere privet and send him somewhere over the rainbow, but I had to stay with Bianca.

She now had pure sadness in her face. She started crying and stormed in the house.

I didn't annoy her a lot. When I visited her, she said she hated boys and she needed some time. I hope she didn't hate me to.

I looked outside the window, to see the snowman. Now his name was not Frosty anymore. It was Rosty, because where the F should have been was now a mark that fitted exactly the spot is kick Robert in.

Rosty the snowman did not look so happy now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 30/12/1939

I'm starting to accept the entry.

Today, it was a relatively bad day. Nothing really bad happened, but nothing good happened either.

Bianca is still sad about what happened with Robert. She barely talks to us. I can see she'll be over it soon though, I hope.

You know how I was all excited about snow and all? Well I was wrong. It is so cold I can't feel my fingers. Every time I go outside I freeze. I hate cold...

Thankfully, we have warmth inside, so we don't leave the house all that much.

Tomorrow is the last day of the year and we will change the year here. At grandpa's house. Thankfully there will be no awful parties. Perhaps some people will come. (Not the president though)

I'll inform you how this will go the day after.

Now I am in the room grandpa is saving for me when we stay with him. Due to him being part of the embassy, he has a big house, so we all get a room for ourselves.

Later, we will go to look for a place where they sell old books and mama wants to buy us some. I don't really like books. I like the concept, but you know, letter problem. I'd prefer a movie. Grandpa said that this place sells some movies too.

That's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary,

Nuh-uh.

Happy new year!

It's officially the 40s! Now, I can say that I have lived in two different decades! So cool...

Yesterday, we technically slept the entire day, so I didn't get a chance to wright. We woke up at 18:00 and got ready. Grandpa and mama were wearing different cloths, grandpa a grey suit and mama a dark green dress.

Bianca was really sad, and didn't really care. She wore the same dress and hat, only that now, mama gave her a matching scarf.

I wore the same cloths since did not have taken many with me. I hate these cloths...

We stayed up until midnight. Around 23:00, came the guests. We didn't have many.

There was this old lady Martha that was a friend of grandpa's. She had silky grey hair and a big sharp nose. Her eyes were pitch black and seemed like they could look right into your soul. She wore a purple dress with a matching jacket, like old ladies do. On top of her hair was a purple hat, that reminded me of a toilet seat. Judging from her accent, she was British.

Then there was Mr and Mrs McKnight. Mr McKnight was a firm man with short black hair and a strict haze. Mrs McKnight was a kind woman, with honey colored hair and a warming smile. Mr McKnigt was a colleague of my grandpa I suppose.

They had a son, named Alex. He had dark hair that went for the 'I just woke up but I'm so cute'. He had piercing green eyes that made contrast with his facial characteristics. He was a year older than me, but had an athlete's body. His lips were light pink and he'd bite them nervously, once in a while. His smile just warned your heart like hot chocolate in the winter. He always had this expression that said 'I did something bad, but you'll never guess what'. Not that I noticed...

The grown ups sat at the table drinking champagne and talking about stuff. Bianca joined them, but was not in a mood. I sat with Alex.

"So, you like pirates?" He said when I showed him Angel.

"Yeah..."

"Really cool! I find them awesome! I don't have a ship though..."

So we spent all night talking about different pirate captains and stories, and when the year changed, I felt really happy for once.

They left around 2:00 in the morning and I fell asleep on the couch. Today we had lunch at a restaurant at the city and then I met with Alex again. We had so much fun and I just returned.

I'll write again soon,
Nico.

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 3/1/1940

Too spooked to comment.

Today something weird happened. I'll start from the beginning.

Alex came home to play (we have become pretty good friends) and I found an old plate-shaped thing that you throw around so we played catch.

Alex said he has no problem with us being Italian and that he thinks we are really great kids (*squeak*). He said that because he goes to a big school, all his friends are living around the city (and it's a big city) so he can't meet them during the holidays. He said we were a good company instead.

So as we were playing I threw the plate-ish thing a little too hard causing it to leave of course and land in an alley.

At that point, I'll have to tell you, that the alley is situated so you can't see anything from the house itself, but be there in five steps.

Anyway, I jogged to the alley to get it and Alex was behind me, trying not to slip in the snow. I found it at the end of the alley, (of course it was a dead-end) and cough it.

Then I heard the barking. Between me and Alex had entered three dogs, bigger than anything I had ever seen.

"Nico!" Alex said. "Please watch out, these are some nasty poodles!"

"That's how poodles look in America?"

Instead of an answer from Alex I got a growl.

The truth is that they did not look like poodles. They were three and two of them were black. The one in the centre was grey and slightly bigger. They all had big paws and sharp teeth. Their size was bigger than any dog I've seen. Their eyes were glowing red in a portal-to-hell style.

I was trying really hard not to pee in my pants in front of Alex. And Alex looked the same. (Maybe I was proud of it, maybe not)

I backed away. "Nice doggy..."

Then a bark and a growl and I noticed they were moving towards me. They seemed not to have noticed Alex though. Or they simply didn't care for him.

Then, all of a sudden, Bianca came rushing towards me.

"Alex,go back to the house!" She said. Then my sister climbed over some trashcans and jumped to my side. She rolled one of the trashcans and it hit one of the 'poodles'.

Then, she grabbed the cap of the can and used it as a shield to protect us from the attacking dogs.

"Nico,run!" She said and I did so, but I made sure she was behind me. Unfortunately, the dogs are with us as well we run to the house and Alex was holding the door -what a gentleman- and we closed it just in time so the dogs with portal-to-hell eyes didn't go in the house.

Mama seemed sceptic all about the whole incident and grandpa called the police and they'd send someone, but I have a feeling they won't find the dogs. Alex went home and said he'd return, but he was kinda shocked.

The good thing about the whole story is that Bianca is not sad about that jerk Robert anymore and she was back to normal Bianca mode.

What can I say? I have the best superhero sister in the world,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 6/1/1940

No comment.

We have returned to Italy. I should be happy for being home again. But I'm really not.

So, before we left, we packed and checked we hadn't forgot anything. Then, Alex came to say goodbye. So sweet of him.

"So, Nico, I hope we'll see each other soon." He said.

"Yeah... I hope so too."I replied "perhaps I'll visit again."

Instead of an answer he gave me a big smile. Then, I could not resist, and I don't know why, but I gave him a hug. It probably lasted more than it should, and I felt him being uncomfortable. As soon as I let him go, I was blushing as hell and run in the house mumbling something like "byeihopeiseeyousoonalex".

Then we said goodbye to grandpa and he said he'd see us soon.

I really hate goodbyes.

We returned home and the whole place smells like old people and dust.

What's more, school begins the day after tomorrow and I have no intention to reunite with my teacher, Marco, or letters.

But maybe the most unusual thing that happened is that Bianca is sick. I guess it is because she insisted to wear her green hat eve though it was wet from the snow.

She never gets sick and it really destroys the whole superhero style. She is so grumpy and only sits on the couch mumbling like old people. She also sneezes a lot.

I only hope she doesn't passes it to me too,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary,

Ugh.

Guess what! I'm sick too...

I hate being sick. I gave to stay all day in bed (or couch) and I have this feeling like something is in my nose and mouth as well as over my face.

Do you feel like that too? Do you even get sick since you're a diary?

So all day long Bianca and I sat on the couch. The couch is like in the corner and it consists of two parts that form something like a boomerang. So I was laying in one part and Bianca to the other. Our heads net in the middle.

"It's your fault." I mumbled.

"Why is that? Achou!" She replied blowing her nose shortly after.

"You had it first and then gave it to me."

"He had my hat wet!"

"You wore it afterwards! Achou!"

All the time our voices were less than awful, due to the flu.

"Stop talking,Nico. Aren't you happy about not going to school tomorrow?"

The truth is, I hadn't thought of that. She had a point there. And I had mine.

"You don't know that. I tend to heal fast. Besides I'd prefer school from being sick. "

What was I saying? I guess I do though...

Mama had made chicken soup to help us heal faster and she made us some chamomile to open our throats.

Now, I'm in my room trying to sleep and coughing all the time and sneezing even more, trying to sleep. No hope...

Ugh, I just sneezed all over you! I have to clean up now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 8/1/1940

Such an awful beginning.

I am not sick anymore. I told you I heal fast. I don't seem to be affected that much by diseases and stuff.

Unfortunately, today was the first day back to school. I considered playing truant, saying I was still sick, but I decided against it. Bianca can always understand if someone was really sick or hurt, and sometimes I can too.

Bianca was not healed yet, so she stayed home. Lucky her...

So the day was pretty normal after that, letters, everyone saying how were their holidays, letters, Marco saying stupid stuff, letters, me thinking how awesome it would be for Alex to have been there with me, letters and letters. I may have forgotten letters.

So, since I have not much to say, but I still want to inform you about my healing and school, I decided to tell you something I haven't told you before, and would help you understand some things better.

I will describe you, my house. You can always skip this if you think it is boring.

So let's begin with the doorway. When you enter, you see a hallway decorated with pictures if us. There is a hanger for our coats. Then you enter in the main section.

If you do left, then you can see the dinning room. It is a big room, that has a big mahogany table in the middle. There is a case where mama keeps the 'official' plates and forks (and spoons and knives and glasses and platers and decorations...)

On the left are also two smaller rooms. One is the bedroom grandpa uses when he visits. It is quite minimal, if you get what I mean. (Certainly not like grandpa's actual bedroom in DC. It has a small bed on one corner and a desk on the other. Many things are on the table, including a snowball, pencils and top secret files of the American government (just kidding). On the back of the room is a closet.

The other room on the left is a small bath. Nothing special about it and I think none of us would like it if I started describing the toilet seat.

If you go to the left, the you can find the big closet, first of all. In there we put our winter cloths during summer and vise versa.

If you continue, you end up in the living room, which is also connected with the kitchen.

The living room is quite small. Not really small, just small. It has the couch I described the other day against the corner and an armchair on the other, while a coffe table is in the middle. Between the couch and the armchair there is a smaller but taller table with a lamp on it. It is all situated so they face the kitchen.

The kitchen has a long table in the middle. That's where we normally eat. On the one side there is a latest version fridge, a gift from grandpa and a cabinet. On the other is the oven and the counter. The third wall is covered by the sink.

Then, we have the stairs going up. Upstairs the first thing you see is the door to my room. On it there is a sign that says 'ay, have my treasure?' And has a parrot on it. Inside there is my bed, against one wall and my desk right next to it. All over the floor are my toys, but I have a special place for Angel and her crew, now complete.

Next, is Bianca's room, always tidy and with the walls painted orange. She says it is not orang and more of a peach. It all sounds fruit to me. Her bed is against the back wall and her desk is on the other. Her few toys are perfectly situated next to the bed. On one wall she has drawn a tree branch with dark pink leaves and a lighter pink bird. She even has a hanger for her green hat. (Still she always wears it)

Then is mama's room, that has a big bed that two people can sleep in and a mirror in the corner.

All of our three rooms communicate through the balcony that has a door from each room. We decorate it with plants and flowers, trying our best to make it the garden we don't have.

And lastly we have the big bathroom such has a shower and a tub, a magnificent toilet seat (see my point?) and a sink. It is decorated with pale green tiles.

You kept reading? Well, it was your choice,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 10/1/1940

I really should stop saying 'Dear Diary'.

Today was the worst day ever.

At math class, I did not remember how to solve a problem. You see, the teacher wanted me to solve it in front of the whole class, on the board.

When I said I'm stuck he took the ruler (the big one, around a meter long) and slapped it behind my knees. It hurt.

Nowadays in schools the use this ruler thing to punish us.

"Back in my day, the teacher would have done worse stuff. Modern times are leaning towards the worse of things." He said.

And then, I had the stupidity to ask. "Like what?"

He had a furious look on his face. "He would slap me in my bottoms, while I was naked like the day I was born, in front of the whole class!"

What a horrible punishment.

"And unless you want me to do the same, you will behave!" He then gestured and I sat back at my desk.

How could they do this to children? Not only hurting them, but humiliating them as well in front of everyone because they could not remember something.

I pictured my self in this situation. Naked, in front of everyone, laughing at me, Marco pointing and making cruel jokes, while the teacher hit me hard. I blush only thinking about it.

None of this would bother me if I was a grown up.

I wouldn't go to school, I would eat as much candy as I wanted to, I could play all day without worrying about mud in my shoes, I'd travel the world like a pirate and take Alex with me to be my chief in command!

Rather utopian...,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 12/1/1940

I hate the entry.

So, forget everything I said in the last page. I never want to grow up. Never, ever, ever!

Today, I met Pietro in the street.

Oh, Pietro is our neighbor from across the street. He is approximately 25 years old, with dark hair and a tired face. I never really liked him. He lives alone in a small apartment on the other side of the street.

So, mama, Bianca and I, were going to buy vegetables and we met him walking on the opposite direction. Long story short, mama and him started talking and he said he just had returned from the flower shop.

"The flower shop?" Mama asked. And I couldn't blame her. I never figured Pietro for a flower guy.

"Yeah, mrs di Angelo, they are for my future wife. Our parents arranged the meeting today at night."

"Oh, Pietro, I hope that she is the special one to make you happy."

"Yeah, I am going to spend my entire life with her, and it seems a little bit crazy, not having met her yet. Forced marriage is kinda stressing. "

Forced marriage? I shouted in my head.

Really? People do that? Oh my god!

That's why I never want to grow up. I don't want my mama to find someone and present her simply like: 'son, there's your wife. Now go get married and have children'. So weird...

I want to marry someone I choose and only I. If I ever get married. It's too early to think of that, right?

So, I'm gonna enjoy being a child,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 15/1/1940

I may actually get used to this.

I really miss Alex. I just wish we had exchanged postal addresses or something so I could write him a letter. Perhaps I'll ask grandpa.

So, I really like dogs, I always did, and I wanted to have one, when I grow up, but today, I want one right now!

I saw this doggy that was really cute. It had white fur, with brown patches and one was in his (yes, I checked he's a he) left eye. His eyes were bluish and he had the cutest little tail and paws. I'd take him home, right away, but he had a strange feeling. An aura, something like 'oh, no, pick another dog' sense.

But I asked mummy for a little puppy and she said that there is no pet shop in town and we have a small house, not really made for dogs. I'm sad. When I grow up, I'll definitely take one.

If you have a puppy in mind, let me know,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 16/1/1940

I may actually accept it.

I am in my room right now. It is approximately 22:00 o'clock, way past my bedtime.

The truth is, I can't sleep. We just returned from the movies.

I have only been to the movies once before, but I rarely remember it.

Today we watched this new movie, launched this August. It was called "The wizard of Oz".

It was the story of a girl Dorothy and her puppy Toto (more puppies!) that lived in a farm, and after a hurricane struck, they were transported to magic land. There she met Glenda the good witch and found the ruby shoes. They met then, the cowardly lion, the heartless tin-man and the silly scarecrow. They all started on a trip to find the legendary wizard of Oz, so they could grand their wishes. Lion wanted courage, tin-man a heart, scarecrow a brain and Dorothy to return home. All the while, the evil witch and her flying monkeys that wanted to steal the shoes.

I want tell you what happened in the end, but it was a great movie.

There is this scene, 5 minutes in to the movie, where Dorothy sings to Toto about the perfect world, that is over the rainbow.

Do you think that there is such a place? Somewhere where everyone is happy and no children go to school and they all have puppies, as well as the choice to live near their true friends.

Oh, talking about Alex, grandpa told e his postal address and I'll write him a letter.

Perhaps tomorrow,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 19/1/1940

Oh, bear your self!

Today we had a social studies class. A social studies class. Social studies. Social. Studies.

The teacher started talking about how when we will grow up we will find the right girl and get married and that would ensure the primordial role of a family to the society and blah, blah, blah.

Now, you see, we were separated into two different classes, boys and girls, because girls needed to learn other stuff, like how to take care of children and other things.

So, our teacher, Mr Berluskoni, is a man too, so we were only males in the class.

There's where the thing went off. He said he was married too, and his wife was expecting a daughter. He then said that when he was at our age, he liked a girl and he had asked her to go on a "date" and be "more than friends". He said it was normal.

Then, of course Marco said that he and Sylvia were dating. (That certainly got something off my chest). The teacher said it was normal and that if he really liked her, they could even get married one day. (But I know Marco has nothing like 'love' in his mind)

Tony said he liked Marissa, but he hadn't told her yet. Of course he did. He only talked about her and every time he saw her his face went red and he would travel off to "over the rainbow". Now he... He is in love.

So, everyone started saying which girl they liked (after we sworn to keep our mouths shut) and sometimes, they decided they were about to tell her.

"What about you, Nico?" Said Tony. Tony was my friend, but really I could throw him over a cliff, if needed.

"Um..." I replied.

"It is totally normal to like a girl, Nico." The teacher said.

"I...uh...I don't know."

"What don't you know?" Said Marco. "Wich girl you think is beautiful?"

I could throw him over a cliff too.

"I don't like a girl." That sounded wrong, I thought. "I mean... In specific."

"But don't you want to be with someone?" Asked Giovanni.

"And do what? Go for dinner?" I asked.

"No, but there are other things." Marco said with a smirk "Kissing, hugging and.." He winked. I knew he meant touching behinds, but I decided to ignore it.

"But aren't we like too young to kiss and stuff?"I said in defense.

"Well, kissing is normal. I kissed at your age." Said Mr Berluskoni and suddenly I had a desire to find a cliff nearby, 'cause it would be handy.

"What, di Angelo, you haven't kissed a girl?" Said Marco with a full grin.

"Well, no, I have kissed a girl, but I really don't see why girls in this school attract you. " I said.

"You have kissed a girl? Who?" Said Marco.

I decided I should answer, to save myself.

"Sylvia." I said with a wide grin.

And that's when he tried to kill me, and the conversation was over,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 21/1/1940

Ugh!!!

Today I did the stupidest thing. I took you to school.

Well, no offense. You must have had found your way with my school books and, you ended up in my bag.

We had a PE class today and we were in the locker rooms changing outfits. We have boys' and girls' rooms.

So, you know it is pretty awkward being there, with everyone naked around there, and you having to be naked too. The other boys seem to be comfortable with being naked in front if eachother and talk casually. I try not to look and not to be looked at.

Today though, because of because, in the awkwardness, my bag slipped and you along with some books fell off.

Marco, being already mad at me for the 'Sylvia thing' and is always looking for a reason to bother me, saw it and took it in his hand.

"What is that, di Angelo?" he said. "A Diary?"

Everyone laughed.

"Leave me alone!" I said, trying to take it from him.

He pulled it up and started reading. Why do I have to be short?

"Dear Diary... Oh what are you? A girl?" He mocked me. "Grandpa gave me Alex's postal address so I can write him a letter... Who is Alex? Your boyfriend? Don't tell me you are one of THEM!"

I didn't get what that meant, and none if the others seemed to, but I hated that he talked about Alex.

"Give it back!" I yelled.

He threw it down and pushed me. I did not like him touching me. Not now that I was naked. I was only in my briefs and I did felt vulnerable.

A couple of guys that are part of his clique, surrounded me.

"Let us give you a lesson di Angelo. That's how we do with little girls."

One guy held one of my arms on his body so I could not move. He was wearing his pants, but I hated him touching me I hated me touching him. Only the thought that we were almost naked made me sick, the fact that I had no escape.

Another one held my other hand and I could not move this either. He was completely naked and I kept praying inside my head that I did not touch anything private by accident. It made me feel horrible.

Then a third guy grabbed me by my legs and he was only in his briefs and a fourth held my body tightly and he was naked too and...and by back was touching him in...um...god I can't think of that...

I felt horrible. The other guys did nothing, because they knew if they did they would be in my position next, but they looked concerned.

Marco was in his briefs too (thankfully) and started talking. "di Angelo, I always knew there was something wrong with you. Consider this a payback for everything."

He then hit me in the stomach really hard and I kept praying to god he wouldn't take of my briefs. He hit me in the face.

It didn't hurt much, I'm not a baby, but I was really uncomfortable. Now I hate to be touched directly. Because of what they did, giving me no choice to move.

He then said "You know what we are going to do? Leave him outside. Naked. Or in the girls room. We will hide his cloths and humiliate him. Why did he hate me so much?

He took of my briefs and I felt so many things at once. I felt hate for him. I felt trapped. I felt that I did not want these people to touch me. I felt embarrassed. I felt vulnerable and exposed.

"Nooooo!" I screamed.

Everyone laughed and he hit me in the stomach. He smacked me in my face and kicked me in my private parts. Well, that hurt.

He touched me where I hated it the most just to see my face and then kicked me in the butt.

Then, the teacher came in and I started crying.

He told my mama what happened and she took me home. She says it's ok and she'll be there whatever and that I needed time. She then made me hot chocolate.

I don't blame you, but I need time and I need to be alone,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 25/1/1940

I hate everything.

After the event with Marco, we did not speak, and I'm not intending to. My butt still hurts from the kick. Thankfully my beautiful face is unharmed.

I've been really sad and I think that there's no point in anything. The whole school is talking about me and I am so embarrassed.

Mama is trying to be up portico, and Bianca too. Bianca said it is alright and I should not be ashamed. Mama talked to Marco's parents and they said he apologized, but you think he is saying the truth?

Now, even Tony, wich I believe that was my friend, laughs at me. How I wish Alex was here.

I don't have much to say. I just wrote to let you know how I was, as I had had some days to write. I also wrote to apologies if I seemed to blame you, I really don't.

Now, I'm in the kitchen. Mama went to the bakery and Bianca is in the bathroom. They want me to eat these horrible healthy green stuff they call veggies. I decided to write to kill some time.

I apologize again,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 27/1/1940

Hmmm...

Today I feel better. Not that sad anymore, it hurts less, and people at school seem to forget it.

Today I received the reply from my letter to Alex. I'm so happy about that! I thought he was never gonna answer.

He wrote:

 

Hello Nico!

I was really surprised to see your letter, 'cause I thought you'd forget about me when you returned to Italy.
I certainly did not. You are much more fun and kind than the kids at my school and one of the few people to be friends with me in such a small amount of time.
How is everyone? Has Bianca recovered from the dog-superhero fight? How have you been doing to school?
The truth is that I have a problem. I got a C in Maths, very unlike me, I should inform, and I don't know how to tell it to my parents. I ask you because....well, don't take me wrong, but you have more experience on that.
When I told my parents that you wrote me a letter, they said I should not reply. They said that we should not have relations with Italy, or they will think that we support Mussolini, or even worse.
I did it anyways.
I'm really looking forward to your reply,
Your friend,
Alex

 

I was so happy to finally communicate with Alex. I was excited he thought we were friends, because I believe the same too.

Later that day, I had to ask mama something.

"Mama?"

"Yes, bambino?"

"Who is Mussolini?"

She paused and looked at me puzzled.

"Where did you hear about him?"

"Um...I heard two men discussing." I lied, not wanting Alex to get in any trouble, in case I did.

She sat next to me at her bed and she held my shoulder.

"Mussolini, is a man that is something like the leader of Italy, to say it simply. He is part if a belief named fascists. They...it's difficult for you to understand. There is this other bad man, Adolfo Hitler, that is the leader of Germany and is a nazi. He started the war."

I knew there was a war going on, but not in Italy. I knew Germany was involved though. And Hitler that was the bad guy.

"Mussolini, and Italy, sided with Hitler."

"So, we are the bad guys?" I asked.

"No, Nico...well I mean yes, but it was not our choice and we do not share the same beliefs. But you should not speak about that to anyone. Promise?"

"Yes mama"

"Good." She smiled.

"Mama?"

"Yes?"

"Can I ask you something else?"

"Everything."

"The other day, Marco said something about 'these people' that have boyfriends. What does that mean."

Her eyes were so wide that they almost popped out.

"Marco said that?!"

"Yes"

"You should not think of that, ok? It's not for little boys! When you grow up, you'll learn." She stood up and said a small Italian prayer. "I'm gonna go call Marco's parents again."

The truth is that I expected her to be mad for Mussolini, not Marco.

I had my suspicions about what side America was in, and why they seem to hate us but I was really confused about what Marco meant. Did he mean that I have a boyfriend? Like there are men who date men?

That can't be right,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 28/1/1940

It's my birthday today!

Thank you, thank you for the thoughtful wishes. I'm officially 8 years old! That means I'm old enough to play Bianca's board game that writes 8+ on it!

Today mama made me a chocolate cake (I ate it before I blew the candles) and we had a small party.

Bianca bought me a fake beard, which completes my pirate costume (ay! I'm Nicobeard!) and mama bought me a small lamp so I can sleep with it on. (I'm afraid of the dark so I sleep with the lights on, but now, I'm 8, so I'll just use the lamp). Grandpa sent me a pear of blue sock, they don't seem special, but I know they are.

Alex did not sent me anything, I don't blame him, I never told him my birthday.

That's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 30/1/1940

Shhhh!

I'm on the bus. I'm sitting next to Marissa. She is a good girl. We might actually become friends.

She is sleeping now and I'm really bored. We still have an hour or two until we get to our destination. So I decided to write.

Oh, right. We are going on a school trip to Rome. I've never actually been there before.

We will stay there for the night and tomorrow we will return home.

I don't know with who I'll be sharing a room, but I wish it's not Marco.

Bianca is on a trip too. Her class is going to Bologna. I haven't been their either. I only know they make awesome pasta.

But... In Rome they make awesome pizza.

Muahahahaha!,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 31/1/1940

I'm in my room in the hotel. Thankfully I do not share it with Marco. I do share it with Tony, and he snores. Ugh.

He is sleeping right now. I'm trying to sleep, but it's dark. I barely see to write. At least the doors are open, so they can check us and some light comes in from the corridor. The fact that I'm not alone makes it less scary.

Today was a big day. Yesterday actually. It's one o'clock, so I guess it's another date, hence I wrote.

We stopped with the bus, right outside the Colloseum. Did you know that the gladiators fought there? So cool! (Not like pirates, but still). They had big swords and weapons that we saw in a display and they fought eachother and at the end, the emperor would decide wether or not the looser should live.

The swords were huge. And sharp. I will never be able to handle a sword and believe me, that's a given.

One thing I did not get was what was with these ancient people? Why did everything had to be broken and shattered. Was it some kind of fashion?

Then we went to a place that sold pizza. It was awesome. I ate a pizza shared with Marissa and Tony (yes, I was holding the candles) that had ham, extra cheese, tomatoes, peppers, olives, and a mind blowing sauce, that I forgot to take the recipe of.

After we were full we went back to the bus, (good thing, because I was in no condition to walk) and then to the Vatican. It was kinda boring there, but I saw the sixteen chapel. (Or was it Sistine?)

We did not see the Pope, but we saw a pretty fascinating priest. My mama said I should be kind if we saw the Pope (we are really church people, especially her)

We returned to the hotel around 18:00 and we saw that there was a pool, so we decided to jump in. (The hotel staff was not pleased.)

We played Marco Polo and Marco did not like it, for obvious reasons.

At night we played various games along with our teacher and Mrs Mauriccio, who is escorting us. We had fun, and everyone seemed to forget about the whole 'marco incident'.

And... Here we are!

I also forgot to tell you that today something strange happened.

As I was returning to my room to wear my bathing suit with Tony, I saw a small box on my bed, and a card on it.

As Tony went to the bathroom first, to change, I read the card.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NICO, SORRY FOR THE DELAY,
- D.

I took the box in my hands and noticed its black wrap. As I sifted it in my hands, I felt it weight. I opened it and I found a leather case long and covered with black leather. Inside was a pen, black and made of bone, with silver linings.

That's what I use now. I like it.

The truth is, that every year, my mama gives me an extra present, but she says it's not from her. She always says it's from someone who loves me. Bianca gets these too.

I have no idea who D. is. If you do, please tell me,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 1/2/1940

Uh-oh

I am trapped. In the janitors closet. Don't you dare laugh!

It is very serious!

I'll take it from the beginning. So, we woke up early in the morning and ate some breakfast. Then we took the bus and had a stop in a small village, whose name I don't remember.

There we bought some souvenirs and we used the bathroom. Them we left again and we reached school.

Bianca's class would return an hour after us, so man asked me to stay in school until then and she'd come get us. The teacher said I could. He is in his office now and the headmaster in his.

Since I was all alone, I decided to look around and go to the 'mysterious places' of the school and unravel some conspiracy theories and folklore myths about them.

The janitor's closet is one of them. They say he has a flying mop and a talking broom stick. They also say he hides the misbehaving kids in there.

I got inside and saw no children. I eyed the broomstick expectantly, but it did not replied. Then I rode the mop like a witch her broom and started saying things like 'Abra Katabra' and staff. I looked ridiculous and nothing happened so I quit doing it.

I looked around me. I saw a bucket with a weird green substance in it and a sponge that had a bite on it.

Nothing all too spooky yet. As I started to get out, deciding to explore something else, I saw that there was no handle from the inside. I had this little panic moment but I came to my right mind and tried various methods of getting out.

I kicked the door, pulled the door, talked to the door into letting me out and I used the mop to break the lock. The broomstick would have been more appropriate, but I decided against using it in case it got angry.

I am siting on a bucket writing now. I look at the broomstick once in a while because I don't trust it yet, but I'm fine.

Do you have any ideas on what to do?

I have to focus now, before mama arrives,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 2/2/1940

Yeah...

So. I escaped!

There were keys in the closet. Don't judge me. I did not see them.

Mama took me home later and Bianca seemed to have had fun. I certainly did.

I was really bored today, it was a change from the trip.

Oh, guess what? Mine am in the middle of the most awkward thing ever.

Remember how I told you that in Rome we ate pizza and I shared it with Tony and Marissa? Remember how Tony is in love with Marissa? Remember how I'm good friends with both of them?

Well, at a point while at the restaurant, I went to the toilet. In that short amount of time, Tony told Marissa how he felt and she said she'd think about it.

Ugh! He has a crush on her since forever and he decided to tell her then? When I was in the toilet. That's why you should never leave kids unsupervised.

So I sensed that there was an awkward aura when I returned, but they said nothing.

Today, Marissa said that she said him no.

So I have Tony crybabing on me and Marissa talking about how he exaggerates.

It goes like this:

"Huh! Can you believe it? He is in LOVE with me? What is he? We barely know each other?" -Marissa

"But why didn't you denied in Rome, if it freaks you out?" -me

"Be caused he said he was in love with me today to make me think about it again!" --Marissa

"But what is the problem with love? Don't you want someone who cares? Wholistic you prefer to be another Marco and Sylvia?" -me

"We are 8 years old!" -Marissa

"Check mat" -me

And like this:

"What am I going to do now Nico?" -Tony

"Just relax! It's not a big deal!" -me

"How can I relax? She dumbed me! Every time I see her I will feel the feeling that I can't feel!" -Tony

"Oh please! What are you? A poet?" -me

"But she's the love of my life!" -Tony

"We are 8 years old!" -me

"Check mat." -Tony

 

Which, by the way, is a horrible situation to be in. But I can't really judge Tony. I never had a crush on a girl. I don't know how it is to be in love.

I can, however, judge Marissa. I have dumbed people before, and the way she did it was hard,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 5/2/1940

Boh.

I did not close an eye last night!

You know I'm afraid of the dark. So I sleep with a lamp. Remember the lamp?

Well, it broke. Bianca and I were playing pirates and I executed it with my sword by accident. Mama told me to sleep like that and we'd buy a new one tomorrow.

She said that I could sleep with the lights open like I used too, but I said no. Wich was a mistake. But I'm 8 years old (a full grown man) and I need no light. So I thought...

So I tried closing my eyes and imagining I was falling asleep. But I made a mistake and cracked my eyes for a split of a moment, but I saw it. A shadow was moving behind me. I froze. I did not look, afraid for what it was and I pretended to sleep, but my eyes were open enough to see in the other direction.

The shadow moved like a wave and another shadow was against the wall and looked like a hand was trying to grab me.

I hate shadows. And the dark. And hands that try to grab me. (And for that matter, possibly speaking brooms)

I had a feeling like someone is watching me.

I heard a creaking sound. Like someone was opening the door. I hid under the covers. I am sure I was shaking.

It went that way for hours. After a long time I had to open the lights.

I woke up today and I needed more sleep. I face slumbed on the door and almost slept through Social Studies.

Now I'll sleep some more,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 6/2/1940

I finally slept.

Yesterday mama brought me a new lamp. It is small, and works with electricity, unlike with oil, like the previous ones. How awesome is that?

The only other thing is that it makes blue light. Which is not entirely bad, but different.

I feel like I'm under that sea. I love the sea though, it could be worse,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 7/2/1940

Good evening.

I just received another letter from Alex!

Um...I just squeaked. Forget that.

So, that's the letter:

 

Hey, Nico,

How are you? I hope you are fine. It is really interesting, having a friend from another country.
Today, our teacher said that we had to pick from a list of children from other countries, to be our letter correspondent. I told her I already had one.
You can officially call your self, The official Letter Correspondent of Alex McKnight!
Your grandpa is fine and says hello, in case you were wondering. We were invited to his house last night.
I'm so sorry, I did not know your birthday was the other day! I wanted to buy you a gift, once I found out, but I have no money and you know my parents would not let me buy you something, you know why. I barely convinced them to let me send the letters.
Anyway, I had a fight with a friend if mine, and I just got the blues, so I thought that writing to you would be a good distraction.
But that doesn't matter. You may be wondering why we were in you grandpa's house.
Me and my parents were off town and we went at a little village by the sea. I really love the sea. I love it's blue color and the calm sound of the waves. I'd love to swim, but you know, its February.
You are so lucky living in Venice, having the water nearby all the time.
So? How are things there? I hope your mother and sister are alright. How have you been doing at school?
Looking forward to your reply,
Alex

 

So, I am the official Letter Correspondent of Alex McKnight!

So sweet of Alex, wanting to write me a letter.

Oh, he was in my grandpa's house!

He likes the sea! I really like the sea too! Remember? I totally understand what he means.

I'll reply later.

You know, now that I think about this, I could get used to the blue lamp.

Every time I sleep with it, I can think of Alex, and this, will be our common place and refuge,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 11/2/1940

I'm so scared.

So, before I start telling you the story, I have to tell you I just re-read the last entry and that last part is like a little girl wrote it. So forget it.

Today after school, I did my homework and then I asked Bianca if she wanted to play something with me.

She said she was studying and I respect that, so I let her finish. When she did I asked her again.

"Can we play something now?" I said.

"Nico, I don't want to play pirates." She replied.

"We don't have to play pirates. What about hide and seek?"

"No, Nico. I don't want to play."

"But, Bianca!"

"Nico, please leave me alone."

"I'm bored!"

"And how us that my fault?"

"Bianca, for god's sake! You are nine years old stop acting like you are too old to play!"

"Where did that come from?"

"You tell me!"

"Nico, it's not my fault you are acting like a child!"

So I ran away angry and I was looking at the street from my window.

Then I saw it. A skeleton came out of the ground. I thought I was hallucinating so I ran screaming.

I don't believe in ghosts, but that seemed real.

I gave no idea what it was,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 15/2/1940

Today was a good day, but really I kinda have the blues.

I was thinking of how Alex said in his letters that his parents would not let him speak to me as much, even though they did better than everyone else.

I remember that jerk Robert that hurt Bianca and what he said and that other guy, whose name is too weird to pronounce.

I even think about the talk we had with my mama about the war.

Are we really the bad guys? Or maybe everyone else is bad we are the good guys?

I am really confused. Mama says I should not talk about it in public and that I should not really like this people, but the school and the newspapers say that Mussolini is a savior for our country and the Fuhrer in Germany (who ever he is) is going to help us make Italy great again.

If you think about it, world domination is not that bad. But the newspapers say that it is not "world domination" and how the rest of the countries are wrong.

But why would my mama not like the government, if everyone else is happy? Is she a rebel? So cool. Should I trust my mama or the newspapers?

Sometimes, some new newspapers or radio stations wily say how we should not really trust Mussolini or Germany, but soon they dissapear. Do they understand their mistake? Why would they stop otherwise?

On the other hand, the Fuhrer and Mussolini are a bit arrogant. They always stand at the porch of a big house or something and speak. Mostly Mussolini. I have only seen photos of the Fuhrer once.

Then it is what they do like raise their hand in the air and people will cheer like they are emperors...

I'm really confused. What do you believe about all this? Let me know if you can,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 17/2/1940

I have news.

Mama said that we have to go to Washington again for a few days and that we will return by Monday.

She said Grandpa needed some help. I don't really know what that means.

I'm excited to go back to the city, as it is a welcomed change from Venice's rivers and Mussolini.

Oh poop!

I just realized I'll see Alex again! That's really cool!

He really is a good friend and just makes me feel like I could trust him more than anyone.

Also, if we are talking about returning to the U.S. , then I'll tell you a funny thing that happened.

Today, when we were at school, mama went to buy the tickets for the ship we will take.

When we returned, I took my ticket and started to examine it. I saw how we boarded tomorrow morning and I saw the time of the trip. It said a week.

That could not be right. I thought. I remember that the trip was a long one, but it is Monday, how could we return Monday if the ship reached Washington Monday?

I asked mama and as she examined it she said she had done a big buffonata.

"I bought tickets for Washington." She said.

"Yes, isn't that where we are going?" I replied.

"No. We are going to Washington DC."

"Mama, I know, I just said that. What's wrong?"

"Honey, the city is called Washington DC. Washington plain is a state."

"That's a thing?"

"Unfortunately"

So we returned all together to Buy the tickets. The correct ones. I checked them twice.

So, I guess it is true, what they say that you learn something everyday,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 19/2/1940

So, today we reached America.

We are in Washington DC, with an emphasis on the D and the C.

This morning, we waited for grandpa outside the White House, because he had a business thing and all.

I had been to the White House before, but never really bothered to notice the outside, but I was bored so I did.

My results are that The Beige House would be more appropriate. Less racist too.

Anyway, so grandpa came out and we left with the limo and waited till it reached his house.

After a while I noticed we were taking different turns. That worried me, but grandpa knew what he could trust and Lewis (the driver) is a good man. He would never kidnap us or anything. We are not thaaaaaat important.

So we stopped outside a restaurant. I looked at the restaurant, it looked back. It was one of the classy ones. Uh-oh.

We sat in a reserved table, just us, mama, Bianca grandpa and me. My family. The only family I had, want and will ever want.

I ordered chicken with dried tomatoes, which actually turned out ok.

Mama got a weird beef with bear and grandpa a fish soup with goat's cheese.

As for Bianca, she took pork in a jar like thing with potatoes. But she didn't even eat half of it. She seemed upset.

Grandpa said that he did not call us here only for the help he would need (which, by this point was still a secret) but he had something really important to tell us. Something he did not feel like should be said in any way, other than face to face.

"What is the matter, father?" Asked mama.

"Is everything alright?" I asked becoming concerned.

I suddenly understood why Bianca was so concerned. She just put the puzzle pieces together faster.

Why would he ask us to come to America. And bring us to a fancy restaurant only to tell us something really important?

"I need you guys...to understand that I love you, and ...uh, this will change your...our lives significantly, but we have to deal with it." He said

"Father, you are getting me concerned..."

"Look, Maria, it is just that, lately, I.... I have to retire."

"That's it?" I said with a face. I expected him to be fatally I'll or something.

"Yes, Nico, but you have to understand that the money I make mostly feed us, it is already difficult, with you, living in Italy."

"Then why will you retire?" I asked.

"They are putting pressure on me. Italy mostly, they want someone younger with new fresher ideas. A fascist, in a few words, but let's not talk about this."

"But we can do this, right?" I asked.

"Yes..." Replied mama.

"Well, thankfully, we are a pretty wealthy family, and a diplomat's pension is quite high, but it will be different."

"Will you return in Italy?" Asked Bianca.

"Not for now, Bianca, but maybe one day..." He said, and I realized he was talking about after the war.

We returned home and just kinda sat around till night.

Tomorrow we will meet Alex and I'm really excited.

That's all,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 20/2/1940

Today we met Alex at his house.

It is a big house, with a beautiful garden.

Two more of Alex's friends were there. Lisa and John.

John is a muscular kid, with brown hair and freckles.

Lisa is a beautiful girl with caramel colored locks and a bright smile that could blind a pirate's blind eye.

We sarted playing basketball, but Bianca and Lisa did not like it (neither did I honestly) so we changed to hide and seek.

John was always cheering though, so we decided to play something else.

Lisa said we should play "Truth or Dare". You probably know the rules.

So we sat in a circle and first, Lisa challenged Bianca (dare) to make a hat out of toilet paper and then Bianca challenged me (dare) to dance like a cow. (I tried my best).

Then I challenged Lisa again (truth) to tell us one time where she was caught lying. She said she never lies, but I don't believe her.

She challenged John (truth) to tell us what he hates about bananas, which was odd, but he hates the first bite.

"Alex, truth or dare?" Asked John.

"It was about time! I'll pick dare!" He replied.

"Hmm...I challenge you to....kiss Lisa!" He said with am evil smile.

Alex stood up and gave Lisa a kiss on her mouth, only for her to blush.

I felt a weird feeling, probably because I know we are too young to kiss.

But it was weird. I just felt like I should tell you.

Talk to you soon,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 21/2/1940

Today we discovered what grandpa needed help with. To be accurate, I did. The rest had already figured it.

We helped him clear his workspace. Not much, but he had so many things...

Nothing happened after that, exept for me discovering how I am not completely bonkers.

See, Bianca today saw something. Here's how it went.

We were walking down a street, near a place of a car accident.

"Wow! What the-?" Said Bianca.

"What?" I asked.

Grandpa and mama were a few meters ahead of us.

"The...the moving skeleton! It had cloths! I can't believe this! I'm going crazy..."

"What? No, maybe you are just tired Bianca. We will rest back home, so no worries. "

"Nico I actually saw that!"

"Ok."

"You don't believe me!"

"No I do."

The truth is, that I don't know.

I saw a skeleton the other day, so really what a coincidence. Maybe it's a mental illness? But they are not infectious or something.

And how is it called nekroeidolia? Hahaha, I'm so funny, I know,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 23/2/1940

Today is our last day here in the US.

I did not meet Alex again, he seems a bit more distant now, which is kinda sad.

Bianca is in charge of packing, which definitely suits her, as she is always organized.

Mama is making dinner right now. She had gone shopping all day long, because she said that it's a "goodbye" meal.

Grandpa wasn't in his best mood this morning. He sat on his armchair mumbling something about an axe.

I asked him what was wrong.

"I'm alright Nico, dear. I just don't know what I'll do now, that I'm retired."

"Maybe you can come live with us, in Italy."

"No Nico. Maybe, when the war is over. I have made my political beliefs more than clear to the world and Mussolini wouldn't like that. Things back home are becoming tighter every day. You throw a pin and they know. It's a miracle they haven't bothered you yet. But you shouldn't think about that stuff. You are a little kid. And, listen to me bambino, you have to make this last as long as you can..."

I had a lot to think about what he said, but it was not the time.

"I am just an old man now... What can I do?"

I knew a different truth though.

"Grandpa, it doesn't matter how you look, inside matters. You are like a raising. All wrinkles outside, but a sweet child in your heart."

"You dare call me a raising sailor? I'll feed you to the sharks!" He then grabbed me and we spent the morning playing with Angel (which of course I brought) and the pirate costumes.

Maybe it was not a bad day after all,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 25/2/1940

We returned from the US and life is coming back to the way it was.

I lost another week of school, which means extra homework, so I can keep up.

Today there was an...occurrence. I think that's the word.

At school break, I was eating lunch with Marissa. (And Tony was looking from the corner. I have to share my time between the two now. )

Marco and a couple of other guys were playing football (soccer whatever) and the ball came our way.

Marco jogged to us and as soon as he saw me he threw the ball to the others and gestured them to go on.

"Whattup di Angelo?" He said with a grin at his face.

"Good" I said without bothering to look up from my suddenly very interesting sandwich.

"Marissa?" He asked.

"It's all good Luccio, thanks for asking."

"So, di Angelo, I heard you were in America. How is the other side doing?"

"Good" I replied again, noticing the lack of ham in the sandwich.

"And how is Alex? Your boyfriend, I mean."

"Huh? What do you mean my boyfriend Marco? Don't you have anything better to do?"

"Oh, please, I saw what you wrote on your girly diary the other day. 'Oh, Alex has so beautiful eyes...I have a great time with him...I hugged him, maybe more than necessary... Fag"

I did not know what he meant. I have no idea what fag is but I didn't like him saying it to me.

"Don't call me that!"

"Why? You call a dog a dog, a cat a cat and a fag a fag. "

"What's that even supposed to mean?!"

"Huh. You really are innocent, now are you? Such a cute little guy. I so want to see how this progresses." He then started laughing.

"So you read his diary? Bravissimo Marco, I had no idea you could read. " said Marissa out of nowhere.

"Don't confuse your self Marissa, he's the retard, not me. Wow, a fag retard. How good for our society, right di Angelo. Very useful. "

"Don't you have to go and pretend to be someone along with your little Sylvia, Marco? Don't get me mad now, we all know I know some stuff you would not want everyone to learn. Remember?" Said Marissa, and I realized she protected me.

"Ugh." Said Marco and left.

After that I could not stop thanking Marissa and thinking how much of a friend she was. I even sacrificed my monthly money for ice scream as a present to her.

Of course I had to assure Tony it was only on friend zone, and buy him ice cream as well.

I still don't know what Marco meant. Am I that innocent? Should I ask mama what a fag is? But if it is something bad? Would she be angry?

Do you think I am innocent?,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 28/2/1940

I've been thinking about what Marco said. And what Grandpa said.

I do not understand why we must be afraid of our shadow and not say what we believe.

I did not understand what Marco said.

Which leads us to the conclusion that I'm innocent. I really don't want to be innocent. Marco and the other boys say some stuff I don't get. Others I do. But we are 8 years old we should not do things like that.

See! I did it again! Why can't I be like everyone else?

Is it that I did not grow up with a father? Maybe then I'd be more open to more mature stuff?

I decided I did not want to be innocent anymore, even though it still think Lisa and Alex were too young to kiss eachother.

I wanted to know what "fag" means and why Marco called me that. So I went to mama to ask her.

She was at the dining room, placing the crystal glasses in their case.

I sat on a chair and looked at her for a while.

She was always a delicate woman. I knew she grew up in a high class family, but even know, she will willingly play pirates with me or do chores.

Her brown hair, that remind me of the ground, after the rain, were pulled back in a pony tail. I couldn't help but notice, a few white streaks, that, even though she still was in her middle 30s, started to appear.

Her beautiful eyes were focused on her task as always. Experience has proved, she is pretty stubborn.

Her skin is still pure, she takes care if herself. She wears a white apron, so she does not fills her dress with dirt. Her dress is light green, a color she rarely wears, and it makes her facial features stand out.

It is a beautiful dress, but I know it's a casual one. In formal occasions, she looks even mor stunning.

After a while I decided to ask her.

"Mama, what is a fag?"

She turned around, with a shocked face and round eyes.

"What?" She said with a low voice.

"A fag." I said out loud, slightly realizing I did a buffonata.

"Were did you hear that word?"

"At...school."

"And who said it?!"

"Um...Marco?" I said, desperate to find a rabbit hole to hide in.

"Marco? Marco Luccio?"

No, the other Marco that has a worse mouth than salamander. "Yes mama."

"Nico, who did he tell this to? Because it is very bad."

"Uh...me?"

"Is that a question?"

"No"

"Then?"

"Me"

"Why?"

"I don't know."

"Hm... I'll have to talk to his parents again, this is very serious..." She said clearly upset. "Do never repeat this word! Did you hear me young man? Never!"

"But what does it mean? Marco said something about a boyfriend?"

"I said don't talk about this?"

"But..."

"Look, Nico, that's a talk for when you are older. It is not something right, or accepted. It technically a crime. I'll go talk to his parents." And she fled.

Now, I got to say I'm still innocent, and more confused,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 1/3/1940

Today, a lot of things happened.

1) Marco and his parents came to our house so Marco could say he is sorry.

"Go ahead Marco." Said his father. "We talked about this"

"I...am...sorry." Marco said through greeted teeth and a look that meant "kill me or I'll kill you".

"Like you mean it Marco" said his mother.

"I am sorry Nico. For what I said." Of course I knew he didn't mean it, but at least he faked it for the parents.

"Well, now, I'm sure Nico will accept your apology, right?" Said mama.

"Yes mama"

"Not to me, Nico, to him."

"Yes Marco I accept your apology."

So for all I know, Marco is grounded for months. He will only go to school and back home, no hanging out with his friends in St. Marco square (hehe) or riding his bike.

I feel kinda bad.

2) Marco and Sylvia broke up.

I don't know what happened, I just know it did.

I hope I'm not involved.

3) We had a math test today. Which I really wrote nothing on.

I hate tests. What's the point in them?

That's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 3/3/1949

Remember how I told you Sylvia and Marco "broke up"? (Not the right phrasing, we are 8 years old we can't have a relationship, Marco just wanted to look cool.)

Well, more evidence concerning that start to surface.

Today at break, I was with Tony. Sylvia appeared out of nowhere.

"Hello Nico!" She said. "Solfegietto, can we have a moment?" She said, referring to Tony.

"Yeah, sure." He said and winked at me while walking away.

"So, Nico, I heard what Marco did to you..."

"Hmhn?"

"Um...that's why we broke up. See, Nico, the only reason I accepted Marco's offering to be his girlfriend, is because I wanted you to be...jealous. I mean, the good way. "

"There's no good way." I said dead serious.

"You get my point." No I didn't. "I broke up with him, because I couldn't take all these things he did to you, and I really just wanted to make him stop, but he did not listen. "

"Yes.."

"So, I think you know, how much I like you. "

I wanted to say 'yes, I have a vague memory of you kissing me without permission', but instead I just said:

"Yes."

"Then... Is there anyway that we can start over? Be like... A couple?"

I think that you already know how I don't think 8 year olds should do that stuff.

Also, I can't picture my self with Sylvia. Or any other girl I have met so far.

I think that when I grow up I will just meet the right one and fall for her.

But not Sylvia. Not when I know she was with Marco,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 4/3/1940

I wish I was a pirate.

You see, I wouldn't have to worry about tests and letters and Marco Luccio. Or Sylvia, or grandpa, or even Mussolini.

Mama said I could not be a pirate when I grow up. I know. But maybe I can have my own boat or even be a a captain in the navy.

I'm gonna name my ship Angel, like my toy. In case you care, Angel is fine.

I want to have a sword and all, but sword fighting seems difficult.

I wouldn't like to have a fake foot or an eyepatch though.

At least I get to have a parrot. I'd still prefer the puppy, but it's fine,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 8/3/1940

Today was Bianca's birthday! She now is 10 years old.

To me, having lived a whole decade, she seems like a grandma. She acts like one too.

We woke up this morning and we immediately run down for Bianca to open her presents.

Mama bought her a new pencil case with a design similar to the one on her bedroom wall.

Grandpa sent his gift with the mail. It was a pin. A special gift for a special birthday. I have a feeling that even though, grandpa loves us equally, he is closer to Bianca. That's why she wears her green hat all the time.

The pin is a small bug. A dragonfly. It is made by purple stones. Bianca, instead of wearing it, put it in the pencil case, to decorate it.

Must be because jewelry are not allowed at school. So that way she can have it with her.

I bought her a small teddy bear. With any money I had left. She put it on her bed.

Also, a box, just like mine appeared on her bed. She wouldn't let me see it, or read the note. But I saw it was a bit bigger. A lot bigger actually.

We went for a walk at St. Marco square and there we ate ice cream and pizza. Not necessarily with that order.

At night, a friend of Bianca's came home, along with her parents. Her name is Lucciana.

She has long curly blonde hair and a heartwarming smile. I hate her.

She is annoying for some reason, but I pretend she's not there.

Before the guests arrived, we had to dress up. I just put on a pair of trousers and a shirt, but the girls had other plans.

Mama was wearing a blue dress with a golden necklace.

Bianca strolled down the stairs and she was wearing something new.

It was a black dress. It was long until her knees and when she moved, it appeared as if shadows were dancing on her body. On top she wore the green hat, her hair loose. She was beautiful.

Mama looked at her with a knowing look and I understood it was the mysterious present.

Mama did not freak out. She seemed to know more than me.

After we ate, we sang the birthday song to Bianca and she made a wish on the candles.

The cake was made by mama. It had orange frosting and inside it had vanilla flavor. On top, it read: 'Buon compleanno, Bianca!' It was not as nearly tasty as the chocolate cake, but I are it anyways.

We went to bed really late, but I just had to write to you,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 9/3/1940

Today at school we d pizza for lunch. Which was great. Usually we have broccoli or something.

I sat along Tony and Giovanni. Giovanni is from Napoli so he know some stuff about pizza and pasta.

He told us how pizza was once the food of the poor and how they had no money for fancier stuff other than bread cheese and tomatoes. Pizza is fancy enough for me. But too bad they could not afford pepperoni.

I did not know any of that. How could rich people live without pizza.

I mean, pizza! The best stuff about Italy!

Forget ALL about the Colloseum! Or even better, make it a pizzeria!

I don't picture myself living without pizza.

Do you like pizza?,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 1/3/1940

Ugh! What a boring day it was!

School school school. Only that.

The highlight was me stepping on poop.

Yes I had to throw away my shoes. It was before school and all day I stinker like a skunk.

Of course Marco made fun of me.

That is all, really, tomorrow hopefully I'll have more,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 12/3/1940

Today was better. Or at least stuff happened.

In the afternoon I was playing with Angel in my room. When I finished I went downstairs.

Mama was sitting with a man on the sofa.

He was very tall, white skin, intense black eyes, and were either the eyes of a genius or a madman,and shoulder-length black hair, with bangs covering most of his forehead.

I did not enter, but I listen to what they said from behind the door. (Definitely not eavesdropping)

"He is your son too? Boy, that must feel horrible." Mama said.

"Tell me about it. But the point is, you are not safe." He replied.

"From him?"

"No, my brothers."

"Oh" mama said understandingly.

Then I decided to enter. They immediately stopped talking.

"Nico" mama said fast. "Um...this is Mr. Bones."

"Really?" He said.

"Shhh"

"Anyway, delighted to meet you young man" he said. He looked at me with a mix of cold and something else...care?

Suddenly he smelled like a dead skunk. (Enough skunk for Nico this week.)

"Nico, why don't you go upstairs. " mama said.

I did. When I returned after an hour it so, the man had left.

Mama explained that he was an old friend that decided to visit us because he ws in town.

I did not like him that much,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 15/3/1940

Today I received a letter from Alex. Which seems weird because he hadn't sent one since forever.

He seemed more distanced lately. Especially when we returned to America. He was not talking to me all that much and we only met once.

So now he is back to his normal excited friendly self like: "oh, so great I have a good friend" while he was: "oh well I think I know you" lately.

He says he is fine and he stopped school for spring break. (By the way, we stop in two days.)

So I wrote a letter back, but I decided I'll sent it later. Maybe a week or two. It takes two to tango.

Maybe I'll make him not want to be friends with me? I do not want that for sure. But I'll try it.

Unless you think I shouldn't,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 19/3/1940

Today was the last day at school before Easter break.

It was not a perfect day.

Obviously Marco was bored, so he decided to bring up again my poop incident. Like he never steps on poop.

At one point I was really tempted to bite him, or even pretend to throw poop at him.

What is his problem anyway? Did he fell from his mother's hug as a baby? I definitely know a case that my polite upbringing can not allow me to write or say out loud.

I just wish he could switch places with Alex. Even though we are not good lately, I believe it would be better.

Alex would never mock me like that. We would be friends. And I'd be more popular.

Marco could hang out with that blondie from Washington (DC) that no one likes.

And why do we have to go to school anyway? I can write, count, read (almost), I know most history and I can locate different places like Washington (state).

I don't say I want to grow up, have a family and work all day. But stay a child and play with Bianca, write letters to Alex and chat with Tony or Marissa.

Patience,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 24/3/1940

I know I haven't written for a lot of days, but today is Easter Day, so I decided to write.

I was really busy the other days. Grandpa is not coming for the holidays, but he sent us a letter and we responded and even sent him a picture of us and a drawing from me and Bianca because we miss him.

That whimpy guy visited again, and I really start to suspect that mama and him are more than friends, but she said of course not. (If it is true I'll punch him)

Today we woke up and immediately went outside our school (which is closed) for the egg hunt.

For some reason, the Easter bunny chooses this location, but I know there are other places too.

Almost everyone from our school young enough to participate came and, even though I did not win, I broke my personal record. 32 eggs!

Indeed, Bianca's friend Lucciana won, with 69 eggs. Marco had around 40 and Tony none, because he was following Marissa, who had 57. Bianca had 44.

At night we had a special dinner, just me mama and Bianca.

It was indeed a special Easter.

Oh, also, I decided to send Alex's letter,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 25/3/1940

Today we went to the church.

You probably don't know it, but we are a very religious family.

We go to the church every Sunday and especially in holidays.

After that, we went to a sweet shop. It's a new place that had its grand opening a week ago.

We bought a bunny made of chocolate. I have no idea how they made it, but it is great, like a statue.

When we returned home, we ate its head.

Mama said that we shouldn't eat all of it. It is not healthy. Tomorrow we will eat some more.

So, that's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 27/3/1940

Today we finished the Easter Bunny. We through away the wrappings.

Mama returned to the shop to buy another one but the Easter themed sweets were over.

I think I like Easter.

Today, we went to buy some cloths because there was one of these bugs in Bianca's closet and now three of them are full of holes.

She bought some stuff, but I'm really bored of shopping. One bad thing about living with these two girls is that I have to get dragged in stuff like that.

The other one is I'll play the nurse when they are old. But I love everything else.

Do you have a family?,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 29/3/1940

Today a new kid came to our school. He moved from Roma and his name is Alessandro.

From what I get he went to school there and has a sister, Emilia, who is one year younger than us.

We did not talk and I think that tomorrow I'll try to make friends with him.

He lives a few blocks away, so if we are lucky, and he likes pirates, he can come so we can play with Angel.

Oh, also, we got invited in Pietro's wedding. Remember Pietro? Our neighbor? He is getting married in June.

That's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 31/3/1940

I'm really really late, mama said we were invited in a something dinner something and I have no time, but I have to tell you that I did not talked to Alessandro.

I did make friends with his sister Emilia. Even though she is younger than me.

We played hide n sick.

So that's that goodbye folks,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 1/4/1940

I lost the battle.

For just a few days. Alessandro, who I so wanted for a friend, now hangs out with Marco.

He became part of what we call the "Mafia" of our school. Exclusive friends to Marco. Unlike Tony, who hangs out with other people too.

But, I think it is for the best. Alessandro produced to be a total jerk. He is just like Marco. But maybe a bit smarter.

He tries to speak when messing around with kids, like Marco, but unlike the rest of the guys who just provide the muscle effect (8 year old, highly intellectual muscles.)

Marco doesn't seem to like that, but he just shushes him away.

So, maybe, I say it was better that way.

Too bad, because I really liked Emilia. I thought that siblings share the same values.

Anyway, that whimpy guy, Mr. Bones will visit again later.

I don't like him. He is dark and smells like a dead dinosaur.

Also mama is being really nervous as to what she says. And many explanation she gives make no sense at all.

Like, the first time he came she said he was in town, but then he visited again and again, and that's been going on for a while. How long is he shopping in town?

Anyway, I'll let you know how that went,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 2/4/1940

Today Bianca said she had an idea.

We went in an old room, in our house, that I had stepped in only once or twice in the past.

The storage closet.

I had a few flashbacks, but I saw no weird broom so I relaxed.

Bianca took the head of an old mop (you know the wig) and we returned to the hall.

Then, we went to the bathroom , all the while she kept silent and she washed the mop so that it now had an orange color.

She then left it in the sun to dry.

After some time, she took it and started crafting a weird looking thing that had a balloon shaped head and eight big tentacles. It was an octopus.

She drew eyes and gave it to me.

"What is that?" I asked

"The thing we were making all day." She replied.

"But what is it?"

"A monster" she smiled "you know, like the ones pirates fight. "

So we decided we would call it It. It would live in the depths of the ocean and would attack pirates when least expected.

It is now the Angel crew's worst enemy and they try to hunt it down.

That's all for now,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 4/4/1940

Today was a very good day.

Actually it was one of the best ones in a long time.

I made a friend. A true friend. One that I know will never judge me or betray me in any way.

His name is Fabio. I met him just outside our house.

He likes to play with my ball and even though he doesn't really understand the whole pirate concept he tries his best.

His favorite food is bacon, which I partially appreciate and he must be around my age.

We played all afternoon, until mama told me to go do my homework.

While I did so he was looking at me from the window, doing stupid stuff trying to make me laugh.

He has gray fur and green eyes and a long tail. Oh, did I mention he is a cat?

Yes he is and he is the best one I met. I don't think I am a dog or a cat person. I like both.

So I feed Fabio now and we play and I'll try making him a house maybe so he is safe.

Do you like cats?,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 6/4/1940

Today I went to school were I managed to forget my bag. Then I had to return to take it.

Then I played with Bianca and Angel and then Fabio came over to say hello.

I gave him some wool like they do with cats, but he is afraid of it. Cats are dorks.

He is really skiny (like most strays) so I feed him a lot. I built him a house out of a carton, but he is afraid of that too. Scaredy cat.

Then, mama came out of the house.

"Nico, come do your homework!"

"Yes, mama, just a minute, playing with Fabio. "

"Who is Fabio?"

I pointed at my friend.

"Ksoo! Leave cat!"

"No, mama, he is my friend!"

"Really, strays carry illnesses. Go wash your hands."

"No mama, Fabio is ok, he isn't dirty, he takes care of himself. "

"Ok, please go do your homework. And I don't want the cat in the house. "

"Yes mama. "

So now I'm doing my homework. Supposedly. But I see that Fabio brought something into the front porch, from the window.

He did it last night too. He brought a soc. I wonder what it is this time.

I'll go check,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 7/4/1940

When I opened the door and I found Fabio looking at me with wide eyes.

"Meow." He stated.

I looked at his feet. There, I saw the present he brought me.

It was a rat. Half a rat, actually.

It had a small nose, yellow teeth, big ears and black, hollow eyes. It's fur was grayish, with a lot of stains and it's two front paws were in a promising angle. As you moved lower you could see it's lower half gone, revealing his intestings and his blood spilling. (Hehe, you make a funny face when disgusted!)

"Ugh, thanks, I'm not hungry."

"Meow"

"Whatever."

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" I heard a scream from behind me.

Mama was coming towards us with a broom. Instead of swiping the rat, she went for Fabio. The cat started to run, but mama was fast.

He jumped on a balcony and mama was underneath yelling at him for hours. It was really funny.

I cleaned the rat in the end,
Nico

Chapter Text

Dear Diary, 8/4/1940

I thought Bianca hated boys, after what that guy Robert did. But, nooooooo she has to go over this again. Sure.

Let me explain before I continue my murmuring.

She said that she met someone yesterday. Or more accurately "saw".

She was with Lucciana in St. Marco's square and they were drinking orange juice sitting under a shade. They were talking casually, but I wasn't there so I don't know about what, and she won't say.

Then, Bianca, saw a boy riding his bike, along with his friends.

She said that he looked around her year and wore a dark brown shirt. He had hair "like a cup if hot chocolate" (according to her) and grey eyes. He supposedly had some freckles spread around his nose. She said he had a bright smile.

The guy-whose-name-we-don't-know, has a muscular build and a charming voice.

As soon as she saw him, he left. For the best, I say, because I'd prefer Bianca to like only one boy, me.

But she said she would search for him, if he is in our school or anything.

She returned from school and started talking. Blah blah blah.

You think that's what Sylvia does about me? To her little brother? Or far everyone else? Or everyone else that likes me?

Because it's creepy,
Nico