Chapter 69
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 “If this darn app shows me the same sentence one more time…” Erin growled as the same sentence did show up, this time not as a prompt to translate from English to Italian, but from Italian to English. Erin promptly stood and went to the kitchen, where Andrew was doing much the same. Practicing on Duolingo.

“How can you do this for hours?” Andrew had just finished a lesson and so, Erin could see how many experiences points he had gotten. Two thousand. Andrew, unlike him, made the skills legendary straight after finishing the fifth star. Which explained the humongous number of points.

“The important thing is to enter a trance like state. Once you are in the Zen, you can type your day away. Besides, I think these icons are cute,” Erin thought that they were patronizing. Especially that purple haired girl that looked snobby.

“Why can’t we go to group lessons?” Erin whined. Surely, someone had to be offering Italian for English-speaking people in Ravenna.

“This is fun, too. And only six dollars per month,” countered Andrew. Yes, it was a little over six dollars. Because Andrew had insisted that they needed to purchase the year subscription plan.

“Would have been nice if there were forums. Instead of that blog,” said Erin. This program was turning him into a hermit. Sure, he loved it when he completed a lesson without mistakes, but, those lessons were few and far between.

“Why don’t you practice your words on Memrise? Spice things up a bit?” Erin cringed. Yes, Memrise, the place where he had to memorize words like a school boy.

“Can’t I watch a podcast instead?” Begged Erin. Those were fun. Just videos of people speaking on a topic. What was better was that they had English subtitles.

“Only if you don’t turn on the subtitles,” Erin wilted. Andrew knew him too well.

“I think I will slave away in owl prison,” Erin dragged his legs back to the living room and sat on the couch. His laptop was on the coffee table. The sentence that he had abandoned staring back at him, with the bear icon looking judgmental to the side.

Ok, so, the sentence was simple. I give the cake. Cake was torta, and he had written the rest so many times he could say it in his dream. He wrote the sentence, and he got a green light. Smiling, Erin clicked the next one.

They spend the entire day typing away and, when night came, Erin was sick of it. He stood, stretched, checked his points, nodded in satisfaction at the nice number of three thousand and four, and went to take Andrew out.

Andrew was still typing when Erin came into the kitchen. So, Erin waited until he finished the legendary level. Andrew got the five additional points, which made Erin smile.

“What is your tally?” Asked Erin, and Andrew turned to look at him.

“Well, 7890 points. Can you wait for me to do another 110, so I can round it all up?” Erin shook his head.

“You need fresh air and company. We can go to a restaurant or a bar. You haven’t eaten, so we can go to a Pizza place before heading anywhere,” Andrew looked at his laptop with longing, but closed the Duolingo site.

“I feel like pasta tonight,” said Andrew, and he stood up. “And maybe a fruit salad with ice cream for dessert.”

“Were there a lot of pasta and fruit salad sentences in there?” Erin pointed at the laptop. Andrew mused over his learning session.

“Well, there was a lot of cake and pizza, now that I think of it. But I can’t seem to remember there being any fruit salad. I did have some pasta sentences, though,” Erin grinned.

“How did you like the sentences about vampires?” Duolingo had added sentences to all their courses to cater to non-humans. Which, Erin thought, was nice of them.

“The vampire doesn’t eat the pasta; he gives the pasta to Nico and Nico gives him blood?” Asked Andrew, and Erin nodded.

“It was tricky, seeing as it had a couple of cases in it. But, I got it on the first try,” Erin clapped Andrew on the back, and they went out of the kitchen.

“You will be speaking Italian in three months,” said Erin, sure of his words. “And I, in a year.”

“Maybe if you didn’t take so many breaks, you would be making the same among of progress,” Erin grinned bashfully. His brakes consisted of watching podcasts. Which, he had to lower the level of. Andrew had not let him turn on the subtitles, and he couldn’t understand most of what was being said.

“I need my breaks or my brain will melt, and that owl Duo will come to drink it up,” Andrew giggled, and he picked up his coat.

“Daphne and Adam are leaving tomorrow evening. Do you want to see them in the afternoon? Maybe we can all go to an art gallery or the movie theater?” Suggested Andrew. The Hawk family were more nomadic than Andrew and Erin and didn’t stay in a single place for too long.

Andrew supposed that, with how many cases Adam had behind him, he had many enemies. So, it only made sense for him to take his wife and move from place to place.

“Or we can go and take them out for some ice cream in the park. Gelato,” said Erin with a smirk, and Andrew raised an eyebrow.

“A family picnic, then? That sounds impressive. But, maybe we should take them to Safari Ravenna? We can still eat ice cream there, and we will be helping the animals by visiting,” Erin nodded. Yes, the zoo sounded nice as well.

And, when they were tired of Duolingo, they might take their new bikes and go to the bike park, where Erin could continue to teach Andrew how to ride a bike.

Andrew had the bad habit of swaying to one side dangerously every time he tried to stop. Erin was trying to stop him from doing so, but Andrew simply got panicked every time it was time to stop.   

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