"Alfred, do you think you can do me a favor?" you asked softly after you opened the door to America's room and walked inside, finding him lying on the bed, propped up into a sitting position against the wall, reading a book.
At the sound of your voice and your entry, America lifted his head to look up at you. "Yes, _____?"
You approached his bed and sat down on the edge of it so that you were directly next to him, and your gaze was filled with seriousness and a bit of uncertainly as it met his. "Well, I didn't tell you this ahead of time much, but tomorrow I have to go to a meeting, and—"
"Am I going with you?" America interrupted as he gazed at you with excitement and eagerness filling his eyes.
"Well, see, the thing is," you continued, raising your hand in his direction, "I want to see how well you can handle living on your own, so I'm leaving you here by yourself while I go to the meeting." America was about to open his mouth and protest, but you only continued. "I know you're probably not going to want this, but this is for your own good as well as mine. I think I taught you enough for you to understand how to prepare yourself food as well as clean the house and do other chores. I have a list of things I need you to do while I'm at the meeting, and if you complete all of them, then I'll let you go out and live on your own. Got it?"
America's face filled with a bit of disappointment before he lowered his gaze and muttered, "Got it."
You looked down to meet the expression on his face and frowned. "Hey, this has to be done. You're a grown man, and you should've already been capable of doing these things on your own. You don't really expect to live with me forever, do you?"
America was silent for a few moments before he let out a sigh and shook his head. "No, _____."
You nodded, a small smile coming to your face. "Good. I'm going to leave early tomorrow morning and I'll be gone for a few days. When you go to the kitchen to prepare your breakfast, I'm going to leave the list of things you need to do while I'm out on the counter, okay?"
"Okay," America mumbled.
"Great," you said with a bit of relief before you stood up and began to head towards the door. "Thank you, Alfred."
America stared down at the note he held in his hand, a bit of a puzzled and reluctant expression on his face as he examined what was written on it.
—Go to the nearest supermarket and restock the fridge; there's a list of the things you need to buy on the dresser in my room
—Finish cleaning up any leftover snow in the front yard
—Do the laundry and iron what's needed afterwards
—Vacuum the house
It wasn't a lot, but it already seemed like a lot. Even though America knew you were expecting him to have all of this completed within the course of a few days, the truth was that he actually didn't want to leave your house and go out and live on his own. He knew for sure that he would've been lonely being by himself all the time, and then what would've happened? He certainly wouldn't have been allowed to go to meetings, since he wasn't part of the group of people that represented countries. So once you send him off on his own, was there really a chance he might've never seen you again?
America quickly shook his head. No, you would've visited often, right? But he probably never would've seen Mr. Kirkland or any of those other people he didn't remember well again. There was also that guy who gave him glasses when he first opened his eyes in the hospital, but America hardly remembered him.
All he cared about was whether living on his own meant he would've ever seen you again. He didn't want to lose the wonderful feeling of waking up and knowing that you were already in the same house as him. Even if you did visit often after he lived on his own, it never would've been the same as these past few months.
America sighed. He couldn't have lied to you. He knew that you knew that he knew how to do all of these things on the list, and not doing them just because he still wanted to live with you would've made you mad. But how was he able to explain all of that to you?
It seems that at this point, he didn't have a choice.
As soon as you stepped off the elevator that took you to the floor where the meeting was going to be held, you saw a woman about your age standing against the wall, furiously scribbling down notes with a serious expression on her face. She had light brown hair, though you weren't able to see her eye color, and she was dressed in a very professional outfit. You wondered what she was doing here.
"Hey," you said softly before you walked up to the girl. "Who are you?"
The girl lifted her head to look at you, and that was when you saw that she had light blue eyes, almost exactly identical to America's. She smiled before she put the pen she was holding behind her ear and crossed her arms. "I'm the new representative for the United States of America," she said formally, though you were able to notice a bit of excitement in her voice. As you looked at her in confusion, she continued. "I got a call from somebody here a couple of weeks ago saying they needed a representative, and it looks like they picked me."
She extended her hand for you to shake, but you only stared down at it in befuddlement. "If you want to call me by my human name, you can just call me Sophie."
You lifted your gaze to look at her and frowned. "So you actually expect me to call you America?"
Sophie put her hands on her hips and sighed before she rolled her eyes. "Well, everybody else here calls each other by the country they represent, so it would make sense if you do the same to me, right?" She looked at you and narrowed her eyes. "So are you going to shake my hand or what?"
"O-Oh, sure..." you muttered before Sophie extended her hand and you reluctantly shook it. "W-Well, it was nice meeting you, er...Sophie." With that, you turned away from her and walked down the hallway towards the meeting room.
"That's 'America' to you!" she called back to you.
No, you thought as you mentally grimaced. I'll never be able to call anyone else America except for Alfred, and I can't even do that in front of him.
When you opened the door and stepped inside your house, you walked over to the living room and instantly found that everything was absolutely clean, a bit sparkling, even. You found America sitting on the couch watching TV, and you smiled before you walked up to him.
"Hi, Alfred," you said. "How did everything go?"
America lifted his gaze to look up at you. "Oh, it went along pretty well."
"Did you do everything on the list?"
He nodded before he turned his gaze back to the TV, trying hard not to let disappointment show on his face. "So how did the meeting go?"
You let out an exhausted sigh before you sat down on the couch next to America. "There's already a representative for America, and it's this person named Sophie. So this only proves that you're wrong about what you asked me earlier about me calling you America accidentally."
America nodded in understanding. "Oh, okay, then."
A few moments passed in silence before he reached out to grasp the remote placed on the coffee table and turned off the TV. After that, a long stretch of silence followed, and you found yourself fiddling with your fingers.
"So," America began quietly, "are you going to send me off on my own, or what?"
You sighed. "Well, first I have to take you to your home. It's already planned out for you, so you don't need to worry about paying and all that stuff. I'll help you pack your things, and once we arrive I need to do a couple of stuff there before I'll let you live on your own, okay?"
America nodded and turned his head away from you so you wouldn't have seen the disappointment and sadness on his face. "Okay. So are we going to start now?"
"Yes," you said as you stood up. You were actually thankful that America was going to leave and you wouldn't have been affected by all those memories. But a small part of you was going to miss him. He was able to get you out of some of the loneliness of living by yourself, though he never would've helped you get rid of the loneliness of him losing his memory.