John is in his third year of college, and he can't wait for it to be over.
He's already twenty-five, since he didn't start school until a few years ago. That was because Alexander encouraged him to do so, saying that he was too smart to let his gifts go to waste. John has never been entirely sure what gifts Alexander is referring to, but he applied, got accepted, and started taking classes at the school down the road anyway.
He went in as an undecided major, but now it looks like he'll be getting a degree in Liberal Arts. For this, one of the classes he's been taking is in Psychology. John has no interest in that, but it's important, and it's also what his other roommate, Gilbert, majored in. Gilbert insisted it was fun and convinced John to take it. He finds it enormously difficult to say no to anything Gil requests that he do, so of course he agreed and signed up for the course.
Gilbert and John met before either of them went to college, in fact - he was an exchange student who lived with John's family for a while. They parted ways at the end of high school when Gilbert went back to France, and they both went on with their lives, keeping in touch occasionally through text messaging. Gil's leaving had been harder on John than he let show - they'd become so close, and letting go of quite possibly the only person he'd ever loved took it's toll on him. At college the next year, he searched everywhere to try to find someone like Gil to fill up the emptiness in him. And that was how he met Alexander.
Actually Alexander is nothing like Gilbert, and never has been. In a way, though, that was what drew John to him in the first place - he was so unlike anyone John ever knew before. Outspoken, fiery, both passionate and compassionate, Alexander struck a chord in him and since then he hasn't been the same.
Alexander graduated from college the same year that he met John and eventually needed to move into an apartment while he finished law school. John offered to split the rent, so they rented an apartment together. One day when Alexander was on his way to classes, he ran across a college junior who asked for directions and they became friends. John heard a lot of talk about this mysterious junior, all of which he never really paid much mind to. Until Alexander mentioned that the guy was a French immigrant. Then John had started paying attention.
Sure enough, it was Gilbert. After all these years, John and Gil were together again - and Alexander loved them both as well.
Rent went up and Gilbert moved in with them.
The rest is history.
John has never been happier in his entire life than now, getting to share it with these two amazing people. Every day all he thinks about how he doesn't deserve them and then, knowing that they love him anyway, feels even happier. They all speak French. They're all smart and ambitious and play perfectly off of each other. When they're apart they fill each other's inboxes with long emails that could be called love letters. When they're together again they celebrate as though they haven't seen each other in years.
Today he sits at the kitchen table doing one of the psychology assignments from his professor. She's obsessed with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and John finds this hilarious. He's not entirely sure why. Maybe the idea that a person needs safety before they need people who love them is so laughable to him that the whole thing has become a joke in his mind.
Alexander is sitting across from him reading over yet another five hundred page law tome. He's going to be an amazing lawyer one day, and has promised to make enough money to move them out of this small apartment and further north in the city, to the classy penthouses that go for a couple hundred thousand a year. John wouldn't mind living in such a place, but as long as he has Alexander and Gil, he could honestly live anywhere and be satisfied.
He glances over at John from the top of his book and smiles, winking before lowering his eyes down to the pages again. John lets a smile play across his lips in return as he keeps doodling on his paper. He's been making mockeries of the Hierarchy of Needs based on people he knows, such as: "Hierarchy of Needs of the Guy Who Bagged My Groceries Today. Air/food/water, money, stiff polo shirts, deodorant." Or, "Hierarchy of Needs of my Psych Professor. Students to annoy, Air/Food/Water, Red Lipstick/Eyeliner." Maybe it's a little childish or even a little mean, but it's fun so he keeps doing it.
The door swings open and Gil flies in bemoaning the hot spring days of New York and unslinging the jacket he made the mistake of wearing because the morning was cool. He sweeps over to John, and then to Alexander, kissing each of them in turn on both cheeks, before tossing the jacket onto a chair and dancing over to the fridge to get some much needed cold water. Cup in hand, he tumbles into a chair next to Alexander and pushes the glasses up on Alexander's nose where they were starting to slip down. Then he moves his chair over next to John's to study what he is doing.
For some reason, an idea comes to John's mind. He pulls out a fresh sheet of paper, scrawls a quick triangle onto it, and divides it up into sections. Gilbert watches curiously and then starts giggling as John fills the sections in. Alexander looks up, and John slides the paper over to him.
Alexander Hamilton's Hierarchy of Needs
Third: John and Gilbert
Alexander rolls his eyes as he reads this, flips the paper over, and starts writing something. John and Gil glance at each other. A moment later Alexander passes the paper back.
Alexander Hamilton's Hierarchy of Needs
First: John and Gilbert
Second: Everything else.