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Find Your Voice

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I glanced down at my cellphone only to once again be met with the same throb of irritation in my head. Pocketing my phone, I rubbed my eyes with my pointer finger and thumb and released a heavy sigh. Where the hell was he? The last thing I wanted this day of all days was to stand out in the blistering August sun waiting for my supposed friend to arrive. Although I guess I can't blame it all on him considering if I wasn't such a cowered I would have just waiting inside of the school building. I was never a very social person so starting a new school all by myself was at the top of the list of things I never wanted to do, but here I was. The only decent thing about the move was that I now lived closer to my pen pal Danny and we would be going to the same college. Although him being late for our first official flesh and blood meeting was making me rethink that.
My eyes glided over the same piece of paper I'd been memorizing for the past couple weeks. None of the teacher's names meant anything to me since I'd never had them before. I had no foreknowledge of which ones were considered alright and which ones pretty much hated students. We'd had a few of them at my old school so I knew they existed, but didn't have a clue of who they were here. I'd have to remember to ask Danny when he finally decided to join me. Taking another deep breath, I folded it back into my jean pocket before glancing at the building in question. It was a large brick building that was surprising more ordinary then I would have expected for such a large seaside town.
“Need some help?” the sound of a voice made me jump out of my thoughts and I twisted around to see a man with oil black hair, covered by a red knit hat, and baby blue eyes gazing at me filled with curiosity. He wore a red hoodie slightly unzipped to reveal it to be covering a simple white shirt. For pants her wore a pair of worn blue jeans ending in white and red new looking sneakers. My eyes roamed back up higher and I saw the guy had a small goatee on his chin and light caramel tanned skin.
“I'm just waiting for someone.” I finally replied once again looking around with hope that I might see my so called best friend.
“You wouldn't happen to be a tad bit lost, would you?” The guy questioned with a bright smile full of perfect white teeth that only seemed to grow wider by the second.
“What gave it away? My obvious look of being lost or the fact that I'm standing in this heat like an idiot instead of being inside with a full blasting AC?” The other laughed at my obvious irritated frown before coming closer with an outstretched hand.
“Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Chip.” I took the hand offered to me and smiled grateful that the first person I met here wasn't an asshole.
“So, who are you waiting for?” Chip asked as soon as our hands fell away from each other.
“A friend I met online a few years back. His names Danny Fenton. We had agreed that I would be staying with him in his dorm since we're going to the same college.” A chuckle caused me to pause and raise my eyebrow in question at the other man. “What's so funny?”
“Hate to break it to you, but your roommate is always late. Danny never seems to be on time for anything so it's best to head in by yourself.” Chip once again laughed at my probably obvious look of annoyance.
“You have got to be kidding me.” What was I going to do know? I had no idea where any of my classes were, no friends to help and now I find out my new roommate is a procrastinating asshole. The sound of humming drew my attention away from my mental swearing back to the guy named Chip.
“What's your first class?” I dug my scheduled back out from my pants and placed it into Chips outstretched hand, amused to see him pull a pair of reading glasses out from under his sock hat. He slipped the purple rimmed circular spectacles up his nose before studying the piece of paper for a moment. Another full tooth smile lit up his face, which I was beginning to thing was a normal thing for him, before he handed the schedule back.
“Looks like we have the first class together. I'll be glad to show you where they are.” The smile growing on my face from the offer was a welcoming feeling after such a discouraging morning. Out of habit, I lifted my hand up to cover my braces. It was hard to believe I was lucky enough to run into such a nice guy during my first day of college. Hopefully this was a good omen for the rest of my stay here.
“That would be awesome.” I sighed before picking my magenta backpack from off the sidewalk and sliding it back onto my shoulder. Another cheery sound of humming came from the other as he removed his glasses and carefully slipped them back under his cap. We started making our way passed the rather large stone wall bordering the school up the cement path to the front entrance of the building. Taking a closer look, I now saw that the grounds were nice to look at. Every direction you turned was filled with lush freshly cut grass and a range of colorful flowers and trees. Halfway up the path leading the college was a particularly eye-catching fountain in the shape of two snakes coiling around each other trying to dive into the water below. Passed this was a set of stone steps, plus a wheelchair ramp, that led up to the front doors. I followed Chip past all these wonders to finally enter the place I would be spending the next four years of my life at. The front hall echoed with our footsteps, as we walked passed the front office and a set of bathrooms. It seemed strangely more deserted then I would imagine a collage campus to be. All the while my escort kept humming the same tune over and over. I couldn't quite catch if the song was familiar or not.
“So, our first class is with Mrs. Thimble.” His sudden words made me jump, but I quickly composed myself to listen. “Don't worry, she's super nice and usually doesn't assign too much homework over the year.” Well at least that was one less teacher to worry about for now.
“She teaches Algebra, right?” I guessed trying to see if my hours of memorization paid off.
“Yep, also couches the woman's soccer team.” Chip added stopping in front of a classroom door labeled with a number 12. The door was pushed open to reveal a rather spacious room that had several rows of wooden desks that went downhill to reach a center desk set before a large marker board. Several students were already peppered around the room seeming to be either doodling in notebooks or rummaging through their bags. The sight of a familiar head of violet pigtails in the front row almost had me running down there in glee.
“Tootie!” at the sound of my call my old friend turned to face me and a both relieved a happy grin stretched across her purple lipstick. She, unlike me, did run out of her seat to catch my body in a rib crushing hug.
“Timmy, I'm so glad to see we're in a class together.” she gushed after we finally parted.
“I didn't even know you were going to this school.” Her cheeks turned a soft pink at my reply.
“Surprise.” There was no way I could be mad at her for keeping this a secret when I was just so glad to know I wasn't going to be a total stranger to everyone in the school. Remembering that I hadn't come in alone, I turned back to find that Chip and moved to the other side of the room and was already seated near the back. “Come sit next to me and we can catch up.”
“Sounds good.” I responded finally turning away from the nice guy I'd just met. Maybe he preferred sitting alone during class? Tootie led me back to where she had been sitting earlier and I took a seat to her right, setting my bag on the floor by my feet.
“So, where's this pen pal you were supposed to meet this morning.” Tootie asked and I groaned from being reminded.
“Was he that bad?”
“He didn't show up. I waited for almost twenty minutes and nothing. Then I find out that he's one of those people that is always late.” her sympathetic look almost made me feel worse about what happened.
“Who told you that?” I turned my gaze back over to Chip who was now grabbing a pencil and notebook from his red backpack. I also noted that he once again had his reading glasses back on.
“That guy over there. We ran into each other at the front gate and he offered to help me find my class.” when I didn't receive a response from my gregarious friend I turned back to face her in slight concern. It was hard to tell whether I should be confused or laughing my ass off at the over the top expression of shock she was wearing. Waving a hand in front of her face didn't seem to snap her out of it either. “Should I be worried by the way your acting?”
“That's the guy who walked you to your class? The one in the red hoodie?”
“Yes...” I trailed off and this finally caused Tootie to grab the front of my magenta shirt to pull me closer.
“Do you know who that is!?”
“A friendly passerby?” she was not impressed with my guess.
“That's Chip Skylark!” At my questioning look she gave a deep sigh brimming with frustration. “He's only one of the most popular singers in the word right now.”
“Are you serious? Why would a famous idol be going to such a common collage?” I pondered sneaking another glace to the person in question. From what I could see it looked like he was humming to himself again.
“Something to do with him being on a break, but honestly who cares! You got to talk with Chip Fucking Skylark! What was he like? Is his talking voice as perfect as his singing voice?”
“He was nice. Just a normal kind person and as for his voice I wasn't really paying attention to unimportant stuff like that. Plus, I don't think I've ever heard him sing so I wouldn't know.” My best friend didn't look very pleased with my uninformed answers and a pout formed on her lips.
“You're the worst at girl talk Timmy. By the way, you have heard him sing before. Remember when we used to sing his song My Shiny Teeth and Me for hours whenever you stayed at my house?”
“That ear-worm was sung by him? Oh my god that used to get stuck in my head for months. My Aunt and Uncle almost drove me out of the house.” Tootie laughed at my gloomy expression before patting me on the back.
“You and every other pre-teen at the time. Don't worry he sings a lot more variety now-a-days. He even sang a duet with Ember McClain a few months ago. I have it as my ring tone.”
“Aren't you into heavy metal now? It's surprising you're still listening to him.” I pointed out, which only gave me a shrug in response.
“What can I say, you can't outgrow nostalgia. It also doesn't hurt that he's only gotten better looking with age.” We both smiled at each other before the shrill ring of the bell echoed through the room startling both off us to attention. Some women had claimed her spot in the front of the class while I hadn't been paying attention. She was maybe in her late thirties with strawberry blond hair tight back neatly into a bun and deep hazel eyes. Her nose and cheeks were surrounded with freckles and stopped just above her pink glossed lips. She wore a simple light blue blouse over a knee length matching skirt with a pair of common pastel pink heels covering her feet.
“Good Morning Class, my name is Mrs. Thimble.” she greeted writing her name on the marker board behind. “I'm so happy to see so many new faces this year and I hope we can get along for the next four years.” I was happy to see that Chip had been telling the truth about this teacher. She seemed like someone easy to get along with.
“Since it's the first day I'd like to start off with something easy to help warm you up.”

“It could have been worse.” The glare I sent in Tootie's direction quickly silenced her argument. “Come on Timmy, it wasn't that bad.” she urged as we made our way up the classroom behind a long line of students who were having their own hushed conversations.
“As if math wasn't hard enough, they just had to add letters too. There's no way I'm going to pass that class.”
“Why did you sign up for it then?” at her question I rubbed my eyes tiredly.
“My Aunt knows how bad I am at the subject so she told me I had to take at least one math class this year.” I frowned thinking back on the argument that had started.
“Well if you ever need help I'm always available.” Tootie offered patting my back and I couldn't help but smile in thanks at my best friend. We finally made it to hallway.
“What's your next class?” I turned back to my friend and she was waiting for my reply with hope in her voice.
“Philosophy.” I grumbled unhappily, leaning against a set of lockers. “What the odds of both my least favorite classes being right after one......what's going on over there?” Both Tootie and I turned our attention to a suddenly growing crowd blocking up the hallway to the right. Whatever was going on it had so many girls screaming that I was starting to get a headache. Turning back to Tootie, I saw that my best friend was smiling with a knowing look on her face.
“What's going on is that no one else in the school is as clueless as you.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” she only ignored my confusion before pointing to the center of the excited group. I followed her gaze and managed to catch a glimpse of a familiar looking red beanie. Oh, so that was it. A hand grabbing my arm pulled my attention away from Chip Skylark's fan mob.
“We should leave before a frenzy breaks out. Trust me I know how scary women can be when their idol is in front of them.” Tootie urged as we scurried away down the opposite hall. Only escaping the noise when we exited the building. I breathe a sigh of relief at the welcomed silence, but not the return of the blistering heat, as we continued across the grounds to the other end of the campus. A large sign was located a little way before we reached the entrance and it was a map showing the whole school and the location of the courses. I hurried over and located my next class after a minute of looking.
“Looks like we are in totally different buildings for our next classes.” Tootie pointed out and I frowned at the prospect of going separate ways from my only friend here. “we have an hour before they start though so why don't we hang out until then.” I agreed with her idea and we both entered the closest building to get out of the heat. As soon as we were both seated on a bench between a water fountain and a single bathroom, I took the opportunity to check my cellphone to make sure no one had texted me during class. It seemed that my pen pal Danny had wrote me an apology for not catching me before school started and that he would like to meet up sometime between classes. I replied that there were no hard feelings and that I would be glad to meet him if he told me where he was. Not a minute later I received a response and saw that he was only a short ways away from where Tootie and I were now. I old Danny this and then set my phone back in my pocket.
“Who are you talking to?”
“Danny, he's going to meet us.” I informed and Tootie looked positively excited at the prospect at meeting someone new. It was only a short while after that a boy rounded the corner a few feet away. It was the same black hair and blue eyes I'd grown so used to over the years, but had only seen in photos up until now. A grin reached my face as Danny quickly made his way over to us, almost losing his loose fit jeans in the process.
“Timmy, I am so sorry about this morning. Something urgent came up and it caused me to run late.” was the first thing he said panting out of breath as if he'd run all the way here, which maybe he had.
“Well that's one way to greet someone during your first meeting. I hope it was nothing bad that kept you.” At the lack of anger in my voice Danny also broke out into a smile before shaking my hand firmly.
“No, it was just some business I had to deal with. It's good to finally meet you face to face. I prefer talking to a person than a computer screen.”
“I agree. By the way, you remember Tootie right? She joined me sometimes when we video chatted.” I gestured to my friend who was still seated beside me.
“How could I forget someone who has almost the same fashion sense as my girlfriend. You remember Sam?” At this Tootie perked up in excitement.
“You mean the goth girl? She was so much fun to talk to, but I must tell you that our looks are completely different. I'm a school girl goth while she's more of a techno goth.” Danny and I both gave her looks of confusion before turning back to each other.
“How is Sam doing? Does she go here too?”
“She does, but her classes are later in the day since she is definitely not a morning person. We should see her around lunch time.” The way my friends face lit up at the mention of Sam's name was proof enough how much the two cared for each other. It made me wish I had some one in my life too. “So, are you two dating?” Both Tootie and I laughed at his accusation.
“We've been best friends since middle school and never once have we dated.” Tootie explained.
“Not to mention if I ever did her boyfriend would beat the living shit out of me.” At this she pouted as if I'd insulted him.
“AJ would never do that. You two are so brotherly acting it's sickening sometimes.” I couldn't help but chuckle at her unpleasant expression before bumping her shoulder with mine.
“You know you love me.”
“One of my biggest mistakes in life.” she replied, but there was no malice in her words.
“Could have fooled me. Anyway, could you tell me what all the commotion is on the other side of the campus. It looks like a riot is about to start, or Ember is giving a surprise concerts at schools again.” Tootie was all but happy to explain what was going on to Danny.
“Chip Skylark is going to school here! Isn't that amazing!?”
“Chip Skylark? Here? Well that would definitely explain it.” he replied before looking as if he was thinking about something.
“Am I seriously the only one who didn't know who he was?” Tootie gave me a pitying look, which caused me to cross my arms and sulk.
“Dude, do you live under a rock. How did you not know who Chip Skylark is? He's one of the most popular celebrities right now, next to Ember McClain and Brittney Brittney. You do know who they are right?”
“Of course I know who Ember McClain is! She's one of the only things I listen to for music.” I knew I was blushing at my lack of knowledge about what was currently in right now Could I help it if I preferred to read comics and draw rather than listen to some of the trashy modern music that was out now.
“Only Ember huh? That's pretty sad Timmy.” Danny chuckled, causing me to scowl in anger at his teasing.
“It doesn't matter anymore. All that does matter is that we have an actual celebrity going to school with us. Could this be any more amazing?” Tootie interrupted, trying to clear the air. Taking a deep breath to calm myself, I looked down at my phone and saw that we had twenty minutes to get to our next class.
“We should head to our next classes.” At my suggestion, the other two looked at their own mobile devices before picking up their purple and neon green bags simultaneously. The three of us walked outside together before splitting up to go to different parts of the college. I found my classroom with ten minutes to spare, so I took a seat in the center desks before my phone began to vibrate.
'Meet up for lunch at end of class. Go to garden in the center of the school.' I replied an agreement to Danny and then one to Tootie before slipping my phone back into the side pocket of my jeans. It was nice knowing that I had some friends to hang out with during school hours. Now if only I could get rid of math.