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Chapter 1



Steve’s hands tremble as he holds the envelope in his hands. He looks it all over for the fifth time. His name and address, and then up in the return address: Winston College, WV. He had been researching colleges for a while with his closest friends, and they have all decided on the same place. Winston. As far as Steve knew, he was the first one to get the letter. The others who applied were Jeff, Ron, Josh, Evan, Jenn, Matt and Colleen.


Jeff was Steve’s best friend. They’ve gone through everything together, good and bad. Jeff’s family life was pretty rough, and he often looked to Steve for solace, and Steve was always there to give it to him.


Ron was Steve‘s… acquaintance. Jeff and Ron still got along very well, but Steve and Ron were having a bit of a fall out. Steve knew what caused it, and yet he feels now sorrow, no remorse. Steve’s bi. Ron just needs to get the stick out of his ass and accept that.


Josh was another good friend of Steve’s, and his biggest pleasure always appeared to be quizzing Steve on his sexuality. Steve didn’t mind though, it gave them something to do together at least. Josh has a little brother, Aaron, but he still has another year of high school to go through.


Evan was Steve’s one true love. However, Evan is completely straight and could never return his feelings. Evan knows however, and he claims to be completely fine with that, although Steve wonders otherwise. As much as Steve knows he has to move on, he can’t. Evan also has a little brother, Nate, who is in the same grade as Aaron.


Jenn was Jeff’s girlfriend, and both Steve and Ron’s ex. She lived in Connecticut, but was hoping to get into Winston in order to be with Jeff and Steve. She didn’t care much about Ron. She was happy with Jeff, and Jeff was never happier than when he was with her. In fact, Steve broke up with her in order that Jeff could be happy.


Matt was a friend of Steve and Jeff, and in Steve’s mind, he took Ron’s place once they started fighting. They didn’t spend a whole lot of time together, but the concerts and party’s they went together were a blast.


Finally, Colleen. Colleen is a bit of a sex/drug addict, but she is really a sweet girl. She has been dating Sam, a kid in their grade, for nearly two years. Sam was undecided about college, and it was killing Colleen to leave without him.


Steve tried to open the envelope, but forced himself to stop. He had a promise to fulfill first. He grabbed the phone and dialed Jeff’s number from memory, listening and counting the individual rings.


“Hello?” Jeff’s mom answers in the middle of the fourth ring.


“Hi, it’s Steve, is Jeff there?”


“Did you get it?” Jeff’s mom asked.


Steve nodded, then realized she can’t see him. “Yes.”


“Jeff! Phone.”


“Hello?”


“Jeff, I’m scared.”


“You have it?” Jeff nearly screamed.


“Yes!”


Jeff didn’t respond, but instead dropped the phone. Steve could nearly see Jeff running out to his mailbox, desperately hoping that he has the same letter Steve got. Steve waiting, patiently… no, nearly jumping up in down with anticipation. After what felt like a lifetime, Jeff returns to the phone.


“Yeah.” Was all Jeff needed to say. He had the letter.


“I‘m scared.”


“What are you scared for? You have the grades and the money. I‘m the one who should be scared.” Jeff said, nearly angry. Steve had received a 1310 on his SATs.


“Count of three.”


“1.”


“2.”


“3!” Both Jeff and Steve ripped the envelope open at the same time, and both scanned the front page, reading only every third word. Steve exhaled heavily, feeling very relived. He had been accepted. With honors. He let out a nervous laugh.


“You’re right Jeff, we had nothing to worry abo---”


“They turned me down.” Jeff said with a hint of sadness in his voice.


“What? No…”


“Yeah. Well, have fun. I’m gonna go…”


“No, Jeff. This college isn’t that important to me. We can… we’ll wait until we find another that will take us both.”


“No. You want to go to Winston and I can’t blame you.”


Steve opened his mouth to respond when he heard a little snicker. “Wait… JEFF YOU BASTARD!”


Jeff burst out laughing. “I’M IN!”


“Meet me at Maggie D’s! 15 minutes. My treat!” Steve hung up the phone and ran out to his car, a crappy ‘89 Deuce Coupe. Steve wasn’t thrilled to be driving it, but it got him where he needed to go, and quickly. His dad promised him a newer, better car, for a going to college gift. Steve just had to stop by Florida to pick it up, which wouldn’t be that easy.


Angela, a waitress at Maggie D’s, gave Steve a puzzled look when he walked in. Steve explained that he wasn’t here to work and showed her the letter. She gave him a hug, then ran off to get him his drink, a cherry coke, and a root beer for Jeff.


Steve glanced around the little diner. From working there, he recognized most of the usual customers. The smiled and waved a couple of them, and then his eyes wandered over to the table in the back corner.


“Oh great.” Steve thought. Ron was back there along with some girl that Steve didn’t recognize. Ron didn’t seem to see him yet, and Steve hoped he wouldn’t, although he knew that Jeff would go and talk to him when he got here. Angela came and gave Steve his drink.


“Hey Angel, see the guy at table 17?”


She looked and nodded.


“Spit in his food for me, will you?”


“Of course.” She said with a laugh and ran back to the kitchen.


Jeff walked in, five minutes late, apologizing. He had to call Jenn and talk to her. She got in too, much to her surprise. After a bit of chatting, Jeff noticed Ron in the back corner, and excused himself to go talk to him. Steve considered asking Angela to spit in Jeff’s food also, but decided against it.


The food came while Jeff was still talking, and Steve started eating without him. He stole a couple of Jeff’s fries while he was gone too. He reached over to grab another handful when Jeff slapped his hand.


“You know I don’t share food.” He said jokingly.


“Yeah yeah. So, Ron in?”


“Left the house before the mail got there. And, since I know your wondering, that’s his cousin.”


Steve grinned. “I’m sure that doesn’t surprise anyone.”


After the food was gone, Angela insisted that they do not pay, and even gave them some pie, also on the house. Jeff asked as they were leaving, “You came here just since you knew you’d get free food, right?”


Steve smirked. “My treat, right?”



Jeff came back to Steve’s house with him after they ate, and they were messing around on the computer when an instant message from Matt popped up. He was typing in all caps, screaming at them, that he had gotten in also. Jeff’s cell phone rang, and he walked out of the room, answering it, when Steve noticed Andrew sign on.


Stewie: Hey.


Andrew: w3rd.


Stewie: I got into Winston.


Andrew: Sweet.


Stewie: Have you heard back from any of your colleges yet?


Andrew: So far no word. I’m sure they’re just too busy fighting over me.


Stewie: That must be it.


Andrew: I’m heading over to Mark’s. Talk to you later.


Stewie: See you.


Steve got up from the computer and walked out to his living room as Jeff was hanging up his cell phone. “Ron’s in.”


Steve couldn’t tell if he was glad or angry at this, but didn’t let it show. He simply smiled and said, “Good. Our band can continue this way.”


Four of the seven have made it. Steve couldn’t help but wondering about the other three. He tried to call all of them, but none of them were home and their parents either didn’t know, or weren’t saying. Steve knew he’d find out sooner or later though, and hoped for the best.

Chapter 2



Steve woke up the next morning with a nasty headache, not remembering a thing from yesterday. He just laid in bed, eyes closed, as everything came back to him. Getting his acceptance letter, going out to eat with Jeff, talking to Andrew… Andrew acted weird last night. That was as much as he could remember. He didn’t know what they did after that, or even if Jeff went home. Steve finally opened his eyes, and looked around the room.


“Jeff?”


Steve jumped out of bed, grabbed a pair of pants and walked around the house looking. Every room turned out empty, but Jeff’s motorcycle was still sitting in the driveway. Steve shuffled back to his room and took his away message off from last night. He had a message from Alex and Maurizio. Alex said he was going to Miami University, with Sara, and Maurizio didn’t mention colleges at all. Neither of them was online still. His eyes scanned his buddy list. Brandon and Tristen were both on, with aways up. Steve put an away back up, and went in to take a shower.


Half-way through the shower, Steve yelled in recognition. He gave Jeff a ride home last night, his motorcycle wouldn’t start! Why was he having such a hard time remembering that though?


Steve heard his phone ringing and jumped out of the shower, drying his hands off, and picked up the phone.


“Hello?”


“Hey Steve.” Colleen said, very groggily. She probably had a nasty hangover.


“Good morning.”


“It‘s morning? I haven‘t gone to sleep yet. Ugh. Anyway, I just got home and my mom said you called.”


“Right, do you have your Winston letter?”


Colleen hesitated. “Well, yes…”


“And!?”


“I‘m not going.”


Steve nearly dropped the phone. Jeff joked about it, but he knew that Colleen wouldn‘t do something like that. “Why?”


“They don‘t want me.”


“But… your SAT scores…”


“I lied to you about my SAT scores Steve. I didn‘t want you to feel sorry for me, and before you ask, I still don‘t want you to feel sorry for me, so I‘m not telling.”


“Oh, Colleen…”


“Don‘t worry about it . I‘ll spend the year with Sam, we‘ll work, earn money, I‘ll retake the SATs, we‘ll join you next year. Okay?”


“I‘m going to miss you.”


“Oh, everyone will miss me.” Colleen says with a laugh. “I‘m going to bed now. Goodnight!”



Steve hangs up the phone sadly, then picks it back up to call Jeff and let him know. The machine picked up, and Steve went to hang up when Carlee, Jeff’s sister, answered it quickly.


“Hello?”


“Hi, is Jeff there?”


“No, he went up to Ron’s late last night.”


Steve nearly laughed. Of course. “Okay, thank you.”


Steve hung the phone up, once again, sadly, and just stood there for a few seconds. He slowly dried himself off, and then called Matt up. He wasn’t just going to sit around all day being bored, screw that. He went over to Matt’s house, and didn’t come home until late that night.



Jeff woke up at Ron’s house to find Ron’s room empty. Ron was downstairs, trying once again, in vain, to try to get the parental block off his computer before his parents got home. Ron’s dad was a computer genius though, and Ron… wasn’t, so he wasn’t having much luck.


Jeff sat down next to Ron. Ron glanced up at him and grinned. “I think I got it.” He makes a view keystrokes, and sits back, happily when a video of his dad popped up.


“And what do you think your doing?”


Ron’s mouth opened wide and he gaped at the computer. “How’d he do that?”


Jeff chuckled and just sat next to Ron for a while, watching him trying to find a way around. He wanted to bring up Steve, but he didn’t want to make Ron made. He was tired of sitting back and just watching their friendship dissolve though. He was closer with Steve than before, but, in his mind, it wasn’t the same at Ron’s house without Steve there. Jeff took a deep breath and opened his mouth to talk.


“Hey Ron?”


“Yeah?”


“…I’m going to go play Playstation.”


Jeff walked up stairs, angrily. Why couldn’t he bring himself to help his friends out? He thought it would bug him, but after a few minutes of playing Lord of the Rings video games, he felt much calmer.



Josh woke up to the sudden shock of cold water being dumped on his face. He sat up in bed, gurgling and spitting. He wipes his eyes and looks up at Evan’s beaming face. Josh couldn’t blame Steve for being attracted to that face.


“You ass.” Josh said, sitting up, sleepily.
.

“It’s one in the afternoon. That’s… well, actually pretty early, but if I had to get up so do you.”


Evan throws an envelope on Josh’s lap. “What’s this?” Josh asked.


“Your acceptance letter. Sorry, but I read it. It was tormenting me.


Josh scans the document quickly and grins. “Awesome. Who else is in?”


“So far all I know of is you and me. I’ve been trying to get a hold of Steve or Jeff but neither of them are home.”


Josh and Evan spent the day together, playing their guitar and bass, before Evan had to get home to let his parents know he got in.



“Thanks for letting me come over, Matt. I really didn’t want to spend the day alone.”


“No problem. Feel free to come over whenever Jeff ditches you.”


Steve was half in his car, and Matt was sitting on his porch next to it. Steve really didn’t feel like leaving. His parents were out of town and he felt… weird… in a house all by himself.


“Matt, do you wanna come over for the night?”


Matt grinned. “I thought you’d never ask.” He runs inside to get his parents permission. A few minutes later, the two of them were traveling down, back into town to Steve’s house.


“Jeff should be home by now.” Steve said. “Should we invite him too?”


Matt said sure, and the rest of the ride was silent except for the singing the two of the did to the radio.

------
Soon as you get that feeling you can start to live. Soon as the worst is over you can make it all make sense. Right now I can give you what you need. Soon as you get that feeling, run to me.



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The following comments are for "Winston College, Chapters 1 and 2"
by Stewie





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