I’M NOT SORRY!!! It was a good cliffhanger, wasn’t it? I finally have one of those. Now, like I said, I am not sorry for it! And I hope you enjoy this chapter, because chapter 19… please forgive me when I publish chapter 19, okay? I’m probably have a whole paragraph at the beginning saying I’m sorry. Now here are chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 BONUS , and on with the story! Oh, and FYI, the BONUS doesn’t have anything to do with this chapter, it’s just an extra. Enjoy! 😁😁😁
John wakes up in a cold sweat. He’s in the fort, and his friends are gathered around him, worried.
“He’s awake!” Alex shouts.
“Mon ami, are you alright?” Lafayette asks.
“You were screaming,” Hercules adds.
“I… I was?” John asks, shaking his head slightly as he sat up. They all nod. “Oh, thank goodness that was a dream,” he says, rubbing his eyes.
“What was the dream about?” Alex asks, concerned, his hair hanging around his face.
“The window was open, and someone put a cloth over my face. I think they were trying to kidnap me. Maybe it was supposed to be Mazzie Rogers?” He shivers, the memory of the dream haunting him.
Alex puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “It was just a dream, John. You’re okay. She’s still in jail.”
John nods and runs a hand through his poofy hair. “But it felt so real.”
“Hey, hey, mon ami, it’s alright,” Laff soothes.
His imagination starts to run wild. What if that actually happened? What if she escapes from jail? What if it did happen, but she placed me back in here and made me believe it was a dream?
He begins to freak out as this last thought begins to form in his mind. “John, hey, John, snap out of it!” Herc exclaims, snapping his fingers in his face.
John begins to shake uncontrollably, fear overtaking him. “John? John! Listen to the sound of my voice. Stop thinking whatever you’re thinking. It’ll be alright!” Alex tells him, putting both hands on his shoulders, trying to get him to stop shaking.
Lafayette knows what he needs to do, but he doesn’t want to do it. But he’s willing to. He sighs and begins to sing quietly, “Rubber duckie, you’re the one. You make bath time lots of fun! Rubber ducky I’m awfully fond of yooooouuuuu!”
John looks up at Laff, and he stops shaking. Lafayette turns to the other two and says, “Not a word of this to anyone.” They both nod, because at the moment, they just want John to calm down.
John takes a deep breath. “I’m sorry. I-I-I don’t kn-know what came ov-ver m-me,” he apologizes.
“John, you don’t have to apologize!” Alex exclaims.
“Yeah, John, it’s not your fault!” Herc adds.
John sighs and shakes his head slightly. “I am such a mess, honestly.” He rubs his face with his hands. “So is no one going to talk about the fact that Lafayette just sung me a song from Sesame Street and I calmed down?”
“Well, now that you mention it…” Alex replies. “Why does that calm you down?”
He shrugs. “I think my mom used to sing it to me as a baby, so now it calms me down.”
Alexander pulls out his phone and searches the video on YouTube. He presses play, and the song comes on.
“Hey, that guy looks like Jefferson, but older!” John remarks, taking the phone out of Alexander’s hand.
“Huh. Yeah, it does. And it kind of looks like me when I have my hair down,” Lafayette remarks.
“Like it is right now?” Herc points out.
“Alright!” Alex says. “You guys ready to go roller skating?”
“Wait, I thought we were going ice skating?” John remarks.
“Well, we were, but then I thought, lots of people go ice skating this time of year. It will be a lot less busy if we go roller skating. I already talked to your mom about it, and she thinks it’s a great idea!” Alex replies.
“Um, Alex, I’ve never been roller skating before.”
“There’s a first for everything!” Laff interjects.
“But if I’m bad at ice skating, how can I be any better at roller skating?” John asks.
“Well, for one,” Herc says, “you’re on four wheels instead of a piece of metal. Come on, it’ll be fun!”
John sighs. “Alright, I’ll go. And you two better go home and find some clothes. After breakfast, of course.”
They all head downstairs and eat Lafayette’s famous crepes. Once they’re done eating, Herc and Laff go back to their houses, and John and Alex head upstairs to get dressed.
Theodosia finally calls Burr. He hardly got any sleep last night because he kept wondering who her crush could possibly be.
“Tell me,” he demands as soon as he answers the phone.
She laughs. “Okay, okay! Jeez, I thought your catchphrase was ‘wait for it’.”
“No, my catchphrase is ‘talk less, smile more’.”
“You say both. Anyway, my crush is…” she says slowly. Aaron is hanging on every word. “Someone by the name of Aaron Burr.”
Then she hangs up.
He calls her back right away. “Wait, you like me too?” he asks.
“Wait, you like me?” she replies.
“Yeah! I mean, who couldn’t? You’re sweet, fun, and absolutely gorgeous.”
“Stop, you’re making me blush!”
“Well it’s true!”
She giggles. “So, does this make us a couple now?”
“Yeah, I think it does, Theo. What would you like to do for our first date?”
She contemplates for a moment. “Do you want to go ice skating, say, tomorrow night, when we can see the stars?”
“I’d love that. Pick you up at seven?”
“Sounds good. See you tomorrow, Aaron.”
“Bye my beautiful girlfriend.”
She smiles and hangs up. Burr lays back on his bed and sighs. Best. Day. Ever.
“What do you think Alex, should I wear my hair up or down?” John asks, eyeing himself in the mirror. He’s wearing a warm blue-black jacket with a grey shirt underneath, dark blue jeans, and his favorite white Converse.
“Mmmm… I say up,” Alex replies while putting his own hair into a pony. He’s wearing five layers of clothes, compared to John’s two layers.
“Alex, do you really need that many layers?” John asks with a hair tie in his mouth.
“Yes. It’s too cold outside.”
John chuckles softly before finishing his ponytail. “Alright, let’s go!”
When they get downstairs, they see that Martha in the living room talking to her parents. A boy is standing next to her, about nineteen to twenty years old with curly brown hair and bright blue eyes.
John walks over to them and asks, “Is this the Zachary Hawkes I’ve heard so much about?”
They all turn to him. Zachary gives him a smile and says, “Please, call me Zach. And you must be Martha’s younger brother, John!”
John looks him up and down. He’s about 5’ 11”, three inches taller than him. He looks like he could be a nice guy.
“Yep, that’s me!” he replies, holding out his hand for a handshake. When Zach takes his hand, he adds, “Take good care of my sister. Or else.” He lets go of his hands and continues, “I’ve already had to deal with five brutal heartbreaks, so if you have to, let her down kindly, alright? Now come on Alex, we better get to skating.”
They walk outside and find Lafayette and Hercules waiting for us. “Hey! We were just about to knock,” Laff says. They all pile into Mrs. Laurens’s car as they drive to the roller skating arena. When they arrive, it’s absolutely dead.
But it won’t be that way for long.
John’s mom agrees to let them stay for three hours, and then drives off. They enter, pay, and get their roller skates. As he’s putting one of his skates on, John says, “Don’t laugh if I fall, okay?”
“You got it,” Alex replies. The smile can be heard in his voice.
They enter the arena, and Laff and Herc immediately start rollerblading together, hand in hand. Alex starts to go ahead when he sees that John is literally trying to take steps with the roller blades. He smiles and skates over.
“Need some help?” he asks.
“Yeah…” John says bashfully.
“Okay. Start off by putting one foot forward. Yep, like that. Now, imagine you’re taking a step, but push outward. Like so.” Alex demonstrates and glides a littles ways before coming back. “Now you try.”
John does as he said, and pushes outward. He immediately stumble. Thankfully, Alex catches him just in time, John clinging onto him for dear life. He gets his feet under him and says, “I’ll try again.”
Just then, a group of loud voices can be heard. Soon, a group of teenagers appears. And what a happy group it is.
Burr, Madison, and Jefferson. As soon as Thomas sees them, he says, “Oh look! It’s the gay couple, shorty, and turtle-lover! Now what could you possibly be doing here?”
Laff skates over to him, followed by Herc. “We came to have a good time. But it looks like you’ve ruined that.”
Thomas just rolls his eyes. “We’ll leave you alone if you leave us alone.”
Even though he’s suspicious, Alexander replies, “Alright…”
The three of them leave them be, and start to race one another.
“Jerks,” Herc murmurs before he and Laff start to roller skate together again.
“Alright. Where were we? Oh yeah. Try again,” Alex says.
John tries, and this time, he actually goes a little ways. “Hey, I did it!” he shouts excitedly. He turns back to Alex to see he has his phone out, recording him.
“That’s a keeper!” he says, pocketing his phone.
“Heeeyyyy! I didn’t say you could video me!” John whines, a smile on his face.
“But you look so happy! Now come on, let’s practise some more.”
After some more practise, John is able to slowly start to move. Alex is roller skating backwards, watching his friend. His eyes suddenly widen.
“What?” John asks, turning around in seemingly slow motion. But he’s too late. With an evil grin on his face, Jefferson pushes John. Not to make him fall over, but to make his roller skate wheels begin to move uncontrollably. “Ahhh!” he shouts and he goes crashing into Alex, unable to stop.
John lands on top of him, and Alexander’s head cracks against the floor. Thomas cackles as he skates away.
“Oh my gosh Alex, are you alright?” John asks, touching the side of his head gently.
“Yeah,” he grunts. John tries to get up, but when he tries to get his feet under him, he slips and falls onto his butt. Alex tries next, but he too falls.
Lafayette and Hercules rush over. “Mes amis! Are you alright?” Laff asks, being the mom that he is.
“Are you hurt?” Herc asks, worried.
“I think so. But my head sure hurts,” Alex says.
“Please don’t have a concussion!” John exclaims, trying to get up again. He sort of gets up, but then slips and falls onto Alexander’s lap.
Alex chuckles slightly. “Could you guys help us up?” he asks his other friends.
Laff grabs onto John, and Herc helps up Alex. John’s face is bright red from… embarrassment? Laff knows better and raises his eyebrows at him. John just gives him a brief glare.
Aaron skates over. “Are you two okay?” he asks, concerned.
“More or less,” Alex replies. “We’d be perfectly fine if your new friend didn’t push John.”
Burr doesn’t respond to that; instead, he just roller skates away.
“You probably need an ice pack,” John tells Alex.
“I’m fine, John, really,” he insists.
“No. You’re not. I could hear your head crack against the floor. Now come on,” John says as he begins to slowly roller skate toward the entrance.
Alex sighs, but his head is hurting pretty bad. He quickly catches up to John. “Need some help?” he asks. John nods.
Alex takes his hand and guides him over to the exit. Once they get there, he stops. “Oh, so that’s how you stop!” John exclaims, following suit. His face is a little bit pink. “Now come on, let’s find the first aid kit.”
They go to the front desk and ask for an ice pack. The person there gives it to him and asks what happened.
“Oh, I just accidentally bumped into him and made him fall down! I’m really clumsy,” John lies quickly. He then says, “Come on Alex.”
As they’re walking away, he asks, “John, why didn’t you tell them that Jefferson pushed you?”
He shrugs. “Dunno. Guess I’m just too nice to get him kicked out of here.”
Alex smiles slightly. “Yeah, you are really nice.” They sit down at one of the tables and John activates the ice pack. He then hands it to his friend, who places it on his head. “Ah, that feels better.”
“So it did hurt!” John exclaims, pointing an accusing finger at him.
“Maybe.” To change the subject, he says, “Why don’t you go hang out with Laff and Herc? They can probably show you how to skate.”
John shrugs. “Nah. They’re having a good time, and I don’t want to disturb them.” As they watch their other friends, they see Lafayette spin Hercules in circles, making both of them laugh.
“Have you ever come here with Eliza?” John asks suddenly.
Alex adjusts the ice pack to his other hand and replies, “No, but we did go ice skating. She’s really graceful on skates, let’s just say that.”
“Huh. That’s cool,” he says with a slightly forced smile. Before Alex can question it, they both notice something.
Thomas passes by Laff and Herc and says something to them. Their reaction is immediate. Both of their faces turn stony, and Hercules sends him a death glare. Lafayette begins to skate toward him, but his boyfriend holds him back. It looks like he says something along the lines of, “He’s not worth it.”
“Jefferson is such a jerk,” Alex murmurs.
They sit in silence for a while, watching their friends, and also their enemies. Alexander breaks the silence and asks, “Hey John?”
“Can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer, because it might be a bit private, but I’m curious.”
His heart begins to race as he replies, “Sure. What is it?”
Alex takes a deep breath and looks anywhere but at his best friend. “Um… do you, uh, feel jealous of us?”
This is not what John expected. “Who’s us?” he asks.
“Laff, Herc, and I. Sometimes you just seems a little… upset that we’re in relationships, but the person you love is unavailable.” Alex feels like he’s trespassing, but he really wants to know the answer.
John bits his lip and sighs. “Well, maybe a little bit. I’m mainly just jealous of… Lexi’s boyfriend. Because I want to be in his shoes. And I just… I just don’t know what to do. And I feel like I make it so obvious, but apparently, I don’t. What do I do?” he asks, crossing his arms on the table and putting his head in his arms.
Alex sighs. “I… honestly don’t know. I mean, I don’t think there is anything you can do. But I’m sure they’ll break up eventually.”
John tries to hold back a sob as he says, “But… they just seem so happy together! One of them would seriously have to mess up for that to happen.”
Alexander reaches his hand over the table and gently touches John’s arm. “Hey, it’ll be alright,” he says gently. “Now, do you want to go back to roller skating?” John nods, and when he lifts his head, he wipes away the sadness, buries it deep, and forces a smile. Alex takes the ice pack back and then he continues to teach him how to skate.
Laff and Herc skate over a few minutes later. “You’re doing it mon ami!” Lafayette exclaims as John begins to skate.
“Hey, I actually am!” he says excitedly. Alex takes out his phone and begins to record. John starts to skate, a huge grin on his face. He moves gracefully, and you’d think he’d been skating for years.
Suddenly, more loud voices can be heard. Three girls walk into the arena, and Alex recognizes them immediately.
Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy. The Schuyler sisters.
Alex stops the video and tells his friends, “I’ll be right back.” He roller skates over to Eliza and yells, “Eliza!”
She sees him and replies, “Alex! Fancy seeing you here!”
“I was just thinking the same thing. Come on, let’s go skate!” They start to go around together.
John, Laff, and Herc make their way over to the Schuyler sisters. “Hey Peggy, hey Angelica!” Lafayette greets. “Thanks again for the Halloween makeup, Peggy.”
“Anytime,” she replies. She then turns to her sister. “Now can you show me how to skate?”
“Actually, I can!” John blurts out. “I just learned how, so I can probably help you better.”
“I’m cool with that,” Peggy says.
“Alright. See you two later!” Angelica then skates away.
“Okay. Don’t judge me if I fall, too. I literally just learned how to do this.” As John shows Peggy how to roller skate, Angelica is practising some moves when Jefferson comes up to her.
“Hey hot stuff. Whatcha doing here, all alone?”
“For your information, Thomas, I am not alone. My sisters are here,” she retorts, not wanting to talk to him.
“Well, they’re busy at the moment. So why don’t you and I skate together for a bit?” Thomas moves closer to her, a smirk on his face.
Angelica practises spinning, and hits him right in the face, making him fall down. With false innocence, she says, “Oops, sorry! I was just practising my spin. Bye!” She then roller skates away, satisfied.
James goes over to Thomas. “Need some help?” he asks.
“Yeah,” he admits, holding out his hand. With difficulty, Madison helps him stand up. “Thanks.”
With help from John, Peggy is now about as good at roller skating as he his, which is decent. They start going around together, both of them going slower than everyone else.
“So, are you excited to be going to high school now?” John asks as they slowly roller skate around the arena.
“Yeah, I’m really excited to meet new people, and be two grades younger than everyone else! The only thing I’m not so excited about is that I might have to take midterms, but I’m sure that I can catch up in time!”
“Well, I bet your sisters can help you. My friends and I can, too, if you ever want to hang out sometime at one of our houses.”
“That sounds like it would be fun! Oh, and they already told me who my guide is! Her name is Theodosia Bartow, and I was wondering if you knew her?”
Aaron happened to be passing by, and he interjected, “Oh, I know who she is! She’s my new girlfriend!”
John’s eyes widen. “SHE IS?!?!?”
“She is,” Burr confirms. “Her old boyfriend broke up with her, and she said she had a crush on me, and I liked her back, and now we have a date tomorrow!”
“Oh, that’s cool!” Peggy says. Aaron then skates ahead of them.
“Alright Peggy, let me give you a run down on who is nice and who is not. See the boy in magenta over there, and the kid next to him? That’s Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, respectively. James is pretty chill when he’s not around Thomas, but with him, they are such jerks. Aaron Burr, the kid you were just talking to, he’s sort of our friend and sort of theirs, so just be cautious about them.
“If you hear of someone who calls himself ‘King” George, that’s the principal’s son. He’s a senior, and a real jerk. If he tells you to do something, though, don’t do it, because he’s not in charge. There’s also a junior that follows him everywhere like a little puppy, and his name is Samuel Seabury. He’s just one of those annoying kids.
“There’s also… ugh… Charles Lee,” he says with disgust. “Really annoying, has no respect for authority, and has the worst hairstyle in the world. I had a fist fight with him around the beginning of the school year. And I won.”
“Wait a minute wait a minute,” Peggy says. “You beat up a dude? You, the kid who seems like an absolute cinnamon roll, fought a kid?”
“Yeah. That’s how you know to stay away from him.”
“Alright, I sure will!”
From the other side of the arena, Alex calls, “John, it’s time to go!”
“That’s me. See you at school tomorrow Peggy!” He then makes his way over to his friends.
“Did all of you have a good time?” he asks as he’s taking off his roller blades.
“Oui,” Laff replies.
“Yep. I can’t believe Jefferson was here though!” Alex says, anger creeping into his voice.
“Hey, at least the Schuyler sisters came!” Herc points up.
“That’s true,” Alex replies.
When they head outside, it’s snowing lightly. John shivers a little from the cold. Alex points a finger at him and says, “See! This is why I wore five layers! Now smile for the camera!” Alexander has his phone out, because he wants to take a picture to remember this moment. John kind of looks off to the side when the picture is taken.
Laff looks over his friend’s shoulder to see the picture. “Wow mon ami, that’s amazing! Herc, John, come look!”
They crowd around him as they look at the picture of John.
“Woah!” John shouts. “That’s amazing! How did you do that?”
Alex shrugs. “I just took a picture.”
“That’s just amazing,” Herc remarks. “Send it to us!” he demands. Alex obeys, and soon all of their phones buzz. Then John’s mom pulls up, and they pile into the car to head home.
The next day is Monday, and everyone is getting ready for school. It’s snowing lightly when they get out to the bus stop, and the four of them huddle under Lafayette’s umbrella, which he was smart enough to bring.
“Do you guys want to go to Cocoa Cafe after school today?” John asks. The Cocoa Cafe is probably his favorite place in the world, and for a good reason. It’s a cute little cafe that makes the best baked goods in the world, but that’s not the only thing he loves about it. This Cafe has the best hot chocolate in the entire world. To make it even better, they always add sprinkles onto your whipped cream!
“Absolutely!” Alex exclaims.
“That place is the best,” Laff remarks.
The bus pulls up, and they all pile inside to go to school. When they get to their lockers, John sees someone at the empty locker next to his. He then realizes it’s Peggy.
“Peggy!” he shouts. She turns around and smiles when she sees him.
“Hey John! Um, do you think you can help me open my locker?” she asks bashfully. He nods and shows her how to open it. He then opens his locker, which is right next to hers.
“I’d expect them to put you by your sisters,” he remarks.
“They would have, but this was the closest empty locker. So, they put me here. And Theodosia is supposed to meet me here…”
As if summoned, Theo emerges from the crowd and smiles at her. “Hey Peggy! I see you got your locker figured out already.”
Peggy points to John and says, “He helped me.”
Alex taps John on the shoulder and says, “We better start heading to class.” They leave, and Theo begins to show Peggy around.
In social studies, Peggy sits in an empty seat in the back, with Theo on her left and (poor Pegs) Charles Lee on her right. When John sees her sitting there before class, he tells her, “The guys that sits next to you is Charles Lee. He should be in here soon.” He feels really bad for her, but there were no other open seats. I mean, at least she isn’t sitting by Jefferson, but Lee isn’t that good either.
When the bell rings, Mr. Washington starts off by announcing, “Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to our new student, Peggy Schuyler.” He motions to the back of the room, and everyone turns around to look at her. “She moved up from seventh grade, and I expect all of you to give her a nice, warm welcome.”
People start to whisper, saying things along the lines of, “She moved up two grades?” Eliza smiles slightly and thinks That’s my sister right there.
Able to hear some of these whispers, Peggy remarks, “Yeah, I moved up two grade levels. And I’m still going to get straight A’s, which is something half of you probably can’t manage.”
“BURN!” Herc yells, a little bit too loud.
Charles retorts, “She was talking about you too, you know.”
“Actually, I wasn’t,” Peggy replies. “I was talking about you, Lee.”
He has nothing to say to that.
“Alright class, settle down, settle down now,” Mr. Washington says.
At the end of class, Charles taps Peggy on the shoulder on her way out. “You’re pretty sassy for a, what? Eleven, twelve year old? How ‘bout you hang with my friends and I during lunch?”
“Oh, gee, I would, except there’s this little thing called stupidity, and I’m allergic to it.”
Lee chuckles lightly as they make their way down the hall. “See, this is what I’m talking about.”
Theo, sensing Peggy’s uncomfortableness, says, “Come on, we better go to Mrs. Lloyd’s reading class.”
“Oh, I just happen to be going there as well,” Charles says.
Peggy groans and follows Theodosia to her next class, Lee following behind them.
While watching this happen, John thought to himself, Lee is such a jerk. Peggy obviously doesn’t want to hang out with him. He enter’s Mrs. Lloyd’s reading class and sits in his seat. He’s glad to see that Theo and Pegs don’t sit by Lee.
At the end of the day, the Hamilsquad walks to the Cocoa Cafe, which is not too far from school. It’s a cute little cafe that doesn’t get many customers, but they have the best hot chocolate in the entire world (no lie). One of the owners, Vanessa, makes really good baked goods, especially her No-Bake Cookies.
When they walk in, Usnavi, the original owner and Vanessa’s husband, beams at them. “Ah, there are my favorite customers! I was wondering when I’d see you again!” He’s wearing his signature red shirt and black hat that has three white stripes on it.
“Hey Usnavi,” John says.
“Bonjour mon ami,” Laff replies.
“So, what can I get you four today?” he asked.
Having already decided what they wanted, Alex tells him, “Four hot chocolates, all of them with sprinkles and whipped cream, a dozen No-Bake cookies to go, and five chocolate chip cookies, seeing as you’ll be joining us.”
“You got it! And half off for you guys, so that will only be five dollars.”
“You’re the best Usnavi,” John says, handing him the money.
They sit down at a table, and a few minutes later he brings out their order. He then pulls up a chair and asks, “So, what’s new with you guys?”
John looks at his friends with his eyebrows raised. “Why don’t you three tell him about your relationships?”
Alex goes first and says, “I’m dating this girl named Eliza Schuyler, and I have been since August. Here, this is a picture of her.” He pulls out a phone and shows him the picture.
“Oh, she’s a cute girl! You’ve found yourself a good find. Does she have a good personality?” Usnavi asks.
“The best,” Alex says with a smile.
Lafayette goes next, a little bit hesitantly. “Well, uh, Herc and I are dating now.”
Usnavi’s face cracks into the biggest grin. He turns to Hercules and asks, “So you finally told him?”
“Wait, you knew?” Lafayette asks.
“Of course I do. All of you guys tell me your secrets. Like Laff, remember that time-”
“Nous avons dit que nous ñ’en parlerions plus jamais,” he cuts him off.
“You do realise I don’t understand French, right?” he asks.
“Well, now I’m intrigued!” John says, leaning forward and sipping his hot cocoa. “Spill!”
“It’s a story for another time,” Lafayette replies, waving it off.
“If you say so,” Usnavi remarks. “So, John, you’re still single?”
“And what about, um… Lexi?”
Alexander throws his hands up in the air, exasperated. “Am I seriously the only one who doesn’t know who that is?”
Usnavi chuckles. “You still haven’t figured it out?” He turns to John. “Dude, why haven’t you told him?”
“You know why I haven’t told him,” John says through clenched teeth.
Sensing an argument, Herc says, “Laff, I think now would be a good time to tell us that embarrassing story!”
He groans. “Do I have to?” His boyfriend nods. “Ugh, fine, I’ll tell you.”
He takes a deep breath before starting. “Okay, so I was on my plane to America with my family, right? Oh, and by the way, this has haunted me for a really long time. So, it was during one of those times when you were allowed to be on electronics, so I was listening to my music while looking out the window at the ocean. And…” He takes a deep breath and covers his mouth. “And so then…” he squints his eyes closed and tries not to laugh.
“And so I was mouthing a lot of the words, and I had my headphones on, so I couldn’t really hear anything else. So the captain must have just gotten done talking to everyone or something like that, but everyone was super quiet, and I commented on something said in the song. I said it in French of course, since I didn’t know English that well. And then at least half the people near me turned to look at me, and they all gave me weird looks. And so I thought, Oh my gosh I said that out loud it must have sounded so weird and so I continued to listen to my music as if nothing happened. It might sound not that bad, but I was just so embarrassed by it.
“So yeah, that’s my story. Anybody else have something they’d like to share that they’ve told Usnavi?” Lafayette looks at his friends, who are trying to hold back laughter.
His voice full of the giddiness of laughter, John says, “I got something. Okay, so you remember my turtle Philip, the one I had in seventh grade? Oh, Philip… Anyway, one day I came running here from my house- yes, from my house- and I ran up to Vanessa and said, ‘I need to see Usnavi!’ And so she goes to get him, a little concerned at the tone of my voice. So Usnavi comes back, and keep in mind, I actually was concerned about this. So he comes out and asks, ‘What’s up John?’ And I reply-” He cuts himself off with laughter. “And I reply, ‘Usnavi, I said that Philip is my favorite turtle! I actually chose one of my turtles over the other!’ And you know how I was in seventh grade, this sort of thing really concerned me.
“And so he replied, genuinely, ‘John, how could you! That’s terrible! Here, have a free cookie to calm your troubles.’ And so he gave me a cookie, and I-” He cuts himself off with laughter again. “And I just felt so bad, and for no apparent reason! Ah, good times.” Usnavi smiles, remembering that day.
Alex bursts into laughter, along with Laff and Herc. “That’s rich! Okay my turn, my turn.” He swallows is laughter and begins. “Alright, so it was the first day of school, right? I was walking down this very street, just looking around. So I saw this place, and I went in. Usnavi was handing a customer their order when I walked in, and at the time I had no idea who he was. So I went up to him and I asked, leaning on the counter a little, ‘Is it possible to change your mind within an hour?’
“And Usnavi kind of chuckled and said, ‘Yeah, I guess so. Why do you ask?’ And so I replied, ‘I always used to want to be popular kid, but now I just think they’re stuck up jerks.’ And remember, this is coming from a Caribbean kid who just immigrated here and never really had any friends before. So Usnavi replied, ‘I guess that makes sense. But what changed your mind?’ And you wanna know what I said? I said, ‘Turtle Boy.’ And then I just walked right out!
“But I was referencing John, and of course he didn’t know that. So I left just like that, but the next day, I came back. He was talking with Vanessa, and when he saw me, he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you’d come back! What’s your name by the way?’ I told him it was Alexander Hamilton, and then I said I wanted to continue our conversation from the previous day. So I told him about how Turtle Boy, aka John, wasn’t one of the popular kids, so I didn’t want to be one if he didn’t hang out with those kind of people. And ever since then, I’ve told him all of my secrets.
“Okay, that wasn’t as embarrassing as your guys’s stories, but the fact that I just told him that out of the blue is what makes it good,” Alex adds.
Usnavi’s face scrunches up a little bit as he remarks, “Wait a minute… that’s not how I remember it!”
“Usnavi, that part will be shared another time,” Alexander tells him pointedly.
He shakes his head. “All of you really, you have no idea how much some of your secrets intertwine with one another. But, that’s not my information to tell.”
“Alex, what part did you change?” John asks, curious to know if it’s anything about himself.
“Um… how about Herc tells us his story!” Alex answers, trying to change the subject.
Seeing that his friend doesn’t want to share, Hercules says, “Okay. So, you guys remember that eighth grade dance we had? Well, I was headed to the bathroom that night, and I was just so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I… accidentally went into the girls’ bathroom. And I realize my mistake as soon as I walk in, because there are two girls helping another girl fix her dress, which was pink by the way. And the thing is, I wasn’t like ooh cute girl, I was like shoot, I AM gay. So, that was an interesting experience. The next day, I came here and told Usnavi about it. Okay, that was a pretty short one, but I got nothing else right now.”
“Interesting story,” Laff remarks. He then turns to Usnavi. “So, Usnavi, it’s your turn now.”
“Wait, my turn?” Everyone nods. He takes a deep breath and begins, “Well, hm, let me think for a moment… Ah! I got one! Okay, so when I was in, what was it, third grade? Something like that. Anyway, we had a drama class at my school, and I was part of it. So it was the day we were supposed to present, and I was, like, the only one in my group who didn’t actually need the script, or even notes, since I memorized it. And so it was my turn to speak, and everything was going fine and all, but then I said one of the lines wrong. And I didn’t realise it until everybody started giggling.
“So, me being the sort of stupid kid I was, I decided to go along with it. So I purposely started to mess up my lines, and the other people in my group got so confused, because I was saying things like, ‘Oranges are orange, the sun is orange, the sun helps plants grow, plants feed cows, cows are part of hamburgers, which is why hamburgers are spheres.’ It was just that kind of nonsense that is really confusing, and I have absolutely no idea was I started saying that.
“And so then at the end of class, my teacher pulled me aside and said, ‘That was some really good improv. I’m going to move you to my elite class.’ And I wasn’t even trying! Okay, maybe that wasn’t embarrassing, but it’s entertaining.”
“Interesting,” John says. “So Alex, what part did you leave out?”
“Nothing!” Alexander says quickly. “Oh, would you look at the time! We better get going. Thanks a lot Usnavi!”
“Anytime, anytime. Come back again soon!” They all head out and call an Uber to go home.