Don’t forget to read chapter 1!
They’re chatting like crazy when they get in the car. This time, Hercules is stuck in the middle as they drive to John’s house. Every day, they crash at someone’s house and work on homework (but end up talking) until 5:00 in the afternoon.
Currently, Alex is saying, “I mean, I don’t understand what Jefferson’s problem is. I never did anything to him, but he has to be so rude to me.”
“It’s okay mon amie. Some people are just jerks.”
“Thanks Laff, but I have a feeling it’s beyond being a jerk. I feel like he has some sort of motive.”
“Well, whatever it is, all we know is that he’s our enemy,” Hercules states.
“Wait a minute. If Aaron was talking to Thomas, would that make him our enemy?” John asks, turning around in the front seat to look at his friends.
“Well, maybe he just wanted to make some friends. I mean, he doesn’t really have any,” Alex answers.
They arrive at the house and all get out of the car. On their way up to John’s room, his little brothers Henry (5) and James (3) try to follow them.
“No no you guys, you need to stay down here. You know that,” Laurens explains.
“But I’m five now!” Henry complains. “You said when I was a big boy I could join you. And mommy says I’m a big boy now!”
“I said no Henry. You can come up to my room when they’re not here.”
“That’s what you always say,” he whines as they rush up the stairs. They enter John’s room, which is covered in pictures of turtles.
“Hey Shelby,” Johns says to his tortoise. He feeds her some lettuce before sitting down on his bed. “That was quite a day, am I right?”
“Sure was,” Hercules replies.
“So, what homework should we start with?” Lafayette asks.
“MATH!” the rest say all at once.
“D’accord. For once you’re eager to do math…”
“We just don’t want to figure it out ourselves later,” Alex says bluntly. They get to work, Lafayette helping them when need be.
After they all finish, John asks, “Oh, I forgot to ask earlier. How was writing with Ms. Fiona?”
“Terrible. First of all, Jefferson is going to be sitting behind me all year. Second, he aggravated me by swishing my ponytail with his pencil. Third, we have to write a ten paragraph essay, no more than twenty paragraphs due Friday. I can’t write a good argument in less than twenty paragraphs! Besides, I haven’t even picked my topic yet. Any ideas?”
“College should be free,” Hercules says.
“Immigrants shouldn’t be deported,” Lafayette suggests.
“Donald Trump shouldn’t be president,” John adds.
“Those are all great ideas, but it just doesn’t seem fitting.” Alex sighs and rakes his brain for ideas.
After a couple minutes, John says, “I got it! It’s something that I know you could write a good essay on. Everyone should get the healthcare they need.” Alex’s mother died because she couldn’t get healthcare.
“Hey, I didn’t think of that! Thanks John.”
A phone buzzes, and they all look at their own phones to see who it was. “It’s Cora,” John says.
“What’d she say?” Hercules asks.
“She wrote, Hey, do you have a moment? Oh, what should I reply?”
“Tell her you have time, of course!” Lafayette says.
John talks while he types. “Yeah. What… is… it?” He sends it, and she replies quickly. “She said, I was wondering if you wanted to play truth or dare.” He looks up at his friends expectantly.
“Well go on, play it with her. This is her way of seeing what type of person you are. Or she wants to learn something from you when you say truth,” Alex says.
“Sure. Give… me… a… dare.” After a moment’s pause, he bursts out laughing. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“What is it? What did she say?” Hercules asks eagerly.
“She-” He starts laughing again. “She wants me to write the word DORK across my head in permanent marker, and then send her a picture. If I don’t, I owe her five bucks.”
“Interesting… you know, I think she justs wants to have a picture of you in her phone,” Alexander deciphers. This earns him a weird look from John.
“How do you know so much about girl?”
He shrugs and says, “Live and learn, I guess.”
After thinks for a little bit, John says, “I’m gonna do it.” He rummages in his backpack for a Sharpie.
“Oh, I gotta get this on tape,” Lafayette says, pulling out his phone. John holds up the pen for the camera before writing DORK on his forehead in sloppy handwriting. He then takes a selfie and sends it to Cora.
John smiles as he reads the text from her. “She says that she didn’t think I would do it. And she wants me to give her a dare.” He looks up at his friends, and evil glint in his eyes. “She obviously doesn’t know you guys.”
Lafayette, Hercules, and Alexander exchange mischievous looks. “Hmm, do you think we should go easy?” Alex asks sarcastically.
“Never,” Hercules replies.
“Oh, I have a good one! Make her crack a raw egg on her forehead, and make her send you a video. If she doesn’t she gives you five bucks. But make sure you tell her I created the dare so that she doesn’t take it out on you.” John smiles and writes, I dare you to crack an raw egg on your head. Dare courtesy of one of my friends.
He sends it, and now everyone is waiting for her to reply. A minute later, the video arrives. She holds an egg in front of her phone and says, “Took some explaining, but I got a raw egg. Now, to crack it.” She holds it up to her head, crunches her face, and cracks it.
“OHHH!!” they all say simultaneously. This time, John asks for a Truth. On the other end of the phone, Cora is debating. Should I ask him if he has a girlfriend, or would that be too obvious? No, I’ll wait. Instead, she texts him, What is a secret you have never told anyone, not even your parents?
This stops John cold. There is only one thing he can think of, but he doesn’t want to tell her. “She wants to know a secret I’ve never told anyone, not even my parents,” he says quietly.
His friend exchange glances. “Well, is there anything you could tell her?” Alex asks. John stares at him blankly, all color drained from his face. “Okay, if you don’t want to tell her, then just say you don’t keep secrets from your parents.” John nods and writes that.
A few seconds later, Cora replies, Come on, there’s got to be something. Laurens tells his friends this.
Lafayette suggests, “Was there ever a time when you ate candy when you weren’t supposed to or something?”
The color returns to his face and he smiles. “Yeah, there was actually.” He texts her When I was five, I stole a piece of candy from my older sister, Martha. She’s in college now.
Even though John can’t see it, Cora smiles. She then asks him for a truth. John turns to his friends and says, “Now she wants a truth.”
“That’s easy,” Hercules says. “Ask her the same question.” John does. As soon as he asks it, Cora knows what she’s going to say that she hopes will turn out well.
I have a crush on someone right now she writes. When John tells them this, Lafayette says, “Alright, I bet five pieces of candy that she is going to tell him that she likes him.” He places five Jolly Ranchers in the center.
Alex contributes, “I bet seven pieces of candy that she has a crush on John, but will refuse to tell him who her crush is.” He adds butterscotch to the pile.
Hercules announces, “I bet four peppermints she does have a crush on John, but she will lie and tell him a different name.”
Johns asks Who is it?
It’s not your turn yet. You can wait. Do you want a truth or dare?
“What do you think guys, should I do a truth or a dare?”
“Dare, because if you say truth, she might ask you if you have a crush,” Alex says.
“I say truth, so that she asks you that,” Hercules counters.
“I agree with Alexander,” Lafayette says.
Laurens tells her he wants a dare. Cora is angry for a brief moment before she thinks of the best dare.
I dare you to sing the chorus of ‘All the Single Ladies’ WITHOUT music. And if you don’t know the words, look them up. In fact, John did know all of the words because his sister used to play it all the time.
After saying something to his friends, he starts a video and says, “I only know these lyrics because of my sister. And you better not post this to social media.” Then he starts to sing. “All the single ladies!” His friends jump in next to him and echo, “All the single ladies.”
“All the single ladies!”
“All the single ladies!”
“If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it. If you liked then you should have put a ring on it. Don’t be mad once you see that he want it. If you you liked it then you should have put a ring on it. Oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh.” Then they all strike a dramatic pose and burst into laughing. Laurens just barely manages to stop the video and send it to Cora.
As she watches it, she also bursts into laughter. Oh my gosh he is just so darn cute, she thinks. John then texts her Truth or dare? Now this is where she need to make her decision. If she says truth, she gets asked who her crush is. If she says dare, it will probably be so bizarre that she will have to do a truth instead. If you had to choose she thinks.
Truth she texts, surprising most of the Hamilsquad.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Ask her!” Lafayette encourages. But John still hesitates. “What’s wrong mon amie?”
“I… I don’t think I like her. And I don’t know if I ever will. I mean, she seems nice and all, but… she’s just not exactly my type, I guess.”
Lafayette, Hercules, and Alexander exchange a look. “Well,” Alex begins, “Ask her anyway, and then tell her that you would like to get to know her more before you sort out your feelings for her, even if you don’t have any. But maybe she won’t tell you.”
Laurens takes a deep breathe and asks Who is your crush?
Cora holds her breathe as she types in her reply. It’s in the very early stages, since I just met them, but it’s… you.
“Laff, you won the bet,” John says. Lafayette rakes all of the candy from the pile, a satisfied look on his face. Laurens then replies, I had a suspicion that you did. Well, we only just met, so I hardly know you. Maybe when I get to know you more I will look into my feelings for you.
Cora is more than happy with what he said. She thought he might never speak to her again, or say he has a girlfriend, or tell her that he likes another girl. But this, this is better than what she imagined.
Cool by me. Now I got to finish my homework. John looks up at his friends, the words DORK stilled printed on his forehead. He points to it and asks, “Does anyone know how to wash Sharpie off of skin?”
“Non,” Lafayette admits.
“Sorry man,” Hercules says.
“The only trick I know mostly gets rid of it, but not all of the way,” Alex offers. “Just put some hand sanitizer on it and keep rubbing it until you get as much of it off as you can. Then was it off with soap and water. But first…” He pulls out his phone and takes a quick picture. “Okay, now you can.”
From downstairs, John’s mom calls, “Guys, your parents are here!”
“Is it that time already?” Hercules says to no one in particular.
“I guess so,” Alex says. They all head downstairs. John waves them goodbye as their parents drive them away.
When Eliza gets home from school, she literally spends twenty minutes staring at the ceiling of her bedroom, daydreaming about Alexander and debating if she should text him. Eventually, Peggy comes in and says, “Hey sis, are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Eliza replies, sitting up.
“Really? Because I heard Angelica telling mom that you had a lot on your mind at the moment.”
“I assure you I’m fine, Peggy.”
“Mmhm. Well, you might want to start on your homework. I heard you have a lot of that today, despite being the first day of school.”
“I get it. Now could you please get out?” Peggy leaves, a satisfied smile on her face. Eliza gets up out of bed and starts on her homework.
At about 5:10, she texts Alexander. Hey she says, not sure what else to say. He’s working on his essay at Lafayette’s house when she texts him. Hey replies, Hi. How are you doing?
Pretty good she replies before adding a smiley face to the end. Now this is where it gets interesting.
The smiley face doesn’t come through on Alex’s end, so he sends her a screenshot and writes The emoji didn’t come through correctly.
Oh, it was a smiley face. She sends the text before asking, Hang on, my contact name is ‘Crush’?
Shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot, Hamilton thinks. What if she doesn’t like me back? What if it’s too soon? Oh no oh no ohno. He takes a deep breathe and replies, Maybe…
Eliza has a moment of excitement before she replies …that’s my name for you too.
Alex smiles like a maniac, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Lafayette. “Okay, what did Eliza say?”
“How did you know it was her?”
“Oh come on, it’s obvious by the way you keep smiling.”
“Well… I took a screenshot because an emoji didn’t come through, and she noticed her contact name was ‘Crush’. She just told that’s her name for me.”
Lafayette pulls out his phone. “What are you doing?” Alex asks suspiciously.
“Just calling John and Herc. Oh look, they’re on the phone now.”
He turns it to speakerphone. “Hey Laff, what’s up?” John asks.
“Code pink,” Lafayette replies.
“Code pink? What code pink?” Alex asks.
Hercules replies, “Code pink means you’ve found a girl and now you need to ask her out. I’ll get the rose petals.”
“Rose petals? WHAT?!” Alex sits there in disbelief before realizing he didn’t reply to Eliza. It is? he asks.
Yeah… she replies. Alex calls her, and she picks up right away. “So you actually have a crush on me?” she asks right away.
“Yeah, I do.”
“Should I do pink, red, or white?” Hercules asks.
Alexander pulls the phone away from his mouth and shouts, “I said no rose petals!” Then he explains to Eliza, “My friends are organizing code pink, whatever that is. So if you hear me yelling at them, don’t ask.”
Lafayette then realizes that his friend is on the phone with Eliza. He snatches it out of Alex’s hand and says, “Je m’appelle Lafayette. Is this Eliza that I am speaking to?”
Oh boy, Eliza thinks. “Yeah, it is.”
“Well, I just wanted to tell you that mon amie Alex here dreams of kissing you,” he says, barely suppressing laughter.
“I do not!” Alex retorts, grabbing the phone. “Don’t listen to him.”
Eliza laughs. That’s when Peggy walks in. “I heard everything you said. You got a boyfriend!” she runs over to Eliza and tries to take the phone away from her. “Who is it? What’s his name? Is he cute?”
“It’s none of your business Peggy! Now get out!”
“Margarita Schuyler you get out of my room this instant!” She pouts, but leaves anyway. “Sorry, that was my little sister,” she explains to Alex.
Hamilton has to slap Lafayette’s hand away before replying, “I know the feeling.”
He glares at Lafayette just has his mom calls, “Dinner!”
“Sorry Eliza, I gotta go. It’s dinner time.”
“Okay. I’ll talk to you later, bye.”
“Bye.” Eliza hangs up and then walks outside her room to find Peggy spying. “He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my crush. And of course he’s cute. But!” She stops her from running down the stairs. “Don’t tell anyone. I’ll do that tonight during dinner.” Peggy nods, and Eliza lets her go.
Alex heads down the stairs with Lafayette, who keeps glancing at him with the you-have-a-crush look. He rolls his eyes as he sits down for dinner. Today, Lafayette’s mom has made Apple Glazed Pork Tenderloin with slices of french bread and different french cheeses. He nevers goes hungry when he stays with Lafayette from June to September.
As they eat, they talk about their first day of school. Alex struggles a little bit as he explains his day in French. Maybe he does need to take French class. After they’re all done eating, Alexander goes back up to his room to work on his essay. When he gets to the third paragraph, he gets an idea and writes it down on paper.
“What are you writing on the pink sticky note?” Lafayette asks, trying to look over his shoulder.
Alex covers it with his hand and says guiltily, “Nothing…”
“It’s a note to Eliza, isn’t it?”
Alex sighs and says, “Yeah, it is. I might need your help with it. This is what I’ve got: Drowning in thoughts of you, My head full of sweet bliss, What did you do? Made me fall into a love abyss. Do think that’s good?”
“Good? It’s great!” Lafayette claps him on the back and says, “You are quite skilled with a pen.”
“Thanks. But now I have to write my essay.” He finds his trail of thought and starts typing.
Lafayette stares at him in amazement and murmurs, “It still amazes me at how fast you can type.” Alex smiles and continues working.
He’s still working when Laff goes to bed at ten o’clock. At midnight, he has ten paragraphs done, all of them edited. His phone dings, and he sees it’s a text from Laurens. Stop writing your essay and go to sleep. You still have two more days to work on it.
You know me so well, Alex replies. I’ll go to bed now. He turns off his computer, gets his pajamas on, and climbs into bed.