Alex wakes up to the smell of bacon. He rolls out of bed, not wanting to wake up. But at least it was Friday. And he had an essay due today. He threw on some clothes and headed downstairs. Laff was at the stove making eggs, bacon, and pancakes all at the same time.
“Morning, sleepy head,” Lafayette said casually, flipping a pancake. He’s wearing an apron that read French kiss the cook. It belongs to his mom.
“Morning,” Alex replies.
His friend points to the cup of coffee on the table. “That’s the only one you’re getting.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Alexander replies, sitting down at the table. Lafayette places a plate in front of him loaded with food.
“Eat up,” Laff orders.
Turns out, Hamilton is hungrier than he thought he was, and he ends up eating everything. “Don’t eat too fast mon amie,” his friends says, taking a bite of crispy bacon.
Alex rolls his eyes and happens to catch a glimpse of the clock. “Shoot! We’ll be late for the bus!” He throws his stuff into his bag and runs out the door, Lafayette close on his heels. If they weren’t in such a rush, they would have noticed the red Corvette parked outside their house, and maybe even the person sitting inside the car.
But they didn’t, and instead they bolted to the bus stop, barely making to there on time. As they walk down the aisle to meet John and Herc, Alex notices that Thomas isn’t here. Maybe his parents drove him to school today, he thinks. Or maybe he didn’t finish the essay and is pretending to be sick so that he has more time to do it. But then again, it is an assignment that is supposed to be turned in online…
They sit down with the rest of their friends. “We were worried you wouldn’t make it,” John says, tucking a stray strand of hair behind his ear.
“Sorry, I was having Alex here actually eat some breakfast,” Laff replies, lightly punching his friend in the arm. “And of course, I made sure he had one cup of coffee.” Hercules lets out a short bark of laughter.
When they get to their lockers, James is standing by his, looking at his phone every few seconds. Jefferson is nowhere to be seen.
“Is something wrong James?” John asks, only a little bit of concern in his voice. Madison looks up, startled.
“Oh, uh, yeah. Just worried about Thomas, that’s all.” He begins to having a coughing fit.
“I say it’s a miracle he’s not here today,” Alex remarks, opening his locker. When he closes it, James is giving him the death glare. “What? You know I hate the guy.” James rolls his eyes and stalks away.
As John and Alex are going to meet up with Laff and Herc, John stops him.
“Hey, look at this!” He points to a piece of paper taped to the wall. “It’s for the debate club. You should join, Alex!”
“Yeah, I should! When’s the first meeting?” He looks at the poster. “It’s next Wednesday the 29th, after school. I bet you at least one person is going to quit once they see me debate. As long as it’s a good topic…” He trails off, looking to see what the topic is. A grin begins to spread across his features.
John knows that look. “What’s the debate?” he asks, a goofy grin on his face.
“A reenactment of the US treasury debate that was held between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?”
“I’ll say,” John replies just as they get pounced on from behind. They whip around to find Hercules and Lafayette, who are stifling laughter.
“You should see the look on your faces!” Hercules wheezes.
“You nearly gave us a heart attack!” Alex scolds, but he’s smiling nonetheless.
Laff nods toward the poster and asks, “What’s that?”
“A poster for the debate club, which I’m going to join,” Alex explains, a little bit of pride creeping into his voice. He grabs one of the forms before saying, “Come on, we better get to history.”
Behind them, Aaron comes out of the shadows and looks at the poster. He grabs a form, too. It’ll be fun to debate with Alexander, he thinks before going to history.
When they get in, Charles Lee walks up to them. “Sorry guys, but it turns out I won’t be available after school today. Could we just do Monday and Tuesday?”
“Sure,” Alex says. Maybe, if Charles had been available, things would have turned out differently later on.
While everyone is going about their day and beginning their classes, Jefferson is waiting for the right moment. He’s sitting in the red Corvette, wondering just how long it take for Lafayette’s parents to leave the house. Well, parent. His dad is off in some other country fighting for the US Army.
Technically, Thomas isn’t allowed to drive. He is only fourteen, after all. But he doesn’t live to far from here, and he knows no police patrol this area. So, he borrowed his dad’s car. He won’t notice; the man works from home. Besides, at least he knows how to drive.
At around nine o’clock, Lafayette’s mom finally leaves. When she’s long gone, Jefferson steps out of the car and walks to the front door. He’s wearing casual clothes so as not to look suspicious. Just a cousin who is trying to get in the house to surprise them (if anyone asks). And the backpack is just his luggage (again, if anyone asks). He checks under the front door mat; no key. He goes around to the back door and is relieved to find it unlocked. That’s one less thing to worry about, that’s one less thing to worry about.
He walks in, and is glad that they don’t have a dog. If they did, that would be a disaster. He walks upstairs, trying to figure out which one is Hamilton’s room. It’s definitely not the one covered in america and france flags, so it must be the other one. He double checks that his gloves are on before entering. He can tell this is his room because there are stacks of paper all over the desk, with a neat little square in the center set aside for his laptop.
Thomas smirks. “This is what you get for pranking me,” he murmurs.
He starts by scrambling all the papers on his desk so that he has to spend hours looking for everything. Next, he takes out the material from his backpack. The pre-prepared, empty Sprite bottle, tape, a broken pencil, water, a video recorder, and one other special ingredient that will be revealed later. He not so mean as to put dye in it, but he has something else prepared.
There’s only one problem with his plan. He either has to leave through the window so he doesn’t mess it up, or he has to hide in here until Alex opens the door. He decide to leave out the window. Why? Well, for one, he might get seen if he hides. Two, there happens to be a roof for the patio in the backyard, so he can climb on that and safely crawl onto the trash cans to get down. And thank goodness Alexander’s room is in the back of the house.
He gets to work and is finished with the trap in five minutes. The next part is the camera. It’s a special kind that links directly to his phone, so that none of the footage can be accessed from the camera itself. Plus, if it gets found, he’ll still have the files.
If you couldn’t already tell, Jefferson’s family is rich. To make things better, his mother is an inventor, and the camera was one her own devices.
After an hour of getting it set up, everything is ready. Thomas looks at his watch and sees it’s eleven o’clock. He makes sure the camera placed on one of the desk drawers is secure and working before leaving through the window.
Back at school, Alexander has turned in his essay, confident he’s gotten a perfect score on it. His teacher was slightly shocked when she saw that he did twenty paragraphs, but she tried hard to not let it show. But Alex say it on her face.
During lunch, Angelica sits down with Eliza and says, “Finally, I finished.”
“The app I’ve been working on.” When she sees her sister’s quizzical look, she explains, “I’ve been working on an app that lets all of the students of Edgewood high communicate with each other, share the latest school gossip, get study help, etc. I already talked to Principal Fredrick, and he thinks it’s a wonderful idea. Now I just need some help hanging these up.” She pulls out a stack of papers advertising the app. “Could you help me?”
“Sure! Brooklynn, Aurora, would you like to help?” They nod. Maria didn’t sit with them today, but she also didn’t sit the cheerleaders. At least, not yet.
They spend the rest of lunch going around campus posting the fliers. Eliza personally goes up to Alexander and hands him one.
“It’s an app my sister made,” she explains. “You should check it out.”
Alex grins and says, “Thanks, Eliza!” He pulls out his phone and begins to install the app. His friends do the same.
When he gets to the sign up, he has to enter his real name (that anyone can see if they hover over his nickname) and then contemplates a nickname. What should I do? he wonders. Then he gets an idea. He types in Mr. Non-Stop. It suits him in many different ways.
When he gets to the Terms and Conditions, he actually takes time to read them. Good thing he did, because one of the rules was no cursing allowed.
As soon as they all sign up, they befriend each other. John is Turtle Man, Lafayette is The Frenchiest Fry, and Hercules is simply HERCULES MULLIGAN! The app is really cool, in fact. You can do private chats, group chats, post pictures or videos, post articles, use study help, and much more.
They’re so into setting up their accounts that they forget about the time, and soon the bell catches them off guard. They rush to their next classes.
Finally, James Madison texts Thomas Where are u.
Sick. Aka, pranking Alex. Sorry I didn’t tell you earlier.
That explains it, James thinks. He then types, You have to sign up for this app Angelica made. He sends him a picture of the flier and adds, My username is ‘Coughs-a-lot’ btw.
Thanks man. Thomas installs the app and gets to work creating his account. He decides on the username Magenta Man. As he scrolls through the other members, he befriends Madison. He also finds the usernames for the Hamilsquad. It’s useful information he may need.
After school, the Hamilsquad decide to hang out at Lafayette’s house. And they decide to use Alexander’s room. They don’t know the irony of it all.
Alex is the first one to walk in, his friends relatively close behind. But not so close that they get splashed with water, like Alex. He suddenly finds himself not only drenched, but covered in bright pink glitter. A gasp escapes his throat. He stands there, his arms at his side, as if about to say What?!
He slowly turns around to look at his friends, who are in shock. “Who did this?” he growls, murder in his eyes.
“Not me mon amie.”
“How could I have done it?” Hercules asks.
“You know we’d never do such a thing,” John explains.
That’s when Alex panics. He does it for two reasons. One: his backpack might have gotten some of the blast and his papers might be wet. He takes it off and is relieved to find that only the straps got wet. He throws it onto his bed. The second thing is the fact that someone came into the house.
His friend rush to get towels for the water and a vacuum for the glitter. Alex dusts himself off as best he can, but the glitter sticks to him like glue. That’s when he notices his papers. He rushes over to them and sees that they are all screwed up. He looks in his drawers to see if anything in there was messed up, and that’s when he notices the camera.
There’s only one person who could have done this. And he makes sure he stands right in front of the camera when he shouts his name. “JEFFERSON!!!!” he shouts, putting all of his anger into the single word. He lets out a string of curse words and insults before growling, “Mark my words, you will regret this Jefferson. I will make you regret this!”
His friends come back and they begin to clean up. Alex decide to get into the shower to wash as much of the glitter off as possible. Be scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, but when he came out of the shower, pieces of glitter were still stuck in his hair. Why did I keep my hair down today, he thinks. At least he didn’t wear his favorite hoodie; then Thomas would really be asking for it.
He puts on a pair of sweatpants and walks back into his room to find a shirt. The glitter has been cleaned, and now his friends are trying hard to pry the camera off the desk. John has a flat headed screwdriver and is trying to get a grip on the smooth edge of the camera without scratching the wood of the desk.
When Alex walks in, he accidentally drops the screwdriver. Alex immediately chalks it up to his grip slipping. But that is not what is going through John’s mind. John is worried as heck right now, and he hopes it doesn’t show on his face.
Alexander finds a shirt and puts it on. He takes the screwdriver from John and has a go at the camera. It pops off within seconds. It’s really small, and Alexander wonders how such a small thing can hold the recordings. What he doesn’t know is that the footage is already on Jefferson’s phone.
“Bye bye Jefferson,” Alex says before smashing it with a book. It shatters, and he scrapes the shards into his trash bin. He turns to his friends and asks, “Does anyone know a good trick to get glitter out of your hair?”
They all shake their head. Hamilton groans and plops down on his bed, his face buried in his pillow.
His phone dings, and so do his friends. They look at their phones and see that someone sent them something through Angelica’s app. Alex is the first to open it up, and he’s horrified by what he sees. It’s the video of the water getting dumped on him. And it was just sent to the whole school. By whom? Magenta Man.
His finger fly across the screen fast as he sets up a chat with the whole Hamilsquad and Jefferson.
Mr. Non-Stop: You just signed your death warranty.
Magenta Man: Are you threatening me? I thought this app was a safe environment.
Mr. Non-Stop: You’re one to talk about a safe environment! You just sent the whole school an embarrassing video of me. Plus, I could have you ARRESTED for breaking and entering.
HERCULES MULLIGAN!: my father is a police officer, and you don’t wanna mess with him
The Frenchiest Fry: my dad is in the US Army. U no wanna deal with him, trust moi
Mr. Non-Stop: It’s so hard for me to not correct your grammar right now.
Magenta Man: Don’t worry dude. I’m sure no one will make a big deal out of it. It’s just a prank.
Alexander leaves the chat real quick to find comments on the video. He takes a screenshot and sends it to the chat.
Mr. Non-Stop: You call this nothing? Look at all these comments!
Turtle Man: Hopefully it will blow over during the weekend.
Magenta Man: Not gonna happen. I’ll make SURE everyone remembers on Monday.
Mr. Non-Stop: JEFFERSON I SWEAR-
Magenta Man: Oh no, alex swears. You’re such a bad boy.
HERCULES MULLIGAN!: Did you just wrITE ALEXANDER’S NAME WITH A LOWER CASE!?!?!?
Magenta Man: yes
The Frenchiest Fry: that is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen
Turtle Man: HOW DARE YOU INSULT ALEXANDER LIKE THAT!!!!
Mr. Non-Stop: Now you listen here Jefferson. I will not let you go walking all over me like that. I am a living, breathing human being that deserves much better than how you’ve been treating me. You’re just jealous because I am smarter than you and can write better. And watch; if you go to the debate club, I will beat you. I will beat you ten to one. Are you willing to take me on? Or are you too scared to have to face someone that is smarter than you and two thirds your size? Bring it on Thomas Jefferson. I will be waiting.
(Magenta Man is typing)
Magenta Man: Your on.
Mr. Non-Stop: It’s *you’re* by the way.
Magenta Man: I know. I did that to annoy you.
Mr. Non-Stop: >:(
Alex turns off his phone and puts his face back in the pillow, trying to calm himself down. “You alright mon amie?” Lafayette asks tentatively. He muffles something into the pillow.
“Couldn’t understand you. What’d you say?” John asks.
Hamilton lifts his head slightly and repeats, “The whole school say me get dumped with glitter, and I still have some in my hair. How do you think I feel?” He puts his head back in the pillow.
Lafayette, Hercules, and John all look at each other. Unsaid words pass between them, and everyone gets to work. Lafayette goes downstairs to get some snacks while Hercules finds a movie for them to watch. It will most likely be a Disney movie.
John sits on Alexander’s bed and puts a hand on his back. “Hey, it will be okay, Alex. Now come on, let’s go watch a movie.”
Despite his head being in a pillow, John still understands what he says. “No.” He didn’t want it to come to this, but he’s going to have to do it.
He starts by pulling his arm. He doesn’t budge. “Alex, come on.”
“No,” his muffled voice responds curtly.
“Okay, don’t say I didn’t try…” John forcefully turns him over, grabs him by the arms, and pulls. Once Alex is sitting up (against his will), his friend grabs him around the waist and pulls. Hamilton is smaller than John by height and weight. Part of the reason why he’s so thin is because a.) he doesn’t eat much and b.) he gets sick easily.
John half drags, half carries Alexander out of the room. He tries to escape, but it’s no use. When John wants to, he can have the grip of a python. Finally, they get to the couch in the small loft, and John practically drops Alex on it. Lafayette and Hercules come up the stairs, their arms pull of popcorn, potato chips, and sodas.
“So, what are we watching?” John asks.
“It’s a surprise,” Hercules responds.
“So I see you were able to convince Alex to come?” Lafayette says as a question.
“No. I have to drag him here,” John replies, ruffleing Alex’s hair. This sends a shower of sparkles everywhere. “Oops,” he murmurs.
“I’ll stay as long as you got root beer,” Alex says. Laff holds up a can if it and smiles. “Looks like I’m staying,” Hamilton says.
They divvy up the snacks and Hercules puts the movie in. As soon as it starts, they know what it is: Moana, which happens to be Alexander’s favorite. They probably did this on purpose.
When they get to the song ‘How Far I’ll Go,’ John starts to sing. Like, actually sing, as if he was alone and no one was there. And he sounded good, too. His sort of girlish voice helps.
His friends stare at him, and it takes Laurens a minute or two to realise they’re doing it. He glances over at them and begins to blush.
“I didn’t know you could sing!” Alex exclaims. “And you’re good, too.” This makes John blush even harder.
“W-well, I-I thought you’d all l-laugh at m-me for it,” he stutters.
“Of course we wouldn’t mon amie.” They turn their attention back to the tv, and John begins to hum along quietly. A thought flashes through Alexander’s mind, but he quickly pushes it away. He doesn’t want to worry about that right now.
When the movie’s over, Hercules and John go back to their houses while Laff and Alex go downstairs for dinner. Once they’re finished, Lafayette makes Alexander get into bed a eight o’clock, and he takes away his laptop.
I’ll organize my papers tomorrow, he thinks. And once again, he is going to sleep earlier than usual.