You're in college, Charlie Brown!
NOTE: I don't own the characters to the Peanuts comic strip....just so you know.
Charlie Brown drove up to the dormitory building in a used car that his father had given him. Everything he needed was packed: books, bedsheets, a computer, clothes, toiletries, etc. He was now a freshman at SDSU (San Diego State Universty...that's where I'm going this spring semester). He was leaving all of his childhood friends behind. Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Franklin, his sister Sally, even his dog Snoopy. For the first time in his life, he was on his own. He pulled up to the dormitory building and started to put away his things in his dorm.
"I wonder who will be my roommate," said Charlie Brown to himself as he put the bedsheets on his bed. "I wonder if it will be someone I know! Maybe, just maybe, Linus would end up getting a dorm with me! No, that will never happen. Linus is at Pepperdine." He sighed heavily and put his clothes in his closet. After he was all settled in, Charlie Brown plopped himself on his bed and stared at the ceiling. He had never felt so alone before. It was his first time living away from home. Away from his parents, Sally, and his dog Snoopy.
"Might as well go pay for my tuition and books while I'm here," mumbled Charlie Brown to himself as he gathered his scholarship and loan money and headed to the bookstore and admissions buildings.
After paying for everything and coming back to his dorm with an armload of $400 in textbooks, Charlie Brown saw a shadowy figure enter his dorm.
"Must be my roommate," thought Charlie Brown as he went to his dorm. Sure enough, it was his roommate but he looked awfully familiar.
"SCHROEDER?!" Charlie Brown exclaimed.
"I didn't know you were going to SDSU" said Schroeder.
"I didn't know you were going here either," said Charlie Brown. "And what a coincedence. We're roommates! I kinda hoped Linus would be my roommate but he's at Pepperdine. He gave me his e-mail and his dorm address so I'd better e-mail him once I get my computer set up."
"Yeah me too," said Schroeder. "Would you mind if you helped me move my stuff in here?"
"No, I don't mind." Charlie Brown helped Schroeder carry in his things: his stereo and collection of classical music CDs, his portable piano, and other stuff.
"I'll help you hook up your computer tomorrow," said Charlie Brown.
"Yeah, I'll hook yours up too," said Schroeder. "After all, we're roommates. Now all I need is a part-time job and I'm all set."
"Well, we could look at the job board for jobs on campus," said Charlie Brown. "I need a part-time job myself, although my parents said they'd wire me money for academic purposes."
"Well, let's worry about that later, Charlie Brown," said Schroeder. "Let's just relax and get used to student life here."
"I think I already am," said Charlie Brown. "I just spent $1,000 in tuition and $400 in textbooks."
"That's probably how much I spent in tuition and books, too," said Schroeder. "And right now, I'm hungry. What time is it?"
"It's about 5 p.m."
"Let's go eat dinner then," said Schroeder.
"Where do you want to go?"
"I dunno. How about Dominos?"
"No thanks. I'm not in the mood for pizza. Let's just go use our meal cards to get something from the cafeteria."
"No, this dinner has to be special. It should commemorate our introduction into college."
"Okay, so where do you want to do for dinner?"
THIRTY MINUTES LATER....AT DOMINO'S PIZZA.....
"Gee," said Charlie Brown sarcastically. "This dinner is sooooo special!"
"But we're college students, Charlie Brown," said Schroeder. "We can't afford go to a nicer restaurant.
"Like I said earlier, we could've used our meal cards."
"But this event is too special for that."
"Well, I guess you're right, Schroeder. I mean, the two-topping pizza for $8.99 isn't so bad. Plus the breadsticks and two medium colas."
Charlie Brown took another bite of his pepperoni-and-sausage pizza. "Now that we're college students, I guess we gotta start living like college students. But I'm not going to be eating pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner."
"Oh, I know, Charlie Brown," said Schroeder. "There's more to college life than pizza. I mean, there's school, activities, clubs, girls, sports, you know."
"That's true," said Charlie Brown. "Are you trying out for any sports?"
"I might try out for the baseball team in the spring. How about you?"
"I guess I could try out but I probably won't make the cut."
"You won't know until you try, Charlie Brown."
The next morning, as soon as Charlie Brown set up his computer and logged on, he got an e-mail from Linus:
It has been two days since I moved into my dorm here at Pepperdine. My roommate is a really nice guy. We've become fast friends since I met him. How are you doing over at SDSU? Have you adjusted yet? LOL. Anyway, my parents wired me $300 so I can buy some extra clothes for the fall and the spring. See ya at during Christmas break!
Charlie Brown read Linus' email a couple of times. He missed his old friend. He missed the times he and Linus would talk to each other while leaning on a small brick wall. He missed the times they played baseball together. So Charlie Brown e-mailed his friend:
Hi, it's me, Charlie Brown. How are you? I'm fine. Surprisingly, Schroeder is my roommate. I had no idea he was going to the same college as I was. I guess he kinda surprised me. LOL. Well, everything is going great here. It's hard to adjust to college life but I'll get into the swing of things soon.
After enclosing Schroeder's e-mail address, Charlie Brown sent the e-mail. While Schroeder was out buying some sodas and some food, Charlie Brown plopped face up on his bed and stared at the ceiling. Everything went great, but deep down inside, he didn't feel fine. He felt lonesome and homesick although Schroeder was his roommate. About 10 minutes later, Charlie Brown picked up the phone and pulled his calling card from his pocket.
"Hello," said Charlie Brown. "Mom? Is that you?" He then waited. "Yes Mom it's me. Sorry I forgot to call once I got here......well, everything's okay here. I just found out that Schroeder is my roommate.........well, yes I am homesick...no, no Mom...you don't have to come down here to see me...I'll be all right.....well, where is Schroeder? He's gone grocery shopping.....and yes, I got my tuition and books paid for.....oh, Dad's home.....put him on for me."
Charlie Brown waited for his mother to put his father on the phone. "Dad...hey, it's me.....nothing much is happening....everything's fine but I feel a little homesick but I think I'll be okay once I'm settled in, so how's Snoopy?"
Then there was a long pause. Then Charlie Brown heard some bad news. "WHAT? What do you mean he's in the hospital...is he hurt...is he sick? What?......Oh, oh no....well, I'll give you my dorm number and you can call me if you get any updates....I love you Dad, tell Mom I love her too...can you put Sally on the phone......oh, okay....she's spending the night at her friend's house....okay....well, tell her I love her too. Bye Dad."
"I can't believe it," Charlie Brown said. "Snoopy's in the hospital with pneumonia! I think I'm going to be sick...."
Just then Schroeder came home to the sounds of Charlie Brown's muffled sobs in his pillow.
"Gee, Charlie Brown," said Schroeder. "What's wrong?"
"I called my folks," said Charlie Brown. "To check up and tell them I came here in one piece."
"Well, then why are you crying?"
"Snoopy's in the hospital....with pneumonia!"
"Oh my gosh."
"I feel sick to my stomach, Schroeder. I think I'll skip lunch and lie down for a bit."
Charlie Brown then laid in his bed on his side. He didn't feel sleepy at all but ended up doozing off about 20 minutes later. He woke up a few hours later feeling a little better. He went up and had a glass of water when his phone rang.
"Hello? Oh, hi Dad....how's Snoopy? He's worse? Oh no! I'll be right there Dad!" Charlie Brown slammed down the receiver and got his coat and ran towards his car.
Schroeder was busy cleaning the windshields of his car when he saw Charlie Brown floor the gas pedal.
"Where in the heck are you going, Charlie Brown?" he asked.
"Home! It's a one-hour drive, Charlie Brown. Why are you going home anyway?"
"Snoopy," he replied. "He's worse."
After Charlie Brown uttered those two words, he floored the gas pedal and drove home. After exceeding the speed limit and barely getting by without getting pulled over, Charlie Brown pulled into the veterinary hospital where Snoopy was staying.
"Excuse me," said Charlie Brown to the receptionist. "I need to see my dog. He's got pneumonia."
"What's the dog's name?" asked the receptionist.
"His name is Snoopy, sir."
"Okay, he's down the left hall and the last door on your right."
Charlie Brown ran down the hall as fast as he could and went into the room. His parents, Sally, and the doctor were there. Snoopy was in a cage, wheezing and gasping for breath.
"Snoopy, ol' pal!" said Charlie Brown. "I'm here!" He took Snoopy's head in his arms and stroked his fur. "Doctor, is there anything you can do?"
"Well, son," said the doctor. "We've tried everything. Snoopy hasn't responded to his medication and due to his old age, the pneumonia is making him worse. It will be best to..."
"Please don't put him down," Charlie Brown begged. "He's my friend. He's been my friend. I drove an hour from my college dorm to check on him. Give him one more day, doctor. Please?"
"Well, all right," said the doctor. "But one more day and if he's not better than we will agree to put him down."
"Got it," said Charlie Brown. "It's okay Snoopy, it's going to be all right. I think you'll pull through."
Charlie Brown spent the night at his home since it was too late for him to drive back to his dorm. He slept in his empty room in a sleeping bag and an extra pillow. Before he went to bed that night, Charlie Brown said a prayer. "Lord, please, please help my dog, Snoopy. He's my friend and I don't want to see him die. Watch over this creature of yours, oh Lord." The next morning, Charlie Brown drove over to the veterinary hospital to see how Snoopy was doing.
"Well, Charlie Brown," said the doctor. "I have good news for you. Snoopy is doing a lot better this morning."
"Yes. His fever went down and he's breathing much easier. I guess that extra day was all he needed. We may need to keep him here for observation but he will be able to go home tomorrow. You may see him if you want."
Charlie Brown was led to the cage Snoopy was sitting in. He looked much better and well-rested.
"Hi fella!" said Charlie Brown. "It's me. The round-headed kid. It sounds like you're going to be fine. Woodstock gave me this while I was on my way to the hospital. He wants me to give it to you." He handed Snoopy a get-well card. Snoopy looked at it and smiled while doggy-tears rolled down his cheeks.
"Gosh, I didn't know he cared!" thought Snoopy.
"Well, take care ol' pal," said Charlie Brown. "I gotta drive back to school and I need to leave before traffic sets in. Bye pal!" He patted Snoopy's head and drove back to his dorm.
"Well, I thought you were going to come back home last night, Charlie Brown," said Schroeder as Charlie Brown walked in the doorway.
"I was but it got too late to drive home so Mom set me up with a sleeping bag and a pillow and I spent the night in my room since my mattress and most of my stuff is here in my dorm. I guess I needed that day home. I was pretty homesick. But I feel better now."
"But how's Snoopy?" asked Schroeder. "Is he all right? Once you told me Snoopy was getting worse, I kinda got worried."
"Well, the doctor says he's much better now," said Charlie Brown. "They almost put him to sleep last night but I begged the doctor to give him one more day."
"Well, you are definitely mature for your age, Charlie Brown," said Schroeder.
"How am I mature?"
"Well, for one thing, you were worried about your dog so much that you drove out back home just to see him," Schroeder replied. "I don't think Sally would've done that."
"Yeah, I agree."
"Oh and guess what, Charlie Brown? I've got us two, part-time jobs for college!"
"Yep. Here, read the flyer."
HELP WANTED - SELL THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER PART-TIME FOR $100 TO $200 A WEEK.
"So, what do you think, Charlie Brown?" asked Schroeder.
"Well, I tried sales at Mervyn's when I was 17 part-time and I hated it."
"But this is better than your Mervyn's job, Charlie Brown. We'll be making money! Real money. Not just some wimpy $6 to $7 an hour stuff."
"But isn't getting $100 to $200 a week equivalent to working $7 an hour?"
"Well, yes, but a guy told me that you could earn more than that. Like, if you're good in sales, you could make $350 a week."
"Well, I guess I could give it a try," said Charlie Brown.
"Okay, that's cool. I'll go call the guy this afternoon. In the meantime, let's go to Domino's to celebrate our new jobs!"
"You know something Schroeder?"
"What Charlie Brown?"
"I'm beginning to like this college stuff after all!"
The two of them smiled and drove off to Domino's.