"My type of girl? Well… she has to like music."
Nick smiled to himself as he looked through a pile of CDs. "Of course. I assumed that much."
Jeff frowned slightly and looked at his best friend sitting on the other end of his bed. The two had changed out of their school uniforms and were now relaxing to celebrate the end of a long Warblers practice. "And I guess I prefer dark-haired girls over blondes."
His roommate nodded and held up a dusty CD. "Taylor Swift? Really, now?"
Jeff snatched the disk from his hand. "Shut up. I happen to listen to a wide variety of singers."
Nick's laughter filled the room. "Let me borrow your McFly stuff for a week and I promise not to speak of this moment again."
"Deal. You always borrow my music anyways, I don't see why you have to ask."
Nick shrugged and continued rummaging through the pile. "You've got every song in the world, dude. Sure comes in handy when I need something for Glee auditions."
"My collection's pretty neat." Jeff couldn't help bragging. "You know what I always thought would be a really neat way for a girl to say she likes me?" He glanced at Nick to see if he was paying attention, and then continued. "If she made me a CD of just love songs, you know? Wouldn't that be cool? I could sit here in my room and listen to it over and over again, and see what kind of music she liked and stuff like that." He sighed dreamily. "That'd be… I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore. What's the word I'm looking for? …Oh, romantic. Yes. That'd be romantic."
Nick grunted in apparent agreement and held up and handful of discs. "So I can borrow these, right?"
"Were you listening to me at all, Nick?"
"Yeah, yeah." The other boy rolled his eyes. "CD of love songs. Very cool. Super romantic. I took notes for your future girlfriend."
Jeff grinned. "Cool. Make sure Miss Future Girlfriend has dark hair too, will you?"
"Oh, shit." Nick watched in horror as the cardboard box fell to the ground with a dull thud. Dozens of CDs spilled onto the ground, and he scooped them up halfheartedly. Luckily there were only a few minor scratches – Jeff would murder him if he broke any of his precious discs.
Summer was approaching fast, and the Dalton boys were starting to pack up and say their goodbyes. Nick had gotten a job as a singing coach in the local children's theater group, and Jeff would be leaving for his grandparents' house in California. It was a little sad to see how fast the dorms emptied out, Nick thought, and his farewell present to Jeff was still hidden in his desk. He threw the last of the CDs into the box and opened the drawer to see if it was still in there. He gently picked it up and turned around as Jeff rushed into their room.
"There you are, Nick, I've been looking for you all over the place! Mom and Dad are threatening to leave without me, and I've really got to run." He noticed the cardboard box sitting on the ground. "Perfect, you've helped me pack up my collection. What a nightmare for you, huh?"
Nick smiled and held his arms open. "What, no goodbye hug?" he joked, pouting a little. "I won't see you until next fall, you know. We might not even be roommates anymore."
Jeff quickly embraced his best friend. "Don't be silly. I'll call you and chat with you online every couple days. And we've shared a room ever since we were freshmen. I'm sure we can – er – pull a few strings here and there to make sure the same happens next year." He bent down to pick up the box of CDs, then noticed what was in Nick's hand. "Oh, did you forget to put that one in?"
Nick looked down at the CD he was holding. "Um, no. I made this for you." He held it out awkwardly, and Jeff took it with curiosity.
"Nice, man! Are these songs for me to blast on the beach?" Jeff smiled happily, placing it on top of the other discs.
His friend rubbed the back of his neck. "Not really, no. I guess you could say there's a certain theme of this CD. Like a message you're supposed to get after you listen to all the songs. I picked out ones that I really liked, and I hope you won't lose it or let it get buried under your hundreds of other CDs. It really means a lot – to me."
Jeff widened his eyes, bombarding him with silent questions, but Nick started pushing him out the door. "You'll know when you listen to it. Hurry up and go, your parents just honked."
"All right then. I'll listen to it as soon as I get to my grandparents' house. Thanks, Nick. You're… the best. You really are."
Nick couldn't help giving him one last hug, and as Jeff wrapped his thin, strong arms around him he couldn't help but feel that it was one of the many more that would come in the future.