Go'd day, Chaps! Thanks for checking out my new story! I've worked really hard on it and I'd love to hear what you think once you're done reading! Just a few notes before we begin, though: I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the character of Charlene (the chipette) but for those of you that aren't, she was kind of the Brittany before Brittany. She sang only two songs with Alvin (You're the One That I Want and Crocodile Rock) and made only one cameo appearance in A Chipmunk Christmas before she was ultimately pitched and replaced with Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor. In my version, however, although she is gone, she is still around, and very much a part of this story. Anyway, enough with the authors notes! Just read, review, subscribe and/or enjoy!

Cutting between the great pine of the mossy wood, stretching along the giant oak and maple, lays a small river. The bank draws close to the golden foothills, meandering amongst the grassy plains and the unattended thickets on the opposite side. The water is nice and cool too, for the recumbent branches that arch the stream overcast a shadow, blocking out the raw sunlight. Among these were the willow trees, fresh with green every spring, carrying in their lower limbs the algid debris of winter, and the apple, rich with sweet fruit later in the season. But it is not spring. So the willows are not frosted over, and the apples are not lush with blossoms.

There is a shallow basin where the water is deposited at rivers end. Muddy brown by day and moon green by night, this pond is home of the bass and the carp, often being pierced with the ruckus of young children enjoying luxurious swims in early summer. But neither is it summer. So the pond, for all intentional purposes, is still.

In reality, it is mid-autumn, somewhere between late September and early October. On the sandy bank, the khaki green of the canicule is beginning to shrivel, molting into shades of dull yellow, orange, and brown. The mist of the remaining summer rays coils through the branches, dotting the earth below, as a sample of the coming winter breeze presents itself. With it, some more leaves sidle down to their tranquil resting place upon the muddy trail beneath. For a brief moment the place was lifeless, and then suddenly, without warning, came the sound of footsteps treading on the crisp sycamore leaves, followed by four figures emerging from further down the road.

"So…" the girl in the middle of the group started, "it's been a few days… right?" She paused, as if expecting some kind of response, but continued casually when no one answered. "So, like, is it really weird? I know if I'd rejected Simon, I'd be sooo miserable! I'd probably spend all my time trying to avoid him. It'd be so awkward! But at least you two are still talking, right?"

"Jeanette?" began the blue clad boy she was holding hands with, "They've been avoiding each other all day."

For the first time the girl, Jeanette, seemed to take notice of the fact that the boy and the girl she was trying to talk to were walking on opposite sides of her and Blue Clad, distancing themselves from the others as much as would allow, about two feet each. They both had a face of lament; eyes pained yet expressionless, mouth bent into solemn depression, heads down, regarding nothing but the windblown leaves. She considered this, before casually wandering behind the boy and shoving him toward the auburn haired girl on the other side of the path. "Talk to her!" she instructed.

After he regained his footing, the boy glared at the girl he was forced upon before turning back to Jeanette and retorting, "This is so stupid. Nothing she says is going to change my mind."

"It's okay," Auburn Hair breathed, just barely loud enough for everyone to hear. Her head was still dropped down, now focused on an isolated leaf of ashen as she continued, "I understand. But I just have to know one thing: can someone who lives hundreds of miles away- someone you haven't seen in years- really matter more to you then me?"

He sighed. "Yes. Yes, Brittany, she can." Brittany, the auburn haired girl, gasped, as a single, salty tear slipped down her cheek and paused at the edge of her chin. She let out a sharp, bitter wail, agitating the teardrop, before she wiped it away with a swift stroke of the hand. Almost all of the boy's experience with people crying had been with Brittany- but she was generally prone to big, long, dramatic sobs. Although he would never get used to her crying, he had become fairly good at tuning all that out. But this tear… this single, salty tear…

"Here, Britt." He rested his arm on her shoulder, then guided her stumbling body over to a fallen log upon the lakeshore. They both sat down, as she folded her hands together, looking down at her lap. "Look, Brittany…" He put his arm out as though he was going to pull her close, but then retreated, thinking better of it. "You're a great girl, you really are, it's just- well, you see, I already have a girlfriend, and, I don't know- I just can't think of anything that involves you…" She sniffled, as though trying to repress her remaining tears. He watched with great sadness, but still managed to let a fake, encouraging smile find its way to his face. "Hey, hey. There, there. It's okay, Britt. It really is no big deal."

"Quit referring to my feelings as 'no big deal!'" she howled.

"Wait… What?" He shook his head in disorientation.

She was looming over him now, driving her index finger into his neck. In wild bewilderment, he fell backward on the log, plummeting into the sand. "You heard me! Quit referring to my feelings as no big deal!"

"Whoa! Brittany…"

"I'm doing just fine without you, Alvin! I don't need you!"

It took the boy, Alvin, a few seconds to fully comprehend what she had just said. Her thoughts and arguments were all over the place, and, in his mind, totally irrelevant to each other. But when understanding finally did come, he growled under his breath, "Bull s***…"

"What'd you say?" she demanded.

"Bull s***!" he accused, as he sprang up to join her at standing level.

She flinched in time, but quickly regained her composure when she realized just how deep his scowl was running, just how serious this was becoming. "Oh, what do you know?"

"Just about everything about you! Get it through your thick head!"

"Don't talk to me like that!"

"This is how you've treated me all this time! All these years! I try to do something nice for you, and I wind up regretting it later!"

"I have not!"

"Have too!"

"Have not!"

"Shut up!" He lunged forward, knocking her to the ground. The sand beneath her erupted upon contact, fading quickly in a cloud of smoke. There was perfect stillness for a fleeting moment, as Alvin looked from her quivering body to his now unclean hands. What have I done? he asked himself.

"Fine… I understand- you hate me." she muttered. All remained silent as she picked herself up, brushed off her skirt and continued down the path, as calmly as if nothing had ever happened. She acknowledged no one as she walked past Alvin, Jeanette and Blue Clad, but kept her eyes amble, unwavering and straight ahead.

They let her get a few steps away before Jeanette latched onto Alvin arm. "Follow her!" she demanded. "Well, what are you waiting for? Follow her!" He scowled in response, just long enough to let the fowl taste of his anger brush against her lips, and slowly spread across her tongue, but not long enough to get into any more skirmishes. As her grip on his arm loosened, he yanked himself away, and then stormed back up the path, in the same direction they had come from. "You jerk…" she mumbled. "You jerk-ity, jerk, jerk, jerk!"

"Jeanette," Blue Clad wrapped his arm around Jeanette's waist, "you can't make him do anything he doesn't want to do." There was a long pause before she finally sighed in agreement. "Come on," he whispered. "You go after Brittany, I'll go after Alvin."

"…did you have a fight?" the boy in the emerald-green polo asked.

"No…" Alvin replied.

"Did you fail a test?" guessed Blue Clad.

"We're barely two weeks into school."

"Did you…" Emerald began, desperately trying to think of other reasons why Alvin might be so miserable. It was fairly apparent though that if they were all the way down to failed-tests, they had pretty much covered everything. "Just tell us!"

"I told you before. It's none of your business."

"We're gonna find out somehow…" Emerald threatened.

Alvin turned his back toward the others. "Hmm. I'd like to see you try."

"Alvin, you idiot!" Three girls were suddenly looming over the boys, the shortest pounding her fist against the table at which they sat. "How could you be so stupid? How could you say no?" For someone so kind, so sweet, so compassionate, she was acting surprisingly hostile. Her naturally gentle face was painted with angry colors, and an overpowering scowl that lacked all hopes of reasoning. She forced her hands back on her hips, agitating her lime-green sundress as she fumed, "This was like, your chance to end all the stupid melodrama, but there you go again: looking for just another way to drag it on!"

"What happened?" asked Blue Clad.

Sundress scoffed before persisting. "This dimwit," she started, gesturing towards Alvin, "Brittany finally had the guts to tell him how she feels and he rejects her!"

"I was being honest!"

Blue Clad tilted his head, considering all this. "…but you do love her, don't you? Then why'd you-"

"Charlene! Why do I always have to repeat myself?"

"So you traded Brittany in for your little imaginary girlfriend?" Emerald laughed. Despite everything that was going on, he suddenly seemed amused.

Alvin shifted his body to face, and to glare at, Emerald. "You knew Charlene when she was still here, Theodore!"

The boy in the emerald polo, Theodore, smiled coldly. A few weeks earlier, he had accidently stumbled upon the fact that Alvin got really irritated whenever Charlene was referred to as "fake", and since had gone to great lengths to bring it up in every conversation, relevant or not. He knew this wasn't true though, for he, himself, had some experiences dealing with Charlene years before. But opportunities to really annoy his brother rarely came around, so he would try to make the most of them whenever possible. "So she does exist? Prove it."

"If it'll make you stop saying she's fake." Alvin fished his wallet from his back pocket, and withdrew a 2½ by 3 ½ from inside. He handed it to Theodore, and watched as his face changed from mocking to gawking.

"You're dating this girl?" Alvin nodded. "No wonder you can wait-she's gorgeous."

"Can I see the photo?" asked Sundress.

"Can I keep the photo?" Theodore joked.

"No! Give it back!"

The girl on the outskirts of the sextet watched as Alvin repeatedly lunged for the picture, which Theodore would playfully pull inches out of reach. For some reason, this seemed to upset her. "Whatever…" she muttered.

The second of the three girls, Jeanette, turned to face the person who had just spoke. Up until then, Jeanette had been watching the others from a safe distance, analyzing them with her arms crossed and her lips pierced. But now she turned, seemingly making it the first time anyone took notice of the last girl, Brittany. "I'm sorry, Britt. Will you be okay?"

"It doesn't matter now, does it?" Tears began to weld up in her eyes. "I… I regret it."

"No, don't. He was bound to find out eventually. At least now you know. Now you can move on. There are plenty of other boys out there." She coaxed Brittany out of her seat and started to lead her from the arguing. "Come on. I'll buy you a soda."

"Why are you doing this for me?" Brittany managed between sobs.

"Because despite what you may believe, Alvin isn't your only friend in the world."