Jeff was nervous. There was no doubt about that. He stood in front of the mirror in his dorm, observing himself far too critically, sighing inwardly as he flattened the creases in his shirt. His ironed blazer lay on the chair next to him. Turning around he slipped it on and stared at himself once more. This is it, he whispered to himself, you can do it. His own words of advice fell flat as he continued scrutinising his appearance in the reflection. What if it's the same as before. It didn't change last time. Why should it now.
This was his third transfer in the past two years. His prior switch to McKinley High had ended drastically when his mother had come to pick him up from Glee rehearsals and found him locked in a dumpster in the parking lot. She decided then, after a two hour lecture to Principle Figgins on his complete oblivion to student welfare, that a private school was better suited for Jeff.
He didn't mind leaving. He hadn't made many friends there anyway, actually he had only spoken about three words to anyone, not even when they attacked him. He remained silent. Quietly hoping they would stop. He remembered the notes in his locker and the slurs and the shoves and the broken nose. Yeah. He didn't mind leaving.
He stood now, in his new dorm, the cuts and bruises on his face gone but the ones on his back still painfully visible. He glanced over to the bed opposite to his and wondered where his roommate was. He had arrived at Dalton yesterday and was given the full tour. The two boys in the upper year, who seemed nice, but heavily disinterested in him, had taken him to his room and said that he would be sharing with a boy named Nick, before leaving him standing outside. Jeff had waited a full ten minutes before building up the courage to knock on the door. When there was no response he pushed it open and walked into room. No Nick. He wondered if the boy had requested a room swop after hearing he would be sharing with the new kid. He decided it was probably true and that Nick would come back later to grab all his stuff.
But he didn't. It was now Monday morning of his first day at Dalton and his room lay littered with his mysterious roommates possessions. Several t-shirts lay scattered on the floor, a pocketknife sat open on the dresser and about thirty different coloured lighters lined the shelf above the bed.
He glanced at his watch. 7am. He still had an hour before classes started and decided that waking up extra early too get ready is not a particular great idea as it just makes you hungry and bored. He debated whether going down to breakfast was a good idea. He feared talking to anyone and didn't want to make a bad impression on his first day.
Deciding against leaving the room, he sat down carefully on his neatly made bed.
It was at this point that Nick Duval made his grand entrance. Slamming open the door, he charged into the room, kicking off his boots in the process. He strode halfway across the room, when he saw the blonde boy sitting opposite his bed, paralysed in fear.
"Who on Earth are you?" he demanded.
Jeff didn't answer
"Why are you in my room?"
Jeff tried to explain, but his words came out muddled and incoherent.
"What are you doing in here?" Nick continued, walking toward the trembling boy.
"I..i'm…new and –"
"Right. New kid. Forgot you were coming" Nick said, his tone of voice changing immediately, "did anyone come into the room last night?"
"Or this morning"
"Well they'll be coming soon then"
"Why?" Jeff was not used to being interrogated like this.
"Room inspection!" he exclaimed. Jumping backward suddenly and turning to face the mess that surrounded his bed.
Jeff sat in awe as Nick bounced about the room like a mad man, shoving clothes under his bed and magazines into the bookshelf. Several cigarettes fell out of his pocket as he dashed from corner to corner and Jeff cringed.
"Aren't you going to ask where I was last night?" Nick teased as he rearranged the lighters on the shelf.
Jeff remained silent.
"Well aren't you a lot of fun...hello...do you speak?"
Nick strode over to the other boy, clasping a hand over each cheek, staring down at him.
"So, I got some rules. Don't go through my stuff. Don't take my smokes. Don't touch my bed. And for the love of god do not wake me up for classes in the morning if i'm sleeping. Got it Blondie?"
Jeff nodded quickly, before Nick released him from his grip, smiling.
"This shall be fun", he concluded, "hopefully you'll last longer than my last roommate."
Nick grinned at the other boy wildly before running into the bathroom.
Jeff sat on his bed, completely lost for words.
He was 98 percent sure that he had just met the mad hatter.