I Write Scripts, Not History
Chapter One: As If My Life Couldn't Get Any Worse
"I need a good one-liner for this week's episode. Any ideas?" What a breath of fresh air college has been. I was a fellow with a bright idea once, and only once. That was when I decided to go to a community college where I could really outdo all of my peers with my knowledge and charm. After that, I thought Owen would make a good roommate. I thought I could take on the responsibility of every member of our entertainment broadcasting team. I thought I could manage writing, directing, and editing three episodes a week while maintaining my usual eight hours of rest. And probably most regrettable of all, I thought I could maintain a healthy relationship with a colleague and high school sweetheart of mine.
"You're in over your head, dude. This hole movement you got goin' on, it's a hassle," Owen retorts, completely avoiding the question.
"To say that I'm simply 'in over my head' would be horribly understating the situation..."
He smiles at me sheepishly, taking a bite of his strawberry jam filled doughnut. "So... You're like, out under your toes?"
I look back at him, a huge grin plastering itself across my face. "Perfect! Galvison is gonna love that one!" I beam, referring to my so-called broadcasting professor. He goes nuts for those clever little one-liners. "Well, that's one episode down, two to go."
"How many years have we been friends, Phil-antherapy?" Owen clasps his arm around my neck, aiding my face down into his sweat-stained chest.
"It's Philanthropy, and we've been friends for approximately eight years," I answer, ducking away from his stench.
"And all this time, you've never shown me just what it is that you spend so much time on... Why is that?" He questions.
"Because, Owen. You've never taken an interest in just what it is that I spend so much time on. I'd love to show you."
"Rad! So I'm coming to your little broadcasting class today." He claims as more of statement than a question.
"All right, just be quiet when Galvison is speaking."
Walking into the studio, for me, is like waking up every morning. I lift my head and immediately am overcome by all of things on my agenda. It's not a very good simile, but it makes sense to me. It's a big stressful breath of fresh air, pouring out of me. There's only one difference between the studio and my dorm and that difference is about twenty-six people.
"Phil, did you print out the scripts?"
"Phil, I don't like this line."
"Phil, the camera won't turn on."
"Phil, the prop master didn't show up."
"Phil, this episode wasn't approved."
Phil, Phil, Phil, Phil, Phil...
Today was abnormally different.
As I entered quietly with Owen, I wasn't bombarded with questions and concerns. Only Via approached me kindly with a bear hug and an innocent kiss on the cheek, not acknowledging Owen's presence at all.
"Hey there, Mr. Director." She says, kissing me quickly on the lips.
Owen inserts himself in between us, facing Via with a disgusted look on his face. "Hello to you, too, Vi. Spit any more snot rockets lately?"
"No, Owen. And what about you? Caught any new STDs lately?" This round of bickering was too common for them. They'd been metaphorically at war since junior year of high school. Apparently, they each share an unflattering secret about the other and Owen made the mistake of nearly telling the whole school... By accident.
Neither of them will tell me their secrets, but I don't mind being in the dark.
They sneer at each other before Via steps back around him and smiles at me.
"I have some news, Phil," she beams, wrapping her arms around my waist. "You know how you're always complaining about having too much work?"
Her accent is adorable. "Well, I wouldn't say I complain."
"Anyway, Galvison's niece is transferring in and she's going to co-write. Isn't that great?" That doesn't sound great to me. It sounds like Galvison thinks I need help. Like he thinks I'm not capable of making this show by myself.
"W-what do you mean, co-write?" I take my usual front seat in the auditorium and wait for Via and Owen to join me.
"I mean, she's going to take over Sunday's episodes from now on."
"Wait, wait, wait... How am I supposed to direct an episode that I didn't even write? How am I suppose to edit it?"
"Well... You're not."
Galvison makes his grand entrance to the front of the auditorium and settles behind his podium. He gathers his paper work tentatively, preparing his instruction. I turn to Owen on my right and remind him not to speak when Galvison starts talking. To my left, Via takes out her notepad and scribbles the date in the top right corner.
"Well, you're all looking exceptionally droopy-eyed this morning, as it should be. Any who, I'd like to begin this lovely Monday morning with a congratulatory hand to Phil Diffy for the stellar ratings we received on our last three episodes!"
I blushed coyly as the class clapped for me. There was the occasional 'Great job, Phil!' and even a 'Phil, you rule!'
The clapping died down after a few wondrous seconds as we waited for Galvison to continue. Just as he was preparing to open his mouth, the auditorium double doors burst open.
"What's with the celebration?" The young woman asks.
She was pretty. Her hair was pulled back into a messy bun held together by a bright yellow rubber band. She wore black-rimmed prescription glasses and a matching black hoodie, zipped all the way and tight to her skin. Her blue jeans were ripped at the knees and frayed at the heels. And worst of all, her filthy pink converse were held together with duct tape.
"Ahh," Galvison breathes. "Everybody, this is my niece, Keely."
Just when I thought it couldn't get worse... This is the unprofessional, cliched college student that's taking my place. How did I not know she was his niece? Oh yeah. I know Keely Teslow... She's every guy's campus crush. She's one of those girls that parties on weeknights. People say she hasn't been on time for a single class since she was accepted here. God knows how she even gotten in...
She's Galvison's niece. Duh.
"Hey, Keely," the class spouts in unison. She nods inappreciably and takes a seat in the back.
"Which brings me to my announcement of the day. We all know how stressful it's been for Phil trying to manage three episodes a week, right? Well, Keely has offered to take on an episode a week to help out a little." Galvison, are you mad?
"Reluctantly," Keely mumbles.
The rest of the class laughs. Why is that funny? She didn't even want the job! Where will our ratings be by next week with that kind of attitude?
"Oh, Keely. It'll be fun!" Galvison assures.
As if my life couldn't get any worse...
"Dude!" Owen beams. "How hot is Keely Teslow? You totally scored getting to work with her!"
"I didn't score, Owen. I think I'm being punished by the earth." Owen and I walk side by side in the only place I can call safe. The campus library. Keely wouldn't be caught dead in here.
"The earth? C'mon, Phillip! The earth is doing you a solid. Can you imagine, late nights editing with that girl? Long, bonding writing sessions?"
"I have a girlfriend, Owen. And not only would that royally piss her off, but it'd give her another reason not to trust me." I wasn't exaggerating. Via is unmistakably the most paranoid people I've ever met. She thinks she knows everything about anything and most of the time, her worries get me in trouble.
So why was she acting so cavalier about Keely helping me?
"Not to sound like an ass, Phil, but Via's a huge bitch. You should dump her." I roll my eyes at him. As if that would ever happen.
I browse the non-fiction aisle with Owen and run my fingers along the dusty books. I'm about to pluck out a biography on Lincoln when the librarian, Mr. Tucker, greets us.
"Boys, are you looking for anything in particular?" He taps his cane twice on the carpet.
"I'm just doing some research on Lincoln," I answer, looking at the cane quizzically.
"Lincoln?" He ponders, walking further down the aisle. He stops at tattered grey book and pulls it out. The cover is blank, besides the word 'Lincoln' conveniently printed across the top. He hands me the book and says, "I think this will help you find what you're looking for," with a great big smile.
I thank him and proceed to the check-out counter. Mr. Tucker gives me a last look before I leave the library. "Be careful with that one... It is in bad shape and I do not check it out to just anyone."
I look at the clock, eight-thirty. It's a wonder I have some time to myself tonight. Right about now, Owen would be sprawled across his bed playing Xbox with the sound turned all the way up. I start to believe I might actually be able to work in my own room tonight as Owen is out with friends. I stare kindly at my laptop. It's just calling for me to write another episode. I stand up and inch towards it, glancing at the door for reassurance. No one seems to be coming down the hallway. Even the trees outside of my window are silent as the wind blows. I flip my laptop open and push on the power button, sit in my padded chair and smile as the welcome screen flashes me.
"Phil!" Via chimes out of nowhere... "Don't tell me your writing again."
"Nope." I stand from my comfy padded chair. "I didn't even hear you come in."
"Do you not want me here?" she wines. "Because I can leave, if you'd like."
I approach her with open arms and wait as she squeezes me lovingly, and then kisses me on the lips. "You just startled me, is all... I was actually just about to head off to bed."
She looks around questionably. "Owen's not here, is he?" I shake my head and she smiles, pushing me on my bed.
After the unexpected three minutes were over, Via dismounted me and exhaled loudly.
"Listen, Vi. I don't want you to worry about my work now,"
"Why would I worry?"
"You know, because I'm gonna be working with Keely now," I say cautiously.
She turns to face me, propping her head up with her palm. "I'm not worried she's going to steal you away from me, if that's what you're getting at."
I look at her. "Not to be a dick, Vi, but you completely flipped out when I asked Tara to join our crew."
She rolls her eyes at me. "That was Tara. This is different," she murmurs.
"How is it different?" I ask, turning on my side as she is.
"Because Keely is a lesbian," she tells me...
Owen'll definitely get a kick out of this one.
I guess I'm kind of procrastinating on finishing When Your Knees Buckle. I just don't want it to be over! Three years in the making and it's finally coming to an end. If you'd be so kind as to review this new installment or a chapter of WYKB, I will surely be so kind as to write one for you!
Thank you, come again.