Chapter One

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Why am I watching Princess and the Pauper? I'm fourteen years old I thought I moved past my Barbie phase.

Alexander's POV

"I begin to assemble what weapons I can find," I sing somewhat loudly, shaking my hips in time to the music as I pull a lamp and some picture frames out of their box. "But sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind!"

"Am I the only one-" I pull my earphones out when I realize that another voice had joined mine in singing the refrain and spin around immediately. A boy stands hunched in my doorway, a box slipping out of his hands.

"Twenty one pilots, huh?" He smiles, struggling to keep the box from falling. "I'm not a big fan, but a friend of mine loves it."

"Let me help you with that," I say, taking the box from the boy and dropping it down on the bed opposite mine. I feel my face going red, a little embarrassed that my new roommate just caught me in the middle of an over-dramatic sing along. I turn back to my desk and continue unpacking.

The other boy clears his throat. "I'm John Laurens," he tells me, and the name sparks something in me.

"Laurens?" I ask, spinning around, some picture frames still in my hands.

John rolls his eyes. "Yes, as in the son of Henry Laurens, state senator." He sighed and flopped down on the bed, staring up at the worn dorm room ceiling.

"Sorry." I grimaced. Daddy issues was something I could understand. "I'm Alexander Hamilton." I offer, trying to change the subject and start over. He's my roommate, and what I definitely don't want is to get off on the wrong foot.

"It's nice to meet you, Alexander." John lifts his head from the pillow. "What're you studying?" He asks, in an effort to be conversational.

"Law," I say, groaning inwardly as I mention it.

John snorts. "Law?" He repeats. "That's great, but....I'm sorry, it's just a little basic."

"I didn't really know what else to study." I admit, lifting a shoulder awkwardly.

"You didn't have to go to college, you know." John sits up, looking at me seriously. "There's nothing wrong with waiting a year or two until you figure out what you want to do. Why'd you come to college if you didn't know which career you wanted to follow?"

I fiddle with my hands, turning away from him. "It was expected of me."

"By who?" John asks, and I don't answer, but instead raise a brow at him. John's face falls as he realized his mistake.

"I'm so sorry," He gushed, standing up from the crappy bed, causing the springs to squeal in protest. "I'm such an idiot, Alex, we've just met and I'm already digging into your personal life."

"No,it's fine." I assure him, although I can already feel a pain in my chest. I take a few deep breaths and ponder putting my earphones back in, but I decide against reaching for them. I need to start learning to deal with my anxiety without musical sedatives.

"I'm here to become a mental therapist," John tells me, even though I didn't really ask. "I want to help people, no matter what their problems are." This interests me. Maybe if we get to be better friends John Laurens could help me with my little....ah, problem.

I put down the books I'm trying to organize and smile at John, deciding that unpacking can wait. "Do you have any more boxes you need to bring up?" I ask, partially because I want to be polite and partially because I just have the sudden urge to go somewhere.

Unfortunately, John shakes his head. "All my stuff is just up a level, actually. My best friends, Herc and Laf, moved into their dorm a few days ago, and I've been staying with them. It just seemed weird to stay in here alone. It felt too lonely." John chuckled awkwardly. I nodded understandingly.

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