6 Chapter 6

I waited up for Justin to come home from whatever event Mike and he were going to. Besides, there was a test coming up in Philosophy and I was hopelessly trying to study for it, anyway. Philosophy was like reading in a completely different language sometimes and it was beyond frustrating. I hated it, hated it, hated it.

But then, I remembered that I was dating a guy in my philosophy class and that maybe I could just call him and see how he was studying. Totally not just an excuse to see him instead of staying cooped up by myself. So, that's what I did. After a few minutes of fumbling around my bed to figure out where I left my phone, I dialed Vic's phone number and called him.

That was really the only big thing I had to get used to with Vic. He didn't text, and I could only call him. Typing on a computer was no problem for him, especially when there were little technologies to help make that easier. However, he insisted that using all of those technologies to type out a message would be more difficult than just straight-up calling. So that just meant I had to work on talking on the phone,

because I usually hated talking on the phone. I'm not sure what it was, but phone calls just made me so anxious for no obvious reason. Texts were easier because they required less communication expertise.

"Hello?" I smiled as Vic's voice came through the receiver. At least a voice like Vic's was good at easing that anxiety.

"Hi, it's Kellin," I said, cheerfully.

"Hey, Kellin, what's up?" he asked, calmly.

"Well, I mean, I was just wondering if you wanted to come over to study for our test in philosophy," I said, awkwardly balancing the phone between my shoulder and my ear. "Like, yeah, sorry it's last minute, but I'm just so lost."

"Yeah, I mean, I'm free, I can definitely come over," he said, warmly. I smiled to myself again. "Great! Do you want me to meet you on campus and I can show you the way over or-"

"No," he said, quickly. I frowned, noting his sharpness again. "It's okay, just tell me the floor and room number and I can come over myself."

"Um, okay," I said, quietly. "It's the third floor . . . room 345."

"Alright, thanks. I'll be over in a little while," he said, before saying goodbye and hanging up. I set my phone aside again and laid back on my bed, my chest buzzing with excitement at the idea of Vic coming over and saving me from boredom.

---

When Vic finally arrived, he knocked on the door and I eagerly jumped up to answer it. This was the first time he was coming over and, well, I was always happy to hang out with him, anyway. But there was something even more exciting about him coming over.

I grinned widely and pulled the door open, pleased to see Vic standing there. I was about to say something when Vic suddenly reached out and ran his hands all over my face. I gasped.

"Kellin? Is that you?" he asked, dramatically, continuing to grope my face and ruffle my hair. He was doing it on purpose. "Kellin?"

"Yes, it's me," I giggled as he continued to mess with me. I knew he could tell it was me, he was just being sarcastic as usual. Vic's sense of humor was definitely something I was getting used to. He was hilarious.

"Are you sure?" he asked, stepping into the room and attempting to suppress his own laughter. I finally stepped back enough to playfully swat his hands away. Silly.

"Yes! Stop!" I laughed. He nodded and slid his hands in his pockets as I closed the door behind us. I still couldn't stop smiling.

"Well, this is a nice room you've got here. Very aesthetically pleasing," he joked. I watched as he reached to the side and felt along the edge of my bed before sitting down.

"Oh, that's my roommate's bed, actually," I said, trying to pull the humor on him for once. To my surprise, he actually stood up.

"Sorry," he said, quickly.

"I'm just kidding, that's my bed, you can sit there," I laughed as he shook his head and joined in with my laughter, telling me that he could take jokes just as well as he dished them out. I went over and sat next to him, pulling my notebook into my lap so we could start on the studying. "Thanks for coming over."

"No problem," he said. He took the backpack off that he'd been wearing and I watched as he unzipped the bag and took out a folder full of what appeared to be blank papers.

"What's that?" I asked, curiously. He set the backpack down and grinned.

"My notes," he said. Upon closer observation, I noticed that the papers were full of little bumps and ridges. Braille. "See, the girl who takes notes for me sends them through this machine that translates into braille and, yeah, notes. It's very cool."

"Oh, cool," I echoed, looking at the paper. I couldn't even begin to imagine learning to read that way, but I guess if Vic had been doing it for most of his life it probably came easily now.

"Anyway, what part were you having trouble with studying?" he asked.

"All of it," I whined, toppling over onto my side. Come to think of it, this was actually pretty embarrassing. "I going to fail, I just know it."

"No, you're not, you'll be fine," he said. I looked at the notes I had out and sorted through them. I had no idea where to even start and Vic probably thought I was an idiot for asking him to come over without even having a plan. Heck, he probably thought I was an idiot in general for not understanding the material. The words on the paper all just seemed like a jumbled mess, though that was probably my fault. Half of the notes were just drawings and then the other half was literally chicken scratch. In other words, I couldn't even read my own handwriting sometimes.

"I'm sorry, I'm so unorganized," I sighed, feeling distressed.

"Kellin, just relax, okay?" he asked, keeping his tone calm and even. I bit my lip and started feeling worried all over again. This study date was so not as exciting as I thought it was going to be. "Sometimes, the first step in studying is getting organized. Now, it's probably too late for this test, but for the other ones, you should really hone in on your strengths to try and use them to create your notes."

"What do you mean?" I asked him, glancing down at the mess again. God, it was a good thing he couldn't see my notes because that would have been embarrassing.

"I mean . . . you like drawing. Why don't you draw your notes? Like a lot of these case studies and thought experiments are like stories . . . you could draw them out, maybe? Then again, I don't know if that would help you or not, because I'm not much of a visual learner," he said, smirking a little. I smiled.

"I guess that makes sense," I said, looking around me for a blank piece of paper. I found one on my desk and brought it back to the bed, using a textbook as a hard surface. "Can you explain the one with the guy with the brains again?"

"Okay, well, for starters, it's about identity," he said, chuckling softly. "Second, why don't we start with something a little less complicated? Do you remember the example with the ship?"

"The one where it goes out to sea and gets repaired?" I asked, actually recalling the lecture. I drew out a little cartoon boat on my paper, and then made some water to go with it, like a ship sailing on the ocean. I thought it looked cute.

"Yeah, so it goes out to sea, and over the duration of its voyage, ends up getting every part replaced . . . so when it comes back, is it still the same boat?" he asked. I thought about it for a minute and tried to create a pictorial representation of that concept. "Did you get that?"

"Yeah, sorry, I'm just thinking for a minute," I mumbled, finishing up the little diagram. I held it up and examined it, a huge smile spreading across my face as I realized that I finally understood the example. "Ohhhh, I get it now."

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And so we went back and forth like that for a while until we were interrupted by Justin coming home. I looked up as the door came open, and Justin walked in, followed by his friend, Mike. They both looked like they were in a good mood.

"Hey, bro, what are you doing here?" Mike said, looking genuinely surprised to see Vic sitting with me. Vic turned towards Mike and nodded towards him. I still thought it was cool how everyone was connected.

"Studying for philosophy," he said. "Have you met Kellin yet?"

"Yeah, I did before we left," Mike responded, giving a casual shrug. "Finally got to meet the boy you've been talking about non-stop-"

"Mike!" Vic scolded, almost sounding embarrassed. I just smiled because I liked the idea of Vic telling people about me.

"Well, cool, everyone knows each other," Justin chuckled, seeming content with the situation. No comments about Vic being blind or whatever he was saying before. "Great. So then, we can announce together that we both got bids for Alpha Sigma Sigma!"

"Oh my goodness! Congrats!" I said, excitedly getting up and crossed the room so I could give Justin a celebratory hug. He chuckled and I stepped back. Vic looked significantly less impressed.

"Yay! You joined a cult, good job, guys," Vic laughed, as Mike just rolled his eyes. "Okay, smart-ass," he chuckled.

"I'm kidding, I'm kidding," he shrugged, even though he probably really didn't like the idea of them joining a frat. I mean, I tried to be open-minded about it. As long as it made them happy, I didn't think it was really my place to judge what they did. And for some reason, pledging brotherhood to a group of guys they barely knew was appealing to them.

I just hoped that I would still get to hang out with Justin.

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