⇜THE RUNNING GAG⇝ It was late in the evening, on a hot August night when the young man was late to work at his bench, littered with papers and books galore. The character sitting at this table seemed to be working away at something of great importance, and this is assumable by the sweat on his brow and the nervous thumping of his foot. Something that this person is working on has caused him some great distress, and whatever it is, it seems to be good at what it does. The cicadas churned and hummed a tune that did little to calm his nerves. The teen turned his body to look at a section of the desk that had an open book near the right-hand corner. He flipped the pages, and read it diligently. The name of the book was, "Seventy-Six MORE Ways to Put Yourself In Debt." and it seemed to scare the unnamed adult as if the work of literature was a hound. Another turn took him to a different book, near the center of the table, entitled "College Debt? No Sweat!" where the male turned and turned through each chapter, looking for something of use. He ran a nervous hand under his black beanie, and let out a groan. He turned to his notebook, that he had been filling up most of the entire night. The notebook seem tore up, and nearing the end of it's lifespan, but the teen took such care of the notebook that it seemed as if it was brand-new, but stocked-full of miscellaneous information. Well, not so much as miscellaneous. There was a neat little label on the front of it which said, "College Information - Eddward." Eddward, so said the label on the cover of the notebook, was in a bit of trouble. He figured that in order to get the amount of education needed to have the life he was destined to live, he would have to switch between two Private universities between the span of about six years at both. Now, this wouldn't be a problem for him because of scholarships, but both colleges summed up to about $70,000 a year, and that wasn't even with the additional cost of food, bedding, or travel. Now, that was about $75,000, times 2, times 14. Eddward pushed the numbers through a calculator (which was again entitled with his name at the top of it) and managed to get a whopping $2,100,000. Edward figured that both scholarships and financial aid would only break the surface of this, not to mention his own personal savings. But yet again, with all of that combined, he would still be broke out of luck. Now, the cost of living, finding an apartment, a job, clean clothes. Eddward sent out yet another groan, and slammed his head down onto the notebook. He was in trouble. Eddward lifted his head up, and chewed on the end of his fingernail. It was a disgusting habit, but it was uncontrollable. He was not currently in control of the situation, and Eddward did not like that. He did not, not one bit. This was a whole new development. Edd had known for a while that he would have some weight on his shoulders, but he didn't know how far he was going in this. He had all of his classes picked out between the two of them-- there was no way he was going to switch out now, for a cheaper course. He had it all worked out! He had it all planned, step-by-step, but he couldn't believe where the plans had gone to when the prices changed from year to year. Edd sighed, and tucked the notebook away in a stack of others, just like it. He flipped through them gently, till he found a row made entirely of C's, and tucked it in there in it's respected spot. He quickly shut the books, and did away with them, as well. He sat in his chair, and tapped his pencil against his desk as he thought to himself. He looked at his watch, and turned back outside. It was sometime around nine, and the sunset gave off a warm glow that seemed to melt Edd's fears away for a moment or two. He sighed, and neared the window. The insects were still chirping and the leaves were turning a lovely orange color. He almost forgot about his problems for a second before something caught his eye. He noticed a house near his that would probably hold all of his answers to college, and to payment, and to everything that would end up saving his hide. The answer was this: Kevin. All his life, Edd noticed that he was begin given letters, and awards and what-not. Edd scanned his room and raced to grab his pencil and College notebook again. He began jotting down information at lightening speed. Yes, yes! Lord knew how many activities he was in. How many scholarships he would be given, and how college maybe easy for some bruit like him. Yes, this was all clearing itself out. All Edward needed to do was join a few sports and-- Join a few sports. Now, that made him freeze up like a slow computer. Oh no, it was futile. He was going to be homeless for the rest of his life. He tucked his pencil between the pages and shut it again. It was hopeless. Edd had tried sports once before, back when Ed had convinced him to join Lacrosse, and that worked out the same way a led-balloon hangs in the air. It doesn't. Edd thought about this gently, and worked through the ways he could possibly avoid a hospital bill, along with towering student debt. Something crept into his mind, but he quickly blocked it out. But yet again, it poked and pestered him endlessly, until he did think upon it. Suppose... Eddward got some training. Well, it couldn't be that bad, could it? Edd took out is notebook, hopefully, for a final time. He jotted down some information as his mind was racing. They did live close to eachother, and Kevin was the biggest jock he knew-- hell, he was the ONLY jock he knew. If he needed help from anyone, it had to be him. But knowing him, he would want something in return. Edd didn't have to think about this one-- there was an intelligence gap the size of the Grand-Canyon, and that could come in handy. Maybe this could work. Eddward drew out a game-plan, along with a script to follow. He gently tore out the page in the book, and folded it into his cardigan pocket. Edd closed the door to his room as he exited, and walked down the stairs. He was about to call for his parents, to tell them that he was leaving, but he realized he was alone. Just him and the sticky-notes. Eddward sighed. He missed his parents every now and then, but he was completely self efficient. He pulled out a pen, and wrote one of his own, explaining and elaborating about what he was to do, incase one of his parents does make it home before him. That would never happen, though, but Edd could hope. He placed it gently on the fridge, and soon he was off. Edd walked across the street, towards the house. He knew he had nothing to be afraid of, but even as children, the two never quite got along. Now that they were both young men, they had less and less interactions. Almost any of them seemed to be positive in the slightest. Surely Kevin couldn't be harboring any bad feelings, right? They were just children. And they were both currently nearing their early adult hood! It was almost their junior year of high school. As the teen neared the other's house, he began feeling as if he had made a grave mistake. He took a step towards the house, knees shaking. His anxiety was getting the best of him. He ran his tongue over his lips and took another step. He was facing the door now, and noted to himself that the exterior of the door did not match the house at all. He held up a hand, and readied himself to knock at the door. Eddward gulped, and let his hand rap against the door. He had a feeling it was going to be a long night.