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Message Man

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It's the last day of summer holidays. The last day of staying up late without any remorse and the last day of spending every second with Ashley. The weather this morning looks promising, no matter, how melancholic this day is going to be. Birds have been singing since the sky was still dark and very strong rays of the sun breaking through the window blinds make Tyler squint his eyes and wake up.

Tyler gets mad, that he woke up that early, if Ashley still sleeps soundly. He can hear a sound of the lawn mower, which reminds him of holidays even more. He hates, that he will have to forget about all of this tomorrow.

He spent almost every day of break with Ashley. She was making him to do many weird things he would never think he'd do. She's so spontaneous, that he wonders, when will they finally get into some trouble. She's clever, but very scatterbrained, and he's afraid, that some day she will say, or do something, that might affect on him negatively. She would never do that intentionally, but still.

It's not, that Ashley doesn't have any other friends. She's a popular soul of the company, but she rather hangs out with them in school, like typical classmates. The difference with Tyler is that she knows him the longest amount of time of them all, they live not so far away from each other and she probably trusts him the most.

They hadn't been best friends since childhood. They used to play together as children a little, but they lost a contact with the beginning of school, because boys are gross to girls at this period of life, so boys stayed with boys and girls stayed with girls. They acted like strangers since then.

They returned in high school, when Ashley dyed her hair blue and became rebellious and more confident girl. Tyler, being lost, didn't know anybody from class, so he decided to sit beside her. Bit by bit, little by little, they happened to be friends and best friends.

Ashley treats tyler like a little brother, even though she's only 3 months older than him. She thinks he's the nicest creature on the Earth, or at least way nicer than her. He's sensitive and does everything in an amiable and charming way.

He's tall, but tiny, and that always makes him seem smaller beside people. He loves wearing dark clothes, just because he feels better in black. He loves floral patterns. Ashley thinks, that he has the most delicate face she's ever seen, but the fact is, that she have porcelain features as well.

She is sure, that Tyler every day seduces many people by his look and way of being. Girls are sometimes too obvious with showing their emotions towards him, but he doesn't see it, or he doesn't want to admit it. She rescued him from an awkward situation many times, saying simply, that she was his girlfriend. He has always been thankful to have her. If girls are so interested in him, they should know already, that he's gay.

People from school, who know about his sexuality, don't have any problem with it. He notices weird stares towards his direction sometimes, but they stay silent and he couldn't be thankful more. His family doesn't know.

Tyler finally opens his eyes fully and takes a deep breath. If he can't sleep, Ashley can't do this either. He decides to torture her if she doesn't wake up.

He grabs her arm and pushes her lightly. She groans sleepily. Then he puts all hair from back of her head onto her face. She makes no move. He raises his knee, so it's touching her back and pushes her again, but with a little more force.

"T-Ty piss o...ff," she grumbles and he loses his patience. He removes the whole bed sheet from her body, then moves back and kicks her out of the bed with his foot.

He observes her from from above, until she, suddenly, fully awake, opens her eyes, frightened, "I need to pee."

"You're ridiculous?" he snaps, without realizing it sounds more like a question. Ashley avoids him and rushes bare-foot to the door.

Tyler falls with his back onto a soft cushion and exhales sharply. The room feels airless and he feels dazed. apparently there is going to be the best weather of the year today, and it's not how the last day of holidays should look like. He doesn't want to move.

He realized he has a job to do every time after opening his eyes in the morning, Especially, when he hasn't finished something this night. He wants to move. He reaches his phone from underneath the pillow and puts white headphones into his ears.

He unblocks the screen and an opened app he spends most of his time on, with paused video, shows up. He hopes he can finally watch this in peace. He has no idea, why he's always so nervous. "No one sees you, calm down," he shouts at himself internally.

After nearly one minute of overthinking, he finally taps play on the video he left opened a few hours ago.

He can see only a familiar room with black and grey walls, the whole surface covered in band posters. The room is pretty bright, despite of dark colours surrounding it. In the middle is situated not too big, but also not too small bed with always the same blue blanket covering it, and fluffy yellow pillow hiding in the corner.

Next to the bed stands high, black bookshelf, stuffed with more cd's and books, than he's ever seen in real life. The camera can't fit the whole room, but still the best thing for Tyler is the collection of vinyls hanging above the bed. It's beautiful. It's the coolest room he's ever seen. It's this kind of rooms you see in family movies, the rooms that belong only to the coolest guys in the city. Well...

After maybe 10 seconds, he can finally hear muffled sounds and human voices. Then one voice. Then a laugh. The laugh. Stumbling by the feet, one person enters the room and sits in front of the camera.

His hair is pink at the top and dark brown at the shaved sides. The pink is not faded, boring tone, but also not so bright, that your eyes hurt at the very sight. It's candy pink, probably the most pleasant shade of pink you can imagine.

He has unique features. Dark hazel and big eyes, these ones that drill into your imagination and construct an emotion of bliss and felicity, and eyes that you zone out in unawares.

After seeing his hair and his eyes, the next thing you perceive is silver nose ring, which gleams funny every time he moves his face and white gauges embellishing his ears.

And the next thing you see is pink again, the same shade as his hair. The pink that holds million bubbles of delight and opens the most optimistic smile you could ever have a chance to see.

And the next thing is a plain black hoodie occupying his slim, but well-built body and covering the scenery of purple galaxy, trees and full of colours sunset. Bis tattoo is a work of art. Tyler wonders, how does it feel to have a masterpiece inked on your arm forever.

His name is Josh.

Josh Dun, also known as MISTYEYED, is one of the most popular social media personalities in Nevada state. Despite his very young age, he has been able to gain a proper amount of followers and secure his future himself.

In his videos he talks openly about himself, about world issues, about politics, about music, about cats, about bands, about life in Las Vegas. When he doesn't talk, he plays games and instruments, he makes clothes, he hangs out with friends, he laughs.

He is not problematic, at least not to that point to be popular only from hate being spread about him, like many people do nowadays. He attracts people by his own being, but doesn't want to be known as a celebrity, or doesn't want this ridiculous word being used around him, ever. He still goes to school and is a teenager, just not an ordinary one. His closest family and friends don't treat him like somebody special. He doesn't consider himself so, too.

Josh would never want to do anything else. By doing casually, what he loves, he makes others happy, gives inspiration to young, broken kids, and by the way makes money. He likes other advantages as well. Lately he got invited to two music award shows. Everything Tyler could ever dream of.

Josh doesn't know Tyler exists.

Tyler is not a stalker, really.

He's nobody obsessive, but unfortunately can admit, that he can't survive a day without checking out Josh's channel. It probably because a routine now. He found his account almost a year ago, when Ashley broke her arm and couldn't dye her hair by herself. Being a kind boy he was, he didn't want to mess up her hair, as he had never dyed anybody's then. Maybe he wanted to impress her a little, too.

He decided to search for hair-dyeing videos on Youtube, but ended clicking on the first video in column, probably the one with the most views. It was called "DYEING MY HAIR WITH MY CAT" in all caps, and on the screen appeared Josh. Pink wasn't the first color you could see back then. His hair was dark, ebony and not shaved anywhere.

He decided to dye his hair pretty turquoise blue. A perfect coincidence found, Ashley wanted exactly the same colour, so Tyler didn't have to search for another video. In the end, he didn't learn anything from it, because he was more interested in guy, than in what he was talking about.

Fortunately, he did a pretty good job with Ashley's hair. They added some yellow near her right temple and ear as well. It looked amazing and pissed off every teacher in their dear school, but they both loved and still love it.

Josh had been the most stereotypical cool guy you could find in every school, in every class, and Tyler found himself thinking the whole week, what intrigued him in this guy, that he couldn't stop watching him. As the time went by, he perceived many unique features and began to understand, why.

Josh, through his videos, inspired Tyler to finally do something with his life. If it wasn't because of Josh, Tyler's channel wouldn't exist and he probably would never find his hobby. Josh's words and advices were for tyler like a cozy blanket, which assured him, that he was not alone in some way.

Tyler realizes, that his new video is a usual story time, so he decides not to scroll through comments this time.

"My parents will be the death of me, even though they want the best for me, I know it," his soft, low voice continues talking, "and this is not a clickbait, I really have important news for some of you." He takes a deep breath, before talking again. "My parents are moving to their family house in a couple of days. It's already certain. I haven't mentioned anything at all to you earlier, because I thought I could still convince them to stay here, but they are stubborn as usual. I don't know, what exactly made them make that decision so quickly, or why they had just been hiding that for me, but they explained it as returning to roots of family business. It's all I know for now."

He holds his cheeks in his hands and speaks again, "They also believe it will be better for me, to isolate from all this chaos and people, who recognise me immediately. Maybe it will, but everything I have is here. I can't probably survive outside Vegas. My home is right here and so are all my friends. I can switch between school and Youtube here, teachers understand, and everything goes by smoothly. I don't know, what the future holds for me in the new place."

He starts spinning around on his chair, humming.

"So... That's the question. I am not sure, if I will be able to keep doing what I'm doing, so I'm explaining it now. Starting a new school is always difficult, so maybe not so much videos a week. I don't know, what unfamiliar city will offer and what ideas for a new content will be. Of course, I can manage to continue my schedule, but, what I said, it's just a warning, not to leave you all uninformed."

It's not a really good news. Tyler doesn't know, how it feels to move from a big city to probably somewhere calmer, or just move somewhere distant in general, but such a drastic change obviously can affect on somebody's mental health. Tyler is probably more terrified than Josh at the moment.

"He's not dead," he thinks, but it doesn't solace him at all. He thought he could maybe meet him somewhere in near future, but now Josh might be even further away from him in a few days. He can start a new life in Europe. He mentioned Europe many times in his life.

Tyler looks at Josh on the screen again, as he zoned out for a few seconds. "But of course, I am not leaving." He smiles. "I would never leave. you can force me, but it won't happen."

"I mean, you better not," Tyler says out loud.

"Who are you talking to?" He hears the door opening and Ashley appears with hands full of cookies and 2 bottles of water, some fruits sticking out of her sweatpants' pockets, moving carefully to his bed.

"Wow, you produced such things in toilet," he mutters sarcastically, taking a water bottle from Ashley.

"I think your parents love me more than you. I obviously love them, I love them a lot, because come on, they give me much food."

She notices Tyler's gloomy expression and immediately forgets her words. "Hey, I was joking." When she still doesn't get any response, she sits closer to him and wraps her arms around his body. "What's wrong? Don't be mad."

"I have no idea, I just found out Josh might quit Youtube, and—"

Ashley looks at him in pure shock. She hasn't acquainted this Josh guy, so the most she knows about him is that he has pink hair, even though she watched some of his videos with Tyler. However, she is aware, how much he means to Tyler, partially. "What do you mean? He can't just—What?"

"I don't know, he moves out with his family and has to, probably, start a new life, which means his videos will be delayed, and who knows for how long he is going to bear it."

"Well, it doesn't really mean he's going to leave." She puts her head on his shoulder. "He won't. Would he abandon everything he's achieved? Think about it."

"That is exactly, what he said. I might be overreacting, sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about. I fully understand you. It's just like your favourite artist announces a break from career. Pretty terrifying for a fan. But forget about it for a moment. We need to spend the last day of summer holidays like proper friends." She looks at him, before smiling widely at the boy sitting beside her.