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Message Man

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For the whole night Josh has been thinking, how his newest video should look like, and literally everything suddenly evaporates from his head. Not completely everything. There's a mess in his head, he can't sort family things, school things, and his own things together. He can tell there are new and new things occupying his mind, except for any clever ideas.

He eventually decides to record a vlog from his new school soon and maybe include some people he's just met. It will take some time, though, since he hasn't learnt much about the school in one day.

He met many people today, and that means his little plan about making himself recognisable is doing great so far. However, the only people who he could let sit in front of his camera are Brendon and Hayley at the moment. He's known Hayley for many years, and even though he hadn't known Brendon, Brendon has known him, so he's calmer, when it comes to them both.

He might tell, how he actually ended up in Columbus, and that it wasn't a coincidence, that he met Hayley here. They both could recommend some music, or even talk about their colourful hair, because Josh is a bit obsessed with hair dyeing, no matter if it's his, or somebody else's.

He remembers, that Hayley used to sing much as a child, and that was a pretty, childish singing. That's why her parents made her participate in vocal contests. Josh doesn't think she has lost the good voice through the years, so maybe she could sing something for his channel some time and he would play.

What about Brendon? Josh might have a solid script for a video and Brendon would never stick to it completely. He always has something to say, or, eventually, to shout it out, and it would be a big mess. But it would be fun, wouldn't it? People like that stuff and Brendon is definitely the life and soul of the party.

He won't record it in less than one week and most probably people will get impatient. But what else can he do? It's like he entered a plane and all his imagination vanished, because he used to come with new ideas almost every night before, and now nothing. Everything rushed. Maybe it's just a matter of time.

It's almost 2 a.m. and Josh is listening to music in bed, at least is trying to. He's distracted by one thing and the one stupid thought doesn't let him fall asleep. It's all he's thinking about. He shouldn't even worry about it, just throw it into the bin and never bring it up, but it's impossible, at least for now, when he doesn't know, what he has to deal with.

He chooses Brendon's contact, which he's got from him today during lunch break, because why not, and texts him;

Josh: Dude.

Josh: It's important, I know you aren't sleeping.

He stares blankly at his screen, waiting for Brendon to respond. He said Josh could text him any time, but now is even more important than any time, and he doesn't even dare to look at his phone and open the message.

Josh starts to think, that he went to sleep for real, but suddenly he sees, that his message is being read. He has to wait another 5 minutes, but still gets no response.

Josh: You read this, I see you.

Josh: Come here, or I'll spam you.

Josh: With gross emojis.

Josh: I'm going to school on my skateboard tomorrow too.

Josh: And I'm planning on smashing it on your head. Come on.

Josh: I don't care we have met this morning.

He can see a bubble on the left, which means, that Brendon is typing. Finally. 10 seconds pass. Then 15, then 25. One minute has passed and Brendon is still typing. Josh can't believe this and closes the app to open it again, but the bubble is still there.

Josh: Are you writing a litany?

Josh: Dude I'm serious, don't play with me, just listen, what I have to say.

Brendon: What do you mean?
I was sleeping, it was a really warm
sleep, you know? I was dreaming
about you being nice to me, and
well... It was nice! I was cuddled to
my teddy bear and everything was
perfectly fine, for the first time
since last two weeks! Do you know
how much sleep I've got this summer?
I will enlighten you. I've got at most
5 hours of sleep every night.
Sometimes I didn't sleep at night,
because a person like me is busy. So
this night seemed to be the night of
my most deserved rest, but no, of
course, my life hates me. I woke up
and now I am so damn cold, so if
you did this for no reason, I'll buy
even better skateboard and destroy
it in front of your eyes, so you can
suffer at the sight of this beauty
being damaged.

Josh rolls his eyes to the back of his head and can barely read the whole message. The screen is too bright and his head is too messy.

Josh: You at least made me laugh.

Josh: I don't care, that you were too busy partying to go to sleep??

Josh: I'm texting you for one particular reason.

Brendon: Shoot.

Josh: What's the name of this kid Hayley mentioned today?

Brendon: Tyler?

Josh: Yes. Give me a link to his channel.

Josh: Is he good?

Brendon: I said, I have never
watched him, I just overheard
something in the hallways, so
I don't have a link, but he's Tyler
Joseph, do a research.

Of course Josh is going to do a research. His head hurts as hell, but he isn't sleepy at all, so he's going to do some job. He gives Brendon a thumbs up emoji and opens a browser instead, to find this boy somewhere else, than on Youtube, to see his face on pictures, to find some informations, because why not. He's bored and can't sleep.

First result is a Youtube channel, obviously, but Josh saves this for later. There's some Facebook account below and Josh prays, that it's the right account, because he would prefer scrolling through some kid's photos, than through Google results.

When it finally loads, he's disappointed like never before, because this account has no profile picture, no detailed informations and no albums. It only says, that this guy attends to Worthington High School. Well, it actually says everything. It's Josh's new school, and it's impossible there are more Tylers Josephs there. It's him.

He asks Brendon again;

Josh: He doesn't have any pictures and literally nothing posted by him on fb.

Josh: Is he even active somewhere beyond Youtube?

Brendon: Yeah, he's never posted any
picture of himself, I guess he doesn't
like it. I think he doesn't use social
media at all.

Josh doubts it.

Brendon: I'm going to sleep, I'll
explain everything in school.

Josh can see some group pictures posted on his feed by other people. All of them are basketball related and group pictures from basketball games. There isn't any picture of one person, so Josh still doesn't know, how Tyler exactly looks like.

However, he saves one of these pictures and decides to text Brendon again;

Josh: Hey, don't sleep yet.

Josh: *inserts 1 picture*

Josh: Is he somewhere in this picture?

Brendon will probably respond 3 hours later, so Josh comes back to his research, but doesn't find anything, what might identify who he's looking for. He only knows this boy probably plays basketball and maybe is in a basketball team, that's all.

Pretty strange. If he runs a Youtube account, he would like to be noticeable. Everybody Josh knows from his job does literally everything to gain attention, so being active on social media is something like number one priority. You have to promote yourself somewhere.

He finally opens Youtube. Brendon hasn't answered yet. He's probably sleeping.

So now he has to face his possible opponent, the one who will probably want to fight with him very soon, because everything for more views, right? That's how it always works, unfortunately.

The first video, that pops up, is titled "[i've got a migraine]" and okay, Josh has no idea what it means, but he's already here to find out. He clicks on the video and immediately pauses, because... 200,000 subscribers? It's nowhere near Josh's amount, but the numbers are very big, especially for somebody, who's only on Youtube and nowhere else. Weird. Everything is weird since he's moved to this city.

The video starts, but nothing's happening for almost 30 seconds. Just a view on a casual, tidied up room, which is blinded by rays of the sun breaking through the window. There is a furniture on the left side of the camera and a keyboard behind it, in front of the window. What's the most interesting, is that the keys are directed to the wall, but the keyboard isn't moved to the wall. Josh can also see a bit of a bed on the right. A furniture, a piano, a window, a light, and a bed.

After 45 seconds, what feels like an eternity, he can hear a voice. A singing voice. a quite high voice, considering, that it's a boy. Josh has never heard this melody before.

What really creeps him out are two hands suddenly appearing from behind the furniture and gently landing on the keyboard. Singing doesn't stop. This person must be hiding in this small space between the furniture and the wall. Smart. But why?

The song started off slowly and delicately, and Josh thinks, that wow, this boy's voice is really high. But then everything stops and starts again, this time he hits piano keys more confidently to extract stronger sound, and it isn't one of these boring piano sounds, that everybody's heard million times already. When you first see the piano, you don't usually think it's gonna be an energetic melody.

He's not singing now, he's talking very fast, still playing background music on his keyboard. Josh doesn't know, if he's reciting? Rapping? One thing he does know: this kid is good at this. And no matter, how much he doesn't want this thought to break through his mind, he can't admit he can't sing or play.

He can't just sing. His voice is really good. More than good. It's amazing. Even when he shouts the lyrics and his voice cracks, it doesn't stop being intriguing. Now it can be powerful, and one second later it's small and almost childish.

Except for that, Josh doesn't understand, why he hid. Many people ask in comments, when he will finally show his face, so it means, that he keeps hiding it all the time. People wouldn't worry about it, if he revealed himself in at least one video. He pushes people away doing this, but also attracts them at the same time. Smart.

Josh watches another two or three videos and is more confused, than before. He has million questions to ask Brendon, but he still hasn't responded yet, so he must be sleeping for good. It seems like Tyler represents himself only through these videos, because they are everything he has, maybe the lyrics he sings have a big value for him. It's too late to ponder of it, but Josh is sure, that he wants to spread some important message and maybe not having any social media makes people focus only on the message, not his personal life. Who knows.

He might be wrong, and probably is, but he starts to wonder, why does he do that? What inspired him? Is he scared? Josh can't sleep, because too much questions occupy his mind, along with a mess in his head because of moving out.

He feels like he's going to have a migraine this time. Even though he's not sleepy, he's tired, and his head still hurts, something keeps pounding inside him, so he needs to put his phone away, as for now. He's overreacting at night, and maybe he will forget all of this in the morning. He really wishes he will.