One green Chuck Taylor before the other.

How was any good journey supposed to start? Only, in Stephen's defense, he didn't know he was embarking on a journey. All he knew was that he was going to college, and that it was colder than he remembered when he visited the campus in his senior year. He began to wonder carefully to himself if he had made the right choice. He had received some letters from Cornell University, and with much reluctance, he gave it up for a more intimate setting. But really, that was just a fancy way of saying he didn't have the money to go to an Ivy League school. Considering he wanted to major in anthropology, it was anyone's guess when he'd be able to pay off the monstrous debts. He had always been raised to believe that education was the one thing people could never rob you of. But he was beginning to think that if anything, education robbed from you.

Someone bumped into him as he entered the narrow, plain hallway. She seemed confused and didn't notice the collision that made him drop his over-sized duffel bag. Stephen groaned and picked it up morosely, trying to balance the bag slung on his back and in his other arm. Once he grabbed hold of it and made steady pace into the hallway, he dug his hand into his jean pocket and extracted a crumpled sliver of paper. In faded print, it directed him to the second floor, room #271.

After a little more scuffling around, he found himself entering his new home for the next four years. A home that he was going to be sharing with a complete stranger. Luckily, that stranger hadn't arrived yet, giving Stephen some much needed alone time. The room was painted a somewhat pleasant azure. On either side of the room there was a plain oak drawer and night stand, along with an extended twin bed in fresh sheets. He threw his bags onto the foot of the bed nearest the door. After unpacking a few trinkets, some bedside reading, some posters; he laid on his belly, resting his head into the pillow. He screamed a couple of times into the pillow, and promptly fell asleep.

When Stephen woke up, it was already twilight outside. He rubbed the excess sleep out of his eyes and took his time to sit up. In the dim light, he noticed that the opposite side of the room was covered in strewn articles of clothing, text books and informational papers regarding Ohio University; but otherwise, Stephen was still quite solitary. At least it seemed as though his roommate was just as clueless as he was. Without grinning at the thought, he burrowed into one of his bags and retrieved a toothbrush, a beach towel, a pair of boxers and a fresh set of pajamas. Screw freshman orientation, he thought. This was way more important.

When he returned from his shower, his dorm was no longer vacant and cold. Indeed, his new roommate buzzed with a warmth that only alcohol could bring.

"Hello, my man!" slurred the young man, haphazardly balancing a beer can between his knees from a sitting position on his bed. He placed the beer on the ground and sashayed over to give Stephen a hug. "My name's Rob! What's yours, man?"

Stephen introduced himself cautiously as he politely pried himself off of Rob's happy embrace. His square jaw glistened in beer dew, and his light brown eyes glazed over in an obvious stupor.

"It is great to see you, man! FUCKIN' GREAT!" Rob yelled joyously, waving his arms in the air. In a fleeting instant, as though an invisible brick had been thrown at him, he went cross-eyed and his petite frame fell backwards into the bed behind him and crept sound asleep. Stunned and puzzled, Stephen meticiously eyed the unmoving form, going as far as checking him for a pulse. Once satisfied that Rob was alive and for the most part, well; Stephen flicked off the lights and slithered into bed again, thinking only that he and his new roommate might get along famously.