How to Make Money in 3 Easy Steps

He returns to the dorm room in the midst of disaster.

He turns the knob and walks in on two young men in the middle of a heated argument.

“Do you hear yourself right now, Nick? Are you serious?” one of the men yells, sitting at his desk. He has short blond hair and blue eyes that are currently glaring sharply at his roommate. His arms are crossed over his chest. If he was a cartoon character, he’d have steam pouring from his ears. 

“Do you hear yourself? Are you actually serious about this?” the other man, Nick, replies in tandem. He gestures with his arms towards the fish bowl on his desk. Behind the bowl rain pounds at the windows. Thunder rumbles in the distance, mirroring the mood in the tiny dorm room. 

“Yeah, I’m hearing myself. I’m saying we need to sell the fish so that we have enough money to go see Little Women.”

Nick swipes his hand down his face and takes a deep breath. “Doug, I can’t even begin to tell you all of the reasons in which that is the worst idea you’ve ever had.”

“But I’m sure you’re going to tell me anyway,” his roommate, Doug, mutters under his breath. 

“Yeah, for that snarky comment I am.” Nick raises his left hand and begins to count off with his fingers. “Number one: it’s my fish, not yours, so I decide what happens to him. And I don’t want to sell him.” Doug opens his mouth to argue, but Nick hurries on. “Number two: where would we sell him? What place would even give us enough money to buy tickets to see Little Women? And number three: why don’t you just find the movie online? I’m sure it’s on Youtube or some movie streaming site somewhere.” 

“Okay, dude, I’m about to disprove all of your points. The pet store will give us money for your fish! If we tell them he’s some weird, wild, endangered breed and they’ll be begging us to sell him. And two, the whole point of seeing the movie in theaters is to support the artist! If the Academy is going to snub Greta Gerwig and all other female directors, the least we can do is help the film climb in the box office and prove that those awards don’t matter much anyway.”

At that moment there’s a flash of lightning, quickly followed by a clap of thunder. It’s so loud the boys can feel it in the ground at their feet. The storm is just overhead.

“Is that what this all comes down to? Your hatred for the Academy Awards? Why are you creating some elaborate excuse to go see Little Women again? Just go see it!” Nick shouts. 

He can see Doug contemplating this, turning the words over and over again in his head. But it doesn’t seem to be enough to convince him. “Just let me sell your damn fish, bro. You owe me one.” Doug hurries across the small, cramped room to grab the bowl, but Nick intercedes him. 

What ensues is an attempt at a brawl between the roommates; neither truly knows how to fight. It is then that our narrator realizes he has walked into the wrong dorm room. Somehow neither Doug nor Nick noticed him coming in. He slowly backs out of the room and closes the door quietly behind him, setting off to find his actual room. 

He hopes the two roommates are able to work it out.

Gabby Buchholz is a creative writing major and avid reader and defender of young adult lit. When not reading or writing, she’s debating on the supremacy of Parks and Rec over The Office. This is her first publication. 

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