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Mumble chased Chrysta down the stairs and out onto the empty main campus, where she suddenly stopped in her tracks and turned to face Mumble, who simultaneously skidded to a stop.

"Chrysta please, I can explain" he begged.

"Explain this!" she snapped before slapping him across the face. It didn't hurt much, but he came close to losing his balance.

"How could you do that, Mumble. After all I've done for you, you just go gallivanting off with Gloria."

"Look Chrysta, I-

"I've done everything for you. You wouldn't have gotten into the singing course if it wasn't for me!"

"Wait, what?"

"Come on, Mumble. How naive can you be. You really think it was your own talent that made you pass the final exam? It wasn't, okay! I practically drugged you! I put voice changers in that water I gave you!"

"You did what!"

"Look, Mumble, you were my best friend. If you didn't get into the course, then I just wouldn't be able to live with myself."

"Oh, but you can live with this? You said you believed in me! You said I could do it! But you're just like Noah! You're just like my dad! You're just like EVERYBODY ELSE!

"Oh no! You are not putting this on me, Mumble! This is not about me cheating! This is about you and Gloria!"

"Chrysta, I had nothing to do with that! I was just helping her. She got beat up today by Katniss. She came onto me, I swear, it's the truth. I didn't kiss her, she kissed me!"

Gloria was hiding behind a small iceberg, watching the scene unfold. She was within hearing distance of Mumble's alibi, listening to his excuse.

"Mumble, I'm sorry but it's so hard to believe. I've seen the way you look at her in class. Mumble, you've fallen in love with Gloria."

"Gloria is just my friend Chrysta. Nothing more. I have no interest in her whatsoever" Mumble lied, without knowing that Gloria was behind him, and had just heard everything he had just said. He turned around to see Gloria staring at him with a furious expression on her face.

"Gloria, I-

"No need to explain" she interrupted. "I heard everything. Thanks a lot, Mumble" and she turned and left angrily, however not before running up to Mumble and slapping him hard across the face (this time it really hurt!).

The next day, at the clubhouse, Mumble sat in silence as Johnny and the rest of the group sat and talked about the fight that happened the day before.

"That fighting got out of hand fast, didn't it" Johnny said.

"You guys were lucky that I just happened to be walking past" Winter responded.

"What do you think Mumble" Barry asked, to which Mumble didn't respond.

"Are you alright, Mumble?" Johnny asked.

"Um, yeah...yeah, I'm fine. It's just...um...nothing, forget about it" Mumble responded.

"Oh, I see" Fantine said."It's about a girl, isn't it".

"Plural" was Mumble's answer.

"Whoa-ho, two girls, you sly dog" Johnny said. "Is it Gloria. I bet it's Gloria."

"Correct, as usual, Johnny".

Barry said "ah, don't worry, Mumble. She'll get over it. She's just a woman."

"What's wrong with being a woman?" Fantine asked.

"Now, I-I-I didn't say there was a-a-n-n-y-y-th-th-thing wrong with it, I-I-I-I jus-" Barry stuttered nervously.

"Look, kid. I don't really know you, but I have some advice on life" Winter said.

"Okay" Mumble responded.

"Even if she doesn't get over it, you need to just let go of the bad stuff. Just do what I do."

"What do you do?"

"Why don't I explain what I do, with a song" Winter said before jumping onto the stage and singing his song of life advice.

Winter: Let me tell y'all what it's like,

Being male, middle class and bright,

It's a fish if you don't believe,

Listen up to my new CD, sham on.

I got sh- running through my brain,

So intense that I can't explain,

All alone with my whiteboard pain,

Shake your booty while they all complain.

I'm rockin' the suburbs,

Just like Michael Jackson did,

I'm rockin' the suburbs,

Except that he was talented,

I'm rockin' the suburbs,

I take the cheques and face the facts,

That some producer with computers fixes all my sh- tracks,

I'm pi- off but I'm too polite,

When people break in the McDonald's line,

Mom and dad they make me so uptight,

Gonna cuss on the mic tonight,

I don't know how much I can take,

So gimme something I can't break,

I'm rockin' the suburbs,

Just like Quiet Ryan did,

I'm rockin' the suburbs,

Except that they were talented,

I'm rockin' the suburbs,

I take the cheques and face the facts,

That some producer with computers fixes all my sh- tracks!

Mumble's response to this was "well, that helped a little. Kind of. I would usually pass that advice on but, um, I can't really sing."

"What" Winter said before bursting with laughter. "A bird who can't sing. That's gotta be the funniest thing I've ever heard!"

Winter laughing was causing Mumble to lose his temper and control of his feet, which he tried his best to stop from doing their usual tapping. The harder Winter laughed, the faster they tapped, until eventually he couldn't control them, and he tapped the most complicated rhythm Winter had ever seen. When he stopped, he looked and saw Winter looking at him, not laughing. He expected Winter to continue his laughter, but he didn't even giggled.

"Mumble" he said. "That's the most awesome thing my one eye has ever seen! How do you do that?"

"I don't know. I was just born that way."

"Your dad didn't drop you as an egg, did he?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Right, because usually when a penguin can't sing, it's because he or she was dropped or exposed to the cold as an egg. And, unless you lose all your baby feathers when you grow up, you have just shown all the signs of being dropped."

"Okay, well, thank you, Winter. I should get going. I need to go talk to Chrysta. Bye guys"

"See you later, Mumble" Johnny said. After Mumble left the room, Barry thanked Winter for his sympathy.

"It's not sympathy. I was an outcast too when I was his age. I'm half-blind, remember"

"Well, thanks anyway" Barry said.

Just then, Mumble poked his head through the door and said to Winter "By the way. Loved the song."


Next chapter: Chrysta and Mumble make amends

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