Chester Hayes had never been to the music hall in his life. He stayed in the halls where his classes were held, and he never strayed away from them. Snooping around the campus for something else was unimportant to him. He was drawn today to the walls lined with awards, the plaques with names he didn’t know, and the artistic murals of notes that painted the sky blue walls. It was a nice place. He stumbled upon the practice rooms when he opened a door and nearly clocked someone out.
He profusely apologized to the equally apologetic lion. It was awkward. It wasn’t as awkward as Chester standing in the middle of too-small hallways lined with doors that were utterly silent though. He heard a voice ring out from somewhere though, a deep baritone that called to him.
He followed the sound of the voice.
“The name on everybody’s lips is going to be Roxie.”
Chester was intrigued. He heard males singing female songs when he listened to different covers of anime theme songs, but this was different though.
“The one raking in the chips is going to be Roxie.”
Chester stopped at the practice room door and peered inside.
“I’m going to be a celebrity that means someone who everyone knows.”
The voice was coming from a human who was facing the opposite wall where the door was. He was tapping his foot and making hand gestures as he sung.
“They’re going to recognize my eyes, my hair, my teeth, my boobs, my nose.”
Chester chuckled a little bit at the motion the man made. He noticed a little bit of curly brown hair underneath a black beanie. He wore a hoodie that had a name written on it: McCoy. He wore jeans as well. Chester didn’t need any indication to notice that the human was small.
“From just some dumb mechanic’s wife, I’m going to be Roxie.”
Chester didn’t want to interrupt, so he set his bag down and just waited.
“Who says that murder’s not an art? And who in case she doesn’t hang can she say started with a bang? Roxie Hart!”
At that moment the human turned around after he was done and jumped out of his skin.
“Holy shit, dude, you scared the shit out of me!” The human said, laughing to himself. He opened the door. “Was I being too loud or something? I get carried away, and with such a deep voice, people can hear me pretty easily.”
Chester shook his head. Apparently, McCoy didn’t mind an audience. “No, you were fine! I’ve… never been here before.”
The human started. “Welcome to the practice rooms then, I suppose.” He chuckled a little bit. “I’m going to get back to practice if you don’t mind.”
Chester tapped his fingers together. “I… uh, well… actually. Do you mind if I listen for a bit? I’ve had a rough day and I got angry. I need to cool down.”
The human rose a brow, and his green eyes searched around Chester’s face. “Yeah, whatever, come on in.” He opened the door wider. “I don’t mind an audience.”
Chester looked down at the small human as he passed him. He had green eyes and somewhat of a beard covering his face. His face was somewhat sharp, and he had neatly trimmed eyebrows, despite them being thick and full. His dark colored skin wasn’t unappealing. The front of his hoodie read ‘Wrestling’ and the years involved.
“You wrestled?” Chester couldn’t help but question.
“Yep,” McCoy responded.
“I’m Chester, by the way.” The male held out his hand with a goofy grin, and he gave the human a firm handshake.
“How about you? I’m Abe.” The human went about humming quietly.
“Uh, er, no. Those singlets look uncomfortable. You know, since I’m so big.” Chester was blushing something fierce.
“You are a bull, after all. A mighty big one at that,” The human said with a little smile.
The innuendo didn’t go over Chester’s head. “I u-uh…”
“I need to practice now, so you gotta be quiet, alright?” The human pleased not so gently. He was taking out sheet music from his bag.
Chester shut his trap and took a seat on the piano bench. He awkwardly put his hands in his pockets and tapped his foot.
“Take your hands out of your pockets.”
“What?” Chester squawked, suddenly in the spotlight.
The human gestured towards him. “Arch your back, puff out your chest.”
Chester did as he was told awkwardly. Puffing out his chest with an embarrassed grin.
“Add some swagger to your gait or you’ll like a masturbator.”
Chester blushed and looked away. “What? I-I’m…”
“Fix your posture then the rest.”
“I’m not a masturbator!” Chester said indignantly, a frown on his face.
“We’re all masturbators,” Abe replied with a small chuckle. “All your neediness is ugly," he continued.
“What?!” The bull was getting fed up despite knowing that the Abe was merely singing.
With a grin, the human kept singing. “All your stammering’s a chore.”
“I d-do not stammer!”
“Your tics and fidgets are persistent, and your charm is nonexistent. Fix your vibe then fix some more.”
Chester kind of got the part so he stood up. The smaller human pointed to Chester and sung: “oh, everything about you is so terrible.”
The bull blinked. “What?”
“Woah, everything about you makes me wanna die!”
Chester snorted indignantly, somewhat offended.
The human came up behind the bull and gripped his shoulders. “So don’t freak out, and don’t resist. And have no doubt if I assist.”
The bull turned around and backed up a little, a blush reappearing on his face.
“You will… be more chill.”
The human chuckled as he finished. “You seemed frightened by that. Sorry. It’s a two-way part.”
Chester nodded his head. “You’re an actor?”
The man went through some other sheet music. “Well, I’m studying to become a teacher, but I enjoy acting as well. It’s been my thing since high school.”
Chester took a seat again. “I never did it before.”
Abe let out a laugh. “You sure did seem to catch on pretty quick! Have you thought about trying for a part?”
“Oh, I don’t sing… and I don’t act either.” The bull shrugged his shoulders. “You don’t see big guys like me on stage. Besides, I’d get nervous anyway!”
“We all get nervous, anyway, and everyone acts. You’re all set!” The human lightly punched the big bull’s arm.
“I’ll be bad at it, I’m sure,” Chester said a little glumly.
Abe crossed his arms before he grunted. He dropped to his knees and opened up his bag before digging out a yellow booklet. “Here’s a script for the play we’re doing right now.”
Chester took the script and read it a little bit. “What’s it about?” he asked as he flipped open the first page.
“Family living in poverty. Mostly about familial love and the ability to stay together despite hardships.”
The bull made a noise. “That doesn’t seem bad, really.”
The human smiled and nodded his head. “Trying to find three other humans was pretty fun, considering we ain’t that common. It happened though!”
Chester made a noise, but he couldn’t find something to say without making it awkward.
Abe smiled a little bit before checking his phone. “Well, I should be heading out soon. Nice to meet you, Chester.”
The human picked up his music and took his script back from the bull.
“It was nice to meet you too,” he said quietly as the human was leaving. “W-wait.”
Abe turned. “Hm?”
“When is the play?”
“Performing arts academy two blocks away from here. April 5. Starts at 7,” Abe said while he leaned against the doorframe.
“I won’t forget it!”
Abe clicked his tongue. “Something tells me you’ll forget it. I’ll give you my number and then I’ll text you the date, how about that?”
Chester blushed a crimson red. “W-what? I don’t need y-your number!”
Abe rolled his eyes and held out his phone. “Then give me yours.”
The bull took the phone and very quickly typed out his number, making multiple mistakes as he did so. Abe took his phone back.
“What’s wrong? It’s just a number, right?” Abe made eye contact with bull and smirked. “Oh, and by the way, you’re cute when you blush like that. See ya around.”
Abe waved as he walked off, leaving Chester to stand there stunned. That was the first time he had ever gotten a number from another man.