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A Story to Tell

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It has been two hours since everyone arrived and Joey still hasn’t shown up! The YouTubers have since split off, talking in mini groups.

In one group, Manny, Nikita, and JC talk about a video JC’s friend, Kian, did about the Record Producer, who wants to collab with both boys in the future. By the van, Teala listens in admiration as Safiya talks about her channel and beauty styles, and they both laugh at Roi’s jokes and crazy misadventures in his bathtub. By the car, Rosanna and Colleen are catching up, showing off their outfits while Matt listens in (or, at least, tries to listen in).

The Detective is half listening to Colleen talk about her upcoming Miranda Sings tour, half letting his mind wander through the clouds. He looks forward to this whole “saving the town” escapade but is antsy about what Joey meant by that, not to mention why it’s suppose to take all night. Every part of him hopes their host shows up soon so they can get this show on the road!

Matt thinks about Stephanie, his wife. She is nearing the end of her second trimester, which means that in just three more months, they will finally meet their baby boy! This is his and Stephanie’s first child, and honestly, Matt is more nervous about becoming a father than he is about this mission Joey invited them to participate in. With all the appointments, classes, and preparations for the little one’s arrival, Matt can’t help but feel bad that he took off on some merry excursion with his friends while his wife is at home working on the nursery.

“Hey, earth to Matt!” Colleen yells, bringing the theorist back to reality. “You still with us, or are you planning your next theory?”

Matt turns his head to the two girls staring at him, Colleen with a look of curiosity and Rosanna with a look of worry. He adjusts his sunglasses and gives a sweet grin to the brunettes.

“No, sorry. I was just thinking about this mission and how we are suppose to save a town trapped in the 1970s,” he states. To be honest, Matt isn’t sure why Joey would think a bunch of amateur social media influencers are capable of helping a town, especially considering his mention of how dangerous it’s going to be.

Colleen nods. “Yeah, who knows with Joey? Haven’t seen the guy since last spring, and suddenly he invites us all on a mission in the seventies? It’s weird, but then again, this is Joey Graceffa we are talking about! That boy lives for dramatics!” She starts rubbing her arms together and shivers. “Starting to get a little chilly! I’m going to get my coat, be right back!”

The Disco Dancer saunters off leaving Rosanna the opening to confront her YouTube “brother.”

“OK, what’s wrong?” the little Jet Setter asks with her hands on her hips. “You may have been able to fool Colleen, but I know when you are lying, Matthew!”

Matt nervously chuckles as Rosanna’s chestnut eyes gaze into his. Rosanna is the sister he never had, and given their familial relationship, he can never get anything past her!

“It’s really nothing bad, Ro, it’s just...” The Detective hesitates. Matt feels silly, but this is Rosanna, his best friend, his soul sister! Matt has always been comfortable opening up to her, so why stop now? The gamer digs his hands into the pockets of his tan jacket and confesses. “The thing is, I’m worried about Steph! She’s already six months along, and with everything we have to do to prepare for our child, I...I guess I feel bad just up and leaving on some adventure. We haven’t even gotten a crib yet. With all that needs to be done, I actually considered not coming!”

When Matt received the invitation, he was pretty curious and stoked about the idea going on a risky undertaking, solving mysteries, and rescuing a town supposedly trapped in time. But with everything he still has to do--finishing theories, preparing live streams, and getting things ready for Baby Boy Patrick’s arrival--Matt wasn’t sure it would be a good time to take off. He eventually changed his mind when Rosanna called and talked him into joining her. The two are very close, not to mention how adorable the baker can be when she insists on doing something. How could Matt refuse?

Matt doesn’t regret his decision to go, but as he thinks about Stephanie, her holding her favorite mug of her favorite tea as he kissed her goodbye, the young man can’t help but feel guilty.

A part of Matt expects Rosanna to giggle like a small pixie and tell him he is fretting over nothing. Instead, the Jet Setter places her hand on his shoulder and gives it a comforting squeeze.

“Matt, there’s no shame in worrying! You are about to be a dad for the first time, and that can be pretty scary. I’m sure I will feel the same way when Mike and I expect our first, which won’t happen for a long time!” That remark creates a laugh from Rosanna.

“But it’s only going to be a couple hours. We just help Joey, save the town, and then we will be back to enjoy the sunrise! Heck, I will even make pancakes for us all when we return!” Rosanna adds.

The images of what Rosanna implies creates a smile on Matt’s face.

Rosanna follows up with a confession herself. “I wasn’t going to say anything, but...while I did want you to join me on this mission…” The petite YouTuber takes a deep breath, “...well, it was actually Stephanie who asked me to convince you.”

Matt is shocked by the declaration, “She did?”

Rosanna nodded her head. “Yep! You have been nothing but devoted and hands on with her and the baby, and she could tell you wanted to go.” She adjusts her yellow beret and continues. “Stephanie said it would be good for you to take a break and have some fun; that it would likely be the last crazy adventure you will get to do before your little boy is born! Also...” The brunette hesitates and shuffles her platform Oxfords in the dirt. “She said she kind of wanted the night to herself, since you have been a know…. too ‘hands-on.’’

The last comment makes Matt laugh. Steph would say that, he thought. He appreciates his wife encouraging that he go help Joey, because Matt really wanted to go. She and Ro are right! This is the last crazy thing I will ever get to do. So I might as well make the most of it! I’ll make it up to Steph when I get back!

Thinking about what his girls did for him, Matt wonders how he got so lucky to have a wife like Stephanie and a best friend like Rosanna.

Rosanna proves why. “Plus, once we save this town, you will have a wonderful story to tell your son. He’ll grow up thinking not only is his dad cool, but also a hero.”

Matt does like the sound of that. “Not just his dad”, he adds, “but will also gloat about his badass Aunt Ro!”

The comment makes the baker squeal in delight. “I’m going to be a badass aunt?! This day just got so much better!” Suddenly, she starts jumping up and down. “Oh! I have an idea. Wait here!”

Rosanna takes off towards the van, where Colleen is deep in conversation with Roi. Rosanna says something to the taller brunette that Matt is unable to hear, but from the wide grin on Colleen’s face, Matt is pretty sure it’s something exciting.

Rosanna runs back to him while Colleen goes back to the van, pulls something out, and makes her way to the two of them. Matt sees in Colleen’s hand the iPhone she used to take the group picture an hour ago.

Rosanna answers the question that is brewing in his mind. “I figure we should have something as a memory of our time here. Something you can show the baby as you tell the story. About how his daddy and Auntie Ro saved a town and its residents from bad guys and lived to tell about it!”

The thought sparks joy in Matt’s mind and realizes how fortunate he is right now. He is with his friends, gets to dress up and act a character he would never be in real life, and will be helping others while having a good time in the process. He should document the moment to show his son what a cool, awesome, and badass person (that’s a first!) his father is. He turns to Rosanna and channels his inner Columbo. “Let’s do this!”

Colleen positions the duo at the car for the photo. Rosanna stands on one side with her hand on the hood, and Matt on the other side sits near the edge of the front with his right foot on the front bumper. Both YouTubers give their best smiles as Colleen takes countless pictures.

They take one more, this time next to each other. Matt’s right arm is around Rosanna’s shoulders with his left hand on his detective badge, while Rosanna’s left arm is around his waist and her right hand positions as if giving a beauty pageant wave. Colleen plans to send the photos tomorrow morning after the mission, which Matt and Rosanna are looking forward to.

The trio immerse themselves with the others in conversation as they wait for Joey to arrive.

As Matt talks and enjoys getting to know Teala and Roi, the anxiety and the nerves he felt from before start to wither away. All that’s left is exhilaration and anticipation.
Tonight, Matt grins as he touches his detective badge, is definitely going to be a night I will never forget!