You open Thomas’ new Sanders Sides video, entitled simply, “Speeches.” After a moment of loading, it begins. Not with his usual, “What is up everybody?!” Simply the loud title card and a fade-in.
Of Roman, standing in his usual spot. He’s smiling. “Hello, my brave and beautiful prince, princess, or non-binary royalty! Tis I, the great Prince Roman! I would just like to take a moment to commend you on your bravery! One such as you deserves all the best, yet time and again you face your dragon-witch! I promise you that with a little magic, and many-a Disney song—along with some encouraging from the valiant yours truly—that dragon-witch will be slain and no longer be able to do you harm! Keep fighting, you strong prince, princess, or non-binary royalty! You will succeed!”
Patton appears after a jump cut, standing in front of the blinds, as always. “Hey kiddo, Dad Patton here! I know you’re going through a trying time in your life. Everyone does! But I gotta say: you’re gonna do just fine. Life’s problems come and go, but some of the hardest ones can always be slightly improved by a couple-a dad jokes! Never be afraid of the power of laughter. I promise you that everything will turn out alright. And you can’t let life get down. I mean, you can’t let life get you down. But if life gets down, you win that dance-off!” He pauses. “Get it? Get down? Like dancing? No? Okay.” Patton grins and giggles. “Anyway! Much love from your internet old man! Hi Brave, I’m Dad!”
Logan follows Patton. “Good day, my star student,” he begins, straightening his glasses. “While I could stand here and wax philosophical about human existence and the nature of the reasons why you are where you are, I’ve been told by the others that could possibly be emotionally insensitive. So I won’t. But I do have a lesson for you. As follows: some say life is a roller coaster. They’re wrong. A roller coaster is a feat of physics and engineering achieved by the arches and spins getting smaller and smaller to maintain momentum. Life does not work that way. Life’s arches and spins vary in intensity and size. In this way, life resembles the visual manifestation of sound waves. Life is music, my young student. A beautiful symphony that has dips and swells, creating an experience unique to each composer, each musician, and each listener. Once you realize this, it gets easier to listen to the music of life.”
Another audio file cuts in. “Aww! You actually listened to me!”
“Be quiet, Roman, or I’ll send you to detention!” Logan retorts. He looks back to the camera. “Anyway. Interruption aside: I hope you take that lesson into your life. It will be worth remembering. Have a lovely day, star student, and feel better soon!”
Virgil appears last. “Hey,” he says, not quite looking at the camera. “Look, the others can be sappy and positive all they want. I guess that’s their job, or something. Especially Dad and Sir Sings-A-Lot. I’m not required to be that way. It’s part of what I am. But today is different. Today is a day when life is even darker than me. Which, I guess, is saying something. But everything is going to be fine. A little anxiety is a good thing. It’ll keep you alive and attentive. But don’t let it overwhelm you. Pretty sure Teach over there explained it to Thomas before. Some productivity curve whose name I can’t remember—”
“Yerkes-Dodson Curve!” Logan interrupts.
“Whatever,” Virgil mutters. “So while life is hard, it’ll get better. Once it does, just keep a little bit of me around and you’ll still be okay. But not too much. I guess I can get a little… toxic in large doses. So be safe, okay kid? Just be careful. That’s what I’m here for.” He nods.
The video shuts off.