I wake up Saturday morning feeling refreshed and still giddy from my date with Kendal. It had gone better than I had expected, being my first date and all. The only damper on my night, was Michael showing up and commenting on my not being Kendal’s type. Then again, he did say that he meant it as a compliment, not that it felt like it was. Funny how I ran into him twice on the same day, each time feeling so weird and flustered. What was my deal with him anyway?
I then hear a beep from my cell phone. Kendal has just sent me a text.
“Had a great time last night. Sorry I had to cut our date short. Hope we do it again soon.”
I smile and tuck my phone into my pocket. I definitely hoped we would be getting together soon too.
I decide since it is still early in the day, to head downstairs to the dining hall with my laptop and finish some work for next week. On my way downstairs, I run into Abby’s roommate, Janice.
“Hey,” I say quietly to her. I feel a bit awkward since she probably doesn’t know anything about me.
“Hey. You’re Lizzie right?”
I am a bit surprised. “Yah, how did you know?”
Janice smiles. “Abby talks about you a lot.”
I am a little surprised to hear her say that judging by how Abby has been behaving, but I decide not to press the matter.
“How is Abby?”I ask.
“She’s good. She’s really into this whole Tri-Fruhm sorority thing.”
“So I was right!” I think. She was trying to pledge for them.
“You know, I never did get your name.”
“Oh. Nice to meet you Janice.”
I quicken my pace down the stairs a little, but Janice hurries to keep pace with me.
“Wait a second,” she says, and I turn to her. “You seem really nice, so I just want to give you a heads up. Watch your back.”
I look up at her confused. “Huh? What do you mean?”
“Just take my word for it. Be careful with who you trust.”
Before I am able to say anything else, Janice takes off, heading out through the front door. I stand for a moment in silence. Watch my back? What on Earth was she talking about?
I decide to pay her no mind. Besides, I had bigger things to worry about, like finishing my assignments and of course, my fight with Abby. I hadn’t seen her since Thursday and it was starting to bug me. I did my best to not think about her during my date with Kendal, but even then, she still crossed my mind. What had happened to make us so far apart?
I find an empty table in the dining hall and take seat with my laptop. I then spend the next hour working on my next assignment for English. I find it hard to concentrate though, for my mind keeps trailing back to Abby. I can’t tell whether it is my fault or hers. Had she been right about me being stuck in high school? I had never known that she felt that way. Then again, calling me an outcast? She made it sound like I was holding her back from life. I had never once forced her to do anything. She always had the freedom to be who she wanted. So how could she say something like that?
I pause for a moment and sigh. There was nothing left to do. If Abby didn’t want to hang around me because I was no fun, that was her choice. I can only hope that she soon comes around. It would be a shame to throw away our friendship that has lasted over ten years.
I then think back to what Janice had said before she left, “Watch your back,” and “Be careful who you trust.” Funny how she had said that right after we talked about Abby. Was she referring to her or was I just over thinking it?
Either way, I suppose the only way I will find out is if I talk to Abby, and who knows when that is going happen.
I wake up Saturday morning relieved that I don’t have a hangover. It was probably a good idea for me not to eat the jello at Brad’s party last night. Clare had said something to me earlier last night, about them being spiked. I still didn’t know what the weirdness going on with her from last night was, but I try not to let it bother me. I was much too worried about the prank that Charlotte wanted me to play on Lizzie. How bad was it going to be?
Feeling a bit dehydrated, I head downstairs to the kitchen and grab a juice bottle from the fridge. I then walk into the dining hall.
When I take a seat at an empty table, I am surprised to look up and see Lizzie sitting at a table a few feet away. I have barely seen her eating in the hall the past week and when I do, she is normally almost done eating or on her way out. So, I find it weird to see her sitting at her computer typing away (Probably doing homework, no doubt).
For a second I consider what to do. Should I go over and say something to her? Or should I just leave her alone? After all, she was probably still hurt from what I had said to her the other day. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea. I then remember Charlotte’s request, “Invite her to the party.” That was right. For the prank to work, Lizzie had to be there.
I sigh and take a final sip from my juice container. The only problem was that Lizzie wasn’t really a party person. She preferred to stay in and watch a movies. Which by the way, isn’t a bad thing, it just gets boring after a while (Well, at least to me). How was I going to get her to agree to come? And did I even want to ask her? Was I really going to put her in that situation?
I guess I was going to find out. After tossing my juice container into the garage, I walk over to Lizzie’s table.
“Hey Lizzie,” I say nervously.
She looks up and her eyes widen. “Abby, hey.” She looks surprised to see me.
“Is it okay if I sit?”
Lizzie nods slowly. “Sure.”
I take a seat across from her. Lizzie taps the touchpad on her laptop a few times and then closes the lid. We are then left sitting in silence, staring at each other. I feel at a loss for words. I clearly didn’t think this through before coming to sit at her table. I don’t know where to start.
Lizzie, on the other hand, seems to be the opposite.
“I’m glad you came over here,” she says, breaking the silence. “I really didn’t like the way we left things the other day.”
I nod. “I agree.”
“I’ve been racking my brain to figure out whose fault our fight was, but I couldn’t seem to come up with an answer.”
I could. It was definitely hers. All I wanted to do since I got here, was meet new people and explore new things. All she wanted to do, was do homework and hang out by herself. That’s no life! I want to say this to her, but I decide to I remain quiet.
“I think we both just got caught up with everything. Being here is new for the both of us, a new place, new people, and it can be overwhelming.”
“Not for me,” I think, but I keep my mouth shut.
“But what really hurt me Abby, is that you thought I didn’t want you to explore things and have fun. Of course I want you to do that. It’s college after all, and you are right. I want you to be able to experience new things.”
I raise my eyebrows. “You do?”
“Yes, I do. What I just didn’t like, is that you left me out. Yes, I may like to spend time to myself, but I also want to experience new things too. I guess I just thought that we would do it together.”
I instantly feel a twinge of guilt after she says that. That had been the plan for us.
“I’m sorry Lizzie,” I say after a moment. “I guess I just got caught up in everything. I didn’t mean to make you feel that way.”
Lizzie smiles. “It’s okay. I’m just glad we are getting things out in the open.”
“Me too.” I bite my lip. “I am also sorry I said all that stuff about you being an outcast. I guess I just got all defensive and just said it without thinking. I don’t really believe that Lizzie, I promise.”
Lizzie shrugs. “It’s fine. I know I do kind of keep to myself a lot, but it’s not because I don’t want to have fun. It’s just the way I am. That doesn’t mean you have to be the same. We’re best friends, but we like different things. Like how you were obsessed with Gossip Girl and I hated it.”
“Hey! That was a good show!”
Lizzie laughs. “You know what I mean. We’re different, but I think that’s what makes us such good friends.”
I smile. Lizzie was right. Our differences were what made our friendship so unique. And here I was, about to ruin it.
Before I can stop myself, I say, “So in the spirit of trying new things, there is a party coming up in a couple of weeks. It’s a Tri-Fruhm party and I was wondering if you would go with me.”
“A sorority party?” Lizzie frowns. “Abby, that’s not really my scene.”
“I know, but you did say you wanted to try something new, right? Well maybe this can be your first start.”
Lizzie looks uneasy. “Abby, I don’t know. I’m not really the sorority girl type. I think I would look out of place.”
“No you won’t! Besides, I’m kind of the one throwing it, so I’m in control of the invites.” I am totally stretching the truth, but Lizzie doesn’t have to know that.
“I don’t know…”
“Come on Lizzie! Please?”
Lizzie stares at me for a moment in silence and then she finally sighs. “All right. I suppose I could do it for you.”
“Yes!” I clasp my hands together and Lizzie laughs.
“Ugh! But what am I going to wear?”
“Don’t worry about. I will totally help you out with all that.”
We chat for the next couple of hours about the party and about classes (we both have the same boring math professor, just different hours) and for a while, it feels like how things used to be with us. Lizzie then gets a text from her phone and jumps up.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I got to go.”
“Who is it?” I ask curiously. Lizzie’s cheeks start to redden and my jaw drops. “Is it a guy?”
“Maybe.” Lizzie giggles and stashes her phone back into her pocket.
“You have to dish! Who is he and where did you two meet?”
Lizzie laughs and gets up from her seat. “His name is Kendal and we met at a writing club meeting. I would tell you more, but I really have to go. He wants to meet up for coffee.”
I get up from my seat, not able to wipe the shocked look from my face. Lizzie, who had been the wallflower at most of our school dances now, had met a guy? Who knew!
Before leaving, Lizzie walks over and gives me a hug.
“Thanks for coming to talk. I was going crazy thinking about our fight.”
“Me too. You have fun with Kendal and text me all the details later. Promise?”
Lizzie laughs. “I promise.” She then picks up her laptop from the table and with a final wave, she disappears through the archway leading into the dorm lobby.
After she is gone, I feel my twinge of guilt grow to full size panging shame. Here, I had basically just patched things up with Lizzie and now I was about to play a prank on her to become a Tri-Fruhm. “Maybe the prank won’t be so bad,” I tell myself. “Maybe it will be something we can laugh over later. I’m sure Charlotte wouldn’t want me to do anything that bad.” But as I think this, some of Janice’s words come back to me, “They fake sweet smiles at you to your face and then stab you in the back.” I bite my lip. As much as I wanted to believe it would be nothing, there was a big chance whatever Charlotte was planning would leaving a lasting effect on Lizzie and everyone watching.