My Spring Break is pretty boring and dull, mostly due to the fact that my mother is called in to work nights the whole week. So, we barely get to see each other. Tommy is also gone most of time, either with his friends from class or Lizzie’s sister, Judy. I think there is something going on with the two of them. Tommy would never say a word to me, even with my prying, but I can definitely see it on his face. My little brother has a thing for Lizzie’s sister. It’s funny we use to joke about them getting together and now it looked like it could actually happen. If only we were still talking to each other. This is something we would cheer over.
Brad does come to visit toward the end of my trip which is a nice surprise. He stays for three days and then we drive back up to campus on Sunday in the afternoon.
After entering back into my dorm, the RA tells me that I have a roommate for this quarter. Apparently, my roommate for last quarter had dropped out of college at the last minute. While I was sorry to hear that, it was nice to have a room all to myself. It was going to be weird having someone sharing it with me again. I can only hope that my roommate will be as nice as Janice was. I heard around that Lizzie’s roommate from Fall quarter was a nightmare. I can only hope that the same doesn’t happen to me.
I end up not meeting her until later in the evening. She introduces herself as Noel Collins, a sophomore with an interest in electrical engineering. From talking, I can see that I lucked out getting her. While she seems really into her studies, she also seems like a sweet and kind person. She reminds me a lot of Lizzie in some ways.
We spend the next few days getting to know each other and I learn that she is from the east coast, which is a long way from home. Our only contrast is that she like Lizzie, is not interested in anything Greek. It is apparent that she went through some bad experiences with them. Honestly, I can’t really blame her for feeling that way. I am not really in a good place with the Tri-Fruhms with the whole suspension thing, and they definitely weren’t making it easy for me.
I spend the week trying my best to focus on classes, but the fact that they are totally isolating me, is driving me crazy. If it weren’t for Brad sending me a text about a party at club R.E.D that Friday, I wouldn’t even have known that the Tri-Fruhms and Alpha Annyas were going. I still think that Clare hasn’t given Charlotte or Taylor my new number yet. I guess it wouldn’t matter though. By the way they are treating me, it is clear that they are all still reeling over the cheating incident. I feel lucky that I got off with just an F on my exam. My mother was very disappointed when I told her, which could be a reason why my spring break went so badly.
Still, that was in the past. This was a new quarter and I wanted it to go better than the last two. Things with Brad and I were going great, so all I needed to do was smooth things over with the Tri-Fruhms and my gpa.
So, that Friday evening after dressing up, I jump into my Honda and drive over to club R.E.D. Pop music blares over my speakers as I try to get myself into the partying mood. Tonight was going to be amazing and I was going to make sure of it.
Unlucky for me, the Tri-Fruhms are not happy to see me there, if the looks they give me are any indication. I instantly feel like coming was a bad idea. Maybe I should have given them more than a week of space from me.
Still, I decide not to let them ruin the night. Spotting Brad at the bar, I wander over to him.
“Hey babe,” I say giving him a kiss.
Brad smiles. “Abby, I’m glad you made it.” He then looks over his shoulder at Charlotte and Clare. “What’s going on with them?”
I glance over at them and then roll my eyes. “There’s just some stuff going on. Don’t worry about.” I then take his hand. “You want to dance?”
“With you? Of course.”
Brad and I dance on the floor for a few songs, grooving together to the DJ’s jams. I forget all about Clare and the Tri-Fruhms and start to have fun. Although they all may be mad at me, at least I had Brad with me.
That said, when Brad leaves to use the restroom, it all comes flooding back. I avoid running into Clare and the Tri-Fruhms and head back to the bar to get a drink. I order a couple shots with my fake ID (The one Kimberly gave me has been working wonders) and down them quick.
“Whoa, hitting it hard there,” someone says behind me.
I turn and see Charls standing beside with a drink.
“Yah,” I say and shrug, waving for the bartender to pour me another shot.
“They are giving you a really hard time about the cheating thing, huh?”
My eyes widen. “How did you know that?”
“Clare’s been pretty vocal about it tonight.”
“Surprise, surprise.” I curse under my breath. “I am so sick of her. She’s been treating me like crap since that party back in October. It’s only gotten worse over the past month. I know she had something to do with this whole cheating thing. I just wish I could prove it. Ugh! What is her deal anyway?”
Charls takes a swing from his glass. “Well, it could have something to do with the fact that you’re dating her ex-boyfriend.”
I nearly spit my third shot on him. “W-what?”
Charls frowns. “You didn’t know? I would have thought Clare would have said something about it by now. Their break up didn’t go so well.”
I am completely stunned. “I didn’t know that they used to date. Brad has never said anything.” Suddenly, her treatment of me over the past several months was starting to make sense. So that was why she had been so cold to me. It even explained why she had been so tense that day at the party when she walked in on Brad and I making out in the shed. Why had I not paid attention?
“I guess it all makes sense now,” I say slowly. “Maybe I should talk to her.” I then look around the room, but Clare is nowhere to be seen. I frown. “Hey, Charls, have you seen Clare? She was standing over with Charlotte just a minute ago.”
Charls looks a bit uncomfortable. “Um, well I think I saw her head downstairs a while ago after Brad.”
I look up at him. “What do you mean by that?”
“Nothing. I’m just saying that’s the last time I saw her.”
“Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Brad in a while.” Charls is looking more uncomfortable. Why was that? Did he know something?
“Charls, what’s going on?”
“What do you mean?”
Although my head is starting to spin slightly, I can feel my wheels turning. The flakiness Brad had the past few months, the bitterness Clare has been giving me, and the comment Clare made a week ago after I confronted her, “Tell Brad I said hi,” was starting to click. I can feel my chest beginning to tighten. It was almost like a realization was taking over me.
“Charls,” I say slowly, “Is something going on with Brad and Clare?”
Charls opens his mouth, but then closes it. I soon see why. Brad is waving me over from the corner of the room.
Brad is frowning at Charls as I make my way over to him. I feel like I am drifting along and numb.
“Hey, what were you doing over there with Charls?” he asks. His voice sounds a little suspicious.
“N-nothing,” I manage to say. “You were gone for an awful long time. Where were you?”
Brad blinks. “I just went to the bathroom. I told you that before I left didn’t I?”
“You did.” I look him straight in the eyes, as much as I can while feeling buzzed. “Did you see Clare when you were down there?”
Brad flinches slightly. “W-what? Why would you ask me that?”
“Because you have been lying to me. Why didn’t you tell me that Clare is your ex girlfriend?”
Brad looks surprised. He then frowns in Charls’s direction. “I’ll bet I can guess who told you that.”
“That doesn’t matter Brad. What matters is that you didn’t tell me.”
Brad sighs. “I’m sorry, I guess I just didn’t think about it.”
I narrow my eyes. “Really?”
“Really. Clare and I were together a long time ago. I guess it just wasn’t significant to me.”
“Oh is that right?” a voice says behind us. “That sure wasn’t the case just a few minutes ago in the bathroom. You couldn’t keep your hands off me.”
I whip my head around and there is Clare glaring at us.
Brad looks dumbfounded. “W-what are you-”
“Oh Brad, just stop,” Clare snaps. “This has gone on long enough. You need to tell her.”
The tightening in my chest is increasing. “Tell me what?”
Brad swallows nervously. “Abby-”
“Tell me what Brad!” My hands are starting to shake. Everything was starting to sink in. “Oh my gosh, she was right,” I say softly. “Lizzie was right. You’ve been cheating on me with,” I give Clare a look of disgust, “her.”
I was hoping Brad would deny it. That he would be horrified and tell me that it was the most disgusting thing he had ever heard, but he doesn’t. He just remains speechless, which confirms what I had been dreading.
“I-I can’t believe you,” I say after a moment of silence and I dash for the exit. I hear Brad calling after me, but I ignore him. He is the last person I want to see right now.
By the time I get home, everything really starts to hit me. I can’t stop the tears that escape from my eyes. Thankfully, Noel isn’t home. I would have been too embarrassed for her to see me like this, broken and pathetic.
My phone begins to ring and checking the ID, I see it is Brad. Cursing, I toss my phone across the room and let out a scream. I then lean against the wall by my dresser. I can not believe how stupid I have been. It has all been right in front of me. Everything. But I have been so stupid and chosen to ignore it. All the signs, and I just dismissed them because I wanted so badly to believe Brad was the one. I feel my heart pang with pain. “But I love him,” something inside me was saying. “How could he do this?” I clench my fists and sink to the floor.
I then think back to the beach party and the noise that I had heard behind the bushes. Had that been Brad? Had he heard me coming and ran for it? And that night at the Alpha Annyas party when I had caught Brad coming out of one of the bedrooms. He had looked so nervous when I ran into him. Had Clare been in the room at whole time?
I bite my lip feeling fresh tears starting down my cheeks. I had been such an idiot. Clare was probably laughing behind my back. She and Brad had totally played me and now here I was left in pieces. Not being able to hold it in anymore, I break down into sobs. I think about going to Lizzie, but then remember everything that has happened between us. “If only Lizzie was here right now,” I think and sink my head into my lap.