It takes everything in me to pull myself out of bed the next morning. Thank God it’s Saturday, because if it had been during the week, I don’t know if I would have been able to go to class.
Getting up, I see that Noel’s bed is empty. I’m a bit surprised that she didn’t say anything to me last night. Then again, I must have fallen asleep at some point through my sobbing, because I didn’t even hear her come in. Still, I am happy she left me to wallow in peace. I honestly can’t take anyone asking if I am okay right now.
I spot my phone across the room and check it. I have ten messages from Brad, three from Charls and two from Kimberly. Not bothering to listen, I toss my phone into my purse and walk over to my dresser.
I then look through my dresser for something to wear, but nothing seems to resonate with me. My excitement for dressing up is gone. Right now, all I can think about is Brad and Clare. How long had they been seeing each other behind my back? Had it been since back in October? Had Brad been seeing us both at the same time? I feel my chest tightening again. I needed something to take some of the pain away. Wiping some of the tears from my eyes, I leave my room and head downstairs.
Grabbing a bowl of popcorn kernels, I walk through the dining room to the kitchen. As I walk along, I pass by a table where Lizzie and Abby are seated studying. I desperately want to go over to Lizzie and tell her everything, but I realize I can’t. We hadn’t spoken since the beach party and I didn’t think she would be sympathetic to me. After all, she had predicted that Brad had something going on with Clare. I was the one that had been too under his spell to listen. I swallow down the knot in my throat and walk into the kitchen.
The kitchen is empty which I feel relieved about. I probably already looked ridiculous walking around the dorm building in my bathrobe. I enter the seconds for warming my popcorn and when it is done, I pull it from the microwave.
When I get back into the dining room, Lizzie and Janice are gone. I feel a sinking feeling in my chest. So I was right. Lizzie was still mad at me. I knew she was still hurt by what I said at the beach party, but I didn’t think she would be so irritated that she wouldn’t want to be in the same room with me.
I eat my popcorn in the silence of the room and dump the plate in the garbage when I am done. I had been downstairs long enough. Now was time to go back upstairs and wallow in self-pity.
As I am hurrying back to the staircase, I run right into someone.
“S-sorry,” I say quickly and then realize it is my roommate Noel.
“Lizzie, hey,” she says gently. Her expression looks worried.
“Hey Noel. I’m sorry for running into you.” I try to get around her, but she blocks me.
“Abby, I don’t mean to pry into your business, but what happened yesterday? I heard you crying last night.”
I bite my lip to hold back tears. “I-it’s nothing Noel,” I say, but I can tell she doesn’t buy it.
“This is about that video people are talking about, isn’t it?”
“What video?” I ask.
“The one of Brad Roberts with some sorority girl named Clare.”
My eyebrows rise. “What?”
Noel looks uncomfortable. “You didn’t know about the video, did you?”
“No I didn’t.” I bite my lip harder feeling more tears filling my eyes. “W-what was the video about?”
“What was it?”
Noel sighs. “It was a sex video. It looked like it was taken in the bedroom of a Frat house or something.”
I bite my lip harder. At once, I think about that night at the Alpha Annyas party when Brad came out of one of the bedrooms with his hair ruffled and looking out of breath. I was now really starting to think that Clare had been in there all that time.
“I’m so sorry Abby,” Noel says shaking her head. “I can’t imagine what you must be going through.”
I sigh. “I was such an idiot. You know the funny part? People warned me about him. Even my old friend warned me about him, and I didn’t listen. I thought I knew him better than any of them.” I wipe some tears from my eyes. “I guess I didn’t. I am so stupid.”
“No you aren’t,” says Noel. “You wanted to believe in your boyfriend, just like any girlfriend would. He is the one that was wrong. You deserve so much better than him.”
I sigh. “You think so?”
“Of course! You can do so much better than some jerk frat guy.”
I swallow. “Look, there is something you should know about me, Noel. I am kind of…in a sorority.”
Noel’s eyes widen. “Oh. You are?”
“It’s a long story, but honestly, I don’t know if I want to be part of them anymore. It seems like everything went downhill for me when I became one. I lost my best friend, started getting into things I never would have considered doing before, and when I got into trouble and needed their back, they didn’t have it.”
Noel smiles. “That’s why I was never crazy about them. Last year, the Tri-fruhms played a horrible prank on my best friend Bethany. They drugged her at some party and she got wild and streaked. To make matters worse, there was some internet reality show crew there and they got the whole thing on tape.” Noel shakes her head. “It destroyed Bethany. She even had to transfer schools. I am just happy that she didn’t get hurt. Whatever drug they gave her was pretty intense. It took quite a while before it finally wore off.”
So, that is what happened to Bethany. I had always wondered.
Noel scoffs. “They really are the most evil girls ever.”
“I agree.” I smile. Somehow talking to Noel has made me feel much better. “Thanks Noel.” I say.
Noel pulls me into a hug and gives me a squeeze. “No problem. You are an amazing girl Abby, and if Brad can’t see that, it’s his lost. You are going to find someone a hundred times better.”
I smile and hug her back. “Thanks. I really needed to hear that.”
Talking to Noel makes me finally feel better enough to check my phone. Brad has left several messages apologizing to me for everything and begging me call him back. As if. My messages from Charls are very short but sweet. He apparently saw me run out of the club and wanted to check and make sure I was okay. He was really a great friend. Kimberly on the other hand was calling with some bad news. Charlotte wanted to put me on notice that she and the Tri-Fruhms were deciding whether to keep me as a Tri-Fruhm or not. She also wanted to warn me about the video of Clare and Brad. I can’t bring myself to look at it right at this moment. Checking another message, I see that there is supposed to be a party at the beach again this afternoon. The Alpha Annyas are hosting it, mainly Brad. This just makes my blood boil. So Brad was going to treat me like this and then throw a party like everything was fine? Oh no, he was not going to get away with it.
After changing into my clothes, I gussy up in front of the mirror and then leave the dorm for the beach.
The party is in full swing by the time I get there. Someone has lit up a bonfire and the scent of cinnamon and lavender is emitting from the flames. The scent calms my senses and I feel more focused.
Ignoring the shocked expression from Charlotte’s face, I make my way to the food tables.
I grab a plate of fish sticks and French fries and start eating it at the picnic table.
“I’m surprised that you would show your face here.”
I turn and see Taylor glaring at me.
“Well, despite how you feel, I am still a Tri-Fruhm,” I say and eat another fry.
Taylor scuffs. “Whatever. You won’t be one for long.”
I roll my eyes. “Whatever,” I say, imitating Taylor’s expression and she stomps off.
I ignore her and enjoy the rest of the party. So far, I hadn’t run into Brad and I was relieved. I still didn’t know what I was going to say to him just yet.
I head over to the nearby stereo and start to dance. The Tri-Fruhms are all glaring at me, but I ignore them. At least I was here. Charlotte had complained so much about me not attending events, well at least she couldn’t say that I didn’t show up to this one. Although I’m sure to her, I was a little too late. No matter. With every second that passed, I was becoming more and more sure that I didn’t want to be a Tri-Fruhm anymore.
The sky starts to get darker and darker and soon night has fallen. Out from the other side of the beach, I see Brad walking over to the bonfire. He is wearing a satisfied smirk and waving to his other fellow Alpha Annya members. For a guy that claimed to be miserable without me (he said that in one of the messages) he sure looked like he was in a good mood. Not to mention, I can see Clare trailing a few feet behind him with a smile matching his.
This makes my blood boil. I can’t believe him. After everything he had done, here he was, still messing around with Clare. I grit my teeth. I can’t speak to him. If I do, I think I will end up socking him in the face.
I unfortunately don’t get a chance to leave. Brad spots me and heads over.
“Abby I’m glad you are here. We need to talk.”
“No we don’t Brad,” I snap. “We’re done.”
“Abby, you don’t understand-”
“I said we are done Brad! Did you know that there is a video of you and Clare having sex being passed around?”
Brad frowns. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“There is a video of you two having sex and its being sent around.” I sigh. “You know, maybe it was a good thing that you were cheating on me. That could have been me on that video. Unless of course, you have recorded me without my knowledge.”
Brad looks shocked. “Abby, I would never-”
“Save it Brad. I just don’t care anymore. It’s clear to me that you never loved me. I was just another notch on your belt. But you were more than that for me. I loved you Brad, I really did, but you didn’t. I wasted almost a whole school year on you.” I shake my head. “What a waste.” I turn to leave, but Brad pulls me back.
“Abby, I do love you. It’s just… I-I love Clare too.”
Everything seems to stand still when he says that. Was he really saying that he loved both of us? Did he think we were in some kind of daytime soap opera? I swallow sharply, feeling tears welling up in my eyes again. No. I can’t let Brad see me like this.
“Well let me make it easy for you. Chose Clare, because I am done. We are done.” With that, I turn and race for my car.
I lose it once I get back to my dorm room. Tears are just flowing from my eyes and I can’t seem to stop them. It was stupid of me to go to that party. What was I thinking?
I crawl under my covers and rest my head on my pillow. So Brad loved Clare and me. He loved both of us. Both. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I enough? I close my eyes letting the tears flow from my cheeks onto my pillows.
My heart feels like its breaking into a million pieces and I hate Brad so much for doing that. I can’t believe I wasted my first time on him. I take a deep breath and bury my face into my pillow. Sleep was what I needed. Sleep and darkness.