The week seems to fly by after I begin my tutor sessions with Lizzie. We meet in the afternoon around five, in the dining room of our dorm. I had been dreading it, thinking the sessions would go badly, but it actually turned out okay. Lizzie is an excellent tutor. I actually feel like I might pass my math test on Friday.
My painting skills also continue to improve. I have really enjoyed starting new projects and my professor is loving every minute of it. I think if I am lucky, I might just pass this class.
That Friday morning I run into Noel on my way out. We end up talking for a few minutes and catch up, since I haven’t really seen much of her in the past week apart from when she is in bed sleeping.
“Things seem to be going better which is nice,” I was saying to her. “Much better than they have been in the past month.”
“Well that’s nice to hear,” Noel says with a smile. “You’ve gone through so much in the past month, so I am glad to hear you have found some happiness.”
I give Noel a hug. “Thanks.”
Later that afternoon, I leave my math class feeling refreshed. I honestly feel like I aced that math test. Maybe just maybe things will turn around.
Looking at the time, I realize that Janice’s protest will be starting in thirty minutes, so I head to my dorm room to change and then over to the student union building.
As I approach the student union building, I see someone familiar standing in front of the doors. Kimberly. I want to greet her, but I am not sure if she wants to talk to me. After the whole thing with the Tri-Fruhms, I haven’t really heard from her. Taking a deep breath, I walk up to her.
“Hey Kimberly,” I say quietly.
Her face lights up. “Abby, how are you? I haven’t seen you in a while.”
“I could say the same.”
Kimberly looks down and sighs. “Abby, I’m sorry. Things have been kind of weird with the Tri-Fruhms since you left, especially in the past week. It’s been really tense and the mention of your name makes Charlotte’s skin boil.”
“No surprise there,” I think. I recall my conversation with Charlotte at the downtown arcade.
“I understand,” I say. “They still blame me for the whole cheating thing. But I just know that Clare had something to do with it.”
“Oh, she did,” Kimberly, says with a nod.
I frown. “What?”
“I heard Clare talking on the phone the other day talking about it with someone. She’s been quite a busy body since you left. She and Charlotte are like attached at the hip. It’s so obnoxious.”
“I can only imagine. No offense, but I am kind of glad I am out of there.”
“You should be. I have actually been thinking of leaving as well. The Tri-Fruhms are definitely not the same as they used to be.”
We stand in silence for a minute before my phone vibrates. Glancing down, I see a text from Janice:
-Protest will be starting soon! Hope to see you there!
“Well, I better go. There’s a protest starting in the Quad in a bit and I want to be there on time.”
“Wait, is that the protest about getting more funding for the athletic department? The one that Janice girl is holding?”
Kimberly looks around and then leans forward. “Well Charlotte is furious about it. Because of all the attention the protest is getting, the Tri-Fruhms have been losing a lot of supporters. Not that I don’t agree with her case, but the Tri-Fruhms definitely don’t.” She lowers her voice to a whisper. “I’m not supposed to say anything, but they are planning something against her.”
I frown. “What are they planning?”
Kimberly shrugs. “I’m not sure. They’ve been keeping me out of the loop lately. That’s probably because I am working at the school administration office now. But whatever it is, I can tell you, it’s not good.”
That wasn’t good. Definitely not good. Not that Janice would care, but I felt that she had a right to know.
“I’ll have to give Janice a heads up. Hopefully it isn’t something to mess up the protest.”
“I doubt it, but you never know.”
I glance at my phone. The protest was going to be starting in ten minutes.
“I should head over,” I say, dropping my phone back into my purse. “Don’t be a stranger, okay?”
Kimberly smiles. “I’ll try.”
Just as I turn around to leave I run right into someone.
“Clare,” I say a little startled.
“Hello Abby.” She glances at me and then at Kimberly. “What are you two up to?”
“Nothing, we were just saying hi,” says Kimberly quickly. She then pushes open the door to the student union building. “See you around Abby,” she says and then disappears inside.
Clare looks at the door for a moment before turning her gaze back to me. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing. You’re wasting your time. You aren’t going to get anyone to feel sorry for you. You were never Tri-Fruhm material, and no one is going to vouch for you.”
I scoff. “Please, I meant what I said. I could care less about being a Tri-Fruhm. You guys disgust me.”
“You didn’t seem to feel that way last year when you drugged your own best friend just to get in.”
I glare at her. “You were the one that poured it in.”
“And you let me.” Clare smirks at me. “Face it, you threw everything away for a life you couldn’t hold onto. Now you have no friends, no boyfriend and are kicked out of your own sorority. I’m surprised that you are able to stand.”
I grit my teeth. I literally want to rip her hair out, but I try my best to look calm. “I have somewhere to be,” I snap and move past her.
“See you around Abby dear,” Clare calls after me, but I completely ignore her.
When I arrive in the quad, the protest has already started. Students are holding signs and chanting, which echoes through the whole area. I have never been to a protest before and so far, I find it very fascinating. As I stand around, I can’t help but scan the area for any Tri-Fruhms. The last thing Janice needs is them trying to ruin her moment. I am pretty impressed with the protest though. It looks like a good turnout.
I look up as Janice approaches the podium to give her speech. She looks so excited and pumped with energy. Seeing her so happy makes me smile. I then feel even worse. Clare did have a point. I had wasted so much time trying to be a Tri-Fruhm, when the truth was, I would never truly be one of them. And honestly, I am pretty happy about that.