I spend the rest of the week doing my best to avoid Michael, which is very difficult considering we are in the same class. I end up having to come to class right before it starts and then leave before everyone else, just to miss him. I still can’t believe what happened between us. I know I should be horrified, but I’m not. Every time I think about the kiss we shared, I feel my body heat up and begin to tingle. I also can’t stop thinking about what Michael said after, “Lizzie, I love you.” Thinking about it makes my heart start to beat faster. What was wrong with me? I felt like my body had betrayed me. I was with Kendal and I loved him. So why couldn’t I stop thinking about Michael?
I am happy when Friday finally rolls around and I can focus on something else. Janice’s protest is in the afternoon and I am psyched. People have been talking about it all week. Apparently, the Tri-Fruhms were really peeved about it. From everything Janice had done during the week (giving the College Board the petition with over 500 signatures and talking to them) she was gaining a lot of supporters. It was looking like the odds were falling into her favor. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tri-Fruhms had it in for her.
Feeling a little exhausted from a long day of class and avoiding Michael, I decide to take a nap. I could really use some rest after everything that has happened this week. After my head hits my pillow, it doesn’t take long and I drift off to sleep.
When I wake up it’s already 12:30 in the afternoon. Janice’s protest will be starting in just thirty minutes. Janice phone calls me to remind me. I tell her I’ll be there in ten, omitting the fact that I almost slept through it. I then grab my backpack and head out the door.
It’s a peaceful drive over to the quad; the birds are chirping overhead and because of the nice weather, I let down my sunroof down and enjoy the lukewarm breeze. It’s calming, but sadly not enough to distract me from my thoughts of Michael and Kendal. I still don’t know what to do about them. I feel horrible keeping this all from Kendal and it’s slowly filling me with guilt.
I am so distracting that by the time I get to the protest, it has already begun. People are walking around with signs and chanting loudly throughout the quad. I am stunned by how many people are here. Janice really promoted it well.
Just then, Janice steps up to the podium to give her speech. She has been working on it all week, and I mean all week. Even in the night when I was trying to get to sleep, I would hear her chanting the verses on her side of the room. As much as I wanted her to succeed, it drove me crazy. I am glad that after today it will be over.
“Good afternoon everyone,” Janice says, waving to her audience. “Thank you all for coming.”
Janice then launches into her speech. I glance ahead of me and am surprised to see Abby standing toward the front. When Janice invited her, I wasn’t really sure if she would come. Abby definitely wasn’t the activist type. Still, I had noticed a lot of changes from her over the week. Since we started our study sessions, I felt like she was no longer the same. Abby was laughing, making jokes and acting a lot like her old self again. For the first time in months, I feel like I might actually be able to let my anger at her go.
As Janice continues with her speech, the crowd gets more riled. They lift up their signs and start marching around in a circle. Still, Janice manages to maintain the crowd by waving her hands for silence. The last thing she needs is for the crowd to get out of hand. The Tri-Fruhms I’m sure will jump at any chance to make her look bad.
After fifteen minutes have passed, Janice’s speech comes to an end.
“I want to thank you all again for coming and all your help. Every small step counts and I think with us all banding together, the College Board will hear our voices and make a change.”
As she steps down from the podium, the crowd bursts into applause. I can’t help but join in. Janice has worked so hard and with luck, I think that it might just pay off.
The protest lasts another hour or so before people start to gradually peel away. The sun is starting to set and the cool night breeze is starting to pick up.
“Nice protest,” I say to Janice. “I think it went well.”
“Agreed.” Janice takes a deep breath. “All that preparation and everything went smoothly. I am so relieved.”
“You ready to head out?”
Janice nods. “Sure thing.”
An hour later, we are back in the dorm hanging in the dining room. We both have just finished our dinner of tomato basil pasta and are just relaxing in the room. I pull out my laptop and check my e-mail. Kendal has just sent me a message saying how excited he is about his internship. Apparently, he is among the final twenty applicants (they are choosing ten). If chosen, he will be able to work at an actual laboratory with scientists. He seems very excited about it, which makes me feel even more guilty. Here he was all excited to tell me about his life and here I was hiding the fact that I had kissed Michael. I was a horrible girlfriend.
“You all right?” Janice asks. Her face is glued to a new book she picked up from the library.
I glance up. “Y-yes why?”
“You seem for away. Actually, you kind of have for the past week. Is something going on?”
I open my mouth to answer, but then stop when I notice Abby entering through the archway.
“Hey guys,” she says walking over to us. “I was looking for you two when the protest ended, but you both were already gone.” She looks a bit worried.
“Sorry, Abby,” I say with a little smile. “Janice and I left right after. I was starving and couldn’t wait to catch dinner. Is everything alright?”
Abby shakes her head. “No, I have to tell you guys something.”
I frown. “What is it?”
“Well, I was talking to Kimberly earlier this afternoon and she told me something about the Tri-Fruhms.” I find it interesting that she is referring to them as that. I guess she really isn’t with them anymore.
“And what’s that?” says Janice. Her face is still in her book.
“It’s actually about you Janice. Apparently they are mad about your protest and the petition, so they are plotting to do something to you.”
Janice scoffs. “Plotting to get me back for going against them? Surprise, surprise.”
“I’m serious!” Abby says walking behind me to take a seat. “They are plotting something against you!”
Janice sighs. “Abby, I am not afraid of them. They are only acting out because they know that my petition will probably bring results. Besides, they are already skating on thin ice. One more mistake and their chapter will probably be expelled.”
Abby pauses by her chair. “Say that again?”
Janice shrugs. “What? That if they make another mistake they will be expelled?”
“Yes!” Abby snaps. “That just gave me an idea. If the Tri-Fruhms are still on suspension that means that they can’t afford to get caught doing anything wrong. So all we have to do is prove that they are.”
Janice frowns. “And you’re going to do that how?”
Abby grins. “Because of the whole cheating scandal thing, the Tri-Fruhms have been put on suspension. Meaning that they can’t host any Greek events or parties. So if they get caught throwing one, or doing anything else against regulations, they will be going against their suspension rules. And I know Charlotte. She would not let rules get in the way of hosting Greek events. Look, I’m still in talks with Kimberly. I can find out the next time they throw one of their parties and catch them. Then we can turn in the evidence to the board.”
Janice looks up. “Are you serious?”
Abby shrugs. “Why not? If we succeed, we might just get rid of them for good.”
Janice smirks. “Sounds interesting enough.”
I however, am too far away to even hear what they are talking about. My mind is still thinking about Kendal and my betrayal of him. What was he going to do when he found out?
I jump in my chair and look over at Abby. She is giving me a confused look. “What?” I ask.
“I’ve been trying to talk to you and you are just staring off into nothing. Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine.” I suddenly feel extremely tired. “You know, I think I am going to turn in for the night.” I place my laptop into my backpack and pull it over my shoulder. “I’ll talk to you two later.” I then make my way out of the dining room.
After changing out of my clothes and into my p.js, I slip into bed and try to fall asleep. Too bad my mind is too distracted. As tired as I am, I can’t seem to fall asleep. I toss and turn for the next twenty minutes before finally giving up and slipping out of bed. I then wonder over to my mirror and stare at my reflection. It was pretty clear that my problem with Michael and Kendal was not going anywhere. I needed to figure it out and soon, if I want to have any piece of mind.
At that moment, I hear a knock on the door. Great, that’s just what I need. A nightly visitor.
“Who is it?”I call.
“It’s Abby. I was just wondering if we could talk.”
I can’t help but feel puzzled. Abby wanted to talk to me? It had been months since we have had any serious conversations. What could she want?
“Sure,” I say softly, and she pushes the door open.