I spend most of the week trying my best to avoid Lizzie and Janice. It’s the only thing I can think of to do, since I can’t bring myself to tell Lizzie about the rush party at the Alpha Beta Phis. I know what she is going to think and I don’t want to start anything again. Besides, maybe if I go, I will hate it and it will just be another party I attended. Then again, if things go well…but whatever. That’s not the point. The point is that Lizzie and Janice can’t know anything. At least not until I figure out what to say.
I head back from Art class on Friday, completely exhausted from my worrying. I get a text from Kimberly telling me the party address and all the other details. Tonight is the night.
Six hours later, I am in my pink Honda driving over to the party. I can feel my stomach lurching as I pass one house to the next. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Maybe I should just pull over and text Kimberly to say I’m not going. Then again, what friend would I be to her if just cancelled at the last minute?
Before I am able to decide what to do, I pull up in front of the address. There is no turning back now. Taking a deep breath, I open my car door and then step outside.
As I walk up the stairs to the front entrance, I start to suspect that something is wrong. The house seems way too quiet. Shouldn’t there be the sound of voices and music coming from inside? I don’t hear a thing. It’s completely silent. What is going on?
I decide to peek in just to be completely sure. Through the window, I can see the bare hallway with only dim lights to give it a glow. It’s pretty clear that no one is home.
I am about to leave when I hear my name being called from behind. I turn and see Kimberly walking over to me.
“Hey, Abby,” she says.
“Hey Kim, what’s going on? Where is everybody?”
Kimberly shrugs. “I have no idea. I just went around to the back to see if anyone was there, but the backyard was empty.”
“So there is no one here?”
Kimberly shakes her head.
I sigh and shake my head. “Are you sure you got the address right? And the date?”
Kimberly nods eagerly. “I know I did. I double checked the flyer.”
“Okay, then I don’t know, Kim. Maybe we got stood up.”
Kimberly frowns. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, maybe someone was trying to play a prank on you. Maybe the party was somewhere else and someone sent you the wrong e-vite.”
“But this is their sorority house. There are signs and everything in front and I even found more outback.”
I nod. “I know, but no one is here. If you double checked everything, the only solution is that someone messed with you.”
Kimberly looks at me hard for a minute and then sighs. “I guess you’re right,” she says.
We both turn toward the staircase.
Kimberly looks irritated. “I can’t believe someone would do that. I was really looking forward to it.”
I look at her sadly. “I know. I’m sorry.” Although truthfully, I am a little relieved. At least I would haven’t to scramble around trying to explain to Lizzie why I had decided to pledge for a sorority again. Not that I was going to or anything. I think…
I am about to head to my car when I turn and see Kimberly back at the sorority house looking a bit depressed. I can’t help but feel a little bad.
“Hey Kim, why don’t we go out for dessert or something?” I call to her. “It’s still pretty early and I have nothing else to do for the night but study.”
Kimberly sighs. “Why not,” she says, and she follows me to my car.
Still, I can’t help but feel a little curious as to who messed with Kimberly like that. It wasn’t as if she knew anyone at the Alpha Beta Phis. She was pledging for the first time. So why would they want to play a prank on her like that? Perhaps they were more like the Tri-Fruhms than I thought? Whatever the case, I can’t help but feel that Kimberly and I are better off without them.
The week goes by fast and before I know it, it is already Friday. I’m so psyched about my date with Michael that I can hardly concentrate on class or anything else. When I finish my last class for the day, I hurry back to my dorm and spend the afternoon trying to find the right outfit to wear. I decide to go for semi-formal.
When I finally decide, I put on my outfit, touch up on my makeup and then head out the door. I want to say goodbye to Janice and Abby, but Janice is out with Greg and Abby has seemed to disappear. She had been acting pretty funny this whole week. As much as I want to know what is going on, I don’t want anything to distract me from my night with Michael. Tonight is about us.
I arrive at the theater a couple minutes to seven, when we are supposed to meet. I feel anxious as I stand waiting, and I find myself trying to calm myself down. “It’s just a movie date,” I tell myself. “This isn’t the first time you have done this.”
But when I spot Michael standing by one of the ticket machines, all that goes out the window. My nerves start acting up again and I feel nervous as ever. Taking a deep breath, I walk over to him.
“Hey Michael,” I say, and he turns.
He looks from my face down and then back up again and his lips break into a smile. “Lizzie, you look great.”
I feel my cheeks flush. “Thank you.”
We both then stand for a minute in silence before I can’t help but break into laughter.
Michael smiles at me curiously. “What is it?” he asks.
“Nothing,” I say through my laughter. “It’s just…us. You’d think this was the first time we’ve been out together, with us all quiet and just staring at each other. But we’ve been here so many times.”
Michael laughs. “Yah, you’re right.” He then steps closer to me. “But I think we both know that this time is a little different.”
I bite my lip and nod. “Yah, it is.”
He then lifts his hand out to me. “Shall we?”
I grin and take his hand, and he leads me over to the theater doors.
We manage to enter into the theater just before the movie begins and take our seats a little further back in the room.
Lucky for us, we are the only ones in the room, so we get the theater to ourselves. This is normal for us since the movies Michael and I normally watch are Sundance festival-like films. The downtown movie theater makes much more money than this place since they show all the top movie blockbusters. Still, this theater has become like home to Michael and I, and quite a few other students.
This time around, we are watching a romantic comedy called “Stay With Me,” a “Rom Com” if you will. I am a bit surprised, for Michael isn’t really into them. Though I suppose he might have done it for my benefit, since he knows I am trying to write a romance novel. I have yet to let him read some of the chapters, but maybe I will soon.
The movie is not that great, but I still follow along. Strange enough, it is about a girl who is in the middle of a love triangle with a guy she thinks is right for her, and another that she can’t seem to stay away from. It’s a bit irritating though, for she is basically cheating on her boyfriend with him; sneaking off in the night to see the other guy. I feel a bit awkward, considering it is close to my situation, minus the sneaking off to sleep with some guy at a hotel or any surface they can find. I can only hope that Michael doesn’t notice the similarities.
The only part of the movie that makes me uneasy is the extremely passionate love scenes. Janice’s comment earlier this week roles into my mind and I feel more awkward. It’s not that doing that makes me feel squeamish or anything, (okay, maybe a little) I just haven’t really thought about actually doing that with anyone yet. Not even Michael. But now that had she brought it up, it was in my mind. It’s not like I wouldn’t ever want to, especially with the way I was feeling about Michael, it’s just that…I don’t think I am ready. Abby always said it was no big deal, but when we talked about it over the summer, she told me she was actually very nervous about it. She also told me that she regretted wasting her first time on Brad and that she wished she had waited for the right guy, which I honestly think for her might actually be Charls. I don’t want to waste my first time either. While I feel it could be Michael, I just don’t want to rush anything. With everything that happened with Kendal, I just want to be sure.
I jump slightly and turn to my left to see Michael staring at me curiously.
I then realize I have been staring at him for the past couple minutes.
“Oh, yes!” I say feeling slightly embarrassed.
Michael laughs. “You looked real deep in thought there.”
If only he knew the half of it. “I’m okay. I was just spacing.”
“So I’m not the only one a little bored to tears.”
I laugh. “No, you aren’t. Luckily we only have a few minutes left.” I look and see the main character kissing the guy she chose, surprise, surprise, the man she couldn’t seem to stay away from. I smile. I suppose the movie made up for it by the ending.
After we finish watching the credits, we head back out into the theater lobby.
“Well, that movie was interesting,” I say with a smile.
Michael laughs. “That girl was driving me crazy though.”
I frown. “Really? Why?”
“She spent the whole movie trying to do what she thought would be best for everyone else, instead of following what she really wanted. If she had just admitted her feelings from the beginning, it could have saved a lot more pain.”
“Well, maybe she was confused,” I protest. “She really did care about her boyfriend. After all, she did meet him first. And she did break up with him when she thought she had feelings for the other guy.”
Michael nods. “Yes, but then she got right back with her boyfriend. Even though it was clear that he wasn’t treating her right.”
“Yes, but she loved him. They had been together for so long that she wasn’t ready to let go of that. She wanted to be loyal to him.”
“I think she passed that when she started sneaking off at night to have sex with the other guy.”
I laugh. “Well, you got me there.”
We both are quiet for a minute. I think this is becoming more about us than even the movie.
I then sigh. “Look, I’m not defending her actions, but I do see why she had such a struggle with it. I think she didn’t understand how she could fall so deeply for a guy she just met when she had been with her boyfriend for a long time. I think it confused her and she felt lost in her feelings, not knowing what to do.”
Michael smiles and shakes his head. “I don’t know, I guess the answer seemed so easy to me.”
“To you and probably to him too because he knew how he felt, but she was confused. She needed time to realize her true feelings. Which is why I’m glad she took a few months before she decided what to do.”
Michael looks at me and his eyes seem to soften. “She could have lost him in the process though,” he says quietly.
I bit my lip. This is really starting to sound more like its about us.
“T-that’s true,” I say, “but I think it was worth the risk for her to make the right choice.”
Michael moves closer to me and I can feel my hands starting to tingle. “You think she made the right choice?”
I smile, feeling my cheeks heating up again. “I think she did.”
I am unable to say a word more, for Michael pulls me to him and kisses me, making my mind go blank. The tingling in my hands continue and I feel my heartbeat start to increase. I am completely breaking my no PDA rule, but I don’t care. It has been so long since I have kissed Michael or felt his warm arms around me like this, that I don’t want it to end. I press him closer to me and lose myself in his kiss like once before.
I don’t know how long we stand wrapped in each other’s arms like that, but by the time he pulls away from me, the lobby is completely empty. Not that I really noticed. My gaze is still fixated on Michael’s mesmerizing light-blue eyes and I feel like I am out of breath.
Before I know what I’m saying, I blurt out, “I’ve been waiting all summer for you to do that.”
I feel my cheeks flush at my blunt statement, but Michael just tucks a strand of my hair behind my ear and smiles. “And I you,” he says.
I giggle. “I guess this means what I think it means,” I say, and give Michael a quick peck on his lips. “Walk me home…boyfriend?” It feels so good to call him that after a whole summer of waiting.
Michael kisses me back and gives me a squeeze. “Of course.”
He then takes my hand into his and together we walk out of the theater. My heart feels like its soaring high above the clouds, for at that moment, everything feels right in the world.