Things between Abby and I become a little tense over the next week. It isn’t like we are fighting or anything, it’s more like we are both too busy to hang out. Then again, when we are in our room together, we barely talk. It’s a shame because after everything, we are finally roommates and because of this whole stupid sorority thing, we aren’t even talking to each other. I just don’t understand why Abby just can’t let it go. Why was being in a sorority so important to her?
I mull over this Wednesday evening as I make my way over to the campus gymnasium. Janice has signed up for a ballet class and pushed me into taking it with her. Not that I mind. I can’t remember the last time I took ballet class. I was probably eight or nine. Apparently, she was trying to work on her flexibility, but she didn’t want to be seen taking it alone. I don’t think it is a big deal, but I decided not to question her on it.
By the time I arrive, Janice is already in class doing warm ups.
“Took you long enough,” she says. She barely turns her head, obviously not wanting to break her concentration.
I shrug. “I’m sorry. I was typing on my laptop in the library.”
“Are you going to let me read your latest draft?”
I smile. “I was actually working on a paper for communications, but I will let you read a bit of it when I am done.”
I then slip off my shirt and jeans, and then head over to the ballet bar. It was smart of me to wear my workout clothes under. No muss no fuss.
The class then begins, and I do my best to remember all the right hand and foot movements. I glance up and am a bit jealous of Janice who is doing each move perfectly for someone who has never taken ballet before in her life.
When the instructor moves to check on some of other students, I call to her,
“You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’ve taken this class before.”
Janice laughs. “Now why would I put myself through this on purpose if that were true?”
I grin. “I don’t know. Maybe to show off your skills.”
“Ah, I admire your faith in me, but alas, I have not done as you say. I am just as they say, a quick learner.”
“So is your communications professor still giving you a hard time?”
“Yes!” I roll my eyes. “I swear, he watches me like a hawk while he teaches. If I make one mistake like cough or drop a pencil, he notices.”
Janice snickers. “I’m sure you are over exaggerating.”
“I wish I was, but it’s true. He seriously has some issues with me.”
“Or a crush on you.”
“Hey, you never know. Maybe he’s treating you badly to hide his unrequited feelings for you.”
“Ugh!” I shiver with disgust. The thought of my forty-year-old professor crushing on me, really gives me the creeps. “Very funny Janice, now please change the subject!”
Janice laughs and nearly falls over. “Okay fine. Here’s something I’ve been wondering. How are you and Michael?”
I grin. “We’re good.”
“You two have been spending a lot of time together lately, haven’t you?” Janice glances over her shoulder and gives me a sly smile.
I blush. “Yes, but it’s not like we are doing anything like that! We aren’t you and Greg! You guys can hardly keep your hands off each other.”
I expect Janice to laugh and make a snarky comeback, but she doesn’t. Instead, she looks distressed and hurt.
“Janice,” I start, but am interrupted by our instructor telling us to begin doing pirouettes.
It’s a while before she moves away and I am able to talk to Janice again.
“Janice,” I whisper, “before when I said that think about you and Greg, I’m sorry.”
Janice swallows sharply. “It’s fine, I’m not upset about that.”
“Then what is it?”
“N-nothing. Oh! I meant to ask you. How is the whole sorority thing with Abby going?”
I want to press her further to find out more about her and Greg, but I decide not to push it. At least for now.
“We’re okay I guess. Although, things have been kind of weird between us since her announcement at the café.”
“And you not supporting it.”
I frown. “Hey, Abby is free to do whatever she wants. It doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
“No, but I do think she could use your help.”
I scoff. “Well, that’s tough, because I am not going to be a part of anything sorority related.”
Janice sighs. “Really Lizzie?”
“Yes! You know all that stuff that happened last year! Frankly, I’m surprised that you even supported her! You were definitely against sororities last year.”
“I was against the Tri-Fruhms, not all sororities.” Janice then sighs. “Okay fine, I was against all of the Greek sororities. But to be honest, I like Abby’s idea about starting a new sorority. One that won’t be tainted by all the ones already here on campus. She seems to really have a positive goal and I think it will be like a fresh start.”
I shrug and change my stance on the bar. “I guess.”
“Look, I’m not saying that you have to join, but at the same time, maybe you should give it a chance. Abby could really use your help. She’s drowning a bit in all the things she has to do and saying she is overwhelmed, which is an understatement.”
I fall quiet for a minute. There was a bit of truth to what Janice said. Abby did say that she wanted to start a sorority that was different from all the others and that was a good thing. But on the other hand, isn’t that what all the other sororities set out to do? Look what happened to them! I just don’t want to be involved with all the drama.
“I don’t know,” I say finally. “I’ll really have to think about it.”
“That’s all I’m asking. She is your best friend after all. And I think she really needs you.”
“Girls! Girls! Too much chitchat!” I look up and see our instructor standing near us. “Now show me your pirouettes!”
Janice does a quick, smooth spin and I clumsily try to follow suit, nearly falling over.
Our instructor frowns. “Less talking and more practice Miss Drake,” she says and then turns back to the rest of the class.
I decide to zip my lips shut for the rest of class.
Thirty minutes later, class ends and everyone files out of the room. I stay back with Janice who is still practicing her plies.
“So,” I bite my lip. “Are you going to tell me what’s going on with you and Greg?”
Janice freezes mid-plie. “What do you mean?”
I sigh. “Janice come on. You can tell me.”
Janice breaks her stance and turns to face the window. She stares out of it for almost a minute before she speaks.
“Greg and I…we broke up.”
I frown. “What? When?”
“Several weeks ago.”
“Wow.” I shake my head. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
Janice shrugs. “I just didn’t feel like talking about it. It’s been really … hard for me.” She looks toward the floor.
At once, I think back to the story reading a couple weeks ago. Janice had read a poem called “Through The Heartache,” which I had suspected to be about Greg. Now it was looking like I was right.
“That poem you read at the reading, it was about him wasn’t it?”
Janice nods quietly.
I walk over to her. “I’m sorry, I wish I had known sooner. What happened between you two?”
Janice sighs deeply. “I really don’t know. We’ve been fighting a lot more lately and I don’t even know why. And then we just got in this big fight over something so stupid…” she shakes her head. “And he said that he had had enough of us. Enough of me.” She bites her lip. “And that was that, I guess. I haven’t heard from him since.”
I sigh. “I’m so sorry.”
Janice nods. “Me too.”
“It’s just so weird though,” I say shaking my head. “Greg was so crazy about you! How can he just get so upset and break up with you like that?”
“I don’t know! I’ve been asking myself that over and over and it’s driving me crazy.”
I frown. “I just don’t buy it. I think there must be something else going on with him. Has he seemed different lately?”
Janice thinks for a moment. “Well, yes. First with all the arguing and fighting, and then he stopped wanting to hang out with me. And when we did, he always seemed so far away.”
“So there could be something going on.”
“Maybe. But I can’t ask him about it if he doesn’t talk to me.”
I am quiet for a minute. “Well, maybe he just needs some space. Give him that and see if he comes around.”
“It’s been almost a month, Lizzie. I just…I miss him.”
I give her a hug. “I know, and I’m really sorry. But don’t worry. We’ll figure it all out.”
I then turn and notice we really are the only ones left in the room, apart from a boy who seemed to be cleaning the room equipment.
“We should head out,” I say to Janice and she nods. We then grab our backpacks and head out the room door. “What a day,” I think to myself. While our ballet class is supposed to relax me, I feel even more tense than before.