It surprises me how fast the days go by and soon November has arrived. My classes all seem to be going well, except for Communications. That professor is driving me crazy. He is the harshest grader ever. The way things are going, I might be getting a B instead of the A I know I deserve. But if I can just do well on my final project, maybe, just maybe, I will get lucky.
Thursday evening, I invite Michael to join me in the library for a study session. We had wanted to go out for dinner, but with my communications test coming up, I can really use all the studying I can get. Lucky for me, Michael understands. He studies up on his electrical engineering textbook as I finish up my assignment.
Still, ever so often, he will look up from his textbook and smile at me, which I find extremely distracting. Probably because he has the most adorable smile ever. Seriously, its heart-melting worthy. But right now, it’s very annoying.
“Mike, if you keep doing that, I’ll never be able to get any work done.”
Michael frowns at me. “Doing what?”
“You know what.” I look up and smile at him.
“Sorry, you are just too distracting.”
I arch my eyebrow. “I could say the same about you.”
Michael laughs and then looks back at his book. “All right, I’ll stop.”
We are both then quiet for a few minutes.
Michael then clears throat. “So I haven’t seen you and Abby hanging out lately. Everything okay?”
“Yup.” I quickly type in my last thought before I forget. “We’re fine. Just busy.”
“Are you sure that’s all?”
Michael shrugs. “I just heard something from Janice. That’s all.”
I look up. “What was that?”
Michael turns a page in his textbook. “Well, she said that you didn’t support something Abby was doing. Then I heard from someone on campus that someone was trying to start a new sorority. Am I to assume that person is Abby?”
I sigh. “How did you guess?”
“Just a hunch. So what’s going on?”
I exhale deeply. “Well you’ve heard most of it. Abby wants to start a new sorority and she wants me to help her. I told her that I will support whatever she wants to do, but that I don’t want any part of it. She didn’t take that very well.”
“Well, why don’t you want to help her?”
I look up at him in surprise. “Why do you think Michael? You of all people know what happened with the Tri-Fruhms last year! Do you think I really want to get myself mixed up with a sorority again?”
“But this isn’t the Tri-Fruhms, it’s Abby. You know Abby isn’t like that. Unless,” Michael gives me a look. “Unless, you think she hasn’t changed.”
I shake my head. “That’s not true! I know she has changed!”
“Then what is it?”
I look up from my laptop and stare hard at Michael for a moment. I then sigh again. “I guess…I guess I am just scared that she will become that person again. We have come so far since all the craziness of last year and I just don’t want to back to those days again. I’m scared that her becoming a sorority girl again, will change that.”
Michael closes his textbook and then slips it into his backpack. “Well, that’s another reason why maybe you should help her. You can be sure she won’t end up that way.”
I frown. “I don’t know…”
“You’re her best friend, Lizzie. She doesn’t want to lose you. From what I hear, she isn’t doing so well on her own. She needs you.”
After saving my paper, I close the lid of my laptop. “Have you been talking to Janice or something? I swear she said something similar to me a week ago.”
Michael laughs. “Great minds think alike. In any case, I think it might be fun for you. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to date a sorority girl.”
“Oh really?” I laugh. “Well, we will have to see about that.” I then glance at my phone and see that it is almost seven o’ clock. “We should head out. The dining hall will be closing in an hour and a half.”
Michael nods and we both pack up our things and leave the library.
We manage to eat a hearty dinner of burgers and fries with salads before heading out into the night. All the while, I keep thinking about what both he and Janice had said. Maybe they were right. Not all sororities could bad, right? Still, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to actually join one.
“You were pretty quiet at dinner,” Michael says, smiling at me. “You okay?”
I nod. “Just thinking about what you and Janice said about Abby.”
“Hey,” Michael leans closer to me, “you don’t have to make any decisions tonight, just think about it. It could be fun. And even if you don’t actually join, it doesn’t hurt for you to just talk to her about what you told me. You can see where it goes after that.”
I shrug. “I guess you’re right. It won’t hurt to at least talk to her about it.” I take Michael’s hand into mine. “Thanks for hearing me out.”
“That’s what I’m here for.”
I grin and pull him in for a kiss. That is one thing that I know I will never grow tired of, Michael always being willing to listen and seeming to always know the right things to say. I will never ever grow tired of it. And of course, his mind blowing kisses. I could never give that up.
It’s a quiet drive home, and all the while, I am thinking about Abby and her sorority. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Abby kept saying that she wanted it to be different, a real sisterhood. Maybe, if she was right, it could be a good thing for Aberdale U, and not just another vindictive sorority. There was only one way to find out.
I march in through the front doors, passing a startled looking Janice in the hallway. I give her a quick wave and then continue upstairs to my room.
When I walk in, I see Abby standing at her easel painting in silence. I can see from her face that she looks very lost. I begin to feel a bit guilty. I hadn’t really noticed how low she has been feeling. I guess I have just been too busy with school.
She lifts her hand in slow strokes not even glancing at me as I enter.
I bite my lip and head over to my dresser to change into my pjs. I then walk over to my bed and lay on top of it.
“Your painting is looking great,” I say quietly.
Abby doesn’t turn around. “Thanks,” she says softly. “It’s for art class. I started it earlier this week.”
“Well, it is looking great.”
We are then left in silence again, me just lying on my bed and Abby quietly painting upon the canvas.
“So how is the process of starting your sorority going?”
Abby shrugs. “It’s going okay, I guess. I am still trying to get the petition ready to send to the dean. Kimberly is also trying to get other people interested.” She pauses for a moment and then continues painting. “It’s a little overwhelming.”
I stare at her for a minute in silence. “You really want to do this don’t you?”
Abby stops painting and glances back at me. “Yes, I really do. I just want to be a part of something. I want to feel like I belong to something. I know I have my mom and Tommy, but sometimes I feel lost even when I’m with them, especially my mother. She’s in her own world a lot, which makes me wonder if she sometimes forgets that Tommy and I are there too.” Abby sighs. “I guess I just wanted to feel like I had a sisterhood to depend on. That is why I wanted to be part of the Tri-Fruhms. Of course, they weren’t the right fit for me, which is why I want to do this. I really want to do this.”
I am speechless. I had no idea that Abby felt that way. Well, about being in a sorority. About her mother, I always felt that Mrs. Clawson was in her own world. I would never tell Abby this, but her mother was a total drama queen. I have heard my mother talking about it with my dad countless times. Apparently, Mrs. Clawson was always starting up trouble at her work.
But that was beside the point. Abby did seem to have a positive message for her sorority. Maybe this time it would be different.
“I’m going to bed,” I say, slipping under my covers. “But, tomorrow, maybe we can figure this whole petition thing out.”
I hear the sound of Abby whipping around. “What?” She sounds extremely surprised.
I turn over and close my eyes, while stifling a giggle. “I said tomorrow we will work on your petition for the Dean. We’ll get it all fixed up and send it in. Trust me, he won’t turn you down. Now nighty, night. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
I grin although my eyes are still closed. “Mmhm, now goodnight.”
I nearly open my eyes when I hear Abby squeal loudly and squeeze me half to death.
“Thank you Lizzie,” she whispers a minute later from her side of the room.
I smile. “What are friends for.”