Although my sorority may be losing its stance (not that it really had any), I at least still have some happiness. Since my magical night with Charls (No seriously, it really was) I’ve been pretty head over heels. I find myself humming constantly and nothing seems to be able bring me down. It’s added to my painting and I find myself having a burst of creative energy. I end up painting multiple small paintings over the next couple days. I spend most of my time painting a piece for Lizzie, who for some reason really wants me to finish it by Friday. Go figure.
I put my final touches on it by Friday afternoon. It really does look amazing. I think Lizzie will be very pleased. Well, she better be. I worked damn hard on it.
“All right,” my art professor says, just then. “Your final projects will be due next week Tuesday. I will accept them no later than that. And I expect your best work. Still, have fun with it.”
I pack up my backpack and then wrap up my painting carefully.
“Nice work Abby,” my professor says on my way out. “That is some of your best work.”
I smile. “Thank you, professor.” Lizzie had better appreciate it.
I then head over to the student union building. Janice and I want to get another study session in before finals start.
Finding an empty table, I plop down and pull out one of my textbooks.
I only just begin when I hear someone calling me from the nearby.
“Hey Abby,” says Janice. She walks over and takes a seat at the table. “Ugh, I need winter break to be here already.”
“Tell me about it.” I turn a page of my textbook. “I just want to be back at home.”
“I’m totally ready for some sand and surf.”
I pout my lip slightly. “I’m jealous. I’ve been really wanting to visit Marina Beach.”
Janice pulls out her textbook and opens it to a marked page. “Well you should come visit sometime. My sisters and I, have plenty of room. Trust me, you’ll never want to come back.”
“I don’t doubt that.”
“Right now I’m just excited to bring Charls home with me. Well, if he says yes. I would love for him to see what Aberdale looks like covered in snow.”
Janice looks back down at her textbook. “That sounds nice. I hope things work out.”
I bite my lip. I know something weird has been going on with her and Greg, but I haven’t really figured out how to ask without looking insensitive.
Finally, I decide to just come out and say it. “So…how are you and Greg doing? I kind of heard you and Ashley talking at the gala and it didn’t sound too good.”
Janice sighs. “It’s a long story, so I’ll just give you the short version. Greg broke up with me a couple months ago out of the blue. We had been arguing and fighting for no reason for weeks and then, he just split with me. He won’t answer my calls, texts, or anything.”
“Wow,” I look at her wide-eyed. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. Lizzie thinks that something is going on with him, and I think she might be right. I think he’s going through something, but I can’t help him if he won’t let me in.”
“Well, I don’t think you should give up. I think you should keep trying to get through to him.”
Janice smiles. “Funny, Lizzie said something similar.”
“She did? Well great minds think alike.”
We spend the next hour and a half in deep focus. I am surprised that a lot of what I am reading actually sinks in. I might just pass my math and psych final after all.
I place my book down and glance at my clock.
“Wow, its already five ‘O clock,” I say with a smile.
Janice looks up a bit alarmed. “Oh really? I should get back to the dorm then.”
I frown. “Why?”
“Oh,” Janice shifts in her seat, “I just have some things to take care of.” She closes her book and then tosses it into her backpack.
“Hey do you think you could drop by the dorm around six?”
I narrow my eyes. “Sure, but why?”
Janice smiles. “You’ll see.”
She then hurries down the stairs to the front door, leaving me standing puzzled in the hallway.
As much as I want to go back early and see what is going on with Janice, I decide to linger around the student union building for a bit. Spotting an empty pool table, I walk over and start a game of pool. I get carried away and by the time I check my phone again, it is already six-thirty.
Slipping on my backpack, I go down the stairs and out the front doors.
When I arrive, I hear music blasting from the building. I frown feeling a little confused. The last time I heard music played that loud, was from the Christmas party we threw last year. Was our dorm throwing a party again?
I push the doors open and am surprised to find Charls standing at the door dancing.
“Abby!” he says with a smile. “You’re finally here.”
“What is going on?” I ask. There are people walking around left to right all chatting with each other.
“A party. Lizzie and Abby put it together. Oh, and just thought I should add,” he leans in closer. They are selling your paintings.”
I am confused what he means until I look over and see some of the paintings I had previously given to Janice and Lizzie, scattered around one of the walls. Funny, but they actually did look a bit professional. I am so stunned that I don’t know what to say. People are crowded around the paintings and examining them. They actually look intrigued by them. I feel myself beaming.
“What is all this for?” I ask Charls.
“Money for the Beta Gamma Kappas. Oh and by the way, I call dibs on the one to the right.”
Money for the Beta Gamma Kappas? Wow. So this party was partially a fundraiser.
There is a buffet table with baked goods and more booths throughout the dorm. I really can’t believe it. Lizzie and Janice had put together a sort of Christmas party and bazaar to raise money for the Beta Gamma Kappas. I feel so happy I could soar. I don’t even care that they are selling my paintings without telling me. Though, I will discuss that with them later.
People are walking about and seem to be having a good time. I spot Lizzie talking with a girl from my art class, Rebecca, and overhear her mentioning something about considering becoming a pledge. A pledge for what? Could she be talking about Beta Gamma Kappa? And then I realize the other ulterior motive for the party, recruiting Beta Gamma Kappa members. Janice and Lizzie had really thought of everything.
I smile admiring all the decorations and hard work put into it. As I make my way over to one of the tables, I see a stack of presents in the center of the lobby. Truthfully, they have been there since December started. Every year the dorm throws a secret Santa gift giving party and throughout the weeks of December leading to finals week, dorm residents were to put their presents in the center pile. I had already put mine there for Lizzie and I could see she put hers for Janice. What I was curious about, was what Janice got me, for I know she was mine. I saw her pull my name from the bowl that was sitting on the RA’s desk. I am tempted to shake the gift to check, but I resist the temptation.
Everyone seems to be having fun except two people in particular.
I frown, feeling dread fill within me. What were Taylor and Clare doing here? Couldn’t they just leave me alone for one day?
They stand toward the door entrance scoping the crowd of people. I could tell from their expressions that they are not happy.
They look even more annoyed when Janice approaches them.
“Hey Clare,” she says with a smile. “Welcome. Can I interest you in a painting from the gallery? Or maybe some of Carrie’s baked goods? Her cookies and cupcakes are to die for.”
Clare’s eyes narrow. “Save it Janice. This pathetic little party is not going to get you enough to bid for that building you are trying to renovate. Besides, you aren’t supposed to be hosting Greek events. You guys aren’t a real sorority. I could report you.” She smirks at Janice. “If you don’t stop this pathetic party.”
Janice’s smile only goes wider. “This is not a Greek event Clare, it’s a Christmas bazaar. So if you aren’t interested in anything we have to offer, I suggest you…leave.” She gives her a glare and then takes off. Clare looks livid. She says something to Taylor and together they both walk away.
Good riddance. At least that was one problem down.
As I am wondering around the party, I notice that my painting for Lizzie has disappeared from under my backpack. I start to panic, thinking someone stole it, until I round a corner and see it staring down at me from above. It looks beautiful framed.
By the end of the night, all the baked goods are gone, but the paintings still remain. I start to feel down, thinking that my paintings are so dull that not even one person bothered to buy one, when Lizzie shows me the tag underneath each painting signifying that it has been purchased. I am just surprised that someone spent anything on it at all.
I give Lizzie a hug. “Thank you so much for doing this. I had totally run out of ideas.”
Lizzie smiles. “No problem. I knew you were down because of the whole Gala thing, so Janice and I decided to figure something else out. And you won’t believe it, we got three other recruits! We have the minimum requirement to go to the Greek council!”
I squeal. “That is amazing! Now to get that building.”
Lizzie shakes her head. “Don’t worry about that. Two people made some anonymous donations that are going to help us…a lot. I just wish Janice would stop saying it was my communications professor. She thinks he has feelings for me and was grading me harshly to hide it.”
I wrinkle my nose. “That fifty year old guy? What is wrong with her?”
Lizzie laughs and shakes her head. “I don’t know. She just likes teasing me I guess.” She then heads to the front door. “Michael and I are going to catch the newest indie film at the theater. I’ll see you in a couple hours.” She gives me a wave and then walks out the door.
I spot Charls sitting on the living room sofa.
“Fun party,” he says, as I plop down into his arms. “But I bought too many of those cookies.”
I laugh. “I don’t think one day will kill you.” I then snuggle up to him. “Am I to guess you were one of the donators tonight?”
Charls grins. “Maybe. I don’t know.”
I laugh and give his hand a squeeze. “Thank you.”
In a few seconds our lips are pressed against each other and we are making out in the living room. Each kiss is bringing this hungry desire in me and soon I am desperate to be closer to him again, as close as one can be.
And front the way Charls is holding me, I can tell he feels the same way.
Gripping his hand, I slowly lead him up to my room.
Soon we are sprawled on my mattress barely dressed kissing in each other’s arms. My hands find their way up to Charls chest and for a moment, he hesitates.
“Abby,” his voice is only a whisper, “Lizzie…”
I smile. “She’s out with Michael right now. They won’t be back for a few hours.” A small moan escapes my lips as he leads a trail of kisses down to my chest, his fingers pulling the straps of my undershirt off my shoulders. “And I k-know that will be more than enough time for us,” I manage to say through gasps. I then close my eyes and surrender to the sensations his kisses are sending through my body. I feel myself relax underneath him as my mind goes blank. A feeling of ecstasy slowly starts to take over and soon everything around me vanishes.