(Sorry for missing a post last week! Longer chapter today! 🙂 )
The last day of classes goes very well. My professors all tell me that my grades will be in by Thursday, which is helpful, for that is the day that I am heading home with Charls. I am so psyched about it, but I try to stay focused on classes until then. From my progress and help from Lizzie, I just know that I am going to get above a 3.0 this quarter. My hard work is really paying off!
When I wake up late Thursday morning, my stomach is all in knots. I grab my mail from downstairs and then bring it up to my room to open my final grades for the quarter (leave it to Aberdale to still do it the old fashion way. Everyone else gets them by e-mail or posted online). I tear open the envelope slowly and pull out the sheet with my final grades.
As I expected, I score a 3.4 gpa, An “A” in art, a “B+” in psychology, and a “B” in math. Math was never really a great subject for me, but lately I have been doing much better. I am actually a bit surprised I was even able to manage a B in that subject. Not that I’m complaining.
I hear my phone ringing and when I answer it, I hear Charls on the other end. I am so happy about my gpa that I have to share it with him. Shockingly he tops it by telling me he got a 3.6. I am completely surprised. Maybe I had him wrong about his study habits.
After I shower and get dressed, I grab a blueberry muffin and a bottle of orange juice from the kitchen and then head over to the art building. Since I won’t be at campus for the next few weeks, I figure I might as well get some more painting done. I don’t know what it is, but I seem to get great energy from being in that room. It may be all the other paintings and artifacts around me, but I just love painting in that room.
I end up painting until evening, with my mind being so focused on the stroke of my brush upon the canvas. It is only my phone beeping that awakens me from that trance. Glancing down, I see a text from Charls asking what time he should be over at my dorm. I feel myself filling with excitement. I really can’t wait to get home with him. My mom has no idea, so she is going to be plenty surprised.
I next him back “6:30,” seeing as how the time was already 5:00, and he texts me back “See you then.”
Just before I put my phone away, I see a notification from my voicemail. Listening to it, I get a message from Mrs. Kutz saying that if I could stop in her office before 5:30pm, she would like to discuss the involvement of her in my sorority. I feel so guilty that I missed her call. When I start painting, I can definitely drown out everything around me.
After stashing my phone in my backpack, I pack up my painting and then head out of the art building and for her office.
I get to her office ten minutes after 5:30 and apologize for arriving late. We then discuss things and she agrees to be an adviser for the Beta Gamma Kappas. We then go over details in her office and she suggests that once we feel we are ready, we could approach the Greek council for a probationary charter.
I am so thrilled I could sing. We are definitely on our way to becoming a full fledge sorority. It probably doesn’t hurt that Aberdale is actually trying to add more sororities to the school. According to Kimberly, they really only had four chapters on campus; the Alpha Beta Phis, the Delta Sigmas, the Kappa Alpha Omegas, and the Tri-Fruhms. Now that the Tri-Fruhms were gone, that left an empty slot open for another sorority, and I was going to make sure the Beta Gamma Kappas would fill it.
I am so happy about my successful meeting with her, that I almost don’t see Taylor standing ahead of me as I leave the administration building.
“Abby,” Taylor says, gives me a smirk. “I’m surprised to see you about. What with you running off from the gala with your tail between your legs. Rough night, huh?”
I roll my eyes. “Taylor, give it a rest.”
“Hey, I just feel bad for you. That’s all. It must hurt to be hated by all the sororities and frats on campus, including your boyfriend’s. How are things with you two anyway?”
“Great actually.” I flash her a smile. “Charls is coming home with me for Christmas break.”
Taylor raises an eyebrow. “Seriously? Wow, he sure has bad taste in wom-”
“Is this conversation really going anywhere?” I interrupt. “Because if not, it’s a waste of my time.”
Taylor scoffs. “You know, I guess you’re right. Why should I waste my time talking to some washed up ex-sorority girl?”
I smile. “That’s funny Taylor, but I won’t be for long.”
Taylor frowns. “What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means that my sorority is underway. Soon the Beta Gamma Kappas are going to be known throughout campus you are going to wish you could pledge for us.”
Taylor laughs. “Oh please, I thought you had forgotten about that sorry cause. Was getting smacked down by everyone at the gala not enough for you?”
“Things may have not worked out at the gala, but the Christmas bazaar Lizzie and Janice threw, actually went pretty well. You should know, because you were there. The Beta Gamma Kappas now have enough members to approach the Greek council, including a faculty adviser.”
Taylor looks slightly taken aback which puts a smile on my face.
“That’s right. We’re well on our way to becoming a full fledged sorority, Taylor. So I suggest you stop goading me and just focus on your own sorority.”
“Don’t start getting cocky Abby. Having members and an adviser, isn’t all that you need to get a good vote from the council. You also need good standing with the other sororities, which you don’t have.” She smirks at me. “This isn’t going to be as easy as you think. So, if I were you, I would just give it up.”
I roll my eyes. “We won’t. The Beta Gamma Kappas will become a real sorority. You watch.”
Taylor shakes her head and laughs. “Oh I will. It’s going to be that much better to watch your train wreck of a sorority fail.”
I just stand back and glare at her. It’s hard to imagine that last year around this time we were pretty close, both her and Clare. Now, just seeing the two of them filled me with anger. I can’t even remember what about them even made me to want to be friends in the first place.
I am about to say something about this, when I hear my name being called. Looking over, I see Kimberly headed my way from the sidewalk.
“Hey Abby!” She says. Her voice is a bit out of breath. “I’m sorry I haven’t been around in a while. I have been so busy studying for finals and finishing up my chem project for class. I turned it in yesterday and got high praise. I definitely see a 4.0 in my future.”
I grin. “That’s great!”
“I know right!” Kimberly sighs with satisfaction. “I can’t wait until next quarter. I’m taking this Bio Chem class that is completely fascinating.”
“Oh! I forgot to tell you!” Kimberly sudden looks excited. “I talked one of the school officials into letting the Beta Gamma Kappas help the Delta Sigmas with the blood drive next month!”
My eyes widen. “You did?”
“Yup!” She grins. “It will give our sorority some recognition along with good standing with the Delta Sigmas.”
I am a bit stunned. “How did you manage that?”
Kimberly shrugs. “It never hurts to have a little pull with the school board.” She laughs and then turns to look at Taylor, seeming to be noticing her for the first time.
“Um,” Kimberly looks back and forth between us, “what is going on?”
I shift my eyes back to Taylor. “Taylor and I were just having a little bit of a chat,” I say giving her a look of disgust. “But we’re done here, right?”
Taylor narrows her eyes at me. “Gladly. And by the way, even if you get a little pull with the Delta Sigmas, which honestly doesn’t mean much, you still need standing with higher up sororities, and of course, the Greek board. And trust me, you won’t be getting either.” She then turns and walks off.
“She never gives up does she?” Kimberly says rolling her eyes. “I swear, a part of me thinks she’s afraid that we are going to succeed.”
“That’s because we will.” I ball my fists for a second. “We are going to become a full sorority whether she likes it or not. It’s just going to take some time.”
“Speaking of which,” Kimberly checks her watch, “I actually have to get going. My bus leaves in an hour, so I got to finish packing up my things before then.”
“You aren’t coming to the end of quarter Christmas party?” My dorm building throws one at the end of every year. Last year was a bit awkward, with everything going on with Lizzie and I, but it was still fun nonetheless.
“Unfortunately no. But send me pictures!” She gives me a hug. “Have a great break, and give me the details about you and Charls!”
I laugh. “Will do.”
I then hurry off to my dorm. It’s already 6:15 and Charls will be there soon.
By the time I get back to the dorm, the party has already started. Guest are lounging around hanging out, and the gift pile in the center is growing larger and larger. I smile and head into the crowd, using this time to mingle with more people. The more people who know me and Beta Gamma Kappa, the better.
Again, I spot Clare in the crowd and I can’t help but wonder why she keeps showing up here. Could Taylor have said something to her about our sorority? Could she actually be checking up on us? Whatever the case, I decide not to worry about it.
After a while, I check my phone and notice that it is almost seven o’ clock. Where is Charls? I wonder around and finally spot him sitting on the couch in the family room.
“Hey babe,” he says, as I sit beside him on the couch.
“Hey, I didn’t see you in there. What are you doing in here?”
Charls shrugs. “Got distracted by the game.” He gestures to the TV screen with the Aberdale Llamas playing.
“Who are they playing against this week?” I ask.
“The Gnomes. They are totally kicking our butts this time around.”
I laugh. “May I join you?”
Charls puts his arm around me and we watch the game in silence. Soon, Janice enters and plops down on the couch next to us.
“Just taking a little break. Did you know Clare is out there again? What is up with her?”
I roll my eyes. “They won’t admit it, but I think that the Alpha Beta Phis are a bit intimidated by us.”
Janice snickers. “Clearly.”
Charls smirks. “I’d have to agree. After all, the Greek council does want another sorority chapter on campus to replace the Tri-Fruhms.”
“And they are scared it’s going to be us.” I laugh. “Well that’s tough, because it will be.”
Charls kisses my forehead. “I have no doubt.”
Janice cringes slightly. “Okay, if you two are going to start getting all mushy with each other, maybe I should leave.”
I laugh. “Janice, it was just a kiss.”
She gives me a look and then goes back to watching the TV screen. I realize then what is going on. I had happened to spot Greg among the crowd on my way into the family room. Why wasn’t Janice with him?
“Janice, you should go talk to him.”
“Talk to who?”
“You know who.”
Janice flinches and looks toward the floor.
I continue. “He’s here, which means that maybe he is ready to talk. Don’t you want to hear him out?”
Janice looks back at the TV screen for a few minutes and then finally sighs. “All right,” she says, and she gets up from the couch and then walks back into the hallway.
After she leaves, it is just Charls and I in the family room. Soon it will be the two of us cuddling in my family room back at home.
I look up at him and smile. “My mom is going to be happy to see you again.”
“That’s because she wants someone to beat at chess.”
I laugh. “Oh, I’m sure she has gotten over that.”
“We’ll see. Do you want to head out soon?”
I nod. “Sounds good. We should probably head back into the lobby to watch the secret Santa exchange first. And then you will have to help me lug all my suitcases into the car.” I smile. “Regretting your decision already?”
Charls smiles and gives me a kiss. “Not one bit.”
I give his knee a squeeze. “Good answer.”
Last day of classes go well for me. Even my communications professor seems in a better mood. After class, he pulls me aside and actually tells me I passed his class with flying colors. I am a bit surprised considering how hard he had been on me all quarter. He seems to almost read my mind for he tells me that he has been a bit harder on me because he heard from my last professor that I was a good student and had a lot of potential. He wanted to push me to be even better and I apparently succeeded. He then said he hoped to see me in his next class, but honestly, I am not sure if I want to take him again. I get he wanted me to do my best, but it became a bit much at times. But that is not even what weirded me out the most. He actually admitted to buying one of Abby’s paintings and making an anonymous donation for the Beta Gamma Kappas, saying that he had hope that we would become a great sorority. But why would a professor that really didn’t say much to me except to criticize me, suddenly decided to donate so much money to help? I mean, I know he said he was only trying to push me, but still. Why pay so much attention to just me? Was Janice actually right? Did he, actually have feelings for…
No. I can’t think like that. It’s just too weird. Even that weird look he was giving me as I walked out of the room, almost like I was something he wanted but couldn’t have…Ugh. I think Janice’s comments are just getting to me.
Of course, it didn’t get any better when I got to ballet class and Janice brought it up again. She felt that his confession to giving the donation, proved it. He was probably figuring out how to ask me out without looking unprofessional. I just tried to ignore her and dance. The thought of it was really freaking me out.
I sleep very well that night and end up not waking up till later that next morning. It is Thursday, the last day for me on campus before I leave for Winter break. Since I am not leaving until later in the evening, I decide I can enjoy today until then. But first things first, I need to find out my final grades.
Being careful not to wake Abby (she is sleeping so soundly, thankfully without Charls lying next to her), I tiptoe downstairs and get my mail from my mailbox. Thankfully, the envelope containing my grades is there and I hurry back up to my room with it. Taking a deep breath, I tear open the side and pull out the sheet of paper.
“Yes!” I pump my fist into the air with glee. I then glance over my shoulder to make sure I didn’t wake up Abby. She stirs slightly, but still remains asleep. I then glance back at my paper. I have gotten “A’s” in all my classes, giving me a 4.0 for the quarter. My parents will definitely be pleased.
I slip the paper back into the envelope and place it in my backpack. I then head out to the bathroom to take a shower.
When I finish getting dressed, I grab a bottle of juice from the kitchen, and drink it in the dining room. The room is empty, so I find myself sipping in silence. Many students left last night for break, so few are left today. Well, I guess the ones that didn’t want to miss the after quarter Christmas party. I of course, was one of them, along with Abby and Janice. It was just something we couldn’t leave without attending. Granted, last year Abby and I weren’t really speaking, but this year was going to be different.
I then decide to head over to library for some more editing of my novel. With all the studying for school, and working on the constitution and rule book for the Beta Gamma Kappas, I haven’t had as much time to work on it. I actually could do it in my room, but I really love the energy I get from being in the library, especially when it is practically bare.
I end up spending hours just typing away and don’t stop until I receive a text from Michael asking when I wanted him to drop by for the after quarter party. “6 O’clock,” I text him and then check the time myself. It is already 4:30pm. I realize I should start heading back, so I finish editing one more chapter (which ends up taking half an hour) and then pack up my things and leave for my dorm. I have to say, I really like the way my story is going. I have changed the direction of my story a bit, making it more of a love triangle than a romance between two characters. It was looking good so far.
When I arrive back at my dorm fifteen minutes later, the party has already begun. People are mingling about talking with one another, seeming to be having a good time. I move through the crowd greeting people and chatting with some guests that were at the bazaar last week. I even run into Carrie, who is thrilled with the way that the writing club is going. She says she is trying to put together an anthology of all our writings and have it available in the library for students to read. I think it is a great idea, and am a bit ticked off that I didn’t think of it first. This girl is certainly ambitious.
As the next two hours pass, I spot the present pile growing higher and decide to walk over. Someone then finally calls for the secret Santa exchange to begin and everyone slowly takes their seats. I then notice someone standing by the Christmas tree that I hadn’t noticed before. “Clare?” I think feeling confused. What was she doing here? This was the second time I have seen her at one of our dorm’s events. I was really starting to think that she was spying on us. Maybe the Alpha Beta Phis were more nervous about our new aspiring sorority than they let on. Even more reason for us to keep at it until we were established. If they were sending their members to basically scout the competition, maybe we were more of a threat than they were leading on.
I then spot Michael standing by the doorway and hurry over.
“Hey! You’re late!” I say, giving him a playful shove.
“I’m sorry! I was packing all my stuff out of the dorm. With luck, I might have an apartment again next quarter, so I don’t want to leave anything behind. ”
“All right, you are forgiven. And I do hope things work out for you. I know they totally flipped the tables on you with the whole apartment thing this quarter.”
“Tell me about it. And after I had already made a down payment.” He shakes his head. He then looks over his shoulder and frowns. “Hey, isn’t that Clare?”
I hold up my hand. “Don’t even ask.”
Noticing that everyone is almost seated, I gesture to Michael and we both walk over to the couches by the present pile. Michael takes a seat beside someone I wasn’t expecting to see…Greg. I am totally surprised, but I try not to show it. I had asked Janice to invite him, but I was very unsure if he was actually going to show up. I only wonder where in the world Janice is. She should be thrilled. They would finally have a chance to talk.
The gift exchange finally begins. I watch as different people from my dorm open up gifts marveling at what their secret Santa got them. It is a nice sight to see.
I finally spot Janice, coming in from the family room. She walks over carefully to Greg who seems to be watching her every move. She says a few words to him and then they both head outside. Maybe finally the whole thing between them will be finally be resolved.
A few minutes later, Abby and Charls come in from the family room and take their seats on couches in the lobby. Abby ends up being next up and she reaches over to get her gift. Opening it she smiles when she finds some new paint brushes and utensils along with a check to an art store, one which I don’t know the name too. She looks up at me with a smile, but I shake my head and shrug. Still she keeps looking at me. I really was not her secret Santa, but I must admit, I did help Janice out with her gift for her.
As the party goes on, people gradually start to head out. After all, it is almost eight and they probably want to leave before it gets too late. I will say that apart from Janice, I think that everyone at the party must be within driving distance of here.
As I get up to receive my gift, I see Janice and Greg head back in. Janice’s eyes look a little red, but she is wearing a grin. Whatever happened out there with them, it must have somehow had a happy outcome. Otherwise, what was she smiling about?
I tear open my gift box and peer in. Inside, I find an elegant looking notebook, a pen inscribed with my name on it, and a mix CD, titled “writing mix.” I look over at Abby with a smile. She tries to look innocent, but I can tell it is her. “Thank you,” I mouth to her, and then I close the lid and sit back down.
Thirty minutes later, the gift exchange has mostly ended and a lot of people have veered off into the backyard. Apparently, someone had started a bonfire back there. I take Michael’s hand and lead him over to the corner.
“So I’m glad you stopped by,” I say giving his hand a squeeze. “I wanted to see you before I left.”
Michael grins. “No problem. I wanted to see you too. I’ve got a long bus ride ahead of me.”
“That sounds grueling.”
Michael shrugs. “Not as much as it will be when I get home.” He smiles as me sadly. “Who knows? Maybe this year will be different.”
Looking at his face, I can tell he doesn’t believe it. At once, I start to feel even more guilty for not inviting him home with me. I know things with his mother have been weird for a while. It’s why he doesn’t even really talk about her.
“Michael,” I start to say, but then stop when he suddenly points upward. I glance up and see a mistletoe hanging above us.
“Mistletoe,” I say and then laugh.
“Can’t break tradition,” he says, and he leans over to kiss me, sending waves of warm tingles through my body. It was going to be two whole weeks before I got to feel this way again. Could I really wait that long?
He then pulls away from me slowly, leaving my lips tingling from his touch. “I love you Liz,” he whispers and gives me a little smile.
I feel my heart catch in my throat. Did he just say what I think he did?
“W-what?” I manage to say back.
“I said I love you Lizzie,” he says, and he takes my hands into his. “I have for a long time now.” When I don’t respond, he laughs lightly. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. I just wanted you to know.”
“I um…I…wow…” I feel like my voice is caught in my throat. Michael just said he loves me! He loves me! It was the greatest feeling in the world! But, why couldn’t I say it back?
“Well, I should head off,” he says giving my hand a final squeeze. “I got to unload my stuff out of my dorm. The bus leaves in an hour.” He gives me another quick kiss. “I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?”
I nod. “Sure.”
He then smiles and moves in the direction of the coat rack.
“Hey Michael, wait,” I say before I can stop myself.
Michael pauses and walks back over to me. “Yeah?”
“I-um…” I hesitate trying to figure out what to say. “Just ask him to go home with you,” I tell myself. “It’s the least you can do for not saying the words back to him,” but I just can’t seem to do it.
“I-um…I hope you have a safe trip.” Did that sound as stupid as it did in my head?
Regardless, Michael smiles and then nods. “Thanks.” He then walks over to the coat rack and grabs his coat.
“I’ll see you Liz,” he says, and with a final wave, he disappears out the door. I watch after him feeling a mixture of emotions, excitement at him for saying he loved me, sadness for him going to spend a horrible Christmas with his mother, and regret and guilt for not saying “I love you” back to him or asking him to come home with me. The thing was, I had been having deeper feelings for him for awhile now, feelings I couldn’t put into words. Now here he was saying them to me, just like that. And I couldn’t even say them back. What was wrong with me?
“Hey,” Abby says suddenly, waking me from my thoughts. “Charls and I are getting ready to leave.” She then looks at me curiously. “You okay?”
I nod. “Yes, I’m fine. Just tired. I think I should be heading off too. I just want to say goodbye to Janice.”
Abby grins. “That may be a bit hard. She has barely left Greg’s side for the rest of the night.”
I laugh. “I’ll take my chances.” I then head in the direction of the sliding door. “I’ll be out in a bit,” I call to Abby and then walk through the door.
Abby is right. When I near the area of the bonfire, I spot Janice and Greg with their tongues down each other’s throats. They are so into each other, that they don’t even see me walking over. Well, I guess I can officially say that they have worked things out.
Not wanting to bother them, I decide to call over to her from a distance.
“I’m heading out,” I say. “I’ll call you later!”
Janice glances over and nods. She is wearing the biggest grin. I have to say I am very happy for her. I give her a thumbs up and then head back inside.
After loading the rest of my things into my car, I pick up my backpack and take one last look at my room. If things worked out, there was a good chance this would be our last time in a dorm. We could be spending the next two quarters in the house that Abby had got for us to rent. That is if we can get our other recruits to move in with us.
I then head out of my dorm room and down the stairs. Passing through the lobby, I see Abby and Charls making out on the couch. Goodness! Since those two had their little…”sleepover” they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. It was a bit nauseating.
“I’m heading out you two,” I call into the room, and then I walk out the front door to my car.
After getting in, I start my engine and take off. As I drive by the dorm entrance, I see Abby and Charls walking hand in hand over to her car. She spots me and waves as I drive off.
As I near the highway, I turn my radio dial and the sound of “True Colors,” by Phil Collins comes blasting through my speakers. I smile at the irony. If only I could do just that.
“Don’t be afraid, to let them show…your true colors, true colors, beautiful…ooo, like a rainbow.”