When I pull up in front of our new rental house (and future sorority house!) I have my fingers crossed.
“It won’t be that bad, it won’t be that bad,” I keep telling myself, but when I park my car in front of the building, my heart drops. It’s bad. Very bad. I am totally stunned. It looks like a dumpster truck came and just emptied many piles of trash onto our front lawn and even at the doorsteps! Our house literally looks like a miniature dumpster! I cannot believe that someone did this! Well, actually I can. My gosh! Clare and Taylor will literally stop at nothing to get to us. It’s totally pathetic.
As I am sitting in awe, I look over and see Lizzie’s car pulling into the driveway. She is wearing the same shocked expression as me.
“Wow,” Charls says as we both get out of the car. “Someone really did some damage here.”
“Tell me about it.” I take one of my suitcases out of my seat and walk toward the front lawn. “This is unbelievable. I’ve got to tell Janice and Kimberly.” I then quickly send them texts.
I don’t even finish before Janice texts me back that she is already at campus and has seen it. She texts me back,
-I’ll be there in ten
I then call over to Lizzie to join me. I see her texting away at her phone and I assume that she is telling Michael. He was supposed to be back at campus too. Something about figuring out the situation with his apartment.
In fifteen minutes, Janice arrives in a pickup truck with her suitcase along with Michael, who comes running down the street. He then helps Lizzie carry hers over to the walk path. I don’t even know why they are bothering right now. I have no idea if we are even going to be able to stay here tonight. Who knows what the place looks like from the inside. I am really freaking out!
“Whoa Lizzie, you weren’t kidding,” Michael says, looking around the yard. “This place is totally trashed!”
“Completely.” Janice shakes her head. “Someone really did a number on us.”
“I’ll give you three guesses who.” I grit my teeth. “I can’t believe that the Alpha Beta Phis would do this.”
Lizzie’s phone then rings. “My mom,” she mouths to me and then steps off to the side to answer it.
I still can’t believe this. How on Earth were we going to get this place all fixed up?
“Well, I guess we should get started,” Janice says rubbing her hands together.
I frown. “Get started doing what?”
“Cleaning this place up of course! It looks awful, and we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
My eyes widen. “Are you serious? Look at this place! There is no way we can get this place all cleaned up!”
Janice shrugs. “Well we have to. We have no other place to stay. I talked to the administration office and there are no more places on campus. We would have to look at off campus apartments and they are a pretty far distance from here.”
“But look at this place!” I gesture with my hand. “There’s no way we’ll have this place done on time.”
“We can if we all work together. There’s you, me and Lizzie, and if Michael and Charls help, I’m sure we can get this stuff out of here. I already rented a pickup truck to toss all this stuff into.”
“Abby, having this house to rent and to use for our sorority is your goal! Don’t let this get in the way of that!”
“No buts! Now are you going to help me or not?”
I look at her quietly for a few seconds then sigh. “Fine. I just hope we can get this done.”
“Then we had better start now.”
I call over to Lizzie and fill her in.
“Goodness,” she says looking at the piles. “I don’t know if we’ll finish this today.”
“We might not, but we should try to move as much of it as we can. At least clear a passage inside so we can assess everything.”
My phone then rings. Looking at the ID, I see it is Kimberly.
“What’s going on?” she says when I answer.
“It’s bad Kim. Very bad.”
I then tell her about everything.
Kimberly sighs. “Well…is there any way you guys, can get most of it done by tomorrow or Sunday? The renovators are supposed to come and start fixing up the place, but I don’t know if they will if all that junk is all over the place.”
“Well, we’ll do the best we can.”
“I’m sorry to ask. I wish I was there to help, but my mom does not want me to leave early. She wants me to stay until after New Year’s. She even bribed me by signing a check.”
I shake my head. “Really Kim?”
“I’m sorry! But I have a reason! It’s a pretty hefty check, trust me, and I have used a lot of it to buy some things for the house!”
I raise my eyebrows. “Really?”
“Yes! I bought some furniture and decorations I know you are going to love, and it will be coming on Saturday. I just want to make sure that everything is all in order before they come.”
I grin. “Sounds great! Well, we’ll do our best.”
“Please do! And keep me posted!”
After I get off the phone, I hear Charls calling me. I look over and notice that he has wandered off around the side of the house.
“What’s up?” I ask when I reach him.
“Looks like there is an entrance from the back. Janice found it.”
I grin. “Nice.”
We both then follow Janice around to the back door. I have to say, this place looks really great. Well, not right now, but it will! With the backyard pool and the nice deck, I just know the place is going to look amazing when it is fixed up. Trust me.
When we get inside, I spot another junk pile sitting inside. It is a smaller one, so I can’t tell if it was already here or someone planted it there. Whatever the case, I am relieved the place isn’t entirely trashed.
“This place is going to need a good paint job,” Michael says coming through the door.
“And some good bordering,” Janice adds in. “We should get started though. The rain is starting to come down and I don’t want to be out there at the dumpster in it.”
I glance outside and realize she has a point. “All right. Janice, Lizzie and I will get started in here and Michael and Charls can get started outside.”
“Oh, that’s nice,” Michael remarks. “We get to work in the rain?”
I laugh. “I just want to get a better idea of all the rooms in the house and the damage. We’ll come out and join you soon.”
Michael still keeps shaking his head and Charls gives me a look as he follows him out. I roll my eyes. Boys.
Apart from the walls covered in old paint, I am happy that they don’t seem to be rotten or anything. They are actually pretty sturdy leaving me to think maybe the building isn’t too old. It just needs a good dusting and paint job.
I then head down the hall toward the family room and am pleased to see a table and some chairs there. The room is very dusty, but there are no trash piles in sight.
I then head into room downstairs and spot a shelf with old clay artifacts and some old protester poster signs. I see the potential of this becoming a computer room or study. Or another bedroom if we need more room. I guess that will depend on how things look upstairs.
The kitchen is not that bad either. Apart from the common dust you would expect from an unused house, the counters seem in good shape. No wonder that other sorority was optioning for it. Well their loss was definitely our gain!
I then head upstairs and explore the hallway. There seemed to be about six bedrooms in total. Our building was about three stories.
The rest of the house was also going to need to be painted. We definitely had our work cut out for us.
When I get down stairs, I see Janice has made quite some progress with the pile in the center.
“We are going to need lots of boxes and trash bags though,” says Janice. “Not to mention lots of paint for all the walls.”
“I could pick some up from the store,” I offer.
Lizzie rises from a pile. “Sure thing. I’ll come with you. Any requests?”
Janice shakes her head. “I don’t care as long as one of the rooms is blue.” She hands me her credit card and even though I try to protest, she pushes us out the door.
Lizzie and I head over to the hardware store downtown and choose through the selection of paint.
It ends up taking us a couple hours to pick through the selections of paint we think will work. We also decide on some wall paper for some of the rooms, having to call Janice to get the measurements of each of the rooms. We should have probably done that before coming to the store.
By the time we get home, a path has been cleared for us to the front door. I don’t know how they did it, but Michael and Charls were able to get at least two of those huge piles cleared! Totally amazing!
“Wow, the boys did a nice job!” Lizzie says with a smile. “Only one more pile and the front will be cleared!”
“I know!” I clasp my hands together excitedly. “Nice job boys,” I call as we head inside.
Michael gives me a look. “Uh huh,” he says, and I quickly hurry inside, holding in a laugh. I know that he is probably a little irritated since I have not really done as much.
When I get inside, I am impressed to see that the room has also been cleared. I then look and see Janice seated on a nice-looking couch in the family room.
“Where did that come from?” I ask.
Janice smiles. “It looks like one of Kimberly’s orders came in while you and Lizzie were at the store.”
“Wow.” I walk over and take a seat. The couch is very cushiony and soft. Kimberly knew her stuff.
“I know,” Janice says smiling. “It’s very nice. And officially our first new piece of furniture!”
I look up and see a fireplace right ahead of me.
“Hey, I didn’t know we had one of those in here,” I say pointing in its direction. “This keeps getting better and better.”
Janice nods. “We still have to do that paint job and dust the whole place.”
“Hey, we can do it. The trash was the hard part and it seems to be almost done.”
“True. Speaking of which, we should probably get out there. Michael and Charls were looking pretty annoyed with having to do all that work alone. I did help them a bit after I cleared my pile. That’s how we got the second pile cleared so quick.”
“I just wonder where we are all going to sleep tonight.”
Janice shrugs. “Well, I was thinking about sleeping at Greg’s place, but he is not back from vacation yet.”
“And I wanted to stay with Charls, but his frat brothers hate me.” I still am so annoyed with the situation, but there was nothing I could do about it, so long as Brad was in charge.
“Well, Michael has his apartment,” Janice says with a sly smile. “You think he would mind if we all crashed there?”
I laugh. “He probably will, but I know he would let us anyway. If Lizzie begs him. That guy is probably regretting dating Lizzie now.”
Janice laughs as well. “Nah, he loves that girl too much. But we probably will be on his hate list.”
We both then laugh and head off the couch over to the front porch.
I wake up the next morning feeling awake but still a little groggy. We had all been up until about midnight on Friday. We had spent so much time packing up trash and bagging it, not to mention dusting the house and taping it up for painting the next day. Talk about hard work.
The renovators would have no problem accomplishing their tasks today. I am just happy that Michael let us all stay at his apartment yesterday. He was a bit hesitant, but I convinced him. Janice and I slept on his bed and Abby and Charls shared an inflatable bed he blew up for them. Michael meanwhile, slept on the couch. So sweet.
After waking up, I wander over to the table and see a note from Janice,
-Went to the sorority house to start the paint job. Meet you guys there
Well isn’t she off to an early start. I figure I might as well join her since Abby, Charls and Michael looked so exhausted. So, I leave a replica of the note Janice left for me for them and then leave for the sorority house.
When I walk into the family room, my mouth drops. The room looks amazing! It is completely painted tan and cream, with nice dark mahogany colored bordering. Janice is looking up and admiring her work.
“Nice,” I say with a grin.
Janice bows. “Thank you,” she says.
“Did you just finish?”
“Yup. I got here at seven and I have been working ever since.”
I check my watch. It is nine ‘O clock. “Wow, three hours.”
“Check the kitchen. I did that room too.”
I then walk into the kitchen and look around. The paint job looks great. I am impressed. For someone who didn’t want to be part of the sorority, she sure has been very dedicated. I also feel bad that she has done all this alone. I then walk into the dining room and spot the paint for the room. Rolling up my sleeves, I get to work.
It takes almost two hours, but I get the whole dining room painted. Janice even comes in and helps me put up a wallpaper border to give it a design. By the time we finish, the dining room looks amazing. I really can’t believe how great everything is turning out.
As I am admiring my hard work, the front door opens and in comes Abby.
“Hey Liz,” she says and then looks around the room. “Wow.”
“Yup,” I grin. “Nice, huh?”
“Very. This place is really coming along.”
“We still have two more floors to paint though,” I add.
Abby shrugs. “I’m not too worried. I called Kim before coming over and she told me that she’d hired some help with the painting. They should be here any time now.”
“Wow, Kimberly sure thought of everything.”
Abby laughs. “I know. She has even bought a bunch of furniture for the house. She said most of it will be coming in today. That may be a bit of a hassle with all the painting and floor polishing, but I guess we’ll have to manage.”
I am about to ask her what she meant by floor polishing, when there is a knock on the door.
“Must be them,” she says, and she walks over.
Sure enough, it is the renovators and the painters Kimberly hired. Abby greets them nicely and shows them to their work places. She is seriously in her element. The floor polishers bring in their equipment and Abby shows them to the hallway and family room to begin. She then leads the different painters to different areas of the house telling them which paint to use and which rooms should be what color.
A couple of hours later, an electrician and a Plummer come in to check the house’s electrical circuits and the house’s plumbing. After analyzing, they tell us that the house is in pretty good condition and that there were minimal things for them to fix. I still can’t believe Kimberly arranged all of this. There are like almost twenty people walking around the house fixing things!
“It’s like a zoo in here,” I say when I catch a moment alone with Abby.
She shrugs. “I know, but it’s all for the good. Our sorority house is going to be amazing and in perfect condition thanks to Kimberly.”
“Well, her and the funding we received from the bazaar,” I say with a smile.
“Which I must thank you again for.” Abby grins. “We wouldn’t have had enough money to rent this place if you and Janice didn’t plan that bazaar.”
I wave my hand. “Hey, I’m just glad that we could help you.” The doorbell rings and Abby hurries to answer it. There are two men there with the delivery of some furniture. I guess Kimberly was not joking. She really went all out! The men bring in a desk, a chair, and several mattresses with some headboards.
After moving the furniture into the family room, Abby and I join the painters for a while and help them paint the upstairs. With the bedroom I chose, I decide to do wallpaper, so I help the three men in the room press the glorious designs onto my walls. From the room across mine, I hear Abby doing the same.
Later, Abby and I both head back downstairs to the dining room as the painters move up to join the others on the final floor. It has been almost five hours and the house is looking better and better. The men Kimberly hired are very fast and efficient. It also doesn’t hurt that there are so many of them.
“Everything is looking fantastic!” Abby says to me with a wide smile. “It’s really starting to look like a sorority house.”
“I can’t argue, even I’m starting to feel a bit excited.” Really, I am. I am really starting to feel like a part of everything Abby is doing.
“Hey, did you ask them to install an ATI system?” Janice asks.
I turn and see her entering the dining room.
Abby shakes her head. “No, but if they are, it was probably Kimberly’s idea.”
“Safety first I guess,” Janice laughs. “The third floor is almost done. The electrician finished with checking the circuits. Same with the Plummer. They are all really surprised that everything is working well even though this place was vacant for a few years.”
“I’m just happy it is.” Abby stretches. “It would have been more expensive to fix.”
The doorbell rings and Janice goes to answer it.
“Washer and dryer,” she says, as two men wheel them in. “I think that Kimberly got a little carried away.”
I laugh. “Just a little.” Though I will not complain. At least we won’t have to go to the laundry mat to wash and dry clothes.
Throughout the next three hours, we keep receiving furniture and having to move them into the family room. I then follow Abby up to the second floor. The walls are neatly painted and the floor nicely waxed. Our place is really turning out well.
The men work for another two hours before calling it quits. By then, all the floors with wood are nicely polished and new carpets are spread upon the floors of the rooms that need them. The hallways and rooms are also all painted or covered with unique wallpaper.
After thanking them for all their help, they are all on their way; a few mentioning something about coming back tomorrow to polish the doors and finish up a little painting in the bathrooms.
After they leave, Janice, Abby and I start moving the furniture around. Lucky for us, Charls and Michael show up just in time to help. All together, we are able to bring all the furniture for the bedrooms upstairs. Beds, bedside tables, desks, lamps, etc. Within the next three hours, the house is really starting to look like a furnished house.
Abby throws together some fruit parfait for dinner (mind you, by now it was almost eleven ‘O clock) and we all sit down to eat.
I can’t believe we are actually eating in our sorority house. It is so weird. I can’t get over the fact that I of all people am living in a future sorority house. It’s crazy.
As much as I want to spend the rest of the night chatting with Michael until sun rise, I realize I am still too tired from the lack of sleep. With us all staying up so late two nights in a row, I am too exhausted. I need some sleep and a lot of it.
“Hey, don’t worry, I get it,” Michael says and gives me a kiss. “I’ll come and see you tomorrow.”
“Of course. With all the work we have done, I’d be surprised if you weren’t tired. Raincheck?”
“Sounds good,” I say with a smile.
After saying goodbye to him, I change into my PJs and then pull my comforter from my suitcase. I then make my bed, covering it with my sheets, comforter and pillows.
I yawn feeling my legs wiggle slightly. What I need is sleep. Lots of it. Right now, I feel like my body is going to cave under me. Without another thought, I lay back on my pillows and drift off to sleep.
(Thank you for reading! Sorry about the late post this week! I will try to post on Tuesdays/Wednesdays and also Fridays/Sundays! Also, I have a new story in the works! Stay tuned and keep reading!)