I am extreme relieved when we arrive and I don’t see Brad anywhere. Maybe he had decided not to come? Whatever the case, it is definitely a load off my back.
My excitement quickly ends when I spot one of Brad’s frat brothers, the same guy that tried to hit on me at the Gala party.
“Abby,” he says grinning and looking me up and down, “looking good.”
I cringe slightly. He is really such a sleaze. I try to move past him, but he blocks me.
“You know my offer still stands,” he continues, “If you maybe want to hang later-”
“No thanks,” I say, cutting him off. “And as you probably already know, I’m with Charls.”
He laughs. “Oh, come on,” he says, moving a bit closer to me. “I’ll make it worth your while.”
“She’s not interested, Skip.”
I glance over my shoulder and spot Charls walking over.
Skip looks up and rolls his eyes. “Charls, chill,” he says. “Abby and I were just kidding around.”
“No, we weren’t,” I say quickly. “And Skip, was just leaving.”
“Sounds like a good idea,” Charls says slowly.
Skip looks from me to Charls and then back to me again.
“Whatever,” he says adjusting his sunglasses slightly. “I don’t even know what Brad saw in you anyways.” He then turns and walks off.
Charls turns to me. “You all right?” he asks.
I nod. “Yah. He just gets on my last nerves.”
“Sorry, Skip can be a bit of a tool.”
Charls looks around. “Well, it looks like Brad hasn’t arrived yet.”
“And hopefully he won’t.” I give Charls a quick kiss. “I’m going to mingle a bit. Be back.”
I try to avoid Skip for the rest of the party which isn’t too hard since he also seems to be avoiding me because of Charls. I do see him on the phone later, and I can’t help but notice that he is staring right at me as he talks to whoever is on the other line. Could he be talking to Brad?
I decide to ignore him and continue through the party. Everyone seems to be having fun. I even spot Janice cooking up some burgers on the grill. Thank goodness. That fruit parfait we had earlier did not do the trick for me.
I am so distracted by her cooking that I almost don’t notice someone calling my name.
“Abby! Hey!” she says with a smile. “Do you remember me? Tatyana? From the Christmas bazaar?”
I nod. “Yes, I remember! Nice to see you!” I shake her hand. “I didn’t expect you here so soon!”
“Me either, but I did not want to miss the New Year’s Eve beach party. I’ve heard about it, but never gotten the chance to attend it before.”
“Well then I’m glad you’re here,” I say.
She smiles. “Thank you. Also, I was just wondering, when I will be able to move into the rental house?”
“Should be in good order by Friday. Sorry for the delay. We had a bit of trouble with someone trashing the place.”
Tatyana looks worried. “The place was trashed? Wow! Does that happen often?”
“No, not usually. I think we were targeted by one of the other sororities. Some of them aren’t that supportive of the Beta Gamma Kappas.” When she still looks worried, I smile. “Don’t worry. We are going to show all of those sororities and frats that we are just as great as them.”
That seems to relax her a bit and she heads off back to the party. I can’t afford to lose any pledges right now because of Alpha Beta Phis.
Glancing over at the picnic table, I spot Janice’s finished burgers steaming on the table. No way am I missing getting one. I quickly snatch one up and scarf it down, glancing around to see if anyone noticed. I am sure a lot would be said about me and how much calories were in that. But right now, I am too hungry to care.
“Saw that!” Someone says from behind me, and I jump.
I then notice who it is, and sigh, giving her a smile. It’s Selena Bell, my other pledge for Beta Gamma Kappa.
“Hey Selena!” I say waving.
“Hey!” she quickly gives me a hug, catching me off guard. “I know I said I wasn’t coming until Tuesday, but Kimberly texted me about the party and I didn’t want to miss it! And let me tell you, it is amazing!” She clasps her hands together. “Everyone here is so awesome, even the guys! I met this really, really cute guy named Skip and we’re hanging out tonight after the party.”
“Uh,” I pause for a minute trying to let everything she just said sink in. “Skip? You mean from Alpha Annya?”
“Is he?” Selena looks even more thrilled. “Wow, I can’t believe he would be interested in me.”
I frown. “Don’t sell yourself short. And just so you know, you can do a lot better than Skip. Trust me, I would know.”
Selena looks confused. “Why do you say that?”
I shake my head. “Just trust me on that. I have had run ins with Skip and you can do so much better than him. Any girl can.”
Selena shrugs. “Well, it doesn’t hurt to give him a chance.”
“Well, Good luck.”
“So about the rental house,” she then says and I hold up my hand.
“Don’t worry, it will be all ready by Friday. There are some last-minute things that need to be taken care of, but it will all be fine by then.”
“All right.” Selena gives me another squeeze. “Well back to the party!” she then hurries off and I can’t help but laugh. I definitely love her excitement. It’s one of the reasons I thought she would be a good pledge.
I am surprised when I look over toward the beach and see people starting to set off the fireworks. Checking my watch, I see that it is already almost twelve. The hours sure went by fast!
I then walk over toward the beach to watch the fireworks.
Within minutes, I along with everyone else am watching a brilliant display of fireworks in the sky. They really picked nice ones for this year. Charls is among the people lighting them, so I wander through the crowd over to him.
I stop short when I see who Charls is standing in front of. I feel my breath suck in. Brad Roberts. Brad Roberts is at the party, and next to him, is Taylor and Clare. Here I thought I would have a stress-free night.
“Didn’t see you at the frat house today,” Brad was saying.
Charls shrugs. “I was at the Beta Gamma Kappa house.”
Taylor scoffs. “You say it as if they are a real sorority. They aren’t even close to being anything.”
“I have to disagree.”
“So you’re defending them now?” Taylor laughs. “Figures, since you’re now a traitor. What kind of frat brother steals his best friend’s girlfriend?”
Brad’s eyes narrow. “I’ve been wondering the same thing.”
Now, I know I have to do something, but I can’t seem to make myself move any further.
Unfortunately, I don’t have to. Clare spots me and walks over.
“Speak of the skank, there she is now.” Clare smirks. “How goes it Abby?”
I swallow hard trying not to look intimidated. “Great actually. You?”
“Never better. Although I can’t seem to comprehend what would make you and your little friends come here.”
I glare at her. “This is a beach party for the whole campus, Clare. You guys can’t dictate who comes.”
Clare shrugs. “Oh I know. I just thought you would have the common sense not to. Especially with your reputation.”
I raise an eyebrow. “My reputation?”
Clare yawns. “Yes Abby, must I lay it all out for you? Cheating on your exams, getting the Tri-Fruhms expelled from campus, two timing your boyfriend, a frat president and member of the Greek council-” She pauses to smirk at me. “Must I go on?”
I grit my teeth. “I find it ironic you would say that considering I know you are the one that turned me in. Even more, I wasn’t the only one who cheated. I’m not proud of it, but I was not the only one. You threw me under the bus, which isn’t exactly sisterly, is it?”
Clare narrows her eyes, but I ignore her.
“And the Tri-Fruhms were abusing their power on campus. That’s why they got expelled,” I continue. “So you have some nerve accusing me of two-timing when you were the one cheating with Brad the whole time. You even made a sex tape of it and spread it around to mark your claim! Talk about pathetic.”
“I didn’t make that tape!” Clare shouts, causing people to turn. She must have realized how loud she said it, because she then looks embarrassed.
I smirk. “Keep telling yourself that.”
Clare looks furious. “Well at least when I was dating Brad, I was only dating him! Unlike you dating both him and Charls at once. How do we know that there wasn’t another guy behind the scenes? Make it three for three?”
I hear Taylor laughing over by Brad and that makes me snap.
“I am so sick of all the lies that all of you go around spreading about me, when you all know the truth! I was completely faithful to Brad the entire time we were dating and he knows it! Unlike him, who couldn’t even stay faithful to me through Christmas!” I look directly into Brad’s eyes when I say that and for the first time, I actually detect guilt in his eyes.
“You were cheating on me the whole entire time we were together and you even admitted to me that you were in love with Clare. That is why I broke up with you. Charls and I didn’t get together until weeks after our break up, and I have every right to date whoever I want! You don’t have any say in my love life! You were the one who ruined us and it is time that you stop blaming me for it!”
While Taylor just stands there looking amused about the whole thing, I can tell that I got to Brad. He just stares at me speechless for a few moments and then he does the strangest thing.
He opens his mouth and says “Abby,” in the gentlest voice and just as I think he is about to say more, another set of fireworks go off. We all move out of the way and cover our ears to miss the loud noise. I am still completely stunned. Was Brad just about to apologize?
I am not able to find out, for Clare waves her hand to him. “Hey guys, lets head back to the frat party. There is nothing worth staying here for.” She then gives me a look of disgust.
Taylor stretches. “Gladly.”
Brad gives me one last look, and then follows after them.
After they leave, Charls comes over to me.
“You okay?” he asks.
I shrug. “I’m fine. I’ve wanted to say that to him for a long time.”
“I can tell.”
He then pulls me into one of his warm hugs.
I smile and give him a little squeeze. “I’m just so glad I have you.”
“And me you.”
I bite my lip. “Come home with me?” I whisper in his ear.
He sounds surprised. “You sure that’s a good idea? I heard Kim saying something about rules-”
“It’s just one night. She doesn’t have to know.”
Twenty minutes later, we are back in my room undressed, kissing passionately on my mattress. My thoughts of Brad have long left my mind and all I can think of is Charls and me alone in this moment.
He pauses for a moment and glances at the door. “You sure Kim won’t come-”
I quickly press a finger to his lips. “Charls, just shut up and kiss me.”
Charls grins and presses his lips onto mine and soon the room is silent; apart from the sounds of our kisses in the dark of the night.