The night of our sorority gala totally sneaks up on me. I had spent the week spreading the news around campus while trying to balance my classes, which for some reason were already off to a rough start. Still, I am able to get the news around and it seems like our formal might just be a hit. By the time I wake up Saturday morning, everything is in order.
I decide to spend some time painting, for I haven’t done so leisurely for quite some time.
This quarter, I am taking another art course which is a continuation of last quarter. My adviser is really encouraging me to explore my options for a major, but I am not completely sure yet. I really want to do something with art, but I know it is a hard business to break into.
I have to say though, it is nice to be able to paint without guidelines. I have been having to paint with them a lot for the past few courses, so it is nice to be a little freer.
I end up painting for the next couple hours, just focusing on my painting and the stroke of my brush. By the time I look over at the clock, it is almost two O’ clock.
I then get dressed and head downstairs. Lizzie and Janice are eating in the dining room.
“You’re up late,” Janice says through a mouthful of oatmeal.
“I was upstairs painting,” I protest, but now that I think about it, it was probably eleven before the time I got up.
“I can’t believe the formal is already tonight,” I continue.
Lizzie takes a sip of her orange juice. “Me too. I invited Carrie to come. I hope that’s okay.”
Janice laughs. “You still trying to recruit her?”
“Hey, any new member to Beta Gamma Kappa, the better for us,” I point out.
Janice nods. “True.”
“I’m heading out to my weekend class,” I say grabbing my car keys. “Be back in a couple hours.”
“Not too late,” Lizzie calls after me. “You don’t want to be late to your own formal.”
Isn’t that the truth.
Fifteen minutes later, I walk into my glassblowing class. Kimberly had spoken so fondly of it last quarter that I really wanted to give it a try. However, when I signed up for the class, I didn’t notice I had signed up for Saturdays. When I went back to change it, all the other weekly classes were full. I don’t mind it too much though. Having a weekend class will get me out of the house, so I can’t complain. Well, I can today, because I do need to get home for the formal.
Class finishes up an hour later, but I decide to stay an extra hour to finish my glass vase. Just as I finish for the day, I get a text from Charls,
-Hey babe. I might be a bit late to the party, the Alpha Annyas are doing some event with the Alpha Beta Phis tonight. Love you
I roll my eyes. It is totally like the Alpha Beta Phis to plan something on the same day, just to draw attention away from us.
I then tuck my phone into my backpack and leave for the sorority house.
When I get home, it is five ‘O clock. I quickly go up to my room and start changing for the party. I can hear Kimberly moving around downstairs with Selena and Tatyana to get things ready. I should probably hurry up and go over to help them. After all, I am the one that thought of this event.
I spin around in my hot pink and black mini dress. I have to say, I look hot! When Charls gets here, he won’t be able to keep his eyes off me.
I then go into the bathroom and do a touch up on my makeup. By the time I finish getting ready, it is almost seven. Feeling satisfied, I then leave the bathroom and go downstairs.
So far, everything is looking good. Kimberly has set out some pastries and refreshments, ones I happen to know Selena prepared. I even sneak one into my mouth without them seeing. I am a bit surprised to see the buffet table though. When did Kimberly find the time to get one?
I am about to ask if we are going to be leaving the lights on for the night, when Kimberly switches them off. She then flips another switch and a disco ball starts reflecting images across the floor.
“Wow, you guys went all out!” I say laughing.
Selena comes over grinning. “I know! When Kim and I went into town to look for things I saw the disco ball and convinced her to get it. Doesn’t it look awesome?”
I nod. “Very.” We then hear the doorbell ring.
“Party time!” Selena cries, and she pushes me toward the door.
Everyone then piles in slowly, all wearing nice formal dresses. I feel my excitement rising. I even spot Carrie in the crowd wearing an amazing dress. I don’t know why she thinks she wouldn’t fit in with us. In fact, I think her outfit looks better than some of the Delta Sigmas. No offense.
I am a bit surprised to see who she came in with though. Walking by her, is none other than Kendal! Now I know Lizzie didn’t say anything about inviting him, so what was he doing here? I can only hope that this won’t turn into a problem when Michael gets here.
Afterwards, the party really begins. People walk about the house talking with one another and mingling. I am so thrilled. The Beta Gamma Kappas are definitely getting on the map! The Eta Phi Nus really start to come in an hour later, with Robbie and Greg leading them. Janice snags Greg just as he comes in and they head into the family room to dance. I have to say, she is looking pretty amazing herself. Her black spiked shoes are amazing. I think my style has rubbed off on her a bit, though I know she will never admit it.
I am surprised when I look over and spot Michael dancing with Lizzie. They look extremely happy grooving to the beats from the stereo. I have to assume that she hasn’t seen Kendal yet, for I know Michael would not be that calm about this. Still, I decide to ignore it and move on into the dining room to get a drink.
I spot Robbie in the dining room taking pics with the guys in the room and I can’t help snapping a photo of the two of us for myself. It will be a good memento and would look great for Beta Gamma Kappa publicity. Plus, Robbie is just hilarious! I swear the guy should do stand up. Who wouldn’t want a picture with him?
Afterwards, I decide to snap some more pictures for the party. Tatyana happens to walk into the dining room at that exact moment, so I snap a picture of myself with her. This will be perfect for our sorority house collage. I have pinned a board in the dining room for this exact purpose and we have already started doing so. This one will be a good addition.
“Awesome party Abby!” Tatyana says, just as I am about to head out. “And Selena’s tarts are amazing!”
“I know, right?” I laugh. “I snuck one into my mouth before the party started.”
She then leans closer to me. “So, did you notice what Moana’s sister Kylee is wearing?”
I shake my head. “No. What?”
“The exact same dress as Selena!”
“Yes! I don’t know if Selena has noticed it yet, but she is not going to be happy. She was so excited when we went to buy it during the week. She said it was so unique that she would be the only one at the party wearing it.”
I glance at the archway leading to the hallway.
“I had better go in there and make sure everything is still going smoothly.”
I then quickly hurry back into the family room.
I nearly bump into Kylee who indeed is in the same outfit as Selena. She is chatting with Carrie and the two of them seem to be amused with one of the Eta Phi Nu brothers.
“You really should go talk to him,” Kylee was saying to her. “I honestly think he’s into you.”
Carrie blushes. “I don’t know…”
“Do it! Ryder is pretty awesome.”
“I know. He’s very charismatic.”
“And laid back. Trust me, there is no need to be nervous.”
I frown. Ryder? Where they talking about Ryder Bell, Selena’s brother? Wow. I had no idea that Carrie had a thing for him. It’s pretty cute actually.
And guess what? Her nudging actually does work! About an hour later I go into the kitchen and see Carrie and Ryder chatting with one another, or should I say flirting.
“Nice match making job,” I joke to Kylee.
She turns and smiles. “Nah, I didn’t do much. It was Lizzie that finally pushed her to make a move and I’m glad she did. They’ve been eyeing each other since last quarter. I told her that he liked her, but she just didn’t believe me.”
“Well, they really seem to be hitting it off.”
Kylee nods. “Nice party by the way. I love, love the disco ball.”
I laugh. “Selena’s idea.”
“I’ll have to thank her when I see her.”
I honestly hope she doesn’t see her. They will both be in for a bit of a surprise…
I don’t let her leave without snapping a photo of us. I know I am starting to look like a cellphone obsessed teen, but I can’t help it! I don’t want to forget a single minute of tonight!
I am happy when I finally return to the family room and see Charls out back. I don’t hesitate to snap a photo of us before dragging him back into the family room.
“Took a while for you to get here,” I say giving him a shove.
Charles shrugs. “Sorry. As I said, the Alpha Beta Phis were throwing a mixer with the Alpha Annyas and the Kappa Alpha Omegas.”
I frown. “The Kappa Alpha Omegas? Why would they invite them to a mixer?”
“I don’t know, I was kind of wondering that myself. I’m assuming there is some kind of motive.”
“There always is with them.”
Charls and I then head to the dance floor and start to dance. And let me tell you, we both really lit up the floor. A few times, some of the guests surrounded us just to watch. I have to say, all in all this has been an amazing night.
At least that’s what I had hoped. An hour later I decide to take a water break and head into the dining room. I was wondering where Lizzie had disappeared to because I hadn’t seen her in a while. Just as I am about to take a sip of my water, Kylee comes running into the dining room.
“Abby! Fire!” She says.
I nearly choke on my water. “Fire? What do you mean fire?”
“I mean fire! The family room is on fire!”
It is after she says this, that I hear the fire alarms going off.
“Oh my gosh!” I shriek, and I run into the family room. Everyone is running from the room and I spot Janice and Lizzie on the other side of the room freaking out. I am completely speechless. How on Earth did the room catch fire?
I quickly scramble for my phone and hastily dial 9-1-1. I am barely able to talk as I mutter the address and try to explain what was going on. Why was this happening?
Charls on the other hand, springs into action. He manages to find a fire extinguisher from somewhere upstairs and brings it down. He then starts spraying the flames. He puts most of the fire out and I am so relieved that I could kiss him.
The fire fighters arrive five minutes later and rush in to finish it all. Luckily, Charls had put most of it out so they didn’t have to do much.
“You are lucky that lad sprang into action,” one of the firefighters says to me. “This whole room could have been tarnished.” He then lifts up a cigarette. “Honestly, if you are going to be smoking, at least put the bud out properly.”
My jaw drops. “What? No one in this house smokes!”
“Uh huh, okay.” He sighs and hands it to me. “Well, be careful next time.”
I am completely horrified. After the firefighters inspect the room, they advise us to contact our insurance and then head off. The party seems to deflate after that. All the guests leave quietly talking about how unsafe it was. No one claims the cigarette bud which is frustrating, because I know it didn’t belong to anyone who lives in this house.
After we clean up the rest of the food and decorations, I tell everyone that I am turning in for the night. I just can’t handle all this.
Despite my objections, Charls ends up staying the night with me and surprisingly Kimberly doesn’t argue about it. Probably in light of the fire.
“Abby, it was an accident,” Charls says as we cuddle on my bed.
I exhale deeply. “But I don’t know how it happened. No one in this house smokes.”
“That you know of.”
“Oh, I know. That is the first time I have seen a cigarette in this house. The firefighter I talked to said that he found it just thrown into the garbage. If someone had been a smoker here, I know they wouldn’t have been that stupid to throw it still lit, on the paper in the garbage.” I place my head on his shoulder. “This night was going so well until this. Now what?”
“Now you pay for the damages with your insurance and then move on. It was a horrible thing that happened, but it wasn’t your fault. It will blow over.”
I sigh again and close my eyes. “I sure hope so.”