It’s extremely hard for me to concentrate the weeks leading up to the Greek Olympics. Seriously, June couldn’t come fast enough! I feel overwhelmed trying to focus on my course homework and practice for the competition at the same time. Not to mention how stressed I am about still not hearing back from Charls. I had wanted to drive by the Frat house to speak to him directly, but with the way Brad probably felt about me, I knew it wasn’t a good idea. Also, the words he had said to me a week ago, still echoed in my head,
“He’s not going to take you back, not now anyway…He doesn’t take kindly to girls who step out on him.”
The words still hurt every time they crossed into my mind. But truthfully, he was right. I had technically stepped out on Charls, even if I hadn’t meant to. Even if nothing serious had happened. I had for a moment set aside my feelings for him, to have a moment with Brad, something I regretted terribly. But it was something I had to live with.
I try to put the thoughts out of my head as finals week starts to roll around. I have to get my study on if I want to get a 3.5 gpa this quarter. It will happen if I pass all my courses. The only class I am really concerned with, is my Geology and sociology course. There is so much terminology!
I also meet up with my adviser to pick classes for next year. She has really gotten me to start thinking about declaring a major. I have been really up in the air about it. I want to major in Art specifically, but my adviser has been really advising against it. She thinks that I should try and branch my art into another major. She even suggested fashion designing. It’s funny that she did, because my mom has mentioned the same thing to me. Over the summer, I had started doing some outfit sketches that she absolutely fell in love with. She then said that I could have a future in it. I suppose fashion has always been something I had had an interest in, I just never really thought of it as a major. But if I could be hired to draw sketches and designs for fashion corporations, that would be a dream. The idea of fashion was becoming very intriguing…
I am happy when the day of the Greek Olympics finally arrives. I did, however, wake up feeling a little disappointed; mainly because I was having another dream about me and Charls. I have been having a lot of them lately and they are driving me crazy! I just miss him so much and it is killing me that he is avoiding me. I have tried calling him many times, but he won’t answer me. It is looking more and more like Brad was right. Maybe it really is over between the two of us.
I can’t let myself think about that though, because every time I do, I feel like my heart is going to break into millions of pieces. “You have to focus on the competition,” I tell myself. After all, the sorority of Beta Gamma Kappa was on the line. If we didn’t win this competition, we were over before we even began. And I was pretty sure everyone was nervous enough about that fact.
I take a quick shower and get dressed. I then pause by the mirror before going downstairs, to touch up my face. I am not going to have time to primp before going to the competition, so I want to look my best. The event was starting right after my last class. It was also going to be the first time I saw Charls in weeks. And believe me, I felt like my stomach was doing somersaults.
As I head downstairs, I hear loud techno music coming from the family room. Entering inside, I see Janice doing stretches and jumping jacks to the beat.
“Getting in a quick workout?” I ask.
Janice looks over her shoulder at me and then smiles. “Doesn’t hurt to be prepared. You never know what surprises they might throw at us.”
I shrug. “True, but I think we are as ready as we can be. We don’t want to overdue it.”
Janice rolls her eyes. “I know, I just want to get a bit pumped. You know me.”
I then head for the front door and push it open. “I’m off to class. Where are we planning to meet?”
“I think we are going to meet up here and then head over together,” says Janice.
“All right, see you then.” I then close the door behind me.
It is extremely hard to concentrate throughout my classes. Even during my geology class, I can barely focus on my professor’s lecture on the Earth’s history and climate change, things I know are going to be on the final exam. That includes my sociology class and my lecture on collective action, social movements and social change. I am definitely going to have a lot of studying to do later. Yikes.
I am so startled when I bump into Taylor on the way out of class. I haven’t seen her or Clare around in months.
“Taylor,” I say, feeling a bit of dread. “It’s been a while.”
“Yes, I’ve been studying abroad in Italy. Quite lovely actually.” She then smirks. “I see you and your little friends are still trying to promote your pathetic sorority.”
“Yes, and we are on our way.” I start to turn away, but Taylor isn’t done with me yet.
“I heard about the deal you made with Ashley. Colossal mistake. You do know the Alpha Beta Phis are Greek champions.”
I roll my eyes. “They have only been champions for one year. That’s hardly something to brag about.”
Taylor rolls her eyes. “Whatever. Good luck to you, Abby. You and your friends are going to need it.” She then walks right past me and out the door. I can already feel my confidence waning slightly.
When I enter into the dining room twenty minutes later, I find Janice, Kimberly and Lizzie sitting around the table talking. I take a seat and fill them in on my run in with Taylor.
“I thought I hadn’t seen her and Clare in a while,” says Kimberly. “Maybe they both went on that study abroad program.”
Janice scoffs as she looks through her textbook. “Wish they would have stayed there.”
“Tell me about it.” I sit up in my chair. “We can’t let them get to us though. If we are going to save our sorority, we have to win.”
“Which means we should get going.” Lizzie rises from her chair. “The Greek Olympics start in thirty minutes.”
“But what about Selena and Tatyana?” Kimberly asks.
I raise my phone up. “I’ll text them to meet us there. Lizzie’s right. We should get moving.”
Janice closes her textbook. “All right! Let’s go team!”
I then grab our packed bag filled with our competition outfits and then we all walk over to my car.
It’s a fast drive over to the Greek event and soon we are all loading out of the car. People have already started to arrive and walk to the arena. I marvel at all the balloons lining the rows of chairs. Everything really looks great!
As I walk through the arena I spot Clare standing not too far away. So, she really was back, just in time for the Greek games. I don’t know exactly what that means for us, but I wasn’t going to let her presence scare me.
Within ten minutes, our sorority sponsor, Mrs. Krutz, stands up to the podium. I am a bit surprised. I had no idea she had agreed to be the announcer for the event.
“Welcome to the Aberdale University Greek Olympics!” She says.
Everyone in the crowd cheers loudly. She then continues.
“We will now begin the competition with the first day of events. Each of the events here today, has been designed by the five Greek chapters on campus. They are each worth a certain amount of points, varying from the level of task difficulty. The winner of each event will have their fraternity or sorority be awarded the maximum number of points. The score for each person afterwards, will be one point less than the person before them. At the end of today, the two Greek chapters with the most points, will move into the final event tomorrow. Now, let’s begin!”
Everyone cheers as Mrs. Krutz steps down from the podium and the competition begins.
The first event up, is the rock climbing competition. It was apparently chosen by the Alpha Beta Phis. Janice and Ashley both stand up to the mat, along with Moana, Kelsy, Robbie and Brad. I move over to get closer to Janice and Ashley.
“I saw you practicing earlier this week,” I hear Ashley remark to Janice. “Sorry your time was still off.”
Janice gives her a look. “I’d be more concerned with your strength and agility. I’ve heard this is no ordinary climbing wall.”
Ashley frowns, but then Mrs. Krutz beings to talk again.
“We shall now begin with the rock climbing competition, chosen by the Alpha Beta Phis. The first one to reach the top wins. But watch out, climbing this wall will not be as easy as you think! Go!”
The buzzer sounds and all the competitors start climbing the wall. Ashley seems to be having a lead until Janice catches up to her. Then all of a sudden, the wall starts to move! Seriously! The rocks for the climbers to grab onto, start moving in and out and changing formation. Robbie is the first one to fall, missing the next area to grab with his left hand. The Eta Phi Nus groan unhappily. I keep watch with my hands trembling slightly.
Moana, however, goes up slowly, being careful not to drop. Ashley tries to reach ahead to grab the next rock, but then it goes in and she loses her balance. Janice on the other hand, is doing a pretty good job, along with Brad. He isn’t as fast, but he manages to hold on.
Ashley keeps struggling alongside Janice trying her best to catch up, but Janice ends up hitting the buzzer before both her and Brad. I erupt into applause along with the other Beta Gamma Kappas.
“And the winner is Janice from the Beta Gamma Kappas!” Mrs. Krutz calls over the applause. “Second is Ashley from Alpha Beta Phi, followed by Brad from Alpha Annya, Moana from Delta Sigma, Kelsy from Kappa Alpha Omega and Robbie from Eta Phi Nu!”
Ashley gives Janice an annoyed look as she walks over to us. I don’t think she anticipated the changing of the rock wall. Well, her loss is our gain!
Next up, was a shootout competition, curtesy of the Alpha Annyas. This competition was a tag team duo, so we chose Tatyana and Janice to compete. After all, they were the best shooters on our team. I nearly choke as the competition begins. On the team of Alpha Annya, is Brad and Charls. I feel like I can’t breathe.
Charls happens to glance my way when we reach the field. For a second I think he is going to come over to me, but then Brad seems to notice and pushes him toward the starting line. Figures he would ruin the moment.
The competition then begins with each of the teams getting a chance to shoot. With Janice’s athletic skills, she and Tatyana manage to tie in first place with Brad and Charls, even with Brad’s over-dramatic dunk into the net. So far things were really off to a good start.
Next up, was the golfing competition chosen by the Kappa Alpha Omegas. We had chosen Lizzie, because I happened to know that she had always ruled at playing miniature golf with me. I figured she was better than all of us who were less experienced.
And what a good decision it was. She comes in second behind Kelsy, followed by Ashley, Skip, Greg and Moana.
“For Beta Gamma Kappa!” she shouts, and we all cheer loudly, enough to annoy Ashley and Clare. They are both looking at us with deadly stares.
Next up was a pie eating contest. I know, right? I thought it was a bit strange considering all the other tasks, but then I found out it was chosen by the Eta Phi Nus as a joke. No wonder no one takes them seriously. Lizzie is nervous about losing, but then they say the objective is to find a piece of gum at the center and be the first to blow a bubble. Such a weird task, but soon everyone was lined up to start.
With the sound of the buzzer, everyone’s faces dive into their pies. It is so weird watching them eating the pies quickly as everyone chants their names. I especially enjoy watching Dean dig into his, getting pie all over his leather jacket. Lizzie actually is not doing too bad and surprisingly lifts her head a minute later with gum in her mouth.
She then manages to blow a bubble just as a fellow Eta Phi Nu does the same. We all cheer as Mrs. Krutz announces Lizzie the winner. I am thrilled.
I am so surprised at how well we are doing. It seems like all that hard work for the past three weeks has really payed off.
From all the tennis table practice we have been doing, Janice pretty much schools everyone in the competition. I am cheering her on loudly as she goes against Moana.
The game is pretty close, but Janice manages to pull through in the third round of the competition. She wins by only one point!
“Congrats Janice,” Moana says, shaking her hand. “You were a worthy opponent.”
Janice laughs. “Same to you.”
The next event is the soccer shootout, by the Alpha Beta Phis. And guess who I got paired with? Clare!
“I hope you’ve enjoyed that little bit of luck streak you’ve had,” she says, taking her spot at the net, “cause it’s about to come to an end.”
I roll my eyes and line the soccer ball for my shot. “Whatever you say, Clare,” I say and then kick the ball as hard as I can.
Boy, am I amused. Even with all her trash talk, she ends up being terrible. I am able to kick all ten balls into the net, with her only managing to block one. The last ball I kick, even causes her to fall pathetically to the ground as she tries to catch it. Nice try Clare.
“And the winner, is Abby, from Beta Gamma Kappa!” Mrs. Krutz announces and we all cheer loudly. Clare walks back over to the Alpha Beta Phis and they all look like they want to clobber her. I can tell they all wish they could strangle us.
The last four competitions end up being the most intense. The first one, is the archery competition, chosen by the Kappa Alpha Omegas. Janice aims her arrow true and lands right on the bullseye for each target. Moana manages to do the same only missing one target and Ashley ends up tying with Janice.
Charls also ends up competing for the Alpha Annyas as well, and my heart pounds as he steps up to the stand to take a shot. After aiming his arrow, he lets it go and it hits right on the bullseye as well. He manages to replicate it for all the targets and I can’t help but feel a little excited for him. I nearly walk over to congratulate him, but Brad shows up out of the crowd and pulls him over to the cheering crowd of Alpha Annyas.
The mechanical bull riding event is next, and Lizzie ends up going last. Dean manages to hold on for three minutes, and I can see Lizzie is looking very nervous.
“You can do it Liz,” I whisper to her as she steps forward. “We believe in you.”
Lizzie nods to me and then climbs onto the bull.
She ends up being amazing! Even with Ashley telling them to turn it to expert, she manages to stay on longer than Dean, who had the highest score! And here’s the thing, she only won by five seconds! Even Clare looked furious!
After the soccer shootout, Mrs. Krutz announces that the events have concluded for the day.
“We have tallied up the scores and are now ready to list the two chapters that will be competing tomorrow.” She then opens a folded sheet of paper. “Second place, is the Alpha Annyas, and tied for first place, are the Alpha Beta Phis and the Beta Gamma Kappas!”
We practically scream when our names are called. I cannot believe that we are in the finals! We are so close!
“We will reconvene tomorrow at three to finish the Olympics! See you then!”
“Great job Abby,” Selena says walking over to me.
I smile. “Thanks. I was getting a little nervous there, but Janice did train me well.”
“I can’t believe we are in the finals!” She says excitedly and I laugh.
“I know! If we can beat the Alpha Beta Phis tomorrow, we are home free!”
Selena bites her lip. “So, I invited some people back to the house to hang for a bit. Is that okay?”
I arch my eyebrow. “Premature celebration?”
Selena chuckles. “A little.”
“Well, it sounds fun. Count me in.”
“Maybe you should invite Charls.”
I blink at her. “What?”
“Well, I know things are on the rocks with you two, but he’s been staring at you throughout the whole competition.”
I glance over and see Charls standing not too far away from us. He glances in my direction, but when he meets my gaze, he quickly looks away. I can tell he really wants to speak to me and I don’t know how to tell him that it’s okay. Especially when Brad keeps butting in.
And as if on cue, Brad shows up with Skip and Dean, and they lead Charls away. Brad and I make eye contact, and from the look on his face, I can tell he’s doing it on purpose.
“I don’t think now is a good time,” I say to Selena. “Things are still complicated right now.”
Selena nods. “I know what you mean, but I still think you should try and talk to him. I can tell by the way you guys keep eyeing each other that you still have feelings for each other.”
I bite my lip. “I don’t know…”
“Well, it’s up to you, but I think if you really love him like I can tell you do, you should fight for him.” She then turns to head off to my car.
I then start to think about what she said, but before I can change my mind, I turn around and see that Charls is gone. I can’t deny the sinking feeling in my heart, but I turn and follow after Selena back to my car.
After changing my clothes in my room, I head back downstairs. I don’t know what Selena meant by a few people, but there are quite a lot of people walking around and hanging about. One in particular that I don’t want to see.
“Clare, what are you doing here?” I ask. I am not really in the mood to deal with her right now.
“I heard you were throwing a little victory party,” she says. “Don’t you think it’s a bit premature?”
I sigh. “It’s not a victory party, Clare. We’re just hanging out. And you were not invited.”
“Ah, exclusion again, huh? Guess you can’t help yourselves. You know you’ll never get a charter acting like that.”
“Well, it’s not up to you. It’s up to us winning, which we will.”
“Do you really think you can beat the Alpha Beta Phis?” Clare snaps.
“As a matter of fact, I do. Or else you wouldn’t be here right now, would you?”
Clare frowns. “What?”
“You’re afraid that we’re going to win tomorrow. That’s why you came all the way over here, just to taunt me. You’re scared.”
Clare glares at me. “As if!”
I frown. “If not, then why are you here?”
“To let you know, that you’re wasting your time. The Alpha Beta Phis are going to win tomorrow, and you can save yourself some humiliation if you drop out now.”
I sigh tiredly. “Thank you for your concern, Clare, but we aren’t dropping out. We’re in it to the end.”
Clare sniffs. “Fine then. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Clare then turns and disappears into the crowd of people.
I breath a sign of relief. It was getting very difficult to pretend that I wasn’t affected by all of this. To be honest, right now, all I could think about was Charls and the look he had on his face before he left. I could tell he had wanted to talk to me, badly. And it was bugging me that I didn’t get the chance to let him.
As everyone continues hanging out downstairs, I hurry up to the second floor. I then pull out my phone and dial Charls’s number. It rings several times and then goes to voicemail. I hang up and call again.
The phone rings four times and then seems to click on. At first I think the answering message is going to start, but then it doesn’t. For a second I even think I hear breathing on the other end.
“Hello?” I say, but there is no answer. Still, it doesn’t sound like the phone has been turned off.
“Charls, I don’t know if you can hear me, but if you can, please listen.” I exhale deeply. “I am so sorry about everything that happened. I still don’t even understand why it did.” I bite my lip. “Okay, I do know why it did. You were right, I did have some lingering feelings for Brad, but not because I want to be with him. When the whole thing happened between Clare and Brad, I had to immediately try and bury my feelings for him. And then you and I got together and things just took off. Not to mention, Brad left town.”
I pause. “I think when Brad kissed me again after all that time, for a moment, I remembered how things used to be before he cheated on me. But that’s just it. It was just for that moment. The truth is, I don’t love Brad. I love you, Charls. I love you so much and I can’t picture my life without you in it.”
I stop for a few seconds, feeling tears coming to my eyes. I hate to cry like this on a message to him, but I can’t help it.
“You probably don’t even care that I’m saying all this and honestly, I don’t blame you. I would feel the same way if the roles were reversed.” It’s becoming increasingly difficult to talk with my voice shaking. “And B-Brad said that you would never want me back because of what I did, but I still want you to know that I love you. I will always love you and wish the best for you.”
A sob escapes from my lips and I try to mask it with a cough. I then I click the phone off. For a second, I had thought that I had heard someone say my name, but I figured it was probably just my wishful thinking.
I feel so emotionally drained from the phone call that I can’t go back downstairs. Instead, I go straight into my room and slip under my covers; weeping into my pillow. My heart ached so much from the thought of never being with Charls again, more than I had ever felt about anyone.
I close my eyes, trying to force myself into unconsciousness. Maybe when I fall asleep, I will dream of Charls once again. I could dream of when we used to be happy; just the two us in our own world, before I made it come crashing down.
As I drift off, I can almost swear I hear the ringing of my cell phone, but I know it is just my imagination. Charls had moved on and I had no one to blame but myself.