I barely got any sleep that night, and it is extremely hard for me to get up the next morning, especially when I check my phone and still see no messages from Charls.
With all the heartache from my phone call to him, I found myself dreaming that night, of Charls slipping into an abyss, and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t reach him. I really have it bad.
I try to hide my hurt through breakfast with Janice and Lizzie, but when Janice gets a text from Greg, I can’t help but ask about it.
That makes her question me about Charls, and our lack of conversation. Janice tells me that I should talk to him and not let Brad’s comment get to me. But, I can’t help but think about the fact that they were best friends. Wouldn’t he know him better than anyone?
I spend most of the day pondering over this as I finish painting my final painting for my class portfolio. I have to say, it is one of the best paintings that I have ever made. I hope that my professor will be as impressed as I am.
After I finish, I step back to admire my work. It really is quite an amazing piece. The brush strokes and techniques I used, really sets it apart from my other paintings.
I then glance down at my cell phone and see that I have been painting for the past few hours. It is getting to three ‘O clock.
I then go into the bathroom and touch up my face. I really know it’s no use since whatever challenge today will probably have me running around. It was after all a scavenger hunt. So instead, I go into my room and change into my workout clothes.
I then hear a knock on the door.
“Come on, Abby! Lets head out so we won’t be late!” Janice calls, and I tell her I will be right there. I then fluff my hair a bit and head downstairs.
It’s a quick drive over to the Greek arena and soon we are all piling onto the sidewalk where everyone else was gathered.
Within ten minutes Mrs. Krutz announces the last competition and the rules. She then gives Lizzie and I walkie talkies and two strips of paper; each with a clue leading to our first item’s location.
Mrs. Krutz also points out that there should be no cheating and that we are only allowed to use the walkie talkies as our means of communication. I have to say as she says this, Clare and Ashley look very suspicious, but I pay them no mind.
When Mrs. Krutz wishes us luck, all four of us head off in different directions. Although we all have the same items, I assume that we are supposed to find them in different orders so as not to let anyone cheat of each other. I take a look at my first clue. It reads,
You can jam where I am from evening till late, feel free to come alone or bring a date.
Wow, easy as pie. It’s obviously R.E.D club.
I quickly jog over, pacing myself as not to get tired. I can already tell it is going to be a long scavenger hunt. The club was almost ten minutes away from the Greek arena. At least I would be getting a good work out!
I find my item lying on the ground nearby the pool. It is an icon of a music note with a pink and silver ribbon attached. Next to it is the same item, but with a red and blue ribbon. Obviously that item was for the Alpha Beta Phis. I resist the urge to toss it into the pool. Cheating was going to get us nowhere. If we were going to become a full-fledge sorority we were going to do it fair and square. I only hope we could finish in time.
I then spot the next clue taped to the back of the music note and roll it out. It read:
A place of food galore, with shelves of food lined to the doors.
Now that sounds like the food market downtown. Then again, it could also be the dining hall. Hmm…
As I start head off, I get an incoming call from Lizzie on my walkie talkie. She has found the first item and was about to get the second. I decide to run my clue by her and she advises me to check the food market first. I thank her and then take off.
It takes me ten minutes to jog to the food market and I am thrilled when the cashier hands me a shopping cart icon with a pink and silver ribbon. Lizzie and I were definitely off to a good start!
My next clue reads,
Come find me where you can take a nightly rest, and wake up in the morning feeling well and refreshed.
I know that it has to be the Marmalade Inn. It is the only hotel in the city that is closest to the campus.
I quickly run right over and find the next item at the front desk with one of the workers. The item is a cute little miniature pillow. I have to say, whoever picked out the items chose really cute ones.
I spend the next forty minutes running to and fro looking for the remaining four items. The last one ends up being at the art building. I then jog over enjoying the sunset as I pass through the courtyard.
The item happens to be in the only open classroom, sitting next to a clay head sculpture. Ironically, the item is a replica of it.
I pick up the item and am relieved to see the message attached:
You have found the last remaining item, well done. Return to the arena to see if you’ve won.
So, it would seem I only had to find seven items, meaning that Lizzie will be the one having to find the eighth.
I lift up my walkie talkie to let Lizzie know this, but for some reason all I can hear is static. I try over and over to call to her, but there is no other sound but the fuzzy noise. I will have to return to the arena and hope that she found the last item.
Just as I am about to leave, I see Clare come running by through the window. I instantly feel nervous. I hadn’t run into her or Ashley up until now. Did that mean that they were close to being finished?
Not wanting a confrontation, I duck behind one of the large easels in the back with a large painting upon it. Clare then comes running in and retrieves her item from the table. She then scans the table a second more; I assume, to see if she could find mine. She then frowns and lifts up her walkie talkie.
“I found the next item, but it looks like Lizzie or Abby already found the other.”
“What are you serious?” I hear Ashley say on the other line. “They already found it? Clare!”
Clare sighs. “Yah, I know! I’ll think of something.” She then turns and runs out the door.
I then step out of my hiding place. What did she mean by that?
Not wanting to wait around any longer, I take off out of the room and back down the sidewalk. I only hope that Lizzie has already found her item. From the look of it, Clare and Ashley were still on the search.
I am disappointed when I get back to the arena and I don’t see Lizzie anywhere. I try to use the walkie talkie again, but now I can’t hear a thing at all.
Everyone cheers as I return, and I hand all my items to Mrs. Krutz. She checks all my items and gives me the okay.
“If Lizzie returns before Clare and Ashley and has all the items, then you win the challenge.”
I nod to her and then join the rest of the Beta Gamma Kappas and Delta Sigmas.
We wait for an additional thirty minutes and then I start to worry. What was taking Lizzie so long? Had she not found all the items? What was going on?
“Why don’t you try calling her?” Janice asks.
“I can’t,” I exclaim. “The walkie talkie stopped working, so we can’t talk at all. I think the batteries are dead.”
“What?” Moana walks over to me frowning. “I put fresh batteries in all the walkie talkies this morning.” She takes the walkie talkie from me and checks the back.
“Weird, these are not the batteries I put in here.”
Just then, the Alpha Beta Phis start to cheer loudly. I look over and see both Clare and Ashley hurrying over to the stage. I feel my heart sink. We lost. The Beta Gamma Kappas lost.
Mrs. Krutz herself even looked disappointed, but she still smiles and then walks over to the stage. She takes the items from Ashley and Clare and then goes through their checklist.
“Well if my calculations are correct, the winners of the Greek Olympics, are the Alpha Beta Phis!”
The audience cheers and the Alpha Beta Phis jump up and down in excitement. Ashley then makes her way over to me.
“Looks like you guys lost. Which means, the Beta Gamma Kappas are over. A deal is a deal.” She then walks off, leaving me standing there speechless.
I feel my heart breaking again in my chest. Not only had I lost Charls, but I had also lost my sorority as well.
I am so angry with myself. I really thought that we were going to win. I could feel it. How stupid I had been.
I then look over and see Lizzie and Michael hurrying down the sidewalk over to the arena. In normal circumstances, I would have congratulated her on working things out with him, but I am too furious to look at her. Too bad, she doesn’t seem notice.
“Abby, we need to talk,” she says, but I turn away.
“Not now, Lizzie. I think I just need some space right now.”
“Well, that’s just too bad, Abby. It’s about the event.”
“Yes, I know. We lo-”
Now that statement catches my attention. “What?” I ask in surprise.
“I was in the comic shop looking all over the place for the last item, but I couldn’t find it anywhere,” Lizzie says quickly. She then tells me what Michael said he saw.
I clench my fists. So that was what Clare had come up with. She had figured that the only way to stop us from winning, was to sabotage us. No way she was getting away with it.
I push my way through the crowd and hop onstage.
“Hello everyone,” I call into the speaker.
Clare and the other Alpha Beta Phis look up at me and laugh.
“Get off the stage, Abby,” says Clare. “This is a Greek event and since you aren’t a Greek member, you aren’t welcome.”
I narrow my eyes at her. “Not until I say what I have to say.” I then look out to the crowd ahead of me. “I have some news to share with you all. The Alpha Beta Phis cheated!”
When I say this, there are echoes of boos heard throughout the audience.
Clare laughs. “Wow, you’re pathetic. You can’t take losing so you have to make up some lame story? That’s just sad.” The Alpha Beta Phis all laugh along with her.
“I’m not lying actually,” I say, glaring at her. “I happen to know that Clare or Ashley stole one of the items that Lizzie was supposed to find.”
That seems to rattle Clare slightly, but she seems to play along as if she is innocent.
“You are totally making that up,” says Ashley walking up to the podium. “You have no proof.”
“Actually, I do. You were spotted.” I smirk at Ashley. “Someone saw one of you take the item that Lizzie was supposed to find and put it in their pocket.”
“And who is that?” Ashley asks.
Clare scoffs. “You mean Lizzie’s boyfriend? That doesn’t mean anything. She could have told him to lie and say that.”
“Well then, why don’t we check both your pockets.” I know it was wishful thinking. I mean, who would be dumb enough to leave evidence in their pockets. But still, it didn’t hurt to try.
Clare narrows her eyes. “No one is falling for your pathetic lie, Abby. Just give it up.”
“Actually, I have the final word,” Mrs. Krutz says, interrupting us. “Clare and Ashley, please empty your pockets please.”
Ashley rolls her eyes and does so, but Clare doesn’t move.
“This is stupid!” she says, waving her hand to the side. It is obvious that she is stalling. “Abby is just making this up because she lost the bet and is losing her sorority!”
“Empty your pockets, Clare.”
Clare reluctantly reaches down and then lifts her hand back up empty. “See? Nothing.”
“I can see that something is there. Take it out. Now.”
Clare grits her teeth and then pulls out what I was hoping she would, a superhero action figure with a pink and silver ribbon.
I smirk as Ashley gives her a look of hatred. Overhead the sky is starting to darken.
Mrs. Krutz frowns. “In light of this, I will have to deem Abby right. The Alpha Beta Phis have cheated, meaning they are now disqualified. The Beta Gamma Kappas win by default.”
We all let out a loud cheer as Clare and Ashley’s mouths drop. Cheaters definitely never win.
A few minutes later Brad walks up to me. “Congratulations. I guess that means your sorority has a true Greek charter now.”
I nod. “Thank you.”
“Despite what happened between us, I was rooting for you. I can’t believe that Ashley and Clare would be so desperate.”
Someone scoffs from behind us. Turning my head, I see its Charls.
“You should talk.” He says. “Is that why you had Skip switch the batteries out of Abby and Lizzie’s walkie talkies?”
I frown. “What?”
“I saw him. He told Skip to switch the batteries. That way you and Lizzie wouldn’t be able to talk to each other.”
I glare at Brad. “You did what?”
“I knew it!” Moana shakes her head from the crowd. “I knew I had put brand new batteries in all of them! Wow, that’s low, Brad.”
Brad frowns in Charls’s direction. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Brad, I heard what you were saying to Skip earlier over there by the booths. How you wanted to make Abby loose so that you could be the one to help her get her sorority back?”
I look at Brad with disgust. “You were working with them? How could you?”
“Abby, that’s not how it happened.” I can tell that Brad is totally lying. Everything Charls said is totally true.
“I can’t believe you!” I continue. “You would actually sabotage the sorority I have been working so hard to form, for what? Some pathetic attempt to win me back?”
“Abby,” Brad says looking a bit taken aback. “I-I love you! Do you really think I would do that?”
“You did!” I snap. “If you really loved me, you would have respected my decision! Not try and destroy all the work I’ve done to form this sorority, just to manipulate me!” I shake my head. “I am really starting to wonder what I ever saw in you.”
Brad steps back looking hurt, but I honestly don’t care. I am so angry I could hurl him across this stage.
“I see you’re going to take his word over mine, so I won’t bother arguing with you,” he snaps back.
I step back. “Yes, I will take his word over you. Charls has never lied to me like you have. He’s always been there for me and been faithful to me.” I pause for a moment. “We may not be together anymore, but I love him, not you. And if you were any decent person, you would have accepted that.”
Brad rolls his eyes. “Whatever.” He then turns to Charls. “Some friend you are. You know, you haven’t really acted like one in a long time. Or much of an Alpha Annya.”
Charls looks at him hard for a moment and then he sighs. “You’re right. I haven’t. I haven’t really been much of anything lately. But that’s going to change.”
He then steps forward and surprises me by pulling me into his arms.
Before I can ask what he is doing, Charls leans down and kisses me hard on the mouth. I feel a shockwave of heat from my head to my toes. How I’ve missed kissing Charls so much. I kiss him back and then wrap my arms around his shoulders.
“I heard your message yesterday,” he says, pulling away from me. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer back sooner.”
I smile feeling tears coming to my eyes. “That’s okay. As long as you know that I meant it. Every word.”
I feel so happy that my heart could burst.
Brad scoffs. “You’re seriously going to get back with her after what happened with us?”
“Yes, I am,” Charls says, not even looking at him. His gaze is still on mine and I feel my heart still racing in my chest.
Brad looks furious. He then mutters something angrily under his breath and then walks off the stage.
I pay him no mind. I am too happy to be back in Charls’s arms to even care what Brad thinks.
Looks like I am not the only one over the moon. As Charls and I make our way back through the crowd, I see Janice and Greg pressed against each other in a lip lock toward the back. I truly am happy for her. Maybe her fights with Greg have finally come to an end.
However, I can worry about that later. Right now, there was only one person I had on my mind and what I wanted to do.
And just a while later my dream for the past few weeks comes to life, as Charls and I lie upon my mattress kissing tenderly in each other’s arms. I gasp as he lowers himself toward me and wrap my legs around him. I honestly want to stay like this forever.
“I love you,” I whisper into the softness of his lips, and he says it back as he presses himself onto me. Only the thin fabric of my nightgown and his boxers separate his skin from mine. In minutes, our veils are both gone and the friction of his body upon mine, sends me into overdrive. Like always, the world around me seems to vanish and I surrender to the heated sensations running through me. And as he kisses me once more, I realize that I never want to be without him ever again.