Authors: Stephanie Hale
“Jeez, April, you nearly gave me a heart attack,” I say, taking in her terrifying werewolf/vampire hybrid costume.
“Oops, sorry, Grace Kelly,” she says, removing her fake fangs. “I know this is a party and all but I was wondering if you would consider doing my task now?”
I suppose doing a task is one way to avoid running into Charlie and Sloane, although I’m hardly dressed for it. The thought of annoying Sloane by completing another task perks me up though.
“Sure, April. What do you need?”
“Every time the Omegas have a party my boyfriend disappears. I pretty sure he’s cheating on me, but I need you to get proof.”
“How am I going to do that?” I ask, praying she isn’t asking me to use myself as bait.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll lure somebody back to his room. I was thinking you could just sit in his closet and watch. W for watch,” she says, weirdly unaffected by the fact that we are discussing a plan for me to spy on her boyfriend having sex with another girl.
“I have to actually watch them,” I ask, disgusted. This is really going above and beyond.
“I don’t want a play by play. I just want to know who he’s with,” she clarifies. Like that is so much better.
“So I have to hide in his closet all night just hoping he’ll bring a girl back?” I ask, not exactly thrilled about missing out on the entire party.
“You’re right. That is pretty lame. Never mind,” April says, defeated. She pops her fangs back in and starts to walk away. I grab her by the scruff of her werewolf neck.
“Hold on, I’ll do it.”
“Yay!” She squeals through her fangs sending a spray of spit toward me. “Oops, sorry.”
April explains to that the Omega house is set up just like the Alpha house with a hidden staircase off the kitchen. At least I don’t have to worry about anyone seeing me, even though I actually wanted to be seen for once. She agrees to give me ten minutes by keeping him distracted. I continue toward the kitchen area scanning for Charlie. As bad as I don’t want the awkwardness of seeing him with Sloane, I wouldn’t hate it if he caught a glimpse of me in this amazing dress. I have no idea what I will even say if I find him but I’ve got to at least try.
“Dang, Princess Di. You’re smoking,” An Omega dressed up as the Incredible Hulk says as he passes me. I smile and don’t even bother to correct him.
I swing the kitchen door open to find Charlie, dressed as Fred Flintstone, manning the keg. He is staring off into space and doesn’t even look up when I come into the kitchen. Two of his friends standing near him exchange looks when they see me. I smile at them as they leave the kitchen to give us some privacy. Charlie finally looks up at me. His face stays blank.
“Yabba Dabba Do,” I say sweetly.
“Hi,” he says flatly.
“Are you mad at me?” I ask, knowing this is about way more than blowing him off to answer a trivia question. God only knows what lies Sloane has filled his gorgeous head with.
“I just don’t understand why you lied.” He takes a giant swig of his beer and seems to sway a bit.
“Lied about what?” I ask, my palms sweating. I’ve told so many lies since I got to college I can’t imagine which one Charlie found out about.
“You’re amazing,” he yells. “You put on this whole klutzy naïve girl act. Meanwhile you’ve got everybody on campus eating out of your hand.” He slams his cup of beer onto the counter and foam sloshes over the edge. He is a blur of orange and black as he storms past me out of the kitchen.
That went well. I don’t have time to figure it out right now though because I have to get upstairs to spy on April’s boyfriend.
I make my way to the back of the kitchen to find the staircase. I quietly climb the stairs and begin looking for the door that April described. It isn’t hard to spot with its door-length poster of Megan Fox. I knock lightly, just in case. When no one answers I slip inside and close the door behind me.
It is pitch black with the exception of a small nightlight. I scan the room for the closet, finding it on the other side of the room. I start walking that direction when my heel gets caught in some clothes piled on the floor. I try to shake it loose, lose my balance and fall right on my face in a pile of dirty clothes. And by dirty, I mean if I looked at them under a microscope I’m sure they would have an entire germ subdivision living on them. At least they broke my fall.
I’m trying to untangle myself when I hear someone whistling out in the hallway. I scramble to my feet and make my way to the closet. I’m pulling the rickety door open when I hear the doorknob turn. I crouch down in the bottom of the closet and pull the door closed behind me.
“Home sweet home,” I hear a male voice say. I can barely hear anything over the roar of my own heart beating in my ears. If this guy doesn’t bust me in his closet it will be a miracle. Charlie would really think I’m a freak if one of his frat brothers found me hiding in his closet. I close my eyes and hope that I can pull this off.
I hear April’s boyfriend rattling around in his room whispering things every now and then but I can’t quite catch what he is saying. Not that I probably really want to. I sit very still and try hard not to peek out of the slats in the closet doors.
“Finally,” he says, sighing deeply. I hear what sounds like clothing dropping to the floor. I try to block out the image of a half-naked girl standing in the middle of his bedroom. I hear him plop down on the bed, messing around with something.
It is quiet for a few minutes and I’m thinking I lucked out and they are just going to take a nap or something.
“Sweet! Score!” He yells, making me bang my head against the back of the closet. Luckily it only makes a loud noise inside my head. I’m tempted to peek because I haven’t heard another person yet, but on second thought, I don’t really want to see him going at it solo either.
Maybe I’ll just tell April I looked. But she did say that she wanted to know who he was with. I guess I could lie and say they still had on their costumes. That wouldn’t be very sisterly though. I think I hear some grunting and I immediately have the urge to throw up in one of April’s boyfriend’s shoes. I just have to look really quick then squeeze my eyes closed again. I push myself up to one of the slats in the door and peer out.
I almost fall through the closet door laughing at what I see. April’s boyfriend is sitting alone on his bed in his underwear, his Superman costume pooled at his ankles, playing some kind of boxing video game. He has a controller in one hand and a punching glove on the other and he is egging on the opponent like he is standing right in front of him. So this is who he is cheating on April with. She’s going to get a kick out of this.
“David, are you in there?” April’s voice says from in the hall. She bangs on the door causing David to jump off the bed, turn off the video game, and slip back into his Superman costume. He waits for her to go back downstairs before sneaking out.
I pull myself out of the closet and head downstairs to give April the good news. I slip past a vampire couple making out in a corner of the kitchen. A costume contest is starting and people are arranged in groups according to gender and year of college. Cheers erupt as the winners are announced. I cheer the loudest when Ron and Jentry win best couple. They look adorable trying to hug each other while jointly holding their trophy.
“Who is she?” April storms up, definitely not as laid back about the possibility of her boyfriend cheating as she was earlier.
“You are not going to believe this,” I say. “I was really afraid to look out…”
“Just tell me who the bitch is,” April says viciously. I take a step back.
“He isn’t cheating on you, April. He was playing video games the whole time.”
Her face is contorted with anger and slowly begins to return to normal.
“He didn’t have a girl with him?” She asks amazed.
“Nope. Maybe he just doesn’t like the party scene.” I suggest.
“Yeah, he’s always saying he would rather it just be the two of us.”
“He seems like a good guy. You just might want to mention that he should keep up a little better on his laundry.” I laugh.
“Thanks, Grace Kelly. You’re the best,” she says, hugging me then tearing through the crowd to find her Clark Kent.
I make my way over to where some of the sisters are listening to the winners of the costume contest. They are both dressed like Lady Gaga, one in a meat dress and the other in a seashell bikini, and I can almost hear their brains whirring trying to figure out who I am dressed like.
“Princess Di,” I respond, saving myself the trouble of explaining who Princess Grace is. They ooh and ahh at my tiara before turning their attention back to the winners.
The sisters and I are still laughing about the sock costume guy who just walked by when I notice people start to stare at me. I get the feeling it has nothing to do with me not winning the costume contest.
The weight of their stares bear down on me. I notice that several of them are holding white pieces of paper. I watch their eyes glance down at the paper then back at me. Within seconds the scrutiny is over as most of them ball up the papers and toss them around the room. They go right back to dancing and talking and I almost wonder if I imagined the whole thing. Just as I am about to reach down and get a balled-up paper, I lock eyes with Sloane. She is standing alone in a corner of the room dressed in a skintight red bodysuit, red stilettos, and red horns protruding from her perfect blonde locks. I drop my eyes immediately, fearful that her eyes might singe my soul. I squat down and grab a wadded ball of paper. I straighten up and smooth it out. A blown-up picture of my state identification card with the words, ‘Not Legal to Drive’ blare up at me. My birthdate is circled in black marker just in case someone would dare miss it. This cannot be happening.
I knew that Sloane was out to get me. Like taking Charlie wasn’t bad enough, now she has to humiliate me in front of all my sorority sisters. At least Lindsay already knows so I probably won’t get in any trouble. But the sisters might feel that I completely betrayed them by lying. I really wanted to be able to tell them myself when I was ready.
I steady myself and glance around. The party hasn’t skipped a beat. No one is staring angrily at me. No one cares. The papers are discarded all over the floor, just like empty beer cups. Sloane tried her best to humiliate me and nobody is even paying attention. I look back at her, feeling stronger now, meeting the fire in her eyes. Is this really still about a little bit of marinara sauce on her dress? She stomps out of the room, and a few seconds later, I hear the front door slam shut.
I’m so overjoyed that I beat Sloane that I practically want to do cartwheels across the room. I remember very quickly the shoes I have on, not to mention the dress. It doesn’t stop my insides of doing cartwheels of joy. My joy dissipates quickly when I notice Charlie by a window looking at one of the papers. He shakes his head in disgust. Sloane must have told him about my age and that is why he accused me of lying. I weave my way through the crowd to him.
“I can explain,” I say when I’m close enough to touch him.
“I’m not interested,” Charlie says, lifting his glass to his lips.
“I didn’t lie to you. I just didn’t volunteer the information,” I defend myself. “When I realized you could get in trouble for dating me, that’s when I backed off.”
“You can spin it however you want, Grace Kelly. But you’re still a liar.” He won’t even look at me.
“Look around. Nobody even cares,” I say, gesturing to the other Greeks dancing and socializing around us.
“I don’t give a crap about your age, Grace Kelly. Although it does explain how immature you’ve been acting,” he says disgustedly. His comment practically makes me clutch my chest in pain. I thought I had been acting so mature and sophisticated.
“Have you told so many lies that you can’t even keep them straight?” He asks me when I don’t respond. The fake black eyebrows he is wearing are in a taut line across his forehead. I wouldn’t have thought fun-loving Charlie to be capable of such anger. I wish I could at least figure out why he is so mad at me. I can only imagine the lies that Sloane told him about me.
“Grace Kelly, look at us,” my fellow sisters, Eve and Amber, giggle excitedly, interrupting us. They are both dressed identically as Edwina Fay. I glance up at Charlie, suddenly remembering that other huge lie I told.
Eve and Amber scamper off as quickly as they came leaving the air between Charlie and I rigid with tension. He can’t know. How could he know? The only way he could know that I lied about Edwina Fay being my aunt is if Sloane somehow found out. If Sloane knew she would have already told the sisters and I would have been kicked to the curb already.
“Tell the truth, Grace Kelly,” he urges. His eyes beg me to come clean but I’ve been lying so long that I just can’t. I can’t risk losing the Alphas if by some small chance Charlie doesn’t know the truth.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I lie, looking away from him.
The party rages around us but it feels like we are in our own personal vortex. Charlie crushes his empty plastic cup in his hand and angrily tosses it away.
“You do know what I’m talking about. If you want to be with me then I need to hear you say it,” he says desperately.
“Be with you?” I shout. “I’m pretty sure the position of girlfriend is already taken. Talk about someone being dishonest,” I bluff. I know that Ron told Jentry that Charlie didn’t like Sloane but maybe he was lying.
“What are you talking about?” He asks confused.
“Does the name Sloane Masterson ring a bell?” I smart off.
Charlie’s fake eyebrows crinkle up and I have to hand it to him. He actually looks like he has no idea what I’m talking about.
“You mean that girl I’m planning the Jingle Bell Run with?” He asks.
He almost had me. I almost believed that he cared about me. But I can’t ignore the fact that he just lied right to my face. Not like I’m any better but at least my lies don’t have anything to do with Charlie. He is obviously trying to play me, Sloane, and who knows how many other girls. I know for a fact that the Alphas aren’t participating in the Jingle Bell Run this year. Charlie is just as big of a liar as I am.