Authors: Stephanie Hale
“I’m not stalking you, I promise. It’s just, cute girl, dark campus, not a good combo,” Charlie says, handing me back a pad.
“Okay, this is officially the worst night of my life,” I say, grabbing the tampon from him and shoving it back into my purse. Did he just call me cute? I hope that he can’t see that my cheeks are on fire.
“Oh, please. It takes a real man to pick up a feminine hygiene product.” He laughs.
“It was really nice of you to look out for me,” I say, trying my best not to lose myself in his dimple. “I’m really sorry about your head.”
“I’ll wear it like a badge of honor.” He laughs, rubbing the bump on his forehead.
“Okay, see ya,” I say, dragging out our goodbye.
“Yeah, see ya,” he jogs off, waving.
I’m about to pull the door open when I hear him call my name. I spin around hoping he’s back to ask me out.
“Whatever it was that was bothering you, I hope it gets better,” he winks and disappears, taking with him all the warm fuzzies from our flirtation. The nausea I felt earlier about being rejected by the Alphas comes rushing back as I remember how horrible my reality really is.
I get back to my dorm room and exchange my skirt and sweater for a T-shirt and jean cutoffs. I can’t stop thinking about the Alphas. Part of me wishes I had never heard of them so that I wouldn’t be so miserable right now. I tell myself that I was fine before I met the Alphas and I’ll be fine after meeting them. Besides, I’ll still have Jentry. Oh my God, Jentry! If Jentry gets into the Alphas, I’ll barely see her. It would have been so perfect if Jentry and I would have been the two girls the Alphas picked as their pledges. If only Sloane wouldn’t have been waiting for me in the hallway. Things would have turned out so differently. If only I could figure out a way back into the Alphas.
I grab my laptop, and sit cross-legged on my bed. I boot it up and punch in the campus website URL. After a few clicks, I’m browsing the Alpha website. I’ve pretty much got it memorized, after researching the Alphas the last few days. I click to my favorite page, the sisters all holding their elaborately-decorated wooden pledge paddles and beaming proudly after last years initiation night. I had imagined myself in the new picture so many times. Now it looks like the only way that will happen is if I Photo-shop it in. It stings to look at, especially now, since I recognize so many of the sisters after meeting them tonight.
I go to Google and type in Alpha. The search yields about a billion results mostly of other Alpha websites on different campuses. I click through some of the sites and am met with more beaming girls proud to be Alphas. This is so incredibly unproductive. I’m about to slam my laptop shut and order a large pizza to eat by myself when something catches my eye. I’m browsing the website of an Arizona chapter of the Alphas when I see a photograph of three women. The caption above the photo says, ‘Three generations of Alphas’. An elegant silver-haired woman and a middle-aged brunette have their arms around a younger blonde. Underneath the picture it says, ‘Legacy Ball 2007, charter member Francine Dougal with her daughter, Joy, and granddaughter and legacy, Jill.
I go back to Google and type in sorority legacy. I click on the first result, which explains that a legacy is the female descendent of a sorority sister. It says that if someone in your family has been a member of a sorority, the sorority must give the heir preferential treatment when she rushes. While legacies are not given as much weight as they once were, most sororities will still honor the former sister by accepting her heir into the house.
Marjorie never said a word about legacies when she explained the rules of rushing to us. According to this, if I’m a legacy of the Alphas, they pretty much have to take me. There’s only one problem. No one in my geeky family has ever even come close to rushing. I can’t believe I found a way in only to be shot down again.
I quickly Google Alpha and McMillan College, just to see if possibly fate is on my side. The way I see it, if I’m meant to do this, I’ll find something, and if not, I’ll give it up and resign myself to a non-Greek life. After an excruciating millisecond, Google turns up three results. I click on the first one which is a website for a cosmetics company called Edwina Fay. I scroll down wondering if Google is losing it’s magic touch when I see a tube of lipstick to click on for Edwina’s bio. I click on it and it brings up a pink page with a huge photo of a beautiful, although heavily-makeup’d, woman. I read through Edwina’s bio, hardly believing that she is the same age as my mom, she looks like she could be twenty. Edwina attended college at my university in 1978. She was an Alpha the entire time she went to school here. I scroll down to see that in addition to marrying several times, Edwina goes on to say that she has two brothers, two nephews, and a teenage niece whom she dotes on. Jackpot!
I quickly Google Edwina Fay + niece which yields no results. I try Google images but there are still no results. I try several more searches to try and dig up information on Edwina’s niece with no luck. So, Edwina Fay has a teenage niece and there is absolutely no trace of her on the Internet. This could only mean one thing. This is totally meant to be. Oh. My. God. I found a loophole into the Alphas and Edwina Fay is her name.
I don’t even take the time to change back into my rush clothes. I ignore my ringing dorm phone as I slip on a pair of tennis shoes, grab my purse, and before I know it, I’m back in front of the Alpha house. Unfortunately, the adrenaline rush I was being fueled by ran out about halfway across campus. Now all I’m feeling is pure fear.
Can I really lie my way into the Alphas? Surely they have people to check stuff like this and they won’t just take my word for it. The idea of being busted by the Alphas makes me nauseous, but not nauseous enough to turn around.
I pound on the door with my fist. To my surprise, Sloane throws it open. Her million-dollar smile falls when she sees its me.
“No one here ordered any geek, so why don’t you run along,” she hisses, moving to slam the door in my face.
“Pledge Masterson, who is at the door?” Lindsay’s voice booms from behind Sloane. She comes into view holding a diet Coke.
Pledge Masterson? That means she got one of the coveted pledge spots. How can the Alphas not see how horrible Sloane is? This must mean I’m too late to try and get into the house. They already have their two pledges. I should just turn around and go back to my dorm before I make an even bigger fool of myself. But I don’t. My feet stay rooted to their spot, it’s almost as if they too know they belong here.
“What are you doing here, Grace Kelly?” Lindsay asks, curiously.
“I forgot to tell you something earlier,” I say, kicking the threshold nervously with my tennis shoe.
“Come on in,” Lindsay says, holding the door open. I slide into the foyer, quickly realizing how underdressed I am. Lindsay doesn’t seem to notice my thrown together outfit.
“We’re not mad about the frame, Grace Kelly. Accidents happen. Marjorie was out of line for pulling you from rush,” she says, surprising me.
“Definitely. The Alphas gave you full consideration when choosing our new pledges. But...” She tosses her blonde hair over her shoulder nervously, obviously not wanting to finish her sentence. “Our quota was two pledges and there were thirty-three prospective pledges. It was really tough to choose this semester. I’m sorry, Grace Kelly, but you didn’t make the final cut.”
I hear a snicker come from down the hallway and I don’t need to guess who it is. Won’t Sloane be surprised when the Alphas make an exception for a third pledge?
“Lindsay, there’s something I forgot to tell you earlier,” I say, biting on my lower lip to keep it from quivering. I haven’t had much practice lying and it doesn’t help that I’m starting out with a doozy like this.
Some of the other sisters start wandering into the foyer with curious looks on their faces. At least I think they look curious. Who can tell with this bandage over my eye? My palms are sweating as Lindsay stands there waiting patiently for me to tell her the biggest lie I’ve ever told. I nearly chicken out when Jentry rounds the corner with a mocktini in her hand. She beams from ear to ear when she sees me.
“I’m an Alpha legacy,” I blurt out. Jentry eyes widen and she nearly chokes on her drink.
“What do you mean?” Lindsay asks, clearly confused.
“My aunt, Edwina Fay Brighton, is an Alpha,” I explain, hoping she’ll get it this time because I feel like I might be struck down in this foyer if I have to repeat it again.
“Oh my God! Edwina Fay is your aunt?” The redheaded sister with the braids practically screams. She grabs hold of her uniform shirt and rips it open. The buttons go scattering across the marble foyer. “I love Edwina Fay,” she screams, pointing to the T-shirt she is wearing underneath her uniform. My faux aunts picture is plastered across the redheads chest with the saying, ‘Edwina Fay is my home girl’.
“Edwina Fay was one of the Alpha founders. She’s the most successful Alpha in our history,” Lindsay says, stunned.
And here I thought the lady had a quaint little makeup business. Great. Leave it to me to pick the alpha Alpha to be related to. I’m going to be so busted.
The other girls start to swarm around me. I’m getting dizzy only being able to see out of one eye.
“That’s why your skin is so beautiful,” a sister says, reaching out to touch my cheek.
“Could you get us a discount on makeup?” Someone asks from behind me.
“Could we, like, meet her?” Another asks, nearly making me faint.
What have I gotten myself into? When the Alphas find out the truth I’ll be laughed off the campus. I’ll be living back home enrolling in community college, sans stylish clothes and makeup, before the week is out.
“I’d love for you to be a pledge, Grace Kelly. But I thought the Alphas could only have two pledges?” Sloane asks so sweetly that her voice is practically dipping honey. In my nervousness I hadn’t seen her slither back into the room.
“This certainly changes things a bit,” Lindsay says, clearly flustered. “Of course, I’m going to have to check things out with National tomorrow. The sisters and I are going to have a lot to discuss.” She looks stressed and I feel bad for making this hard on her. She has been so nice to me.
Nationals? This means that I have about ten hours before Lindsay finds out the horrible truth. What will she think of me when she realizes I lied to her? What if Jentry isn’t allowed to keep rooming with me once the Alphas find out what a fraud I am? What have I done?
“It would be so fun having you on board, Grace Kelly,” Sloane adds, interrupting my nearly full-blown panic attack. She immediately starts gnawing at her fingernails like they are corncobs. I still can’t believe that such a perfect-looking girl has such a revolting habit.
“Legacies are given priority. So someone could lose their bid,” Lindsay says, ominously. I’m very careful to avoid Sloane’s eyes as she spits a nail in my direction.
“Holy shit, GK. You just told the mother of all lies. You realize that, right?” Jentry whispers as we sit side-by-side on her bed. We’re being very covert just in case Sloane has her ear plastered to our door, which I wouldn’t put past her. “I’m so proud of you,” she says, grabbing my shoulders.
“Why? For being a big fake? That’s nothing to be proud of,” I say, the guilt of my lie finally kicking in.
“This is huge. You went after something you wanted. You didn’t care if somebody told you that you couldn’t have it. Of course, you’re going to crash and burn like nobody’s business tomorrow after Lindsay calls Nationals, but for a few brief hours, you’re every geeky girl’s hero,” she finishes, getting a little misty-eyed.
“Gee, thanks. I think.” I try not to think about tomorrow but my stomach starts churning remembering Lindsay’s request that we all return to the house at eleven in the morning.
“You might have actually pulled if off if you wouldn’t have picked the CEO of the most successful cosmetics company of all time. Oh, God, I can’t stand it. GK, you should do stand-up,” Jentry dies laughing while rolling off her bed.
“How in the world would I know anything about makeup? I just wore eyeliner for the first time three days ago.” I point out in a useless defense. Nothing I say is going to stop the fit Jentry is having. Despite my nervousness over my demise with the Alphas, I can’t help but realize the irony of the legacy I chose. Couldn’t I have just looked at one more Google search? I start cracking up just watching Jentry roll around on the floor holding her stomach.
“So, I met a boy today,” I say, finally, after she has calmed down a bit.
“Ooh, do tell. Is he hot? Well hung? Come on, give me details.” She laughs.
“Well, it was dark, but he looked really cute. I hit him in the forehead with my shoe,” I giggle.
“NO!” Jentry screams with laughter. I nod and she just starts cracking up all over again.
“Then I saw him again later and he helped me pick up the tampons I was carrying in my purse,” I laugh.
“He actually picked one up?” She asks amazed.
“He’s totally into you. Guys are scared to death of feminine hygenine products, it’s like their Kryptonite. Yep, he’s into you.”
I hear something outside our door and I jump off the bed and put my finger to my mouth gesturing for Jentry to be quiet. I am so going to bust Sloane for spying on us. I fling open the unlocked door ready to pounce.
Instead, I practically head-butt a portly campus security guard standing outside our door with his fist raised, ready to knock.
“Are you Grace Kelly Cook?” He asks grumpily.
Did the Alphas change their mind and decide to have me hauled in for breaking their picture frame? Did Lindsay already figure out that I lied?
“Yes, I’m Grace Kelly,” I smile, hoping to win him over.
His stubble-covered face doesn’t register any emotion. He pulls a black walkie-talkie looking thing off his shoulder and speaks into it. “The subject is accounted for,” he says.