"Are you ready?" Christina looked at her with squinted eyes.
Ashley looked up, as if at the sky, "Not really."
The college was, in comparison to driving by, quite large when standing in the front courtyard. The star gazing steeples gave the old campus a cathedral like look with tall windows and dark shadows.
Circling the steps like crows, the skaters were showing off their new tricks. Underneath the full oak trees in the courtyard were the outsiders and the goths, trying to hide from mediocracy. They were fresh bait for the first day of classes for those who needed to taunt and tease to live and breathe. It was like the first bite of a freshly picked apple.
The preps sat on the marble tables in the courtyard that ran beside the walkway to the front doors. There they could sit every day and criticize those who did not meet their standards. The outsiders usually never walked up front in the morning. The words of a prep would sting far worse than those of any other.
Christina finally responded after viewing all the college residents. "We need to go now."
Ashley looked back at her and then at the front doors. "Ok. Let's go."
"You know, I don't understand why you are so afraid. This isn't high school."
"No. It's worse." she began to walk.
"You are so over reacting." she rolled her eyes.
"Hey!" a blonde headed prep at the table yelled to them.
Ashley and Christina stopped and turned around. "What's your name?" she pointed at Ashley.
She stood up and the others, as if in her command, all turned their attention to her. "Well, my name is Haley."
Ashley shyly replied, "Hi."
"The others back here are Brandon, Toby, Cassie, Jared and Miranda." She paused. "And, there is also Jeff, but its the first day and he is out searching for fresh new girls. It's his tradition." She rolled her eyes.
The others behind her laughed slightly at the comment. Ashley and Christina stood silently as if they were turned into stone.
"So, you two are new here? Freshman?" Haley sat back down.
"Well, kind of." Ashley answered. "We are here for a two year course."
"I see." she looked down at the ground and looked up again. "This is our Junior year. We are all taking the traditional four year course."
"Cool." Ashley replied, not knowing what else to say.
Haley looked at her strangely for a second and continued. "Um, yeah. Anyway. I just wanted to let you know that I really liked your shoes."
Ashley looked down at her pink and white Candies. "Oh, um, thanks." she replied just as the church bells across the street started chiming, saving her from embarrasment.
"I'll see ya around" Haley finished as she and the others walked away.
"What was that all about?" Christina finally spoke up, obviously confused.
"She wasted all that time just to tell me she liked my shoes?"
They stopped in front of the doors, waiting for the mob of skaters to realize that only one at a time could go through. "Well, at least she didn't say that you had a big ass or something."
"I have a big ass?" she exclaimed as she covered her butt.
Christina rolled her eyes at the joke. "Shut up!" she laughed and pushed Ashley through the door.
"So, I hope your day is going as good as mine." Christina said sarcastically as she joined Ashley out in the front courtyard for lunch.
She put down her water and picked up an apple, "My day is going good, isnt yours?"
"First of all, my morning is packed with classes full of dorks and teachers who love to give you work to do on the first day." she paused and took a breath. "Second, I thought you had some of my classes too. Where were you at all morning?"
"I was in the Dean's office this morning while you were typing away on the computer. Seems some classes I took with you suddenly became full at the last minute. She rearranged my schedule and I ended up with one class this morning. I spent most of the time hanging out in the library."
Christina sat with a dissapproving look on her face. "Are you for real?"
"And," she leaned in closer. "I don't have any classes tomorrow until 1."
"I hate you!" Christina exclaimed, throwing down her sandwhich.
"Hey girls" a hot looking prep who they never met before walked over to them.
"Hey" they replied as they stood up straight.
"My name's Jeff." he introduced himself. "I'm guessing you met my friends earlier today?" he turned around and pointed to them sitting at the marble tables.
"So you're the famous Jeff? Quite the stud are we?" Ashley said with a bit of attitude.
"What?" he replied, obviously confused.
"Hi," Christina stood up. "My name is Christina."
Ashley rolled her eyes and looked away. Some of the goths nearby were looking at them as if wanting them for their next sacrifice. "Would you girls like to come over to our table?" Jeff asked quickly, noticing the stare of the goths, too.
"Sure!" Christina exclaimed without hesitation. They packed up their things and moved out of the dark shade into the warm sunshine that surrounded the front walkway.
"Sit here beside me" Haley said to Ashley as she patted the bench.
"Is this your new catch?" Cassie whispered to Jeff as he sat down beside her. He gave her a wink and looked back at Christina.
"So, how was your day Ash?" Haley asked casually as if she was one of them now.
"Uh, it was good. I only had one class this morning so it has been pretty easy so far."
Haley laughed slightly. "We're lucky if we even go to one class during the day." she paused and looked at Miranda. "Don't let our innocent goody two shoes look fool you."
Miranda snickered. "We're not even close to good. Shit, we are worse than the goth's. We don't look as ugly as them but we're just as bad." she and Haley laughed together. Suddenly Ashley felt as if she were like Alice in Wonderland or like Sarah in Labyrinth. She was stuck in a world where nothing is ever what it seemed to be.
"Have you had any interest in sororities?" Haley asked.
"Well, I never really thought about it before."
"Would you like to join Delta Gamma?" Cassie jumped in from across the round table.
Ashley sank back. All eyes were on her as if she was put on the spot. "Um, I dunno?"
"Don't worry, we have a no hazing policy so we wont drag you out of your dorm without your clothes or anything stupid like that." Haley jumped in.
"Yeah, unless we know we wont get caught" Miranda and Cassie laughed.
"Shut up, you guys!" Haley pleaded, hoping they didn't scare Ashley away from being interested.
"I'll join," Christina finally spoke. "That's if I'm allowed?"
Haley stood up and the others followed. "Well, we have to go. Thanks for joining us." Everyone gathered around her. "Meet us at the Gamma House around 8. We'll be waiting for both of you."
Haley and the others walked away and dissappeared quickly, leaving Ashley and Christina alone at the table.
"So, are you going?" Christina broke the silence.
"I might. Not sure yet."
"Ok, well I have to get going." she said while grabbing her books. "I'll catch ya later then!"
"C-ya." she replied as she sat at the table alone.
The rain fell lightly as 7:50 came around. Ashley sat in the dorm lobby, waiting for Christina to show up. The thunder pounded and lightning shot through the sky. The wind blew harder as a light fog started to roll in.
"This weather sucks!" Christina yelled, making Ashley jump away from the door.
"Shit, you scared me!"
"Well, if you wouldn't be so entranced everytime a storm rolls in, you would have heard me coming up behind you." she snapped back while putting on a sweatshirt over her short belly shirt.
"Geez, okay, okay! Let's go before I change my mind!"
"Are we walking in this?" Christina pointed towards the pouring rain.
"Well, its only a block away, isnt it? I'm sure we can make it through the rain. We won't melt."
Christina grumbled under her breath. "Fine."
"Why are you so grumpy today? It's like I can't even talk to you." she turned around. "You were fine this morning."
"I'm sorry," she sighed as they walked out the door. "I've just been trying to do too many things at one time today. I'm getting majorly stressed out."
The rain stopped suddenly as they walked down the sidewalk. "I hear ya." Ashley replied. "My roommate is really strange."
"Your roommate? I've got a goth from hell."
"Nuh uh!" Ashley exclaimed.
"Yeah huh. It sucks. She chants this weird latin shit in the dark. She probably put a spell on me or something and I don't even know it."
"Oh geez!" Ashley replied as they walked up the steps to the Gamma House. Their symbol of an anchor was above the huge white doors of the house. A single dim light hung from the ceiling of the porch roof, illuminating the front of the house with an eerie glow.
Before they could knock, Haley opened the door as if she had been standing there waiting. "Eight sharp? Very prompt." she said bluntly and let them in the house.
They walked into the foyer of the huge house and were led into the living room to sit down. Inside were six other girls they didn't know. Miranda and Cassie stood near the fireplace and the others sat around a coffee table in the center of the room.
"I'm glad you decided to show up, Ash." Haley said to her as she and Christina sat down.
"Ok. So, what do we have to do now?"
"You will find out all in due time. First I want to introduce you to the other sisters." she said while walking around the room. She stood by each girl and introduced them by their first names. "Jess, Liz, Samantha, Amy, Erica and Mandy." she paused. "There are many others but we don't have all night to introduce everyone. You will meet them soon, I'm sure."
"So, does that mean we can be part of Delta Gamma?" Christina asked eagerly.
Haley walked over to another table near the wall and came back with a small brown chest. "You will be joined to Delta Gamma and be given these new member pins." she opened the box which contained small pins that were painted with white enameled shields bearing the Greek letters, Pi Alpha, in gold. "Until your official initiation, you must wear these pins. You will give them back once your are initiated and then you will receive the official badge of the sorority."
"When is the official initiation?" Ashley jumped in as she took the pin.
"It won't be a specific date." Cassie replied. "Only when you prove yourself to be trusting and loyal to your house and sisters is when you will be initiated."
"Who's decision is that to make?" Ashley asked again.
"It is a decision between myself, Cassie and Miranda." she returned the box back on the table. "The other sisters will also be watching you."
The thunder cracked outside making Ashley and Christina jump. The others were still as if they hadn't heard anything. "You should go before it starts to rain." Miranda demanded.
They stood up and walked to the door. Haley, Miranda and Cassie walked behind them and let them out. Ashley and Christina walked down off the porch when it down poured once again. They became drenched instantly.
"We'll see you tomorrow." Haley said as they looked at them and smiled. They were now a part of Delta Gamma and there was no turning back.