“Bad things happen, and you can’t do anything about it, right? So why worry?” – Simba (Lion King)
Brian sat up when I walked into the dorm, still in the maid’s outfit. I was so pissed from what happened that I forgot to change my clothes….luckily nobody had seen me walking back.
“Nick?” he said, raising his eyebrow. I stormed into the bathroom, slammed the door and threw my clothes on the counter before sitting down on the toilet. I was breathing heavily and I wanted to cry, but once again pride held me back. I never liked to cry in front of people and I wasn’t about to start looking like a pussy. Kevin had always taught me not to show my emotions to anyone, that it was a sign of weakness. I wasn’t weak.
“Are you okay?” Brian’s voice asked from behind the door. I ignored him, undressing with shaky hands before turning on the hot water in our shower. Eventually he walked away. I sat under the hot water, just letting it roll across the curve of my spine. I felt so stupid, letting Howie do that to me….letting him humiliate me like that. I was a ball of emotions all at once, I wanted to punch something.
I got out of the shower and Brian was still up, looked like he was waiting for me but I didn’t talk to him. I walked out in a T-shirt and my boxers, the ones with Goofy on them.
“Are you okay?” he asked again, but I got into bed and threw my blanket over my head, sighing. I wasn’t in the mood.
I turned on my side and ignored him, before falling asleep for the night. Maybe if I stayed here long enough everyone and everything would just disappear…at least I hope that it would.
The next morning I woke up and Brian had gone to classes already. I stayed in bed, debating on going myself. I hadn’t missed a single class yet….and I wasn’t about to start now. I got up and took a breath before leaving the dorm, heading off to graphic design. The day went surprisingly well, but I was alone for most of the day. I saw some of the Pikas around campus but none of them seemed to be bothered with me after yesterday.
“Hey, Sheriff.” I said when I got back to the dorm that night. Brian looked surprised that I was talking to him as I set my books down.
“Hi.” he said over his Farmer’s Almanac. Wait….he reads that for fun? You gotta be shitting me.
“Brian, we aren’t on the farm right now,” I joked. He looked as if he realized what he’d been reading and we both laughed.
“Nick….you think we could go see that movie tonight instead? I know I was looking forward to it.” he asked…but I wasn’t in the mood. I didn’t really answer but I flopped down on the bed and sighed.
“I’m surprised you still want to hang out with a loser like me.” I said, sounding very un-Nick like.
“You’re not a loser. Why would I think that?” he drawled.
“Apparently hanging out with you makes me one.” I said in the nicest way possible. His smile fell after that and I sat up.
“I’ve heard this….but coming from you-”
“No….Brian. I wasn’t saying you were a loser. Yesterday when you were studying I took a walk and ran into Howie. He started telling me a bunch of stuff and i ended up going to the frat house.” I explained.
“You blew me off to go hang with them?” Brian asked, looking even more hurt. I once again felt like the world’s biggest asshole.
“Brian, it wasn’t my choice. I went to go see AJ because according to Howie our dads were in Phi Kappa Alpha together. I thought maybe he would know something, but it turns out AJ is a pussy. Howie does all his dirty work….and I should have listened to you. Instead of talking I had to clean that whole fucking frat.” I explained. I spilled everything, about the maid outfit, the dog shit…..them throwing things…everything came out.
“Howie also wanted me to shave your head while you were sleeping.” I confessed, not looking him in the eye.
“That asshole. Nick, I never wanted you to get involved in my feud with Howie and the Pikas..I’m so sorry they did all that to you.” Brian said. He honestly didn’t have to apologize, I did it to myself without even trying really.
Sometimes I think i don’t deserve to have friends, I almost ditched the one friend I have for a bunch of guys that only liked me because of who my dad was.
“It just really pisses me off that Howie used your dad to get you to join.” he continued, looking pissed off. I’d never seen Brian get really mad before, but he was pretty heated.
“Don’t worry about it.” I told him. I stayed to the dorm that night and I was about to fall asleep when Brian came running in looking angry again. He was holding a paper in his hand.
He threw the paper down and was cursing under his breath so I picked it up. My eyes went wide at the advertisement for housekeeping services…..and there was a picture of me. Me cleaning a bathroom in the fucking french maid outfit.
“WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS???” I yelled, shaking him.
“On the bulletin board at the student center…..” Brian said. I threw the paper down. The frat brothers must have Xeroxed the polaroids and made this out of them. I knew Howie had threatened to make my life hell….but was this necessary?
“I can’t leave the dorm again,” I said, throwing myself onto the bed and putting the pillow over myself, as if I were going to cut off air circulation. At this point that would be fine with me.
“Hakuna Matata, Nick.” Brian said suddenly, and I peeked out of the pillow….stunned he was quoting a Disney movie.
“Hakuna Matata?” I asked.
“No worries….don’t let those assholes get to you. We aren’t gonna let them think they won, remember?”
“But they did.” I pouted. I heard him walk over and pick up the pillow, smiling at me. I was feeling lower than low, I didn’t want to show my face anywhere.
“Bad things happen….and there’s nothing you can do about it. So why worry?” he quoted. I hated to admit it, but he was right.
“Let’s go have some pizza and forget all about this, okay Nick? How does that sound?” he offered. Brian usually didn’t sound so confident, it was like we switched personalities. I decided to follow him to the pizza place anyway, looking over my shoulder to make sure nobody was laughing behind my back.
“Look who it is.”
I almost crawled under the booth but I knew I wouldn’t fit. Brian grabbed my shirt to stop me from hiding. I looked up and Howie was standing in front of us, smirking at me.
“What the hell do you want?” Brian snapped. He stood up and the two were as tall as each other, I can’t believe how short Howie is compared to me. How could I let this little midget intimidate me?
“I saw Disney’s advertisement today and I wanted to let him know we have some more toilets that need cleaning.” Howie said with a wink. I was filled with so much rage then that I stood up and punched him square in the face. He hit me back and we were soon involved in a scuffle….Brian had to pull me off of him. Howie came at me again but Gary held him back.
“Stay away from me. If you come near me or Brian again….” I growled as I wiped blood off my lip. Howie and the others left and Brian took me back to the dorm to clean up. It felt good to stand up for myself….but part of me was looking forward to christmas break so I didn’t have to deal with these stupid college kids.
I just hoped that was the last I’d see of Howie and the Pikas.