“Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories” – Genie (Return Of Jafar)
“Nick you can’t be serious. The Pikas are bad news. Why the hell do you want to pledge their frat?” Brian asked me when I brought it up.
“Please, Brian. Just do it with me….so I have some company. I don’t know what I’m doing and it would be fun.” I said with a pout. If there is one thing I know how to do, it is pout. I’m known for it back home…..it works on Kevin all the time. Just jut out your lip and make the big sad eyes….add in a little lip quiver….gets you whatever you want.
“Not the pout.” he sighed.
Works every time.
So here we are, sitting in a class where we have to learn the history of the frat chapter. I’m bored out of my mind but trying to remember as much as I can before the test. Howie said we are all given a test at the end of the week.
“I don’t know if I can do this.” Brian said as we walked out of the classroom, our heads swimming.
“Toss it here, Jake!”
“Toss it here, Jake!”
There were two kids about my age playing catch nearby….I smiled but I guess I didn’t realize I was tearing up again. I flashed back to a long time ago with my father, playing catch the night before the accident.
“What’s wrong, Nick?” Brian asked. He’s always so nosy. I bet that runs in his family because Kevin is the same way.
“Me and my dad used to do that.” I said, closing my eyes and starting to remember. I’d blocked it out for so long and it was coming back.
I was kind of filled with rage almost instantly, he was just so…..so causal whenever I brought them up.
“At least you HAVE both of them, Brian. I don’t have anyone. Just Kevin.” I snapped, storming away. Brian ran after me this time and I pushed him away when he tried to hug me.
“Nick….Nick, will you listen for Christ’s sake? I know how you feel.” he said, breathing heavily as our feet went in sync with one another.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I don’t have a dad either.”
“I thought you said your dad owned the farm back home?” I asked.
“He is my step father.” Brian said, looking at the ground.
I suddenly felt like the world’s biggest asshole. Here I was sulking and being a prick but Brian…..my roommate Brian didn’t have a dad.
“Wow, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I never met him. I don’t know if he’s even alive or not….my mom just kind of raised me.” he told me as we reached our dorm. I unlocked it and we sat down, talking. I found out Brian’s dad wasn’t even around for him being born. How selfish was I?
I really felt like an asshole.
“Dude, I am so sorry.” I said again, although he told me not to worry about it. He was being really calm, I wished I could be that strong.
“It’s fine. I’m not upset or angry. Your dad was taken from you. I never knew who mine was. I never got to play catch or go fishing, I was raised by my mom and my step dad that she married. I never knew my real father. My step dad owns the farm.” Brian explained.
“Your step dad never played catch?” I wondered.
“No. We were too busy working to have fun like that. I had a lot of chores from when I got home from school until dark, plus early in the morning until I went to school. He never did much with me but milk the cows. I wish I’d had a real dad like you did.”
I really felt like hiding under my bed. We both took a nap and when I woke up, I remembered I had brought my baseball mitt from home. I waited for him to wake up first, he seemed a bit down after our talk earlier.
“Hey, Brian? Want to play for a bit?” I asked. His face really lit up, it made me so happy. We went outside and tossed the ball around for a while, until we got hungry.
“Thanks, Nick.” he said, smiling again as we ate our pizza.
“Don’t mention it. You play pretty good for a farm boy.”
“Okay, okay. I should have told you about my step dad, I know that’s confusing. I never considered him to be my real father, just the guy my mom married. We don’t get along that great unless we are working together.” he said, taking a drink from his soda.
“I understand. I don’t know why….I never thought about the accident much until I came here. I just sort of…blocked it out.” I confessed.
“Maybe part of you wants to remember something.”
“Thought I’d find you two here.”
I looked up and saw Howie standing in front of us. I offered him a seat but he declined.
“What’s up?” Brian asked.
“I was told to give both of you this, and to meet at the house tomorrow night at 6. Don’t be late, AJ hates when things don’t run smoothly.” Howie said before running off. I opened the envelope and a folded up piece of paper fell out, along with a note.
“What is it?”
I looked at it, it looked like we had to go on a scavenger hunt of some kind. I raised my eyebrow at it.
“We are going on a scavenger hunt tomorrow night after classes. It says we are on a team by ourselves, not to tell anyone about the hunt or have help of any kind other than your own teammate.” I read as we got back to the dorm again.
“Does it say what we need to find?” Brian asked, taking it from me. A map of the campus had been included. We already knew where the frat house was but the map would come in handy tomorrow.
“Nope. Just says not to tell anyone and we have to get all the items on the list.” I said.
College was a lot of work, but I wanted so badly to get in this frat….even though Brian didn’t approve. I didn’t care. I guess I just wanted to finally belong somewhere and be a part of something. I’d never been in any kind of group or club before. This was big.
Brian and I went to sleep that night, hoping good things would come tomorrow.