“When I’m with you, I don’t feel so alone.” – Hercules
After the scavenger hunt, I went for a few days without hearing from the Pikas except at the classes. We had to memorize a lot of dates and people that had to do with the frat, it was hard but Brian and I quizzed each other to make sure we knew the information. He still was hesitant about pledging and tried to talk me out of it quite a few times.
“Brian, why are you so against that frat? They’re not bad guys.” I said as we watched tonight’s movie. We were watching Twister. It wasn’t a Disney movie but Brian said we needed a break from Disney and plus, I had a unrequited crush on Helen Hunt.
“Ok, so I have another confession.” Brian told me as the cow went flying across the screen. We were eating Chinese tonight and I set down my container of white rice.
“All right…” I replied.
“Howie and I don’t really get along. We used to be roommates, he lived here before you came along.”
This I was not surprised by. I kind of figured that out already, just by how they interacted during classes. It was super awkward.
“That’s disgusting, Nick.”
I didn’t realize I was slurping my wonton soup and it dribbled down my face, making a wet spot on my favorite Mickey shirt. I grabbed a napkin and started blotting.
“Sorry. So what about Howie?” I asked.
“Howie and I had a falling out because I kind of stole his girlfriend without realizing.” Brian whispered. I raised my eyebrow at this, Brian…..farm boy Brian. The one with a goat on his wall, lived the secret life of a womanizer. I was shocked.
“No, I’m not kidding.” he added after he saw my expression.
“Can you blame me, though?” I retorted, laughing. He rolled his eyes.
“Howie wasn’t in the frat then, and he was dating this girl Marisol. Well, I had classes with her last semester and we started talking. I took her out a few times, had no idea she was his girl because he never brought her back to the room. One night she came back here with me and we were kissing, he walked in and lost it.”
“Yeah, see that dent in the wall by the door?” he added. I looked but didn’t see anything so I got up to check it out. There was an indentation in the wall. Holy shit. Howie didn’t look like he’d hurt a fly, but apparently he had a bad temper from the sounds of things.
“Howie punched the wall and ended up moving out. We haven’t spoken since, because Marisol blamed me. She’s in a sorority….Omega Kappa Delta. She told him I came onto her. Next thing I knew, he was gone and had joined AJ and the Pikas.” Brian explained, taking a bite of his egg roll.
“You don’t think he’s holding a grudge, do you?” I asked. It seemed like Howie was harder on Brian and me during our lessons, we got the brunt of it each time.
“Howie is very vengeful, I know he seems like a nice guy but he can be a douche. Same with any of the Pikas. You can’t trust them.”
I really found this hard to believe, but part of me thought Howie was a bit too nice for my liking. Halloween came up fast and I found myself wishing I was a kid again. I loved dressing up in costume. I had just finished my graphic design class when two of the Pikas were waiting outside. Their Halloween party was the next night, Brian and I had been invited but I wasn’t planning on going. I had a lot of studying to do.
“Hi guys.” I said, waving. They didn’t wave back, they just stood there. It was Brock and Gary, I hadn’t talked to them very much since I started pledging.
“You’re coming with us, Carter.” Brock said. I didn’t like how that sounded….so like a chicken shit I started running. They caught me pretty fast and both carried me off.
“Put me down, why can’t you just tell me where we are going?” I demanded. Gary blindfolded me and after that I felt myself being hit in the head.
“Nick, Nick wake up.”
God damn it, my head hurts. What the fuck?
I opened my eyes and saw Brian. We were locked in some room, but he was wearing a brunette wig. Hold up. A wig?
“Brian what are you wearing?” I asked.
“I don’t know where my clothes are. I woke up like this. You should see yourself.” he snickered. I fully opened my eyes and looked down. I was wearing a pink dress. PINK. And frilly.
Oh hell no.
“Jesus Christ.” I muttered. I was also wearing a blonde wig with pigtails.
“Nick you make a cute girl.” he said, laughing and looking at me awkwardly. I backed away from him. Where the fuck were my clothes?
Suddenly the door opened and it was Howie. He took a look at us and smirked, I wanted to punch him.
“What did you do with my clothes?” I demanded. I was wearing these flats with pink puffballs on them….they were so uncomfortable. How do girls wear this stuff?
“As punishment for being late during the scavenger hunt, you must perform for the brothers at our Halloween party. We’ve chosen your costumes and song already. Break a leg.” Howie said.
“Howie, please don’t do this. Don’t hold what I did against Nick….he didn’t do anything wrong.” Brian begged.
“Should have thought about that before you slept with Marisol.” Howie winked. I looked at Brian….he’d never mentioned sleeping with her. Howie slammed the door and we were left to ourselves. I looked in the mirror and realized the outfit looked familiar.
I was dressed as Baby Spice.
“Brian, how are we gonna perform? I have never sung a single note. I can’t do this. I’m a artist not a singer.” I confessed. I looked again at his outfit, he must be Sporty Spice. His wasn’t too bad, a girls tank top and shorts with sneakers.
“I screwed up big time Nick. We are gonna be humiliated out there and it’s all my fault.” he said, falling to his knees.
“We can make the best of this. I won’t let them think we’re being punished. We have to just put on a smile and act like nothing is wrong.” I told him. I placed a hand on his shoulder and he looked up at me.
“Nick, we don’t sing.”
“You’re right but it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.”
Howie led us out to the backyard. There was a small platform and a karaoke screen, everybody was wearing costumes. They all laughed at us but I strutted like I didn’t care even though I felt humiliated.
AJ was laughing the loudest as he drank his beer.
“Nice get up, Carter. Don’t be a pussy, you can’t back out of this now.” he commented.
“That’s Nikita to you…..and don’t count on it.” I smiled smugly, taking the microphone. Brian was not as into it as I was, I thought he would take off running any minute.
The song that was chosen was Wannabe. I didn’t have the best voice but I still tried to be entertaining. Brian eventually joined in.
Even though the two of us made ugly girls, I think this was the best Halloween ever. I couldn’t wait to tell Kevin all about it at Thanksgiving.