Mandy's Sorority Initiation Ch. 01
The steel door slamming shut echoed down the cinder block hallway as Mandy dove face first into her pillow, tears streaming down her cheeks. About three minutes passed before there was a gentle knock at the door.
Mandy sat up and slowly wiped the tears from her eyes with a stuffed teddy bear and got up to open the door. It was unnecessary; the door creaked open before she got there.
"Is everything OK?"
At the sight of another person, Mandy broke down again in a stream of sobs. It was Kirsten, her roommate. Kirsten glanced around the spartan dorm room, half of which was decorated with homemade signs and banners for Gamma Chi. "The bid party was tonight, wasn't it?"
Mandy nodded and handed her a crumpled up piece of paper that had already been soaked with tears and went right back to the pillow. At least the pillowed drowned out the cries. The letterhead crinkled as she opened it, flattening it out with her hands.
"We regret to inform you," Kirsten read aloud, "that you have not been accepted for this year's Gamma Chi pledge class. Of course, as a legacy, you are entitled and encouraged to apply again next fall. Thank you for your interest in Gamma Chi and we wish you success this year at State University."
"So you didn't get in?" Kirsten asked, looking away from the letter. Kirsten never understood exactly why her roommate was so focused on that sorority. But she hadn't known Mandy that well. They had gone to the same high school but weren't really friends; the random drawn for dorms had thrown them together and when they moved into the room ten days ago, it was probably the first time they had talked in years.
Kirsten wasn't exactly the skater/stoner type that most people thought she was when they saw her long blond bangs, nose ring, and marker-colored Chucks. But she did hang out with them a lot, and smoked a joint every now and then.
Mandy couldn't be more different; in her plaid skirt and sleeveless sweater, she looked every bit like Betty Draper. Kirsten used to joke that Mandy walked right out of the Tommy Hilfiger catalog. It wasn't as funny anymore since half their room looked that way. She didn't mind as long as Mandy didn't complain about her music, or the loser-ish looking boys who stopped by every now and then.
After drifting for a minute, Kirsten refocused. Since they both ended up in a college out of state so far from home, she thought she needed a friend, someone comfortable she knew – and she knew Mandy needed a friend right now, too.
"Sweetie, I'm sorry that you didn't get in." She said quietly. "Those girls are bitches. Maybe you're better off without them?" her voice lilted slightly at the end, unsure if that was the right thing to say. Mandy's sobs had receded to soft sniffles and she sat up, folding her hands neatly in her lap as she looked down.
"You're probably right, K. It's just that pledging Gamma Chi meant so much to me." She jerked her head back slightly, tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder.
"I just don't understand why you'd want to be in a group so badly that didn't want you," Kirsten asked.
"It's not that," Mandy retorted. "My mom pledged Gamma Chi here – so I'm a legacy – and that's why I came to State. I don't know if you knew this – but she met my dad at the spring formal her junior year, and their story was so romantic. I don't know," she paused, "I guess I just wanted the same kind of romantic story for me, and I felt like this is what I needed to do to get it."
"Mandy – is that it? Is it over? I mean, is there some kind of petition or appeals process?" Kirsten was searching for something to say that would help. "I saw they said you could reapply."
"No – that's only their way of trying to be nice to me because of my mom. I knew when I got there today I wasn't getting in. One of the officers pulled me aside and told me about the financial requirements. You know, things have been tough for my dad since the real estate market collapsed, and we haven't done as well as we used to. It was a real stretch for them to send me here. Somehow the sorority knew that – I think one of the girls had seen my financial aid application and that's how they knew. Unless he wins the lottery, I don't think I'm ever getting in."
"Those bitches." Kirsten stood up and started pacing around the rug, Mandy's plaid teddy bear under her arm. "If I didn't know any better, I'd bet that girl is sleeping with someone at the financial aid office. Sure as shit she's not working there," she fumed. "It's still early, let's head over to the Quad and see if we can figure something out."
Nothing came to them that night, or the next night. But two days later, Kirsten was sitting on a bench on the quad looking over the list of clubs to join when a gorgeous and well-built blonde sat down next to her.
"Are you new to campus?" the girl asked, her southern drawl dripping out like honey.
"Yes, I'm a first year. I just moved to town about two weeks ago." Kirsten hated the word freshman, because, well, she wasn't a man.
"Well, welcome then. I see you're looking over the list of groups to join – have you found any?"
"No, not yet. I'm in the creative writing program in the English department and I'm a little worried about my course load," Kirsten responded, looking away and hoping her new "friend" would take the hint.
"I see. Well, you know, they say the best way to make friends in college is to join some groups – have you pledged anywhere? A lot of out-of-state students go Greek when they don' t know anyone at State."
"That's funny," Kirsten looked at the leggy blonde and chuckled. "I'm not the sorority type, and my roommate had a disaster of a rush week at Gammi Chi, so I'm probably not interested." Then she looked down and started writing in her notebook.
"Well, I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope you won't let that experience affect the way you think about us. Not every Greek is the way you've seen in the movies," she responded.
Kirsten looked her over. Her yoga pants and athletic top both concealed and displayed what looked like a perfect body. Her Tiffany bracelet and giant white Kate Spade bag completed the look. "I should have figured you were Greek. Isn't all the pledging over anyway? I thought the bid parties were last week."
"Most of them were, except for us. I'm the rush captain for our sorority, and we're a little," she paused for dramatic effect. "Different from some of the other Greek groups on campus. We're looking for more, how could I say this, nontraditional applicants? Our founders figured out a long time ago that a lot of good girls get left out in the regular Greek process, and wanted a group that was .... Different."
At this, Kirsten stopped scribbling in her notebook and looked back up with a raised eyebrow. This sorority thing still wasn't for her, but maybe this girl had a solution for Mandy. It wasn't Gamma Chi, but it was something.
The girl could see the wheels turning in Kirsten's head. She stuck out her hand, which held a pink piece of paper.
"My name's Madison, it's nice to meet you. Here's a flyer on an informational meeting for our sorority. It's on Saturday night at our house." She flipped over the paper and wrote Madison and her phone number. "I do hope that you and your roommate will come by. What was your name again?"
"I hadn't given it to you. It's Kirsten – that's Kirsten, not Kristen," she replied, still considering the idea.
"Well, Kirsten," she said, giving her a knowing wink as she said her name, "I'm sensing that it might not be for you – which is OK – but I hope you come for, what was your roommate's name?"
"Yes, for Mandy. If she applies, she'll need a character reference – and I'm assuming she doesn't know very many people at this university, either."
"No she doesn't," Kirsten softly replied back, having let her guard down once she realized the pitch was not to her. Madison handed the flyer to her again.
"My name and digits are on the back – text me if you need anything!" Madison shouted as she walked away.
Kirsten looked down at the flyer to read it: "Lambda Epsilon Zeta – sorority open house. All are welcome! Saturday at 7 pm." Although she had kind of a weird feeling in the pit of her stomach, she couldn't place it, so she ignored it. She folded the flyer up and stuffed it in her pocket as she grabbed her messenger bag and stood up to walk away. This sorority thing may not have been her cup of tea, but after four nights of listening to Mandy cry herself to sleep, she was ready to try anything to get her over it. She started thinking about how she was going to convince Mandy to go. After all, Madison did look like her type.