Home > On A Tuesday(3)

On A Tuesday(3)
Author: Whitney G.

As I was watching a child run across the street with a balloon, I felt my phone buzzing against my pocket. A phone call from my best friend, Nadira.

“Hello?” I answered, whispering.

“Hey! Where are you?”

“I’m at the Honors College with my advisor. Can I call you back?”

“This will only take five seconds,” she said. “I just want to make sure that you’re coming to the ice cream social later tonight.”

“I can’t. Tonight’s the night we’re throwing the welcome party for our dorm, remember?”

“No, no, no. We are not throwing anything. We're setting up the snacks, and then we are going to the ice cream social because no one ever comes to university-sponsored dorm parties, Charlotte. You know this."

“People will come because I’m hosting,” I said. “I hand-made the invitations and I even painted a new banner.”

“Jesus." She groaned. "Look, I'm your best friend and your co-RA, and even I'm not going. I told you that last week."

“You told me it was because you had a date.”

“I lied.” She laughed. "I'm not taking no for an answer on this. It's your senior year, and you're finally going to enjoy the social part of college. You're partying every weekend, going to at least four football games with me, and in addition to all the random and reckless shit you'll never get the chance to do again in your life, you're going to this ice cream social tonight."

“The only point of going to the ice cream social is to stare at the football players while they take their shirts off and run around the lawn.”

“Okay, and? I’ll see you there.” She ended the call, and I sent her a text message.

ME: I’ll go, but I’m only staying for thirty minutes. (Are we really starting our senior year off like this? O_o)

NADIRA: You’re staying the whole time. (What better way to start the year than seeing Grayson Connors with his shirt off? :-) ) #GoPanthersGO

I rolled my eyes, not even bothering to respond to that.

"You can come back into my office now, Charlotte!" Mr. Henderson called my name a few minutes later, and I returned to his office, handing him his coffee before taking a seat.

"I made a few calls around, and you're in luck." He slid a sheet of paper toward me. "The dean is going to allow you to earn those credits over the next two semesters via a peer-tutoring program."

“So, it’s like another job?”

"A super easy job," he said. "You'll only have to tutor someone once a week. You'll do it on your own schedule, —and you’ll receive credit for doing so. I personally think this is a pretty sweet alternative to taking two ethics courses. This coffee is a bit tart, by the way. You should probably remake me a cup on your way out later.”

Please let there be a space in hell for him. “The tutoring thing would be ‘pretty sweet’ if I wasn’t worried about getting a good score on the LSAT.”

“You’re joking, right?” He laughed. “You almost made a perfect score on your first try. Getting a few extra points on it won’t change the fact that you can get into any law school you want.” He leaned back in his chair. “Besides, once the dean realized I was talking about you, he insisted that we come up with something simple so you could try to enjoy your senior year. You’ll be fine.”

Right ... “Well, which subject will I need to tutor?”

“English Literature,” he said, handing me another sheet. “I’ll call the dean again to make sure I’m not missing anything, but I’ll forward you more information later this week so you can go ahead and set up a meeting time with the other student.”

“Thank you, Mr. Henderson.”

“You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

“Not at all.” I stood to my feet.

“Okay, great! Well, if you wouldn’t mind remaking my coffee before you—”

I left his office before he could finish that sentence, heading straight for the elevators. The second the doors glided open, I stepped inside and punched the button for the ground floor.

The only other things I needed to do this afternoon were buy a new set of paint brushes and attempt to get through the rest of the day without hearing the words, “Go, Panthers! Go!”

The elevator stopped on the second floor, and a group of girls piled on with bouquets of blue and gold balloons.

“Hey, there!” One of them handed me a balloon. “Go, Panthers! Go!”

I sighed. “Thank you.”

“No, no, no! You’re supposed to say, ‘Go, Panthers! Go!’ right back to me!” She smiled.

I blinked.

“Go, Panthers! Go!” She repeated it, as if that would make me say it. “Go, Panthers! Go!”

Then, like the contagious virus that school spirit was, the rest of the girls in the elevator began chanting the words louder and louder.

The elevator doors sprung open at the lobby level and I quickly stepped off, finding myself in a glittering sea of blue and gold decorations. Every column, counter, and wall was draped in Pitt’s trademark colors, primed and ready for the number one thing that everyone cared about this time of year: Football.

Saturdays were game days, and every other day of the week was simply a warm up to game-day. The frenzy was established right before my freshman year, right when they landed a cocky, high school phenom named Grayson Connors. A phenom who’d now led them to three national titles in a row, and made it so that the football team was all there was to talk about in this city.

Well, it was for everyone except me. Even though I loved the game of football itself, I avoided their games like the plague—giving up my discounted season passes to my mom and dad instead. I never went to their larger than life parties and I did my best not to buy into the hype. My Saturdays were reserved for art, coffee, and endless reruns of Friends.

And regardless of what Nadira said, I was going to make sure that most of my Saturdays this year were spent the exact same way.

 

 

LATER THAT NIGHT, I took my time walking to the student union for the ice cream social. It only took my freshman year to realize that this was the first place where upperclassmen preyed upon the freshmen girls, and my sophomore year to realize that it was best attended in transit: Grab the ice cream, say hello to the people I know, leave. As long as I was gone before the football players arrived to take off their shirts and challenge each other to chug the remaining vats of ice cream, I was in the clear.

“Charlotte!” Nadira waved at me from the line. “Over here!”

I cut in front of a few people, ignoring their groans, and she handed me a cup of cherry ice cream.

“Well, don’t you look stunning today.” She smiled and tugged at my bright blue summer dress. “I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. You don’t deserve your fashion sense. It’s just not fair.”

“Thank you.” I laughed. “I was checking our final dorm numbers earlier and there are going to be twenty more freshmen on our floor this year. That’s a good thing, right?”

“That’s a terrible thing,” she said. “That means more rooms to check for random alcohol violations and more guys sneaking up to our floor after hours. On the plus side, since the room next to us is going to remain empty, whenever I need to get laid, it’ll be nice to have a room to use instead of asking you to leave.”

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