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I, Fraternity: A Novel in Progress: Chapter1
Eta Iota Mu Fraternity House
Author's Note: The following excerpt for my novel is entirely fictional. Any like occurrence to similar or actual events in purely coincidental as the people, places and objects in this story were manufactured solely by the imagination of the author of this work. Now that I got that out of the way, I want to say a little bit about this novel that I have been working on. I am dedicating this novel to my proud brothers of my beloved fraternity, because without their Light and Guidance, this novel would have never come to be. It is my belief that Brotherhood is earned and is not a privilege. Many view Fraternities in negative light, due to its less than serious portrayal as viewed by the mass media. It is my hope that this novel will shed some light on such an unknown subject as Greek Lettered societies in college as they have, I believe, to be viewed negatively and have gotten notoriety as a ridiculous frivolity or distraction within the collegiate ranks. I hope that I can change the view of at least one person and so with that, accomplish my goal.
I am one of many, I thought while sitting upright in meditative silence. Though I try, I cannot hear what is going on around me and cannot see because my eyes are completely covered by a blue bandana. There are no smells that I recognize and as far as my ability to feel, there is an occasional draft coming almost directly behind me every so often during the entire course of the night. Someone was going out and coming back in now and again. And what is this night anyway? Is this the end or the beginning? I wasn’t sure. The wooden chair I was sitting on creaked as I shifted a bit as I attempted to gather my thoughts. I crossed my arms and thought about this some more. This is what is must be like when you die, I thought. Or when you are about to be born…
“It’s the same shit!” Brother Ian said while somewhere behind the wall of the room I was in. In the past few weeks, his voice has been the most recognizable.
“Keep it down, huh? Of all nights, this isn’t the time,” Brother Jacob said to him. “Look, you just have to deal with it for now, okay?” There was a pause. “So, are you ready? Good, then let’s get this over with.”
I listened on. Their footsteps followed them away from where I was sitting. First they were loud and then grew faint, finally fading away into another unknown room. After a time I stretched, taking in a deep breath. My many thoughts led me to solace, to Anna. I envisioned her in her dorm, sitting down in front of her mirror while putting on eyeliner. She wore a sheik robe of like colors of her sorority, of green and white. She smelled wonderful, like a flower garden in spring after a sun shower. I came to her secretly with the intention of getting in a quick nap and much needed rest before meeting up with my pledge brothers. She shrugs back her hair to work on her other eye, the eyeliner in hand and then focuses her eyes on me, in the reflection of the mirror. I am smiling at her. She smiles back then shakes her head at me. Without her, I would not have gotten this far into the program. Over the past few weeks, she has fed me whenever I forgot to eat, washed my clothes when I couldn’t spare the time and shared her bed with me. I didn’t know why. Her generosity was a complete mystery to me.
“Am I keeping you up?” She asked me, going back to applying mascara to her lashes.
“Yes, you are,” I said to her, still smiling. My arms were crossed underneath my head like a pillow. “But I’m not complaining…I like the fact that you do.”
“Yeah, you like looking at me, don’t you?” She continued smiling while swapping glances between herself and me. I chose my words carefully.
“What do you think?” I said with bold sarcasm. She was now putting on lipstick-pencil thing, coloring inside the lines of her naturally-swollen lips.
“Why don’t you take a nap? You look so tired.” I was tired, but seeing her excited me. I felt myself fill with energy just being around her. I knew that I should take full advantage of her kindness and get some rest. But there was this fear...It was a combination of two things—getting somehow caught by one of my brothers in the act of sleeping when I wasn’t supposed to and missing out on the opportunity of spending my waking hours with Anna which, were few and far between. Every minute counts. Pledging my fraternity made me aware of the precious time I do have during the course of my everyday. Spending time with her was something magical and special, I guess you could say. Much the same could be said about how she and I met one day while walking towards Elmira Hall on my way to History with Professor Virgil. I felt a sudden attraction when seeing her for the first time and every time there after. Her chestnut hair was long with streaks of blonde, splashing over the shoulders and hood of her green and white sorority jacket. She had an olive complexion in which I bet was smooth to touch and her eyes were green, much like that of her jacket that looked straight ahead. I damn near collided with a stray pedestrian while checking her out on the crowded concourse. I knew that I had to meet her, had to at least get her name and soon. In my head, I made a conscious effort to scribble down the time and day in which I saw her so I would continue seeing her albeit on a schedule. On the second and third time spotting her, I smiled at her and she smiled back. After a little time, a little luck, and some testicular fortitude, I forced myself to walk up to her. I looked straight into those Mediterranean eyes. Break the ice, do it now I thought.
“Hi,” I said to her.
“Hi,” she replied. “Are you pledging Etas?” It was comical. I looked down to see right above my heart my pledge pin as if it were an insect that had chanced landed on me. I didn’t have to break the ice after all. She broke it for me. God bless her. I smiled.
“Yeah, you can tell huh?”
“Are you kidding? You guys stick out a sore thumb.” She was right. We wore white dress shirts with ties, backpacks worn with both shoulder straps and blue jeans. It took a sorority sister to tell me that I was a walking billboard for the brothers of Eta Iota Mu. “So, how’s it going so far?”
“It’s fun.” She laughed. I made her laugh.
“Do you know what you are getting yourself into?” I had to think about this one. I shook my head.
“No, I don’t. I have no clue.” And I didn’t. It was a totally new experience for me, an unknown. Still, she smiled. There was a lot going on behind that smile. My eyes trailed to her jacket in which the Jessica was stitched upon it, right above her heart. I assumed that that was in fact her name. “So, your name’s Jessica?” She shook her head.
“No, everyone that doesn’t know me thinks that. This jacket was passed down to me from my big sister in my sorority. Before her, it belonged to my big-big, Jessica. When you cross, you’ll get a jacket too from you big brother…By the way, my real name is Anna.” I was told to not offer my hand to a woman upon meeting her by the Brothers but instead, to wait for it to be offered to me. I did and she did—offer her hand to me—which I of course accepted.
“Jason,” I said to her. “My name is Jason.” We shook hands and made eye contact.
“I know,” she replied, “I’ve known you and not just from here.” She had me. I was speechless, searching her face through the aisles of my memory. Where would I know her from? I thought. “Think back. Imagine me…Heavier and shorter. Not to mention I had a bit of an acne problem.” Shit, she could be anyone. Seriously, didn’t we all have acne back in high school? I shook my head.
“Sorry, I’m coming up empty.”
“Do you remember Anna Johnson?” I did. It took a moment. I went to school with her growing up back home, from kindergarten all the way up to twelfth grade. A real quiet type, very shy, didn’t talk to anyone really. I use to make her laugh to cheer her up because she always seemed so sad.
“Well, she and I were really good friends. We still are.” Wow, so I’m looking for a pair of Annas and couldn’t get one-half of them to appear. I was more stumped than I was before. She really could be anyone from my past. I take it she wasn’t exactly popular, else I would know her. I played varsity football so I was automatically in the high school limelight, regardless if I chose to be or not.
“I’m sorry, I don’t remember.”
“It’s okay. I’ve changed a lot—that’s what people tell me—as if I became a different person overnight.” I thought about this. I’ve got a girl, who was, back in the day, overweight, with acne, and short. I played with this idea and wondered if she was joking with me, although her face said otherwise: I was once a victim. “You know, your locker was seven lockers down from my locker…Once, you asked me for a pen because you lost yours. You were on your way to history class. Other than that, you never looked at me once.” Do you want me to say I’m sorry? I mean…Shit, had I known you were going to turn into a bombshell I would have asked you for more than a friggin’ PEN! I would have asked you for
“My number…” I gave her a suspicious look, my eyes widening.
“WHAT?” I damn near fell to the floor.
“My locker number was 1733 and yours was 1726 right?”
“I think so. But how in the world do you remember that? Who remembers something like that?” My God, what we have here is a nerd trapped inside a supermodel’s body. She might be a swan now but always had the brains of Isaac Newton. She was like Wonder Woman or something. I was sure of it. She giggled.
“I don’t know…I’m embarrassing myself right now. I usually am not this open to people. So on that note, I have to get to class.” Without realizing it at that moment, I just had a conversation with a perfect 10 for the first time in my life and she’s a dork. Wait just a goddamn minute,”I almost said out loud.
“Will I see you again?” I said. She was already three steps away from our conversation. She then reached into her purse and got out a pen. She bit down on the tip and uncapped it and then began scribbling something onto a piece of paper which she handed to me.
“Here’s my number. Call me sometime when you’re not so busy…” She then did something that made my heart sing: She winked at me. Maybe I’m just plain nuts, but how many girls in the world wink? I played it cool. Fuckin’ stay cool, all right? I thought, fighting to control myself.
“I will,” I said. I didn’t even have to ask her for her number. She offered it to me…I went over to talk to her and she totally dominated the conversation, giving me no chance to screw it up. I looked down at Anna’s scribbled number upon a torn piece of paper. To me, it may very well have been a treasure map for Cortez’ Gold. My heart was racing and my hands were trembling. I watched her walk away admiring her every step, especially the way in which it made her long mane bounce up and down as if on springs. When she turned around to see if I was watching her, she waved at me and I waved back. She was smiling and so was I. And that was how Anna and I first met for the first time in memory.
The Next Chapters in I, Fraternity
- I, Fraternity: A Novel In Progress: Chapter2
I remember surveying the field of several fraternities and groups in which to play flag football for. Before joining the Etas, I wasnt looking for Brotherhood, at least not consciously. I wanted only to...
- I, Fraternity: A Novel In Progress: Chapter3
At the first Eta Rush, was a banner advertising you to Rush Eta Iota Mu. Some refreshments covered one long table. One half was cold appetizers like a cheese and fruit platter and chips and on the other...
- I, Fraternity: A Novel In Progress: Chapter5
As Mattie and I stood on the porch drinking, about another dozen Rushees began making their way towards the house. I recognized some of them from the three other rushes but was never...
- I, Fraternity: A Novel In Progress: Chapter4
Eric wasnt the only Eta that ignored me. I saw Ian a few times on campus either leaving or entering the Student Association building, saw Justin at the food court at Taco Bell, John in the library, George...
- I, Fraternity: A Novel In Progress: Chapter6
Because if you think pledging is tough now, wait until tonight when your new pledge program begins. Its going to make the last seven weeks seem like a walk on the beach. You better believe that Im...