Wednesday, December 10, 2014


My brain is mush. These finals are killing me. I’ve got one left. One measly final. Art History. I am ready to rock this thing. And take copious naps afterwards. Ree and I rented a study room together, it’s got couches, bean bags, computers, a tv, it’s pretty awesome. And we’ve been practically living in this thing for the past two weeks. However, it’s been a double edged sword, because it doesn’t have cell phone service. Thank God for iMessages, but my mom thinks I’m avoiding her calls.

But, Reagan (hottie intern) has been texting me pretty regularly. Which doesn’t suck. He goes to the other college in town. He is a junior. He’s a marketing major. He’s so funny. And he texts me every morning. Which kind of makes me melt. He and I have FaceTime’d a few times, and Fran didn’t lie. The boy is attractive.

We’ve made plans to get dinner the day after tomorrow. He’s already done with all his finals, but he’s hanging out to finish his internship. And the day after tomorrow is his final day with Fran. He says they really get along, and she’s asked him to come back next semester. So, he must be smart. Which I kind of assumed, since he has such good grammar when we text. I judge stuff like that...


After my last final, I crashed. Hard. And the next day, I basically did everything a girl would do, get a pedicure, manicure, blow out, do fun makeup. Luckily, Ree was totally on the ball about this, and was ready to help me out. She and I just had a fun girls day to celebrate being done with school! She was going to Chet’s family’s house the day after Christmas, and she is going skiing with them the following day until it’s time for her to come back to campus. I just still can’t really grasp this whole Chet thing. He’s just too hot and cold for me. Like even now, that they’re truly together, he still will fall off the planet for days at a time. She says she doesn’t mind because it gives her time to do what she needs to, but like, I’d at least like to know you’re thinking about me. Geez!

Reagan offered to pick me up at my dorm, which I thought was very sweet. It’s hard to find a guy who will not just say “meet me here” when you’re on a first date.  I was totally a mess when he text me that he was turning on to campus. He called shortly after, and I gave him directions to my door. He told me when he was outside. I made my way outside, totally a wreck. And there he was. Standing outside his car in some very handsome dark wash jeans, an oxford shirt, and saddle oxford shoes. He looked good. I suddenly worried my skinny jeans, riding boots, and chunky sweater weren’t enough.

He walked up to me confidently. “You look fantastic, Kathleen!” He kissed my cheek, and hugged me.

I blushed like a fool, thank God it was kind of dark. “Thank you! You look very handsome. Thanks for picking me up.”

He was ushering me around to the passenger door. “Of course! Thank you for making time for me. I knew your last few days have been a mess.”

We settled into the ride quietly. It was weird sitting with someone that I spoke to so regularly, having never seen him. Oh my goodness, though. Total. Gentleman. As we began driving, he headed past downtown, and to Highlands. I began to freak. Highlands, while home to mostly underemployed youths, it home to also some fancy restaurants, such as Highlands Grill and Botega. We were not at a Botega date yet. At all! Luckily, he pulled into Taj Inda. A rather casual Indian place that I love! Mainly because I could eat naan all day every day.

“I love Taj!” I squealed.

“A little Frannie may have mentioned your deep seeded love of naan. And hammered copper cups.” He winked. Oh gosh. The wink. This was gonna be a good night folks. Good! Night!

Taj India is not a large place. So any place we were to sit was going to be intimate. We were settled into a two person table in the back corner. We settled in and ordered drinks.

“You did well, Reagan.” He laughed. I suddenly felt insecure and gave a weird face. This only made him laugh more.

“I only get called Reagan at work or when I’m in trouble. My friends call me Rea.”

I felt better, but quickly corrected him. “My best friends is Ree. You can’t be Rea. We’re gonna have to change your name.” I quipped.

He laughed. “How about this, you can call me Sexy.”  We both bust out in laughter.

Dinner went on without a hitch. Honestly, it was like we had known each other for years. I am normally painfully awkward on first dates. And granted, I had moments, like when I couldn’t feel out if he was being sarcastic or not. But honestly, it wasn’t hard at all. We just meshed. It was nice.

After dinner, he asked if I wanted dessert. “Oh boy, I could always eat dessert.”

“Okay, we’ll go to Steel City Pops. Want to go to the Summit or Homewood?”

“NO!” I squealed. “That’s too far away! Let’s just go into the Western, get some goodies and hang out.”

He laughed. “I don’t mind. It gives me an excuse to keep you captive longer.”

“Please! I really want Little Debbie cakes...” I made puppy dog eyes.

“Well, with a face like that.” He pulled me in for a hug. “Come on, let’s get you a Zebra Cake, and we can watch a movie at my apartment.” My eyes kind of popped out of my head. Was I read for this? Luckily, he read my fear. “It’s okay. Both my roommates are already home for the break. No pressure from the peanut gallery.” Oh, he read that concern wrong...

I nodded, and was suddenly headed towards his downtown newly renovated loft complex. Oh goodness.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Good distraction

God Bless Uncle Wayne. I know I’ve told y’all before that he is a bit of a yes man. That’s always been the case. Mary wears the pants in their house. It’s just how it is. He’s the sweetest, most pleasant, kindest man. And he found the pushiest, most overbearing, most outgoing woman to marry. Together they make this loveable pair that you can’t help but fawn over. And they created three gorgeous children. They’re really the best.

But, occasionally Uncle Wayne gets to the bottom of the whiskey handle, and we all reap the benefits. The man is like a man possessed when he is drunk. And it’s very rare. But it happens. He is a riot. He will mock Mary’s obsession with Beta. He will make fun of the fact that Ginny can’t keep her hair the same style or color for more than a week. She has an identity crisis, because Mary wouldn’t let her be herself until 23, he says. Ha! However, the real fun started when he went in on Vince, in front of his new lady. Jessa. Poor, beautiful, charmed Jessa. Jessa’s father is a finance director for a large manufacturing plant. Vince does something with oil. And Wayne looked at Vince intently.  “Son, she’s awfully pretty. You’re gonna need a raise to keep her. She’s the kind you have to beg to stay. She’ll find someone better. Someone not as annoying. You better mind your manners on this one!”

Jessa about fell out of her chair. Luckily, she found this whole thing hilarious and endearing. Thank god! My dad was trying to shut Wayne up, by talking football. It didn’t help a bit. He just kept right on. Mary, who was too busy telling me about what she had cooked up for spring recruitment practices, did not seem to mind at all. She was totally oblivious when Wayne went on his tirades. I’m wondering if it is not by design.

After dinner, Vince came over to talk to me, since Fran and Ginny had Jessa cornered. “I wonder what kind of third degree the poor girl is getting over there?” He nodded his head in the girls direction.

“Probably something along the lines of, ‘get out now. He’s nuts. And he is a terrible shot.’” Fran and Ginny always give Vince a hard time because he’s an awful marksman. Most of my family, myself included, is a decent shot. Vince couldn’t hit the wide side of a barn. I don’t care much for guns or hunting, so I don’t mind that he’s not the best shot. But his sisters do not let him live it down.

“Look, I am good looking. I can’t help it I don’t have all the makings for a genetic jackpot.”

I laughed. “We will try to be a little easier on you.”

“So, how’s the semester rounding out? You’re about to start finals, how’s that going?”

I kind of chuckled. “I’ve been spending a lot of time in the library. I hope I’m ready. I’m lucky that I’ve suddenly got a lot of free time to focus.”

He sighed. “Kid, things will get better. You’ll find someone else. Sometimes these things aren’t meant to happen.”

“I suppose. I just wish I could tell him I’m sorry.”

“He knows.” He hugged me. “But, on a more serious note. Fran has this intern. He’s twenty. And Fran and Ginny think he’s attractive. And he may have seen your picture on her desk, and said you were cute.”

I blushed. “No this did not happen!”

“Yes! I was on the phone, on speaker, when he said it. He didn’t realize I was on the line. I laughed and then he got embarrassed and apparently ran out.”

“Someone finding me attractive is funny?”

“Well, you are kind of goofy looking, kid. It’s not like you didn’t already know.” He punched at my shoulder.

After that, Jessa came over and told Vince she was ready for bed. They went up to bed, and Fran and Ginny joined me, as I picked at the cake we’d made.

“So, tell me about this intern who is in love with me.” I laughed at Fran.

“Vince would tell you that! He’s such a guy.”

“I just thought it was a bit offensive that he laughed!”

Ginny looked confused, so Fran filled her in. “Oh my gosh! Fran! Give him her number!”

“You mind?” Fran asked.

“Sure. Why not? I could always use a good distraction.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let the Crazy Show

Sometimes, thing seem easier in your mind than they are in practice, like going to Theta. That seemed easy enough in my cute little head. When the rest of my body joined-chaos.

Gwen and Yvonne were still out, so Harriett came rushing from Chet’s fraternity house to get me. She looked at me with sad, big, eyes. “Do you want to stay out or go in?”

“I am determined to have fun. Take me to Chet!” I was trying to muster as much fake enthusiasm as I could. I knew this was pleasing Ree, so I tried my damnedest to be into this.

When we walked in, Chet was sitting with two of his buddies on a couch. It looked like they were playing some card game. Ree coughed loudly to get the boys attention.

With that, the stood up and offered up their seats. Chet introduced his two friends, Will and Willie. That won’t be confusing. God bless the WASPs and their undying love to such a limited selection of names. And after the introductions, the boys quickly dealt us into their game, which I still don’t understand. Shockingly, I lost terribly both the rounds I played. Thus, I got hammered. Like stumble home drunk hammered.

Ree sweetly took me to bed, and I woke up with a hangover to rival all hangovers. I hadn’t drank much in several weeks. I’d been too afraid. I’m a drunk crier when I’m upset. Oh gosh. I had cried. To Rich. This would certainly get back to Mark when he returned. Oh Lord, I can only imagine. “Dude, that girl lost it. She must be bananas over you.” I can just hear it now.

This just amplified my hangover, and I started to cry more. When does this end? I finally went back to bed, hoping that would be the end of that.

I woke up a few hours later. I put myself together and went to the library. I had some finishing touches to put on my papers, and some serious studying to log before I left for break.

Thanksgiving, we were staying in Birmingham. It was Mary’s year to host the family. Mom and Dad were staying at the Embassy Suite, and I was staying with Ginny at her apartment. Fran, Ginny and I were going to make a cake. It was kind of a tradition. Every year we all got together and made the dessert for Thanksgiving. One year we got really ambitious and made a homemade cheese cake. We will never do that again.

Also, Franny and Ginny’s brother Vince was bringing home his girlfriend for the first time. He lived out in Texas somewhere, so we don’t see him often. But he is pretty smitten with this girl. It’s really adorable. He’s never been like this. I kind of think she’s it. If they had been dating more than 4 months, I might think he would propose.  But it’s too soon. He always said you have to make the girl wait at least 18 months. He said after a year, they’ll start to let their crazy show. And that gives you time to flesh out if you like their crazy enough to stick it out.

As I thought about this, I reflected on myself. I let my crazy show pretty early, I’d say. 3-4 months, I was already well on the crazy train. And at this rate, I wasn’t leaving anytime soon. I’d always prized myself in being collected. My high school friends used to mention how uncomplicated I was. I think that was just my lack of passion, looking back. I didn’t really like much about high school. I didn’t like my classes, I didn’t care about my hometown much, I didn’t really care one way or another about Kenny. I didn’t have anything to act crazy about, because I wasn’t crazy over anything. I just was.

I guess I’m glad I found something to be crazy about. But now, I needed to focus that energy into something more worthwhile. Like my studies. And finishing my application to be Beta Nu Philanthropy chair. Slate was going to pick the potential officers the week after we got back from Thanksgiving. Mom and Fran had both been philanthropy chair, they said it’s a good starting position. You get to meet everyone and become fully immersed in it. Which is what I need. Immersion. Diversion. All the –versions.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Progress, or something like it.

School really picks up around Thanksgiving. I’ve got three papers, two take home exams and one practical until Thanksgiving break. Luckily, we’ve got the entire week off for Thanksgiving, I’ve got a big week of plans with my friends from high school scheduled. Family stuff will start Thursday, and then I’m coming back to campus Saturday night, so I can spend all day Sunday hammering away at my school work.

Leslie stopped by my room earlier in the week. She said her dad is making strides every day. He’s even returned to work part time. They hope he’ll be full steam by the new year. She’s clearly hurting. I can see it in her eyes. I can also tell she’s not telling me anything. Mostly from my asking. She started to mention Mark one day, and I stopped her. I just can’t handle it honestly. But, when she came by she asked me to a Beta Family outing. We were going to visit the Birmingham Zoo. I was a sucker for zoos. She said everyone else was free on Saturday, so I happily agreed.

It was nice to get off of campus. It’s easy to get trapped in the campus sphere and not quite get a handle on the outside world. And I loved very little more than I loved zoos. My favorite part of the Birmingham Zoo is the giraffe experience. You can feed a giraffe! How awesome is that?

Yvonne was cracking up as the giraffe’s long, dark tongue darted out at her. “This is like the grossest thing, but it’s so fun!”

Nina had a penchant for being crude, and quickly chimed in with “that’s what she said.” Everyone weakly laughed. Is it just me, or is that joke not a little over played?

After the zoo, we stopped into Starbucks. I refuse to let myself enjoy a warm chai latte until after November 1st, it’s like a secret joy I have. This was my first one of the year. And I couldn’t have been more excited. Yvonne and I sat down while the others ordered.

“Rich misses you.” She smiled.

“I miss Rich. I’m sorry I’ve been MIA lately. After you guys effectively took me off babysitters watch, I just wanted to be alone. I think it helped. I am ready to carry on. Thanks for being patient.”

“Girl, it’s no trouble. I mean, I’m a very good friend. I gave Ashley permission to date Allen, I’m letting you cope. Geez, I deserve a humanitarian award of some sort.” She snorted.

“Most humble. Definitely most humble!”

After the zoo trip, Yvonne told me she and Gwen were going to see a movie, but I declined. I see movies as an expensive nap. Because let’s be honest, those leaning chairs can be awfullllly comfy.

My dad and I never really spoke on the phone. I was a totallllll daddy’s girl, but he hates the phone. He doesn’t even have a smart phone. He has an old school, black and white screened Nokia. The man lives in the dark ages. So, I thought with all my alone time, I’d call him and catch up. To say he was shocked is an understatement. We literally talked about everything. He told me about Frances’ new toys. His new project at work. He’s in finance and he’s trying to broker a deal with a large local employer for their 401k. I’m sure he’ll get the account. He’s really an impressive trader. I wish I had his knack for numbers. I’ve just got his asymmetrical nose. He asked about my classes, we talked about my plan of attack for finishing out the semester. He really just kind of screwed my head on about the final push.

After feeling refreshed and refocused, I asked Leslie what she was doing. She said that she, Luke, and a few other people were going down to the Theta a house and going to watch a football game. She offered me a seat next to her on the couch if I wanted to go, so I decided to face my fears. I was going to go to the Theta house.

I walked in, and I felt like I was coming home. But to a home my parents had moved away from many years prior. Like I knew that place, but it wasn’t any longer mine. Like it wasn’t where I was supposed to be.

Just then, Rich saw me and flagged me down. He came up and hugged me in a huge bear hug. “I didn’t know you were coming! Yvonne’s out with Gwen! She’s gonna hate she missed you!” He paused. “I’m so glad you’re back.” He kissed my cheek, like a loving brother.

Just then, I broke into tears. “I don’t know if I can do this!” I wailed. Rich rushed me into a bedroom of his friend before I made even more of a scene.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Where is my mind?

Harriet and Ashley kind of forcefully made me stay with them for the first few days after Mark left. I promised myself that I wouldn’t try to interfere with whatever kind of treatment he was having, so I kept to myself. Leslie understood my want to be detached, so she didn’t bring him up much.

I was being doted on at an exceptional level. Even my mom came up during the week and stayed with Aunt Mary and they took me shopping and out to eat. If I was occupied, I wasn’t terribly upset. I missed him, sure. But I knew that whatever was happening was for the best.

I had missed all the Halloween festivities, but it was okay. I wasn’t in much of a party mood. I’d stayed at Mary’s house and handed out candy to her trick or treaters. She claimed she appreciated the help. I think she was just kind of telling me whatever I wanted to hear.

I’d really been on top of my school work. I came in from class, studied, ate, and slept. I wasn’t even going to the social Beta things. I was going to the mandatory things, but I was just going through the motions.

Honestly, I felt to blame for Mark’s problems. I was the one who left him when he was so upset about his dad. I was the one who practically begged him to dump me the second time. I was not making adequate time for him, or being nice when we did see each other. I was definitely a catalyst in this situation. At night, I’d have dreams that he was chasing me, yelling about how I ruined his life. The guilt ate away at me constantly when I had down time.

If I’m being totally introspective, I am kind of thankful things ended like this. I mean yes, I feel awful. Yes, I’m sorry this is happening to Mark. But! I’m glad I finally had a sustainable out. I’ve always been the weak of heart. My mom pesters me about it all the time. It’s why I’m such a yo-yo with Kenny. I’m too afraid to be alone. I’m too afraid to figure myself out. I don’t like admitting that because it’s hard. It kind of makes me feel even worse. But, now. Now, I’ve got this solid bye. My ex-boyfriend and I broke up and he left school because he was depressed. I can’t go back to him. I won’t; I don’t want to stifle his progress.

All that said, I loved him. But not how he needed me to love him. I loved him in a weak way. A superficial way. A way in that I liked fitting in. A way in that I enjoyed his company. A way in that it was nice to have a built in caretaker and buddy on almost any adventure. I am afraid of living life for me, by myself. Maybe this as good a time as ever to finally step out and step up. I’m going to become me. I’m going to search for what I want. Be what I need.


I told myself that I’d done all these things after Kenny and I broke up. However, I made it glaringly untrue when I went right back to him. He isn’t what I need. I need to be a self-sufficient, hardworking, focused, driven, thoughtful, careful, beautiful woman.

**Sorry the post is a little shorter, but it was by design. I just can't imagine putting this into a longer post with other information. I just wanted everyone to have a clear image of where our girl's head was at.**

Thursday, October 30, 2014


After I left Mark’s room, I was determined not to be sad or weird or whatever. I wallowed for exactly 30 minutes. I allowed myself that. Then, I did what any grieving girl would do, I went to the library and studied and studied and studied. I left at 11pm, not having eaten dinner. I went back to my room, took a shower, and went to bed. The next morning, the library was closed when I woke up, so I went for a run. Ha! A run! I ran over 4 miles. Mind you I hadn’t run since I was in high school and they made you run in PE.

I showered and collected my school things and went back to the library. Around 1pm, I got a text from Yvonne.

I’ve been by your room a couple of times. Rich said Mark came over last night pretty upset. Wanna talk?

Nope. I’m good. Just studying. Thanks though!

If I let in the idea of wallowing or talking it out, it would certainly create a situation I didn’t want to be in. I would then have to look at what happened and dissect it. I didn’t want to do that. At all. I stayed in the library until it closed at 6. Mind you it was Saturday, so I was basically the only person in there.

When I got to my room, Yvonne was waiting outside the door. “How long have you been sitting here?” I asked with a lot of judgment.

“On and off all day.” She nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders.

I opened the door and let her in. “Something up?” I questioned, playing dumb.

“Oh no. Not really. Mark just called Rich saying he needed a guy’s night last night, and then Rich came in this morning saying you two broke up. So no, not anything...” She gave me a mean stank eye.

“Look,” I said matter-of-factly, “I am done. I don’t want to make a big deal of this. Do I love Mark? Of course. Is this going to work between us? Obviously not. So, it’s in my best interest to move on.”

“With Kenny?” Her eyes were curious.

When she said Kenny, it kind of broke my heart. I wasn’t really interested in Kenny a few weeks ago when he came around. I wasn’t. It was just convenient. But I can see how people think this is now about Kenny. Honestly, I don’t want him. He isn’t for me. He’s a fine guy, but he’s boring. I need someone else. “No. With myself.”

Yvonne looked at me weakly. “Why didn’t you tell any of us what was going on?”

“Because lately I’ve been such a mess. I was just sick of being the girl with constant boy drama. And I needed to get over this. By myself. For myself. With myself.”

“Mark told Rich he regrets what he said.” She went from being sad to hopeful.

“I wish you hadn’t said that. Because it still doesn’t change anything. And he hasn’t reached out to me. I’m going to move on. Next weekend is all the Halloween parties. I’ll go with Ree, and we can hang out with Chet and his friends. I’ll make it work.”

“Rich and I aren’t going to take sides. You can still hang out with us!”

“Where? At the Theta house? With Leslie, Mark, and Luke? Yeah, that’ll be lovely. I already told Leslie what happened. She didn’t even answer my text. I’m sure you guys will be fine without me.”

“Leslie’s in a weird spot. She loves you both. Be considerate.”

“Whatever. I’m not mad at her. Or Mark. I’m mad at myself. I created this. I need to fix it. I need to carryon. This is over. I’m devastated. But I can’t let myself be a mess. I’ve got to get up, move on, and be a big kid.”

Just then, Luke knocked on the not entirely closed door, opening it himself. Great. Just what I needed. I shot him a mean, yet equally exasperated look. “Can I help you?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know, Kathleen. I mean we’re all pretty upset at you. Dumping Mark, again!”

“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I did not! He did this. This is on him.”

Luke visibly balked. “Kathleen, he’s walking around. A mess. I’m sure he wouldn’t do this to himself.”

I was mad. “Oh, and you guys aren’t even the slightest bit to blame? You’re not initiating him with all his pledge brothers!”

“No one ever said he wasn’t getting initiated on time...” He thought seriously. “Oh shit! We were all mad at them at chapter, because they didn’t clean up the party room very well. I said something to the effect of ‘Who is in charge of this crap? He better watch it. He certainly isn’t getting initiated at this rate!’ Oh gosh! I can’t believe!”

Yvonne sat up. “I’m going to get Rich to get to the bottom of this. Something weird is going on. Like seriously.”

Luke walked me to Leslie’s room in the sorority house. “You two girls have a nice night to yourselves, okay? Rich is talking to Mark. We’ll figure out what’s wrong. He’s not himself.” And with that, he left Leslie and I in silence.

Leslie and I commiserated over wanting to know what was wrong with Mark. We put behind us the fact that she thought I had broken his heart. Again. She didn’t call me out for flaking. We just sat and talked through all the little things we noticed.

Rich called my phone around midnight. “Kathleen, I am not doctor, but he’s depressed. He flies off the handle, but he’s too exhausted to act out on it. I’m calling his parents.”
“No, let me and Leslie call them. We’ll be over there in a minute. Rich, I appreciate you doing this for me. I know I’m not your favorite person right now.”

We called his parents, they agreed he needed to see someone. He was seen by a psychologist the next morning, who suggested he go to a psychiatrist. The doctors told him at his first meeting to take a break from all the things that were adding undo stress to him. He went on medical leave from school, he suspended his pledgeship, and moved back home. He told Leslie to tell me that he needed this time to focus on himself, and he'd call me when and if he thought we could figure things out. And when he wasn't so disoriented.

It's been a week. I've never felt more confused and alone.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Date Averted

Leslie called me Thursday night, “Leeeetllle!” She wailed into the receiver.

“Big!” I responded just as annoyingly. “How’s it going?”

“Just finished studying for my physiology practical in the morning. If I have to touch that damn cat again I’m going to lose it.” She laughed kind of manically. I could tell it was partly true.

I sighed. “What are you going to do when you get your actual cadaver in med school?”

She exhaled loudly into the phone. “I don’t want to think about it. Look, how about you, me, Luke and Mark go out tomorrow night? Mark keeps saying he’s going to mention it to you, but clearly he’s sucked thus far. So I’m taking matters into my own hands.”

I laughed. Mark didn’t have the best follow through sometimes. I could sympathize. “I’d love to. Just text me about time and place. Mark is the pickier of us, and you know what he will and won’t eat.”

After we hung up, I laid in bed and read crappy books. Mark said he was going to come over and spend the night after he finished up at the fraternity house. Since his dad was better and at home, they’d kind of flung him full force back into Pledge Class President stuff. He’d been staying there until 1am or later some nights.

Around 11pm I was getting kind of restless. Hey sweetheart. I’m going to bed. Feel free to come over whenever you’re finished. Love you!

He responded quickly. Headed your way now. Just getting in the car.

About ten minutes later, Mark walked through the door looking exceptionally worn out. “What’s up, buttercup?” I kissed his cheek.

“Long. Night.” was all he offered as he took off his jeans and settled into the bed. He didn’t really seem interested in talking or cuddling. He slid his back to mine. I tried not to think much of it as I dozed off to sleep with his back hitting mine as his breath slowed while drifting off.

The next morning, I woke up to notice he was in the extra (Candace’s old) bed. I had a spare sheet set I put on it after she left to make it look less barren. I couldn’t figure out what his deal was. He was usually so attentive and loving. I started slamming drawers and making commotion around 8am, to be spiteful.

“You mind?” He groggily snipped.

“You can sleep in your own room, you know? If I’m such a bother to be around.”

That woke him up. “Dammit Kathleen. Stop it. I’m tired. Why are you pushing every last button I’ve got?”

“Because ever since Monday you’ve barely spoken to me. I am sick of being treated like a second class citizen. Either start opening up to me or leave.”

He huffed. “That’s ironic coming from you. Look, I’m having a rough week with pledge stuff. You wouldn’t understand. Nor is it really your concern.”

I pulled the top sheet off him, leaving him to shiver almost immediately. “Then please leave.” I pointed to the door, as if he was too dumb to see it.

He put on his jeans and trotted out. When the door closed behind him, I broke down into tears and got right back into bed. Where I stayed until about 3pm. Leslie sent me a text, jolting me out of my Grey’s Anatomy bender.

Hey girl. Mark told me you two were going to have to bail on tonight L Let me know when you want to reschedule.

Sure thing. Thanks, Leslie. Have fun with Luke!

I was kind of numb and fuming at the same time. I was so totally pissed off, but I also just didn’t care. I shot up out of my bed, and marched over to Mark’s dorm room. I knocked incessantly until I heard Mark turning the lock.

He looked awful. His face was sunken; his eyes blood shot, and his breathing short. “Hey,” was really all he could say.

“Mark, what’s going on? Why are you cancelling plans, being mean, and yelling? You look miserable. What’s the deal?”

He sighed as he sat down on his bed, I stood in front of him, refusing to back down. “It’s a lot.”

“Then I’ve got time to listen.”

“Kathleen, I’m really mad at you. I’m mad at you, I’m mad at Theta, I’m mad at Leslie. I’m mad at my parents. I’m just mad. You’ve all betrayed me. You’ve all dumped on me. You’re all treating me like crap.”

“What have we done?” I asked stupidly. I obviously knew what I had done.

“Well, you go sleep with Kenny the first chance you get. Leslie doesn’t talk to me anymore. She treats me like I’m your boyfriend, not her brother. The Thetas are not going to initiate me with the rest of the pledges because I missed too much stuff with my dad. My parents put me in this situation, but I can’t tell my dad his wreck caused all these crappy things for me. But they did. Kathleen, my life was charmed. Dammit, I even made a 75 on a test this week. I’m not with it.” He punched his bed in frustration.

“I wish I could take back what I did. I wish I could take back what happened with your father. I wish I could fix this, but life happens.”

This didn’t help. He only got redder in the face. “No! Stop! Kathleen, please leave. I don’t think we need to be talking now. I might say stuff I regret.”

My heart sank, but I wasn’t going to let this die. “Stuff like what? That you think we’re better off without each other? That you’re not happy anymore?”

He shot me the nastiest look. “Yes, stuff like that. Are you happy? Is that what you wanted? You want me to break up with you to wipe the slate clean? So you can have Kenny? You know what... Go on. I don’t care. I wish I did. I wish I loved you enough for the both of us, but I don’t. Kathleen, you left me the minute my mom cried to you in the cafeteria of the hospital. I saw the switch flip in your eyes. You saw a weak family. A family you couldn’t be a part of. I tried to combat it, by being extra sweet. But that didn’t mean anything to you. You didn’t want it. So, this is me telling you goodbye.”

I cried out, “You don’t mean it!” I was hit with sobs. “You don’t mean what you’re saying. You are stressed out. I love you! You know that! I want this to work! What can I do to prove this to you?”

“Leave me alone.” He was solemn. “They say if you love something you let it go, and if it’s meant to be it’ll come back to you. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake this is the last trip on the merry-go-round for us. Goodbye.” He practically pushed me out the door.

I text Leslie, while tears ran down my face. I don’t think we’ll be making up our dinner plans. Mark and I just broke up