Ashley Bressingham

“Hey Shelly, over here!” I called out to the girl who had caused the Starbucks door to rattle. The rich aroma of cappuccino filled my nostrils. My voice, too loud and confi­dent, broke the soothing quiet that had existed only a mo­ment ago in the small coffee shop.

She appeared uncomfortable as her gaze followed my voice and found my unmistakable copper red curls. I gave her a small wave with my perfectly manicured hand while she dawdled over to where I was currently sitting.

Her lips moved, yet I heard no words until I pressed the pause button on my iPod, cutting off Taylor Swift from sing­ing about her love story.

“I’m going to go get a white hot chocolate.”

Shelly approached the line of zombie caffeine addicts, all whom stood impatiently waiting for the barista to take their orders.

I reached into my Burberry purse to find my lucky charm – a Hello Kitty hand mirror. My hand roamed the bag for the tube of lipstick I had thrown in as I rushed out of my dorm earlier that morning. Glancing at my reflection, I applied my shimmery pink beige Viva Glam II MAC lipstick that just went so well with my complexion. Smirking at my reflection, I knew that Lady Gaga herself couldn’t have ap­plied makeup to the perfection I had achieved that morning.

“Emma, I have something to tell you. Since you’re An­nie’s little sister, I felt you had the right to know ahead of time.”

Shelly plopped her tall cocoa on the table. She took a sip of the hot beverage and got comfortable in the wooden chair. Her hazel pupils stared into my green eyes, making her appear as though she was telepathically trying to will what she wanted to say into my brain.

“I’m all ears,” I replied, the optimism in my voice loud and brash. Tomorrow was bid night at the Sigma Delta Tau house on campus and as a legacy I knew in my heart that she was about to tell me the great news.

She sighed at my positive attitude and shook her head at me.

“It’s not good news.”

I stared at her, butterflies suddenly swirling and causing a ruckus throughout my stomach.

“Not good news?” I squeaked out, knowing how unsure I suddenly sounded.

“Not good news,” she replied, glancing at her silver Blackberry, the man munching on a blueberry muffin at the next table, the cream colored wall behind my head. She tried everything in her power to avoid looking at me.

“I – I don’t understand,” I stammered. The images of my rush period flew through my mind at a lightning quick pace – what had gone wrong?

Shelly gave me a look that silenced the thoughts and dreams in my mind of pledging with the best and wild-crazy-fun parties at the house. I could see the ice-cold disapproval in my older sister’s face when she heard the news.

“Look Emma. I like you. A lot of my sisters do too. You’re a sweet girl, very sweet.”

She emphasized every word as if she were teaching a les­son in morals to a five year old.

“And a lot of girls think that because their sister was in Sigma Delta Tau that it’s an easy in for them as well. I under­stand how you feel.”

She didn’t have a clue what I was feeling right now.

“Yet even with your background,” she paused to take a sip of her hot chocolate, causing me to perch at the edge of my seat, hanging onto her every word.

“We just don’t know if you’re an appropriate choice for what we stand for.”

She was no longer nervous now that she had gotten the truth out – she was in, I was out. She was talking about her “we”, which I no longer had the opportunity of joining. The Greek letters on her shirt that showed she was a part of something were like a sudden and painful slap in the face to me. I was alone.