Peninsula State University, Freshman Dorm
Narrated by Seiki Ono. Seiki is 19 years old.
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My dad was a member of the prestigious fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, back when he was a student at PSU, so I’ve always felt this expectation, that I’ll rush, pledge, and be inducted into the fraternity. My dad’s such a people person, everybody loves him. Deep down, I’ve wondered if I can cut it, but I met Anand, one of the fraternity brothers, at a mixer at Welcome Week, in the fall, and he’s a great guy. (Plus he introduced me to Hattie, and we went out).
Anand told me rush wouldn’t be a big deal – – there would be a opening party for rush week, then us pledges will need to do some community service and show we can put together an event, and then at the end of the semester, there’s a big formal to celebrate the new pledges.
But then I talked to this hot girl,
And flirted with another girl, Tosha,
Well, I guess I did hang out in the hot tub with Tosha too, and next thing I know, I’m getting slapped again.
It’s not like we’re even dating, sheesh. Hattie was really getting on my nerves.
But Hattie is really nice, and I feel like a jerk every time she is mad at me, so I spent half the party apologizing to her.
Most of the other guys had girlfriends or girls they were hanging out with. David met this girl, Karly, and they really hit it off, and Anand (the blond guy) is dating a girl named Emma Roberts.
Anyway, me and Hattie, I think its safe to say we ended the night, at least as friends.
Fortunately, about the time she warmed up to me again, the frat brothers kicked out all the girls, so I finally got a chance to hang out with the guys. Anand is always fun to be around, when he’s not with Emma.
Harrison is pretty quiet, but I think him and Anand are close friends. Harrison told me that as part of pledging, the freshmen were responsible for planning a party, and asked me if I would head that up. What am I gonna say? Guess I’m planning a party.
Gordon Nott is also pledging. He seems like a fun guy. Josh, my RA, isn’t in a fraternity, so I don’t know what he was doing at the party.
It was about 2:30 AM by the time things quieted down, and I stuck around to help clean up.
The next day this whole Party Planning thing was really worrying me. I am really pretty shy, although a lot of people don’t know it. I spent some time painting, trying to work out what to do.
Finally, I felt so mixed up, I decided to call my dad and see if he could come during the weekend to see me. He said he was glad to come, asked if everything was ok. I told him I just needed to bounce some stuff off him, and he said he’d be here Saturday night.
Friday afternoon I asked Tosha over to the dorm. She’s pledging Hattie’s sorority and we met at the rush party. She came over and I don’t know, there’s just something I like about her. She kind of goes with whatever’s going on.
After everything with Hattie, I think I remembered a few more manners too, and maybe that helped because we really hit it off.
Saturday evening my dad arrived. I have never been so glad to see him before.
We decided to go to Llama’s Dockside to eat and talk. I came out and told him, I’m not sure I’m cut out for the fraternity.
Dad told me, he knows I’m shy sometimes, but he thinks I can do it. He didn’t have to tell me again, how nice it is to have the lifelong friends. The big thing is, what do I really want, he said. Talking to him made me realize, I’m not going to quit, but if I don’t get inducted, or decide it isn’t for me, that will be ok too.
When we were getting ready to leave, Hattie came over to say hi. It was really awkward introducing her to dad, because it is so hard to tell what might set her off. I was clueless; should I introduce her as a girlfriend or not? She’s not my girlfriend, but sometimes she acts like it so I thought it might offend her if I didn’t. In the end I just said something like, “This is Hattie.”
So, we had a party to plan. Gordon and I took the lead and decided to throw a beach party– it seemed like the easiest thing to do. All we had to do was get some drinks and stuff for a bonfire, and hope it doesn’t rain.
The bonfire was a huge success… check!
Everybody seemed to be having fun … Harrison and I chatted, Anand and Emma were being… Anand and Emma; check!
Hattie came, and seemed glad to see me. Check!
I talked to that girl, Deanna, that turned me down last semester. Big Check!
Just before dawn, a bunch of us went for a swim to help keep awake.
Then we headed up to the boardwalk to wait for the sunrise. I thought maybe Emma looked like she wanted to talk to me, maybe flirt a little.
I don’t know what Anand said to her, but they walked away.
Next thing I know, Hattie’s upset again. I was thinking, “What did I do this time??!”
At first, she said, if I didn’t have the sense to know, she wasn’t going to tell me. I was so confused.
Then I said, was it because I was flirting with Emma? She was like, “what do you think?? Emma and Anand are together, you can’t do that.”
I went and talked to Anand before he left, and it seemed like everything was cool with him. But Hattie’s known him a long time so I thought, maybe I had made him mad.
Since he seemed ok with it, I decided to ask Emma out when I saw her later that afternoon. She turned me down.
But hey, I’m getting really good at apologizing.
For our community service, I offered to tap into my mom’s connections with the doctors at the pediatric oncology wing of PSU research hospital, and see if we could go sing to some of the kids with cancer. It all worked out and we went one evening. I was pretty much dreading it, thinking how rough it would be to try to be around kids with cancer.
At first, when we started singing, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. But Gordon jumped right in.
The little girl we saw first, Gabriella, made it all seem good when she looked up and smiled.
It was easy to get into it once I realized how happy it was making her. I felt a little like a rock star, maybe.
The next week, I got word from Anand that I was in the fraternity! The email had all the info about the induction, but my dad had already told me what to expect with that. The more I thought about it, I realized I was really happy about it. For one thing, the dorm is starting to get to be a drag.
It was easy to decide who to ask to the formal. Hattie is an awesome girl, but she’s too much work. One night coming home from class, I decided to ask Tosha, and she said she would like to go with me.
The night of the formal was warm and clear.
I was a little nervous going in. The girls all got there together, so I was really glad when I saw Tosha.
Really, walking in with her, felt good.
Honestly, I didn’t even think about flirting with Emma this time.
Tosha was definitely more fun to flirt with.
And there were lots of congratulations that night… I guess there was a lot of work involved in getting inducted.
Harrison seemed especially impressed with mine and Gordon’s work.
And I’m glad I did it all, if nothing else, because Gordon is a good friend to have.
After a while, we all went out in the foyer and posed for pictures.
For the first time since I came to PSU, I feel like I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing.
Tosha is a lot of fun.
I saw her looking at Anand and Emma, and then she asked if I wanted to go out in the rose garden for some fresh air.
I was so happy at the moment, everything seemed just right, before I knew it, I just swooped her up off the ground and carried her out there.
Then I started getting worried she was expecting some kind of declaration of love or something.
After a while, I realized, she was just happy to be with me. And then she wanted to go back to the dorm.
Don’t know what was wrong with the rose garden, but when we got to the dorm, she didn’t even want to wait to sit down or anything before we started making out… you know, I never saw the dining hall as such a fun place before.
It wasn’t just Hattie furious with Seiki; Seiki was furious with her too, although I didn’t realize it till I noticed this:
Seiki has 7 nice points, though, so I don’t see him really holding a grudge against Hattie, who is also nice. She just has a different idea of what’s acceptable right now, than does Seiki.
Hattie stayed away from Tosha and Seiki at the dance. She even went in the hall while everyone else was having fun in the foyer after the photos, and sat by herself, autonomously. I really hate it for her that Seiki’s been so back and forth with her.
Seiki doesn’t like his RA, Josh, very much. They sat through almost an entire meal without speaking.
Then Josh asked Seiki about recycling, or made a comment about it, and Seiki reacted negatively. (“No, I could care less for the environment” or some such comment)
“But did you know my mom’s a doctor?
Josh was not impressed. Seiki was not happy with Josh either.
After the beach party, Seiki really calmed down, stopped the frenetic flirting he’d been doing since arriving at PSU. He started rolling “maximize tinkering enthusiasm,” and “blog tinkering” again. So maybe the super-flirty stage is passing, who knows? I was shocked that there were no slapfests, no escapades, no making out in the foyer or garden, during the dance; I fully expected misbehavior but everyone was on their best behavior.
He only has 3 outgoing points, so I thought the whole rush thing might be stressful for him.
Later Note: I was checking Seiki’s memories for N99, and updated his romantic history in his profile.