UPDATE: Names of organizations have been changed from a previous post, due to resemblances to current real-life organizations. The contents of this story are for humorous intent and hence entirely fictional.
My door slams open at 5:06 am and I jerk awake in horror. They’re here.
I was tipped off yesterday by happening to be in the vicinity of a couple Phi Chi Kappa brothers, huddled together but not bothering to hide the relish in their voices as they eagerly discussed plans to jump the freshmen at 5 o’ clock in the morning of Monday. One bro bragged about the deal he struck with the hall counselors to get the master key to all the dorms. No freshman pledging Phi Chi Kappa was safe.
I was pledging Phi Chi Kappa.
“Freshmen are so fucked!” Bro #1 said out loud.
“Freshmen are so fucked!” The bro-chorus repeated.
The night before, I asked to stay over with my friend Mac, who wasn’t part of a frat. Surely, the bros couldn’t find me here. “Don’t worry man,” Mac said. “You’re safe with me.”
Now, Mac is standing at the door, propping it open for Bro #1, 2, and 4, staring at me greedily.
“Dude!” I cry.
“I’m sorry Noah,” Mac shrugs. “Everyone’s gotta do it.”
“That was clever of you to hide away!” Bro #2 exclaims, licking his lips like a dog finding the source of the scent. “Yeah!” Bro #4 agrees. “But not as clever as us!”
“I don’t wanna…” I start.
“C’mon man, everyone’s gotta do it. No judgment. Just c’mere.” Bro #1 opens his arms. “Time to go.”
I don’t wanna… I don’t wanna… then I see the window.
“What are you doing…” And a collective gasp as I edge towards the window and open it.
“Dude,” Bro #4 says. “That’s three floors.”
“Don’t – Noah!”
I tumble down the window and feel the scratches of the tree branches as I try to hang on to whatever I got, the leaves burning my face and hands. Still, I knew that the tree would save my fall, and, with a bloody cheek, I hop down, branch by branch, until I find the floor. I liked Mac, but I had my suspicions about him. That’s why I slept with my car keys in my pocket. Now, I only need to get to my car. Then I could drive away and get out of this fratzone once and for all.
I swivel around just to meet Bro #3, who was keeping guard.
“You thought you could get away, did you,” he said, grinning. Bro #3 was a burly dude. He scared me out of my wits. “C’mon man, it’s just pledging.”
“Fuck you!” I scream and kick him in the knee. “WAAAAAAAAH!” as I duck under the tree and start kicking it for the parking lot on the other side of the residence hall complex. Something whizzes by me and clatters onto the brick path ahead. It’s a fucking tranquilizer dart! Holy fuck! I had no fucking clue I would be getting into this kind of shit just to get out of a frat pledge!
I keep low to avoid the swishing darts and spot an officer with a flashlight, keeping guard to make sure nothing utterly shitty happens during frat pledging. I wave to him. “Officer! Officer!” I cry. “You really let the frat bros keep tranquilizer darts? Please protect me! I don’t want to be a part of this!”
“Really? Come here boy! Is that true!”
“Yes! They’re trying to track me down. Please…” and I come up towards him.
Then he grabbed my arm.
“Everyone does it,” the officer mouthed in my ear. “Why do you have to be so difficult? Now you come with me.” Even the officers are in cahoots? I’m in such deep shit. Then I see him getting out the handcuffs. Then I see his pepper spray. With my free arm I grab the can from his belt and right before he can clasp me I apply the spray directly into his left eye. “AAAAAAAH!” he cries, and lets me go. I scramble away, not to be caught by the middle-aged donut officer. “Freshman on the loose!” I hear him yell into his walkie-talkie. “Coming up on the parking lot!”
I buckle down and run. My car is in sight. But on the road, coming towards me from the back, I see two cars rumbling. It’s the frat car patrol. They speed up as I get closer to my car. They’re going to reach it faster than I can! I see them closing in on my back. But, a second before they pass me, I run up and jump onto the windshield. “Holy Shit!” he cries, and brakes, launching my beat-up body at least ten feet into the air. I hit the asphalt like a piece of turd but manage to roll out of any broken bones, right next to my car. I pick myself up and stumble into my car. “God,” I say, reaching into my pockets to-
-pull out nothing.
“No,” I mumble, as cars of all shapes and sizes speed towards me, as a helicopter shines its light on my image. “No.” I lost my car keys.
As the cars and copters converge on me, and the frat bros in their dark sunglasses hold up their array of tranquilizer darts, Bro #1 steps out of his Chevy Impala and looks me in the eye.
“Dude,” he says, “Mad respect. Mad respect.”
“Mad respect!” the chorus repeats.
“You came pretty damn close. But there’s one rule every frat bro knows by heart, that you’re about to learn – once you get in the fratzone, you can never get out.”
“Never get out!” the chorus repeats.
“So what’s it gonna be, Noah? Any last words?” Bro #1 said, flexing his muscles for his fellow bros to nod approvingly.
I sighed and dropped my head to stare at the ground. “At least can we just be friends?”
“Friends!” Bro #1 exclaimed. “We’re gonna be the best of friends, Noah. The best of friends.” But then his mouth curled open wide. “It’s just tonight, you’re my bitch.”