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Alex Maisonne (pronounced May-sewn) stood in the line next to the rest of his “brothers.” The past 4 weeks had been “Hell on Earth,” but the end was within sight.
He had done all that had been asked of him and more for “Big Bro.” Alonzo “Smooth Tip” Rowan. He had withstood the “Heavy Pack” march. The “Box of Fear,” “Pink” week, and now finally, the “1/2 Mile” crawl. That one hurt the most. At dusk, all the rest of the pledges gathered at the Dean’s house on campus and crawled on hands and knees on concrete and asphalt to the Frat house. On the trip, he lost four more brothers that simply quit. Who could blame them? Even with the preparation of thick gloves and knee pads, his trek halfway through saw these implements disintegrate. Which brought him to his present condition.
“COME ON!! GIVE UP!! YOU AIN’T NO OMEGA!! STOP WHILE YOU AHEAD!!”
“YOU AIN’T CROSSING THAT LINE!! YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE AN OMEGA!!”
“I KNOW YOU A BITCH ALEX!! NI&&A I GOT $300 RIDING ON YOU QUIT!!”
These and other insults were screamed at the top of his Big Brothas lungs, all the way from the Dean’s house. His gloves had holes in them, his jeans and kneepads gave up a while back. All that remained was searing pain.
“DON’T GIVE UP ALEX!! YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!! YOU GOT THIS!! I LOVE YOU!!”
That voice…that singular ray of hope through the darkness. It had been his saving grace through all his trials…Charlotte. His big sister urged him on.
Looking up, Alex shot his gaze ahead. Salty, stinging sweat from his brow dripped into his eyes. Yet, there she stood 50 yards ahead on the doorstep of the Frat house. Digging deeper than he ever had in his life, Alex pressed forward. His pain, momentarily forgotten. His shoulders, elbows, legs, and knees screaming in protest, silenced by his sister’s encouragement.
1 more precious foot…
With a hoarse, but throaty shout…Alex sent his cry of praise to the heavens…
Though he was the first, he was not the last. Slowly but surely, the rest of Alex’s new “brothers” smacked the porch of the fraternity house belonging to Omega Alpha Epsilon, OAE Inc. at the HBCU Southern Louisiana A&T.
Alex was racked with pain all over as he hugged his new family. Yet, a small pair of hands-on his tired shoulders startled him out of his reverie.
“I’m so proud of yooooouuuu!!” Charlotte squealed as she kissed his cheek and hugged his neck.
“OW, OW, OW, OWWWWW!!”
“Oh, you big BABY!! Dad and the rest of the family will be so proud of you!! I can’t wait to hear back from them!!”
“What do you mean”
“I recorded the whole thing on my phone and sent it to them silly!!” Charlotte beamed.
“Aw Fuck! Seriously?!!”
“Of course,…you know it’s…”
“I know…I know…’TRADITION. “
“You are SUCH a BABY!!” Charlotte chided. Another big wet kiss on the cheek followed.
“YUCK!! YOU TASTE LIKE DIRTY, SWEATY BALLS!!”
“OAE SWEATY BALLS!!” Alonzo corrected. A huge slap to the center of Alex’s back sent a wave of pain traveling throughout his very being.
“Go on ‘Big Sis! The celebration begins back here in 2 hours! You gotta go get HOT for the rest of the Omega Men! Don’t worry, I’ll take “Brotha Cool Prince” back to his dorm to get ready. Don’t worry about a thing!!”
Charlotte regarded Alonzo with a suspicious side-eye. She knew Zo was her brother’s sponsor, but she had KNOWN Zo too well.
One more sweet kiss on the cheek and Charlotte left them with a cursory; “Ok…see you back here bro.”
“Come on BIG man…let’s get you back.”
Alonzo guided Alex through a sea of High Fives and “You an Omega Man Now!” on the way to his car. Opening the door, Alex’s eyes fell on the seat he was going to sit in. Placed atop the stacked beach towels (used to protect the seat from Alex’s sweat), was a bottle of extra-strength painkillers, an ice-cold energy drink, and a huge box of medium-sized band-aids.
Alex didn’t have enough energy to “climb” in the seat; more like drip precariously. Alonzo revved his engine and peeled his tires while he screamed “OAE! OAE! OAE!” as they drove off.
Busting a right on Harmony, Alonzo slowed down as they ventured toward his newest “inductees” dorm. Out of the corner of his eye, he timed his query just as Alex was taking the first sip from the energy drink:
“So…you get that other thing taken care of?”
Alex could barely contain the drink in his mouth (although the wet pain pills almost got stuck in his throat).
“HUH?!” Came the incredulous reply.
Alonzo smirked menacingly. “You know that OTHER THING I told you to take care of before you crossed the line.”
Alex knew exactly what Alonzo meant. It was something he found exceedingly difficult to accomplish. All Alex could muster was a single, soft sounding; “No.”
Alonzo slammed his hand against the steering wheel hard. “Dammit, Alex!! What…do you expect me to hold your hand throughout ataşehir escort bayan this trial? If you expect to cross that “final line” between being an Omega man and just some run of the mill asshole, you better get you some ass TONIGHT!! I don’t give a fuck if the bitch is 99 years old, blind, cripple, crazy, and a QUADRIPLEGIC!! You got till sunrise tomorrow morning to get yourself knee-deep in some pussy, or I swear to GOD I will use my power as President to VETO your ass…and I WILL tell your FATHER!!”
A cold chill ran up Alex’s spine. The ramifications of that last statement traveling from the crown of his pained head to the soles of his feet.
“Yeah…I get ya.” Alex took another mouse like pull off the drink. The painkillers were not your run of the mill “aspirin,” that much was apparent by their sheer taste. But the mixture of the pills and the awful bile of his failure to his father made the concoction that much worse. Pulling up to Alex’s dorms Alonzo’s All American white toothy smile returned.
“Cool. As long as we have a thorough understanding of the situation, we’ll get along fine! Go on upstairs and claim your prize champ!! What is in your room is all you can wear to the party tonight. See you later O-Man!!”
Dragging his pained carcass out of Alonzo’s tiny sports car, Alex had barely closed the door good when the accelerator was stomped and his Fraternity President (and Big Brother sponsor) sped away, leaving a cloud of noxious exhaust in his wake.
Slowly, painfully, Alex trudged gingerly up the stairs to Roger M. Hammond dormitory. Crossing past the reception desk, he was greeted with the heartiest of welcomes.
“GOD DAMN MAN!! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU?!! YOU LOOK LIKE RUN OVER SHIT!!”
The bearer of the message was none other than Glenn Armstrong. A native New Yorker who had migrated South to get in touch with his “African Roots.” Glenn had befriended Alex when they BOTH pledged to OAE. Glenn just didn’t make the cut, although he remained a close friend.
“Thank you, Capt. Obvious…I really needed that pick me up. Owwwwww!!”
“Well…did you at least make it?!” Came the excited question.
“Yeah,” Alex replied with a half-truth. “I’m going upstairs to shower and change for the party in a couple of hours. You still got my key?”
Reaching under the desk, Glenn pulled out a set of keys attached to a Black, green and gold lanyard, the colors of Omega Alpha Epsilon.
“You might want to savor those keys bruh.” Glenn continued. Lowering his voice to a whisper he added, “Do you know who carried them upstairs earlier tonight?”
In his present state, Alex couldn’t have given a rat’s ass who it was…but the excited look on Glenn’s face made it impossible to not at least find out.
“I don’t know Glenn…who?”
“You’ll never guess in a MILLION years!!”
“Man…it was like seeing an angel…”
“Roche Hambrick…” Glenn finally said in a dreamy sing-song tone.
“OH, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GLENN!! Roche…REALLY?!!”
“Hell, yes REALLY!! She touched this hand! He said holding up his right hand. I’m not washing this hand again!!”
Alex groaned as he headed up toward the elevator. Getting off on the third floor, Alex trudged to his room. Key through the door, he halted in the common area. The room was dark and empty. His roommates frequently spent the majority of their time away “chasing tail,” or at work. Trekking across the expanse, he entered his room. Grabbing a towel and rag, Alex ventured into the shower. The warm water cascaded over his tired, aching muscles. As he watched, the blood from his hands and knees coalesced with the healing waters and spiraled down the drain, his mind searching for the beginning of his journey.
Alex and his sister came from a long line of educated black people. Their grandfather, father, and uncles all had pledged to OAE. Their grandfather was a charter member of the chapter in North Carolina. Their mother had been a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda chapter in South Carolina. So pledging was a family tradition.
Most all of them at one time or another held high posts within the Greek organizations. But none stuck in his craw like Charlotte. His big sister had 2 years on him and had paved the way for his arrival at South Louis A&T. Currently she was just Treasurer, but it was a known fact she was being groomed for the Presidency.
But that came as no surprise. Charlotte was every man’s wet dream. Intelligent, smart, outgoing, a charming personality and quiet as kept, a hottie that made his dick hard on more than one occasion. She was a woman that saw more stiffies than a cemetery. But even through all that, she kept her head humble. Alex always felt deep down she was everything he could never be.
While there was no doubt he was intelligent and smart, he wasn’t a drop-dead-good looking guy. He was too introverted, to quiet, and just not very athletic. Worse still…he escort kadıköy was a basket case around the opposite sex.
His only girlfriend in high school, Trina, was just as shy as he was. The furthest they ever got was fondling in the backseat of his dad’s old car. But she wasn’t ready for sex. And as much as he watched porn, Alex, wasn’t confident enough to push for it. Too afraid of failure.
Then, like a lightning bolt from Mount Olympus, dad’s words struck Alex in his heart: “Son…I feel sorry for the first woman you get with…you’re bound to surprise the hell out of her.”
Alex turned off the water, grabbed a towel and dried off. Careful not to rub his injuries too hard. It was only then that he noticed the outfit sitting on his bed. Black boots, white socks, black baggy shorts, and a white shirt with OAE emblazoned on the front…in lime green. This outfit wasn’t a test, it was a crucible. Everyone knew lime green letters were reserved for the girlfriends of OAE men. How was he supposed to get near a woman wearing this? Alex began to silently cry as he got dressed.
The OAE frat house was slammed pack. Wall to wall 20 and early 30 somethings danced, drank, cavorted, and tried their best to hook up. Despite its young age (OAE had only been around for 75 years), at South Louis it had a reputation as THE elite fraternity on campus. In this cauldron of debauchery, Charlotte was making the rounds of the room. Congratulating the newest Brothas, as well as checking in on her fellow sorors to ensure their safety. But in all the revelry, all the fun, something was off. Her spirit just wouldn’t calm down. From the corner of her eye, she saw him. Her little brother walking towards the door, head down, defeated, shattered. A throng of howling laughter in his wake. Quickly, she grabbed the arm of Felicity Greene, a fellow sorority sister and got her attention.
“Felicity, what the hell is going on?”
“Oh. My. God…tell me you saw that?!!”
“Saw what…what the hell…”
“That OAE guy has a girl’s shirt on, trying to hit on women up in here! He tried to get with Tanita…girl you KNOW how she is!! She poured the whole glass of beer on him!!”
“Why the fuck is that so funny?”
“Charlotte…they didn’t tell you?”
Charlotte’s heart sank…she just knew there was more.
“Tell me what?” she said in a cold, tomb-like tone.
“It’s a joke…by the OAE’s. Big Brotha Alonzo said, “If any guys come in here wearing a girl’s shirt, he’s fronting. To turn him away. He’s just some virgin loser trying to get in.”
“FELICITY…THAT’S MY BROTHER!! YOU KNOW HIM!! HE’S DONE EVERYTHING TO BE AN OAE!!”
“Everything but fuck!” she cackled.
Charlotte let it go. While she wanted to light into her fellow soror, right now her little brother needed his big sister. As fast as she could, Charlotte muscled her way through the gathered partygoers. Just before she reached the door, a strong hand grabbed her arm.
“Hey there, sexy momma…where’s the fire?!”
Charlotte turned and stared into the eyes of Big Brotha Alonzo. Smugly wearing the grin of the cat that ate the canary.
“Alonzo…what did you do to my brother?”
“Nothing. Just made his entry into OAE a little harder.”
“Harder?!! After all he’s given to this frat and you still have it in for him?!”
“Look…as President…I’m not pledging any virgins to the crew! And your brother…”
“Has more HEART than the LOT of you!! So that’s your game huh…make my brother untouchable so that he can’t get in? YOU AIN’T SHIT!!”
Alonzo took a quick look around to see if anyone was watching Charlotte’s histrionics. “You know..” he added while taking a gentle hold of her elbow, “We might be able to come to some agreement that could ensure he gets in by morning.”
In his inebriated state, Alonzo forgot many things. Among them that Charlotte regularly worked out, another that her favorite sport was tennis; the most damning was the fact that he had her right arm…she plays with a very STRONG left. She immediately grabbed a solid handful of both his testicles and gave them a sharp twist.
“Listen here ‘Sparky,’ I thought I made it very clear a couple of years ago that you were NEVER to touch me again! Furthermore…you and I BOTH were there when those ‘fireworks’ didn’t go off. I love my brother more than you would EVER be capable of. But I promise you this…he WILL be an OAE…and there will be absolutely NOTHING you can do to stop it.”
With a swift tug, Charlotte ripped her hand away from Alonzo’s junk, allowing him to drop to the floor like a marionette with his strings cut…holding his nuts and watching her storm off in the direction of the door as the party continued around him…unchanged.
Alex was thankful that the air was warm outside as he ventured across the campus topless. He was fed up with wearing the ridiculous shirt anyway. If it weren’t wet from the drink that was poured on it earlier, it would definitely be soaked from the tears that it was used maltepe escort to catch since he left the party. Alex had had many low moments in his life. But this one hurt the most. One thing he despised the greatest, was thinking he had let his father and the other males in his family down. To make matters worse, he knew that the most disappointed person he knew at that moment was Charlotte. The public square came into his view during his walk. He was never so happy then to see the metal and wood swing set in front of the University’s Blue Panther logo. Bringing the shirt to his face, he let the material swallow his anguish. Tears falling unfettered and unashamed (seeing as he was alone).
A few moments later, a soft hand touched the back of his head. “Alex…”
“Go away Charlotte…I’m not worth your time. Just leave me here…I’ll get over it.”
“No, you won’t…I’ve been your sister for too long. You are still carrying a flame for Bailey back home. I’m not stupid you know. It’s ok for men to hurt.”
Just the name of the girl that held his heart back home brought a new bout of sniffling fits from Alex. Bailey had been Alex’s one hope of losing his virginity back then. A beautiful girl with platinum blond hair, ice-blue eyes, a wide, effervescent smile, and a body that just wouldn’t quit. But once their one date had ended, Bailey made it clear that she was not into Alex whatsoever. It was a night of absolute failure that even three years later…hurt to his core. Charlotte placed her arm around her brother, feeling his grief and heartache flow like fine wine. Her heart dropped at his pain. Deep inside, she knew it was time to come clean with her sins.
“Alex sweetie, listen to me. There are some things I have to tell you.”
Alex looked up at his sister, his red eyes taking in her features, his attention at rapped proportions.
Charlotte took a deep breath; she wasn’t certain if this revelation would help or harm the situation. But damned if she was going to her grave with this weighing on her conscious.
“Alex, I hate to tell you this, but: I might be the problem that’s holding you back.”
Now Alex looked on in utter confusion, how was his beloved sister the reason for his failures with women? He thought to himself.
“Alex…Bailey was a plant. She never liked you at all. But I set you up with her because of the conversation you had with Dad.” Now Alex was really confused. How the hell did Charlotte even know about the conversation he had with Dad? Charlotte looked at her brother’s face, she could see the wheels turning in his head, the turmoil roiling in his soul.
“Dad came to me the next day after he talked to you. I was wondering why you hadn’t come out of your room all day. He told me about the talk you guys had concerning girls and your inability to get anywhere. He asked me to hook you up. Since I was your older sister and all. He felt I definitely knew women much better than you, and could I help you out; maybe ferry one of my friends your way. To him (and you), it would be a really good deed.”
Charlotte took another huge breath before she continued.
“I thought about all of my friends that I could hook you up with that might play along. But all of my friends were already in committed relationships or had their eyes set on someone already in college. That’s when I thought about Bailey. Quiet as was kept, in school; she had the reputation of being a good, upstanding Christian girl. But any of the girls I ran with knew better. She started having sex at a very early age. In fact, there was a rumor she got started with her stepdad and older brothers. Once she hit High School, she was fair game with practically anybody that wanted some. So, when I approached her about you, she initially balked at the idea, but I got her to change her mind.”
Upon hearing this, Alex straightened his back. The reality of what Charlotte was saying was beginning to sink in. And he wasn’t liking the implications one bit.
“After your date, I talked to her and tried to figure out what went wrong. She dodged my questions for a minute until I told her I would not only kick her scrawny little ass, but that I would let out the rest of her little secrets that I knew personally.”
“ARE YOU SERIOUS CHARLOTTE?! WHAT THE FUCK?!!” Alex’s ire was rising the longer he listened to this story.
“Calm down brother dear…I know it sounds fucked up, just let me finish. Please.” Placing her hand on her brother’s cheek, she could feel the heat and hurt radiating to her skin. God how she wanted to take it all away. Through his pain and indignation, Alex seemed to calm, if ever so slightly.
“She finally told me what it was that turned her off to you. It wasn’t that you were a bad guy…honestly she said that you were one of the nicest guys she had ever met. It was the fact that by the end of the date, she thought you were falling in love with her. She didn’t feel comfortable leading you on like that. She said she was just going to fuck you and move on. But that you were too nice; that she didn’t want to corrupt you with her past. To get you caught up in her lifestyle. Besides, she wasn’t ready to get attached to anybody. So, she acted like she didn’t like you. In reality, she loves you tremendously and only wishes she were really good enough to be with you.”
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