WHEN I WAS GROWING UP MY DAD ALWAYS TOLD ME, "Townes, college will be the best four years of your life." He was rarely wrong about anything, so I couldn't have been more excited to head off to school. High school was the minor leagues, and I was ready for the big show. Ready to walk onto the field under the lights, throw up on home plate, kick the catcher in the balls, and charge the mound. My parents made the trip with me to see that I was properly set up in my dorm, and to put a small buffer between unpacking and the start of a long binge-drinking career. They rode in my dad's Suburban, equipped with a trailer that contained everything I needed to recover from a hangover in comfort. I followed them in my truck as part of my dad's strategy to delay my mom's inevitable emotional breakdown.
I was rooming in Manor Hall, the most sought-after dorm for incoming freshmen due to its prime location and reputation for employing lenient resident advisors. It housed over a thousand first-year students, which made moving in complete chaos. Luckily, the female scenery was enough to make it bearable. If the prospect of being freed from parental shackles wasn't enough to get me pumped about college, the hundreds
of eighteen-year-old slampieces who were now my neighbors definitely did the trick. They scampered back and forth with boxes from their parents' SUVs to their rooms, eager to start their lives as independent young women. Their fathers trudged back and forth despairingly, carrying suitcases filled with clothes that would eventually end up on the floor of some sexually inventive male classmate's bedroom.
While my dad and I carried my dresser, flat-screen, mini-fridge, and boxed-up belongings from our trucks to my room, my mom, Debbie Prescott, lounged in the dorm lobby reading brochures about student organizations and the health center. After an hour of unpacking it was finally time for goodbyes. I walked my mom to the car with my arm around her while she rambled about getting involved in student government and shoved pamphlets into the pockets of my shorts.
"I know you'll do great things here, honey. Your father and I love you very much and know you'll make good decisions. I miss you already."
"I'll miss you too, Mom, and I'll be fine," I said. "You have nothing to worry about."
Before leaving me to confront my destiny, my dad shook my hand, looked me square in the eye, and left me with some words of wisdom.
"Be good, kiddo. Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"Yes sir," I said as our prolonged handshake struck an agreement between father and son.
Before getting into the car my mom swelled with sentiment, and as she fought back tears she whispered some emotional lyrics she stole from a bad country song.
"I hope you dance, Townesy."
She held me at arm's length and made high-pitched crying noises as her eyes watered, then turned without a word and slumped dramatically down into her seat. Before departing, my dad honked the horn and said, "Check your golf bag. I left you something in the side pocket." Then he peeled off into the sunset. Once they were out of sight I walked back inside and took the elevator to my room, sat on the polyester prefurnished couch surrounded by boxes, and took a deep breath. I knew I had just crossed the threshold into a new world. It was as if God had opened up the heavens, shot me a thumbs-up with a wink, and said, Go forth, my son, and spread your seed, for I have instilled a spirit of triumphant rage within you. I reached into our still unplugged mini-fridge, grabbed two warm Keystones, and tossed one to my roommate, Monte.
Monte was a six-foot-five man-child, whose Christian name was Peter Montgomery. He was an all-state middle linebacker our senior year of high school, but had always been too smart for his size, so he turned his back on the pigskin to focus on his education after getting a full ride to college. We had been best friends since sixth grade, when our dads started a law firm with a few other lawyer buddies. Monte's longtime high school girlfriend, Sarah, had gotten into some out-of-state school, and like all young couples who think they can make it work, they were determined to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship. Fucking stupid.
The beer I tossed his direction thudded against Monte's chest and rolled into his lap. He looked at me, disgruntled, and I offered a resolution.
"Let's get shitfaced."
"Shouldn't we unpack first?" he asked.
I pretended not to hear his question and chugged my beer before spiking it to the floor, unknowingly starting a trend that would lead to us having the filthiest dorm room in the history of civilized domiciles. Monte followed suit.
"All right, that was a good start, but I'm unpacking and calling Sarah before we do anything else." He wiped his mouth and took out his phone.
While he unpacked and called Sarah, probably to vow undying abstinence in her absence, I checked my bag to see what surprise my dad had left me. I reached into the side pocket, rustled through the customized Pro V1s with my TP3 logo, and pulled out an envelope. Inside was an American Express card and a note.
Townes, College is a time for great personal growth. These are significant years you'll hold dear for the rest of your life. You're a Prescott. Carry our family name with the same respect as the generations before you. The Alpha house is a great place, and you're going to make a lot of mistakes there that your mother can never hear about. I made friendships and connections during my stay that helped shape me into the man I am today. Remember, above all else, you're there to learn. TPII P.S. Take the hazing like a man.
If he had any idea what would transpire over the next several hours, or how crazy I'd go with that AmEx over the next several years, that letter would've been comprised purely of threats and curses.
As I folded the letter back into the envelope, I heard the
scamper of feet outside our door, followed by a series of unusually polite knocks.
"Who is that? The fucking RA already?" I asked Monte.
He was still talking to Sarah, so he put his hand over the phone and waved me off apathetically to check the door.
I walked over and looked through the peephole.
"Who is it?" I asked loudly.
I heard muffled giggling and a series of much louder knocks in response.
I glanced around our room to make sure we didn't have anything illegal visible, and cracked open the door to investigate. Four girls in all black shoved their way through, shrieking like cats in heat. Two of them bum-rushed me as I covered my ears and stumbled backward.
"Mother of God," Monte said as his jaw dropped and he quickly hung up on Sarah.
The first thing I noticed was how incredibly hot and blonde they were. They playfully pushed me to the ground, and in my confused state I chose to let them have their way with me. I put up enough of a fight to make it fun for them, but I wanted to see where this was going. One of them bound my hands with rope behind my back while the other stretched duct tape over my mouth. My mind raced to figure out what the hell was going on, and then one of the girls wiped the confusion from my face with a glorious explanation.
"You're being kidnapped, sweetie," the blonde assassin informed me like a slutty psychic mind reader.
"Can I tie you up next?" I mumbled through the tape.
Monte had scrambled into a fortified position atop his bed. He was wildly swinging his pillow at two attackers, determined
to delay the inevitable. Once he noticed my lack of resistance he laid down his defense and conceded defeat.
"Don't worry," assured the girl with two trophy-worthy tits, "we'll take good care of you."
I probably looked like a kid in a candy store, eyes aglow with bewilderment and anticipation. Monte looked like a man who had forgotten the safe word during an S&M sex act gone horribly wrong.
"Welcome to college, boys," the ringleader announced as she eye-fucked my face off. "We're taking you to the Alpha house for the annual Paint Your Toga party."
I lit up like the first time a girl gripped my shaft, and nodded my wide-eyed approval. When I was a senior in high school I'd heard rumors about this hybrid toga/paint rush party, and it sounded like an orgy with multicolored lube. The girls pulled me to my feet and hit the lights as we left the room before Monte and I even had a chance to settle in.
Other kids on our floor gasped and laughed, carrying boxes filled with Bob Marley posters and Hot Pockets as we were rushed through the hallways toward the exit. Outside, a brand-new black Tahoe with a flower lei hanging from the rearview came to a screeching halt in front of us.
"Throw them in the back!"
Another hot blonde. They were multiplying.
The trunk door automatically opened, and we clumsily ducked our way in just in time before it slammed behind us and the driver sped off.
"Okay, guys! I'm Allison Kimball and I'm a Pi," said the girl with the immaculate set of twins as she reached over the backseat and applied a blindfold to my eyes.
"Totally sorry for the drama, but we always kidnap rushees
for the first party of the year. What are your names? Oh, silly me. Duct tape."
She ripped the tape from Monte's face first.
"Fuck," he said under his breath. "Peter Montgomery . . . Monte. Nice to meet you ladies."
I felt the tape tear peach fuzz from my upper lip.
"Townes Prescott," I said. "This is awesome."
"Oh, so this is the Townes we've heard so much about," said one of the girls in the front of the vehicle.
I'd only been there for six hours and already had a reputation, no doubt thanks to my dad's contributions to the Alpha fraternity house.
"Let's get this party started!" one of them squealed.
Suddenly an obnoxious Taylor Swift song was blaring through the speakers, and someone tugged my hair to tilt my head back. "Open your mouth, sweetie," Allison said seductively in my ear.
I opened up like a baby bird awaiting its first meal, and whiskey flooded my taste buds and dripped down my chin. I momentarily pitied the guys in their dorm rooms trying to level up on World of Warcraft. They would always be GDIs (god damn independents), and never experience the pure thrill of being kidnapped by hot sorority girls. My empathy ended when I heard Monte sputter up some liquid, and I could tell he was also being waterboarded with whiskey. Moments later my hair was yanked again and this time I tasted tequila. This process was repeated several more times before we finally came to a stop. Another masculinity-threatening song raped my ears until I was finally pulled from the car, and I accidentally head-butted Monte in the face on the way out.
"Watch your language in front of the ladies, you fucking jackass," I snapped back.
I stumbled without sight from the SUV, trying to find my legs, when suddenly the blindfold was pulled from my eyes. Sunlight flooded my retinas as I squinted and tried to make out my surroundings. As the foreground focused, my eyes took in an incredible, well-manicured lawn. In the background, an enormous mansion began to take shape.
"Thank you, God," I said under my breath. "It's beautiful."
I had seen pictures of my dad at the house, but nothing could prepare me for the breathtaking moment in which I absorbed its magnificence firsthand. In the middle of Greek Row on a sprawling lot, from the outside it looked like a massive southern plantation home with towering columns. Driving by you would never think, Hey, that's a place where hundreds of young people absorb unholy amounts of alcohol and try to invent new sex positions, but that's exactly what it was. A glorious mansion where dreams came true and wild fantasies were fulfilled.
Less than an hour at college had passed. We were there. Rush had begun. This was it.
While I was born in the greatest country in the world (America, fuck yeah), and into a great family (Prescott, fuck yeah), I wasn't born into my fraternity. Trust me, if anyone could've been I would've been, but no man is born wearing his letters. However, being a legacy with a handshake like a fucking arm-wrestling champion certainly boosted my status as a sought-after shoo-in during rush. Fraternity recruitment can be surprisingly similar to that of a successful collegiate football program. In order to field a respectable pledge class
you have to get everyone shitfaced and show them how much ass they'll get if they commit. Much of what goes on is completely against university rules and state laws, but if you're not cheating you're not trying. Monte and I had been contacted by Alpha's rush chairman several times throughout the summer to ensure our involvement. I had been looking forward to this since I saw Otter fuck the dean's wife in Animal House when I was seven years old. Nothing could keep me from it.
Now I was being ushered toward the back porch with Allison on my arm. After a few steps I realized I was already buzzing hard.
"We don't even have togas," Monte pointed out.
"Don't worry about that," Allison explained. "One of these guys will take care of y'all."
We were immediately greeted by several upperclassmen who looked like participants in a political debate who had gotten lost and ended up at a toga party. Their heads were adorned with ivy and they were all wearing penny loafers or boat shoes. The lankiest of the five was clad in an American flag bedsheet, and he handed me a fifth of Kentucky Deluxe before throwing a white sheet and some rope over my shoulder.
"You're Townes, right? Russell Atwater, rush chair. We talked on the phone last week. It's great to finally meet you in person."
He extended his hand for a shake, and I gave him a firm grip. Then we squared off in a manly staredown as an unspoken shootout of confidence took place, which resulted in mutual respect. We were telepathically acknowledging, I'm not a fucking pussy and you understand that because neither are you. The agreement ended with a slight nod.
"All right then," he said. "Change into your togas and throw your clothes into the back of my truck and let's go get fucking wasted."
We quickly changed as Atwater flirted with our female escorts.
"Holy shit, this is going to be fucking incredible," I said to Monte as I wrapped myself in the bedsheet.
He just nodded, still too rattled from the abduction to decide how he felt. We tossed our shirts into the back of the truck and walked back over to the group.
"I'll give you a tour of the house and we'll meet some of the other guys," Atwater said. "The band comes on in under an hour, so I hope you gentlemen are ready to get fucking rowdy."
"We're heading back to our place to change, but we'll see you later," said Allison, smiling back at me as she walked away with the other girls.
We headed up the sidewalk and up the back staircase onto a massive outdoor balcony where we were consumed by a sea of togas. Creedence Clearwater Revival was rocking through speakers positioned above the wooden deck. As we made our way through the crowd we passed several girls whose "togas" weren't really togas at all. Instead, with any fabric deemed unnecessary having been strategically cut away, they exposed as much skin as possible. I had yet to see a single one that I wouldn't punch Monte in the dick just to make out with. Apparently Mr. Committed Relationship was enjoying the scenery too, because I noticed him staring at a brunette who was a few centimeters of toga fabric away from a nip slip.
"Still miss your girlfriend, you dickhead?" I asked. "Save us both the trouble, call her now and tell her you need a break for at least the next twelve hours."
"It's our first night here, I think I can show a little restraint." His eyes stayed focused on the brunette, who was clearly enjoying our attention.
Atwater overheard us talking and stopped in his tracks.
"Wait, this big fucking idiot has a girlfriend?"
"Yeah, we've been together for over two years," Monte explained like a loyal poodle. "She goes to Vandy."
"HAHA!" Atwater seemed pleased with the situation. "Do you realize how much strange ass is going to get thrown at you tonight? Give in to the temptation; you'll be a better man for it. Look around you. It's like a buffet, for fuck's sake."
Monte let out a worrisome chuckle.
We made our way into the house, where the walls, ceiling, and floors were covered in black tarp to protect against the impending paint explosion. The distinct smell of grain alcohol and a hundred years of historic sex filled my nostrils. Everywhere I looked there was someone with a can, bottle, or cup upended. As we walked through the corridor I noticed a girl with her legs wrapped around a guy wearing nothing but a kilt, making out with a drunken passion like I'd never seen before.
"That's Scott McCandles," Atwater explained. "When he blacks out he ditches whatever he was wearing and throws on that kilt."
"That chick is licking his forehead, so it seems to be working for him," I said as we walked past.
We were approaching the staircase when suddenly a lunatic in a cowboy hat and toga came flying down the stairs at 20 mph riding an ironing board like a sled. He hit the ground and skidded into the wall, spilling his drink everywhere and knocking his head. Behind him followed ten guys with black trash bags full of mischief.
"That's the president," said Atwater. "Sean Harvey."
"What's in the bags?" I asked. The volume of the party forced us to raise our voices.
"Tubes of paint," said Atwater. "Those bags will be spread out on the dance floor, so once the band starts playing you just grab some and go apeshit."
"I never want to leave this place!" Monte proclaimed to no one in particular. A fascinated smile stretched across his face as the booze began to loosen him up.
We made our way up the stairs and down a long corridor with bedrooms to the left and right. Everything on the second floor was covered in tarp as well. The house was even bigger than I initially realized, and we turned a corner down another long hallway before finally reaching Atwater's room. There was a sign on his door written in sharpie that read RUSHEES AND TITS, OTHERWISE: GET THE FUCK OUT. He kicked the door open and there were already several guys inside drinking and talking.
"All right, y'all go around and meet the other rushees and take some shots or whatever," said Atwater as he headed toward his bathroom. "Help yourselves."
Monte and I ended up shooting whiskey with Nathan Johnson and Tim Rumsen, who were both rushing as well. They both had the same look of eager readiness on their faces. After briefly taking part in standard introductory protocol, Nathan cut to the chase.
"You can call me Nate," he said. "Tim here has some blow if you're into that."
I had ingested my fair share of illegal substances in high school, but I wasn't totally sold on hitting party powder at my first collegiate event. Just as I opened my mouth to tell them we appreciated the offer but no thanks, Monte chimed in.
Then Atwater came out of nowhere and put his arm over my shoulder.
"Nose candy? I'm in."
It was the perfect snowstorm of peer pressure. My mind wandered for a split second as I wondered if my parents had safely completed their journey home, and then Atwater handed me a rolled-up $20 bill. I looked over at Monte, who was already wide-eyed and smiling like a white-nostriled Jim Carrey, nodding his approval.
Fuck it. If Monte's punk ass can handle it, so can I.
I leaned over, put President Andrew Jackson to my nose, and railed a line off Atwater's iPad.
Just as my brain went into overdrive, I heard the band kick off the night through the floorboards with "Born in the USA," and suddenly Tim sprinted out down the hall without saying a word.
"Well, Tim is fucking awesome," said Monte, rubbing his nose.
We looked to Atwater for our next move. His bloodshot eyes darted around the room while he searched for meaningful words to motivate us, and then he delivered an eloquent speech I'll remember for the rest of my life.
"If you get lucky and my room is unlocked you can fuck on the floor. Otherwise just try random doors."
He bent down, inhaled another line, put one fist high in the air, and marched out of his room like a general leading his troops into battle. I gulped down the last of my whiskey drink and followed him out to plunge headfirst into a lifestyle that I would maintain for over half a decade.
We made our way downstairs and over to one of the makeshift bars where beers were being handed out like United
Nations survival packs in an African war zone. I noticed Atwater grabbing cans and shoving them down into his toga.
"You're going to want extras!" he yelled over the music.
I followed his lead, tucking two into the pockets of my shorts under my toga and taking two in each hand. I turned to hand one to Monte, but he was gone. After stocking up, we pushed through the crowd, which had tripled in size since our arrival, and made our way toward the massive dining room where the band was located. I saw Tim out the corner of my eye scooping a cup full of reddish-pink liquid from a twenty-gallon trash can.
"Pink panty-dropper punch," Atwater explained. "It's really just for girls, but some real degenerates who like blacking out immediately are into it."
Tim was obviously the latter. I was already shit-hammered, so I had no need for girly pink disaster liquid. We maneuvered through one last wave of people and turned the corner into the giant party room. Girls were frolicking in circles and squeezing entire tubes of paint onto each other's heads. Guys were full-sprinting across the room and sliding headfirst like Pete Rose at high speeds across the paint-covered canvas that protected the wood flooring.
Suddenly a multicolored person raced past me, flailing both arms wildly in a figure eight across his body, and paint splattered across my face and chest.
"It's go time!" yelled Atwater as he wiped a glob of green from his cheek and took off in the direction of the stage.
"We need some fucking paint!" Nate shouted in my ear.
I nodded in agreement and we made our way through the madness toward the closest trash bags, our togas becoming less white with every step. Soon we would be part of a drunken
rainbow race like the rest of the room. The look of joy that this decadent environment put on my face would've made my hometown pastor's head explode.
As I reached into the bag and grabbed from the assorted tubes of color, someone's hands covered my eyes. My drunken reflexes kicked in and I turned swiftly, ready to extinguish my attacker with a barrage of red and blue paint. My counterattack paused when I realized it was a girl. Her face was like every other in the crowd, purplish brown from the mix of primary colors, but Allison's ample mounds were easily distinguishable.
"It's me, stupid!" she screamed. "Let's go dance!" She took hold of my hand. "You need to get dirtier!"
Yes, we do.
She playfully ran her paint-covered hands through my hair and then pulled me toward the gathered masses. As we stumbled along I polished off one of my beers, handed another to her, and reloaded. We were in the middle of the dance floor when the band sent a flurry of piano keys through the air that caused everyone to crank up their intensity another notch into the code-red danger zone. It was Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," and I was immediately swept up in the craziest dance party I'd ever been a part of.
Allison and I jumped up and down like little kids in an inflatable castle filled with booze. I chugged half of my beer and then swung the can wildly over my head, spraying everyone within a ten-foot radius and causing a chain reaction that resulted in around thirty other people beer showering simultaneously. I was performing a series of terrible white-guy dance moves (a combination of the twist and the classic water sprinkler) when I slipped on a slick puddle of paint, lost my footing, and landed on my back. I couldn't feel a thing, and alcohol
refused to give awkwardness a chance to set in, so I embraced the moment and flailed around on the floor like I was having an epileptic seizure while Allison poured beer straight into my mouth like a fountain a few feet above me. It was pure glory. Nothing else in the world mattered. There were no parents, no rules, and no worries.
I stood back up when I'd had my fill, and the next thing I knew Allison and I were moving toward each other in drunken slow motion as I stiff-armed strangers blocking our embrace. What ensued on the dance floor could not be considered "slow dancing" by any legal definition, but was sloppily paced grinding that would've made her father regurgitate his dinner. An unopened beer fell from my waist to the tarp floor, and as I bent over to retrieve it I realized Allison had gone to grab it too, and I was inches from her face. This was my second "fuck it" moment of the night. The kiss that followed swapped a mixture of spit, beer, and paint. When our lips parted ways, the amount of alcohol in my system caused me to lose my footing and tumble to the ground again, pulling Allison down on top of me.
"You're crazy!" She laughed.
I ignored the accusation and decided on a game plan.
"You wanna go take some shots?" I asked, helping her to her feet.
"Atwater's room. He said I could help myself."
She took my hand and we headed out of the crowd toward the stairs. Right before we reached the steps I noticed another couple against the wall making out, except this time it wasn't Scott McCandles in his kilt.
The girl's toga was hiked up around her waist. The guy
had apparently lost his toga, wearing only khaki shorts that were now badly stained, and claw marks on his back that were apparently from her nails. While he shielded the dirty action of his hand below her waist from the wandering eyes of passersby, I noticed he was performing an act usually reserved for the privacy of a bedroom. Normally I would've laughed it off and kept to myself, but I came to a sudden, alarming realization. It was Monte.
"Holy shit, Monte, is that you?" I interrupted.
He looked back over his shoulder with a blank stare. There was no shame in his eyes as he attempted to form a smile with the alcohol-sedated muscles in his face. Any speck of remorse that he normally would've shown was hidden behind a curtain of booze and drugs.
"Are you fucking serious right now? In the hallway?"
I laughed hysterically as he finally realized who I was.
"Townes!" He faltered backward toward me. "What the fuck is up?" His slurred words were barely understandable.
"Monte?" His female companion was confused. "You said your name was Peter!"
He turned back to her to attempt an explanation as Allison tugged on my hand to lead me upstairs.
"Take it to a room, you fucking wildebeest," I yelled as I walked away.
Each step of the stairs was like a hurdle, and when we reached the top I decided there was no time to waste and took aim for the kill shot. We made out intermittently as we headed down the hallway and I said a mental prayer that Atwater's door would be unlocked. When we reached his room it was wide open, and someone was passed out facedown in his bed. Allison stopped outside and I walked in on a reconnaissance
mission. His face was completely purple, but I knew it was Tim. Atwater's bed was covered in smears of paint, and his pillow was dribbled with Tim's punch-stained drool. He was still breathing, and I decided there was no reason to wake him. After all, Atwater had said to fuck on the floor.
"He's out cold," I informed Allison as I grabbed the closest bottle from the dresser. "Vodka?" I asked as she shut the door.
I poured a glass, but as I turned to hand it to her she pounced on me like a rabbit in heat. She pushed me up against the dresser and we tore at each other's togas, desperately searching for mutual nudity. When we were totally disrobed she slid to her knees and started fellating the only inches of my body not tainted with paint. Tim let loose a drunken groan in his sleep. I reached behind me and grabbed the glass to take one last swig of vodka before going in for some floor fucking. I didn't even have time to consider the fact that Atwater probably kept condoms in his dresser; things were moving too quickly.
I was only a few thrusts in when a loud Kaboom shook the ground like an earthquake, causing Allison to scream and Tim to shoot up suddenly like a zombie arisen from the dead.
"What the fuck was that?" Allison shrieked as she grabbed for her toga to cover herself.
"Shots fired?!?" Tim asked, only half conscious.
Just then Atwater kicked open his door.
"Some fucking idiot loaded the cannon with paint tubes and fired it!" he yelled.
He quickly realized I was popping my college cherry in his room.
"Townes? Nice!" He turned and looked at his bed. "Tim? What the fuck?"
I quickly helped Allison to the bathroom so she could get
dressed and slammed the door behind her as I pulled up my shorts and tried to find my bearings.
"There's a cannon? What the hell is happening?" I asked Atwater.
He briefly explained that the chapter had an old Civil War relic in the backyard, and someone thought it would be a good idea to pack it with gunpowder and tubes of paint before throwing a flaming piece of toilet paper inside. I was trying to digest the absurdity of the situation when Monte stumbled into the room behind him. He stood in the doorway, maintaining his stance with one arm on the wall, wearing his boxers, a few layers of paint, and a glob of drool hanging from his chin. Atwater took one look at him and decided we were a liability.
"You guys better get the fuck out of here, the cops will show up any minute. Take the fire escape." He grabbed Monte by the arm and ushered him toward the window.
I looked at the bathroom door, considering Allison's fate, but Monte had already begun his descent and there was no way I was letting that slapdick wander home alone. Atwater noticed my concern.
"Dude, I'll take care of her, get the fuck out of here!"
I was in no position to argue, so I headed for the window and looked out. Monte was about halfway down the ten-step ladder, and motioned for me to follow him. I climbed down and as my feet touched the ground I saw the flashing of red and blue lights coming from the front of the house. I crouched with my toga over my shoulder while Monte swayed in his boxers. Tim made it halfway down the ladder before losing his grip and flailing through the air like a wounded duck. He landed square on his back with his legs pointed straight up, bouncing his head off the grass.
"We're going to have to take a back route," whispered Monte. He was down on one knee, scanning the area and licking his lips furiously while he flashed his hands in different directions like a covert Navy SEAL. Tim got to his feet, unfazed by the fall, and gave Monte a thumbs-up in response.
A flashlight beamed around the side of the house, so we scrambled into the bushes.
"We'll jump the fence in the backyard and head for the alley behind Manor," I strategized.
"You think they're gonna shoot that cannon at us?" Tim asked.
Monte tapped my shoulder and we eased our way out of the bushes, but after a few feet I turned back to see Tim rooted to the ground with a look of pure horror on his face. A group of people covered from head to toe in red paint had turned the corner, followed by flashlights.
"Jesus Christ, it's a fucking massacre!" Tim cried out. "RUN! EVERYONE RUN!"
A flashlight beam hit Tim in the chest.
"Tim! Let's go! Now!" I yelled.
The flashlight hit me and I looked over at the cop standing directly below Atwater's room.
"Stop! Do not attempt to run!" he commanded.
The thought of calling my dad from jail less than twenty-four hours after leaving for school set off an alarm in my head. I ran back to Tim and jerked him by the arm. He tripped through the bushes and toppled into me, sending us both to the ground in a paint-stained heap. We were just feet away from the cop, tangled up and totally exposed. It was all over. But then fate took a turn.
The officer's eyes hardened as he reached for his handcuffs,
but out of nowhere a colorfully coated and unidentifiable Alpha walked up and tapped him on the shoulder.
"This is private property," he said boldly. "Where's your probable cause?"
The cop spun around, taken off guard by what sounded like a lawyer and looked like a member of an art cult. The Alpha's legal rant continued as the officer's hand moved swiftly to his Taser holster.
"Where's your warrant?" he asked with a cocky head tilt.
"Step back and calm down," the cop said firmly.
The Alpha ignored him. "This is unconstitutional. I'm taking down your badge number."
He reached for the badge pinned to the cop's chest as the Pop of the Taser being fired echoed into the night sky.
"Arggghhhhhhh!" He went stiff and toppled toward the ground as the voltage coursed through his veins and spittle flew from his lips.
The cop dropped his knee into the guy's back as I pulled Tim to his feet and turned to sprint. Monte was already running like a bronze medalist in the Special Olympics for giants. Tim and I took off after him. We jumped a few fences and eventually found our way into an alley that led directly to our dorm. When we were a safe distance from the house I stopped to catch my breath.
"Holy shit!" I said, gasping. "Whoever that was, he saved our asses!"
"Sarah is going to disown me." The cannon fire, police, and adrenaline had brought Monte to the sobering reality that it had taken him less than twenty-four hours to fuck up.
"Man . . . you really did get carried away." I attempted to ease his mental anguish with a pat on the back. "She's never going to know."
We finally reached our building as a girl was swiping her ID to get inside. She looked at us like we were completely insane.
"You guys have a good night?" she asked, smirking.
"You have no idea," I responded.
When we were finally inside our room I immediately lay down on my bare mattress. My sheets and bedding were still in boxes. Monte face-planted onto his own bed, and Tim curled up on the floor using a trash bag filled with Monte's clothes as a pillow, still in shock from the gruesome scene he thought he'd witnessed.
"Welcome to college, Monte," I said.
"Fuck you, Townes," he said back.
Adrenaline still had me wired, so I stared up at the ceiling and waited for it to fade, listening to Tim violently snore in his sleep. Serenity washed over me knowing everything in my life was going perfectly according to plan. I'd gotten into school, moved into my dorm with my best friend, and been recruited on the first night by the fraternity I knew I wanted to join. Not to mention I'd managed to lose my collegiate virginity, even if just for a few pumps. I was ready to spend the rest of my time on campus racking up as many nights like this as I possibly could.
The beginning of college means one thing: the beginning of rush. A new group of freshmen floods in and unparalleled excitement sweeps over campus as the independent lives of the future leaders of America begin with the crack of thousands of beers. These TFMs embody this time period . . .
Back to school shopping at the liquor store. TFM.
Meeting people for the first time, multiple times. TFM.
The leaders of tomorrow being unable to remember last night. TFM.
Themed parties: the gentlemanly way of telling girls to wear something slutty. TFM.
Holding back your laughter when the recruitment chair tells the rushees "We have a strict zero tolerance policy when it comes to hazing." TFM.
Freshmen move-in, it's like Christmas, but for your penis. TFM.
GDI approached the door and tried to explain that his girlfriend was inside. I said, "There are a lot of guys' girlfriends inside," and slammed it shut. TFM.
What I called "that night of drinking where I almost died" in high school is now just called Thursday. TFM.
Enjoy the front seat of my car now rushee, you'll be in the trunk soon. TFM.