A frigid blast of wind pierced through Brandon’s flushed face, nearly knocking off his Pit Viper sunglasses and Beta Gamma Rho embroidered poof-ball hat. His gloves trembled as he reached for the frost covered handle of cinnamon whiskey nestled between himself and Wes on a swaying, unstable ski lift chair. Elevated above the alpine trees and freshly laid powdery snow halfway up the summit, he took a lengthy pull from the sugary nectar, capturing a brief moment of blissful warmth, before passing it off to his friend who followed suit. Wes noticed Brandon visibly shaking.
“I can’t believe the girls didn’t want to get out to make a few runs,” Wes laughed.
“Could you imagine? Morgan would spend the entire time updating every single person atop this damn mountain on how miserable she was. Minute by minute. ‘Still cold, Morgan? Got it,'” Brandon replied.
“So it sounds like things are going well with you two.”
“I was going to call it off last week, but I really wanted a painted cooler.”
“Been there,” Wes nodded.
“Plus, having a guaranteed lay seemed better than going stag to our senior formal.”
“I’m sure Jamie Lynn would have gladly fucked you instead of desperately throwing herself on that poor pledge to be here.” Wes smirked.
“Should we tell Billy before or after they sleep together about her clap-ridden rosebud?”
“Definitely after. It’s just Gonorrhea.”
“Yeah, penicillin shot and he’s good as new.”
“Rite of passage, really.”
“You would know,” Brandon jested.
“That girl really knows what she’s doing.”
“Apparently. How many doctor visits has it been?”
“Who keeps count, Brandon? Get off your ‘I haven’t plowed the frat rat’ high-horse. Passing down judgement from your ivory tower in Relationshipville.”
“No judgement here, buddy. I’ve wasted three months with a bottom-tier sorority girl that’s a solid six on a good day. Maybe a soft seven. She cleans up well.”
“That’s my wheelhouse,” Wes cracked.
“Go for it. Makes my job easier.”
“I’m saying this as your friend. But do you think you’re pulling better than Morgan?” Wes remarked at a heavyset Brandon.
“Definitely. At least mid-tier,” Brandon responded after visually acknowledging his prominent beer gut and the fifty pounds he put on since their pledge semester.
“Jesus, dude. You’re still talking about the tier system? We’re about to graduate. None of that shit matters.”
The lift reached the unload area and the two slid down the ramp — Brandon on skis, Wes on a snowboard — leaving the handle of booze behind. Brandon looked at Wes.
“Did you grab the…FUCK!” Brandon exerted as he saw the chair going downhill with the cinnamon flavored liquor strapped in.
“I only wanted to make one run anyway. Bunny slopes?” Wes replied.
“No. I’ve skied before.”
“Lot of snow in Florida?” scoffed Wes.
“Little place called Aspen. Ever hear of it?” Brandon jabbed referencing a family vacation he took when he was seven.
“Double black diamonds, then?”
“Sure,” Brandon answered not comprehending what he just agreed to.
Brandon looked down on a ninety-degree vertical plunge, terrified out of his mind and realized his pride just signed his own death warrant. Bitching out was not an option.
“Drinks all night on the last one down,” Wes declared before dropping in.
Brandon reacted instinctively and regrettably started to descend down the mountain side. Where Wes cut powder with the grace of a coked out gazelle, Brandon was a frightened armadillo. His skis crossed almost immediately, he panicked, mistakenly bailed onto his side, and endlessly barrel rolled until…THUMP! Wes looked back at the sound and saw the horrifying sight of his friend rag-dolled around a stump.
“Holy fuck. He’s dead.”
To be continued….