Scavenger Hunt

Of course we woke up late on the morning of the scav hunt.  Maybe because it started at 7:07 on a Saturday morning. I leaped from my bed to Tia’s, knocking over a water bottle that only further amplified her morning grouchiness.

“Rise and shine.”

“I hate you so much right now.“

I ripped the comforter off her bed and regretted it immediately. Tia shot me a glare that could wound steel.

“Please?” I asked softly.

We gathered in the North Lawn. Pi Kappa vs. Delta Tau. Boys against girls. From the looks of the boys, they’d had a night. We’d have this thing won by afternoon.

The rules were pretty straight forward. And we’d been given the list a few days ago. Standard fare, mostly. The Dean Randolph’s signature, 30 points. A picture of Professor Dellstein smoking a cig was worth 45. Other stuff was pretty simple. A Tyllston flag was five points. A lame ticket stub from the basketball game was a point.

I caught Scott’s eye and he offered a butterfly-inducing grin. I arched my back and kept my game face intact, but even bleary eyed and without coffee Tia was on to me.

“He’s got you so whipped.”

“Not true, I just…” I couldn’t look at her. Or even finishing the sentence. But maybe. Scott stood out from the rest of them. Tall and strong, with a beaming smile that made me think bad thoughts. His effortless hair arranged like he just stepped out of an episode of Hart of Dixie. We’d met a couple of months ago at a party. And now we were, well, I don’t know.

Tia shot me that look, eyes narrowed like she was reading my thoughts. Then she cocked her head, looking across the lawn. “Too pretty for me, I like a guy with some character.”

There were plenty of those to go around. I grabbed Tia and out group got off to a great start. Because I’d mapped out the campus and knew we both knew how easy it would be to swing by the gym and get the gimme items first.

By ten we had most of the stuff marked off the list.

Coach Millen’s whistle.

A quarter pound of chewed gum from under the bleachers (Eww).

Both basketball goal nets.

We were in and out before the first hungover Kappa boy swung through the doors.

We ate lunch with the enemy. The guys had a keg in the front of their house and it was pretty much a party. We didn’t disclose our list, but I knew we were crushing them. Most of them had only showed for the free beer anyway.

Scott offered me a cup. I was a junior and day drinking wasn’t exactly a novel concept. It was just what we did. The sun was out and spring was unraveling in the yard. Scott pumped the keg, his wiry arms were already nice and tan. He smiled and I scooted closer to him. Tia was over near the grill, all arms crossed and standoffish with some uh, characters. I turned back to Scott and he kissed my neck. It was nice.

Sure we were dating but all was fair. On our list was one object that was a secret. The Kappa paddle. And I had a means to an end.

We got back to the hunt that afternoon. By five or so we were set, although Beth’s giggling nearly got us busted over at the Dellstein residence. But I wanted the paddle. And I wanted Scott. He had a way about him that just kind of drew me in.

The sun slipped down and the music came on. I joined Scott inside. We kissed near the steps. He asked if I wanted to go upstairs. I did. I wasn’t drunk, but at the same time I didn’t want Tia asking me a bunch of questions. Besides, I was ready.

I’ll leave out the details. He was my first. It was great and not-so-great and a moment I will always remember for so many reasons. Sure, it would have been nice if we were somewhere more private, but again, this was college. I was used to constant noise.

In the kitchen below us some kids chanted so loud that I felt it in the mattress. Scott stood up. Tia was right. He was perfect. He wiped the hair from his eyes and smirked. I gave him a lazy smile. He strode out of bed to use the bathroom

And that’s when I saw it.

No, not the paddle. Something worse. Something that changed the course of my life. I was looking for my clothes when I saw the haphazardly folded piece of paper peeking out of his jacket. Perhaps it was all the games and competition of the day, but I looked.

It was the list. Just like ours. The items and points. Some marked and crossed out and some waiting to be crossed out. My hands were trembling by the time my eyes reached the bottom because I knew. I knew that this list was different than ours. There was no paddle. . Instead, like an item on a menu, I saw my name.

Jennifer Brent’s Virginity – 500 Points!

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