About the Author
Taylor Bell is a freshman at Central Delaware University. She’s a third-generation Beta Zeta, her favorite band is The Smiths and she grew up with a pug named Percy, until her mom backed into the poor thing while drunk, crushing his sweet little pug skull. So, she’s a tough cookie. After having her life turned completely upside down by the girls of BZ, she had no choice but to tell her story. Dirty Rush is that story, and that story is this book, and this book is Dirty Rush.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dirty Rush 1.
TEQUILA, LIME JUICE, AND ADDERALL
“Name?” he asked.
He pretended to squint down at his clipboard, using it as an excuse to give me an up-down scan. Mirrored Ray-Bans sat low on his nose and LEGALIZE COCAINE was printed in bold black letters on his neon green tank top.
“Hmmm . . . Taco Bell,” he said, smirking and still eyeing me, “I don’t see any Taco Bells on the list, but you have an honest face and an honest . . . ass, so I’m gonna go ahead and let you in.”
“I’m honored, thanks.” He opened the door to the house, and I could immediately feel the mayhem booming inside. There was no turning back. I was going to a frat party, the end. I took a deep breath and stepped into the madness.
The house was a massive Victorian mansion with a vaulted foyer that featured one of those huge curved staircases that you only see in movies. There were two hallways, which must’ve led to the first-floor bedrooms, branching out from either side of the main room. It wasn’t hard to imagine a century’s worth of kids getting hammered in here, hiding behind the illusion of public service. The general scent of the house, however, was equal parts locker room and Victoria’s Secret, and my sandals were sticking to the booze-soaked floor (#gross). My plan was to smile at all the drunk people, stay for ten minutes or until I found Jack, and get the fuck out.
I smoothed my dress and gauged the vibe of the party—it was a raucous symphony of electronic music and the wild screams of college kids in the prime of their lives. Decorations were sparse except for fog machines in every corner and one enormous disco ball. A DJ booth had been set up, and some Skrillex song was blasting from enormous speakers that hung from the ceiling. There were girls everywhere. Dancing on tables, grinding on guys, and taking selfies. Two of them were making out with each other while taking selfies.
“Boom! Those are some gold-medal gazongas!” an overweight, overly confident bro slurred in my direction. He was flanked by two other kind-of-fat guys who raised their Solo cups in my direction as if to congratulate me.
“Thank you?” I said, offering up a half smile. Even though he was clearly drunk, it seemed polite to accept his compliment.
Obviously the party was not designed with sobriety in mind, so I went looking for a drink. Luckily, lining the walls of the main room were a bunch of lanky boys with mediocre faces holding silver trays with Solo cups filled to the brim with a suspect red liquid. They looked like twelve-year-olds. A shirtless, kind-of-cute blond dude with big teeth leaned in toward me and grinned.
“ ’Sup, hot stuff? Drink?”
“Sure. Thanks,” I said, grabbing a Solo cup off the tray. I took a sip. It tasted like rubbing alcohol, sugar, and sadness. Downing one would’ve been blackout city, so I put the cup back on his tray. “Just kidding. What else you got?”
“Keg’s in the back,” he said, motioning with the tray. A few cups toppled over, sloshing red punch down his arm. “Shit!”
“HEYYYY, RUSSELLSPROUT!” a familiar voice shouted. “What’d I tell you about spilling?” Suddenly, Jack Swanson, the reason I’d come to this godforsaken party to begin with, appeared in front of me, even more handsome than I’d remembered. I’d only met Jack two days earlier, when he sat next to me in my women’s studies class, but I’d spent almost every hour since then wondering if he’d invited me to this party because he liked me or because it was his job as a frat boy to get wide-eyed freshman girls to the house. I was never the type to obsess over guys, but I was going with it. Jack had the type of smile that stuck in your brain for days on end.
He slung his big arm around Russell, who was shitfaced. Cute, but shitfaced, and he suddenly looked almost scared.
“Sir! Um . . . uhh . . . don’t spill?” offered Russell.
“Correct. Now, please apologize to my friend Taylor here.”
“Also, Sprout, do you mind doing one more little favor?”
“So, you do mind?”
“No, sir. I meant no, sir, I don’t mind.”
“Great. Drop and give me fifty.”
Without even a moment’s hesitation, Russell turned, handed his tray to the pledge next to him, dropped to the floor, and started doing push-ups.
“I’m gonna need to hear you count,” Jack said, crossing his arms and taking a step back to survey the push-ups. Russell looked like he was having a hard time. His face was turning red and he was panting.
“Five . . . six . . . seven . . . eight . . .”
“That’s better. Hey, Taylor.” Jack smiled, turned toward me, and placed a foot on Russell’s back, crossing his arms. “Glad you could make it to our little get-together. I thought you weren’t into the ‘frat scene,’ ” he said, making air quotes.
“I’m not, but I thought I’d try something new.”
“Well, I’m glad to see you have an adventurous spirit.”
“Adventure’s my middle name.” I smiled back at him, immediately regretting my words.
He laughed a bit. “Alright. Noted.”
Jack was so not my type, but there was something about him that gave me serious butterflies. He was dreamy, and I never say guys are dreamy. His skin was golden, maybe from being on a boat all summer, and his eyes were blue and kind. Even though Jack was acting like a typical bro, I could tell there was something else there. It was actually kind of confusing.
“Where’s your drink?” he asked.
“Well, I did have the pleasure of sampling the rape juice, if that’s what you mean. It was delicious but a bit too sweet for my taste. I’m gonna grab a beer. You want one?”
“No, no, no, that’s not how this works. I retrieve the beers; you drink them. Not the other way around.”
“Well, then, yes, please.”
“Dope. Be right back.”
And with that, Jack took his foot off of Russell’s back and disappeared into the mass of bodies.
Russell made a loud guttural sound mid-push-up and a fountain of pink vomit shot out of his mouth onto the floor in front of me. I jumped back, barely dodging the spray of puke headed toward my sandals. As much as I wanted to wait for Jack, the toxic odor rising from Russell’s mess encouraged a change in locale. Standing next to a puker is not a good look for anyone. I slowly backed away, mumbling, “Feel better.”
“HEY, FRESHMAN!” I heard a voice scream. I turned around to see a kind-of-pretty, kind-of-short brunette making a beeline for me with a smile on her face. She was sporting a short J.Crew skirt and a polo. She hugged me and laughed. “I’m Meg. How autistic is this party?”
“It’s definitely on the spectrum.”
“Um . . . nothing. Sorry, have we met?” I asked her as she pulled me into a corner.
“Nope, but it’s your lucky day. I’m gonna be your Big Sis. Or at least I’ll probably be your Big. Or at least I reallllly think I should be your Big because you’re fucking cute as fuck.” She grabbed me by the elbow and started weaving us through the crowd, hopefully toward the kitchen, because I still needed a drink. “Please tell me you didn’t drink the jungle juice.”
“Um, no, but you must be mistaking me for someone else. I haven’t rushed or gotten a bid to pledge or whatever. I don’t really—”
“Oh, it’s okay. No one has yet.”
“Yesssss,” Meg whispered.
“But you def will. Rush Beta Zeta, that is. Aaaaaand we’re totally not talking about this now because we don’t want to be involved in a dirty rush scandal. Dealing with the Panhel is never cute. Trust,” she said as she pulled out her phone and quickly responded to a text message. “Excuse me!” she yelled at a guy and girl attempting to dance while eating each other’s faces on the dance floor. The girl looked up at us, squealed, and went in for a drunken hug.
“Sabrina! Please stop dry humping Benjamin on the dance floor. It’s gross. You need to set a good example. There are children present,” she nodded in my direction.
The girl looked at us sheepishly.
“I kid! I kid!” Meg roared with laughter. Then, without missing a beat, she put her free hand on the girl’s shoulder, got up in her face, and calmly said, “Please use a condom tonight, love.” As we walked away, she turned to me, “That’s Sabrina. She’s a junior BZ and has been with her boyfriend, Ben, since high school. They fuck anywhere and everywhere and have had, like, ten pregnancy scares. So retarded.”
“Yeah!” Meg said enthusiastically. I had no idea how to respond to this.
“So what’s this about me rushing?” I asked instead.
“Wait, you’re Taylor Bell, right? The girl with, like, a three-generation legacy?”
“I guess that’s one way to describe me.”
“Your sisters, Kelly and Jess, are fucking Beta Zeta legends. I never met Jess, but Kelly had the best tit-to-waist ratio I’ve ever seen. Yours isn’t bad either.”
I looked down at my white dress and back up at Meg. “Thank you?”
I was a little weirded out by Meg’s knowledge of my family’s history, but she was totally right. I was the fifth woman in my family to attend Central Delaware University. My grandmother, mom, and two sisters had all graduated from CDU and were all proud members of the Beta Zeta sorority. I was a legacy, I guess, but my decision to come to this school had nothing to do with a sorority. I’d been accepted to a bunch of great colleges besides CDU, but this was the only one that offered me a full academic scholarship, and the idea of having zero student loans to pay off when I graduated was just too good to pass up. So, ironically, here I was, following in the collegiate footsteps of basically all the women in my entire family. At a fucking frat party.
Meg pushed our way through a line in the kitchen and started pumping a keg. “So you’re definitely rushing. You’d be retarded not to. God, I’m sorry for saying ‘retarded’ so much. I know I’m not supposed to say that word. I mean, for all I know you have a very retarded cousin or something. But, like, it’s the most accurate way to describe something that’s actually retarded, you know? Like this party. And the thought of you not rushing a sorority you can clearly get into and pull serious rank.”
“Yes, retard. Rank.” Meg handed me a beer.
“What do you mean?” I asked, genuinely intrigued.
“Look, you obvi didn’t hear this from me, but if you rush Beta Zeta, not only will you get a bid in, like, five seconds, but you’ll basically be able to do and say whatever you want. Colette will have no choice but to be nice to you, which is not easy for her. And besides, you’re super fucking cute and you look smart but not in an annoying way.”
“Thanks,” I replied. “And Colette is who, exactly?”
“Oh, Colette Winter’s basically the unofficial boss bitch of the Beta Zeta chapter here at CDU. She doesn’t hold a title, but everyone listens to her anyway. She can be a cunty fucking whore sometimes, but I get it. That’s how it works in sororities—you’ll see. Presidents do paperwork and go to meetings, Colette gets shit done and makes girls cry in public.”
“Heavy is the head that wears the crown,” I said half-kidding.
Meg looked at me as if I’d just said something to her in Mandarin, before responding with a loud, “Exactly!”
I took a sip of my beer and looked around the party. There was a boy drunkenly trying to break-dance on the kitchen floor, alone. He was shirtless but appeared to be wearing some sort of boobie-tassels over his nipples.
“No offense, but all of this isn’t really for me. I think it’s sweet that you guys would want me to join, but I’m not my grandma or my mom or my sisters. I’m not really sure that, um, Greek life is my scene.”
“Then what is your scene? Because at present, it’s a frat party.”
“The truth is, I kind of just came here to see a guy, who I think I’m gonna go try and find now. Thanks for the beer, though.”
I had walked away from Meg and back into the throngs of bodies dancing when I started to notice just how sweaty everyone at this party was. I’m not a big fan of sweat, sweaty strangers, or plumes of pot smoke blown into my face, so I decided to remove myself from the dance floor pronto and check out the rest of the house and maybe (hopefully) run into Jack again. I spotted a tight, dark hallway that seemed to lead to a rear living room, and headed in that direction, pulling my bag closer to me because it was so packed in there. My phone was buzzing. I managed to pull it out and saw that I had three texts from Jonah, my best friend from high school who was also now a freshman at CDU. We didn’t exactly plan on following identical academic trajectories, but we’d done almost everything together in high school, so it made sense. Most of our friends from home thought that we’d end up getting married, but most of our friends also still thought Jonah was straight.
Jonah 10:15PM Where r u? I’m bored.
Jonah 10:16PM My roommate keeps farting in our room and not saying anything. So awk
Jonah 10: 29PM where are u??????
Shit. Fuck. Shit. I’d totally flaked on Jonah. We were supposed to hang out, and then I decided to take up a virtually random frat guy on his invite instead.
Taylor 10:30PM Are u sitting down?
Jonah 10:31PM Yes
Taylor 10:31PM I’m at a frat party. U wanna come?
Jonah 10:32PM Are you ok? Is this a joke? What happened to getting wasted and watching Rosemary’s Baby?
Taylor 10:34PM I ♥ you. But this is just as fun and scary as Rosemary’s. So just come.
Jonah 10:37PM I hate you. Where is it?
Taylor 10:37PM Omega Sig
Jonah 10:38PM As if I know where that is
Jonah 10:38PM Address?
I sent him a pin of where I was, shoved my phone back into my bag, and continued to push through the packed hallway. My plan to snoop around was thwarted when I walked into the living room and realized I was going to have to somehow avoid getting roped into playing Twister with a group of bikini-clad, slutty-looking freshman girls and some fraternity dudes. I had no idea people still played Twister. One of the frat guys waved at me to join in. Fortunately, a girl’s tit fell out of her top as she was reaching for a green dot, which distracted him, allowing me to snake back out of the living room past a group of kids bonging beers. I wondered whether the girls had brought their own bikinis or if the frat had provided them. On closer inspection, I noticed that the bikini bottoms were stamped with OMEGA SIGMA across the ass. Wow. That answered that question.
I walked into a quiet, dimly lit hallway that was surprisingly not crowded. Then, out of nowhere, I heard something very loud and very fast coming toward me. I quickly threw myself backward against the wall and hoped for the best. A beat-up shopping cart crammed with dudes came flying past me, stopped short, and launched its passengers into an inflatable kiddie pool filled with Jell-O in the kitchen. A crowd surrounding the pool exploded in exci...
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