It wasn’t drugs. It wasn’t alcohol. It wasn’t anything that I expected.
It was a topless photo of Eloise Sinclair.
Ian was pleased with my reaction. At the time, I didn’t know better, but he was looking for that reaction. He touched my forearm, forward as always , and egged me on to get exicted.
“What do you think she would do if she found out?” Ian asked quietly, looking me in the eyes. He already knew the answer. And so did I. This was all formality, really.
If the girls got involved in the dorm wars, there’s no way it would go unresolved for long. The wars had always been between boys because the girls took it way too far, really. People turned against one another when the girls got involved: friends became enemies, love became hatred, and things got real messy.
I took the phone from Ian, and put it in my pocket. He smiled.
“I’ll deal with it.” I said.
“I knew you would,” he said, and walked away.
In my room that night, I had wondered how Anderson Taylor had got the photo. Ian hadn’t said who the phone belonged to, but he knew that it was Anderson out for my blood. I knew that Ian and Anderson hated each other, so why wouldn’t Ian help me out?
The next morning, I tested the waters. I sat with my good friend Anne Carey at lunch, thinking of how to ask about the photo. But my nerves got the best of me, and I ended up throwing the phone on the table.
She wasn’t surprised. “I had heard these were going around, but I just didn’t think it would ever get back to her,” Anne said with a sad smile. “We all make mistakes sometimes.”
But when I told her whose phone it was, her face fell and became outraged. She didn’t believe me at first: Anderson had been with Catherine Elizabeth since freshman year, why would he have these photos of Eloise?
Eventually, however, my good friend did exactly what I wanted her to do. She pocketed the phone and told me she wouldn’t give it back. “Catherine has a right to see this,” and with that, Anne put my actions in motion.
I watched from afar later that night as a group of girls spilled onto the lawn in front of Oliver Dormitory. I didn’t like to cause the girls to get riled up, but there they were, wanting blood.
“How could you do that to me? You’re a desperate, sick bitch. You will never be me, so stop trying,” I heard Catherine Elizabeth’s shrill shriek. She never raised her voice, so it was truly chilling to hear her so angry.
“I never sent those! I don’t understand how he got them, but I never would do that,” Eloise was on the defensive. She was a cowering lamb in the middle of a pack of hungry lions. I think she began to cry, but I didn’t know for sure.
And, right on time, I saw Anderson Taylor walking out of Parker. He was striding over to the throbbing throng of girls. Catherine swung around and began walking towards him. It was clear that Anderson had no idea he was going to be slapped.
He held his check and looked at Catherine, incredulous. Why he would pretend to be innocent was beyond me, but I loved to watch him squirm.
She held out the phone to him: “Why would you do this, you sick pig?!” Catherine was crying. Eloise took her chance and ran back inside.
“That’s not my phone,” Anderson said quietly, pulling a phone out of his pocket.