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The ladies of Oliver cordially invite you…
I had unfolded the little piece of paper sitting on my bed, safely in my room on the first floor of Hayward. The half-dead flowers sat on my desk, drooping sadly in the afternoon sunlight. I was engrossed in the little note, and the flirty pink scribble on the paper.
“The ladies of Oliver cordially invite you to our Annual Sacrifice. For those who are lucky enough to be getting our ‘heads up’, we are excited to celebrate our freshman girls at the Academy. Listen up on Friday at assembly: we’ll let you know where it’s all going down. Remember: dress to impress, and don’t breathe a word to anyone. If we find out you blabbed, you’ll be making a sacrifice of your own.”
I really had no idea that this actually existed: it was an urban legend at the Academy. It was said, every Spring, that the Senior Girls threw a little party where they chose one freshman girl – traditionally a timid and awestruck virgin – to be ‘sacrificed’ to the boys in attendance. While most of the time the freshman would get a lot of flirtatious action during the party, there were apparently times when…well, you get the idea.
In black ink, underneath the invitation, was a personal note:
“Thank you for the heads up, despite the fact you were wrong. Next time, be a little more careful, no? Either way, don’t miss this: you’ll want to see what I have in store. Invite some peeps, okay?”
And signed in a flourishing script, “Catherine Elizabeth.”
This could possibly end in two ways: she could get revenge against me for being wrong about Anderson’s phone, or she could genuinely have something in store for us. My mind immediately flew to Haymish. Could she be taking on the giant?
I spent the week in anticipation. At night, I walked around Hayward, dropping the hint to a select number of boys. I wanted some backup in case things went bad – plus, she did say to ‘invite’ some boys anyway.
Early Friday morning, before my eyes had even had the chance to adjust, I searched the auditorium for a clue. I sat in my seat, wildly searching for some sign to let me know where to go.
Annoyed and frustrated, I didn’t notice that I had dropped my phone. Reaching for it under my seat, my hand brushed something. There, taped to the bottom of my seat, was a piece of paper: in pink marker, “THE BARN BASEMENT”.
Before I knew it, I was in a fresh pair of jeans and a black button-up, walking down to the Barn with my Hayward boys. The barn was a little ways away from campus, directly behind the Lacrosse field. While it was a favorite for hookups on the weekend, I’m sure Catherine Elizabeth and the senior girls found a way to get everyone to go somewhere else.
Dodging cow manure and chicken feed, I stepped into the basement of the barn. Sure enough, it was Gould’s finest: there was Anderson Taylor, Ryan Koehler, Gill Edwards, Robert Fuller, surrounded by some junior boys I really didn’t know. A threesome of sophomore boys giggled in the corner, and only one freshman boy was in attendance. The girls, of course, had the run of the place. I saw the Holy Trinity laughing in a corner, but Catherine looked particularly stressed. Eloise Sinclair gave her moody looks from a corner with Khloe Tennyson and Jessica Clarkson. A sophomore girl was already heaving.
Everyone was swaying to dubstep pouring out of the two speakers that were set up in the corner of the room. In the other corner, next to a pig pen, the girls set up a small kiddie pool with tiki torches. In it sat a small freshman girl in a nonexistent two-piece suit. She had large coke glasses on and looked extremely nervous.
I was looking for one specific person, and I found him: Haymish. He was chatting with a girl I couldn’t recognize in the dark.
Soon after, I was handed a thermos that reeked of low-grade tequila. I waited for the action to begin. And I didn’t have to wait long.
Setting herself up on a couple bundles of hay, Catherine Elizabeth turned the music down low before addressing us all.
“While we are here to see little Maya become a big girl,” she said with a sly smile, “I have another sacrifice I would like to make first.”
With that, Hannah Humphries opened a closet door and brought out a large object. We all squinted to see what it was, and while I tried to make it out, laughter erupted. The whole room turned to stare at someone.