A Bone to Pick

By: Rachel Shane

A Bone To Pick. (n)

Definition: When there are two optimal choices presented to you and you must decide between them. Choices include: whether or not to turn your disgraced sorority into a secret society or join an established secret society, what you planned to do with your life vs an opportunity that takes it in a new direction, which guy you want to, well, bone.

See also: Erin Behr’s junior year at Throckmorton University.

LAST SEMESTER I HAD a sorority—albeit an underground one—a room to myself, and a secret none of my friends even suspected. But now the sorority was gone, my four person apartment housed eight very squished people, and my secret? Well, that was in jeopardy.

“Come on.” I leaned forward and infused my voice with the kind of pep I reserved for my night hosting gig at the campus TV station. Around me, four of my best friends—and two boyfriends of said best friends—lounged within my cramped living room since our basement was still trashed from our last party. “We’ve got to come up with something.”

“Animation club? Not to be confused with the already existing Anime club,” Mackenzie Shaffer suggested from her perch across her boyfriend Corey Taft’s lap. Her long auburn hair cascaded forward, brushing my shoulder. Corey shifted and his leg smashed against my thigh. I elbowed him in the ribs, and he nudged me right back, forcing me to crash into poor Holly McKenna, who seemed to be half sitting on the couch and half sinking into the crack between the cushion and the arm rest.

“Not a big enough audience. There are what, fifteen people in your entire major?” Harrison Wagner shook his head from across the room where he and Bianca Cruz shared a love seat, fitting their bodies into some sort of complicated tangle of limbs. Ever since they sublet an apartment together in NYC for winter break, they were inseparable. Though I guessed the inseparable part started a little before that, when they realized the hot buzz throbbing in their veins was lust not hate.

I take all the credit for that.

“Besides—” Fallon Horowitz twisted her torso to stretch her back from her uncomfortable perch on the floor. Her blond hair was pulled back in a French braid, making her look like a little kid—and her five foot tall stature didn’t exactly help matters. “There’s already a ton of graphics labs in the art building.”

I sighed heavily, sinking back into the couch with a sort of finality. “This is useless. All the clubs on campus already have a headquarters.”

Holly patted my shoulder. “That’s why we need to come up with something new.”

“Something epic,” Bianca added in that dramatic way of hers.

I shook my head, my long brown hair whipping into Corey’s face. I’d been growing it out since sophomore year and it finally reached the tops of my breasts. “Something realistic. If we’re going to pull this off, we have to make it believable. Something the campus needs and won’t refuse.”

We all mulled that for a moment, each one of our expressions more grim than the next. I could practically see Harrison writing the official Greek System obituary in his mind, ready to print it in tomorrow’s edition of The Daily Snowflake.

Last year my sorority, Rho Sigma, crashed and burned in a fiery death fueled by underage drinking and shady presidents whose shady politics were only aiming to kick out my best friend but ended up stabbing the entire house in the back. We’d tried to resurrect the house the old fashioned way: by going underground, biding our time, and then petitioning to be reinstated. Oh, and taking the entire Greek System down with us so the school would have to reinstate all of us.

Instead Throckmorton University opted to reinstate no one, choosing to abolish the entire Greek system. Our precious sorority and fraternity houses were now on track to become gravel and dust instead of ornate mansions that held as much history as they did asbestos. The members that occupied them were forced to move out, and with the lack of open housing second semester in bumblefuck Throckmorton, NY, most of the exiles crowded in with their friends. Since we got back to campus from winter break, rumors flew that the Office of Residential Life was hearing pitches to repurpose one of the houses that wasn’t set to become a pile of concrete during the first wave of destruction. The whole thing reminded me of when my dad got laid off last month after sliding by unharmed through the first batch of cuts a year ago, only to fall on an ax a few months later. His crime? Gray hair. And a salary far higher than the newbies wandering in straight from college practically still in diapers, eager to accept a wage that barely covered their rent.