Next Semester

Next Semester by Cecil R. Cross

Book: Next Semester by Cecil R. Cross Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cecil R. Cross
was talking, our entire process would be over and we’d have just as much a chance to make the line as the other hundreds of guys who showed up with their applications in the fall. Fresh was right. If there’s one thing I’d learned about going Greek in the last 24 hours, it was that the selection process was everything but fair. But after busting my ass cleaning the Kappa house last night, I’d taken the first step to solidifying my spot on the fall line.
    “Around three, huh?” Lawry asked, still snooping. “That’s funny, ’cause I was walking to the gym this morning, and I could have sworn I seen you leaving the Kappa house.”
    “Ssssshhhhh!” I hissed, placing my finger over my mouth. “Man, that wasn’t me, homie.”
    “If it wasn’t you, what you shushing me for?” he asked, smiling. “You know I was on line with the Alphas just last semester. You can’t run that G on me, shawty.”
    “Okay, okay, all right,” I said. “Look, man, I’m doing a little prepledging or whatever, but it’s nothing serious. Whatever you do, don’t say nothing to nobody about this.”
    “C’mon, now,” he said. “I know what it is. You know I ain’t gon’ say nothin’.”
    “ Nobody, Lawry!” I repeated.
    “Your secret is safe with me, shawty,” he said. “I ain’t seen nothing.”
    I paid for last night on the first day of class. I could hardly keep my eyes open. Thank God, my first class was an easy find. The stroll from Marshall Hall to Washington Hall was a familiar trek for me because that’s where I took Dr. Johnson’s first-year seminar course last semester. I took solace in the fact that this public policy course would be an easy A, according to Fats’s inside information. Let him tell it, he wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the pregnant professor cancelled the first class of the semester so she could review her sonogram at the doctor’s office. I hoped to see that note on the door as I turned the corner. But to my angst, it was propped wide open. There was no professor in sight. I hadn’t even taken my notebook out of my book bag before the murmuring commenced.
    “I think it’s safe to say the professor ain’t coming,” one impatient girl wearing a head scarf said. “Let’s get outta here before she gets here. It ain’t our fault she’s late.”
    “Don’t be silly,” Timothy said, checking his digital stopwatch. “It’s only been six and a half minutes since class was supposed to start. I’m sure she’s on her way.”
    “I’m with you, shorty,” Dub-B said. “Somebody start up a roll so we can leave it on her desk before we dip.”
    “I got some paper,” Fresh said, pulling his binder out of his bag. “I’ll start it up.”
    I was sitting at my desk dozing off. Not just any dozing off, either. The embarrassing kind. The half-falling-over-out-of-my-desk, half-snoring, popping-up-like everything-is-all right kind. Similar to the way you see someone fading out in church. I awoke from my temporary state of unconsciousness to the sound of people around me laughing and snickering.
    “Yo, are you all right, papi?” a Latina girl sitting beside me asked, laughing. “It looks like you might need some more sleep.”
    “Nah, it looks like he was going too hard at that foam party last night, yo,” Dub-B said.
    “He’ll be aight,” Fresh said, patting me on the back extra hard to wake me up.
    Just as Fresh removed the cap from his pen, the last person I expected to see come through the door waltzed in. The moment she stepped in the room, I got my second wind. It was as if she’d taken center stage to perform a monologue in The Color Purple on Broadway. The spotlight was on Katrina and all eyes were on her. Seemingly unfazed by the attention, Katrina walked to her seat with her head high. I would be lying if I said she didn’t look as attractive as she did the first time I saw her. In fact, she wasn’t a penny short of a dime. Her hair was just as bouncy and full as

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