Have Some Faythe

I was sitting in my dorm room on the campus of The Sun Rise Lake School For Boys studying for a Monday morning exam when Carl Munson barged into the room.

Carl lived down the hall and while we weren't the best of friends, he had taken on the self-appointed mentor role being friends with my older brother who had graduated a couple of years earlier.

Carl was a Senior and I was a Sophomore so it was an awkward and uncomfortable friendship at best because he was older and wiser and often made me feel like a total nerd in comparison.

"Come on," Carl said. "It's party time."

I wasn't exactly the partying type and Carl knew that. He saw the funny look on my face as I remained in my desk chair.

"Come on," he said again with encouragement. "It will be great."

"It's never great," I complained but I knew there wasn't much of a point of trying to debate him because Carl was one of those guys who always got his way and I wasn't in a position to argue.

"It's Friday night," he said. "You need to get out of here for once in your life."

"And go where?" I frowned.

"Remember that girl I was telling you about?" He asked with excitement as he stepped into the room.

"Nancy?"

"Nellie," he corrected.

He had met her at some party in Greenville the previous weekend and he had been talking all week about going back to see her again.

"She told me there'd be another party tonight," Carl reminded me. "I've got to try to find her."

"You don't need me for that," I said.

"There'll be other girls there, Nest," he said.

"Why don't you take Kwalowski or Saunders or one of those guys?"

Kwalowski was his roommate and Saunders was his good pal who lived in the other dorm.

"Kwalowski's a homo and Saunders went home this weekend," Carol reported. "I'm here to give you a chance to be a man."

He was grinning those big white teeth of his, purposely going after my perceived lack of manhood. At least he didn't consider me a homo like Kwalowski.

"I've had experience with girls before, you know," I protested.

"Yeah, but kissing your sister doesn't count," Carl laughed.

Carl enjoyed a well-deserved reputation of a ladies man around campus. He was popular with local girls and he bragged about girls back home although I took some of that with a grain of salt.

"Come on," Carl said with a tone of finality that I knew was an order and not a request.

I could turn him down and let him storm out of my room and find some other sap to accompany him on his adventure but then I'd have to listen to his ridicule in front of the other guys all week and I didn't need that crap, especially as a loser Sophomore.

"Alright," I groaned in submission. "Give me a minute."

Five minutes later, we were climbing into Carl's fancy sports car parked behind the dorm.

I didn't ask a lot of questions but everybody knew Carl came from a family of money in the eastern part of the state. I was on a partial scholarship scraping together the rest of the tuition by sponging off my parents and working summer jobs and even on breaks too.

"Where's this party at?" I asked as Carl drove us off campus.

"Near Green College," he reported.

"Wait, are these college girls?" I asked nervously.

"Girls are girls, Nest," Carl replied.

I could count the number of times I'd been to Greenville on one hand. We'd go to the public beach at the lake village and I'd been to Hillsboro and Mt. Griffin more than once, but Greenville - "the big city" as the guys sarcastically called it - hadn't been on my itinerary much - the movies once, a visit to the neat old fashion department store, and dinner with my parents who stayed at the Super 8 Motel by the interstate rotary when they came to visit.

"Don't dump out on me," I requested as we got closer to Greenville.

"What do you mean?" He asked innocently.

"You'll find this Nellie girl and leave me to fend for myself in a house full of strangers," I worried.

"You just have to talk to people," Cark said cheerfully.

'It's not that easy for me," I admitted.

"It shouldn't be that hard," he remarked.

"Well, it is," I complained.

"That's because you're a loser," Carl stated.

"It's easy for you," I grumbled. "Girls like you."

"You want to know what the trick of the trade is?" Carl asked.

"What?" I asked dumbly.

"You fake it," Carl replied. "You act like you know what you're talking about and you don't stop to think about what you're saying. You don't actually have to say anything of relevance. You just talk."

"About what?"

"Anything! Nothing! Just talk!"

"I don't think I can do that," I said.

"When you weren't kissing your sister, how'd you end up with other girls?" Carl wanted to know.

"I didn't have to talk to them to kiss them," I explained. "In the movies. At a dance."

"You must have talked to them before you kissed them," Carl remarked.

"I don't remember what I said," I admitted.

"They're girls," Carl told me. "They don't bite."

We were in Greenville, near the Green Campus and Carl turned the car down a side street and we parked in front of what looked like a fraternity or sorority house. I could hear music playing as soon as I got out of the car and I immediately felt nervous.

The only advantage I had was that I was tall for my age. I played football and basketball so I was in good physical shape and I was muscular from lifting weights as part of my training. Maybe I could pass myself off as being older than I really was, especially a long side Carl who was a buff handsome dude.

We walked up the front walk and Carl confidently opened the front door as if he lived there.