Sophomore Short Stories and Other Tales
Ready to laugh or get a sneak peek into my life? Here’s some of my favorite sophomore short stories from the past year of college.
Possibly Poisoned Cheesecake
At the near end of the semester, there’s two things you crave: study guides and food. Study guides for the testing frenzy, and food is survival. At this point, you’ll eat basically anything.
I have a fridge. A small, possibly 18 inches tall square with two shelves. They’re bare most of the semester, because I don’t have the money to buy groceries. But my roommates bring in leftovers from weekends spent with their families, and stuff the shelves. Then they fight to close the doors, and I subtly hint that the food has been sitting in my fridge for far too long. Occasionally, I’ll open the doors and see boxes I’m sure are a month old. At least. Maybe two months old.
Last week of classes, one roommate’s in study panic, too busy cramming to go to our dining common for campus take out. My roommate, Sneh, is rummaging through the fridge, pulling out weeks old plastic containers of leftovers. “Trash, Trash, Trash,” she says as she tosses old boxes into a garbage can.
She stops to ask, “What’s this?” pulling out a black box from Cheesecake factory bag, “Who put this in here?”
I shrug, the other roommate, Liz, says it’s definitely not hers. Sneh opens the box. A chocolate piece of cheesecake, “Whose is this?”
None of us know. Sneh’s mom was just visiting, and she went to the Cheesecake factory. Liz and I have a theory, her mom put it in there for her. Sneh denies our theory. “Mom would have told me!”
We ponder the chocolate cheesecake mystery before Liz pulls off a piece. It’s delicious. Amazing. Chocolate.
Sneh splits the cake in three, and we revel in the chocolate flavor, all assuming it’s from Sneh’s mom. Well, Sneh’s not entirely convinced of the theory, so she calls her mom to ask.
Turns out, Sneh’s mom didn’t put it in there. And we still don’t know where it came from. We asked girls in our hall, Did you give us cheesecake? The answer is unanimous, “What are you talking about?
None of us knows where the cheesecake actually came from. We’ve no idea how long it was in our, ahem my, fridge. But I now know this, poisoning my fellow students is not difficult. Random gifts of food. Because we eat anything remotely edible, especially when it randomly shows up in your fridge.
Living off Adrenaline
I didn’t know if I’d been accepted to go to China. So all day, I was fairly tense, knowing it was the final day to sign the paperwork committing to go overseas this summer. Around 7, I headed for the meeting, and learned we’d been accepted to teach in Shanghai.
I was somewhat calm when I left the meeting. But halfway back to the dorm, I started jumping up and down. And spinning. I was going to China, er, I”m going to China.
I flew down the hall, slamming open the door to my friend’s room. “Karen, I’m going to China!” We cheered, and I calmed down enough to call my parents.
Then I hung up the phone and slammed into another friend’s room. I’d celebrate for a few minutes, before trying to finish some french homework. Both of my own roommates were gone for the evening, And I couldn’t wait to tell them.
I jumped into bed at midnight. But I couldn’t sleep. Sneh walked into the room at 12:30. I jumped out of bed, screaming a whisper, “Sneh, I’m going to China!!!”
Sneh hushed me up, “Faith, it’s after midnight!”
I climbed back into bed, but when Liz came in around 1:30, I opened my curtain, “Liz, I’m going to China!”
Liz patted me on the head, “I know, Faith. Go to sleep, we’ve got class tomorrow.”
I didn’t sleep. I’d drift off, only to jolt awake, my brain screaming thoughts of the trip.
Friday’s classes were a whirl, as I struggled to pay attention. I hung around with friends at lunch, celebrating the trip. But I didn’t eat anything.
That evening was our campus Christmas celebration. I turned off thoughts of China to focus on emceeing the event.
I didn’t get back to my dorm till close to midnight, but I still struggled to sleep. At 3 am, I rolled over and picked up my kindle. I read for an hour, then tried to go to sleep again. But my brain kept repeating: Christmas in 3 weeks! China in 6 months! So much excitement!
In China… 6 months laterSaturday morning, I rolled out of bed at 7. But I felt terrible. “Sneh,” I groaned, “Why do I feel so bad?”
Sneh barely glanced my way, before asking, “Um, when was the last time you ate?”
Between the nervousness of getting ready to sign up for the trip, learning I was going to China, and doing the Christmas program, I hadn’t eaten since Thursday lunch.
It’s quite possible to live off sheer adrenaline for 48 hours.
It’s alright to share a story from freshman year, right? It fits perfectly in the short story theme, so here goes.
I’m a history nerd, a political creature, and sometimes, socially naive. Combine that all together and you’ve got a recipe for a dating disaster.
End of my second semester, a guy walked up to me and asked, “Would you be interested in doing a meal sometime?”
Free Chick-fil-A? Almost always a yes.
Anyway, he bought me a sandwich, and we talked for a while. Or rather, he talked. You might not believe me, but I barely said two sentences.
To spare you from suffering, I won’t share everything he said. But I learned a bit – trust your instincts.
I should have known he wasn’t related to Robert E Lee. I should have known his family wasn’t friends with a lot of Virginian governors. But I wasn’t processing anything as a tall tale, until he told me a long story about camping outside when he was kid.
“I camped out in the woods, and pretended I was George Washington.”
No coincidence, I did too! Only I pretended, I was Sacagawea.
“And then one morning I woke up, and there was a copperhead laying right on top of me.”
Then he started talking about something completely different. Wait, I stopped him, What about the copperhead?
“Oh, I killed it.”
You killed a copperhead, right after waking up, when you were 10 years old…right.
But it’s the last line that nearly killed me. As we’re getting ready to go, he says, “So I’d like to date you, because I’d like to be governor of Virginia and I think you can get me elected.”
I headed back to my dorm, and explained the whole conversation to my friend. “Is this a normal conversation? Are guys supposed to say things like this?”
“NO, NO, NO!” Karen grabbed my phone, “Text him right now and tell him NO!”
Right now? I delayed replying, would he think I was rude? But as I continued to receive some messages, my friends helped bolster my confidence. Taking a deep breath, I said No. End of any ideas. I’m not helping you run for governor.
The best part of this story, is not only saying no and not feeling guilty, but just how funny it is now. Looking back on it, I’m flabbergasted, Why would anyone try to use that as a pickup line?
And whenever I tell a friend, they say the funniest things. Just the other day a friend said, “Well, at least you’ve met your Mr. Wickam. Now Mr. Darcy can show up.”
Buying Dreams Doesn’t Work
I love rollercoasters and Six Flags is my favorite theme park. At the end of my freshman year, I woke up from a vivid dream. I was riding rollercoasters at Six Flags.
They say, that when you’re hungry or tired, your willpower’s practically gone. Well, not only was my willpower zapped on this Saturday morning, but my common sense was apparently at subpar levels.
Because I woke up from this dream, and googled Six Flags. I stared longingly at the videos of rollercoasters. And I clicked on the pricing menu.
And behold, Six Flags was advertising a membership. $6 a month! Just $6!!! Ridiculously low priced.
It’s 7 am on Saturday. I’m still tired, wishing I could be at Six Flags. I pull out my wallet and click purchase. 30 seconds later, a receipt in my inbox.
The only problem, I have to go to the Six Flags to turn in the receipt and pick up my membership card. And not just any Six Flags, Six Flags Arlington. About an hour and half from my Dallas home.
But it’s the end of the semester, I should be able to go to Six Flags in the summer, right? Wrong. Dead Wrong.
Every time I’m on break, I try to find a way to get to Arlington. But no one’s driving that way. The weather is bad. My friends are working. And that membership isn’t cashed.
Instead, I pay $6 every month. I watch my money fly away. And I never get to go to Six Flags.
Can’t I cancel that subscription? No, not for a year. Terms of the contract.
And at the end of the year, I should cancel it. But I need my member number, on my member card to do that. And I don’t yet have my card, cause I haven’t visited Six Flags.
Well, after a whole year, I finally made it. I drove up, and cashed in my receipt for the card. But I didn’t even get to stay at the park, I just had time to get the card.
And two weeks ago, I cancelled my membership. Six Flags begged me not to. They made me sign 4 or 5 different forms proving that I really, really, really wanted to do this. They even asked me why.
I checked the box – Did not visit often enough.
So Six Flags reminded me that two visits pays for the membership. I wanted to remind Six Flags that I haven’t even visited once!
But I have this card. And my membership is good till August 31st. So I suppose I can try to put in two visits between now and then.
That’s about all, folks!