The Last House on Fraternity Row

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The house, standing at the end of Fraternity Row, had been decrepit for years before the new owners moved in. Graduations had come and gone for decades, windows had been smashed, the yard overrun with weeds. Late-night parties stretched past it as it stood, austerely, forgotten, alone.

The advertisements described it as a fixer upper at best, so when the For Sale sign disappeared in the yard there were some raised eyebrows for a few days. But soon the repairs started happening—a fresh coat of paint, new roofing, a mowed yard—and the house eventually stood proud in comparison to its brothers on the same street. It was the same design as the other frat houses—a two-story house, with a white exterior and only a few windows—but the only one without beer cans in the front on a Saturday morning, or a crudely-made sign hanging from the window. It would seem to the lay person that it was a prim house, a nice residence for a proper nuclear family, and they would have largely been right if they had seen it in passing. But two things intrigued Luke, a college sophomore, enough to walk over and say hi.

The first thing was just a natural sense of curiosity: something that seemed too good to be true needed looking into.

The other thing was that on this particular Friday, Luke was very drunk.

He had been invited to a frat party by a friend of his, who promptly ditched him for a blonde pair of legs across the room the second they walked in. Luke hadn’t known anyone at the party besides this guy, and found himself drinking glass after glass of jungle juice to give himself some liquid confidence. Nothing had worked, nobody seemed to get his point of view. So Luke bounced. Stumbling his way across the beer cans and the shouting college kids, he grabbed the post of the chain link fence to slingshot himself to the sidewalk and start the trek back to his dorm.

Luke, at this point in his life, was 5’10” and 200 lbs. As an English major and a gym rat, he spent most of his days divided between the campus library and the rec center. The lonely walk back to campus was not an unusual one—he had been to the odd campus party enough to know the route cold, even blind drunk as he was—but it was still one he resented taking by himself every time. He swept his brunette hair to the side as he lost, then regained, his balance; his blue eyes, glazed with the imprimatur of alcohol, fixed one more time on the house party he was leaving.

He gave a quick middle finger to the house he had just left and started careening his way home down the empty sidewalk. The other houses, resplendent with Greek letters on the front, assaulted him from both sides with Top 40 radio hits. Looking into the windows of the houses as he walked by he saw guys and girls laughing at silent jokes. He mumbled out something resentful yet incoherent, but nothing more.

As he walked by the last house on the Row he felt the pulsing, thumping beat from the EDM within vibrate his bones. kocaeli escort He nodded his head to the rhythm once, twice, but then a pensive frown crossed his face. Who were these new guys? Why had no one seen them before?

Questions need answers, Luke thought. With that he zigzagged up the clipped, clean pathway to the door, his curiosity getting the better of him. He caromed up the staircase like a pinball, reaching the door and pausing for a second—making sure—before knocking. He took a deep breath as his knuckles hit the door.

The music immediately turned down and Luke heard the sound of heavy footsteps approaching. Luke bit his lip as the sound got louder and louder, but his jaw dropped and he whispered an “oh fuck” as the door opened.

The first thing he noticed was that the guy behind the door was wearing nothing more than a jockstrap, a backwards cap, and gym shoes. The second thing was that this guy was jacked. Huge mountains of pectoral muscle stood proud over a shredded eight-pack, and veins crisscrossed a bicep as he scratched the back of his head. Luke assumed he’d just never seen him at the rec center, because he knew he’d remember someone that big. And someone that attractive, the voice in his head pointed out. This was true; Luke had never denied his attraction to men, but neither had he fully acknowledged it. The man in front of him (the “dudebro,” as some of his nerdier friends derisively called guys of his type) had a tuft of blond hair sticking out of his cap, and the piercing green eyes underneath complemented a jawline that could cut diamonds.

In any case, the guy behind the door was a total stud—one that gave Luke a vacuous grin as they made eye contact, showing off an impossibly-white set of teeth. “Sup brah,” was all that was said, with an upwards nod. The mark of the confident. Luke had read somewhere that the downward nod indicated respect and the upward nod indicated friendliness, based on the position of the chin in relation to the jugular. The downward nod covered It completely, while the upward nod left it exposed.

Luke felt similarly exposed as he tried his best to scrutinize what was in front of him through the haze of liquor. “Bro, how’s it goin’?” he found himself saying back. He would never have talked like that sober; he just felt drawn to the guy in front of him. He smiled back, feeling the simple warmth of already being acknowledged as a friend.

“Goin’ good dude, what’s up?” The guy behind the door laughed as he asked the question, leaning his arm against the doorjamb. His back rippled and striated as he moved his arm up, showing lats that were wider than most doorways. Luke stared despite himself, and the guy noticed. He cut Luke off before he had a chance to respond.

“What, back got your tongue?” He turned around and hit a rear lat spread, grunting as he spread himself as wide as possible. Luke found breathing to be suddenly manual, kocaeli escort bayan and his face flushed. For fuck’s sake, said the voice in his head. You’re almost as big as he is. Stop drooling over him. And maybe that was a good idea, but Luke found himself transfixed by the guy’s cockiness. Five seconds into meeting him and the guy was already flexing and showing off. That took guts.

“Holy fuck dude,” he found himself slurring. “Those lats are insane.” It felt like an out-of-body experience as the guy turned around with the same dumb grin as before.

“Thanks man,” he said, putting out a large hand that was soft-skinned but powerful in grip when Luke shook it. “Name’s Rex. I’ve been working to bring ’em up this bulk.”

“You don’t gotta bring anything up more dude,” Luke said, his drunkenness breaking through his sudden arousal. “Shit’s fuckin’ massive.”

Rex laughed once, loudly, his pecs tensing. Luke cursed internally as he saw the muscles striate under Rex’s skin, and the cursing just got more pronounced as Rex raised an arm to flex his bicep, smirking. “Thanks brah.” Luke barely heard Rex talk as the muscle tensed and bunched like steel cords, but he mumbled a non-committal response. Finally Rex lowered his arm and Luke remembered why he was there in the first place.

“So, like, Rex. What’s your deal? Like who are you guys? Y’all just bought the place this year right?”

“Yeah man, just moved in a few months ago, still getting settled in.” Rex beamed as he lowered his arm. “Why, is everything chill? We’ve been trying to keep things down for you guys. Soundproofed and everything.” The smell of marijuana hit Luke’s nose and he realized that the music was much louder inside. Peering around Rex, he noticed neon lasers and black lights inside the house, but his giant frame blocked him from seeing much else.

“Dude yeah things are chill, we’re just like curious bro.” Luke realized he was saying ‘like’ more often than usual. “I’ve seen this place run down for years but it seems like you’re taking pretty good care of it.”

Rex nodded once. “Thanks, brah. It’s not even me, it’s—” A drop hit and Rex lifted a finger in a ‘one second’ gesture, nodding his head to the rhythm and smiling broadly. “Fuck! That’s a sexy drop. Uh… yeah man, it’s a pretty fun place to be. Not a whole lot to worry about.” Luke raised an eyebrow, but he didn’t say anything to the contrary. “What about you dude? Where do you live?”

Luke rolled his eyes. “I’m in this bullshit dorm with this total fucking nerd.” Luke liked his classes, but his roommate was something else. Studying 24/7, always with his nose in a book, and never any music because it was “distracting.” Finding himself relaying all of this to Rex, Luke felt the camaraderie between the two of them. Electric, dormant, and too strong to really ignore. He felt Rex’s eyes on him as his arms moved, and he unconsciously tensed his escort kocaeli body in an attempt to look bigger.

Rex’s seemingly-constant grin got wider. “Well man, I’m actually looking for a roommate myself. We got some ground rules, but nothing too bad.” Luke swiped a hand through the air, dismissing the idea of “rules.”

“What, like laundry day on Sunday or whatever?” He laughed obnoxiously. Fuck, I am drunk.

Rex laughed too, and shook his head. “Something a little different, my dude. Tell you what, give me your address and I’ll send you an application.” He gave the same ‘one second’ gesture and bounded into the house, coming back out with a Sharpie.

Luke rattled off his address in bursts, having to pause to remember the dorm address. Rex wrote everything down on his hand and presented it for Luke’s approval once he had finished. “This it?” Luke nodded and grinned.

“Dude, Rex, good to meet you.” He punched Rex lightly in the shoulder. Rex squeezed Luke’s shoulder back.

“Same br—damn, dude! Your delts are no joke!” Luke blushed a little but allowed himself a slightly self-conscious flex in return. Rex rumbled low in his chest as he allowed his hand to stay on Luke’s shoulder.

“Thankssss,” Luke found himself dissolving the word into a fit of giggles. “I’ll see ya round, bro.”

That was the last thing he remembered before waking up the next morning with a throbbing headache.


As the weekend and following week progressed, Luke forgot all about the last house on Fraternity Row. The alcohol plus the rigor of his academics kept him from fully understanding what had happened until the following Thursday.

Walking down the hallway and pausing at his dorm room door, fumbling for his key, Luke noticed a single postcard sticking halfway out of the crack between the door and the floor. He leaned down and picked it up. “HIMBRO HOUSE APPLICATION” was the only thing on the front of the card, which made Luke chuckle. He’d never heard of such a word, and it sounded a little weird. But nonetheless he flipped it over. On the back was a short questionnaire:

“The following questions are intended as a screening process. If you answer all three correctly, you will be invited for an in-person interview. There is only one slot available—serious applicants only!

1. How often do you lift weights?

A. As often as possible.

B. 5-6 times a week.

C. 3-5 times a week.

D. Less than 3 times a week.

2. What is your opinion on marijuana?

A. 420 blaze it, bro!

B. I don’t partake, but if people do I don’t have a problem with it.

C. Good for medical purposes only

D. Unacceptable under any condition.

3. Would you be willing to trade 20 IQ points for 20 pounds of muscle?

A. Yes

B. No

Please return all replies to the Himbro House mailbox as soon as possible.”

Luke thought for a second, figured there was nothing lost in being honest, and circled A for every question. On a walk later that evening, he took a detour to drop his card off in the Himbro House mailbox. As he deposited his card, he saw Rex in the window and gave the up-nod.

Rex gave the up-nod back with a thumbs-up.

Luke didn’t know it yet, but his life was about to change forever.

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