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Get what you give, p.1
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       Get What You Give, p.1

           Stephanie Perry Moore
 
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Get What You Give


  Also by Stephanie Perry Moore

  Perry Skky Jr. series

  Prime Choice

  Pressing Hard

  Problem Solved

  Prayed Up

  Promise Kept

  Beta Gamma Pi series

  Work What You Got

  The Way We Roll

  Act Like You Know

  Got It Going On

  Get What

  You Give

  A Beta Gamma Pi Novel Book 5

  Stephanie Perry Moore

  KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

  www.kensingtonbooks.com

  All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.

  For

  Angela Graham

  &

  Shirley Kimbro

  (ladies in my sorority)

  Being in a group with strong women isn’t always easy. Confrontations happen when people are passionate about their views. As I reflect back, I’ve learned so much that I placed in this novel. I pray it helps others learn the best ways to get along. May God bless you and yours and every reader of this book and series.

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  Though I love my sorority with all my heart, sometimes it does not bring joy. There’s a ton of work that has to be done, and I don’t have that much time to do it. There are many people to interact with, and, try as I might, I do not have a chance to get to everyone. And no matter how well the intentions or how great the planning, I can’t please everyone. Coming up short on so much is frustrating. So I fall to my knees—before meetings, during meetings, and after meetings—for direction. God has helped me see that as long as I give much and keep being willing to better my mistakes, I will do the sorority more good than harm, and I will enjoy it more and more each day.

  Penning a series on a made-up sorority was an eye opener for me. It’s hard looking at yourself and asking the tough questions. Why do you strive for leadership in the sorority? Why do you feel people should love you as a sister? When you didn’t reach your highest educational goals, why do you feel you can tell others not to falter in that area? When you didn’t walk with Christ daily in college, how can you show others the way? Why is public service so important to you, really? Whew, so many questions, never the perfect answers. I guess I learned as I delved into these five books that the sorority experience is what you make of it. And the titles say it best. You may not be the best leader, but work what you got. You may not always get along with your sorors, but the way you roll is together. You may not be the wisest yet, but act like you know you’re worthy to learn more each day. You may not deserve God’s love, or anyone else’s, but know, because of His grace, you’ve got it going on, and you have a forgiving heart. You may outgrow people and circumstances, but keep giving them more than they give you, and you’ll always be able to sleep well. God loves you, and society needs you to serve. As the late, great Michael Jackson taught us, we must all work to make this world a better place. Here is a big hug of thanks to everyone who helps me keep giving:

  To my family: parents, Dr. Franklin and Shirley Perry, Sr.; brother, Dennis, and sister-in-law, Leslie; my mother-in-law, Ms. Ann; and extended family Rev. Walter and Marjorie Kimbrough, Bobby and Sarah Lundy, Antonio and Gloria London, Cedric and Nicole Smith, Harry and Nino Colon, Brett and Loni Perriman, Donald and Deborah Bradley, and Paul and Tammy Garnes—your love helps me give more. Don’t stop loving hard. I’m more concerned about the world because of your support.

  To my publisher, Kensington / Dafina Books: Your knowledge of what works in publishing keeps my books moving. Don’t stop believing in YA books. I’m a more successful author because of my association with you. Also, special thanks to my copy editor, Hillary Campbell, for her work on the Beta Gamma Pi series.

  To my writing team: Beverly Smith, Cynthia Boyd, Deborah Thomas, Ciara Roundtree, Chantel Morgan, Carolyn O’Hora, Ashley Morgan, Alyx Pinkston, Jenell Clark, Cassandra Brown, Dorcas Washington, Vanessa Davis Griggs, Victoria Christopher Murray, Sonya Jenkins, Edythe Woodruff, Beverly Jenkins, Chandra Dixon, Bridget Fielder, and Myra Brown Lee—your truthfulness helps me keep the pages real. Don’t stop prereading my work. I’m better at what I do because of your input.

  To my sorority sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., particularly the National President, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre; Southern Regional Director, Christine Nixon; the National Society of Arts and Letters; and the Southern Regional Membership Services Committee—your inclusion of me strengthens my work ethic. Don’t stop making a difference in the community. I’m living a fuller life as I serve with you.

  To my emergent children: Dustyn Leon, Sydni Derek, and Sheldyn Ashli—your growth makes me thankful for each day. Don’t stop trying. I’m hoping you strive to please God.

  To my hubby, Derrick C. Moore—your desire to give young people your all is contagious. Don’t stop being you, and remember Jillian needs you. I’m happy being your partner.

  To my readers—your time and trust means a ton to me. Don’t stop being open to the blessing a book can bring. I’m so thankful you have gotten this book.

  And to my God—Your strength You give me to endure the tough times is a blessing. Don’t stop giving me ideas to share with the world. I’m trying hard to bless them.

  BETA GAMMA PI TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, & RITES

  Founding Data

  Beta Gamma Pi was founded in 1919 on the campus of Western Smith College by five extraordinary women of character and virtue.

  Sorority Colors

  Sunrise lavender and sunset turquoise are the official colors of Beta Gamma Pi. The colors symbolize the beginning and the end of the swiftly passing day and remind each member to make the most of every moment.

  Sorority Pin

  Designed in 1919, the pin is made of the Greek letters Beta, Gamma, and Pi. This sterling silver pin is to be worn over the heart on the outermost garment. There are five stones in the Gamma: a ruby representing courageous leadership, a pink tourmaline representing genuine sisterhood, an emerald representing a profound education, a purple amethyst representing deep spirituality, and a blue sapphire representing unending service.

  Anytime the pin is worn, members should conduct themselves with dignity and honor.

  The B Pin

  The B Pin was designed in 1920 by the founders. This basic silver pin in the shape of the letter B symbolizes the beginning step in the membership process. The straight side signifies character. The two curves mean yielding to God and yielding to others. It is given at the Pi Induction Ceremony.

  Sorority Flower

  The lily is the sorority flower and it denotes the endurance and strength the member will need to be a part of Beta Gamma Pi for a lifetime.

  Sorority Stone

  The diamond is the sorority stone which embodies the precious and pure heart needed to be a productive member of Beta Gamma Pi.

  Sorority Call

  Bee-goh-p

  Sorority Symbol

  The eagle is the symbol of Beta Gamma Pi. It reflects the soaring greatness each member is destined to reach.

  Sorority Motto

  A sisterhood committed to making the world greater.

  The Pi Symbol

  The Bee insect is the symbol of the Pi pledges. This symbolizes the soaring tenacity one must possess to become a full member of Beta Gamma Pi.

  Table of Contents

  Also by

  Title Page

  Dedication

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  BETA GAMMA PI TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, & RITES

  1 - BABBLE

  2 - GRATITUDE

  3 - PARADIGM

  4 - BIASED

  5 - GALORE

  6 - PESKY

  7 - BASK

  8 - GIANT


  9 - PINCH

  10 - BLACKBERRY

  11 - GOSH

  12 - POMP

  13 - BE

  14 - GARGANTUAN

  15 - PLAN

  16 - BEACONS

  17 - GOLDEN

  18 - PURPOSE

  A Reading Group Guide

  Copyright Page

  1

  BABBLE

  “Would you risk your own life to possibly try to save someone else’s? People talk about best friends, including you, Hailey Grant, but would you really lay it all on the line to make sure your best friend was spared from pain?” my roommate, Teddi Spencer, asked as I tried to study. “I mean, ’cause you’re not acting like it.”

  What was she talking about? We were tighter than tight, and she knew I had her back. But every now and then when I wasn’t doing something she agreed with, she’d try to lay a guilt trip on me. So I kept studying and ignored her tail, hoping she’d get the picture and leave me alone.

  Actually, most folks who knew us all last year wondered how we remained friends. We were pretty different. I was about facts, and she was about fiction. There was nothing wrong with dreaming, but you had to get your head out of the clouds to actually get things done. I swear, her address was La-La Land. She knew how to get to me, but I knew I could never intentionally walk out of her life. Teddi had lost more in her high school years than my heart could bear. If our friendship made her happy and brought her joy, I’d do anything to protect that.

  “I’m just saying. I gotta win the election, Hailey. And you’re not helping. That Covin Randall guy thinks just because he’s the state senator’s son, everybody’s on his jock. Well, I’m ...” Teddi continued her rant about her disgust for her rival SGA opponent in the upcoming election as I tuned her out.

  I looked at my short, frail, light-skinned friend. She had been through so much over the past two years I’d known her. We were now sophomores at Western Smith College. When she’d lost her parents in a tragic car accident her senior year, she’d moved in with her grandmother and begun attending my high school.

  She hadn’t known anybody, and she’d seemed like she was in deep pain. I had taken it upon myself to help and befriend her. I didn’t know where that had come from—you know, the knack to want to help someone out. I guess somewhere deep inside me there was a place that felt I should give back since I’d been taken care of all my life. I had two great parents. My uncle, Wade Webb, was the president of the college I attended, for goodness’ sake. My older sister, Hayden, had gone here, and everyone remembered what a gem she was. Honestly, I wasn’t a princess, but I hadn’t had any tragedies in my life either. Because I’ve had great experiences and supportive people in my life, I guess I felt the need to help those who had no one.

  Teddi sat on my bed next to me in our dorm room and turned my face toward her. “You’re not even listening to me, Hailey. I mean, I need to win this election. The last president we had was a disgrace. The students at Western Smith need to feel confident in their new president, and, personally, I don’t think that right now anyone who uses the bathroom standing up qualifies enough to win the confidence of the entire student body. We need a gender change.”

  “What are you saying, Teddi? We need a female president?” I asked, thinking she needed more reasons than that to feel she should win over her opponent.

  She got a little loud with me and said, “You got a problem with that? You don’t think I’m strong enough, do you? You don’t think I can lead? I mean, why would any of us females around here trust someone who leads by what’s between their legs?”

  “No, no. I’m just saying just because one male was stupid doesn’t mean the others have to be the same,” I jumped up and said, calmly defending myself.

  Teddi paced back and forth and started freaking out. “Well, I’m just saying we need a change, and you’re completely not behind me. You’re supposed to be my campaign manager, and you’re not even on my side.”

  “Why are you overexaggerating the issue?” I asked. “I’m just telling you how I feel.”

  “Because we need to come up with a strategy. I’ve seen posters all over campus for this guy, and my posters aren’t even up yet. Isn’t that your job?” Teddy asked me pointedly.

  Quickly, I reminded her she was the reason we hadn’t gotten a lot accomplished with her campaign. “Listen, chick, I love you, but you’re full of it. Every idea I’ve had, you shot down. It’s your fault you don’t have a platform. I drill you on basic questions, like why do you want to be the Student Government Association President, and you stutter and say because we don’t need a male. That’s bull. I can’t put out material on your campaign when you have no legit ideas. So don’t try to blame this on me.”

  Teddi sank to her bed. “Then say I’m just a loser and just quit my campaign. Don’t help me.”

  “Oh, girl, don’t be melodramatic. I know your butt. You have substance. Find it and let’s get a plan. I’ve seen the posters from the other candidate. People in the dorm have been hovering all around them. But we can get yours out—there’s still time,” I said. I wasn’t planning to bail on her, but we did need to get cracking if she wanted to win.

  She sat up, clung to me, and became paranoid. “Were the guys all into his poster? The chauvanists. See—they stick together. We gotta do the same, Hailey, I’m telling you. Now I’m actually thinking that living in a coed dorm was not a good choice. How am I going to get support from the girls and the guys?”

  “We can do it, Teddi. But with all these fine brothers I’ve been seeing coming in and out of here ... this is completely a good choice. It took hell and high water to convince my mom to agree to it,” I said, knowing how overprotective my mom was since she’d let Hayden live off campus in an apartment four years back and worried about boys having too much access.

  It had taken a lot to make my mom ease up. I was in college, and there was no getting around me interacting with guys. At least I would be supervised in a dorm that had males on the other side of the building. Also, once my mom had met Teddi, she’d relaxed. Teddi wasn’t boy crazy, and she wasn’t going to let me run wild either.

  “Do you smell that?” I said to her as I got a whiff of something really strong.

  Suddenly, I knew I was not imagining the smell as smoke seeped in through the bottom of the door. The smoke was making it hard to breathe. I became uneasy. What was going on?

  “No, I don’t smell anything, Hailey. I’m trying to talk to you, but your focus is on everything else in the world. You’re not being my best friend or my campaign manager right now. You’re talking about all the reasons I don’t have a shot. I’ll listen to your platform ideas. Give them to me again.”

  Covering my mouth so as not to inhale whatever was seeping through the door, I said, “Great—Teddi, we can work on it later. But now something is seriously wrong. Look at the door.”

  As I moved to the door to find out what was up, someone knocked loudly from the other side. “Are y’all in there? Open up! Open up!”

  “It’s probably nothing, Hailey. Relax,” Teddi said.

  She was clueless. As I walked to the door I tossed her a towel to cover her mouth with, but she threw it back at me. A gray fog was filling the air. She needed to quit tripping. There had to be something burning. I walked over to the door and answered it.

  A cute girl wearing a Beta Gamma Pi shirt—who looked familiar—was at the door. “Hey, we gotta get out. There’s a fire. We’ve got to move quickly,” she said calmly but with urgency.

  Teddi didn’t hear what she said. All she was focused on was the girl’s shirt as Teddi walked to the door. “I knew you looked familiar. Cassidy Cross—cool. I didn’t know you lived in our building. You were on the last Beta line. BGP, the sorority for me.”

  “Yeah cool, but like I was telling your roommate, we gotta go. There’s a fire!”

  I tried to stay calm, but upon hearing the news, Teddi couldn’t hold herself together. “Oh, my gosh! A fire! What about my thi
ngs—your things, Hailey? What about my parents’ box? It’s the only thing I have left of them.”

  As more smoke filled the doorway, I couldn’t let her continue to ramble, so I grabbed her arm and said, “We can’t think about that now, Teddi. We have to get out of here! We need to get out of this building, and quick.”

  The smoldering cloud in the hallway almost made it difficult to breathe. I instantly started coughing. I shook my head to stay focused. I knew I had to get out of the building, but when I looked behind me, Teddi was still at our doorway. If I had to, I would pull her outside myself because she wasn’t moving.

  “Hailey, I have to get my stuff. My jewelry. My mom’s picture. My dad’s Bible. That stuff is important. I have to go get the box. Hailey, don’t you understand?”

  To a rational person, that made no sense. The only thing we needed to be worried about was getting our tails out of there. However, I knew all the pain she had been through, and I didn’t want to add more, so I decided to help Teddi get her things. Because Teddi’s parents were gone, this stuff was all she had of them.

  “Okay, tell me what you want me to grab. Where is your little trunk?” I said, referring to the silver box in which she stored everything.

  “It’s under my bed, but it’s all the way over there. I can’t—I can’t breathe, Hailey.” Teddi clutched her heart.

 
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