"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
October 17, 2012
FHE Wars - Episode 1 - by Michela Hunter
by College Voices
Michela Hunter
Freshman, Brigham Young University

A long time ago, on a campus far, far away...

It is week two of the semester and my roommates and I are getting acclimated to all of the various aspects of BYU life. We were assigned to Family Home Evening groups in our ward soon after arriving; this is the group with which we will have activities every Monday night as well as offer support and friendship to, much the way a real family operates.

My apartment has been put with two other girls on our floor, Allie and Rose, and an apartment of boys: Michael, Cade, Dillon, Nick, Gabe, and Josh. My roommates and I all enjoy having these fine young men as brothers, believing them to be kind, righteous Priesthood-holders. It isn’t long, however, before we discover that they are anything but... 

There was a knock at the door; it was opened, and a boy’s voice was heard: “Why are you all at home doing homework? It’s Saturday night!” I didn’t look up from my computer screen; I was showing Trevor a video, and didn’t register Cade and Dillon’s arrival until they strode into the living room, announcing, “We have a surprise for you! Everyone up!”

Tiffanie, who had presumably opened the door, trailed in behind them; Kylie, Sarah, and Kaitlynn emerged from their bedrooms, where they had been doing homework. 

“What’s the surprise?” I asked, looking up at them.

“You’ll see,” replied Cade. “Come on, get up! All of you have to close your eyes now. We’re going into the hallway.”

Despite my misgivings, I was intrigued; I stood up, putting my laptop on the couch. Trevor stood as well. “You can come too,” Cade said to him, “but you don’t have to close your eyes.”

So there we went: Kaitlynn, then Kylie, then Tiffanie, then Sarah, then me, all of us shutting our eyes and holding on to one another’s shoulders as Cade and Dillon guided us into the hallway. “I’ll hold the door open for you guys,” said Cade generously, opening the heavy front door wide like a true gentleman. This allowed us to follow Dillon outside without the inconvenience of opening our eyes and spoiling the surprise.

We walked down the hallway, following Dillon’s voice. I heard Trevor laugh beside me, which I thought was odd, but didn’t really think about because I was concentrating on not falling over. Dillon and Cade, who caught up to us a moment later, led us all the way down the hallway, around the corner, down a flight of stairs (which were very difficult to navigate with our eyes closed), and into the activity room on the second floor. 

Once there, Cade told us to wait while Dillon went to get something; he left and returned a few minutes later with two half-pints of BYU Creamery ice cream. 

We all exclaimed in surprise and delight: “Aww!” “You shouldn’t have!” “You guys are so nice!” “Thank you!” “We have the best FHE brothers ever!” 

Trevor didn’t say anything; he just watched in amusement as we opened the boxes of ice cream and dug in with the plastic spoons Cade had found for us. We still barely knew our FHE brothers, and so we were happy to have the chance to hang out with a couple of them. 

“Where are the rest of the guys?” I asked.

“Michael and Nick are at home visiting family, Gabe is asleep, and Josh is doing homework,” said Dillon, with a sideways glance at Cade. “He said he’s sorry he couldn’t come over.”

“Aww, that’s too bad,” I said, digging into the ice cream. I didn’t know what flavor it was, but it was absolutely delicious.

We ended up staying in the activity room for a good while, eating the ice cream and talking to them; it wasn’t until I realized that visiting hours were almost up that I figured I should probably go back upstairs and finish showing Trevor the video we’d been watching before he had to leave.

He and I had been upstairs watching it for maybe ten minutes when Tiffanie walked back in. She started talking to me, and then stopped, her eyes on the corner of the kitchen. “Michela, where’s the microwave?”

“What?” I looked up, not sure I’d heard right. “The microwave?”

“Yeah,” she said. “The microwave’s gone.”

I handed my laptop to Trevor and walked over to the kitchen to see where she was pointing. Sure enough, there was an empty counter where the microwave was supposed to be.

“Did you do something with it?” Tiffanie asked, looking suspiciously at me.

“No!” I said, still staring at the space where the microwave had been. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it was gone. “I have no idea what happened to it!”

Tiffanie looked at me, open-mouthed, and then at the space where the microwave had been. “Did they...did they...?”

She ran to the door just as it opened and Kylie walked in.

“We’re going to play volleyball in the courtyard,” she said. “I just came up to get some paper towels to clean up the ice cream downstairs.”

“Kylie!” said Tiffanie. “Our microwave is gone!”

“What?” Kylie walked into the kitchen. “What do you mean?” She looked at the empty corner. “Oh my gosh, they took it!” 

Without another word, she and Tiffanie ran out of the apartment. I turned around and looked at Trevor, who was grinning. “You knew, didn’t you?”

He just laughed. “I didn’t know what they were doing. I just saw a third guy come running out from one of the other doorways and go inside your apartment while you all were walking out with your eyes closed.”

Josh. So much for his “homework.” I couldn’t believe they’d done this and we hadn’t caught them.

Meanwhile, Kylie and Tiffanie raced back down to the activity room on the second floor. “Where is it?”

Sarah and Kaitlynn looked confused, so Kylie explained that the microwave was gone. They didn’t much believe her, nor did they believe that these two sweet-tempered, ice-cream-bearing gentlemen were the culprits of such a heinous crime.

Dillon and Cade, for their part, feigned the innocence of angels. “We’ll help you guys find it!” they said.

Kylie and Tiffanie didn’t buy it; again, they pressed them, asking where they’d put our microwave and how they’d gotten it out of our apartment. 

Dillon and Cade stood without answering, walked calmly to the door...and then sprinted down the hallway in the opposite direction. Tiffanie, Kylie, and Sarah ran after them, Tiffanie following Cade while Kylie and Sarah followed Dillon.

It was a long and intense chase, resulting in a bloody foot and several other scrapes and minor injuries.

Kylie and Sarah had chased Dillon all over the courtyard and into the boys’ building; finally, they had tired him out and were following him up to his apartment when the Resident Assistant in the main office kicked them out of the building; visiting hours were now up. Incensed, they started the walk back home, hoping Tiffanie had had better luck than they.

She had, but not much. Tiffanie had made it all the way to the boys’ front door and was sitting outside waiting for them to open it when another RA found her. “What are you doing here?” he demanded. “Visiting hours are over!”

“Okay, but I’m trying to get my microwave back,” she explained. “My FHE brothers took it and...”

“Okay okay, but you need to leave,” he said. “I’ll get it for you.”

“Can’t I just take it and go?”

“No. Get out,” he said, shooing her away from the door. “Before you get in more trouble for being here after hours.”

Tiffanie stood as he unlocked the door and went inside the apartment. As she walked away, she heard him saying to the boys, “Guys, taking someone’s microwave is stealing. Stealing isn’t good. You need to take it back.

By the time Tiffanie, Sarah, and Kylie returned to our apartment, where Kaitlynn and I were waiting (Trevor had long since left), we were trying to decide whether to be angry or amused by the incident.

Mostly angry—still, it had been very well done, we had to admit.

A few minutes passed and there was a knock on the door. Tiffanie opened it, and the RA from the boys’ building walked inside. Without a word, he strode into the kitchen, put the microwave back in its corner, turned to us, and said, “Are you guys still mad?”

Mad? By this time, we were all laughing about it and admiring their ingenuity. We thanked him and shook our heads no.

“Okay,” he said. “If you’re not mad, the boys are outside. They want to apologize to you.”

We followed him down to the courtyard, where Dillon, Cade, and Josh were standing, trying to look like they were sorry. We immediately gave all three of them high-fives, exclaiming about how good they’d gotten us.

The RA was glaring at them, so they sheepishly apologized; we all laughed and said we forgave them, and the RA, satisfied, left for the boys’ building while we stayed outside and talked a while longer about what had happened.

It was a good plan, really. Michael, who hadn’t even been there, was the mastermind who had engineered the whole thing. Josh had been hiding while we walked out of the room, and Cade held the door open for him so he could get our microwave; then, while we were all occupied with the ice cream, he had taken the microwave out of our apartment and walked all the way back to the boys’ building with it. Gabe and Nick hadn't had anything to do with it; they were merely guilty by association.

Cade, Dillon, and Josh were (or at least pretended to be) sincerely sorry about it, mostly because the RA had drilled them about the steps of the repentance process on the way to returning the microwave; but we found the whole thing so entertaining that we couldn’t even pretend to be upset. It was something we could all laugh about, and we knew after this that we were lucky — we'd gotten the funnest, the most creative (in short, the best) FHE brothers in the ward.

Still, we knew that no matter how amiable we were about this war, this was only the beginning. We returned to our apartment around two in the morning, determined that soon, we would have our revenge. It was only a matter of time before we got them back.

To be continued.

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