The Kennedy Effect

Emerson and Sterling Kennedy are known as "the power twins". They're part of an elite family and tend to get everything handed to them. The attention they get has been branded "The Kennedy Effect". Sterling loves it, but Emerson just wishes she could earn something because she worked for it, not because of her family.

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1. Chapter 1

It was routine first day of classes icebreakers: name, year, major, where you’re from, fun fact. The classroom was filled with upperclassmen, travel mugs rested on the corner of nearly every desk. Girls wore t-shirts with combinations of Greek letters, signifying the sororities they belonged to. Guys wore polos and khakis, lacrosse stick poking out of a few backpacks. The walls for the most part were bare, painted a light off white color, and the desks formed a circle.

It was her turn.

“Um, hi. I’m Emerson Kennedy, freshman, business and marketing major with a minor in econ, I’m from Hartford, Connecticut, and a fun fact I guess is that I have a twin..” Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at her. Emerson shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Girls started scribbling notes and boys just stared in awe.

“Another Kennedy, huh.” Her professor nodded in approval. Emerson Kennedy and her twin Sterling were legacies at University of Cambridge in Massachusetts. Their parents were alumni, 2 of their older siblings graduated from there and they had another brother who was a junior. The twins were the next of the Kennedys to attend the university, and their younger sister was set to attend in two years. Emerson’s face flushed as everyone in her ECON 270 class stared at her. For the next half hour, Emerson kept her head low and attempted to avoid as much eye contact as possible. Finally, her professor dismissed the class and Emerson tried to get out as quickly as possible. She was halfway down the hallway when someone grabbed her arm and spun her around.

“Hi! Emerson, right?” The girl had long blonde hair that cascaded down her back in perfect curls. She wore a black t-shirt with ΚΑΣ in pink patches. She recognized those letters from shirts her sister Chandler has worn, as well as decorations around the house. “I’m Rebecca McArthy, president of the Kappa Alpha Sigma sorority!”

“Yeah, my mom and sister were in that sorority.” Which meant they were really pressing her and Sterling to join too.

“You’re a legacy, Emerson. We would be beyond honored if you and Sterling joined the Kappas!”

“Well we still don’t know if--” she was interrupted by Rebecca.

“Sigma Kappa Lambda is throwing a Welcome Back party tonight. Just come on out with us! SigKap guys are also the hottest guys on campus!”

“I’m gonna be late for marketing, but I’ll talk to Sterling and let you know.” Rebecca gave Emerson her number and bounced back in the opposite direction. Part of Emerson was thrilled she got invited to her first college party, but the other part knew it was just because of her last name.. She brushed it off and walked across campus to her next class.

☼ ❁☼ ❁☼ ❁

    Sterling and Emerson were polar opposites. Sterling devoured the attention she got, Emerson tended to get uncomfortable. It’s why when it was her turn to introduce herself she smiled even bigger as everyone made the family connection.

    “Sterling Kennedy, first year, Hartford, Sociology major.” Everyone in class stared at her and she basked in the attention. Her professor raised an eyebrow, nodded approvingly, and wrote something down in his notebook.

    At the end of class, she took her time gathering her things as people kept coming up to her.

    “Look, I know you’re a Kappa legacy, but there are other sororities, so keep an open mind, okay?” Sterling did her research. The girl talking was Sam Cohen, recruitment chair of Sigma Gamma Delta, one of the largest sororities on campus.

    “Definitely. We’d love to meet with you guys!” Sterling knew better than to sound too eager so she tried to just sound peppy and generally excited. Sam nodded in response and walked away. Sterling walked out of class and waited in the atrium for her brother and sister to grab lunch.

    “I swear if one more person comes up to me and freaks out because i’m a kennedy, I’m gonna scream.” Emerson set her backpack down at the table her brother and sister were at and sat down.

    “Em, you used to love the attention in high school.”

    “Yeah, and you knew you were gonna be under a spotlight when you enrolled here.”

    “Okay, Aidan, you know we had no choice. If Mom and Dad let me pick we all know I’d be at Harvard or Yale right now.”

    “I mean, you’re kind of at Havard. We’re in the same city.” Sterling put a forkful of salad in her mouth.

    “Ugh, do not remind me. It hurts my soul being so close to Harvard but being so. Far. Away.” Just then Rebecca, the Kappa Alpha Sigma girl from Emerson’s Econ class pulled up a chair and sat down.

    “Hey Emerson! And you must be Sterling? Aidan’s told me so much about you!” She leaned over and gave Aidan a peck as the twins tried to suppress a gag. “I hope you guys decided to come out with us to the SigKap party!”

    “You invited them to our party?” Aidan was part of the Sigma Kappa Lambda fraternity, along with their brother Jackson and their father. “They’re my little sisters and I don’t want them at a frat party.”

    “Babe, it’ll give them a chance to meet the Kappas!” Sterling and Emerson exchanged glances and sipped their drinks.

    “That’s literally what recruitment is for,” Aidan turned to face his sisters. “I swear if I see you guys at the house tonight, you’re both dead.” Sterling and Emerson let out a laugh and excused themselves to throw their trash away and go back to their dorm.

    “We’re definitely going tonight, despite what Aidan says. Rght?” Sterling dropped her backpack on her bed and sat down. Emerson sat at her desk and began retouching her makeup.

    “Mom and Chandler want us in Kappa, but is that what we want? Plus Aidan’s right, meeting the sororities is what recruitment is for.”
    “Right, but see we have to go out tonight because it’s our chance to meet people! Plus the recruitment chair of Sigma Gamma Delta came up to me after class.” Sterling explained that they had to keep an open mind about all the sororities, despite being a Kappa legacy. “Plus, it’ll be fun watching how distraught Aidan gets when he sees his little sisters turning up at a frat party!” Emerson rolled her eyes at her sister and chuckled.

    “Alright, fine. We’ll go out tonight and we can meet the Sigma Gamma Delta sisters tomorrow and meet all the other sororities.” Emerson always loved a good party and she dreamed about her first college party since she was a kid. Sure, the high school parties she went to were great, but usually full of drunk teens who got cheep beer from older siblings. College parties were bound to be better, it was just the law of life.

The day continued and the twins continued with first day icebreakers and got attention from everyone around them. More sorority girls came up to them and invited them out, guys constantly hit on them, and professors just nodded approvingly. Finally, the twins were back in the safety and solidarity of their dorm room as they prepped for the party. Emerson texted Rebecca telling her that they decided on going on, and Rebecca replied with the address of the Kappa house for the pregame. Around 9:30 pm, the girls headed out of their dorm and towards the Kappa house.

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