Swim Meet

Lew Holloway was seated in the Green College library dutifully studying as was his custom on most Saturday afternoons. He took a break to stretch and check his phone and a posting on his Facebook caught his eye.

Louise Maynard is at Green College – "Watching Roger Williams University's star swimmer Laura Maynard compete against the Green"

Lew stared at the post for a long moment. He had no idea why he kept Laura's mother on his friend's list more than two years after he and Laura broke up except to troll what was going on with the Maynard family. It was lame of him to be so anal but it was still hard to let go.

He returned to his library seat pondering the idea of walking across the campus to the athletic building to say hello to Mrs. Maynard who was probably sitting in the stands (maybe with her husband). How would Laura react if she looked up from the pool to see her ex-boyfriend sitting with her parents, especially so far from home?

They were from Taunton and in high school Lew and Laura talked about attending UMASS-Dartmouth or Bridgewater State together which was closer to home. But they broke up at the beginning of high school senior year and Laura decided on Roger Williams University in Rhode Island while a resentful Lew wanted to get as far away from home as he could, ending up at Green College a hundred miles away. How ironic that a swimming schedule put Laura back in his sphere.

He had a choice, of course. He could pretend he never saw Mrs. Maynard's post and let the opportunity for a chance meeting go by the boards. Maybe it was time he finally let go of Laura once and for all. Lew tried to concentrate on the book in front of him but thoughts and images of Laura kept running through his mind. What if she was lonely and miserable at Roger Williams University? Was she still with that bastard Clondike? Where did he end up going to school anyway? Maybe she'd be excited to see Lew after so much time had passed, especially at a neutral place.

Lew had brought his high school yearbook with him to Green College. He also had his 'Laura photo album' hidden in his dorm desk drawer and he hadn't deleted any of his electronic photographs from his phone either. He dated a little after 'the big breakup' as their friends called it back at Taunton High School but nothing serious or long lasting, probably because he hadn't been able to duplicate the magic of that special high school romance with Laura. Was it young love or something deeper?

There were so many special times and warm memories. Lew assumed that was true of all first real loves but he also believed that what he and Laura shared was something extra too. That's why the breakup was so devastating for him. He had never experienced such an intense emotional reaction before and the raging anger and crippling hurt he felt scared him. He was convinced he would never experience a special love like that again and he felt betrayed by Laura's unexpected rejection. There were so many precious moments, even if was doing something as simple as hanging around on her couch or going to the local burger joint together. Everything they did was a big deal to him because it felt so warm and unique. Every memory with Laura was a special lasting remembrance.

Perhaps Lew had been too dependent on Laura both emotionally and socially. Maybe he made her too much of his life and that left him bitter when he was left alone. Senior year without her was torture because he realized how socially inept he was. His entire high school social life had been built around Laura and suddenly it was gone. He had relied upon their relationship and he was lost without it. They had their common history, mutual likes, private jokes, secret sharing, and a clairvoyant understanding and he was unable to successfully function without her by his side. The breakup also rocked their peer group since they shared many mutual friends and Lew found himself detaching from most of them and isolating alone, missing the similar experiences he shared with Laura.

He spent most of his time trying to figure out what in the hell happened between them. He never saw the breakup coming and he had no clue that Laura was unhappy or interested in somebody new and different. What had he done wrong? Why did she reject him? Was Laura his peak? Was it going to be all downhill from here? You only get one first love and what they shared was real and he'd be happy to give it another shot if Laura was interested. Surely now that they were mature college students they could work on past issues and rediscover their initial magic.

Lew shoved his books into his backpack which he slung over his shoulder as he stood from his seat and folded up his laptop which he also carefully placed in the backpack. He confidently strolled out of the front door of the library and headed for the athletic facility.