Chapter 4

Lew was proud to show Maggie where he went to college. He took her through the various program buildings, the library (his favorite place), the gym and student center, and the large stream that ran behind the southern campus. Lew admitted he didn't leave the campus much even though he had a car.

"Well, this place is sort of like a world into itself," Maggie observed.

"That and I've become fond of the dining facility!" Lew joked.

"Let's eat there," Maggie suggested. "I want to compare it to Keene State!"

It cost ten bucks for guests to eat at the dining facility but Lew picked up the bill.

"You paid for the coffee," he noted with a smile, suddenly feeling uplifted being with Maggie again, even though (he thought) it was Laura who he wanted.

He had forgotten how good Maggie was for him and he felt alive for the first time in a long time as they chatted about their college experiences and reminisced about their lives back home. He enjoyed sharing his thoughts and feelings with someone who had been important to him and knew him and he wondered why he allowed Maggie to fall off his radar screen once they graduated from high school. They spent nearly two hours in the dining hall talking and laughing until they finally left the building.

"Well, you probably want to be heading back," Lew said as they stood in the dusk outside the dining hall.

"Show me your dorm," Maggie said. "I want to compare it to mine!"

Lew walked her across the campus to the semi-ugly dorm building he resided in. It was co-ed so nobody looked twice at Maggie even in her Keene State sweatshirt. Lew resided on the third floor (Room 303) in a two man room.

"Where's your roomie?" Maggie asked, glancing around the room when Lew opened the door for her.

"He went home this weekend," Lew reported.

It was dark enough outside that he had to turn the lights on in the room.

"You two get along?"

"Stew's okay," Lew decided.

"I share my room with a girl named Amy," Maggie said as she moved around the room looking at the posters, photos and other decorations. "She sleeps twelve hours a day, bathes in perfume, listens to crap music, and drinks too much."

"Wow," Lew commented. "Sorry."

The room struck Lew as rather boring - the standard issue dorm room - two beds, two desks, two dressers, two closets, one window, cement walls. He didn't spent a whole of time in it but he was glad Stew wasn't around now as he would certainly being asking Maggie a hundred questions - and maybe even try hitting on her.

"Well, I suppose you want to get going," Lew said.

"Are you trying to get rid of me?" Maggie teased.

"No," Lew blushed. "I just assumed you'd want to head out."

"I think we should hook up," Maggie blurted out.

Lew was shocked by her admission. "That might make things complicated."

Maggie laughed. "It might," she agreed.

"We're on different campuses," he pointed out.

"Twenty-five miles apart, Holly," Maggie reminded him.

Lew seemed awkwardly nervous. "But we're friends," he worried. "And you're Laura's friend."

"And Laura's your ex - yes I know," Maggie groaned. "So what?"

"Aren't there rules against that stuff?" Lew worried.

"Look, I've always lived with my heart on my sleeve," Maggie announced. "I can't believe you're still pining over her."

"I can't either," Lew admitted.

"So, this is never going to happen, is it?" she said with hurt in her voice.

"Maybe it will someday," he said hopefully.

"Great," she said sarcastically. "I can hardly wait."

Lew felt horrible and he worried that he had just ruined whatever they had together. "My heart was so broken," he said quietly.

"Two years ago, Lew," Maggie sighed. "How long are you going to torture yourself before you finally move on?"

"It was very painful," he sighed.

"This is very painful," Maggie complained. "And it's killing me inside."

"I'm sorry," Lew said with defeat. "You probably want to leave now."

"No, I don't want to leave," Maggie growled. "I want for us to talk and act like the way we really feel about each other."

Lew nearly collapsed onto the bed. "I don't know how I feel about anything," he said.

"I gotta use the bathroom," Maggie remarked.

"Out the door, turn right - the women's room is about six doors down on the left."

"Thanks," Maggie said, heading for the door.

"You coming back?" Lew worried.

"Yes, Holly, I'm coming back," Maggie said, rolling her eyes.

Lew was sprawled out on his bed when Maggie returned. She dragged his desk chair to the side of the bed, turning it backwards and she squatted onto it facing him, resting her chin and arms on the top of the seat.

"We've know each other for a long time, Lew," Maggie said. "We hung out together practically every single day after Laura dumped you and Bonnett and me were no longer together."

"I know," Lew said.

"You took care of me."

"We took care of each other," Lew said.

"I'm beginning to think that you were born with a serious heart problem," Maggie said.

Lew turned his head and squinted at her. "What are you talking about?"

"I don't think Laura could do this to you if you had a normal heart," Maggie theorized. "I think you're like The Tin Man - in search of a new heart."

"What are you trying to tell me?" Lew asked.

"Just that it's okay to feel again, she said. "Even if it hurts. Even if it's risky. Even if it doesn't work out."

She reached her hand out and rested it on the mattress, her fingers touching his. Lew felt the electricity and he knew this moment was stronger than anything he had felt in a very long time.

"I would like to think we share a significant past but I suppose it really doesn't matter now if we're not going to do anything about it," Maggie said

. There was a pause as their eyes met and they looked at each other for a long moment. When Maggie realized that Lew wasn't going to act on her gesture, she stood from the chair.

"Now I'll go," she sighed with disappointment, heading for the door.

His loneliness about to defeat him forever, Lew found himself leaping from the bed. He grabbed her by the arm and turned her to face him. "Don't go," he pleaded.

Annoyed, Maggie stared into his eyes. "You're a mess," she realized.

"I haven't…I can't….I don't know…"

"No gibberish, Holly," Maggie said sternly.

"What about you?" He worried. "Would this be just some sort of experiment?"

She forcefully stepped into him, grabbed his face and went for it. Lew responded by walking her into the wall, his hands suddenly on her ass as they made out.

"This is it," she mumbled into his exploring mouth.

"This is what?" Lew asked nervously.

"This is us," she giggled as she kissed him happily.

He returned the kisses for a few moments and then pulled back. "I had a girlfriend," he said. "I lost a girlfriend. But I found a friend. And then I lost track of that friend. And now that friend wants to be my girlfriend and I don't want to lose that."

"One day at time, Holly," Maggie said as she stepped toward his bed, disrobing as she went.

She was down to her bra and panties before Lew could react as she turned and faced him, smiling. Then she removed her bra and slipped off her panties before sliding under the covers of the bed, never taking her eyes off of him.

"Join me," she said seductively.

Lew didn't know if he should feel uncomfortable or excited. But it had been a long time coming and so he stripped out of his clothes and joined her under the covers where they made love through the night, burning hot and bright and through it all Lew couldn't believe he and Maggie were naked in his dorm room.

"I bet you're glad I came to the swim meet now," Maggie giggled as they cuddled under the covers.