Chapter 1: Back to Pontiac
It was two P.M. on Thursday afternoon when I reached the Pontiac city limits. I'd been compiling a mental checklist of things I wanted to accomplish that afternoon for the last fifty miles. At the top of my list was to take a leak, followed by having my telephone service turned back on, picking up my mail, unpacking my car, and shopping for groceries. If I had time, I'd go to a neighboring town and look for furniture.
Kelley had been specific about what type of furniture to pick out; good quality, tasteful, and comfortable. Suzanne's advice had been quite different; "Don't be too particular, Sammy. Remember, you'll be leaving it in the apartment at the end of the year."
The traffic was slow going through town, and when I came to the school I decided to turn in and take care of the first three items on my list before going to the apartment.
The campus was abuzz with freshmen scurrying around, nervous parents wanting to be helpful, and upper classmen carrying their possessions into dormitory rooms. It was the same scene I'd seen three times before, but the newness everyone experienced always fascinated me.
After hitting the restroom in the Administration building I stopped by Mrs. Weatherspoon's office to see if she would let me use the telephone in her office. Her door was closed, but her assistant gave me permission to call the telephone company. They said they'd been flooded with similar calls, but they would try to have my phone working before the end of the workday. I ordered a second line, which would take two or three days to install. And then I made a collect call home to tell Penelope I'd arrived safely, and would call again after my telephone was reconnected. She said she would let everyone know and I knew that 'everyone' included Kelley.
Next stop was the mailroom. I only had two personal letters, one was from Heather and the other was a large envelope from Hilda. There were also ten weeks of U.S. News and World Reports and Newsweek magazines. Everything else was junk mail.
I had trouble jamming the magazines in my car because it was so packed with my clothes and Kelley's stuff. I was anxious to see if Ollie had cleared the old furniture out of the apartment, but first, I decided to stop by the tennis courts where Kent usually hung out. In addition to him, his sister Wendy and Zelda were there, waiting to play. He said Amy was shopping for groceries, and that Skip hadn't arrived yet. I invited them to come to the apartment for pizza and beer the following night and they said they were eager to catch up after being away all summer.
Zelda walked with me to my car. "Do you need help cleaning your apartment, Sammy?" she asked. I noticed that she'd grown two inches and slimmed down a bit. She was tan and I could tell that she'd played a lot of tennis since I'd seen her last. She'd cut her hair, not nearly as short as Kelley's, but shorter than the previous year.
"Thanks Zelda, but I called a friend to take care of some things I wanted done. His aunt owns the building and she had to approve the work."
"Did you have a good summer?" she asked, getting a head start on our reunion party the following night.
"Yeah, I worked and did some traveling, but I can't complain about my leisure time."
"Are you still with Kelley? Will she visit like last year?"
"Yes, very much, and yes, but not as often," I laughed.
Zelda said she needed to get back to the court and we said so long.
The traffic was still heavier than usual as I drove the two miles to the apartment. Turning off Main Street at the dress shop after being away always gave me a thrill that I couldn't explain. I guess it was because the apartment was the first place I'd lived on my own. Charlie's car was backed into its usual spot. What's he doing here?
My first load consisted of two bundles of magazines and one piece of luggage. As I reached the top of the stairs, the door opened and I found myself transfixed.
Four words flooded my mind: blond, California, runner and toothpaste said it all, only they didn't come out of my mouth that way.
"Hi, you must be the infamous Sammy Oldham. I'm Megan Freeman, Debra's friend," she said, offering her hand before realizing my arms were full.
"Megan Free-pass," I said, catching myself, "Free ... Free ... Freeman."
Megan was holding the door open, so I walked in, dropped my load in the empty living room and turned to shake hands. She offered to help unload my car, but I preferred to explore my first impressions.
In the two minutes we stood there, she only confirmed one of four words that had popped into my mind. She didn't need to tell me that she was an honest-to-goodness blond. She had the Sheila Evans kind of hair, blond to the core. It was shoulder length and full bodied. I pictured it in a ponytail when she ran. She had runner's legs, thin, but muscular and runner's breasts, compact in a sports bra, but erect when unencumbered. Her ass reminded me of Karen Parker's, although Karen's thighs were thicker than Megan's. If toothpaste companies hadn't discovered her yet, they soon would offer her a contract to appear in their advertisements.
"My boyfriend graduated and took a job working for his father in Fresno, so I transferred to Pontiac to be with my best friend, Debra," Megan said.
"Does he run, too?"
"Who? Oh, Melvin, no, he's more of a ... he lifts weight and ... how did you ... oh, is it my scar?"
Megan folded her left leg and lifted it to show me her knee. The scar was triangular in shape and deep. "I slipped on a wet leaf ... can you imagine that a leaf can do this kind of damage? Mel says I'm scarred for life because he's not going to pay for plastic surgery, but I think ... I'm talking too much," she stopped, dropping her foot to the floor, smiling, nervously.
"What happened to my bed?" Charlie asked from behind me.
I recognized his voice by the irritation in it, but had to turn to see just how mad he was. "Nice to see you, too," I said, and then I said "Hi" to Debra Simmons, who was standing next to him.
"I see you and Megan met," Debbie said as she gave Charlie a friendly bump, probably to loosen him up.
"Yes, we met," I said, and then to Charlie, "You said you were going to get your own place. I had Ollie clear the room so I can set it up as a combination work and study room."
"Nothing's available. We went to housing and even tried a local realtor. I didn't know you were going to get rid of my bed the second I moved out," he said.
"Help me carry my stuff in and I'll see what I can do," I said.
With all four of us, it only took two loads each to transfer everything in my car to the center of the living room. I went back downstairs to make sure we'd gotten everything and lock my car.
Before going back upstairs, I stopped at the dress shop and asked Aunt Olivia if she knew of an apartment or house that was available. She didn't, but suggested I consult her nephew. I went back upstairs to deliver the bad news and that's when I discovered that Charlie and Debra had taken over my bedroom, temporarily. They'd even moved the hammock into his old room for Megan to sleep in. Their luggage was taking up the space where the hammock had been, and Megan's luggage was in the second bedroom.
Debra offered to relinquish my room, but I said I'd sleep in the living room. "It's a good thing I brought these sleeping bags," I said.
"May I use one of those?" Megan asked and I told her she could.
"I'm going to see if I can find you a place to live. How many bedrooms do you need?" I asked, really wanting to know if Megan planned to live with them. She said she had no other choice because the dormitories were filled to capacity.
"Unless you'll let me stay here and use one of your sleeping bags," she said in a jocular way. I knew she wasn't serious, but...
"Can you cook?" I asked.
"Some, but I don't think your girlfriend would approve, and I know Mel wouldn't."
"Are you and Kelley still together, Sammy?" Debra asked.
"No, I've got a new girlfriend," I said, remembering the large envelope Hilda had sent. Luckily, I saw how she'd signed the photo, 'Thanks for dinner, Sammy. Love, Hilda', and covered that corner up before letting them see the photo.
They exclaimed and I let them believe that Hilda was my girlfriend for a minute before telling them the truth. "I'll have to hide this when Kelley comes for a visit."
The three of them had been there since the afternoon before, and had been going out for their meals. I sent Debra and Megan to the grocery store, and put Charlie to work filling the mattresses with air.
"Yes, Commander," he said, sarcastically.
I used a payphone to call Ollie. "There's nothing available, but it's always this way at this time of year. Give me a week and I'll come up with something," he said.
"A week's too long, Ollie. I'll be in trouble with a weightlifter named Mel in half that time."
Ollie promised to put his feelers out, and I went back to the apartment to tell Charlie that we'd have to make the best of things. He'd come to the realization that it was my place, and he had no right to be upset about me using his old room as I pleased. I didn't tell him that it was Kelley's idea.
We waited until the girls got back to figure out how things would work. They came in with two bags of groceries. Debra admitted that the only thing she knew how to cook was spaghetti. They had salad makings, Italian bread, eggs and a few other staples.
We sat at the kitchen table and I let them make suggestions as to how we'd get by for the next week. It was decided that Megan and I would share the closet in the second bedroom, storing the minimum amount of clothes for the week. We would take turns using the room to change.
The telephone company called to say my phone was back in service.
"I'll need to set up our computers and the fax machine in the second bedroom," I said and Charlie agreed to help me move my desk and computer stand. I guess that is when Megan decided the second bedroom would be too crowded for her to sleep in the room.
"Sammy and I will share the living room," she said.
"Are you sure you don't mind?" Debra asked her friend.
"I don't mind if Sammy doesn't. It's only for a week, right?" Megan asked.
I minded, God, how I minded! How was I going to make it through one night with us sleeping in the same room, let alone seven nights? "We'll manage," I said.
Charlie and I moved the few pieces of furniture into the second bedroom, and I set up my half of the closet before calling Kelley. She was still at the office. She was shocked when she heard that I'd instructed Ollie to clear the furniture out of two rooms and already had the room set up as we'd discussed.
"You didn't move that desk alone, did you?"
"No, Charlie's here. He helped."
"Charlie's there? Did he stop by for a visit? What kind of place did he get?"
"He wasn't able to find anything. He and Debra are going to stay with me for a week or so."
"A WEEK! A WEEK OR SO! Sammy, we're not going to have them there when I come. Where would they sleep?"
"They're using my room. It's a good thing you suggested that I bring the sleeping bags in case we have company."
"Sleeping bags? That's plural. I told you to take one sleeping bag in case Marcie comes for a weekend. Why did you ... Sammy ... don't tell me ... Sammy?"
"It's only for a week, Kelley. Ollie thinks something will open up within a few days."
"You're pulling my chain. I hear it in your voice. Who else is there, Sammy?" Kelley's voice was remarkably even, considering the explosive direction the conversation could take at any moment.
"They have Debra's friend with them. She transferred to Pontiac because her boyfriend graduated and she wanted to be near Deb. I guess they're going to live together as soon as we find..."
"Start with her name and keep going."
"Her name is Megan Freeman."
"I said for you to keep going," she reminded me, sounding surprisingly calm.
I took a deep breath. "What are you wearing? Did you enjoy last night? How many times did I tell you that I love you? You told me three times. The reason I remember..."
"Sammy, it was four times. Continue with her description before I explode."
"You make it sound like you've undressed her," Kelley interrupted me.
"Believe me, Kelley, I haven't and I do not intend to. California!"
"That's just a state. Keep going."
"That doesn't impress me. I swim," Kelley said.
"Toothpaste!" I said. That got her attention.
"Let me speak to her."
"Kelley, it's only for a week. I'll definitely exclude her from the Friday night parties. You'll probably never meet her."
"I'll decide that. Put her on the phone," Kelley said, and I had no choice but to tell Megan that my girlfriend wanted to talk to her.
I helped Debra prepare dinner while Megan spoke to Kelley. They must have talked for ten minutes before Megan came into the kitchen, looking a bit pale.
I opened a bottle of Merlot, and we sat down to enjoy salad, spaghetti and meatballs. I made a point of telling them about the pizza and beer party I was hosting the next evening. Debra jumped for joy, saying she wouldn't have to cook.
We discussed the classes we'd be taking and I discovered that Megan and I were in one class together. It was a Business Management class. She was in Doctor Mercer's Managerial Accounting class. I'd arranged to be in another professor's class because I thought it would damage our friendship if I were in George Mercer's class.
We'd cleared the table and were having coffee when I learned that Megan had heard all the stories about our times at C.M.A. and Forrester School for Young Women where Debra had attended. They kidded me about having a crush on Debra when we were freshmen. We were laughing at how Charlie had stolen Debra from me when Megan turned to me.
"Kelley's very nice. She asked if your description of me was accurate and then she warned me about you," Megan said, showing her perfect teeth in a grin.
As far as I was concerned we could let the subject drop. I wasn't even curious as to what Kelley had said about me, but Debra was.
"What did Kelley say about him?" she asked Megan, who was only too willing to repeat everything Kelley had said.
"Sammy used to sleep in boxer shorts but now he wears jockeys to bed. She keeps condoms in the bedside stand on the left side of her bed because Sammy sleeps to her right. They traveled together four times last summer and they're going to visit his mother in October. She's made plans for them to spend Thanksgiving on Nantucket Island although she hasn't told him about those plans yet. He proposed marriage, and now she wishes she hadn't turned him down. The sleeping bags and air mattresses are from two camping trips they made last summer. Kelley detests the time Sammy spends on the phone with Marcie, and she doesn't understand why he will have nothing to do with her childhood friends. How am I doing so far, Sammy?" Megan asked, obviously pleased with the way she'd been able to repeat what Kelley had told her.
"That didn't sound like much of a warning to me. It sounded more like things about me that bother her, but she's afraid to tell me," I said, hoping to convey my displeasure with the way Megan had fallen for Kelley's ploy.
Debra had heard the irritation in my voice. "It must have been a shock for you to come into your apartment and find us here, Sammy. I told Charlie that you would be angry at us for squatting, but he said I don't know you very well. He said you're a generous guy. Does Charlie know you well?"
I could see that Charlie was embarrassed by Debra's question. "Charlie knows me as well as almost anyone," I said, getting up and excusing myself.
I retired to the study room and read Heather's letter. It consisted of two paragraphs of complaints about our mother and K.O. being difficult to manage. She also complained that I sent money earmarked for K.O. to our mother. Heather was sour on life. I wrote a check, stuffed it into an envelope and addressed to her. I didn't include a note because she wouldn't be interested in anything I had to say.
I wrote a note to Hilda to thank her for the picture, and then I began reading the U.S. News and World Reports magazines. I was skimming the last one when Megan came into the room to change for bed.
"What's with the tennis ball?" she asked.
"It helps me concentrate," I said and vacated the room until she came out, wearing a long T-shirt.
"It's all yours; have fun with your ball," she grinned, showing me her teeth.
It was nearing midnight when I thumbed through the last Newsweek and decided I'd read enough. I took off my clothes and went into the living room. Had Megan moved her sleeping bag nearer mine?
"I hope I didn't embarrass you," she said in a soft voice.
"No," I said as I got into my sleeping bag, surprised that she was awake.
"I purposely left out some of what Kelley told me. I didn't think you would want Charlie and Debra to hear it."
"Like what?" I asked.
"She told me about the free pass."
"Oh," I said. "Did she tell you the reason I made her give it to me?"
"I know it was an unreasonable request. I have no intention of ever using it. In fact, I may give it back to her, but every time I think about giving it back, something pops into my mind and I can't do it."
"You don't need to explain to me, Sammy. I fully understand why you demanded that she give it to you."
"You do?" I asked.
When she didn't answer, I surmised that she had dozed off. Sleep came slowly to me that night. Why had I let a total stranger talk to Kelley? Why had I let Megan talk to me about something as personal as the free pass?
I awoke with a hard on, the kind of hard on that made me know this was going to be a long day. I decided to see if I could work it off with a run. Sun was streaming through the front window, making Megan shield her eyes with her arm. I tried to be as quiet as possible so I wouldn't wake her, but even on my tiptoes, the floor creaked.
"Are you going for a run?" she asked from her sleeping bag. She was lying on top, her T-shirt pulled up to expose her magnificent thighs and white panties.
I stopped in my tracks and waited for her to see that I was wearing running shorts and carrying my running shoes.
"I guess that's your 'duh' stance," she said, scrambling to her feet. "Give me a second."
I sat on a chair in the kitchen to put my shoes on and then stretched for ten minutes while I waited for her to get dressed and comb her hair. What I saw was worth the wait. Megan was the consummate California girl from her ponytail to the matching uniform, shirt, shorts and shoes, all white with a red stripe that began at her neck, continued down the side of her shirt, down her shorts and ended at the soles of her shoes. "Ready?" she asked with a toss of her hair.
I outlined the route we would take while she was stretching. "We'll go by neighborhoods where students live, into an area of nicer homes where some of the business people live and then by some older homes where professors live. It's about three miles. Is that okay?"
"Sound good," she said.
"Sometimes I run along the river, but never at night because there are no streetlights," I said.
"Maybe you can show me the river route tomorrow?" she asked.
"I've only been running every other day this summer, but I can make an exception," I said as we began to jog.
"Charlie was right about you being a generous guy. Mel would be bull if he found friends camped out in his apartment," Megan said and then, as an afterthought, "How old are you?"
"I'll be twenty-two in March."
"You're older than me. I won't be twenty-two until May," she said.
I pointed out where Kent, Amy and Skip lived and told her they would be coming to my apartment that evening. And when we passed the street where Doctor Mercer lived I pointed to his house. "I had accounting from him. We run together at night sometimes," I said.
"Have you raced competitively?" she asked, and I told her not since I was in the tenth grade. She told me about coming in fifth in a ten kilometer race last year.
We circled back and she thanked me for showing her the route when we returned to the apartment.
Charlie and Debra were up. I let Megan take the first shower and when I came out of the shower, Debra was making eggs, toast and coffee for breakfast.
Victor Dunning showed up just as we were finishing eating, wanting to talk to me. I introduced him to Megan and took him into the second bedroom.
"Who's she?" he asked, temporarily forgetting what he wanted to talk to me about.
"Don't even think about it," I laughed. "She's got a boyfriend, and anyway, she's a senior, way too old for you. What did you want to talk about?"
"I'd like to work for Luke again. Will you come with me to explain why I went to Nebraska to work?"
"Sure," I said, wondering why he needed to talk to me in private.
I noticed that Victor took a long look at Megan as we walked through the kitchen.
"How did you leave it with Claudia?" I asked him when we got outside.
"It's over between us. I think she's already got a new boyfriend. Are you sure Megan has a boyfriend or were you telling me that so you'll have a clear shot with her?"
"He lifts weights, Victor," I said and watched him grimace.
As it turned out, I didn't have to explain anything. Luke was glad to have Victor work as many hours as he wanted. They made arrangements for Victor to start the following day.
With that settled, Luke turned to me. "Are you going to order any more desks, Sammy?"
I told him I didn't know if there would be a demand. Used desks were being offered at half the price we'd charged.
"My friends are looking for a house to rent. Do you know of anything?" I asked, knowing that Luke knew everyone in town. What a lucky stroke. He took us outside the shop and pointed out a house down the street.
"Two guys and a gal moved in there last week. She was the girlfriend of one of the guys and his friend made a pass at her. There was a hell of a fight. I don't know which one got stabbed, but the police were called and the landlord threw all three of them out. I'll make a call," he offered.
"Ask him if we can see it," I said.
Victor and I walked up to the house, looked in a windows and discovered the house was furnished, sort of. We counted three bedrooms, one bath, a large kitchen and living room. "This would be a great place for me, right across the street from Luke's shop," he said, showing teenage excitement.
I knew what he was thinking. Charlie would take the corner bedroom, Megan Freeman would have the front bedroom and Victor would get the small bedroom next door, across from the bathroom.
We walked back to Luke's shop and found out he'd made an appointment for us to meet the landlord at the house in fifteen minutes. I considered calling the apartment to tell Charlie and the girls to join us, but Charlie didn't know the town very well and I was afraid they would get lost. We went back to the apartment to pick them up.
I was in a quandary as we drove to the apartment. Should I warn Victor that Charlie and Debra may not want another roommate? Should I tell him about Kelley's stipulation that he could not sleep in my apartment on weekends? Why had I agreed to it? During the next thirty minutes, I discovered that I'd made the correct decision to bow to Kelley's wishes. Victor was a leech and it took the newcomer to point it out to me.
Naturally, Charlie, Debra and Megan were excited about the house being available. Victor, in his calculating way, positioned himself in the cramped backseat of my car, with the intention of sitting between Debra and Megan.
"Charlie, don't you want to sit next to your girlfriend?" Megan asked and Charlie, who'd already taken the passenger's seat next to me, got out and let Megan have the seat. That was only the beginning of Victor's cagey maneuvering.
Victor explained the layout of the house on the way, emphasizing that there were three bedrooms.
There was no question that Charlie, Debra and Megan liked the house and wanted to take it. The landlord produced a lease and quoted a price, which surprised even me.
The landlord reminded us that there was a shortage of off-campus housing in a tone that indicated he knew the dormitories were filled to capacity, too.
Charlie held out, saying that the price was more than they'd planned to pay. That's when Victor made his offer to lighten the others' share. "I work right across the street for Luke. I could pick up one-quarter of the rent."
Charlie and Debra were going through the lease. He handed it to me to read, and I saw that it was worded simply, and even had the school's housing department stamp of approval.
"Victor, if you're keen on living here, perhaps I can take your room in the dorm," Megan proposed.
"My roommates are named Tom, Dick and Harry," he said and I watched Megan's expression change to somber.
I believe Charlie was considering Victor's proposal to pay his share of the rent even though Megan clearly disapproved.
I handed her the lease and pointed to one of the rules: 'No more than three unrelated individuals will be permitted to occupy the premises as the same time.'
Megan looked at me, smiling knowingly. This was the moment of truth. Obviously, the landlord had assumed that Charlie and Debra were married.
"What do you want to do?" I whispered to Megan.
She took me by the arm and led me outside. "I don't want to kill this in case there's no other way, but I really don't want to have that kid watching every time I come out of the shower, either. Mel wouldn't approve of that arrangement at all."
"We can try two things," I said and went on to suggest that we could speak to the landlord to see if he would lower the price, and if that didn't work, we could say that Megan was going to stay with me until a dorm room opened up. "When Victor hears you're not going to be living here, he'll back out and say the price is too high."
"Are you sure?" she asked.
"What if this backfires? Are you sure you're willing to have Mel and Kelley angry at us?"
"Now when you talk about it that way, I'm not so certain," I laughed. "Let's try the landlord first."
We got the man alone and I explained the situation. "The only way we can make the price work is to split it four ways between the couple, Megan and the kid. But Megan feels the house will be too crowded, especially the bathroom. We'd like for you to reconsider the monthly rent."
The landlord was a reasonable man, but not willing to reduce the rent. He claimed to have spent a considerable amount of monies on fix-up and also pointed out that he had to adjust nine months of rent to cover twelve months of expenses. In short, he wouldn't budge.
"Plan B, I announced to everyone within earshot. We can wait and see what Ollie comes up with or Charlie, Debra and Victor can split the rent three ways and Megan will stay at my apartment until a dorm room opens," I said.
This didn't set well with Debra Simmons at all. She wanted her friend to live with her and Charlie. Also, she wasn't eager to be the only female in a house with two males. I was concerned that she was going to appeal to Megan to change her mind when Victor spoke up.
"One third is more than I can afford," he said, his voice filled with regret.
Debra wanted the house and even went so far as to suggest that she, Charlie and Megan could afford the rent, but Megan held her ground. "Sammy and I have discussed this and we've decided that if Mel and Kelley are not adult enough to trust us, he'll listen to Mel piss and moan and I'll listen to Kelley."
"Ollie says there're always houses that become vacant after a couple breaks up or decide Pontiac College is not for them. Look at what happened here," I said.
Hearing this, the landlord agreed to make an adjustment to the rent and Megan said she was in. The three of them sat down at the kitchen table to complete the documents. That's when Victor offered to pay one-fourth of the rent, but the landlord, seeing how Charlie Evans, Debra Simmons and Megan Freeman signed their names on the lease, told Victor that he was out of luck. Arrangements were made for them to move in the next day, Saturday.
Kelley and I spoke twice on the phone that afternoon. Kelley was happy to hear that we'd solved the housing situation, but couldn't believe how smoothly it had gone. I had Megan talk to Kelley and they were soon laughing at how easy it had been to play with Victor's emotions.
"Just a moment, I'll ask him," I heard Megan say, and then, "Sammy, how far apart would you say our air mattresses are?"
"Tell her they're ten feet apart," I said and heard her say, "Ten feet."
"She doesn't believe you."
"Tell her I'll measure and call her back," I said.
Kelley had to admit that Megan was a fun person when we talked the second time. "Have fun tonight," she said before we ended the call.
I called Ollie to tell him that my friends had found a house. He laughed when I told him about the fight and the police being called. "It happens every year," he said.
Victor was the first guest to show up that evening. I took him with me to pick up the beer and pizzas. I could tell that he was feeling down about losing out on sleeping in the next room to Megan. That's the reason I didn't tell him about the new rules regarding overnight guests at my apartment.
I let Debra introduce her friend to the other guests. Kent and Amy brought Wendy and Zelda. Skip came later and I could tell that he missed having Laura with him. I talked to him about being separated from his girlfriend, but I don't think what I said made much of an impression on him. "We've been together two years," he lamented. I didn't remind him that I'd been the one that introduced them.
Zelda was her usual zany self, but she took a backseat to Megan, who kept us laughing with her account of how the landlord had looked when he discovered Charlie and Debra weren't married. Victor was the only one not amused.
When it was time to leave, Skip said he would walk home. Kent and Amy took Victor, Zelda and Wendy back to the dorms.
Megan changed for bed first and when I came into the living room it was dark.
"How far apart would you say our sleeping bags are?" Megan asked.
"Four feet, if you haven't moved them closer, again," I said.
She giggled. "I bet you're glad that this is the last night you'll have to share your apartment," she said.
"I'll be relieved," I said, speaking honestly.
"Me too," she said in dreamy tone that sounded far away.
Should I explain myself, or would she understand that I'd be relieved that I'd kept my distance from her, and nothing had happened between us? No, I think she got my point.