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"The village?"

"The main dormitory complex."

"Oh," she said. Then, "I don't live on campus."

"Come on," I said, suspecting I was going to regret this. "I have to go that way for dinner."

I led her across campus, trying to strike up a polite conversation which morphed into a debate on the merits of Pink Floyd vs The Grateful Dead. Being a hippie, Heather believed in the primacy of Jerry Garcia over every rock musician ever, a contention I found frankly absurd. But we did find common ground on the fact that anyone who listens to Phish is a superficial poseur.

Once we reached the SU, I led her down to the mail room and then excused myself to check my mail. That done I slipped off to the cafeteria thinking I was done with her.


***


When I came out of the cafeteria an hour later, I noticed someone in the phonebooth across the hall. This was unusual as I don't think I'd ever seen anyone use the payphones in the three years I'd lived on campus. Out of curiosity I looked over to see what sort of freak of nature didn't have a cell. Probably one of the cafeteria staff. But then I saw it was Heather. Before I could look away, our eyes met and she waved me over.

I could've pretended I didn't see her, but I went over. She looked as though she'd been crying, her cheeks flushed and a trace of dampness along her nose (her eyes were red too, but that's pretty standard for a stoner).

"Hey man, you got a quarter I can borrow. I'm clean out."

I searched my pockets but only came up with a few pennies. She looked down dejectedly, and for a second I saw her not as some annoying hippie but a girl having a very bad day. Before I knew what I was saying, I told her, "You can use my phone," and handed her my cell.

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