After a long separation, Louise (who looked just like Birdie) and I had begun living together. I had been quite happy at first with the arrangement, but when I awoke one morning and saw Louise lying in the bed under the blanket next to me, I realized that after having lived alone for so long, I had come to value my solitude and would actually prefer to live by myself. I was uncertain exactly how or when I would be able to tell Louise of that fact.
The phone rang – one long and then two short rings as if it were a signal. Louise jumped from the bed and immediately said, "Hello Gary." I thought it must be one of Louise's boyfriends. As part of our living arrangement we had agreed that each of us could continue seeing and dating other people. I wasn't seeing anyone else at the moment, but Louise was. In view of our agreement, I didn't say anything as she quietly talked on the phone. But I began to realize I wasn't pleased that someone else was calling her; maybe I had made a mistake by making such an agreement.
After Louise had finished on the phone, I began talking with her. A man whom she had never met had recently called her and asked her to meet him somewhere. And she had gone to meet him. I began pointing out how dangerous it was to go meet someone like that; it could have been some kind of trap. She was uninterested in what I had to say and I didn't pursue it.
We both began dressing. But I sat down and began working on something. Although I was in high school and needed to get ready to go to class, I suddenly decided I didn't want to go this morning and I told Louise so. Only two or three more weeks of school were left and I hadn't missed much; I could afford to miss another day.
Abruptly I told Louise I had simply decided to quit school completely. I wasn't even sure why I had returned to high school. I had already gone through college and law school and was actually a lawyer. I didn't need to go to high school. Louise seemed to think I was making a mistake by quitting; but I tried to point out that the mistake had been my beginning to go in the first place.
One of my classes at school was a calculus class. If I wanted to, I could begin studying calculus later and nothing would be lost by not continuing now in the class I was in.
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