As soon as she woke up in the morning, she found that she could reflect on the previous night's activities with a clear head. Yes, Meg had broken her trust, but she decided that she wasn't going to let it bother her. Meg had obviously been sorry about what she had done, and that was the important thing. Lissa might have been angrier if it weren't for the fact that she had been touched by a woman like that before. If she had had no prior experience of this kind, it might have been devastating, but in fact, it really hadn't done any harm. Her anger wasn't for the act itself, but more for the fact that Meg had broken her promise.
She turned over and saw Meg awake and staring at her with sadness in her eyes. Both girls sat up. Meg lowered her eyes to the floor, but Lissa gazed at her roommate. It had been a simple lapse of judgment after all, a moment of weakness. And hadn't Lissa had a similar moment of weakness as she had watched the two women? Granted she hadn't actually touched them, but she had fondled her own body.
"Lissa," said Meg, "I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I don't want you to hate me, but I'll understand if you do."
"Meg--" Lissa said, but her roommate cut her off.
"Just hear me out. I've thought a lot about what I'm going to do. I'm going to drive you back today, so you don't have to spend another night here with me. Monique won't be back until Sunday, so I'll sleep in her bed until then. That should give us time to think things through. As soon as we get back, I'll start looking for a new apartment. If I haven't found one by Sunday, I'll sleep on the couch until I do. That way you'll never have to share a room with me again. I'll be out of your life in a few days, and then you won't have to worry about it."
"I don't want you out of my life," Lissa told her.
"What?" asked Meg, her tear-filled eyes raising to Lissa's.
"I'm mad at you for breaking my trust, but I'll get over it. Let's not make this any bigger than it is; you hurt me, but not enough to ruin our friendship."
"But I... I touched you. I..."
"Violated me?" asked Lissa, and Meg nodded.
"No you didn't. If you remember, I didn't try to stop you until after it was all over. Would you have continued if I had pushed your hand away right at first?"
"No, of course not."
"Then that's it. You did something you shouldn't have, but in a way, I accepted it. Look, I do agree that we should go home today, because I'm still mad at you and I want to spend some time away from you for a while. But that will pass; I just need some time, okay?"
Meg nodded. "I'll drive you home as soon as we're ready."
"It's all right. You don't have to rush things. I want you to have plenty of time to say goodbye to your family. This isn't a punishment, or penance, or anything like that. Let's just leave this afternoon, all right?"
"All right. Lissa... does this mean you forgive me?"
"I forgive you, Meg."
Meg smiled and came over to her as if to give her a hug, then stopped, looking embarrassed. She turned around and went to her duffel bag to find some clothes to wear.
As Meg headed across the hall to take a shower, Lissa lay back on the cot and stared up at the ceiling. She was still a little angry, but worse than what her roommate had done last night was the change that had come over her. She was no longer the cheerful, flirtatious Meg that Lissa knew so well; this new Meg was serious and perhaps even a bit melancholy.
When her roommate returned, Lissa took her turn in the shower. It helped to relax her and clear her mind and emotions. And it seemed to wash away the lingering memory of Meg's hand between her legs. By the time she was finished, she was in a much better mood. She still felt a little angry, but now the worst seemed to be over and she felt that it would only get better from here.
She met Meg in her bedroom, and then without a word the two of them headed downstairs. Most of the family was already up; only Justin was still sleeping. They gathered around the kitchen table for breakfast.
"Did you two sleep well?" asked Maureen.
"Just fine," replied Lissa, with a smile that she hoped didn't look forced.
"I noticed you locked the door," said Shawn with a grin. "What were you two doing in there?"
"How did you know we locked the door?" Meg snapped.
"Sleepwalking," he shrugged.
"And you happened to sleepwalk right to our door, apparently," Lissa commented.
"Hey, it was your fault!"
"Yeah, all those naughty things you did to me in my dreams. I couldn't control myself."
"Knock it off, Shawn," said Meg.
"Oh come on. You've still got another night here, so why not take advantage of it?"
"Actually, that's not quite true. Mom and Dad, I hope you don't mind but Lissa and I are going to leave early. We're going to drive back this afternoon."
"What?" asked Doug. "What happened? Did Shawn overdo it? Did he scare Lissa off?"
"No, it wasn't Shawn," Meg replied.
Meg opened her mouth as if to say something, but then hesitated, as if she wasn't sure what to tell them.
Lissa decided to come to her rescue. "It's my fault," she said. "I've got a big test coming up after the break that I have to study for, and I forgot to bring the book with me. I'm really sorry that I'm taking Meg away from you. I wish I didn't have to do it, but this test could ruin the whole semester if I don't get a good grade. I was in a near panic this morning when I realized I didn't have the book with me."
Meg stared at her with a look of gratitude on her face.
"Oh, that's all right," said Maureen. "I remember my college days. I wouldn't want to stand in the way of someone trying to keep their grades up. Megan, are you all right with it?"
"Sure. I'm going to miss you guys, but it's only a few weeks until Christmas vacation starts, and then I'll get to see you all again."
"Are you going to bring Lissa back at Christmas time?" asked Shawn.
"And give you another chance to try to grope her? Not a chance," laughed Meg.
"Aw, you're no fun."
"Meg, can I talk to you alone for a moment?" asked Carla.
"Sure." The two of them disappeared into the next room.
Lissa sat down to talk with the rest of Meg's family, trying to make it sound like there was nothing wrong. Apparently she did a good job, because the family seemed to enjoy her company. Maureen even said she was sad to see her go, which made Lissa feel much better than she had all morning.
Meg and Carla returned from the other room a few minutes later, and Lissa couldn't help notice that Meg looked a little upset and Carla looked angry. She could guess what the two of them had been talking about. But they hid it well, and did nothing to detract from the cheerful atmosphere.
After talking for a while, Meg and Lissa went back upstairs to pack their bags. They didn't speak to each other as they did so, not that Lissa didn't want to; she just couldn't find anything to say. Plus she was still a little hurt from Meg's betrayal, and she thought that if they began to talk, she might say something she would regret.
They ate a light lunch, still not very hungry after the Thanksgiving dinner the day before. The conversation was jovial, but Lissa felt like her part in it was all an act, and suspected that it was the same for Meg. Neither of them felt particularly happy at the moment, and were just keeping up appearances.
Later, the girls carried their bags down from the bedroom and packed them into Meg's car. After a series of hugs with the family which even Lissa joined in, Meg and she climbed into the car and headed toward the highway.
They fell back into their pattern of silence, which Lissa at least felt uncomfortable about. Gone were the laughter and joking and teasing that had prevailed on the trip from the school. Now they simply sat and stared out the window.
"Lissa," said Meg after half an hour of driving. "I wanted to thank you for not telling my parents."
"No need to thank me. It's just as embarrassing for me as it is for you."
"Well, thank you anyway. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate it."
Meg opened her mouth as if wanting to say something else, then closed it. Lissa could see that the girl felt bad about what had happened between them last night, but in fact, Lissa felt worse about what was happening between them right now. It was as if they had forgotten how to act around each other.
"I told Carla what I did to you," said Meg after another half an hour.
"And?" asked Lissa, trying to keep her tone neutral.
"She yelled at me."
"I hope I didn't ruin things for you two."
"Oh, don't worry about that. It's just a little lovers' spat, that's all."
"So was she mad at me?"
"Mad at you? Oh, you think she might have suspected you of tempting me? No, that didn't bother her; she doesn't have a problem with me being with other women. She knows about Sandy after all. The reason she yelled at me was for taking advantage of you. When she said you had earned a friend for life, she meant it."
"I'm glad. Not that she yelled at you, but that she sees me as a friend. You can't have too many good friends. You never know when you might lose one."
Meg sniffed, and Lissa wondered if she was about to cry. But she kept it under control.
"Lissa... was that a jab at me?" she asked.
"What? No, of course not, Meg. Just the opposite. You're still my friend, despite making a mistake like this. I guess I was just worried about this mistake driving a wedge between us, because I don't want to lose your friendship. I apologize if it sounded like I was insulting you."
"Don't apologize. I'm the one who should be apologizing to you."
"Well, I'll accept yours if you accept mine," she said, trying to sound cheerful.
Meg smiled. "Agreed," she said.
After that they fell silent again. It was that same awkward silence, as if they both wanted to say something but neither knew what to say. Lissa found that she missed Meg's teasing and joking. The ride to her house in the car had been fun and carefree, but the ride back so far was dark and gloomy. Lissa just couldn't get over the fact that Meg had betrayed her, but at the same time she felt worse about the fact that it had damaged their relationship. Would things ever be right between them again?
An hour later they passed through a small town, with a couple of restaurants and an ice cream parlor.
"So do you want to get some ice cream?" Meg asked.
"No thanks," said Lissa.
"You sure? My treat."
"Thanks, but I'm not in the mood for ice cream."
"A hamburger then? Pizza? Chinese take-out?"
Lissa laughed. "If you're that hungry, we can stop somewhere if you want."
"Actually, I'm not hungry at all. I'm just trying to make it up to you. Please let me do something for you. Anything you want."
Lissa could see how sincere her roommate was, and suddenly she stopped feeling angry. What had happened last night was a mistake that would never happen again; they had both learned their lessons. And Meg had been punished enough by her own guilt. Lissa put a hand on Meg's shoulder.
"You know what, Meg? It's all right. I'm not mad any more."
"Really. Look, I know what you can do for me."
"I want the old Meg back. The one that jokes and teases and plays around. The one that pretends to hit on all of us. The one that prances around the apartment naked to see if she can shock us."
"I could get naked right now if you want," Meg smiled, and Lissa laughed.
"That's the Meg I'm talking about. Welcome back. And by the way, I do not want you to get naked right now."
"Hey, you can't blame me for trying. Okay, let me say one last serious thing before I get all freaky again. I think what happened last night should stay a secret. We won't even tell Monique or Alya, all right?"
"All right. And Meg, I changed my mind."
"I am in the mood for ice cream after all. As long as you're paying, of course."
By this point they had passed the town, so Meg made a quick U-turn and headed back.
Ten minutes later they sat in the ice cream parlor licking triple-scoop cones. Meg, of course, somehow managed to turn an innocent act like eating ice cream into an obscene spectacle, and Lissa would have felt embarrassed were she not enjoying having the old Meg back. Quite a few of the other patrons kept glancing their way, but Meg paid them no mind, except to wink provocatively at a young woman who happened to catch her eye. The girl immediately turned away, blushing.
"Did you see that?" Meg whispered to Lissa. "She's been staring lustily at you this whole time."
"Ew!" Lissa exclaimed with a giggle. "And what about that guy over there staring lustily at you?"
"Ew!" Meg laughed, then continued licking naughtily. "Chocolate ice cream," she commented. "My second favorite thing to eat."
"What's the first?" asked Lissa, then immediately wished she hadn't. She had fallen right into the trap.
"Guess," Meg grinned.
"You're such a pervert, Meg!" Lissa exclaimed.
"What?" she asked innocently. "I was going to say curry chicken. I have no idea what you were thinking, but it sounds like you're the one with the dirty mind."
"Because I've been hanging around you too long."
They finished their ice cream with a few more naughty jokes, then headed back out to the car to continue their journey. Lissa felt much better about everything now; the cloud of gloominess had passed, and things were back to the way they used to be.
Just before they climbed back into the car, Lissa had a sudden urge to hug Meg. It was just what she needed after what had happened between them. She threw her arms around her roommate, catching her off guard. Then she did something even more unexpected; she kissed her on the cheek.
Meg's eyes opened in shock. "What was that for?" she asked.
"I just wanted to thank you for being so nice to me," Lissa replied. "And I wanted you to know that there are no hard feelings. Just don't get the wrong impression," she added, laughing.
"Oh sure, make me all horny and then destroy my fantasies," Meg complained, but she wore a broad smile on her face.
They climbed back into the car and finally things were back to normal. Meg's old cheerful spirit was back, and Lissa found her mood contagious, just like before.
"So what are your plans for Christmas?" asked Meg.
"I'm going to fly home and spend it with my family," she replied. "I've been missing them all semester. I just hope I'm not too late."
"To stop my brother Jeff from killing his little sister. Although on the other hand, I'm not sure it wouldn't be the other way around."
Meg laughed. "I thought you said Jeff was a great guy."
"He is. Absolutely wonderful. Except to Brit. For some reason the two of them have got it in their heads that they have to tease each other all the time."
"What's wrong with teasing?" Meg asked. "I notice you seem to like it when I tease you."
"Not that kind of teasing!" Lissa hurriedly explained. "They're brother and sister!"
"So are Shaun and me," Meg shrugged.
"Anyway, their teasing sometimes starts out good-natured, but it always degenerates into a fight. Fortunately it's never gotten physical, but then, I was always there as the peacemaker before. Who knows what they've gotten up to without me there to stop them."
"I'm sure they'll be fine."
"I hope so."
They sat in silence for a minute or two, but this time it wasn't the awkward, heavy silence of before, but a more relaxed, enjoyable silence.
"So is your sister cute?" asked Meg.
"Oh. Too young for me. Give her another year."
"I'm not letting you anywhere near her, you pervert."
"Sorry. It's just that I've got a thing for little sisters. Sandy's a little sister, you know."
"I never thought the presence of siblings could be considered a turn-on," Lissa laughed.
"Everything's a turn-on for me, didn't you notice?"
"Good point. Anyway, let's change the subject. What are your plans for Christmas?"
"I'm hoping Sandy's grandma kicks the bucket so I can take her home with me."
"What a horrible thing to say, Meg!"
"What? You can't tell me you've never wished something bad would happen to someone else just so that something good would happen to you."
"Okay, fine. But I've never come right out and said it like that."
"That just means I'm more honest than you."
Lissa shrugged. "Okay, I can't really argue with that."
"I'm kind of hoping I can get Sandy involved in a foursome with Peter and Carla."
Lissa laughed. "That would be interesting. I wish you luck."
"Thanks. On the other hand, maybe it's not such a good idea to let Carla and Sandy get together like that. I might risk having both my girlfriends dump me for each other."
"That would serve you right for having two girlfriends in the first place."
"What can I say? I was never a one-woman... er... woman."
They continued their banter nonstop the rest of the drive back to the apartment. It was only when Meg pulled up to the curb that she got momentarily serious again.
"Tell you what, Lissa," said Meg. "You said you needed some time away from me. So I'm going to leave you here for a while. I've got my books in my bag, so I'll go study in the library or something."
"It's okay, Meg, really," Lissa smiled.
"Well, do it for me then. I still feel a little bad about it, and I want to give you this time alone, all right?"
"Okay," Lissa agreed. "But I'll see you later tonight then?"
"You're not going to go looking for a new apartment?"
"If I did that, I'd never get a chance to seduce Alya."
Lissa laughed and climbed out of the car. Meg helped retrieve the suitcase from the trunk, then drove off down the road. Lissa climbed the steps to her apartment, then opened the door, feeling much better about things than she had before. Maybe she would call Matt; talking to him would be a welcome relief. Ever since they had gotten together, he liked to "keep her on a short leash," as he called it, as a joke of course. Mostly he acted jealous whenever she talked to another man, though it was usually all in fun. Still, he would probably want to know she had made it back safely.
The lights were on in the apartment, which meant someone was home, and the smell of hot tea permeating the air identified her as Alya, who was the only one in the apartment who drank it. Lissa thought that Alya would be nice to talk to as well. She dropped her suitcase in the front room and headed down the hall to the girl's bedroom. The door was open, so she stepped into the doorway to greet her roommate.
A pair of shocked eyes greeted her. Alya and Matt lay side by side in her bed. The sheets were pulled up over them, but it was obvious that they were naked.
"Shit, Lissa, I didn't think you would be home so soon!" Matt exclaimed.
"So you thought it would be okay to screw my roommate?" Lissa demanded, rage burning inside her.
"Lissa, I'm so sorry!" said Alya. "We didn't plan this. It just happened. Matt came by to check on me and make sure I was okay, then we got to talking, then... Oh, Lissa, I'm sorry!"
"I just couldn't help myself," said Matt. "I mean, when a man's in love..."
"Yeah, well, fuck you both!" Lissa exclaimed, slamming the door. Matt was such a fucking prick! After putting on a show of being friendly and sweet and devoted to her, now he was screwing her roommate behind her back. She hadn't had a boyfriend in so long, and now, when she finally thought she was in love, he did this to her. This was the second time she had been betrayed in as many days. At least she had come to terms with Meg, and even forgiven her. But this was different. Matt had not betrayed her by coming on to her, but by rejecting her.
She made up her mind. He would pay for this. She would hurt him the way he hurt her. But how to do it?
A wicked grin began to spread on her face. Matt could be possessive sometimes; ever since she had become his girlfriend he tended to get a little jealous every time she talked with another man. What better way to get her revenge than to do to him exactly what he was doing to her? She would fuck one of his roommates!
No, that was too good for him. At best it was breaking even. If he was going to play that game, she would play it too, but she was going to play to win. She wouldn't stop at one roommate. She would do all three of them.
Then she gasped as another idea came to her, one that even surprised herself. It was almost too nasty to think about. And yet, and yet...
No more would Lissa be a victim. It was time for her to start doing things her own way. She would take this to the extreme, to make him pay for what he did to her. Not only would she fuck all three of his roommates, she would do it at the same time!