"No, not at all. I'm actually just here to see how you were doing."
"There's another reason too, I can tell."
"Yeah, there is." He said pausing. "I just want you to know, I am so happy for you and Laura."
"Thanks. You're not upset?"
"As much as she is so wonderful, I knew this was coming. I could tell you were on her mind, and I just didn't think it was right for me to be keeping her from being happy."
"I just don't know how you can so be supportive of us when you had such strong feelings for her."
"I've kind of been through the same thing as you."
"Well, in high school, I fell in love for the first time. She was amazing, but then after a year of us going to different colleges, I ended it. It was so hard for us to be apart, and I thought it would be better just to end things. I hurt her so much, but she moved on. But unlike you, I didn't get a second chance, and I've thought about how happy we could be if we were still together. And I knew you made Laura happy; I didn't want you to turn out like me."
"Thanks man, and as much as I used to hate you, I have a huge respect for you now for coming here like you did."
"Well, you can't do much to me with your leg in plaster."
Laura walked in the door and looked around the room to see both Adam and Eric. She looked incredibly confused, and Eric got up and hugged her.
"What are you doing here? I would think you'd hate me by now." She said.
"Of course not, I just came to see how Adam was and to wish you guys all the luck in the world."
"Thank you Eric."
"Don't worry about it. I hate to make my visit short, but I think I'm going to head back to campus, you guys need time alone."
"You can stay if you want."
"No, its okay, I have a lot of work to catch up on."
"Alright, I'll see you in a couple days."
He left the room and Laura sat in a chair next to the bed. Adam took her hand and kissed it, then placed it on his chest.
"Feel that?" He asked. She felt the beat of his heart under her hand and nodded her head. "It finally started beating again."
"Wow." She said, surprised at what he said. "See, that's why I love you so much." He smiled and ran his fingers over her hand, causing chills to go down her spine.
"I'm just glad you're here, this would be so much worse if you weren't."
"But you don't get to play anymore this season."
"I know, but I will next year."
"At least I have you all to myself now."
She sat with him for a few more hours, and then went back to her dorm. She flopped down on her bed and stared up at the ceiling and breathed a sigh of relief, knowing her life was back to normal. As good as Eric had been to her, Adam was the one. She was sure of it. She fell asleep dreaming of him, and woke up the next morning with a smile on her face. She went to her classes that morning, but then rushed back to the dorms to welcome Adam back from the hospital. She waited outside and he arrived in the ambulance a little while later. He was on crutches, and he immediately went over to her when he saw her.
"Oh my god, you look so pitiful." She said as she wrapped her arms around him.
"Oh, thanks. Like that will make me feel better."
"I'm sorry." She said kissing his cheek.
She took the bag of his belongings from the nurse and they took the elevator up to his room. She opened the door and he walked in to see a garden of flowers. Their classmates and his teammates had been leaving them since the night of the game, and he was relieved to know how many people cared about him.
Laura went back to her room after he was settled in, and walked in to see Sam on the phone. She sat across from her, and could tell Sam was happy about something. She sat patiently waiting for her to get off the phone, and when she did, she was extremely excited.
"Sam, what's going on?"
"Billy is transferring here next week! He wanted to be closer to Eric since they get along so well, and there are more classes here for his major than at his old school. I'm just so happy because we never get to spend time together anymore."
"That's so awesome."
"Yeah, it's just kind of weird being around him sometimes."
"Well, he came back to visit during my senior year of high school, and well, yeah."
"Oh my god, but I thought you hadn't seen each other since you were 12, that's what you said in California."
"That's what we tell people. But please don't tell anyone, you're the only person who knows."
Laura agreed and sat there not knowing what else to say. She had no idea that something like that had happened between Sam and Billy, and she thought it seemed uncharacteristic of Sam. This made her nervous about him coming, and she wanted nothing more than to tell Joe what happened. But, she promised Sam, and she wasn't going to break that promise. Until the day that Billy came, Laura was on edge. The day he arrived, she was a nervous wreck. She wanted to trust Sam, but had no idea what she would do. She prayed that they would only stay friends, because she couldn't stand to see Joe get hurt. Once he arrived at the school, Sam went with Eric to Billy's dorm. Laura went to see Adam because she didn't know how else to calm down. She got there, and Joe answered the door.
"Hey Laura, Adam's just out moving around because his leg was starting to bother him. Come on in." She walked in and sat on Adam's bed. "He'll be back in a couple of minutes." He noticed she was tense, and went over to her. "You okay?" He asked.
"Yeah, just a lot of stress lately." She hated lying to him.
"Oh okay, let me know if you need help with anything."
"No problem. Oh, do you know where Sam is? I've been calling her cell phone all day but she's not answering." Laura got a pit in her stomach. Billy just got here, and already Sam seemed to be pushing Joe aside.
"Well, Billy got here today, so she and Eric are helping him move in."
"Oh. He's going here now?"
"Yeah, she didn't tell you?"
"No, it must have just slipped her mind."
"Yeah." Laura said quietly. "Hey listen, I've got to get going."
"But Adam will be back any minute."
"Tell him I'll be back later."
Laura went back to her room to wait for Sam, but she didn't come back until three hours later. Laura was studying, but immediately put down what she was doing to talk to her. As soon as she walked in the door, Sam could tell that Laura was upset about something and sat down near her.
"Is everything okay?" Sam asked.
"Not really. I mean, maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm worried about Billy being here."
"I find out you two slept together, right after I find out he's moving here. Then, I go to visit my boyfriend, and I talk to yours because mine isn't there. Turns out, he doesn't even know that Billy has transferred, and it worries me a little bit."
"Laura, there is nothing to worry about."
"Sam, Billy has been here less than a day and already you are ignoring Joe."
"What are you suggesting? That I don't love Joe? I love Joe more than anything."
"I know you do, I'm just worried that something will happen between you and Billy. I mean, it has before, and I just don't want to see Joe get hurt, or you for that matter. You have both done so much for me, and Joe has done so much for you. He has treated you so well; I wouldn't want to see you go behind his back."
"Talk about going behind someone's back, you're the one who he almost slept with a couple of years ago."
"Almost. And that's a completely different situation."
"I just don't get why you don't trust me and are worrying so much about him. Are in love with him or something?"
"Sam, what the hell! For one thing, I'm in love with Adam, and second of all, I'm not in love with your boyfriend."
"Then why are you defending him?"
"Because he's one of my best friends, and I don't see anything wrong with looking out for your friends."
"And I don't see anything wrong with staying out of your friend's business, which maybe you should start doing."
Laura was shocked to hear Sam say something like that; she looked away in disbelief and left. For some reason, she knew Billy being here would cause problems, and she was right. But she began to worry even more; if Sam had been this different from just one day, what would she be like a month from now? Six months from now? A year from now?
The rest of October was unseasonably cold. Laura and Adam spent so much time together, and went to every football game. His leg was healing perfectly, and he was most likely able to play next season. And like Laura thought, Sam was getting worse. Laura couldn't speak one word to her without Sam getting upset. She felt bad for not trusting her, but her instinct was almost always right. She tried to talk to her numerous times, but when she got the opportunity, Sam was always leaving to go see Billy. Even Joe was noticing the difference, and Laura could tell he was becoming suspicious. The four of them hadn't hung out in the longest time, but that changed when they all went to a Halloween party held by a guy on the team.
Sam was still not talking to Laura very much, but Laura wanted to straighten things out. She saw Sam waiting for Joe to come back with drinks, and decided to go over to talk to her.
"Hey." Laura said.
"Look Sam, I just wanted to apologize for the things I said when Billy first came here. I didn't want anything bad to happen to you and Joe, and I didn't want you guys to end up like Adam and I after he broke up with me."
"Thanks, apology accepted, but those things still really hurt. I can't believe you didn't trust me."
"Well, at first, I only thought I didn't trust you. Then I thought about it, and it was him I didn't trust."
"He's not like that Laura. You don't know him."
"I don't have to know him to know what his intentions are; I've seen the way he's been acting around you, and he wants more than a friendship. And the worse part of it is he's been manipulating you into thinking that this is all okay. I know you Sam; you would have noticed what he's been doing. You're smart like that, and you get out of things before anything bad happens. I'm not saying this to be controlling, I'm not saying this to be a pain in the ass, I'm saying this as your friend. You need to realize what he's doing and make sure it doesn't go any further."
Sam stood there for a minute, just glaring at Laura. She didn't know what to think; had she finally gotten though to Sam? But from the way things looked, Laura saw that she was probably mad. Then, Sam just walked outside and Laura gave up. Sam usually took her advice, but instead, she was just ignoring her. Laura went and sat with Adam, and rested her head against his.
"Still not getting through to her?" He asked.
"No, I give up. There's nothing else I can do. If she's not going to listen, then she's just going to have to find out what he's doing the hard way."