Love the one you’re with?

When I was a freshman in college I ended up spending a lot of days (and nights) in one of the girls’ dormitory buildings. My girlfriend shared a two-bedroom suite in a two-story building with another girl, who I think was at least a year or two older than I was.

There are only a few things I remember about the other girl. The first thing is that she was an extrovert and liked to have a good time. A second thing I remember was the time one of her relatives was going to come for a visit (her grandmother), I think, and she was vacuuming the apartment while smoking a joint to help her relax.

The third thing I remember is that she had a boyfriend at home, about 500 miles away, but after a while she also started seeing another guy at school. One day — I don’t remember the exact circumstances — I was standing in the doorway to her bedroom and she was sitting up in her bed, with her covers pulled up. I think her “school boyfriend” had just left the apartment, and I was either walking in or walking out at that time. I said hello to her, intending to keep moving on, but she said something I can’t recall that made me stop there in the doorway.

We usually only talked about “fun” things, never schoolwork or anything like that, but this time she seemed very serious, something was clearly on her mind. After a while she said, “Please don’t think less of me because of this (her relationship with this other guy). I ... I just don’t like to be alone.”

On other occasions she would joke about the song, Love the One You’re With, but on this rare occasion we had an honest moment.