Cliff College freshman Lizzie Goswell is sitting on her windowsill, her legs dangling outside, making her unofficial roommate, Maud Francis, extremely nervous. Maud is still lounging in the double bed that they've shared since Maud was forced to leave home after being beaten, yet again, by her father.
Elizabeth doesn't answer.
MAUDWill you please come back to bed?
MAUDWhat's wrong? I can tell something's wrong.
ELIZABETHI'm just thinking. Is it such a crime for a person to think?
MAUDWhat are you thinking about?
ELIZABETHI was reading Anais Nin's diary last night and there was this quote that just hit me right on the head. "What I consider my weaknesses are feminine traits: incapacity to destroy, ineffectualness in battle."
MAUDWho do you want to do battle with?
Elizabeth swings her legs back into the room and climbs back into bed with Maud. She puts her arm around Maud tenderly and spoons into her back.
MAUDWhat happened last night, Lizzie?
Maud doesn't like it, but she knows that Lizzie can be as hard-headed as Maud's father sometimes, only Lizzie doesn't smack her around. In fact, Lizzie treats her better than anyone ever has. Maud's still trying to get used to that -- being loved and respected. Human kindness in a relationship is something very foreign to Maud. It's something she treasures and never wants to lose. So she doesn't push the subject. If Lizzie wants to keep a secret, that's her business. As long as Maud can feel Lizzie's warmth against her skin and in her soul.
ELIZABETHI found something out last night, Maudie. Something really frightening. But I can't share it with you. I can't tell anyone or something horrible is going to happen.
MAUDI won't tell anyone, I swear.
ELIZABETHI know you won't, but it involves someone else, and it might be hard for you to act natural around this person once you know. And if he senses that, he's going to know I told you. So this is something I need to deal with myself, okay? I can't let this get out of hand.