It wasn't so much that Vag was unhappy, it was just that this news struck home. Although it was obviously necessary, it was still a hard blow. After a summer of daily classes, a summer of bright colors on Widener steps, of girls in the Yard and high voices along Wig row, they expected you to start all over again as though nothing had happened. A week's respite and the long, grey eternity of the Fall Term would begin again. Long evenings in the House library, rain and fog, November hours, early dusk, tutorial conferences, all stood beckoning ghoulishly.
Against it all stood the momentary brightness of a few football weekends. Flushed faces, crimson banners, light laughs, punches in the room, the House dances; but all of that was last year's stuff. At the end there was always the Yale game. Vag remembered the November morning last year, when he met Elizabeth at the station. She was wearing a fur cape, he knew she would be. All he could say was "Hello," and he thought of all he had to tell her in those two crowded days. He bought her flowers for the game, and she cheered for Yale when Harvard was ahead. After the game she was sitting on a couch with a glass of punch in her hand, and she was bright and laughing. Vag was quiet. He put one arm around her shoulder, and she turned to him and smiled. Then she laughed at something someone said on the other side of the room.
Vag picked up the paper again, and it was still there in black and white: "ODT Curbs Travel to Big Games." Well, there went his plans for the Yale game, and with it his last hope that possibly he might re-capture, re-create the spirit of a year ago, that perhaps Elizabeth would understand him better. Perhaps it wouldn't all have ended like this, just a letter every now and then. He had planned every minute of it. The trip down to New Haven, the football special, the game and all the crisp excitement then dancing and a whole evening and a day to talk with her.
But now--just a telephone call, a short beer, and back to Math.