Maggie Finale thread #5!

Well, here we are, entering an epic 5th(!) installment to the comments for the last Maggie.

Here is another outtake for you. This is the scene with Maggie and Carmichael that I actually wrote out and then tanked because it never felt quite right. More like a suspense novel or something, rather than a hotwife romance. In the end, I like it much better being told secondhand to one of our heroes by Maggie’s other suitor. Very hurtful.

So here is the scene, relatively unfinished and unedited, but cleaned up so you can read it:

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There was a slight twitch to his face, the easy demeanor fading slightly, his brow lowering and making him look mildly puzzled. He leaned back in his chair, said, “Why is that?”
“Well, you may be aware that Jay and I entered into a friendship of sorts.”
Professor Carmichael nodded, still expressionless.
“We entered into a friendship of sorts, and he was not pleased with how it ended.”
At first he seemed unaffected, weighing her words and studying her face. And after he’d measured their weight, he shrugged, cocked his head and lowered his eyes and though he mumbled he clearly spoke: “You’re an engaged woman.”
Maggie ran her tongue across her upper lip and raised her own eyebrows. She said, “Jay knew that as well.”
“Perhaps, Margaret, you told him many things that he found to be untrue. Though, you, yourself, may not have thought them untrue.”
“Did you talk to him?”
“No, I didn’t. I don’t talk to my son about the girls he sleeps with.” Now he leaned forward and attempted a look of menace, winding his big black fingers together on his impressive desk.
“Professor Carmichael, I made no promises to Jay. None whatsoever. In fact, our involvement was so ephemeral his brutal reaction was shocking.”
“Jay came to my dorm room yesterday.”
“Oh,” Professor Carmichael said, and he began to stroke his thumb across the other hand.
“He came to my room when I was alone. I wasn’t prepared for him and he wasn’t welcome. I wasn’t dressed appropriately and I asked him to leave but he did not leave. He made horrible accusations and called me terrible things.”
Professor Carmichael nodded. Putting up a defensive barrier again. He rearranged pens on his desk.
“On top of that, he made threatening movements, intimidated me greatly. You know how strong he is. He tore my shirt off. Stripped me naked and ripped my clothing in front of me.”
Professor Carmichael didn’t look in her eyes but he inhaled silently and held it.
Maggie said, “He also took something of great value to me, a drawing, and he tore it up. Destroyed it.”
“I see,” he said and he settled back into his chair his brow low in his mouth working around. Maggie stared at him and waited for a response.
He said, “That’s it?”
“It is. Were you expecting more?”
“Not at all. It doesn’t sound like his reaction was unwarranted. Affairs of the heart can be difficult to deal with. I’m sure you felt slighted before, I’m sure you felt hurt.”
She said nothing. He leaned forward again. “A young woman can make a young man do crazy things. It’s not only young female students that could be victimized. How much?”
She said, “How much what?”
Professor Carmichael moved his pen again back to where it had started. He said, “For the drawing, Maggie.”
“How much for my drawing?”
“This amounts to property damage. How much did you want?”
“Money?” She choked back a laugh.
“So what is it that you do want?”
“I want him to leave me alone.”
“I think he will. I think he said what he needed to say.”
“He did more than say things.”
“Did he hurt you?”
“No, he didn’t.”
“There was no crime committed—I mean beyond some minor property damage.”
She resisted rolling her eyes and kept her gaze on Professor Carmichael. “The property he destroyed had sentimental value.”
“Margaret, I fail to see where this can go. Jay has said his peace. It’s over.”
From her pocket she withdrew her iPhone. She watched Professor Carmichael as he waited to see what she would do. She flicked her thumb over the screen and tilted the speaker toward him. There were muffled bumps, sliding sounds across fabric, muffled voices. Then it began. His son’s voice clearly saying, “What is that?” Then the play played out. Him taunting her, examining her drawing. Her own voice now pleading with him not to destroy it. The sounds of it being destroyed, the sound of her crying.
When she listened, her eyes welled up reliving that horrible fear. In that moment she didn’t know if she would ever get out of that dorm room. It was all in Jay’s hands. She was powerless. Now she wasn’t. They both listened and she drilled her gaze into Jay’s father. Watched as he listened to her son say horrible, awful, disgusting things to her. Listened as he berated her, uttered bizarre misogynistic taunts. Winced as he said something that was racially bigoted. More raving and Maggie sniffed, wishing she had a Kleenex to wipe at her eyes. Then a loud crack and it made her jump even though she knew it was coming. His eyes darted to hers and she said, “That’s when he punched a hole in my wall.”
He nodded solemnly, clasped his hands together.
She closed her phone and put it back in her pocket. “This is my one and only time I talk with you about this outside of a Tribunal. And believe me, it won’t stop there. I will involve the State Police. Arrange with your son to make an admission of his guilt in writing, an apology to me,  and an agreement that he is not to step foot on the Farmingham Campus as long as I am a student here.”


  1. I think he believed that's what he needed to show in order to stay in Maggie's life, but I don't think Max or Cole were ever convinced that their 3-ways would last forever. I always viewed Maggie's insistence on being romantically involved with both of them as her way of delaying her decision to ultimately be with one of them. Then, eventually, it was because she didn't want to hurt Max and I don't like that.

  2. I think Max and Keely work because he is older, more mature, and more in tune with what he wants (and what he wants from his partner). He wasn't capable or knowledgeable about any of those things with Maggie. You grow up a lot between 21 and 26.Could he have better learned all that using WA's way or the way KT chose? Well, I feel like everyone is set on their opinions there…no sense going into that again. But has this recent flurry of activity put on a course for Part 6? Probably not, feel like we've argued all we can about Max, Maggie, Cole, Keely, Carol, Martin…you get the idea. Like TBTH, I'm looking forward to the next couple we meet, or a continuation of some we've already met.

  3. I just don't know what I truly think about what any of them really thought in that moment and in the moments afterward (did that make sense?). I think they're all ultimately good people who did bad things to each other, and didn't know the best way to proceed forward. The best way to get what they wanted without hurting someone they really loved…or hurting themselves. So they did what they each thought was best, and managed to come out the other side happy and still a part of each other's lives. It's a win for me, was it the best possible win for all of them…who knows?But I do know the best decision KT ever made was not giving us those 6 years in between the lake…if we knew exactly what happened, we'd have run out of things to talk and speculate about a long time ago…

  4. I actually kind of wished that things ended horribly for Maggie. Didn't really see the appeal in her or her behavior for that matter. Why should she have a good ending and not Max? Either way it ended the way it did and I think it made sense. Now I'm more interested in future works.

  5. Yeah, I agree with that. I don't think they were malicious decisions, just blind ones. I think many of Maggie's were selfish decisions blinded by love. My points are kind of merging between the two comment trees here and I'll say that, for the record, I do think Max ultimately “got there” even if I think the way he got there was in a round-about way. Also, I have no idea how we circled back to this topic..we've definitely discussed it into the ground. Hoping for another teaser or something!

  6. A question I have that I don't know if KT will ever answer lol, is how does Maggie view her behavior at Schroon Lake and afterwards, by the end of the book when she reflects on it?It would probably tell us once and for all a lot about her motivations to continue the triangle at that time and it's purpose.KT, will never let us know that, ha!

  7. @2b2h Didn't do a good job of explaining my response to this quote: “I actually think KT is too nice to Max in this ending, not that Max deserves to be treated terribly, but in a story about Max and Maggie's relationship, why does it matter if Max finds a lover in the wake of Maggie and Cole becoming an item permanently? You can call it harsh, and it clearly is, but I say this all because there are other opinions out there.”Something didn't sit right with me. It matters because this story isn't only about Max and Maggie's relationship. If that was the case, who cares that Maggie found a job at Google, who cares if Cole and Maggie have a 4 week long honeymoon, who cares what song they play at their wedding. In a story about kids growing up, I want to see that they grow up. All of them. The story doesn't end for me because Maggie dumps Max. As far as KT being too nice to Max in this ending, you could say the same thing for Maggie. Without getting into it, I'll just say her future would have looked uglier if the time jump was 20 years instead of 6. I'll let your imagination fill in the rest and say there is good reason to be worried. Not for Max.

  8. It's fine that the story persisted beyond whatever point I've concocted in my mind, but it didn't need to happen, and obvious growth is fine to put in stories, it happens all the time. But it isn't necessary to me. There's a story in that too if the characters are deep enough … but what the hell do I know, I'm not a writer.All of the points you mention in your second paragraph are mostly significant because of Max and Maggie's relationship. What they mean to the characters story as it relates to that starting point of Maggie and Max being together at one point, in my opinion. Can we feel any significance to Maggie's choice of the bride-groom dancing song without Maggie and Max's relationship? That was the reason it mattered to any of us.Not sure what that has to do with my point about it not being necessary to find Max a new lover for this story to have a sufficient conclusion to it. Somehow that got turned into I didn't care about what happens after their relationship is over? A story about Max and Keely can start in this saga and have it make sense to do that, but it didn't need to happen in this story. I think you even agreed to that.I feel like you're trying to say something else in this post, so I'll just say this. It wasn't necessary for us to know what happens with Maggie and Cole after Max and Maggie break up, either. The issue is, of course, that Cole is the embodiment of the conflict of their relationship, without him, is there an ending to this story of Max and Maggie's relationship? That's intended to be a rhetorical question, but you can probably find an answer to that hypothetical. In this story though, Cole (or what I concluded, what Cole represents) is what brings about the end of this story to me because it was about Maggie and Max's relationship, I'll say primarily so you don't think it's the only thing that matters.

  9. Those things I mentioned in my second paragraph are relevant for the same reasons Max finding Keely is relevant. Maggie and Cole have their conclusion and the story would be unsatisfying if Max didn't have one as well.Maybe I misunderstood your comment into thinking you didn't think he deserved a conclusion because the alternatives to finding a lover would be much less believable to me. Maybe you specifically meant Max finding Keely the moment Cole and Maggie become an item and the convenience in that timing being unnecessary. I'd agree that the timing was unnecessary and basically a parting gift for Max. Keely didn't need to happen then. If that's the case then I apologize for misunderstanding you but what you said was ambiguous. As for the second half of your post, I think it is necessary to know what happens after they break up. I want to see the trajectories of the characters I'm never going to read about again, all of them. I want the wedding song, the honeymoon, Keely. Without those things, the ending would have felt like the ending of a chapter instead of the ending of a saga. Don't have to agree with me on that.

  10. Really wasn't trying to say more than that, and as for your question about Cole, I think of him more as an agent of Max and Maggie's demise, not so much the embodiment of it. I think Max and Maggie are incompatible; Maggie doesn't deserve to be a cherished Milton and Max doesn't have the stones to keep her in line. I think they fail with our without Cole. It would have probably been much later on, probably after they get married and have kids. Cole was a blessing in disguise. But it is him who brings about the start of the end. And that starts in Sharing Maggie.

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