Worthy, Part 8

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After the the party, Abigail helps the band load out. She and Neil are the last to leave. As they’re packing up, Neil approaches Abigail with a tentative posture. She prepares herself for what she knows is coming.

“Hey, listen, I don’t know what it is, but I feel this connection to you,” Neil says.

“Yes, I know, Neil. I feel it, too but —”

“Want to come back to my dorm room?” he says. “Maybe sort it all out? My roommate’s out for the night.” He considers it. “Or we can go to yours, if that makes you feel more comfortable.”

Abigail smiles and pats him on the shoulder. “I really don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Why not?”

“First of all, I’m not into guys.”

Neil sighs. “Story of my life.”

Abigail carefully considers her next move. She touches Neil’s shoulder. “Look, I can explain what you’re probably feeling, just don’t shoot the messenger, okay?”

“I don’t get it.”

“Remember when you met me? You said I reminded you of someone.”

Neil looks her over.

“Oh yeah. You kind of look like my sister Jillian.”

“Yes. Exactly. Operative word, sister.”

Neil seems confused.

“How’s that possible?”

“You’re a biology student, Neil. I shouldn’t have to spell it out for you.”

“I know how the mechanism works. Are you saying that your mother and my father—”

“That’s typically how it happens.”

“Wait. That’s why you were at my house, wasn’t it?”

“It was connected.”

Neil considers this then responds with enthusiasm. “I’ve got another sister. All right.”

“You’re not bothered by it? I mean, you understand what it all means, right?”

Neil shakes his head.

“My father’s a horndog. Everybody in the family knows that. Before she came out, Jillian brought her girlfriend home with her one Christmas. Dad hit on her then tried to lie about it. Jillian completely cut him off and hasn’t been within several hundred miles of him since. I wouldn’t be surprised to find I have a lot more brothers and sisters running around out there.” He stops and points at her. “Hey, when were you born?”

“Nineteen ninety.”

“Same here. What month?”

“September.”

“Yes! I was born in March. That makes me older. I’ve always wanted to be an older brother.”

“Really?”

“Sure, why not? You think it’s a picnic being the baby of the family?”

Abigail shrugs.

“I’ve always been an only child.”

Neil gives her a wide grin. “Not anymore.”

Neil gives her a bear hug, lifting her off the ground. She’s startled at first, but gives in and laughs along with him.

“Come on, let’s get out of here. The rest of the guys are at an all-night diner down the road. Dinner’s on me — Sis.”

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