Worthy, Part 22

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When Abigail enters her apartment, the first thing she sees is Rhiannon lying on the floor in the middle of the living room. She starts to panic, then realizes Rhiannon’s legs are crossed and her head is resting on a pillow. She’s asleep.

“Mom?” Abigail says in a voice loud enough to wake her mother, who looks up at her.

“Hey, kiddo. You just getting in?”

“Why are you on the floor?”

“I slept here.”

“Why?”

“It’s comfortable. Nice, firm surface. Do I need to ask how your date went?”

“We had a great time.”

“That’s fairly obvious. Does this mean you’re a couple now?”

“I don’t know if I’d go that far, but we’re do seem to be headed in that direction.”

“Good, you need a life outside all your studying. I’ve been so worried you’re shutting yourself off.”

“She wants to meet you.”

“Oh, we’re at that stage now.”

“Funny, I said the same thing. But no, she’s just heard a lot about you and wanted to get to know you.”

“Well, she’d better make plans before next Friday.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your show at the club next week. I’m making it my swan song.”

“Swan song?”

“I phoned Rosie. She’s coming down to get me. It’s time I got out of your hair.”

“I don’t mind taking care of you.”

“You have a life here and I’m in the way. There are plenty of people back home who can look after me. You need to focus on getting through your studies.”

“Are you sure you’re ready to travel?”

“I’m more than ready. I’m tired of sitting around here all day trying to amuse myself while you’re at school. Besides, I have a whole support system waiting in Seattle.”

Abigail considers something.

“Is Genni coming down with Aunt Rosie?”

“No. Rosie says she’s got some sort of band function all weekend.”

Abigail seems relieved.

“Why don’t you just tell her?” Rhiannon says.

Abigail sits on the couch so she’s facing her mother.

“It just never comes up. Genni and I have this special relationship. When we’re together, we’re in our own world.”

“That wouldn’t have to change. You’re just letting her know more about who you are.”

“I’m worried it would change. Not better. Not worse, just different.”

“She’s sixteen. I think she can handle different.”

“I’m not sure I can handle it.”

“She’s going to find out sooner or later.”

“Maybe she’ll just figure it out like you did.”

“Well, it’s not going to happen next weekend, so stop worrying.”

Rhiannon props herself up onto her elbows. “Could you give me a hand up?”

“You can’t get up?” Abigail says as she rises.

“I can but it’ll take a while. I’ve been down here most of the night. I need to move around some. Plus, I could use some coffee.”

Abigail assists Rhiannon getting up. They move to the kitchenette.

“What are your plans for when you graduate?”

“That’s not for another year or more.”

“It will be here before you know it. I’ve been thinking about it and I’d rather you not move back in with me.”

“Oh really?”

“It’s not that I wouldn’t want you under my roof again. I just think you need to be on your own. Spread your wings, you know.”

“What makes you think I’m coming back to Seattle?”

“That would be fine. I just think we can both use the space.”

“Okay, who is he?”

“There’s no ‘he’. Sure, I’ve been on dates, but no one serious. But that could change, as it could for you.”

“We don’t really have to talk about this now.”

“I know. I just want to put it out there. Something to think about.”

Rhiannon starts making coffee. Abigail sits at the table.

“How do you think Neil will get along without you?” Rhiannon says.

Abigail rolls her eyes.

“Neil. I haven’t even raised the subject with him. I think he’s still reeling from the news that I’ll graduate ahead of him.”

“I’m glad the two of you have the chance to get to know one another.”

“Sometimes he can be such a goofball. He showed up last night at the restaurant.”

“Really?”

“Tried to make it seem like an accident, but I’m pretty sure he heard me mention where we were eating.”

“What did you do?”

“I made a point of reminding him three’s a crowd. He took the hint and left.”

“Still, he’s a nice guy.”

“Definitely made college more interesting.”

“You should invite Lauren over before I leave.”

“Here? I’m not sure a student apartment is the place to entertain. I could fit three of these into her place.”

“If she cares about you she won’t mind the accommodations”

“We’ll see.”

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