Rhiannon, Genevieve, and Rosalind come down for Abigail’s graduation ceremonies. The evening after, Neil and the band rent out a club and have a going away party for her. While festive, there’s still an air of sadness as each person she’s come to know stops by with a hug and a reminder to “keep in touch.”
On a visit to Rhiannon a few weeks earlier, Abigail signed a lease on an apartment nearby and finalized the details on her job. Now, as she wraps things up in Portland, mentally she’s preparing to make the jump into full adulthood once she arrives back home.
A week later, she’s at her new job at BioGen Labs as a technician, collecting samples, running analyses, and verifying results. Working part time in the lab at Oregon Health & Sciences University helped greatly, since it gave her the hands on experience a lot of applicants lacked. Her immediate supervisor is Kyle, and they quickly develop a good professional rapport.
A month or so after she moves back, Abigail comes home to find Neil camped out at her door.
“Neil, what are you doing here?”
“I live here. Well, not here, exactly, but I moved to Seattle.”
“Why would you do something like that?”
“The whole band’s here.”
“The band moved here?”
“Okay, just me and Freddy. But we’ve got leads on other musicians and Rob may come up if he can convince his wife.”
“You and Freddy are sharing an apartment. I don’t even want to imagine what that’s like. What about school?”
“I transferred my credits.”
“You are such a goofball.”
“Hey come on. You know you missed me. Besides, they’ll need EMTs up here as much as in Portland.”
“What did your mother have to say about this?”
“I think she’s happy to have the house to herself for once. She’s actually talking about getting a condo in town. Maybe putting the house on the market.
Abigail opens the door. “Come on in.”
She leads Neil into her apartment. He sits on the couch.
“Wow. This looks exactly like your other place.”
“Separate kitchen and dining area. Makes all the difference. Seriously, what the hell are you doing here?”
“Oh, you know. I tried Portland alone for a few weeks and it just wasn’t the same.”
“What’s Freddy’s excuse?”
“He broke up with Annie.”
“No, this time it’s serious. She burned all his clothes and chased him with a shotgun. He was laying low at my place until we left to come here.”
“That sounds like a wise course.” She leans on a chair across from him. “Ground rules. I don’t want you following me around everywhere.”
“Can I help it if we sometimes end up at the same place?”
“I’m not kidding. Lauren told me she sometimes felt like she was dating you. I need my space.”
“No. Not good enough. I’m going to introduce you to some of my friends. They’re all back from school and looking for eligible guys.”
“Sounds lovely. I hope you have a lot of friends. What’s Genni up to?”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it. Think her mom will let her play with the band?”
“Sure, if I’m there. Aunt Rosie hasn’t been feeling well lately, so that might influence her decisions, but we get along and she knows I’ll keep an eye on Genni.”
“Cool. I’m ready to see what Seattle has to offer.”