Abigail goes by Leah’s office to pick up Genevieve who’s been helping out to learn more about what Leah does. They’re scheduled to practice with the band that night. Neil has found them a local gig to get them a warm up for an upcoming open mic night.
“Hi, Abby,” Leah says as she buzzes Abigail in. Since the receptionist went on honeymoon, Genevieve often sits in for her, but after five, Leah always buzzes people in.
When Abigail enters the main office, Leah and Genevieve are having a slight disagreement. Genevieve is holding a packet.
“No. I can just send it to his office Monday,” Leah says.
“You don’t have to. We’re going to Decatur. His house is on the way.”
“What are you two arguing about?” Abigail asks.
“Just some paperwork relating to the embryos. Steven needs to look over them before we sign. I’m making Genevieve joint custodian.”
“I think he needs them right away, so I want to run them by his house on the way to practice.”
“How do even know where he lives?” Abigail says.
“Google Maps,” Genevieve replies. “East Lake is close to Decatur, isn’t it?”
“In a roundabout way,” Leah answers. “Depends on where in Decatur.”
“Neil said a few blocks from the Attic.”
“You know, he’s going to get tired of you always popping in on him.”
“He’s never said one word to me about it.”
“You’ve never been to his house before.”
“What if he’s on a date?” Abigail says.
“He’s not. I asked if he had plans for the evening and he said he’d just be hanging out at home.”
“That doesn’t mean he’s not on a date.”
“All right, you can take the papers,” Leah says. “But I do not want a phone call from him. Understand?”
When they arrive at Steven’s house, he answers in a T-shirt and running shorts.
“Genevieve, long time no see. Leah called to say you were headed over. Hello, Abby. Are you in the delivery business too?”
“No, we’re going to band practice nearby.”
He invites them in.
Steven’s house looks very lived in with an old leather couch near the center, several bookcases, and a long console table against one wall that’s loaded with family pictures.
“I can’t chat for too long. I’m expecting company in a little while. My aunt Rachel’s coming over.”
“Rachel?” Genevieve asks.
“Yeah. Rachel Lawson.”
Genevieve gives him a wide-eyed stare.
“Rachel Lawson is your aunt?” She thinks about it. “Hang on. Your sister’s Rebecca.” She puts her hand over her mouth and gasps. “Oh my god, you’re Stevie.”
“That’s what my family used to call me. Yes. You know Rachel?”
“Are you kidding me? I love that woman. She was Mom’s care giver during her last few months.”
“Yeah. She was working on the West Coast until early this year. So she was taking care of your mother?”
“She was wonderful,” Abigail says. “I only met her a few times, but she was always so kind and attentive.”
“I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t been around,” Genevieve says.
“Yeah, that’s what she does. She helped me through the deaths of my mom and Becky.”
“Well then I’m sticking around because I want to see this woman again.”
“By all means. She’ll have a friend with her. Claire.”
“Yes, she talked about Claire,” Genevieve says. “I wasn’t clear on their relationship, though.”
“I’m not sure they are either.”
Steven goes to change clothes.
A short while later, the doorbell rings and Steven admits his aunt and her friend. Rachel is in her fifties and still very striking, with dark hair streaked with grey and wearing little makeup. Her friend Claire appears much younger, probably late thirties, and is dressed in a sort of punk rock fashion with leather and chains which jangle when she moves. The pair seems comfortable around one another, but exhibit no obvious signs of affection toward each another. Abigail has a difficult time imagining them as a couple.
Steven greets them, then Rachel notices Genevieve, who rushes to hug her. Abigail also greets Rachel and they all chat for several minutes before Abigail reminds Genevieve they need to be somewhere. Rachel and Claire both know Leah, and Rachel promises to give Genevieve a call there.
Once they arrive at the studio Neil found for them to practice, he announces when the warm up gig will be. The best date he could arrange with a local establishment is Monday, August 5. No one’s really happy about performing on Monday night, but otherwise the arrangements meet with their approval.