Abigail’s recruiter follows through on his promise to set up a meeting between Abigail and his other client, Gloria Savage. After making sure both are okay with the idea, he texts each one the other’s number. Abigail wrestles with the decision to call or wait to hear from Gloria. She lets a day pass before deciding to take the initiative herself, but just as she starts to dial Gloria’s number, a call comes in from Gloria.
“Gloria? Hi, I was calling you. Yes. I just keyed in your area code.”
They talk for about twenty minutes, mainly comparing likes, dislikes, and entertainment preferences, and discussing where they should meet. They learn that they live reasonably close to one another, Abigail in John’s Creek, and Gloria in Norcross. At length, Gloria proposes meeting for coffee after work at Cafe Intermezzo on Ashford Dunwoody Road, where they’ll have numerous options for dinner if they don’t fill up on pastries.
That night, while helping Alyssa tend to Leah Naomi, Abigail brings up a sensitive topic.
“How would you feel about me having guests over?” she asks Alyssa.
“You should consider this your home. If you want to bring someone over, we’ll accommodate them.”
Abigail hesitates a moment. “What if that someone wants to spend the night?”
Alyssa smiles. “Ah. Of course.” She considers her answer. “Your room is at the end of the hall, and I’m pretty sure you’d be conscientious of the noise level.”
Abigail laughs. “I’d do the best I could.”
“Just let us know someone’s here so there aren’t any awkward encounters.”
A day or so later, Abigail heads over to meet Gloria. As she’s walking in, she looks up and comes to a stop. Standing a few feet in front of her, also stopped and staring, is the woman she recognizes from the photo Robert sent her.
“Yes. You must be Abigail.”
They shake hands and remark on the coincidence of them arriving at the exact same time despite their different modes of travel.
“I usually plan to arrive a little early,” Gloria says.
“Tell me about it. The traffic is terrible over here. That’s why I took the train.”
They enter and find an out of the way table. Abigail immediately feels comfortable around Gloria.
“The desserts here are excellent,” Gloria says. “You spring for coffee and I’ll get the dessert since it was my idea.”
They check out the desserts and decide what they want. Back at the table, Abigail says, “What do you do for Allied?”
“I’m a nurse in one of their clinics — my first job since graduation.”
“Where’d you go to school?”
“GSU, School of Nursing.”
“My mother’s a nurse. Very challenging profession.”
“It is, but very rewarding.”
“What do they have you doing over at Bickering Plummet?”
“I conduct genetic research for their pharmaceutical division.”
“Cutting edge work. That’s pretty challenging as well.”
As the date goes on, they find themselves getting along very well.
“I’d really love to continue this evening someplace less public,” Gloria says.
“I was just thinking the same thing. How far is your place from here?”
“I’d rather not go there. I’m currently living with my family until I get some of my debts paid off.”
“You haven’t told them?”
“Oh, I have. They’re just not very good with privacy.”
Abigail thinks about it.
“The couple I’m living with are pretty cool. But there’s a baby.”
“You’re not sleeping in the nursery are you?”
“No. The baby actually sleeps in the room with her parents.”
They settle their bill and head out to Gloria’s car. Once inside, they look at one another and, on a whim, Abigail leans in to kiss Gloria. They end up making out for several minutes.
“Wow,” Abigail says. “I have never acted like that before.”
“Yeah, me neither. How far is it to your place?”
“John’s Creek, just off Peachtree Parkway.”
“Good. I know a short cut that should get us around traffic.”
When they arrive at the Caine residence, they find Alyssa and Tim entertaining friends, who’ve come to see the baby, out by the pool. Abigail introduces Gloria.
“You’re welcome to join us,” Alyssa says.
“I think we’re going to head upstairs for a little while,” Abigail says. “She really wants to see my room.”
“Well, then, have fun,” Alyssa says with a wink.
A little over an hour later, they rejoin the group outside. They’re holding hands and are very affectionate toward one another.
“I guess she likes your room,” Alyssa whispers to Abigail at one point.
“Definitely,” Abigail replies.
The following morning, Abigail wakes up beside Gloria, who appears to still be asleep. She rolls over to watch her.
Gloria opens her eyes.
“Morning. Did I wake you?”
“No. I was just lying here with my eyes closed. Remind me again, when did we meet?”
“Yeah, I know. I think this fulfills all the qualifications for a whirlwind romance.”
“Robert wasn’t kidding when he says he does his research.” She rolls over to face Abigail. They kiss. “So, we’re together. It’s Saturday. What do you want to do?”
“Why do we need to do anything?”
“I dread when we start learning all the horrible things from each other’s past that will come between us.”
“Have you been picking up men at rest stops and murdering them?”
“Would that be a problem?”
Gloria shrugs. “Depends on the men, I guess. For my part, I promise I don’t moonlight as a stripper named Glory.”
“Too bad. You’d probably make a fortune in tips. Get those loans paid off quicker.”
“Okay, at some point, we can head over to my place and you can meet the family. If that doesn’t scare you off, it must be love.”
“Sure. Later I’ll introduce you to Neil and Genevieve. But we don’t have to do anything right away, do we?”
She leans back and Gloria puts her head on Abigail’s shoulder. “Not at all.”
After much discussion, they come to an agreement that if they’re still together in three months, they’ll start looking for an apartment together.