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"They'll be a little dazed at first," Abby explained, "until they get used to their new surroundings."

"How dazed are you feeling about all this?" wondered Izumi.

"Like my fish, I'll adjust," she replied, confidently. "It makes sense that I'd move out, Mom. Jake and I have to make our own life, together. Besides, he needs me here."

Just then, Jake came in with a large box of Abby's clothes.

"Where do you want it?" he asked.

"Just set it on the closet floor," she instructed him. "I'll put them away, later."

"The bed's coming over next," he said, disappearing back out the door.

"What are you going to tell people when they ask why you have separate rooms?" wondered Izumi. "You need to think about your answers, beforehand."

"I'll tell them the truth," said Abby. "That we're married in name only."

"And what are you going to say when they ask why?" pressed Izumi.

"I'll say..." the young woman hesitated, searching for the words that would make people understand her unique relationship with Jake. "How do I tell people that I'm doing this because he's my friend? I know it might sound corny, but it's just that simple. I have many friends, but only one who really needs me."

"Then," replied Izumi, "tell them that."

As Izumi finished speaking, John came in and set Abby's fly tying table, which had no legs, on top of her desk.

"I didn't realize you had so much stuff in that bedroom of yours," John remarked. "It's getting close to lunch, and there's several more boxes to bring over yet."

"Yeah," agreed Terry, as he carried in two cardboard containers, one stacked on top of the other. "When do we eat?"

"Give me a half hour," said Izumi, getting up from her chair with a little difficulty. "I don't remember being this big so soon with Abby or Grace."

Grace was the baby girl that had come into the world, stillborn. Every now and again, Izumi would refer to the baby as though she were still alive. In Izumi's heart, she always would be.

"Do you want me to help, Mom?" asked Abby.

"No," declined the mother, "you have enough work to do. I can handle lunch just fine. I'll let everyone know when it's ready."

John and Terry set up Abby's bedstead, and carried in her box spring and mattress. Jake brought over Abby's sheets and comforter, and carefully made her bed. The curtains she had had on her old bedroom window, did not fit this one, so they had to be set aside.

"This place is starting to look like your room, Abby," observed Jake, happily.

Then Izumi called the hardworking crew to lunch. Jake had been caught up in the spirit of teamwork, and as a result, had lost a little of his shyness around Abby's family. He still kept his distance, but didn't seem so threatened by John or Terry's presence. Abby quietly took note of this, and was thankful for this modest step of progress.

Izumi set out lunch on the table, and everyone helped themselves, buffet-style. After eating, Abby and Jake immediately set about moving her art studio to the living room in the yellow house. John and Terry, who were not as eager to get back to work, took their time finishing lunch.

"Look at them-- they're excited," observed Terry, as Abby and Jake left the house with her easel.

After the two men ate, they finished moving Abby into the little yellow house. All that remained was for her to put everything into its rightful place.

"Well," sighed John, as everyone stood in Abby's new bedroom, "that's the last of the boxes."
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