One Saturday morning as she is cleaning her TEKville apartment, Poppy Parker's cell phone rings.
As she answers, she notes that it's one of her sisters calling.
"Pansy! What's up?"
"I have news!"
"Well, you know that I love my work, but lately I've been feeling that the hospital here is just too big and impersonal. I put in for a transfer . . . and it got approved! Poppy . . . . I'm moving to TEKville!"
"Oh, Pansy! How exciting! You know I rented this apartment hoping that I could coerce you and the others to come and live here! When are you moving?
"I don't have much stuff at my current place. If you're available to help, I can move next weekend."
"Perfect! I haven't lived here long enough to get to know many people, so I can't think of anyone to ask for help, but if it's just boxes we should be able to handle it. How about if I call the others and invite them? They can help us get you moved, then we can have a "Parker Girls' Weekend"!
"Sounds great, Poppy. I miss them! Maybe this time we can both work on them and convince them to move there!"
The girls firm up the details of the following weekend's schedule and hang up with plans to get started on Friday night. Poppy then dials their sister Violet.
"Vi! How's everything?"
"Oh, hi Poppy. Things are a little slow. You know -- people are cutting back on travel, and it seems that when they do travel, they aren't using travel agents much. What's new with you?"
"I have some great news! Pansy put in for a transfer and it got approved, so she's moving to TEKville! Can you come next weekend to help with the move?"
"Oh, that's great! I now you've been pestering her for a long time to join you there. Yes, I should be able to make it. With business so slow it won't really matter if I knock off early on Friday. Count me in!"
After the details are confirmed, Poppy makes one last call, this time to their sister Lily.
"Poppy! How nice to hear from you! I was just thinking about you . . . but I guess that's no surprise. We've always had that sort of a connection, haven't we? To what do I owe this surprise?"
"I finally beaten Pansy down. She's transferring to TEK Hospital and moving in with me!"
Lily smiles. "That's great news for you, isn't it? You've been working on her for months!"
"It's wonderful news! I've been really lonely here. Lil, can you come Friday night to help move boxes? We'll order pizza and watch some old movies. It'll be just like our college days!"
"Sounds great!" Lily checks her schedule. "My last appointment is at 3:00 on Friday. I'll leave as soon as I finish her. See you soon!"*************************************************************************************
It doesn't take long the following Friday night for the girls to move Pansy's few belongings into Poppy's apartment. They stack the boxes and tubs in the living room with the intention of working on putting stuff away on Saturday. Pizza is delivered and the girls spend the evening catching up.
"So, Lil. How's business at the salon?"
Lily sighs. "Not that great, actually. The owner let another stylist go last week. One of these times it's going to be me, and then what am I going to do?"
"That sucks. But haven't you been there longer than practically everybody?"
"I have, but if the owner has to close the salon, it won't do me much good."
"Why don't you just quit and open a salon of your own? TEKville really needs one, Lil. I know it would be successful, and it would be so great to have you here! You know this apartment has enough room for all of us."
Lily considers, for the first time willing to entertain the idea. "I'll think about it, Sis. Seriously. I've been wanting to open my own salon for ages, but I just don't think I could make a go of it where I am now. Besides, I have a non-compete clause in my employment contract with the owner of the salon where I work. TEKville is far enough away for it not to be an issue. I think I might be able to talk William into coming with me. He's the stylist at the station next to me. He loves TEKville."
Lily turns to Violet. "If I did that, would you move here too, Vi? You can run your business from anywhere, and just imagine how much fun it would be, all four of us living here together!"
Violet laughs. "If the rest of you are all here, I'd pretty much have to move, wouldn't I? OK, OK . . . . I'll give it some thought, I promise."
She turns to Poppy, hoping to change the subject. Trying to get them all to move in with her has had Poppy sounding very much like a broken record lately.
"So, Poppy, what's new with your job? Is being a social worker everything you thought it would be?"
"It definitely has its challenges, but it's really rewarding and never fails to be interesting. Take my latest case, for example. There's this lovely young couple with three beautiful daughters. Turns out the youngest daughter isn't biologically theirs at all, but apparently a result of an unfortunate liaison between the husband's brother and a woman who was stalking the husband."
Puzzled expressions appear on all three of her sisters' faces. Violet is the first to speak. "How intriguing! How did the child come to be with this couple, then?"
"It's a long story, but the short of it is that the birth mother dumped her on their doorstep when the child was an infant, planning for the husband to think that it was his child. The wife accepted the child and agreed to raise her. Only recently has it come to light that the baby wasn't his at all, but his brother's. It's a tangled mess!"
Pansy looks troubled. "Will they -- the couple -- be able to keep the baby?"
"Well, that's why I'm involved. They are fighting for adoption, and the brother has signed off on it. There is, however, the issue of the birth mother. We're still looking for her."
Lily pipes up. "Well, if that's an example of things that go on in this town, we certainly won't be bored if we move here!"
Poppy chuckles. "That much i can promise you, Lil!"
Violet turns to Pansy. "Didn't you have something kind of unusual happen at your hospital recently?"
Pansy's brow develops a slight furrow. "Yes. It was very odd. A man was admitted to the ER suffering from severe loss of blood due to a gunshot wound to the chest, which isn't a terribly common injury at my hospital. We had no blood of his type on hand, so one of the Care Assistants -- a new girl with a hint of a German accent -- volunteered to donate. She was with me when I was making my rounds the next day, checking on patients, and we interrupted the man actually trying to leave! Somehow he had managed to get himself dressed, even with that severe chest wound. We got him undressed and back into bed easily enough, but the girl -- normally very reliable -- sort of spaced out on me. Several times after that I noted her outside his door, watching him through the window. Right after he was released she quit, and I haven't seen her again since then. Decidedly odd!"
"It all sounds very mysterious!"
Pansy's frown deepens. "Well, I don't know about the 'romantic' part, but it was definitely mysterious!"
She turns to Violet. "So, how's business, Vi? Have you been affected by the economy?"
Violet sighs. "Yes, as you might expect. That's one of the reasons I might actually consider moving here. Poppy assures me that TEKvillians do a lot of traveling and that I might be able to carve out a niche here for 'Violet's Vistas'. My specialization in tropical and mountain destinations should work out well for this town, from what I hear."
"So . . . are there any eligible men here???"
Lily's comment is met with much laughter and rolling of eyes.
Lily is indignant. "Hey, it was a legitimate question! None of us is getting any younger, you know, in spite of what it says on my Tshirt! Poppy, whatever happened with you and that guy you went to the mountains with last year?"
Poppy looks embarrassed. "You mean Luka? We . . . . didn't really hit it off. Once we got back home we found that we had nothing in common, so we went our separate ways."
Pansy's interest is piqued. "Did you say 'Luka'? What an unusual name! In fact, it was the name of the patient I told you about -- the one with the gunshot wound."
Poppy shrugs, clearly uninterested in pursuing the topic. Going on a trip to the mountains with a man she'd never met hadn't been her idea in the first place and is still a bit of a sore subject with her.
"I think there are some unattached men here, if that's your main criteria. Want me to take a survey, Lil?" She grins and the girls giggle, imagining their sister going door-to-door asking me relationship questions.
Lily changes the subject to avoid further ridicule. "Did I tell you guys about my client with the impossible hair? Her name is Barbara, but she goes by 'Barbie' -- can you imagine a grown woman wanting to be called 'Barbie'? -- and she has this amazingly huge head of hair. I can barely get it all into the sink at my station! She is SO old-fashioned. It's 'Ken this' and 'Ken that' and she keeps talking about her 'dream house' and all of her cars and clothes. She is amazingly materialistic and goes on and on about all of her stuff. I might move to TEKville just to get away from her!"
Laughter ensues. When it dies down, Poppy looks first at Lily and then at Violet. "Seriously, you guys! What's keeping you where you are? Just MOVE here, already! No more excuses!"
Lily and Violet exchange glances, and some sort of communication passes between them. As one, they look back at Poppy and smile. In unison, they agree. "OK, then!" The girls dissolve into laughter once again, and spend the rest of the night making plans to move the other two as soon as it can be arranged.The End