From the first time that Carol's lips meet hers, Therese is a convert. Her hand clasped in hers, mouth kissing its way down her body: weeks and months of longing made manifest and she can't go back to the lonely nights, cold on the other side of the bed. It's the finest mistake Therese has ever made, selfish and giving and generous. But it's too much, too fresh, too new to last.
When Carol leaves, it's for the best. It breaks her heart anyways.
Abby checks up on her now, catches dinner once a week as she's walking home from her new job at the Times. It's frosty and awkward, and never stops being so. They'd both been moons in Carol's orbit, a slingshot to higher places with the same cold absence at their cores.
Therese can't remember who instigated it the first time: too much to drink and intricate rituals of her gloved hands across a wrist. Whoever starts it, they both continue - a tense cab ride to her apartmnt and discrete undressing behind shuttered windows. She sinks to her knees and breathes Abby in, follows her experienced lead with a hand tugging gently on her hair. She pulls Therese onto the bed with her, other hand possessive on her thigh. Temporary, just in this instance, but no less real for that.
It's not about Carol. But it is, and Abby comes on her tongue with small shivers, the whisper of a memory the third person between them. Therese follows soon after.
They clean themselves up, silent in what should be afterglow.
"You'll get over her, eventually," Abby says to the exterior wall as she buttons her blouse. "We all do. She'll be alright."
Therese turns around, still half-clothed, and refuses to meet her eyes. "I guess we'll see."