Elizabeth, Gil, and the twins called it a night around 11:00pm. The gentle giantess turned off the TV and lights, and once Maggie and Sarah were in their room, she bent down and gave the small man in front of her a hug. Gil wasn't sure why she did it, until she whispered in his ear that she wanted him to take care at the new apartment, and that if he ever needed help, no matter the reason, he could call her anytime, night and day, and she would be there. He thanked Elizabeth, but told her that everything would be fine. The lady kneeling in front of him didn't really believe that, but she had to respect his wishes.
Realizing that he would be in the bedroom without any way of opening the door, Gil made a quick trip to the bathroom, and once he was done, Elizabeth opened the door and closed it behind him. Gil could see Beth sprawled across the bed in such a position that even if he could have climbed up on top, there would be no place for him to lay down. So he spotted Beth's shirt that was twice the size as his entire body on the floor, laid down, and used it as a blanket. And then the raging battle began in his head.
He was determined to remain true to his wedding vows, if for no other reason than to be there for Maggie and Sarah. And he still loved Beth, his wife. But he was also experiencing strong feelings for the gentle giantess that had taken him, Martin, and Steve in out of the kindness of her heart, without expecting anything in return. And Elizabeth had the most gentle soul of anyone that he had ever come across. She was a beautiful woman, but more importantly, she was just as beautiful on the inside. But then he smelled his wife's scent on the shirt that was covering his entire body. It reminded him of their courtship, the wedding, and their life together raising their daughters. But the thought of Beth's behavior since she came to this world started to dominate his thoughts. He still had no explanation for her actions. She was spouting nonsense about women's rights that she had never said before. It was as if he went to fly a rocket into space, and had come back to an entirely different life and person that he loved. He was still playing with those thoughts when he drifted off into a deep sleep.
Elizabeth had said goodnight to Gil, went to her room, dressed into her nightgown, laid in bed, and cried. She cried because she had come to the realization that she loved Gil, but that he would never leave his wife and family. She had been in love with a boy as a teenager, but her feelings were overwhelming her this time. Gil was the kindest, most gentle, most handsome, and funniest soul that she had ever met. She could think of nothing but him ever since their kiss that morning. But she was powerless to pursue her feelings any further. As detestable a person as Beth was, she was still his wife, and mother to the twins. She would never interfere with his marriage, but the thought of not being with him was leaving an abyss inside her heart. And the more she thought about him, the more the tears flowed down her face.
Elizabeth's alarm went off at 7:00 am. She got up and made her way out of her bedroom and towards the kitchen, stopping off at the spare room where Beth and Gil were staying. She gently opened the door, and found Gil pacing back and forth, obviously in some discomfort. He quickly and quietly thanked her and hurried along into the bathroom to empty his bladder.
She moved along into the kitchen, and was joined by Gil, who helped with both the coffee and breakfast. Elizabeth decided to cook for everyone. She was going to be happy seeing Beth leave, but she grew to think of Maggie and Sarah as her younger sisters, and felt sad at the thought of them not being there. She really enjoyed offering advice, and answering their questions. But most of all, it would be Gil’s absence that would cause her the most anguish.
When Elizabeth woke up, she discovered that her feelings for Gil only intensified. She didn't know why, but it was definitely true. And she decided to cook everyone breakfast as a way to occupy her mind. Plus she had felt another, alien feeling, jealousy. She was absolutely jealous that Beth would be spending time with Gil after work. She had only known him for a short time, but she felt a connection with him, and now that would be interrupted by his moving to a new apartment. She sighed, and with Gil's help, made breakfast. Gil knocked on the door to the twins room, as well as waking up Beth, who looked every bit hungover as she felt.
Making her way out to the kitchen, Gil asked Beth if she would like a cup of coffee. His wife mumbled something and nodded in the affirmative. Gil went into the kitchen, and Elizabeth returned with the beverage, made as Gil directed. The caffeine helped clear the fog surrounding the giantess’ mind. She drank in silence, not bothering to thank either one for their help. She was trying to get her thoughts gathered when she remembered that they were moving into the apartment that morning. All she had to do was use the money that her husband got paid, and she and the girls, plus Gil, could leave their current, dreaded apartment. She reminded him of their plans. Gil acknowledged her, and said that once they were settled, he would be going to work. Beth looked at the small man in front of her and said that she thought that he should stay with them today, for as soon as they were moved in, they would need to go shopping.
Gil was uncertain how to answer. He looked at Beth, then Elizabeth, and back to Beth. Elizabeth said that it would be ok to miss work that day, which disappointed Gil. He was hoping to spend time with the gentle giantess at work. It upset Elizabeth to give him the day off, but she knew that she had to be careful. She didn't want to make her feelings for him too obvious in front of his wife. And she reasoned that if he was out in public with his family, there would be less opportunity for Beth to do anything to him.
Breakfast was mostly quiet, except when Maggie and Sarah took turns asking Elizabeth how old they had to be in order to work. She told them 14. They asked her what type of jobs they could get. She told them that they could work in retail, or at the market, or if they were good, solid swimmers, a job with the Beach Patrol. They would need to be 18 to get a job with Chief Val’s Security force, or work in a bank, or get a job in the municipal building.
And Elizabeth also told them that they could probably babysit now, and make some good money. The twins looked at themselves with excitement, then at their mother and father. Beth was still trying to wake up, but Gil said that was definitely a great job for them. Elizabeth even told them that she knew a lot of parents looking for someone to watch their children while they went out for the night.
Once breakfast was over, and the dishes cleaned, Elizabeth showered and dressed for work. But she didn't leave for work right away. She stayed until Beth,Gil and the girls had gone over to their new place, then called Chief Val and told her the address of Gil and Beth’s new apartment. The Chief thanked her for the information and promised to keep an eye on the property to make sure nothing happened to Gil. The two women hung up, and Elizabeth left for work.
But she felt both lonely and empty without Gil next to her. She had grown so used to his company that the void left by his absence was deep. She never had felt emotions that strong before, not even with the boy she loved as a teenager. She tried to force the thoughts from her mind, but without success.
Beth, Gil and the twins knocked on the landlady's door. The familiar face of the elderly woman greeted Beth and the girls. She smiled, and saw Gil with them. She bent down as far as she could to say hello to the man she thought of as handsome. Gil returned the kind gesture, and the woman opened the door to the apartment, while pointing out the small door to the right that was set up for Gil’s height, and giving a tour more for his benefit than the girls. Once the landlady was satisfied that she had gone over everything, and explained how certain things worked, she asked him if he had any questions. Gil said he had none. So she handed both adults their keys, with Beth's being twice the size of the one Gil received, and then she turned and went back to her apartment.
Maggie and Sarah went to their room to check it out in more detail, while Gil and Beth just kind of stood still in the middle of the living room. She looked down at her husband, and informed him that the only reason she had to get a place like that was because it was the law. Otherwise, she would have rented a place built exclusively for women, and let him struggle to make use of the place.
Gil wasn't surprised by her attitude. Ever since she came, she has acted as though she was possessed by a demon. He looked up at her calmly, and just said that she should try to be nicer to people, if for no other reason than to set an example for the twins. Beth looked down at her little husband and, with a smile, said that she intended to set an example for her daughters. Her tone was filled with menace.
But if she was expecting Gil to be intimidated, or show fear, she was greatly disappointed, for all she saw was a calm, upbeat look in his eyes. This annoyed her to no end, so much so that she decided that it was time to go grocery shopping right then. So she and Gil and their girls trudged out of the apartment and over to the market.
But whereas Beth was walking at her normal pace, Maggie and Sarah had slowed theirs considerably, so that Gil could keep up. They each held his hand. Beth stopped and told the two to hurry up, ignoring her husband’s presence. But both Maggie and Sarah said that they were going to stay with their father, further infuriating her. She stormed into the market, grabbed a cart, and started to place groceries inside the basket. Once the three of them caught up, she told Gil to push the cart, even though the handle was two feet above his head. Maggie started pushing it for him, causing her mom to see red.
When the shopping was done and the groceries were bagged, she set aside three large plastic bags and told Gil to carry them. He started to struggle picking up the first bag, until a friendly hand took it from his hand. He turned around and saw Dr Sam, along with Chief Val. The two ladies had been observing the family dynamic from a distance, to make sure that what Elizabeth had described, and what they had observed earlier, was still accurate. Chief Val was determined to not let anything happen to Gil. The doctor picked up all three bags with one hand, and both she and the Chief could see Beth's face be overwhelmed with frustration. She looked at the two strangers, and asked them what they were doing there.
Chief Val said that the area was part of her normal patrol route (a lie), and that Dr Sam was there to check on an employee who wasn't feeling well (another lie). But since she had Gil and his family there, she said that in order to celebrate him being the first male hired by the town, they were having a dinner in his honor that night (yet another lie), and attendance, especially for the guest of honor, was mandatory.
Beth felt like she wanted to cry. She had wanted to get away from Elizabeth, so that she could run her household her way, without interference. But nothing was going right. Gil didn't look scared earlier, Maggie and Sarah weren't being cooperative, and now these two ladies were hanging around for no reason. So she tried to excuse herself and her family and head back to the apartment, only for Chief Val and Dr Sam say that they would walk with them, both carrying the bags of groceries.
Beth just gave up and gritted her teeth. She had no choice but to accept their company back to the apartment. She walked with the two women, while Maggie and Sarah slowed their pace so that Gil could keep up. Once they were back at the apartment, Chief Val and Dr Sam told Beth and Gil that the dinner would start at 5:00pm. They would stop back at that time and walk with them to the restaurant. With that, they dropped off the groceries inside the living room, and said their goodbyes, and headed towards the township hall.
Beth cursed her rotten luck. She was beginning to think that this world was never going to change, never going to see things her way, never going to accept that the women were superior beings. She just shook her head and didn't bother making Gil bring the bags to the kitchen. She needed to work off her growing frustration. She looked at the time. 1:00 pm. She finished with the groceries, and then went into the bedroom alone, locking the door behind her. She just laid down on the bed and began to feel like a fool for ever believing that this world was hers for the taking. She thought that the women on this planet were just too stupid to see their true potential.
With Gil locked out of the bedroom, he asked his daughters if he could see their room, and both enthusiastically said yes. He saw that their room was quite spacious, with enough distance between their beds to give them their own section. And for the first time since they arrived on that world, he was actually alone with his girls. No Beth, Elizabeth, no one. So he took the opportunity to tell his girls how much he loved them. Both Maggie and Sarah came over to him, bent down and gave him a big hug. Gil felt joy in being a father, a feeling that quickly went away after his wife started with her behavior towards him.
Gil got to spend a couple of hours of quality time with his daughters. Even back on their world, it was something that he rarely did, as both his military commitments and his training for the space program left him with almost no time for his family. It was like that for all the astronauts. And he suddenly thought of Martin and Steve, and what had happened to them.
Chief Val and Dr Sam visited Elizabeth, who had been in a funk all day. Every time she looked over at the table where Gil worked and realized that he wasn't there, it made her feel like she was falling into a dark pit. She tried to focus on her work, but found that she couldn't. She saw her two friends enter the office, and they told her what they observed. They then informed the office of the impromptu dinner for Gil, which they quickly arranged. Elizabeth was happy with the news of the dinner, as it would allow her to see Gil. She thanked both of her friends for looking out for him, and suggested to the other ladies in the office that they close at 3:00pm, allowing them enough time to get ready for the dinner. All agreed. It gave Elizabeth something to brighten her day.
At the National Space Agency’s headquarters in Houston, a grey cloud appeared in the lobby that went unnoticed by everyone present. It quickly vanished, and Martin Milner and Steve Miller suddenly appeared. No one recognized them at first. The reason why was a head scratcher. Both men had stood 6’ or taller before the mission. But the two men in the lobby were barely over 5’.
Once their identities were confirmed, a battery of tests were conducted to determine why they each lost a foot of height. Nothing came back to indicate a reason, but the real shocker was when their families arrived to see them. Both men’s wives were a foot taller than they should have been. Even their daughters looked taller than people remembered. No one could explain it. Scientists were dumbfounded, as were all who were affected. It remained a mystery that was never solved.