The hostess’s name was Tess. She and her own mom were incredibly close (not in a way that warms the hearts of witnesses, though; they accepted each other wholly and had unquestioningly relied on each other as a matter of survival at times, but neither one was expressive of affection, or enjoyed completely the traits of the other). Therefore, she could not empathize with Molly’s situations, of searching for a mother's whose whereabouts were unknown. Throughout her young life, Tess had had many friends who’d run away from home (a couple not surviving their adventures), and that was a narrative she instinctively understood; a child seeing no way to become important except by prematurely asserting what little personality the young person has so far developed. Consequently, she couldn’t help but treat Molly like a mother who’d been fled from, and it made her feel sorry for her. The awkward way Richard flirted made her feel protective towards him as well, so she spent most of the rest of the party taking bong hits with them and making plans for the next day, when she would call her ex-boyfriend who'd invited the possible Beth over, and then finding the possible Beth, Vivienne. "I wish we were sisters," Molly told Tess at one point in the pretty, wrecked dawn of a summer day in Philly, apropos of nothing. It was sweet to hear a thing like that.
In the morning light, George awoke, sore and depressed, and felt further saddened to see a stranger asleep on the couch, because he correctly guessed that Richard and Molly had met her last night and she would be helping them find Beth. He wanted the event of finding her to occur in an environment of quiet and seriousness, without anyone peripheral to witness the rescue.