Daddy has a girlfriend. Her name is Louise and she stayed with him while Billie Jo was off finding out what life out of the dust is like.
Louise is a really good cook and possesses the superhuman ability to get Daddy to put on an apron and clean up the kitchen. She's also simple, honest, and funny, and while she says she wishes she'd been there to help them through their grief, she doesn't try to get too far into Billie Jo's life. She doesn't ask to see her favorite places on the farm or force her to talk about the past too soon.
Billie Jo asks Daddy if he ever wanted her to go to Aunt Ellis's, and he says that she is his flesh and blood and he never even considered it. They laugh about the impossible thought of Billie Jo and Aunt Ellis living together.
While Billie Jo likes Louise, she is cautious and wants to see how things go before she makes up her mind about her—she doesn't want to be crowded out of Daddy's life when they are just beginning to forge a new relationship.