Before the play begins Abigail worked for the Proctors- a common job for unmarried women during the time. When she is alone with John Proctor, she makes several claims. She claims that she and John were together intimately before his wife fired her. He resists her flirting and suggests that this is not true, and if it was their time together is now over and done with. He decrees that he will "cut off his hand" before thinking about reaching out towards her again. This dismissal hurts the young girl, who clearly still harbors feelings for her married former employer.