The 9:30 meetup came and went with no sign of Timmie. Noelle teetered on the line of being furious and call-the-police panicked. She paced in clear view of the front door. Before that, she sat on the couch and fumed. Before that, she dialed Timmie’s number five times, in a row, with an expressive voicemail to boot. Before that, she looked out the front window then opened the front door then looked out the front window then opened the front door – for three minutes straight.

“I am so sorry,” Timmie said, about to lose her breath as she rushed inside, past an unamused Noelle. “My aunt called.”

News of the caller caused Noelle to be even madder because she couldn’t be mad with good conscience.

“I know you’re mad, and I know this isn’t the ideal circumstance to begin B.R.I.D.G.E. therapy, but here we are. Let’s just get Day 1 over with. Tomorrow will be better.”

Noelle glared, but her eyes were dry. Timmie was surprised by the lack of puffiness or redness.

“Fine,” Noelle said, surrendering the day. “Let’s just go. Where are we going? What does Day 1 consist of? How many days are there? I didn’t agree to Day 2.”

“Branson,” Timmie said, proud of her answer, while ready to hear pushback.

“Branson?”

“Branson.”

“More, please.” Noelle trusted Timmie with her life but not today.

“The Ferris Wheel. You know the one that used to sit on the Navy Pier in Chicago.”

“No,” Noelle said to the Ferris Wheel, not the knowledge. “This experiment is supposed to help, not hinder.”

Timmie was in the driver’s seat, and the car wasn’t about to waver.

Ninety-seven minutes later, the two were sitting in a parking lot, heads tilted back to look at the day’s appointment, 150 feet up. The car ride felt all of the 97 minutes plus an additional two months, two weeks and four days. Given the reason for the mission, it was a surprise neither woman spoke of the breakup or Timmie’s tardiness or Noelle’s gratitude. “Come on,” Timmie said, ready to be outside the silence. “I know a guy.”


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