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Gabrielle emerged from the spare bedroom wearing a huge smile. “Done. I sent the email to Dr. Regillo and I’ll follow up with a phone call to set up an appointment.” She walked over to her husband’s wheelchair, found his lips by touch and kissed him. In a sing-song voice she said, “We’re going to Philadelphia, Adriel!”

Returning her kiss Adriel said, “I Googled the Amtrak schedule while you were sending your email. Trains head to Philadelphia starting around three thirty and there’s return service until about 10:00 p.m. The trip takes just under two hours each way unless we pay for express and the Philly station is less than two miles from the Rogers Institute so we should be able to scoot up, have your exam and scoot back all in the same day.”

“Perfect! I am so excited!”

Adriel wasn’t sure how to respond. ‘Great, let’s just hope you get in and that your treatment works,’ seemed way too pessimistic. “I’m excited too, babe.” Usually he was frustrated that his voder produced voice had no coloring intonations but for the current conversation flat and emotionless was the perfect tone. “Just remember that you’re not in yet; okay?”

“I know, sweetie, I know! I just have a good feeling, you know?”

“I do and I hope that this works out for you,” he said aloud, choosing not to voice, ‘Maybe even more than you do.’

“Do you think I should tell my mom?”

“No, I really don’t. I mean, tell her we’re going to Philadelphia once we have the date set but I think we should wait until we know if you’re in before we start ringing the church bell.”

“Spoiled sport,” she said, sticking her tongue out. “You’re right of course but I just want to let somebody know.”

“How about Jenny? She seems more level-headed than just about anybody I know, present company included. I bet if you told her she would be a poster child of hopeful yet guarded optimism.”

Gabrielle’s head went up as though she’d had a stray thought but she smiled and said, “Yeah. Jenny. That is one person that I think would really be psyched for me. I think I’ll call her just as soon as I have my appointment confirmed.”

He also left unsaid, ‘I’m really psyched, sweetie. I just don’t want a repeat of what happened to me.’

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