Finally the ordeal was over for Timber, She was allowed to put her clothes on again, but now the outline of two thick bandages on her left side showed through her pants. The nurse gave Scott a stack of papers and prescriptions and at least one little box of something and they were saying goodbye. Dr. Avila said “Don’t forget all the things we talked about Timber. And I will see you back here Thursday.” Then Relief Pitcher Avila answered, “I promise. We’ll be here bro.” Just before he opened the door to his office so they could leave, Dr. Avila put his card in Timber’s hand and told her his cell number was on the back, and that she should call if she needed anything.”
Then they were in the waiting room again, and Timber was floating from the Demerol Dr. Avila had put in the IV, and Scotty tucked her under his arm, where she fit just right, and they were headed for the door and freedom until a silver haired lady who had not been among those waiting when they arrived asked Scott to sign an autograph for her grandson. Timber stopped for what she had to come to think of as the inevitable autograph wait, but Scott told the lady he was sorry but couldn’t right now because his friend wasn’t feeling well, and Timber felt some relief that he still called her his friend. Then they were outside, and she was still free; there were no men in white coats waiting with a straight jacket size XS, and she felt like laughing and crying at the same time.
Scott opened the car door for Timber, helped her inside in silence, walked around to the driver’s side and climbed in. Timber sat in the passenger seat, clutching the papers from the doctor, waiting for Scott to say something. Instead he started the car without speaking, turned toward her as he backed out of the parking space without making eye contact and pulled out into traffic.
Timber braced for the Walking Dead jokes, the “What do you get when you cross a corpse with an economist” riddles, because that was the kind of relationship she and Scott had always shared. They teased one another. They played practical jokes. She sent him a GPS unit with a note saying it might help him find the plate when he had a bad game in the Series, and as gift when Meghan was born, he sent flashcards and an abacus so the baby would learn math like a normal person, without terms like “leveraging consumer debt” and “negative amortization.”
Scott Avila did not wash her hair, or shave her legs, and if he cleaned up her vomit she would be sure to find it later in her best crystal bowls. Timber tried with her foggy Demerol brain, but could not recall a single serious conversation they had ever had, yet here they were and Timber felt it was all odd, and weird, and yet she felt completely comfortable being there with him.
Scott pulled into traffic with his mind racing about the cot in the pool house and why she hadn’t at least turned over every now and then. How does someone even lay still that long? But if it wasn’t Timmie alone on that cot, that left the unspeakable, and surely God wouldn’t do that to her. He knew Timber wasn’t much of a believer, but he was, he prayed before every inning, and in the Series, he had prayed before every pitch, and no merciful God would come back for seconds with Timmie. Surely she’d given at the office.
When he finally had his thoughts in order and turned to Timber to reassure her everything was going to be all right, he found her dozing on the Demerol, her arms tightly crossed over the papers from the doctor the same way they had clutched the pink baby nightgown when he and Remy had first found her in the pool house. Scott reached over and took hold of her left hand in his right, the one Timber had scrawled 666 on earlier, and eased it down onto the console between them. He held it until they pulled into the parking garage next to the office of Dr. Samuel Chen at precisely 2:56, where Remy was waiting for them in his black Escalade.
Timber awoke when the engine turned off, and managed to shake out some of the cobwebs in the time it took for Scott to come around to the passenger side and open her door. “We’re here.” He told Timber as he unbuckled her seatbelt. “You doin’ ok?”
“Listen Timmie, Remy’s here, but I’m not going to say anything to him for now. Whatever you say in there with Chen, I’ll back your play, understand?” With that he took out his phone and showed Timber where he had stored the phone number of John Vanderhei, COO for World Wonders with a notation not to talk to the CFO.
“I’m your wingman now, ok?”
Before Timber could do more than smile up at him in gratitude, Remy strode up, complaining to Scott about how close he was cutting it, asking if Timber had eaten lunch.
“There wasn’t any time Remy,” Scott pleaded, helping Timber from his SUV.
“Damn it Scott,” Remy cut him off before he could explain about the IV. Remy dug a package of miniature powder sugared donuts out of his pocket and handed them to Timber with orders to “eat.”
“So what did Miguel say? Is she being abused?” Remy asked Scott.
“We should talk about this later,” Scott told him “Miguel had to give her Demerol to clean out her ass sores, so she might be a little wacky, but it’s Timber, so you probably won’t notice any difference.”
“That’s all I have in my life these days Scotty, wacky women,” Remy groused, which Timber took to mean his morning with Dr. Samantha Heckert hadn’t gone so well and she wondered if she was sad about that because Remy hadn’t gotten laid, or was happy about that because Remy hadn’t gotten laid, and that made her wonder if Demerol could be the mind opening agent she was looking for, and she wished she could go somewhere quiet and try to dream instead of going head to head with this Dr. Chen who, now that she had survived Dr. Avila’s scrutiny, was the biggest threat to her freedom.