The Do-Over by Lynn Painter

The Do-Over by Lynn Painter

Author:Lynn Painter
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00


I started drinking coffee when I was eleven. My mom left for work when there was one cup left in the pot, every day, and since it seemed like a grown-up thing to do, I did it.

That snapped my attention back to the present. Why had I been worrying about insulting him when it was the DONC? I blinked and said, “I don’t really have a plan, per se, but we should check out the First Bank building.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Do you have some investing to do?”

“No, I want to sneak up to the fortieth floor.” Now I grabbed his elbow and we started walking. “Listen to this.”

I started telling him what I knew and what I wanted to discover as we walked toward the skyscraper. The First Bank building was the tallest building in the city; forty-five stories, to be exact. My Auntie Ellen used to work there and told me that after it first opened, people made appointments to use the fortieth-floor balcony for marriage proposals.

I also knew this to be true because it was where my young, foolish father had proposed to my equally immature and impulsive mother.

But now, if you Googled it—nothing. No mention of a balcony, no reference to balconied proposals.

It was as if it had never existed.

I’d been obsessed with the missing balcony ever since Ellen had told me about it when I was ten, and I was fixated on the notion that the setting for the beginning of so many people’s happily-ever-afters was effectively erased. I’d found it sad, which had made my mother joke that perhaps it was the cosmos trying to right some wrongs. All those couples who’d trekked up there for the big moment could never revisit the spot.


Precocious ten-year-old me had even called the building manager, but instead of explaining the closure, he told me I was mistaken. He denied there had ever been such a thing.

I knew better.

So I’d always wanted to sneak up and check it out. I expected Nick to think it was a bad idea, but he listened closely. He nodded and looked up at the towering building as we approached.

And instead of saying no, he said, “I’m sure we need badges to get past the lobby.”

My eyes shot to his, surprised that he was matter-of-factly considering going along with this. “Probably.”

“So what’s our plan?” he asked.

“Hmmm.” I bit my lip as we stopped by the fountains that sat in front of the building. Think, Em—think. “We could pull a fire alarm.”

“Nothing that will get us arrested, you criminal,” he said, and laughed, his eyes sweeping over me and making it impossible not to smile.

“Maybe we can bribe a security guard—do you have any money?”

He just looked at me.

“Well? I don’t hear you—”

“There has to be a side door.” He tossed his cup into a green trash can and said, “One of those exit-only doors that nearly every building has.”


“And we find it and lurk. As soon as someone comes out, we go in.


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