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Funny Story

Recap, Summary & Spoilers



The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for Funny Story by Emily Henry are below.

Quick(-ish) Recap

The two-paragraph version: Daphne and Miles end up living together after their childhood-best-friend exes dump them and decide to marry one another. Daphne and Miles then agree to pretend to be in a fake relationship to make their exes jealous. Miles offers to show Daphne around since she moved to this town for her ex and doesn't know many places or people. They fall for each other, and they have sex, but then their exes, Peter and Petra, break up and Miles disappears on Daphne.

Peter shows up trying to get back together with Daphne, but she realizes she doesn't want him anymore regardless of whether things will work out with Miles. Miles returns professing his love for Daphne, but she turns him down saying that she doesn't want a grand gesture, just someone to show up for the little things. However, Daphne eventually learns that Miles disappeared because he was trying to convince Daphne's flakey father not to leave town without saying goodbye to Daphne. Miles and Daphne get back together, and the book ends with them telling the "funny story" of how they met.


MAY

The book opens with Daphne having recently been dumped by her fiancé, Peter. Peter realized during his bachelor party that he was in love with his "platonic" childhood best friend Petra, and they're in love. He dumps Daphne the next morning, letting her know Petra will be moving in. Petra is also dumping her boyfriend, Miles. After dropping the news on them, Peter and Petra then leave for an impromptu week-long trip to the Amalfi coast together.

When Miles shows up looking for Petra, Daphne and Miles end up talking. Heartbroken and soon-to-be homeless, Daphne accepts Miles's offer to move in as his roommate. She's now been living with Miles for the past three weeks. Daphne uprooted her life and moved here, to Peter's hometown, a little over a year ago because he wanted to buy a house here in Waning Bay, Michigan. Now, Daphne is stuck in a city where the only people she knows are her co-workers and Peter's friends. She considers leaving, but she's running the Read-a-Thon at the library she works at as a children's librarian for the rest of the summer, so she's stuck staying for at least the next three months.

Daphne and Miles soon receive invites to Peter and Petra's wedding, devastating them both. They drunkenly RSVP, and Peter calls Daphne. It's clear he never really meant for her to actually attend, and he tries to dissuade her by telling her how sad she'll be to show up alone. Humiliated and indignant, Daphne ends up claiming that she has a boyfriend already. When Peter points out that she RSVP'd without a plus one, Daphne lies again and says that she and Miles are an item and that they'll be attending together.

As Miles and Daphne room together, they get to know one another. Miles is a buyer at a winery who is a very positive person who has an easy time meeting and getting to know people. Daphne meanwhile is reserved and a little closed off. Miles offers to show Daphne around since there's a lot Peter never showed her, and Miles hopes Daphne will end up deciding to stay. They also have movie nights together watching movies their exes were never willing to watch with them.

JUNE - JULY

Daphne realizes she has spent her whole life being partnered up. When she was young, it was her mother. In college, it was her best friend Sadie. Then, when she met Peter, her life revolved around him and his interests and schedule. Now, she's having to figure out being un-partnered.

Daphne starts making a new friend at work, Ashleigh, who starts inviting her to a monthly poker night with other people around town. One day, Miles's younger sister Julia shows up in town, and she ends up staying with and hanging out with them too.

Meanwhile, Miles is processing his own breakup as well. Petra had told him while they were dating that she never wanted to get married, only to turn around and immediately plan a wedding to Peter. Growing up, his mother's emotions eclipsed everyone else's in the family, and Miles learned to hide his own emotions and pretend everything was fine in order to prevent his mother from being upset. Now, Miles struggles with a lot of self-doubt and distrust over his own emotions.

AUGUST

In August, Daphne's father unexpectedly shows up with a woman, who he introduces as his wife. They're road-tripping from California to Vermont and want to stop here to spend some time with her. Daphne is surprised to see her father married to someone who is age-appropriate and he seems earnest about wanting to spend time with Daphne. Daphne lets herself believe that her father could have really changed. However, shortly after, he and his wife leave without a goodbye after getting an invitation to stay with some other friends, and Daphne's reminded how she's never felt like a priority to him.

Afterwards, Daphne is upset and Miles tells her that her father is someone who can't face her because sees him as he really is. Her father wants to be around people who don't really know him and don't know his imperfections. Miles also says that Peter is just someone who is boring and thinks that being with Petra will make him less boring. Afterwards, Daphne and Miles kiss and have sex, and they spend a blissful day together.

Then, Miles flakes the next day. Peter shows up instead the day after and says that the Petra thing was a mistake and that he wants to get back together. Daphne realizes that even if the Miles thing didn't work out, she still no longer wants the life she had with Peter that revolved entirely around him. Miles eventually shows back up and apologies for disappearing on her. He says he panicked and he's sorry, but he loves her and wants to be together, but Daphne turns him down. Around this time, Daphne finds a job posting for a children's librarian position near where her mother lives.

Soon, the Read-a-thon, a library event Julia has been planning for all summer, arrives. The event goes smoothly and Julia and Miles show up along with a lot of other friends to volunteer. Daphne's father calls and she finds out that the reason Miles flaked out on her is because he drove up to where her father had gone to try to convince him to come back instead of leaving without saying goodbye. Daphne realizes that Miles never told her because he knew how much it would hurt her to know her that he'd tried but her father had refused.

Julia tells Daphne that even though Miles constantly doubts whether he is able to be the man or the person that other people need him to be (because of how his mother was), Julia knows from how he's taken care of her that he's more than capable of being there for someone and being enough.

Daphne lets Miles know that she knows that he went to see her father. Daphne tells Miles she wants them to be together, but she needs to move out because she needs to learn to create her own life that's separate from him.

A YEAR LATER

A year later, Daphne and Miles are moving in together again. They have a housewarming party with all their friends, and Daphne's mother comes to visit as well. The book ends with Daphne telling the "funny story" about how they met...

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Chapter 1

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1ST / 108 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

Three years ago, Daphne Vincent, 33, met Peter Collins. They were each living in Richmond and five blocks away from each other at the time. That day, the weather was perfect so Daphne decided to take a detour through the park. Daphne was wearing a floppy-brimmed hat her mother recently sent her, but a breeze caught it and sent it flying, landing in front of Peter’s feet. He bent over to get it, but then it flew off into a trash can. Daphne dived for it, but landed in the grass. The way Peter tells it, “I fell in love with Daphne the moment I looked up from her hat”.

Daphne thinks about how Peter liked telling that story and told it every chance he got. They eventually got engaged. Then, the day after Peter’s bachelor party, he dumped for her for his “platonic” best friend, Petra Comer.

Petra and Peter met in third grade when they were seated next to each other due to alphabetical seating. They both loved Pokémon. Their mothers became friends while chaperoning a school trip, and their fathers became friends soon after. Since then, their families have vacationed together, celebrated birthdays and even holidays together. Peter had explained to Daphne that they were “more like cousins than friends”, even though Petra was drop-dead gorgeous.

Now, Petra and Peter are together, and Daphne is living with Miles Nowak, 36, Petra’s ex-fiance. Daphne had nowhere to go after Petra moved in with Peter, so Miles let her move in with him. It’s been three weeks.

Their apartment is tidy, but Miles’s room is a trainwreck. Miles has also been smoking weed and watching the one scene in Bridget Jones Diary where Renee Zellweger tearfully listens to “All By Myself” on repeat loudly enough for their neighbor Mr. Dorner to be complaining.

Chapter 2

BACK IN APRIL / BEFORE I KNEW I NEEDED TO LEAVE

Daphne, a librarian, recalls how Peter had been unlike the guys she’d dated in her twenties. Peter, a software developer, was stable, steady, practical. They’d moved in together after five weeks, their respective best friends Cooper and Sadie met and started dating, and Peter proposed within year.

A year after that, they were busy planning a wedding and looking for houses to buy when his parents found a listing for a beautiful house near his hometown in Michigan. Peter’s software development job had just gone remote. Daphne had always wanted to be a children’s librarian, and there was an opening for that position at the library nearby. So, Peter bought the house.

Then, three weeks ago in early April was Peter’s bachelor party. Daphne remembers him texting her photos from the night and seeing how Peter and Petra were together in the middle in every photo. Her boyfriend, Miles, wasn’t invited because Peter never thought Miles was good enough for Petra. Miles and Petra were both stoners who didn’t have college degrees, but Petra was gorgeous and wealthy.

The next morning, Peter had come home and told her they needed to talk. He said nothing had happened, but he and Petra were in love. They were going to go out of town for a week, which Daphne later learned was to the Amalfi Coast, to let Daphne have some space to figure out where to move.

Peter and Petra drove off immediately after, and then Miles showed up looking for Petra.

Chapters 3 – 4

SATURDAY, MAY 18TH / 91 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

For the most part, Miles has been a good roommate who mostly leaves Daphne alone, which is what she wants.

Daphne thinks about how until she met Peter, she kept her possessions to a minimum, trying to keep her life small and containable. Then, when she and Peter moved into the house, she let herself really fill up the space and turn it into a home. Now, she has stuff that’s meant for a 3-bedroom home filling up one guest bedroom. There’s also a bunch of wedding stuff that needs to be sold, which she doesn’t want to think about at all.

Today, Daphne gets back from work to find Miles lying facedown on the couch looking miserable. He holds up a piece of paper, and Daphne sees it’s an invitation to Peter and Petra’s wedding. Miles says they’re both invited. Daphne sees that it’s over labor day weekend, just one month after when her wedding was originally supposed to take place.

Miles, who works at a winery, offers Daphne some wine. They sit around crying over wine until Miles suggests they go out instead of just moping.


They end up at a bar called the MEATLOCKER. Miles has befriended someone named Gil who has been buying them drinks and telling them his life story. Daphne notices how easily Miles makes friends and how the staff offers him free drinks. When they get home, Miles drunkenly suggests that they RSVP to the wedding.

Chapter 5

SUNDAY, MAY 19TH / 90 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

The next day, Daphne notices she must’ve downloaded a new dating app the night before. She also has a call from Peter, asking her about her RSVP to his wedding. He doesn’t seem to actually want her to be there, and discourages her from coming by lamenting how sad she’ll be when she’s there all alone.

Feeling humiliated, Daphne lies and says she’ll be with her boyfriend. When Peter points out that she didn’t RSVP with a plus one, Daphne lies again and says that Miles is her boyfriend, and that they’ll be there together.

After the call, Daphne tells Miles that she told Peter they were dating. When she explains what happened, Miles is supportive, and he agrees it would be fun to tell them they’re dating just to piss them off and make them jealous. Miles encourages her to post of photo of the two of them together on social media, because he doesn’t have an account.

Chapter 5 – 9

FRIDAY, MAY 24TH / 85 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

Today, Daphne tells her co-worker Ashleigh that she’s desperate to go out and do something, and Ashleigh suggests going to Chill Coast, a brewery in Arbor Park. Daphne knows the chances of running into Peter in that area are way too high, so she nixs that idea. Trying to come up with an alternative, Daphne suggests Miles’s winery, Cherry Hill, instead. Ashleigh agrees to the plan, and Daphne lets Miles know she’ll be dropping by later that night.

That night, Daphne gets dressed up, and they head out to the winery. Ashleigh chats about Duke, her ex-husband. Soon, Miles comes over to greet them, jokingly referring to Daphne as his girlfriend.

As Daphne and Ashleigh chat, Daphne apologies for not trying to get to know Ashleigh earlier, even though they’ve worked together for many years. She doesn’t really know anyone around here other than Peter’s friends. Ashleigh admits that she didn’t try to get to know Daphne either since she was just divorced and Daphne seemed so happily coupled up. As the two women exchange secrets and Miles serves them wine, Daphne tells Ashleigh about her recent un-engagement and her and Miles’s fake relationship. Meanwhile, Ashleigh tells Daphne about her son, Mulder, named after David Duchovny’s X-Files character.


As the night gets late, Ashleigh has met guy she wants to go home with, so she sends Daphne home with Miles instead. When he finds out Daphne has never been to Big Louie’s, a fast food place, he insists on taking her. Daphne explains that she never went with Peter because they ate healthy, and he cooked every night while she did the dishes. She explains that their life together was very regimented.

As they talk, Daphne admits that she’s always believed what Peter told her about Miles being a freeloader. She says she thinks she had to believe that it was true and that Peter was trying to look out for Petra as opposed to just being jealous of Miles and in love with Petra.

Once they get their food, Miles suggests going to the beach and teases her for being a “fudgie” (an out-of-towner) when she doesn’t know where to go since she’s only been living here for the last 13 months. Daphne tells him a little bit about her life and what she does and her work as a librarian. She explains that there’s a Read-a-thon going on that summer that she needs to stay for, so she can’t leave until then.

Otherwise, she’s not sure what she’s doing in this town now that she’s no longer with Peter. She could go back to Richmond, but then she thinks about the call she had with her best friend, Sadie, when she was looking for sympathy. Sadie had started dating Peter’s best friend Cooper when Daphne and Peter were still together. Now, Sadie says that she and Cooper don’t want to take sides, and so Daphne hasn’t spoken to Sadie much since then.

The alternative, she says, is moving back to Maryland where her mom is. Daphne tells Miles that she and her mom have always been very close, in a good way. But Miles tells her that he likes her so he doesn’t want her to move away. He suggests that he can be her tour guide for the next few Sundays so she can get a feel for the place and see if she wants to stay.

Miles gets a text from Petra saying she heard about his new relationship and that she’s happy for him, which he looks ruefully at. Just for fun, Daphne and Miles take a few photos together snuggled up together. They know that their fake relationship is a little immature and stupid, but it makes them feel a tiny bit better anyway.

Chapters 10 – 11

SATURDAY, JUNE 1ST – SUNDAY, JUNE 2ND / 77-76 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

At work, her co-worker Harvey notes that Daphne has been in slightly higher spirits lately. Saturday Story Hour is Daphne’s favorite time of the week, and she’s having a delightful time reading to the kids when she sees Miles walk up to the library. He joins them for the story hour, listening to her read. Afterwards, he suggests that she, he and Ashleigh hang out again sometime. He also reminds Daphne of their tour guiding plans tomorrow.


The next day, Miles says they’re going shopping, and he takes her to a vegetable stand parked at the side of the street. He introduces her to Barb Satō and Lenore Pappas, who run the stand. They’re very familiar with Miles, and he explains that he works as the buyer for Cherry Hill Winery so he works with a lot of food vendors like them.

Next, they visit a cherry stand and eat delicious cherries. He explains that he originally moved out here for his former girlfriend, Dani, though they broke up a few months after. Her cousin and his husband own Cherry Hill, which is how he started working there.

After that, they visit a lavender farm and he introduces her to the owner Clarence. They purchase some lavender shortbread and blueberry-lavender lemonade. The day is lovely until they spot Peter in the parking lot. Daphne isn’t ready to see him so soon and thinks about how Peter never brought her here.

He comes towards them and greets them, and he asks to talk to Daphne alone. He then tells her that Miles is a mess and that she should be careful. Peter talks about how Miles doesn’t speak to his family. Daphne responds by calling him an asshat and leaving. She then kisses Miles for Peter’s benefit, but she looks back to see Peter already left.


That night, they make a salad with the ingredients they bought and have it for dinner. When asked, Daphne tells Miles what Peter told her about Miles’s relationship with his family. He’s hurt that Petra said anything about it Peter, and merely says that he chooses to focus on the good stuff in life instead of dwelling on the bad.

They talk about how Petra and Peter’s families were both like Norman Rockwell paintings, and Daphne says she just wanted to be a part of it. Daphne’s parents divorced when she was young, and they’ve never remarried. She was raised by her mother.

As they chat in the kitchen, Daphne is reminded of the kiss they shared earlier.

Chapters 12 – 14

THURSDAY, JUNE 6TH / 72 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

Daphne finds herself lusting over Miles when she runs into him shirtless on Thursday night. Then, the Sunday after their shopping day, they go out to Sleeping Bear Dunes and rent a dune buggy to explore, and she has a hard time not thinking about the kiss as they rumble across the sand holding each other.

The Sunday after that, they go to Miles’s favorite farmers’ market to pick up ingredients for a pizza. That night over pizza, they talk about what stuff they should do now that their exes never wanted to do. Miles brings up sunrise kayaking, since Petra wasn’t a morning person, and they agree to do that sometime. They also agree to watch an action movie together since neither of their exes would watch them.


On the phone with her mom, her mother suggests coming to stay with her, but Daphne reminds her that she needs to stay for the Read-a-thon. Her mother asks her if she needs money, but Daphne knows she would never take it. She remembers how her father was always asking her mom for money even though they were divorced and she was raising her child. She doesn’t want her mom to be providing for anyone anymore.

After the phone call, Miles comes by and knocks on her door. They’ve been doing movie nights for the past few nights ever since pizza night on Sunday, watching a bunch of action-comedies over popcorn. Tonight, they end up kissing again, thought they both acknowledge that it’s a bad idea. Things get more intense with roaming hands and whatnot, but his phone starts ringing repeatedly.

Finally, he picks up, noting that it’s his sister and that she wouldn’t call repeatedly unless it was important.

After the phone call, he tells Daphne that his sister Julia, 23, is at the Traverse City airport, nearby. He doesn’t know what’s going on, but even though she tends to be spontaneous, she’s still wouldn’t fly out and show up with no notice unless something important was going on.

Before he heads to the airport to pick Julia up, Daphne and Miles quickly chat about how hooking up would be bad and irresponsible given where they both are emotionally. He says he doesn’t want to mess up their friendship or hurt her. At the same time, Daphne thinks about how she’s always been responsible and a part of her wants to not be responsible for once.


Daphne thinks about the places she’s lived. When her dad was around, they lived in a tiny two-bedroom apartment. When her dad left, she and her mom into a small 1-bedroom on the far side of town. Her mom was working at as a bank teller, but eventually got promoted to a banker. Her mom always managed to host her and her friends and work and get promoted, and over time the apartment got nicer and the walls got thicker. Eventually, her mom was working to become a licensed loan officer and had no time for a social life and most of the housework became Daphne’s responsibility.

When Daphne left for college, she met Sadie. Sadie was the fun one and took her to frat parties and got them into bars despite them being underage. With Sadie, Daphne didn’t have to worry about making friends or getting invited to things, instead, she was the one who played host and got things ready whenever Sadie wants to throw parties or group hangs.

With Miles headed to the airport, Daphne goes into host mode and starts cleaning up the place in advance of Julia’s arrival, and she hurries to stock up the fridge. When Julia gets here, she’s bubbly and loud. They tell Julia the truth about their fake relationship. When Miles mentions Daphne’s story hour at the library, Julia eagerly suggests that they go tomorrow to see it.

Chapter 14

SATURDAY, JUNE 22ND / 56 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

True to her word, Julia and Miles show up to Storytime. Daphne also sees that Julia has forced Miles to shave his just-got-dumped beard, revealing how handsome he actually is. Afterwards, Ashleigh suggests they all check out BARn, a bar in a bar, at some point.

The next morning, Miles and Daphne awake early for sunrise kayaking, and Julia elects to sleep in. As they kayak, Miles asks Daphne about her father, and she says that he lives in California and they don’t have much of a relationship because he can be unreliable. Meanwhile, Miles talks about Julia. He was 13 when she was born, but even when he moved out of the house, he would come back on Saturdays to see her and take her out so they’ve always been close. Miles says he still doesn’t know why Julia is here. She insists that it’s because she wants to be there for her, but he thinks there’s more to it.

Later, they get together with Julia and Ashleigh at BARn. It’s a trendy place with a band playing and taco trucks out front. They have a good time and Miles and Daphne flirt gently.


On Monday at work, Ashleigh asks if Miles and Daphne are sleeping together, though she admits they’ve made out a little bit. Daphne asks Ashleigh about her ex, Duke. She says that he was her high school boyfriend, but they broke up during college. When they ended up back in town, they hooked up and she got pregnant. They ended up getting married as a result, but eventually realized their whole relationship revolved around their son and got divorced. She wanted more out of life and he was very settled, and Duke didn’t want to try to go to counseling to figure things out.

When Ashleigh mentions how people took Duke’s side, Daphne thinks about how she hasn’t heard from Sadie since the breakup.

Chapter 16

TUESDAY, JUNE 25TH / 53 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

On Tuesday, Miles asks Daphne if she wants to go to a concert with him on Saturday instead of the Sunday thing they’ve been doing. Daphne wants to go, but she also wants to do a better job of maintaining boundaries with him, so she declines.

Afterwards, Daphne is scrolling social media when she sees a picture Cooper posted of himself with Petra in Richmond. Daphne thinks about how she let herself get absorbed by Peter and how it’s hard to watch someone else in that life. At the same time, she knows Miles is right, that she can’t keep focusing on what she’s lost and needs to focus on building something new.

Daphne then texts Ashleigh she’s up to try whatever thing she mentioned before and she texts Miles to let him know she changed her mind and wants to go to the concert.


Ashleigh’s thing turns out to be a monthly poker night. Her co-worker Harvey is there along with Lenore and Barb, who she met at the asparagus stand. Lenore and Barb knew Ashleigh’s mom, who was a priest at their church. By the end of the night, Daphne has committed to going to Harvey’s 75th birthday party in October and the group discusses potential plans for the party.

Afterwards, Ashleigh and Daphne talk, and Ashleigh muses that Daphne is a “we girl” in that she likes to have a partner. Daphne thinks about how once upon a time her partner was her mother, then it was Sadie and then it was Peter. She picks a person and she orbits around them. Now, she’s learning how to go it alone.

Chapters 17 – 19

SATURDAY, JUNE 29TH / 49 DAYS UNTIL I CAN LEAVE

On Saturday, it’s time for the concert with Miles, but he won’t tell her who’s playing. She confused when they pull up to the Waning Bay Historical Society Senior Prom, which is a fundraiser dance. Miles explains that tons of businesses show up for it and he thought it could be a good opportunity for Daphne to find sponsors for the Read-a-thon.

Daphne is feeling good about it until Peter and Petra also walk through the door. They debate leaving, but Daphne decides they should stay and have fun.


Miles knows everyone and introduces Daphne so she can talk to people about the Read-a-thon, and she manages to wrangle a slew of donations. When they talk to Peter and Petra, they keep up their game of pretending to be in a relationship and share a kiss. Peter throws in a jab about Miles’s work.

Daphne asks if Peter’s comment bothered Miles, and he says he’s used to it. He says that while he was dating Petra, her family occasionally made comments implying that he couldn’t provide for her the way she deserved. Afterwards, they kiss again, at first for show, but then Daphne finds herself getting lost in it. She then turns are runs outside.

Miles comes after her, and Daphne says she just got a little dizzy, but she says she wants to go home. In the car on the way back he parks at the side of the road, Daphne tells Miles she doesn’t want to play this game anymore. She says it’s confusing, and she doesn’t want to feel like a prop to make Petra jealous anymore. Miles then kisses Daphne to make clear to her that he’s kissing her because he wants to and not because of Petra.

They continue to kiss, but Miles finally stops. He says that he has a tendency to shut down when things gets complicated. Daphne responds that things don’t have to be complicated, but Miles explains that he has his own fears about relationships and letting people down. He says that growing up his mother’s feeling eclipsed everyone else’s and to make his mom happy he learned to stop showing his own emotions if he was sad or unhappy. He feels guilty for leaving Julia to deal with it herself instead of standing up for them both.

Chapters 20 – 22

THURSDAY, JULY 4TH / 44 DAYS UNTIL I COULD LEAVE (IF I STILL WANT TO)

On July 4, Miles, Daphne and Julia go to the Traverse City Fourth of July Parade. The following Sunday is the city’s Cherry Festival and Ashleigh attends too. By now, Daphne’s desire to leave Waning Bay has faded somewhat. Miles, Daphne and Julia cook together each night.

The following Friday, Daphne sees a posting for a children’s librarian job in Worcester County, Maryland, twenty minutes away from her mother’s house. She debates whether to apply, but goes ahead and sends in a resume and cover letter.

Later that night, there are boxes in the living room, and Julia announces that she’s going to be moving here. She’s looking for a job and apartment, too. Miles feels certain there’s something she’s not telling him, but doesn’t know what it is.

Later that night, Miles is out and Ashleigh is hanging out. As Julia searches for places to put her stuff, she ends up opening the closet with all of Daphne’s wedding stuff, which comes cascading out. Daphne finally asks her why she’s moving here, and Julia says she’s been wanting to move for a while, but she knows that her brother has a tendency to stay in places for her sake. She didn’t want to end up keeping him here, but it seems clear by now that he likes being here.

The women decide that Daphne really needs to get rid of her wedding dress. Daphne thinks about how her mother paid for this fancy dress for her as a wedding gift. They encourage her to go put on the dress. Daphne finally agrees, and it takes a while to wrangle the dress. When she emerges, the other women aren’t there. Instead, Miles has returned, and he says that Ashleigh and Julia went out to get milkshake supplies, but they’ll be back.

Daphne goes to change, but then she realizes that the dress is stuck. She emerges again, asking for Miles’s help. As they struggle with the zipper, Miles admits to Daphne that Petra had told him she didn’t want to get married when they were dating, but now was marrying Peter. Eventually, they finally get the zipper unstuck, and Miles gives Daphne a shirt to wear over it.

Chapter 23

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24TH / 24 DAYS UNTIL THE READ-A-THON

Things are going well and more donations for the Read-a-thon trickle in. Meanwhile, Daphne gets a missed call from her dad and a text asking her to call him. It’s also Ashleigh’s 43rd birthday next Saturday. At poker night, Daphne offers to go to Ashleigh’s place on her birthday to paint her place together for her birthday.

Daphne’s dad soon calls again, but she misses his call again. Instead, her dad says to just confirm her address, so she does. When she gets back to the apartment, she finds her dad standing there with a woman.

Chapter 24 – 26

THURSDAY, AUGUST 1ST / 16 DAYS UNTIL THE READ-A-THON

Her dad, Jason, pulls her into a hug, and he introduces her to the woman with him, named Starfire. Miles and Julia are also there looking a little bewildered. They all sit down in the living room, her dad and Starfire explain that they’re driving across the country to see Starfire’s family in Vermont celebrate their upcoming marriage. They’re planning on sticking around until at least Monday. When Daphne explains that she doesn’t have space for them, they quickly tell her they have a motel room booked.

Daphne isn’t sure what to make her of father showing up married with someone age-appropriate and having the foresight to properly book accommodations instead of imposing on her, none of which are things he would have done in the past. Her father and Starfire

She wants to give him a chance, and she asks Miles if they can join in on their plans. Miles invites them all on an old pontoon that belongs to a friend of his. The weather is gorgeous and they go swimming in the lake. That night, they all go out to dinner, and Julia invites her father and Starfire to go see Daphne at Story Hour at the library on Saturday.

Her dad then tells a story about how cute Daphne was as a kid wandering around the library with her big stack of books, but Daphne’s pulse quickens as she remembers her own version of events. She mostly remembers looking for him to show him her books, only to find him distracted flirting with some librarian or someone else. She remembers feeling like she was always coming in second.

Daphne excuses herself and goes to the bathroom. Miles follows. She admits to him that she’s scared of trusting that her father has changed because she doesn’t want to be disappointed by him again. She thinks about how ridiculous Starfire is in some ways and yet she’s able to have her father’s love when she never did.

When Daphne returns to the table, the waitress tells her that her Dad has paid for the check and he’s had them bring over a cake as a late birthday celebration. That night, they head down to the beach and Daphne lets herself imagine that the relationships she’s built here with Miles, Julia and Ashleigh could last and that her father has really changed.


Daphne googles her father’s motel before she leaves and realizes it’s 40 minutes away and has terrible reviews. Daphne ends up suggesting they just stay in her room tonight and find a less disgusting motel for them tomorrow. Julia says she’s going to head back to Chicago soon anyway and finish sorting out her old apartment and get her car.

On Friday, Daphne meets up with her dad and Starfire at a brewery, and she tells them about the Read-a-thon she’s been working on. After dinner, they visit Cherry Hill, and Miles joins then when he clocks out.

Chapters 27 – 28

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3RD / 14 DAYS UNTIL THE READ-A-THON

When Saturday rolls around, Ashleigh is out sick from work. Miles shows up to Story Hour unexpectedly alone, and Daphne knows it means her dad and Starfire aren’t coming. Daphne brushes it off, but Miles hesitates. He then tells her that they got an invitation from some other friends to meet up in Mackinac, and they left town today. Miles says that he suggested that her dad call her, but he left a note instead.

Daphne thinks about how even though she was broken hearted about Peter, she was able to let it go, but she’s not able to do the same thing when it comes to her relationship with her father. She feels a dull ache in her heart about it, but she tells Miles that she’s fine and he should go to work.

When she gets back, she asks if Miles will take her somewhere she’s never been to get her mind off of things, and he immediately offers to get his keys. He ends up taking her into the woods, going onto a trail that leads to a beautiful beach. They run into the water and hold each other.

When they return to the apartment, Miles immediately kisses her, and they proceed to have sex.


Afterwards, they’re hungry and have a snack while Miles asks about her dad and what an asshole move he pulled. Daphne admits that it makes her feel pathetic because she knows that even though her dad has disappointed her, if he came back and asked her to believe in him again, she would be thrilled and she probably would.

Miles also talks about his own father, who has been trying to call him recently because Julia won’t call him back. Julia made the mistake of getting back in touch with their father, who told their mother where Julia worked. Their mom showed up at Julia’s work, which caused Julia to walk out and get fired — which is when she decided to head out here.

Miles tells Daphne that her father doesn’t stick around because she sees who he really is, and it’s easier to be around people who see a faker more perfect version of who he really is. As for Peter, Miles says Peter is just bored with himself and believes that being with Petra will make him less boring.

Chapter 29

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4TH / 13 DAYS UNTIL THE READ-A-THON

On Sunday, Daphne sleeps in and wakes up in bed with Miles. They spend the day strolling around, having lunch and having sex.

Chapter 30

MONDAY, AUGUST 5TH / 12 DAYS UNTIL THE READ-A-THON

The next morning, Daphne lets him sleep as she goes off to work. She sees the note that her dad left, but tosses it in the trash instead of reading it. Daphne then realizes with a pang that she was supposed to paint with Ashleigh on her birthday this past Saturday, but it completely slipped her mind. She also realizes that Ashleigh called in sick that day, and that she didn’t even remember to check in on her.

Daphne rushes to work to find Ashleigh, who is cold to her. Daphne apologies and says she knows it must’ve felt bad to be sick on her birthday, but Ashleigh interrupts her to say that she wasn’t sick. She took the day off to prep so that they could paint together. Ashleigh says she called her repeatedly, and Daphne realizes she was at the beach that day and didn’t have service.

Ashleigh says it’s fine, she says that Daphne is a “we girl” and now that she and Miles are becoming a thing it’s clear she has no use for Ashleigh anymore. Ashleigh then says she needs to get to work.


After work, Miles is supposed to pick her up, but he’s late. She worries that something happened to him and calls him to see if everything is ok. She then asks if he’s coming to pick her up. Miles responds that he’s sorry but something came up. Daphne is filled with exhaustion over being let down and disappointment.

As she heads home, she gets a call about the job she’s applied to in Maryland a month ago. They’re calling to schedule an interview.

Chapter 31

TUESDAY, AUGUST 6TH / 11 DAYS

Miles doesn’t come home that night, though Daphne is preoccupied with what to do about her friendship with Ashleigh and how to fix things. On Tuesday, Daphne brings a box of Portuguese desserts that Ashleigh had mentioned before. Ashleigh acknowledges the treats but is still cold to Daphne.

When Daphne gets back, the apartment is still empty. She sees that Miles has left a box of fudge for her with a note saying that he’s sorry to have missed her. She gets a call from her dad, but she lets it go to voicemail. Then, there’s a knock at the door, and she finds Peter standing there.

Peter tells her that he and Petra called off the wedding. He says he thinks he was just scared of commitment, which is why he ran away from their engagement. He said it was mutual. He knew within a week he’d made a mistake, but felt like he needed to try to see things through. Daphne accuses Peter of lying about never having been interested in Petra in “that way”, but Peter insists he meant it when he said it. He said things were moving so fast, and Petra was scared that their relationship was going to change once Peter was married — so they both got confused.

Peter tells her he’s sorry and wants to spend the rest of his life making it up to her, but Daphne realizes she no longer wants their life together. She thinks about Peters house that’s in his name only and his friends that don’t care about her. Daphne tell him no. Before he leaves, Peter tells her that she’s welcome to come back if she needs a place to stay and he’ll take the couch. He says that Petra and Miles are going to get back together and that Miles spent yesterday helping Petra move out of his place.

But Daphne reminds herself that she doesn’t need someone waiting in the wings to say no to Peter, and she tells him goodbye.

Chapter 32

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7TH / 10 DAYS

On Wednesday, Daphne is walking home in the rain when Miles pulls up offering her a ride. He says he was trying to meet her at the library, but got stuck in traffic. He wants to talk and to apologize. He says that he panicked and that “a friend needed help” and he lost track of time. She waits for him to say it was Petra, but he doesn’t. Instead, she asks and he reluctantly tells her. Daphne thinks about how there “will always be a Petra. Someone more interesting, someone more fun, someone who needs less, or offers more.”

Miles tells her he panicked but he realized he made a mistake and wants to make it up to her. Daphne tells him that she doesn’t want some grand gesture, she just wants someone who shows up for the little things. She said that she trusted him and he broke that trust. She also lets him know that there’s a job she’s interviewing for near where her mother lives next week.

With the rain stopped, Daphne get out the car and walks. She thinks about how her mother is the only person who has always been there for her no matter what.

Daphne calls her mom and tells her about what happened with her dad. As they chat, they talk about Daphne’s childhood, and her mom admits how fear drove a lot of her decisions when Daphne was younger which is why they moved around so much. Her mother admits that she’s always been a cynic — someone who’s afraid to hope. But she tells Daphne that she Daphne doesn’t have to be, and sometimes you have to push through the discomfort instead of running away.

Daphne thinks about how she doesn’t just want to run away from the mess she’s made. With that, she texts her coworker Harvey and asks him to plan a poker night and to invite Ashleigh.

Chapter 33

FRIDAY, AUGUST 9TH / 8 DAYS

On Friday, Ashleigh brings by a cup of coffee for Daphne. She’s still not chatty, but Daphne knows it’s a start. On Saturday, Daphne heads up to Ashleigh’s place, and she lets herself in with the spare key that Harvey told her about. The house is nice, but she sees that inside it has the look of a place that used to be a home, but has now been emptied out. Daphne picks up some paint and gets to work.

Daphne is only part-way into her painting project when Ashleigh interrupts. Daphne is surprised she’s back already, but Ashleigh said it was transparent something was going on because Harvey is a terrible liar and the whole impromptu poker night thing was a dead giveaway. Daphne blurts out another apology, and finally Ashleigh leans forward and hugs her. Ashleigh admits she may have overreacted about the birthday thing, but she was so excited to have a new friend and maybe put too much pressure on the friendship.

Ashleigh admits that she realized what had happened and instead of leaving a voicemail, she waited to let it simmer and confront her. She says she had a tendency to set up tests for her husband and that she was doing the same thing here.

Daphne tells Ashleigh what happened with Miles and also with the job opportunity. Then, they get back to work painting.

Chapter 34

SATURDAY, AUGUST 10TH / 7 DAYS

Later, Ashleigh invites Daphne to stay at her place until the Read-a-thon to get some space from Miles. Daphne asks about Ashleigh’s house, which is huge. Ashleigh admits that Duke has money due to a cookie business that his family runs, and he let her have the house.

On Monday night, Daphne goes to get her stuff from the apartment while Miles is at work. After work on Tuesday, they go to pick up Ashleigh’s son, and Daphne gets introduced to Mulder. On Wednesday, Daphne does a video interview for the position in Maryland. On Friday, Daphne goes to pick up some stuff for the Read-a-thon from Miles’s apartment.

Before she leaves, she sees her dad’s note in the trash can. She thinks about how she’s been avoiding it to avoid feeling hurt. She then thinks about how she’s been avoiding a lot of stuff to avoid feeling hurt, and Daphne admits to herself part of the reason her life shrank after her engagement ended was by her own choice. She wanted to avoid confronting Sadie and avoid any places she might run into Peter and because of it her life shrank. She hasn’t decided whether to read the note, but she puts it in her bag at least.

As she walks out of the apartment, she collides with Julia, who is back from Chicago. Julia then says she’s mad at Daphne since she knows that Miles professed his love for her and that Daphne turned him down. At the same time, Julia says that she and her brother had a talk about their own relationship which they needed, and Julia knows Daphne was the one pushing him to talk to her, so she thanks her for that.

Julia says her brother distrusts himself because of the way their parents treated him, which is why he doubts his own feelings and fears letting others down. Julia says he worries that he won’t be enough and won’t be the person that someone else needs. But Julia knows from her childhood and because of the brother that he’s been to her that he’s more than capable of it.

Chapter 35

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16TH / 1 DAY

That night, Daphne reads her father’s note. He says he got a “once-in-a-lifetime” offer somewhere else, but that he could be back in October. After she reads it, Daphne cries and calls her mom.

On Saturday, the Read-a-thon arrives. They all know it’s going to be a long day. The teams arrive to transform various corners of the library into genre-themed areas. In the early afternoon, there starts to be a little bit of problem when it turns out one of the library staff has a stomach bug and a few volunteer aren’t able to make it. But Ashleigh reassures Daphne that she can deal with the staffing issue.

Later that day, Daphne’s father call to wish her good luck on her big day at the library. Her dad says they left because a guy they met out at the sand dunes, Christopher, had invited them to stay (to which Daphne thinks about how he ditched her for some random guy). He also tells her that Miles drove up to Mackinac to chew them out for leaving early and tried to guilt them into driving back down, and he says that Miles said a lot of unpleasant things about him to Starfire that really upset her.

Daphne realizes then that the reason Miles wasn’t at the library that day was because he knew how much Daphne wanted her father to be there and tried to bring him back. She wonders why Miles didn’t tell her, but then she realizes it was because he knew how much it would hurt her to know her father had refused.

Daphne calls her dad again and tells him that he was a shitty dad and that she spent so much time just waiting for him to show up for her. She says that he’s never treated her like she was a priority for him.


Soon, the library is buzzing with people. Ashleigh introduces Daphne to address the volunteers, and Daphne sees that Julia, Miles, Barb and Leonore, and Katya (works at Cherry Hill) have all been rounded up, presumably by Ashleigh, to help out. Daphne realizes that she got so used to surprises being bad that she never got used to the idea of good surprises. Daphne gets choaked up as she thanks the volunteers and the community for showing up to help out at the event.

Soon, there’s a whirlwind of activity as everyone attends to their jobs. Kids line up for prizes and duck out at various reading nooks.

By 6:30 at night, the crowd has finally died down. Ashleigh tells Daphne to go talk to Miles and that she can go.

Chapter 37

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18TH / FINALLY

The next night, Miles and Daphne go for a walk to chat. She tells him that she knows he went to see her dad. They also talk about how he went to see Petra because she had called him sobbing. Daphne tells him that she saw Peter, but that she turned him down. Miles says that Petra wanted to get back together but he told her he was in love with Daphne.

Miles says that Petra got into his head, telling him that he wasn’t equipped for what Daphne wanted like kids because of what he’d been through growing up. Peter and Petra broke up because Petra didn’t want kids. He admits that he feels like “there’s so much space between who I am and who I want to be, and there’s no one to show me how to get there”.

Daphne says she wants to give this a shot and she’s going to stay but she wants to build her own life here, one that doesn’t revolve around him.

Chapter 38

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3RD / 412 DAYS SINCE I STAYED

A little over a year later, Miles and Daphne have now moved back in together, this time with a place that’s both of theirs. They’re having a housewarming, and Ashleigh and Julia show up to visit them. Julia is now working as a barista. Soon, Edna, Leonore, Harvey and Elda arrive as well. Daphne’s mother arrives, straight from the airport, to visit them as well. Sadie is also coming to see Daphne next week.

As the group chats, someone mentions how Miles is actually the ex-fiancé of Daphne’s ex-fiancé. Since many in the group aren’t familiar wit how they met, Miles tells them it’s a “funny story” and they all settle in to hear Daphne tell it…

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