Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-six: There is something you could do (part five)

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

(part five)

Ever since Jacob said he would be Katy’s daddy, Katy had insisted on taking her nap in his big armchair. For the last few days, Jill had dragged the armchair near the door of the bathroom. Katy slept like a stone in Jacob’s chair while Jill took a bath in his huge bathtub.

Jill was excited to see Jacob today.

She washed her hair and then let it air dry while she soaked in the tub. Even though she knew Jacob probably was too sick for real intimacy, she carefully shaved her legs. She tried to relax but her heart raced with the idea of Jacob coming home.

Frustrated at her own impatience, she remembered that Jacob had told her that she could use his iPod. Maybe some music would help her settle down. Jill wandered around the apartment until she found the tiny music player.

Flopping naked onto the bed, she tried to figure out how the player worked. Pressing play all, she stuck the earbuds in her ears.

Jacob liked the same music she liked!

Maybe it wasn’t so crazy to be engaged to a guy she didn’t know.

She smiled.

The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…


Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-six: There is something you could do (part four)

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

(part four)

After stuffing Jill full of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage, Mike took her to an ATM. He gave her three hundred dollars from his account and another three hundred dollars from Valerie’s account. He would have taken the maximum from their joint account as well, but Jill was freaked out about six hundred dollars. They yelled back and forth at each other with all the heat and intensity of close siblings.

Finally, Jill said very simply, “Thank you. I really need this money.”

And Mike laughed.

Mike knew Jill was excited to see Jacob again, so he let her out at his artist’s studio. He was parking the car at the workshop when he received a call from Jacob.

Without giving it another thought, Mike drove to Denver Health. Wearing a sling and a neck brace, Jacob waited for him just inside the doors. Mike ran to the passenger door to help Jacob into the Bronco.

“Pissed off?” Mike asked.

“Very,” Jacob said. “Sorry to bug you for a ride.”

“Not a problem,” Mike said. “Everyone thought you were waking up at four.”

“What am I supposed to do? Wait around until I evolve?” Jacob bristled at his interaction with the Nasty Nurse. “And who the fuck is everyone?”

They drove in silence down Speer Boulevard to Fourteenth Street. They stopped at the traffic light at Logan.

“Guess that’s Jill’s soul mate,” Jacob said. He pointed down Logan to the bride and groom coming out of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Colfax. “God, Jill must be devastated.”

“She didn’t say anything.” Mike shrugged.

“What’s she going to say?” Jacob hit the dashboard and groaned. “Fuck.”

“Careful, lover boy,” Mike said. “You don’t want to go back to the hospital.”

“Where are you going?” Jacob asked when Mike drove past Race Street.

“Workshop? The Mayor hasn’t figured a way to get rid of the paparazzi,” Mike said.

Jacob frowned at Mike. He had no idea what Mike was talking about but was too angry to find out. Mike pulled into the workshop. He helped Jacob out of the Bronco.

“Did you get your prescriptions?”

“Ah fuck!” Jacob exclaimed. “I have to get those filled.”

“I can get them if you …”

“I haven’t used my drug insurance. I have to go. Fuck!”

“Come on. You probably need condoms anyway.”

“What?”

Mike laughed.

The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…


Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-six: There is something you could do (part three)

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

(part four)

“Oh my God,” Aden said.

He fell onto the bed. Sandy laughed and rolled onto her side. He caressed her naked shoulder.

“Sorry about the dress,” he said.

“The zipper was stuck when I tried it on. It’s just restuck.”

“Re-stuck? That sounds very fun.”

He helped her out of the rest of the dress and slipped on top of her. She lifted her head to kiss his lips. His eyes gently moved across her face.

“I love you, Sandy.”

Sandy’s entire body reacted in horror. She pushed him off her. Her body vibrated with emotion but she was too upset to speak.

“What?”

She threw his shoe at him, then another.

“LIAR!”

“What happened?”

“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”

Aden ducked to avoid a half-full champagne glass that flew across the room at him. Sandy balled up his tuxedo and undergarments. Stomping to the door, she threw his clothing outside her apartment door.

“HOW DARE YOU!”

“Sandy, wait. Sandy.”

Naked, Aden scrambled toward her. When he was close enough, she battered him with her fists. Her face contracted in pain. Her hair fell wild on her shoulders. Her entire body was red with fury.

One at a time, Aden caught her fists. She jerked her hands away. But he held them firm.

“I’m sorry I frightened you.”

Sandy jerked her hands away from him. Aden held them firm. Seeing that it was fruitless, she bit her lip and glowered at him.

“I’ll let go of your hands if you stop hitting,” Aden said. “Can you stop hitting?”

She looked away from him. Without warning, Sandy fell to her knees. Her mind and body were overwhelmed with agony. She moved so fast that she pulled Aden down on top of her. Aden wrapped himself around her crumpled form. He rocked her back and forth while she cried.

“Please go,” Sandy whispered between sobs.

“No,” Aden said. “I won’t leave you like this. I won’t do it.”

“Please.”

“No. Don’t ask again.”

She dared to look into his face. In the torrent of tears, her makeup had smeared down her cheeks. The pain in her eyes was almost unbearable to Aden.

“Why did you say that? About me?”

“I’ve loved you for a long time, Sandy. It’s why I didn’t ask you out sooner. I felt too strongly about you.”

“How can you say that? You don’t know me at all and …”

“Shh …” He wrapped her in his arms until her tears slowed. “Let’s just get through this. What would help?”

“Baking,” they said together.

“Why don’t you make some cookies?” Aden kissed her cheeks.

Sandy nodded.

“I need to clean up,” she said. “What about your kids?”

“They love Delphie and the Castle. We’ve stayed in one of the apartments before. I’m sure we can stay there again.” Aden scratched his head. “I canceled their camp for next week because I thought they’d be with Nuala. We’d probably end up staying at the Castle anyway so I can work and take care of them.”

Sandy nodded.

“I’ll call while you clean up.”

He helped her to her feet and walked with her to the bathroom. He turned on the shower and helped her step in. Under the warm water, Sandy cried her heart out.

The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…


Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-six: There is something you could do (part two)

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

(part two)

“We need to make sure we’re there when Jacob wakes up,” Delphie said to Valerie.

“What’s the big deal?” Valerie asked. “He’s been in and out of medication for the last week.”

“Medication blocks a psychic’s ability. I know it sounds weird, but for a true psychic, your ability to intuit is like a third leg. When your intuition is clogged, you don’t remember the most basic things. It’s like being brain damaged.”

“Like when you had your hysterectomy?” Valerie asked. “I’d better call the hospital immediately.”

Valerie dialed Denver Health on her cell phone. She waited on hold for Jacob’s nurse.

“My hysterectomy? That was not good,” Delphie said.

“You couldn’t remember your name,” Valerie said. “You kept asking me how I grew up so fast. You thought I was twelve. It was hilarious.”

“Yes, it was,” Delphie said. “All of that medication is going to catch up to Jacob. You know how intense your brother can be.”

Valerie held up a finger. Talking back and forth, she thanked the nurse and hung up the phone.

“He’s awake and with the doctor now. The nurse said he will be released at four o’clock. Something about medication half-life … something.”

“We’d better be there.”

Valerie nodded.

The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…


Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-six: There is something you could do (part one)

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

(part one)

Sam sighed.

Like the kind, stupid step-father he had become, Sam waited outside the bridal chamber. His eyes drifted over the pews filled with the society people Tiffanie had befriended with his money. He wasn’t even Catholic. Out of nowhere, a single thought echoed in his head:

“I’ll never see any of these pretentious, stupid people ever again.”

Sam beamed. He nodded to Aden and Sandy as they came through the door. They sat in the back pew of the church.

The music started and the wedding party began down the aisle. Trevor waited at the end of the aisle for his bride.

Sam steeled himself for the walk down the aisle.

The door opened a crack. Tiffanie was pushed out of the bridal chamber by small hands with acrylic French tips.

“Sam,” Tiffanie said.

Do. It. Now.” His stepdaughter whispered through the crack in the door.

“Sam, I …”

“She doesn’t want to be married to you anymore.” The step-whore pushed her mother out of the doorway. Dressed in her wedding finery, her made-up face twisted with hate and anger. “You stupid fuck. You look ridiculous in that tuxedo. Give. Him. The. Papers. Mother. DO. IT. NOW.”

“Tiffanie, you don’t have to do this,” Sam said.

He felt more than saw Aden get up from the pew.

“Yes, she does,” the step-whore said. Whipping around, her train flipped into the aisle and the step-whore stood at the end of the aisle.

The wedding crowd stood for the bride.

“I was going to have you walk me down the aisle. But I didn’t want an incompetent fool like you to soil my day. This is the start of my new life.”

Her hand pushed at Sam’s chest.

“I don’t want you to be any part of my life. We don’t want anything to do with you.”

Watching this drama unfold, the crowd began to whisper to each other.

“MOTHER!”

Tiffanie’s face held a gentle smile for Sam. She gave him a stack of papers. He opened the divorce papers and shook his head.

“Now get out of this church!” the step-whore said. “TREVOR!”

“Tiffanie …”

“It’s okay, Sam,” Tiffanie said. “Tell Jacob not to worry about the bill.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

Tiffanie kissed his cheek.

“Sweet Sam,” Tiffanie said. “I’ve never been able to say no to her. Her father, either. It’s for the best.”

Trevor and his best man reached for Sam’s arms to throw him out of the church. But Aden blocked their way. Trevor moved to hit Aden. Aden shifted. In one easy movement, Aden threw Trevor over his hip. Trevor landed with a thump on the ground. The best man took one look at Aden and stepped back.

“Trevor!” the step-whore screamed. “Oh my God! Mother! Look what you’ve done!”

“Come on, Big Sam,” Aden said. “We have other things to do today.”

The step-whore flew at Sam. Her fists battered his chest. Her acrylic nails reached for Sam’s eyes.

“May I?” Sandy asked.

Aden shrugged.

Sandy grabbed the step-whore by her shoulders and threw her off Sam. Leaving Trevor and his bride on the floor of the church vestibule, Sam, Aden, and Sandy jogged down the Cathedral steps.

Tiffanie stood at the door and waved good-bye.

The music started inside the church as they walked up Colfax to the parking lot. Sam opened the limo door for Sandy. Aden scooted in behind her. Sam bent to speak to them.

“I’m going to walk a little bit,” Sam said.

“Are you all right?” Aden asked. He moved to get out of the limousine. “We can walk with you.”

“I feel …” Sam’s eyes welled with tears. “My Celia is right here with me. I have my wife … my life … back … I can’t explain it. I … I’d like to walk with Celia for a while. Don’t worry. I’m fine. Jacob wakes up at four o’clock?”

“Four o’clock. Right.”

“I’ll be there,” Sam said. He laughed. “There is something you could do for me.”

“Anything,” Aden said.

Sam gave Aden the divorce papers and yanked an ornate wedding ring off his left hand. He smiled and handed the ring to Aden. He took off his bow tie and unbuttoned his shirt. Pulling out a long gold chain, he jerked a worn silver band from the chain. He gave Aden the broken chain and slipped the ring on his left ring finger. Sam’s face broke into a huge smile. He walked off toward Sixteenth Street. Sam waved to them as they drove by.

“Wow,” Sandy said. “What are you going to do with that?”

Aden rolled down the window and threw the ornate wedding band out the window. Sandy watched it bounce along the payment until it dropped through a sewer drain.

“Where to?” the limo driver asked.

“My house?” Sandy asked.

“Oh, yes.”

The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…


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