Jill flushed Katy’s toilet. When she turned around, Honey Lipson was gone. She washed Katy’s hands and made her way to find Jacob. When she arrived, she saw Honey and Jacob deep in conversation.
“What is it?” Jill asked.
“Honey is going to talk to the police about her sister. She says…” Jacob’s eyes scanned Jill’s face. “They’re planning on fighting the restraining order.”
“She called Mom last night to ask for money,” Honey said. “They want me to pick them up at the airport Friday morning. She told Mom that she and Trevor are going to Val’s party.”
“NO! NO! THEY CAN’T COME BACK!” Katy screamed.
Sobbing, Katy turned her face into Jill’s chest. Jill pushed past Honey to the Lexus. Getting in the back, she held Katy while she cried. Jacob came around to the open car door to rest his hand on Katy’s back.
“What should we do?” Jacob asked.
“She’s just a little girl, Jacob. She’s really scared.”
Jacob nodded. Katy turned her wet face to him.
“I’d eat some French Fries, Daddy.”
“With Ketchup?” Jacob asked.
“And a balloon?”
“Of course. Green?” Jacob smiled.
“Can we go to the zoo?” Katy asked.
“I have to work some more, but I had a call from your friend Paddie. He’s hoping he could come over this afternoon. You can stay with us or…”
“Paddie? Mommy, can I see Paddie?”
“After French Fries?” Jill asked.
“Ok,” Katy said. “Will you stay with me, Mommy?”
“Blane can meet us for lunch then take me to the remaining sites.”
“Are you sure?”
Jacob winked at her. She helped Katy back into her car seat. Getting out of the car, Jacob held her.
“It’s going to be fine,” he whispered.
“I hope so.”
Wednesday afternoon — 1:30 P.M.
It had been a long, long time since Jill had laughed so hard. Katy and Paddie were a comedy team. If they weren’t chasing each other around, they were pretending to be someone they knew. Right now, Katy was pretending to be her Uncle Mike.
“That’s just how it is.” Katy lowered her voice, puffed up her chest and put her hands on her hips.
“No, he’s more like,” Paddie puffed up his chest. “Where’s the cereal?”
Paddie and Katy squealed with laughter. Mike picked one up under each arm. They both giggled and squealed. He set them down near Alex Hargreaves. Dressed in a tank top, shorts, and her huge smile, she looked more like someone on vacation than a military guard.
“Let’s play a new game,” Mike said. “Aunt Alex will show you how to play.”
Katy ran forward to Aunt Alex. Alex bent down to hug the tiny girl.
“You’re going to help me like you help Uncle Mike,” Katy said.
“I hope so,” Alex said. “See this guy?”
She pointed to a tall, thin man with dark curly hair.
Paddie threw himself at the man. He picked him up and twirled the little boy around. Excited, Katy jumped up and down in front of him. A tall man, he knelt down to shake Katy’s hand.
“Troy is going to be your ‘I-can-do-anything-to-you-guy’”
“Oh wait,” Jill said. “What if they hurt him? I don’t want…”
“He’s tough. Plus he volunteered,” Alex said. Leaning into Jill, she said, “We’re bored out of our minds babysitting your brother. You’ve got to help us out here.”
“Ok, let’s start with something easy,” Alex said. “Show me how you punch.”
Katy and Paddie tapped at Troy.
“Ah come on. You can hit harder than that! Give him a good whack.”
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.