“I’m sorry,” Jill said. “Katy needs to use the restroom. I used the restroom here so I know where it is.”
“Oh no problem,” Jacob said. They were walking into their fifth job site. “Would you like me to go with you?”
As with every site they had visited, the Lipson Construction employees dropped what they were doing to greet Jacob. The site manager, an Amazonian woman named Bambi, came running out of the construction office.
“I’ll be all right,” Jacob said. “Go on.”
Jill carried Katy across one of Lipson Construction’s largest road sites. An enormous water and sewer project that started at Sand Creek on the Stapleton redevelopment project and ended nearly ten miles south near Centennial, Jill and Katy walked across the nexus point of the water in and water out. Sam told her these permanent looking structures would move south in a week. Like a turtle, this project picked up it’s belongings as it inched its way along. Because of the size of the project, they had erected a nicer, still portable, structure for the toilet. According to Sam, ‘decent facilities’ were on Bambi’s mandatory requirements list.
Katy had been tickled, petted, and loved at every site. Someone always had candy or a toy especially for her. The car rides were filled with Katy’s songs and stories. Jacob sang along with the songs and laughed at Katy’s stories. Listening to Jacob and Katy, Jill felt her heart ache. They were becoming a real family.
Jill set Katy in a stall then went to check her burns. She was standing at the mirror when a woman came in the restroom. Wearing a hard hat and dark glasses, the woman made a beeline for a stall.
“Are you here with Jake?” the woman asked from inside the stall.
“I’m driving him around today.”
“Me too!” Katy said from her stall.
“My daughter is here with us,” Jill said.
Jill stepped aside so the woman could use the sink and mirror.
“Jeez, what happened to your head?” the woman asked.
“Someone put acid in my conditioner,” Jill said.
“My sister did that to me once. Hurt like hell,” the woman said. “She got mad at me for something. I don’t even remember what. That was her retaliation.”
Jill turned to look at the woman and recoiled. She backed to Katy’s stall door to block the woman’s way into her stall. Noticing Jill’s reaction, the woman’s brow furrowed with confusion.
“I’m Honey Lipson,” the woman said. “I’m sorry. I seem to have…”
“You’re not married to Trevor?”
“Trevor?” the confused woman curled her lip at the idea then her eyes went big. “Oh my God. You’re Jill. Trevor’s Jill. Oh my God. You had… You had long hair! You…”
The women stood face to face. When Honey’s eyes welled with tears, Jill’s rage and panic dissolved. The small blond woman was crushed by Jill’s injury.
“I’m so sorry,” Honey said. “My sister did this to you. Didn’t she?”
“Mom’s going to die. Just die. Does Dad know?”
“He knows,” Jill said.
“Let me help you with the cream,” Honey said. “That’s what you were doing when I came in right?”
Jill gave her the burn ointment. Honey dabbed the ointment through Jill’s stubble of hair to the burns on her head.
Katy came out of the stall. She lifted her hands and Jill picked her up.
“Oh my God. Everyone’s been talking about Jake’s little girl,” Honey said. “Oh my God. That’s Katherine.”
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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