“JILL!” Sandy pushed past Jacob to Jill’s side. Seeing the jacket in Jill’s hands, she said, “Come on, honey, let’s get out of the closet.”
She touched the jacket, but Jill hung on tight to the fabric.
“Jacob, get her other arm,” Sandy said.
Jacob and Sandy helped a sagging Jill into the other room.
“I think we need to talk…” Jacob started.
“Oh no you don’t. If this has to do with our girl, Jill, you can talk right here.” Tanesha put her hands on her hips. Looking at Jill, she saw the jacket for the first time. “Especially if that’s what I think it is.”
“Really, I think…” Jacob started.
“Not. A. Chance.” Heather’s hands went to her hips as well. “If that’s the jacket as in the button jacket, then this is about all of us. You can talk right here.”
“What about Katy?” Jacob asked. “It’s not really…”
Heather raced across the apartment to answer a tap on the door. Opening the door, she found Delphie on the other side.
“I wanted to see if anyone needed some ironing done. I’m doing it, so I thought I’d ask,” Delphie said to Heather. Looking from face to face, she said, “Oh.”
Delphie made her girlie smile at Jacob.
“Would you mind watching Katy?” Jacob asked. “We’re having a little…”
“Epiphany?” Delphie twirled back and forth with glee.
Jacob glared at her. Delphie cleared her throat.
“Why don’t you show the girls what you’ve done with the rest of the attic?” Delphie asked. “I’ll stay with Katy.”
Jacob looked down at Jill. Still clutching the jacket, Jill’s eyes were hollow and blank. He looked over her head to Sandy. Sandy nodded. With Jill between them, they went into the bathroom.
“Heather, there’s a key to this door on a hook in the medicine cabinet. Can you get that, please?”
Heather found the key and opened the door.
And the women stood in awe.
The dusty, old attic space had been converted into a stunning home. Gleaming hardwood floors gave way to sedate groupings of furniture. A gorgeous sitting area with a couple couches and chairs rested on a beautiful oriental rug next to a gas fireplace. A formal dining table was set in an alcove by the windows. The brand new full kitchen formed a ‘U’ out from the outer wall of the loft. Along the garden side of the wide open space, four rooms lay ready to be occupied. Twin bathrooms occupied the corners of the back wall.
“I have her, Sandy,” Jacob said. “We’re almost done. We hoped to surprise Jill with this but… Please go on in.”
Heather, Sandy and Tanesha went into the open space. A plumber poked his head out of the bathroom.
“It’s all right, Fred,” Jacob said.
The plumber nodded to Jacob and went back into the bathroom. With Jill tucked against him, he made his way to a couch.
“Delphie and Val have been supplying the kitchen in secret. I don’t know what’s there. Would you mind making some tea, Sandy? Heather? Can you turn on the gas fireplace? I’m sorry. I get very cold.”
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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