Thursday early morning — 1:35 A.M.
Because Jacob could only sleep a few hours at a time, he and Jill fell into the habit of hanging out during the times he was awake. While he looked forward to the day he could sleep an entire night, he loved getting to know Jill in the quiet of the morning.
This morning, they were sitting on a feather bed in front of the fireplace. A large fire danced in front of them. While Jacob was cold, Jill was warm. She wore only a white tank top and panties. He would definitely miss that.
A few hours ago, Katy had joined them in bed after another nightmare about Trevor stealing her away. She was now sound asleep in the middle of their bed.
And Jill was talking about her day.
“So Katy’s napping on my lap and Paddie was asleep against Colin’s shoulder,” Jill said. “Well, Alex says, ‘I’ve fought my little brother three times this year. Who do you think won?’”
“Do you know the answer?” Jill asked.
“This man with silver hair and blue eyes walks in the room like he owns it. Alex and Colin bow to him. I guess he’s their teacher. Anyway, he makes Colin show me how much bigger he is than Alex. His arms are long and he’s like five inches bigger than Alex. He’s like fifty or sixty pounds heavier. Anyway, the teacher asks me: ‘Who would win if these two fought?’ I say, ‘Colin, of course’. But…”
“Alex won every time,” Jacob said.
“Isn’t that amazing? The teacher said if you aren’t the biggest, you have to think the fastest to out maneuver your opponent. He said Alex thinks really fast, so she always wins. He said the only way to win against Trevor is to out think him. Go after him head to head, and I will lose like I always have in the past. Then he showed me some simple movements that would keep Trevor off me. When Katy woke up, Alex taught them to Katy.”
“Sounds like you were pretty impressed with Miss Alex,” Jacob said.
“How do you know them?” she asked.
“I met them through Mike,” Jacob said. “I’ve also rehabbed a couple houses for them. I play hockey with Colin. I think mostly, they’re always up for some adventure. We’ve been fly fishing, backpacking, hunting…”
“Adventure? Yeah. I mean, who knew? Alex showed me her scars and stuff. I…” Jill beamed. “I feel really hopeful, like everything is going to work out.”
Jill looked down at her hands. While she talked, she had been playing with an object in her hand. She looked up at Jacob, then smiled.
“Thanks,” she said.
“For what?” Jacob asked.
“For not being mad about my hair,” Jill said.
“I’m mad about your hair,” he said.
“Well, not being mad at me,” Jill said. “It feels really good to be here with you and…”
“I don’t know.” Jill looked back down at the object in her hand.
“What is that?” Jacob asked.
“This?” Jill held up a gold button. “It’s not anything really. I play with it when I’m having a hard time. I’d forgotten about it. I mean, everything has been so hard this year. Sandy reminded me of it when she did my hair. She got it from my purse when I started crying.”
“May I see it?”
Jill set it in his hand. Made out of some kind of metal, the button was gold in color. It was round on the top, flat at the back with a simple metal loop to connect it to a jacket or maybe a shirt.
“I’ve had the button with me through almost every really hard thing for… Oh, I guess, the last four or five years.”
“I can feel the bumps, but I’m not sure what’s on it.” Jacob set the button in her hand.
“I don’t really know. There used to be a pattern but I think I rubbed it off. I run my finger over it when I’m worried.”
“What does it mean?” Jacob asked.
“It’s a very long story and…” Jill sighed. “You’ll be asleep again soon. I’d rather you sleep, and get better, than stay up all night listening to me talk about the past.”
“Will you tell me tomorrow?” Jacob stretched his left arm out in a yawn. Jill was right about going back to sleep.
“Let’s see what tomorrow brings,” Jill said. “Mike asked Megan, Steve, Candy and me to be here with him today. Everyone is coming at eight. Oprah’s going to be here all day and…”
“But you’ll tell me.”
“Of course. I was thinking…”
She raised her eyebrow then smiled.
“Yes, I do want to make love with you.”
“I’m so glad,” Jill whispered.
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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