“You know what I mean.” Her mother’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Alone with a child.”
“Oh. You mean like you?”
“Sandra. You are no match for a wealthy older man. He’s going to use you and dump you.”
“Maybe I’ll use him, Mom. I was thinking of spending all his money then dumping him.”
“You are not very funny, young lady. What does he do?”
“He helps run a company,” Sandy said.
“That man is way out of your league.” Her mother’s voice was conclusive. “Men like that don’t marry girls like you.”
“Maybe I don’t want to get married.”
“Oh Sandy.” Her mother’s sorrow came through the phone lines. “How will you ever have children?”
“The usual way, I suppose. Sorry, Mom, I’ve got to go.”
“I saw your father last week.”
“My father’s dead, Mom.”
“Your real father, Sandra.”
“Why do you interact with him at all, Mother?”
“I can’t help that he banks at my branch. Although he doesn’t have much money.” Her mother sighed.
“How do you know that, Mom?”
“He waited to come up to my teller window. He told me that you won’t even speak to him. He said he saw you at King Soopers and you walked the other way.”
“Sandy… honey, you can’t blame a man for being an alcoholic.” Her mother gave another exaggerated sigh. “Gosh, your father hurt me more than you and I’ve moved on. I’ve forgiven him. You need to…”
“Sorry Mom. I’m going to be late. See you Friday for a color?”
“Yes, honey. I get so worried about you. And with this new man…”
“Remember, I have that party on Friday,” Sandy said. “You have to come before work.”
“The party at Jacob Marlowe’s house. Is Jill still dating that gay boy?”
“Jill is dating Jacob,” Sandy said.
“Poor Jill. I guess a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do to feed her child,” Sandy’s mother said. “I just don’t want you to be in that position, Sandy.”
“Okay Mom. Love you. See you Friday morning.”
“Oh, love you, Sandy.”
Sandy hung up the phone. In years past, she might have been angry about the conversation. Today, she just felt sad. Not for herself. No. Outside of the surprised assault of gripping pain, Sandy never felt much of anything for herself. She felt sorry for her mother.
Her mother taught her independence, gave her siblings to love and more than anything married her step-dad, her only real parent. He loved her, understood her, and protected her from awful, unspeakable things. Before he died, he even bought this condo for her.
When Jill told her that Jacob was adopting Katy, she reminded Jill of what her step-dad used to say. Souls find each other. Trevor never liked Katy much. Maybe Jacob was supposed to be Katy’s father. Just like her step-dad believed that he was supposed to be Sandy’s father.
Sandy couldn’t be too mad at her mother.
Finishing her coffee, she straightened the bed, cleaned Cleo’s cat box then got dressed for the gym.
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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