He touched her chin and she looked up at him.
“We’ve made it to the other side of nine years of garbage. I’d like to spend some years enjoying the peace and you.”
“Me too,” Delphie said. “And the kids.”
“And their kids,” Sam said. “Our grandkids and great grandkids.”
“Your kids. Your grandkids. Your great grandkids.”
“They’ve always been our kids. Yours, mine and Celia’s kids.” Sam kissed her cheek. “You must really miss her today.”
Delphie gave another slight nod. She stood so he could get out of bed. He was halfway across the room before he turned.
“I’m deeply grateful for you, Delphinium. Thank you for the gift of this second life, and your love.”
Her eyes welled.
“Go on,” she said. “Delaying the inevitable…”
“Only creates another mess,” they said one of Celia’s sayings together. Laughing, Sam went into the bathroom.
Delphie returned to her bay window meditation nook. Relighting the candles, she noticed the paparazzi arriving for another day of stalking Valerie. A picture of Valerie’s husband was worth at least couple hundred thousand dollars to these scavengers. Not that they were going to get one.
It was going to be a good day.
Monday morning — 6:30 A.M.
Outside Chicago, IL
A small woman began jogging down the driveway of her estate home with a few of her dogs. No matter what her hectic schedule demanded, she loved the early morning quiet with her dogs. They settled into a steady jog down the driveway. Turning onto the quiet lane in front of her home,she heard a sound behind her.
Boots on the pavement.
Like something out of a movie, she could hear at least five people running in boots behind her. And they were fast.
Turning to look, she saw a group of short haired men wearing green t-shirts, digital fatigue pants and tactical boots running toward her. A man ran in the very middle of this pack.
As they approached, her dog pack skittered uncomfortably. These men were twice her size, fit and muscular. Her mind shifted to the horror stories her guests had told on her own talk show. Glancing around, she realized how alone, how vulnerable, she was.
The men caught up with her then slowed their pace to match hers.
“Would you mind if we take your dogs?” A fresh faced young man asked.
“The General would like a private conversation,” a second man said. “We won’t harm them. Just take them so that you might talk.”
Before she could say anything, the young men reached for the leashes. She was about to call her dogs back when she caught sight of the man in the center of the pack. Stunned, she stopped running.
Standing in the middle of the quiet lane, she gawked at the US Army General.
“Shall we continue?” the General asked.
Each young man took a dog. They separated out in to a large circle giving just enough space for a quiet conversation. When the General started running again, she joined his jogging pace.
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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