CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTY-FOUR
Tuesday evening — 6:10 p.m.
“Okay, little man,” Dr. Bumpy said to Jabari. “You’ve got to tell me …”
“I don’t got to tell you nothing!” Jabari said.
Heather winced. She’d forgotten how surly Jabari could be. She looked at Dr. Bumpy, and he was grinning at Jabari.
“What?” Jabari asked with a scowl.
“You are so much like my son,” Dr. Bumpy said.
Dionne came into the examination room.
“Like you, you mean,” Dionne said.
Dr. Bumpy grinned. Jabari burst into giggles.
“He’s developed a rash,” Heather said. “It’s hard to tell because he’s skin is so dark.”
Dr. Bumpy looked at Jabari.
“Where is this rash?” Dr. Bumpy asked.
Jabari crossed his arms and shook his head. Dionne picked up the boy. In quick efficient moves, she stripped him down to his underwear. She pointed at the boy’s stomach and bottom.
“You are not my first sick Wilson boy,” Dionne said.
Jabari looked at his grandmother with big eyes. He nodded.
“I feel sick,” he said in a soft voice.
Dionne swiped a thermometer across the child’s forehead and held it out to Dr. Bumpy.
“Well, every one of your friends is sick,” Dr. Bumpy said.
“I should take care of them,” Jabari said.
“It’s okay to be sick,” Dr. Bumpy said. “Open your mouth. I want to take a look at your throat.”
Jabari opened his mouth. The child allowed Dr. Bumpy to take a look at his throat. Dionne did a quick swab for a strep test and left the room.
“Looks like strep,” Dr. Bumpy said.
“And the rash?” Heather asked.
“Scarlet fever,” Dr. Bumpy said. “Son, have you been sick like this before and not gotten treated?”
Jabari thought for a moment and then nodded.
“He’s probably had a low infection for a while,” Dr. Bumpy said. “You can put his clothing back on.”
Heather nodded and started to dress the young man. Jabari’s arms were up in the air, and Heather was holding his shirt, when it hit her like a lightning bolt.
Heather blinked. She needed to go.
Dionne came into the room.
“Heather?” Dionne asked. “Are you all right?”
Heather shook her head and looked at Dionne. The woman nodded to Jabari. Heather put his shirt on and picked him up.
“Something has happened,” Heather said. “Can you call the hospital for me?”
“Of course,” Dionne said. “What …?”
“My friend Sandy,” Heather said. “She changed her name to Norsen, but it’s Delgado-Norsen.”
“I’ll call,” Dionne said. “I’ve called in the prescriptions for the children.”
“Jabari can’t take pills,” Heather said. “He just throws them up.”
“Family trait,” Dionne said. “I got the liquid for all of them. Would like us to take the children to our home?”
“I … uh …” Heather said.
She looked out into the waiting room. Valerie and Mike were surrounded by toddlers. Their two children, Jackie and Eddie, were sick. Her children, Mack and Wyn, were ill. Jabari. Rachel Ann was sitting on Ivy’s lap. Ivy was sitting next to Valerie. Maggie was … Where was Maggie?
The door to the doctor’s office opened and Pierre Semaines appeared.
“Honey said that the children were ill,” Pierre said. “Maggie is at my son’s home. Nelson said that you can bring the rest of the children there. I came to see if I could be of assistance.”
“What about that crazy woman who’s trying to kill Nelson?” Mike asked, looking up from his son Eddie.
“She is no longer a problem,” Pierre said. “Now, how can I help?”
In quick order, with Pierre’s help, Valerie and Mike ferried the children into the car.
“I’ll tell you what?” Dionne asked. “Why don’t I head to the pharmacy? Where does Nelson live?”
“Right across from the Castle,” Heather said. “Have you had a chance to call the hospital?”
“She’s just arrived at the Emergency room,” Dionne said. “I called someone I know who’s on shift today. She said that Sandy needs emergency surgery for her ankle. She said that somehow, Fin and Tanesha were able to get early intervention.”
“What does that mean?” Heather asked.
“There’s hope,” Dionne said. She put her hand on Heather’s arm. “You go. I’ll take care of this. I stay with Nelson until you’re able to pick up the children.”
Heather hugged Dionne. She went to the SUV to kiss Mack and Wyn. Her children were sound asleep. Of course.
“Don’t worry,” Pierre said. “We’ve got this.”
“Thanks,” Heather said.
She watched the SUV pull away. She felt torn in two.
She should be with her children! She promised Tanesha that she would help Jabari!
Heather did something she hadn’t done in a thousand years. She teleported herself to the Castle. She noticed that Cleo the cat was sleeping on their bed. Lying down next to the cat, Heather set her body down.
She stepped out as Hedone. She went to Delos to be with her friend.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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