CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTY-TWO
Tuesday afternoon — 3:45 p.m.
Sitting in the passenger seat of a Lipson Construction Truck, Rodney looked over at Jacob and then back to the road. Jacob had arrived at the job site just after one. He’d goofed around, played big man, and then asked Rodney if Rodney would be willing to take a drive with him. There was something Jacob wanted Rodney’s take on.
Rodney had jumped at the chance. With all of the weird stuff going on — and really when wasn’t it? — Rodney hadn’t had time to discuss his idea of starting a place to help the men released from their marijuana sentences. He was never going to get a better chance to talk to Jacob than now.
Rodney looked out the window.
They’d been driving for more than forty-five minutes. He hadn’t said a word. Every time he tried to speak, he felt a well of innate shame.
This was a wealthy young man.
He was just …
Then his logical mind kicked in. Because of his wrongful incarceration settlement, he actually had a lot more money than Jacob.
More than that, Rodney had everything he’d ever wanted in his life. Who did he think that he was to …?
Rodney stopped the thought.
“Who did he think he was …?” was the theme song of his own inner jail. He could spend days in a loop of this thought. He’d given up years of his life thinking that this was “wisdom.”
“Rodney Smith was a free man— in thought, mind, and deed.”
Pressing his head against the cool glass of the passenger window, he repeated his mantra in his head.
He felt like a child.
Why the hell couldn’t he talk to this young man? The worst he could do is say “No.” Then, like he’d practiced with Tanesha, he would ask Jacob if he could help connect him to people who could make this happen.
One way or another, Rodney Smith was going to make this a reality for himself and his community.
That’s what Tanesha told him to think. Yvonne had just given him her soft loving look.
“You’ll know what to do when it’s time,” Yvonne said, softly. “You always do.”
Rodney sighed. Yvonne was really the best thing in his life. To gather his courage, he spent a half hour or so thinking about Yvonne.
He glanced at Jacob.
No matter the logic, Rodney couldn’t get the words out.
“Wasn’t” he corrected his inner diatribe. He wasn’t getting his words out.
He nodded to his reflection in the window. He wanted to beat his hand against the passenger window, and he would have!
But then he’d actually have to tell Jacob what was going on with him.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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