CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-SEVEN
Monday morning — 8:35 a.m.
“Noelle! Close the door,” Sandy said from the front seat of the big SUV. “We need to go.”
“But where’s Charlie?” Noelle asked from the middle bench near the door. “Tink.”
“Katy,” Nash said.
“Tink, Charlie, Katy, and Paddie — if you’re keeping track — are at the orthodontist,” Sandy said.
“Where’s Rachel?” Noelle asked.
Sandy gave a frustrated sigh.
“I don’t know, Noelle, what did I tell you a half hour ago?” Sandy asked.
“Rachel and Wyn have to see the doctor today for checkups,” Nash said. “Auntie Heather’s taking them. Mom’s going to meet them after she drops us off.”
“Oh,” Noelle said, sheepishly.
“Now, close the door.” Sandy nearly yelled. Everyone in the car jumped with surprise.
“Fine,” Noelle said. “Try to care about my siblings and …”
Sandy groaned which caused Nash to laugh. With Nash’s laugh, the little kids —Maggie, Jackie, and Mack howled with laughter. Ivy patted Noelle’s leg in empathy.
“Just be glad it’s not your turn,” Sandy said. “You and Nash are due to get your braces on soon.”
“Charlie’s had them forever,” Noelle said.
“He should get them off either this visit or the next,” Sandy said. “Then …”
“It’s our turn,” Noelle said in a sulking voice.
“Why did Tink go?” Ivy asked.
“She’s starting her braces today,” Sandy said.
“She gets braces too?” Ivy asked. “Wow.”
“Why ‘wow’?” Noelle asked.
“Rich kids get braces,” Ivy said with a shrug. “When we were out, we used to talk about what we’d do if we were rich kids.”
Noelle’s attitude shifted with Ivy’s simple reminder of how lucky she was.
“Is Ivy getting them too?” Noelle asked.
“I don’t know,” Sandy said looking at Ivy in the rearview mirror. “Ivy?”
“My teeth are all messed because I was out for such a long time when I was pretty little,” Ivy said. “They pulled a bunch of my teeth after … well, you know.”
“When I get all of my permanent teeth, Sam said that I can get implants or maybe porcelain crowns,” Ivy said. “Then I’ll probably get braces, maybe. I don’t really know.”
Everyone fell silent. Nash put his arm around Ivy and gave her a slight hug.
“What did I say?” Ivy asked. “Why is everybody quiet?”
“We’re sad that you had to suffer so much,” Noelle said. “I’m just here being a jerk.”
“You could never be a jerk, Noelle,” Ivy said.
“I just …” Noelle blew out a breath. “Why does vacation have to go by so fast?”
“Good question,” Sandy said.
She gave an exaggerated yawn, and the kids laughed.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow….
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