CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY-EIGHT
Saturday morning — 12:14 p.m.
“I spoke with your doctor,” Maresol said as she walked into the room.
Not quite asleep but not awake, Sandy blinked at her. Maresol put her hands on her hips.
“He was very clear that you needed quality nutrition,” Maresol said. “Soups, stews — things that are easy to digest since your system is still coming up.”
Sandy closed and opened her eyes.
“Oh, don’t give me that,” Maresol said. “You’ve been playing the whole ‘I’m asleep, why are you bothering me?’ game since you were a little girl.”
In spite of the discomfort, Sandy grinned.
“I know my girl,” Maresol said. “So soup?”
Sandy shook her head. She touched her stomach and said, “Sth-ick” through her wired jaw.
“What about a smoothie?” Maresol asked. “Some fresh spinach, protein powder, that fruit you like.”
Sandy lifted a shoulder in a shrug. Maresol scowled at her. They stood like that for a full minute.
“What are you up to?” Maresol finally asked.
Sandy pointed to herself and feigned innocence. The door opened behind them. Tanesha, Jill, and Heather came in. Tanesha was carrying an extra-large Styrofoam cup with the name of a local hole in the wall diner stamped on the side. She set it on Sandy’s tray.
“Just how you like it,” Tanesha said.
Shaking her head, Maresol did her best not to laugh.
“You girls haven’t changed much since you were ten years old,” Maresol said.
“We’re bigger now,” Jill said.
“Not by much,” Maresol said with a snort in Jill’s direction.
“Would the rest of you like some soup?” Maresol asked. “I made some for the Princess of the Chocolate Shake.”
They laughed again.
“You know, I could have made you a chocolate shake,” Maresol said.
Sandy pointed to the shake and Jill said, “Not like this one.”
“You girls never change,” Maresol said with a rueful shake of her head.
“We would love some of your amazing soup,” Heather said. “Sandy will too. Can we help at all?”
Maresol looked at Heather. She smiled at Heather and shook her head.
“Just love our girl,” Maresol said. “It’s what she needs the most.”
“Always,” Jill said.
Heather nodded, and Tanesha hugged Maresol.
“I’ll be back to check on you,” Maresol said, wiping her eyes.
She nodded to the women and left the room. Jill put a silicone straw into the shake and held it up for Sandy to eat. For a moment, they watched Sandy drink to shake. Sandy nodded, and Jill set the shake down.
“Wh’ hap-ng?” Sandy asked.
“Well …” Tanesha started.
They chatted about nothing for the next half hour until Sandy was sound asleep again. They each kissed her forehead and left the room.
“Lunch?” Maresol asked.
Tanesha, Jill, and Heather looked at each other before laughing.
“Come and sit,” Maresol said. She tapped the bar at the kitchen. “Tell me how you are.”
For the next half hour, they ate vegetable soup, homemade bread, and talked to Maresol about life.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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