CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY-NINE
Saturday evening — 7:15 p.m.
“When do you think they’ll come back?” Ivy asked.
She was standing with her back turned in front of Delphie. They had had dinner early so Ivy took the chance to shower. Ivy’s hair had grown out into long curls which tangled easily. Every night, Delphie carefully combed out Ivy’s hair. Tonight, Delphie was braiding it into a series of small braids.
“You mean, Charlie and Tink?” Delphie asked.
“Nash and Teddy too,” Ivy said. “I get to see Noelle every afternoon after she paints. I don’t get to see the others.”
“Except at school,” Delphie said.
“Right,” Ivy said.
Delphie let the silence lag. When Ivy had something important to say, she usually started with a neutral topic and waited until she was sure someone was listening. When Ivy didn’t say anything else, Delphie replied to the question.
“I think Sandy’s still pretty sick,” Delphie said. “She’s staying at Seth’s so they can be together as a family there. You can really tell that they aren’t here, huh?”
“Uh-huh,” Ivy said. “There’s still lots of people to talk to, it’s just that they are more my age.”
“Would you like to stay with Seth, too?” Delphie asked. “I’m sure Seth wouldn’t mind. They certainly have room.”
“Oh no,” Ivy said. “Not at all.”
Delphie stared at the back of the girl’s head and willed her to speak her mind. After a moment, Ivy sighed.
“I was just thinking about how they all have a ‘thing,’ you know?” Ivy’s head jerked around to look at Delphie. “Charlie loves basketball. Noelle — painting. Teddy and Nash are always geeking about something or another.”
“Tink doesn’t really,” Delphie said.
“Tink’s like me,” Ivy said. “She’s just getting over everything. Plus, she’s been talking about learning to swim. I guess she had lessons when she was a kid so it would be relearning.”
“Do you know how to swim?” Delphie asked, hoping she’d picked the right topic.
“Uh-uh,” Ivy shook her head.
Every time she moved her head, the braids flew out of Delphie’s hand.
“Would you like to?” Delphie asked, grabbing the braids again.
Ivy didn’t respond. After a minute, Ivy sighed again.
“We can get you lessons this summer,” Delphie said.
“I would like to swim, but …” Ivy said. “I think that maybe I’d like to have my own thing.”
“Oh,” Delphie said. She felt enormous relief that she was finally clued into what Ivy wanted to talk about. “What kind of thing?”
“That’s just it,” Ivy said. “I don’t know. I just think that … You know, I’m not going to therapy as much and I have more time and stuff. I’m going to work this summer but I also could learn something new or get a passion.”
“A passion?” Delphie asked.
“You know, like they have,” Ivy said. “Did you know that Katy had ‘horsey bags’ years before she’d ever been on a horse? That’s … I want to have something like that that’s not just about my trauma and loss.”
“Ah, yes, makes sense,” Delphie said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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