CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and THIRTY-SIX
“Is he here for …?” Nadia let her words hang in the air as Heather walked over to the men. Tres and Heather’s heads pressed together as they spoke for a few minutes. Tres kissed her cheek, and she smiled.
“Heather and Tres?” Nadia asked.
“Maybe,” Sandy said. “They’re trying things out this week.”
Nadia gave Sandy a long look and then looked back.
“Nelson knows,” Sandy said. “If that’s what you’re thinking. He’s a part of the ‘trying it out.’”
“He should be happy about that,” Nadia said. She put her hand over her mouth. “Sorry, that sounded shitty. I didn’t mean to be an ass. I just …”
Nadia turned to look at Sandy.
“I’m caught up in my own judgments of myself,” Nadia said.
“The entire situation is new,” Sandy said. “For everyone. Just because we keep our judgments to ourselves doesn’t mean we don’t have them.”
Sandy sighed and looked at Nadia.
“I’ve been friends with Heather since we were ten years old,” Sandy said. “She is the nicest, most grounded person I’ve ever known. When I’ve needed someone, she’s been there — no matter what time of day or night or even what I needed. She’s been there for me when … Well, when I couldn’t be there for me. All of the rest of this stuff?”
“The only thing that really matters to me my friend’s happiness,” Sandy said. “At the end of my life, I hope I can say that I participated in helping her live a happy life. Because she’s done that for me.”
“That’s where I try to stay,” Sandy said. “In my mind and heart.”
“Good thinking,” Nadia said with a nod.
“Sometimes, I… stray,” Sandy leaned into Nadia. “I’m mean, how many smoking hot men do you need?”
Nadia burst out laughing. At the same time, a cluster of men standing at the other end of the pool started yelling at each other. Squinting at the pack, Nadia picked out Blane, Jacob, Aden, Sam, and a group of other men she didn’t know.
“What’s that?” Sandy asked.
“Jake’s dad wants to start a business here,” Sandy said.
“So?” Nadia asked.
“Lipson construction is owned by the employees now,” Sandy said. “Or half owned. Sam can’t just decide to take a business risk on the company dime.”
“He wants to do it on his own, but ‘on his own’ means Jake and Blane,” Sandy said. “Five years ago? Six? That would have been easy to do. But Jake and Blane have young families and other things to do. Blane’s Chinese Medicine practice has really exploded. He’s busy. Jake’s just getting his feet under him from everything that’s happened. They can’t drop everything to keep a business running five hundred miles away.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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