Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Chapter Four Hundred and Seventy-five : Help from Friends (part six)


(part six)

Monday afternoon — 12:45 p.m.

New York City, New York

The door to the dark room opened and the light from the hallway filtered into the room. Lying on her side in bed, Tink blinked at the light. A moment later, Charlie came in the room carrying a tray with sandwiches, fresh strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream, and a pot of tea. Tink grunted and pulled the covers over her head.

“Giovanni says that you are awake,” Charlie said.

“So?” Tink asked from under the covers.

“So, you must bring food to sustain the precious girl in her grief,” Charlie said in a funny accent.

“What’s that?” Tink asked from under the covers.

“You’ll have to come out and see,” Charlie said. He picked up a quarter sandwich. “I will tell you, this is some good food.”

Charlie loudly ate and smacked his lips. In all the years he’d known her, Charlie had never seen Tink turn down a meal. He waited a moment and picked up another sandwich.

“If you’re eating my fancy sandwiches, you’re going to pay,” Tink said from under the covers.

Charlie chuckled and peeled the comforter away from Tink’s face. He leaned down to kiss her cheek.

“How are you?” Charlie asked in a soft voice.

“Starving,” Tink said. She gave him a soft smile but didn’t move. “Where are we?”

“Sissy and Ivan’s place,” Charlie said.

“Oh,” Tink said. “It’s dark.”

“You’re in the guest room,” Charlie said. “The one Dale and I stayed in when we were here.”

“Where are you sleeping?” Tink asked.

“I’m in with Sissy,” Charlie said.

“Sissy and Ivan don’t share a room?” Tink asked.

Charlie shook his head.

“They don’t do that on the continent,” Charlie said. “At least that’s what Giovanni said. Mostly, I think it’s because Sissy is still healing, but …”

Charlie shrugged.

“Why aren’t you here with me?” Tink asked.

“I didn’t want to besmirch your good name,” Charlie said.

“What good name?” Tink asked with a laugh.

She flipped off her covers to show that she was actually dressed. Charlie picked at her shirt and she laughed. She leaned over the tray of food and took a smell. Wiggling her eyebrows, she picked up a fourth of a sandwich. She groaned like she was in heaven and ate two quarters in quick succession. She gestured to the tea and Charlie poured her some. She drank down the peppermint tea with a contented smile.

“Why aren’t you here?” Tink asked.

“You were with Sissy when we got in,” Charlie said. “You passed out talking to her. I didn’t want to bother you so Sissy helped you change. I slept in with Sissy.”

Charlie shrugged.

“Have you been awake a long time?” Charlie asked.

“I don’t know,” Tink said. “I couldn’t bear turning on the light.”

Charlie watched Tink for a moment before she continued.

“If I turn on the light, then I have to live in a world where my brother doesn’t exist,” Tink said. “If I turn on the light, then it’s all real. And I …”

Tink sighed.

“I don’t want it to be real,” Tink said with a nod.

She squinted her eyes and bit into the last sliver of sandwich.

“What do you think is in these?” Tink asked.

“Heroin and antidepressants,” Charlie said.

Tink gifted him with a real laugh.

“I don’t know,” Charlie said. “Some fancy thin sliced Italian mean and soft cheese and yumminess.”

Tink sighed. She leaned against Charlie and he put his arm around her. They sat in the dark for a long time.

“Would you mind if I go back to bed?” Tink asked.

“Do you want me to stay?” Charlie asked.

Tink was quiet for a while.

“Why don’t you rest here?” Charlie nodded. “I’ll get Giovanni to make some fabulous pastry or fancy thing.”

“You’ll come back?” Tink asked.

“In an hour,” Charlie said. “How’s that sound?”

Tink nodded. Charlie got up. He set the pot of tea on the bedside table and carried out the tray. He’d already closed the door when Tink flipped her legs up on the bed and pulled the covers over her head.

Denver Cereal continues on Monday…

Next: Chapter Four Hundred and Seventy-six : Hearts (part one)

Previous: Chapter Four Hundred and Seventy-five : Help from Friends (part five)

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