CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN
“We went to that barbeque after basketball,” Dale said with a nod. “There’s one right next to the school.”
“So good,” Charlie said.
The young men nodded in unison. The music started, and they turned their attention to where Ivan had set up a stage. Some young girls came out and everyone clapped. Sandy put her hand on Aden’s forearm. He turned to look at her.
“I wanted to ask you,” Sandy said.
He raised his eyebrows.
“You seemed a little …” Sandy shook her head. “ … something when you came in this afternoon. Sick of the chaos at the Castle, sick of the paparazzi — I don’t know what. I just wanted to check in to see how you were with living at the Castle now.”
Aden put his hand to his chest in a gesture of “Me?” The cheering increased. They looked to see Ivan and Sissy start to dance. They were so captivating that neither Sandy nor Aden said anything until they’d finished.
“Wow,” Sandy said.
Aden nodded. They drank their hot chocolate. Not one to let things slide, Sandy opened her mouth to ask again. Aden spoke first.
“I love living at the Castle,” Aden said. “It’s wild glorious chaos all the time.”
“I remember when the kids and I lived at our house in Park Hill,” Aden said. “It was quiet, safe, but not nearly as vibrant and … weird. I see the way the kids have blossomed while we live there. They are so much more resilient there than they were in our safe, quiet life. Charlie and Teddy seem happy there. It’s amazing.”
Aden nodded. He took a knitted cap from his pocket and gave it to Sandy. She tugged it over her head.
“We’ve watched births and made dinner, turned beds and taken care of bees,” Aden said. “We have space to help people who need it. And there’s almost always someone to help, to step in, when I’m working late or you are. Dinners are made. The apartment is cleaned. When the kids have a need, even just for a ride, there’s usually someone to help. Or they can take the Colfax bus which is only a few feet away.”
“Remember that week long argument Nash and I had?” Aden asked.
“I’m not likely to forget it,” Sandy said.
“Life simply went on,” Aden said. “I was allowed to be mad. Nash was allowed to be mad. We had a few blow ups, but …”
“No one took sides or judged,” Sandy said.
“They seemed to trust that we’d work it out,” Aden said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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