CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and EIGHTEEN
Wednesday morning — 10:00 am
“And Cathy said… Um…” Celia said. “Uh… she said…”
“What are you doing?” Sam asked. “You always ruin reading the comics by laughing at the joke instead of reading it!”
Celia grinned at her husband. For the first time in a very long time, they hugged. He kissed her lips and they clasped again.
“I have missed you,” Sam said. “Am I dead?”
“No,” Celia said. “You are in between. They put you in a coma. You’re on a ventilator.”
“Why?” Sam asked.
“You have that new virus,” Celia said. “The coronavirus, I think that they are calling it.”
“Oh,” Sam said. “I do?”
“You don’t remember?” Celia asked.
“I remember going fishing with Jake. Aden. Tres,” Sam said. “Even Blane went. We had a great time and then…”
“Jake saved your life,” Celia said.
“I’ll have to thank him,” Sam said with a nod. He paused for a minute. “How do I thank him?”
“You survive,” Celia said with a nod.
“Oh,” Sam said. “You think I can do that?”
“Sam Lipson,” Celia said with a chuckle. “You are the most stubborn of men. I’ve never met a man more stubborn than you. You are a breed of your own. If anyone is going to survive this, it’s going to be you, my love.”
“Hmmm….” Sam said, clearly thinking it through.
After a moment, he turned to her.
“I could always stay here with you,” Sam said.
“No, you could not,” Celia said, angrily. “You promised me, Sam! You promised me that you’d take care of our children. If you just give up to hang out here with me, you’re breaking that promise.”
Sam made a sour face but nodded in agreement. He sighed.
“It is very nice to see you,” Sam said. “I’ve missed you so much.”
Tears streamed from his eyes. They hugged again.
“Do you hear that?” Celia asked.
“What is it?” Sam asked.
“it’s Val,” Celia said softly.
“Sound like her,” Sam said.
They separated from their hug to listen.
“And Delphie,” Sam said.
“I love Delphie,” Celia said.
“I do too,” Sam said. “What are they doing?”
“They are reading the funnies,” Celia said.
Sam chuckled. He held out his hand.
“Shall we?” Sam asked. “I don’t know the way.”
“I do,” Celia said. “Come with me, my love.”
They floated for a brief moment following the sound of Val and Delphie. They were hovering over Celia’s burial site. Their daughter, Valerie, and Delphie, their beloved friend, were sitting on the bench next to Celia’s grave. Valerie read a comic and gave a tablet computer to Delphie. Delphie read the next comic and passed the tablet back.
“God, Val’s as bad as you are!” Sam said.
“Shh,” Celia said. “I’m listening.”
Grinning at Celia, Sam stopped talking to listen.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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