CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and NINETEEN
“Paddie is here,” Jill said. “But…”
Katy started jumping around with delight.
“Katy, the boys are sleeping,” Jill said.
“That’s why I’m not yelling and screaming,” Katy said. “I’m not a complete jerk, Mommy!”
Jill grinned at Katy saying a phrase often repeated by Noelle.
“But what?” Katy asked.
“Paddie is sick,” Jill said.
Katy looked immediately crestfallen.
“So is his Mommy and his brother,” Jill said. “Your grandmother, Anjelika, and my brothers and sisters helped to make them all strong, but right now they are very sick.”
“Even with cuddles?” Katy asked.
“Why aren’t they in the hospital, like Grampa Sam?” Katy asked.
“Turns out that while they are very sick, they aren’t as sick as some other people,” Jill said.
“Grampa Sam must be really sick,” Katy said.
“Is Jabari coming home?” Katy asked.
“How do you know about Jabari?” Jill asked.
“He’s my girlfriend-brother,” Katy said. “I’ve checked on him with my head.”
Jill gave Katy a long look and then shook her head.
“He’s with his dad,” Jill said. “They are in the basement isolating for a while until they are sure Jabari doesn’t get sicker.”
“Did he get cuddles?” Katy asked.
“Can I have cuddles?” Katy asked.
“Only if your promise not to go see Paddie for a while,” Jill said.
“I promise,” Katy said. Her eyes welled with tears. “Is Paddie going to die?”
“Not if I can help it,” Jill said. “You know what you could do to help Paddie?”
“Not see him,” Katy said miserably.
“Exactly,” Jill said.
Katy looked down for a moment. She gave a deep sigh.
“I promise,” Katy said.
Jill held out her arms and Katy ran into them. Jill carried her baby-girl to the bed. With Katy on her lap, they sat together for a long time.
“Want some ice cream?” Katy asked after more than twenty minutes.
“You know, I would,” Jill said. “But not that ice cream.”
Jill gestured to the melted mess of the twins’ favorite ice cream.
“I can get more,” Katy said.
“We have some of your favorites in the freezer,” Jill said. “That’s where the ice cream is coming from, you know.”
“Our freezer?” Katy asked.
“The Vanquisher won’t steal anything,” Jill said. “It’s something Dad told me because you know I how worry about that.”
“Can we have ice cream?” Katy asked.
Jill stood up with Katy in her arms. They went out to the little kitchen to have some bubble gum ice cream and worry about Paddie and his family.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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