CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTEEN
Wednesday morning — 9:15 a.m.
“Tanesha!” Jill said as Tanesha entered the Castle. “I’m sorry but…”
“Jabari’s in Children’s,” Tanesha said. She took a clean mask out of her pocket and put it on. “They think he has it, too. Who has it here?”
“Sam,” Jill said. “Did you get a test?”
Tanesha nodded. Jill was sitting on the floor in front of the couch with her toddlers. They were playing with blocks and running around the room.
“Shit,” Tanesha said. “I just came here to change and shower. They’re asking for everyone to show up at the ED, even students.”
“Shit,” Jill said.
“Right,” Tanesha said. “I wish I could join you. Where’s Maggie and the rest? I have to tell them that they need to be tested.”
“Everyone is at the doctor to be tested,” Jill said. “M.J. is hoping to get some of their military tests, but for now it’s through the doc.”
“Did you go?” Tanesha asked.
“We went this morning, first thing,” Jill said. “Jake was up because their state sites opened this morning. He also has to tell every employee owner that Sam is in the hospital. They all need to be tested because of that big meeting.”
“I bet that’s tough,” Tanesha said.
“He checked in after the first site,” Jill said with a nod. “The employees were crying — men and women. It’s made this whole thing very real for everyone.”
“You heard about Jabari?” Tanesha asked.
“How his mother abused him?” Jill asked. “Yes. Any news from the producers?”
“That’s where Jeraine is,” Tanesha said with a sigh. “He and his lawyers are talking to the producers. Everyone on their own computer.”
“We’re going to need more Internet service,” Jill said.
“Jeraine’s working something out with one of the suppliers,” Tanesha said. “They approached him as a sponsor for some concerts with him. It’s a good opportunity and it will mean better Internet for us. Maybe.”
Tanesha shook her head.
“It’s a lot,” Jill said.
“Are they keeping Jabari?” Jill asked.
“Just until they know what’s going on with him,” Tanesha said. “They won’t let us visit him or even wait in the waiting room.”
“That’s really hard,” Jill said.
“That’s Covid,” Tanesha said. “You know that kid? He was watering plants and planting seeds with Dale before we took him to Children’s. We had no idea that he was sick along with beaten! Now O’Malley’s house is on quarantine because of us.”
“Or us,” Jill said. “Sandy’s been here. We helped pick her up from the hospital. It could have come from her.”
Tanesha gave an irritated shake of her head.
“Should you be working?” Jill asked.
“I asked that,” Tanesha said. “My mentor just laughed. He said that they’d all been exposed. ‘As long as we don’t have a fever and wear our PPE, we work.’ So…”
“I should go shower,” Tanesha said.
Jill nodded. Tanesha turned to head downstairs. There was a flower floating in front of her. She took the flower and turned back to the boys.
“Thank you, Tanner and Bladen,” Tanesha said. “I’ll keep it with me.”
The toddlers giggled.
“Hey, do you mind if I take a couple cloth masks with me?” Tanesha asked, gesturing to the stack on the hall table.
“Take what you need,” Jill said. “We’re making more masks at nap time. Jake and Aden have asked the Lipson crews that are off cycle to make masks. Since the word went out about Sam, our pattern has been downloaded more than a thousand times. We should have lots.”
“Good,” Tanesha said.
She raised her hand to wave and jogged down to their apartment.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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