CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTEEN
“So Dad says, ‘Let’s go fishing,’” Jacob said when Jill sat down again. “After all of the late nights and pressure, we all thought that it was a great idea. Even Tres came. Blane had to leave early so he drove in a separate car. I took our new car…”
“The one we don’t have phone chargers for,” Jill said, mildly. “I bought them today.”
“I didn’t even think about it,” Jacob said. “It was going to be a quick trip up, fish for a while, then head home. The cabin is vacant so we went to Deckers. The plan was for Blane to head home around noon so that he could be there when Nelson got out. We’d stay until three or so and head home. Barbecue outside.”
Jacob swallowed hard.
“We all wore our masks because we want to see what it would be like for our employees and owners,” Jacob said.
“Lipson has a mask requirement,” Valerie said to no one in particular.
“But Sam…” Delphie said.
“I’m getting there,” Jacob said. “We were in the river fishing — six feet from each other. Dad was in his favorite spot. I was next. Aden behind me. Tres was on the bank because Heather had texted him about getting Nelson home.”
“I…” Jacob stopped talking for a long moment. He cleared his throat. “Dad was laughing one minute and the next he just fell over. I was able to keep him out of the water with… well you know how. If I hadn’t seen him or been there, he would have drowned!”
Jacob’s eyes welled with tears.
“I ran to his side and he… He couldn’t catch his breath,” Jacob said. “I thought he’d had a heart attack but he… So I carried him to the car. Tres was on the bank, as I said. He was able to get the car doors open. Aden ran after us.”
“I told them…” Jacob stopped at if to catch his breath. “I told them that I would come back for them. I threw Tres the keys to the cabin and told them to go there if I was long. They wanted to come with me but if it was the virus they would be at a greater risk. So, they finally agreed because we didn’t know what was going on with Dad.”
“I thought he’d had a heart attack,” Jacob said, “but I could feel his heart beating fast and strong. No blockages or issues. But his lungs… So I raced to the nearest Urgent Care. They told me it was altitude sickness, but I knew it wasn’t that. When they saw him, they realized that it was… that it looked like…”
Jacob shook his head rather than finish the sentence.
“So I drove like a madman down to the hospital in Castle Rock,” Jacob said. “By the time he was there, he couldn’t move on his own. I didn’t want to risk getting him inside with my… talents. So, I ran inside and… My phone ran out of juice at the Urgent Care and…”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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