Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Chapter Six Hundred and Twenty: Can you help? (part two)


(part two)

“Is there room for me?” Tanesha asked as she came out of the house.

Tanesha was wearing her bathing suit and carrying a towel.

“Always,” Jill said.

“Did you get a glass?” Heather asked.

“I…” Tanesha started.

Tanesha held up a glass. Tanesha climbed into the hot tub end of the swimspa.

“This is nice,” Tanesha said. “Swimspa?”

“I need to swim,” Valerie said.

“Do you mind if the rest of us use it?” Tanesha asked.

“Not at all,” Valerie said. “Do you swim?”

“When I can, which is not often,” Tanesha said. “This will really help me while I’m working.”

“Go for it,” Valerie said.

“Thank you,” Tanesha said.

“No, thank you for trying to save lives,” Valerie said.

“Here, here,” Jill said.

The women held up their mostly empty wine glassed in salute of Tanesha. Heather waved her hand and the wine glasses filled.

“What’s this?” Tanesha asked.

“I don’t know,” Heather said. “I stole it from my grandfather’s decanter.”

The women laughed.

“I will tell you that this mask thing sucks,” Delphie said.

“It’s just life now for a while,” Tanesha said. “If you’d seen how sick people are right now, you’d never want to take the thing off.”

“Sit by me,” Jill said.

Jill held out her arm, and Tanesha sat next to her. Jill placed her arm over Tanesha’s shoulder.

“Are you checking me?” Tanesha asked.

“If I were?” Jill asked.

“I’d thank you for it,” Tanesha said.

The women laughed. A few minutes later, Jill squeezed Tanesha’s shoulder and went to move away. Tanesha pulled Jill back.

“I know that I’m usually the one who’s like: ‘Get off me!’” Tanesha said, her eyes welling. “But with everything — work and Sam and Jabari… I can use the love.”

Jill scooted closer to Tanesha. Heather sat on Tanesha’s side. Delphie reached over to touch Tanesha’s shoulder. From the pool side, Valerie smiled at Tanesha. For a moment, they all focused their attention on their friend.

“Okay,” Tanesha said. “Now you can…”

“Get off me,” the women said in near unison.

They laughed. For the next hour, they laughed, drank wine, and talked about nothing. They could almost believe that Sandy was upstairs doing something, the world wasn’t struggling with a dangerous virus, and that they weren’t each in the middle of their own personal tsunamis.

Being together was exactly what they needed.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…

Next: Chapter Six Hundred and Twenty: Can you help? (part three)

Previous: Chapter Six Hundred and Twenty: Can you help? (part one)

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