Katy was already eating her French fries when Jill sat down at the table. She watched Jacob and Katy discuss the advantages of ketchup. Jacob had set up lunch, including the fruit juice and water from Jill’s backpack. He had bought a couple hamburgers, some chicken strips, and lots of fries. For dessert? Denver Zoo crunch cereal, of course.
And they ate everything.
One last bite, and Katy was off!
Jill wiped Katy’s hands while they walked. They found more penguins at Bird World. Katy bounced along the metal guard rail past the hoofed animals. When a buffalo caught Katy’s eye, she stopped stock-still. While Katy and the buffalo shared a silent communication, Jill and Jacob stood behind her.
“I realize I knew your mother,” Jill said.
“She was very kind to me in a difficult transition in my life,” Jill said. “Sometimes, when I get down, I talk to her … in my head, you know? I always feel better when I talk to your mom. I think of her as my guardian angel. I called her Celly … Celly Marlowe … not Celia. I guess I thought your mom was a Lipson.”
The buffalo looked away and Katy ran into the cul-de-sac where the white wolf pack lived. The animals greeted Katy with a wild howl, which she imitated. Jill and Jacob returned to their places behind Katy.
“Most people know her as Celia Marlowe. My dad was always just ‘the husband’ to her magnificence. I felt lucky to have known her.”
“Me too,” Jill said. “She had this friend … Crazy red hair?”
“Delphinium, like the flower. She gave me a reading before I married Trevor. She told me Trevor would betray me three times before I was finally done with him. I thought the whole thing was hilarious.” Jill sighed. “I told Trevor and … Well, he wouldn’t let me go back. After Celly died, then again when I was pregnant with Katy, Delphie offered a free reading, but I …”
“Delphie can be a bit much,” Jacob said. “She lives with me … I mean in my house … I mean …”
“I know what you mean,” Jill said.
“I hate to think of it. You know? Trevor’s only betrayed me twice,” Jill said. “I hate to think of what the third time will be.”
“Then don’t,” Jacob said. “Just be here with me.”
On impulse, he slipped his arm around her. When Jill leaned into him, their eyes caught with a jolt of electricity. She lifted her chin and his mouth made an easy journey toward her luscious lips. Their lips were almost touching when they heard:
“Stupid bee. You won’t hurt me again. I’ll squish you and …”
“KATY! NO!” Jacob and Jill screamed at the same moment.
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1 continues tomorrow…
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