“Stop psychic-ing me. Just spit it out,” Jacob said. “I have to be somewhere.”
“Ah, Jake, can’t a girl come visit her best-friend’s son?”
“No,” Jake said.
Like a five-year-old, Delphie twirled back and forth causing her flowing gauze skirt to flip from side to side. Jacob smiled at her.
“You’re glad I made you go to your step-horror’s engagement party,” Delphie said.
“Yes, Delphie. I never would have gone if you hadn’t made me go. Thank you. Now what?”
“Have a big day today?” Delphie asked.
“You know I do, so why ask?”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m taking Jill and Katy to the zoo. We’re going to get lunch. That’s all. No date. No hanky-panky. Just lunch and the zoo.”
“Uh-huh,” Delphie said. “The cards say the day isn’t exactly what you planned.”
“What ever is?” Jacob said. He picked up his wallet, keys, and phone. “You did not leave ‘Big Sam’ to tell me I’m not the master of the universe. What is it?”
“Jill is equally attracted to you and frightened of you. Be yourself —honest, true, kind — and you’ll do fine. Remember, soul mates are just people who arrive to teach you something. Jill is still learning the lesson Trevor came to teach her.”
“Thanks, Delphie. I’ll be myself.” He bent forward to kiss her cheek. “You’re a gem.”
Walking to the door of his apartment, Jacob saw the clock on the wall.
“Ah crap, I’m late.”
Flying down the stairs, he heard Delphie yell, “Don’t worry, she’s late too.”
When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he turned to wave good-bye to Delphie.
“And Jakey? Katy’s allergic to bees.”
He was locking the door when he heard Delphie say, “She’ll die if you don’t get her to the hospital.”
Shaking his head at Delphie’s never-ending drama, he ran to his Lexus SUV. After four hours of waiting, he was late.
“Rich people call it being ‘stylishly late,’ Jilly,” Tim said from the driver’s seat of the family van. “He’ll think you’re stylish.”
They were stuck in traffic on Colfax Boulevard. Road construction left only one lane open in the four lane boulevard. And that lane was jammed with cars. Their direction waited while cars heading downtown used the lane.
“It’s not polite. That’s all,” Jill said. “He’s nice enough to take us to the Z-O-O. The least I can do is get there on time.”
“Mike says he’s a nice guy.”
“He was Bachelor of the Year!” Jill blurted out the information that freaked her out the most; the information she had just learned from Sandy.
“Now Jill, did you see that article?” Megan asked. “My boss gets that magazine, 5280. The magazine couldn’t get him to do an interview or sit for a picture. The picture with the article was a telephoto shot of him running. They call him the ‘mysterious Bachelor of the Year.’ A guy like that isn’t going to care if you’re a few minutes late.”
“I thought 5280 singles were all gay,” Tim said.
Megan smacked Tim on the arm. He laughed.
“Mommy, what’s gay?” Katy asked.
“You don’t know what GAY is?” Megan’s oldest son, Ryan, asked. “Are you a retard? Gay is where boys like boys. It’s gross. They do it everywhere all the time.”
“RYAN!” Megan yelled from the front seat. “In the first place, that is not a very nice thing to say. You wouldn’t like it if someone said you were gross. And in the second place, we do not have prejudice in this family. Gay people love each other like I love Daddy and Daddy loves me.”
“Yes, Mom,” Ryan said. He widened his eyes at Katy and mouthed “gross.”
“Mommy, what’s gross?” Katy asked.
Jill looked at Katy. She couldn’t help but laugh at her sincere question. Tim and Megan joined Jill’s laughter as did Megan’s three kids. The van started to move and within minutes they arrived at Jill’s apartment.
Hopping from the back of the van, Jill rushed to the front of her building.
No Jacob. Her stomach dropped.
Behind her, Jacob stepped from the driver’s seat of his SUV. When she turned, she bumped right into him.
“Sorry I’m late,” they said in unison.
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1 continues tomorrow…
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