Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Seventeen: Cards on the table (part one)


(part one)

Jill stood with her hand on the employee exit at Pete’s Kitchen. Her feet, still oozing from the lacerations of the glass, ached in her waitress shoes. She had shuffled through her regular Wednesday night shift with skinned knees and tattered feet. Pete finally sent her home with instructions not to come back until she was well. With work over, her mind turned to her lists.

“You okay, Jill?” Pete asked.

“Yeah, I’m just … overwhelmed.”

“Of course,” he said. The elderly man patted her shoulder in a gesture of support. “You need to take care of yourself.”

Jill nodded.

“You’ll let us know if you need anything?” he asked.

“Thank you,” Jill said.

When Pete returned to tracking down more hashbrowns, Jill returned to making a list in her head. She needed clothing for Katy. Wait. Where was her journal? At the Castle. Yep, Castle. Maybe she’d do a load … or forty loads … of laundry. When was the last time she’d washed her hair? Yesterday. Clean underwear was a must. Trash collection was … Friday. Better get the trash out.

Jill looked at her wristwatch. Three hours. Pressing open the door, Jill began the short walk to her apartment.

The last forty-eight hours had been … hell. She might always have trouble lining up all the events. When the cardiac team came out of surgery, they told Jill that Jacob had “popped a bleeder.” Both Delphie and Jill heard them say that Jacob was dead. She called Mike to tell him and then collapsed in tears of grief and regret.

By the time Mike, Valerie and Jacob’s father arrived, Dr. Drayson had come out to say a bone shard had been lodged in the subclavian artery, wherever that was. The shard had kept Jacob from healing. Dr. Drayson was not only able to suture the artery, but he also felt like Jacob would recover in “short order.”

And sure enough, Jacob went from being critical to serious condition in a couple hours. He was moved into a private room this … yesterday morning. Jill called an hour ago and Valerie said the nurse told her they would start decreasing his medication in …

Jill looked at her watch. Two hours and forty-nine minutes. She stopped walking to stare at her watch. Was it really only Thursday? She’d known Jacob less than a week. For a moment, images from Katy’s reaction to the bee sting to her ex-boss with the straight pipe wrench lofted over his head threatened to send her into blank emptiness.

Not today.

She blew out her breath and starting walking again. Shaking her head, she turned down Fourteenth Avenue.

“Hi, Jill.” Trevor stepped from the shadows into the light of a street lamp.

Startled, Jill jumped and yelped.

“Trevor! What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see you,” he said. He fell in step beside her. “I’ve been thinking about things.”

Jill stopped walking.

“What things? You know I have a restraining …”

“I love you, Jill. You were right. You are my soul mate. We belong together.”

“It’s an interesting week to decide that,” Jill said. She kept walking toward her apartment building.

The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…

Next: Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Seventeen: Cards on the table (part two)

Previous: Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Sixteen: I wanted so much life (part five)

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