Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-one: Where you belong (part three)


(part three)

Saturday afternoon — 3 p.m.

“Who are you?” Mike asked.

He walked into the kitchen, where a short, slim blonde woman was riffling through the cupboards. The woman made a disgusted sound and began tossing box after box of cereal into a five-gallon trash can.

“What are you doing?” Mike grabbed box after box of cereal.

“I’m cleaning the junk out of this kitchen. You must be Mike.”

Mike set the cereal on the table to grab more boxes from the trashcan.

“STOP.” Mike yelled.

The woman looked up at him with a bright smile.

“Like your cereal, do you? Well, it’s not very good for you.”

The woman grabbed a box of cereal that Mike was holding. They tugged the box back and forth between them.

“Who are you?” Mike asked.

“Oh, I’m Valerie Waters,” she said. “Val calls me ‘Waters.’ I’m her trainer.”

“And you know who I am?” Mike asked.

“You’re Lipson’s husband,” Waters said.

“How do you know that?”

“I figured it out. I mean, come on. Lipson comes home from her ‘Colorado retreats’ all dreamy and happy. No amount of yoga does what a good man can do for your stress levels. Plus, she told me about you a long time ago.”

“What’s all this ‘Who is Valerie’s husband?’ crap, then?” Mike asked.

“I don’t know. I didn’t know there was any,” Waters said. She moved toward the stack of cereal boxes on the table, but Mike blocked her way. She put her hands on her hips and said, “This is not even food. Why are you protecting it?”

“Jacob eats cereal. He likes it. I like it too. We eat it together,” Mike said.

“Oh. I’m so sorry. I’ve never met Jake, but I know what a great guy he is.” The little woman stood on her toes to give Mike a quick hug. “Should I put it back?”

“We don’t eat too much. We eat other healthy stuff too. We just like cereal.”

“Does Lipson eat it?” Waters said.

“I don’t,” Valerie said. “I eat only wholesome food prescribed by my awesome trainer. Hi!”

The women hugged.

“Mike, you know Valerie Waters. She’s the one who is responsible for …”

Valerie turned around and pointed to her high, firm rear end. Mike raised his eyebrows in appreciation. Valerie Waters laughed.

“Waters is here to help me get ready for Friday,” Valerie said.

“You’re thin,” Waters said. “We have work to do.”

“Wait. If everyone knows about me,” Mike said. He looked at Valerie and she smiled. “Why is Wes so upset?”

“UGH! Wesford. He’s totally another story,” Waters said. “He’s always known that Lipson was married.”

“I told you that,” Valerie said.

“Then why …”

“Drama. Hollywood. I don’t know,” Waters said. “I like him, Lipson. I like him a lot.”

“Oh, good. I’m planning on keeping him,” Valerie said.

“Now, where’s the gym?” Waters asked.

“Basement,” Mike and Valerie said in unison.

“Bye-bye, hot husband,” Waters waved her hand. “We have work to do.”

“Bye,” Mike said to the women’s backs as they retreated to the basement. “I have an appointment …”

Knowing they didn’t hear him, he shrugged, picked up a set of keys, and left for the garage.


“Oh,” Jill said. She was sitting in the passenger seat of Big Sam’s work truck.

“Oh?” Sam asked.

“Well, I just realized why people say Jacob is gay.”

“Because of Blane.”

“They look a lot alike. Is Blane your son?”

“No,” Sam said. “We think he’s either my brother’s son or my dad’s son. My brother died of AIDS in the late 1980s. Even as an old guy, my father was fairly promiscuous. He died right after my brother. Blane was dropped at a hospital when he was about three months old. They never found his parents, so he spent most of his life in foster care.”

“Did you do DNA?”

“Yes,” Sam said. “Celia insisted on it when she found him. She wanted him to know that we were his family.”

“He’s younger than Jacob,” Jill said.

“By a few years,” Sam said.

“Why does he look so old?” Jill asked.

“He has AIDS,” Sam said.

“Oh, that’s why …”


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

Next: Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-one: Where you belong (part four)

Previous: Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Twenty-one: Where you belong (part two)

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