“Aden left his phone at a site. I picked it up on my way to the rehearsal dinner,” Sam Lipson said. “I thought I would drop it by on my way home.”
Sandy would have believed Mr. Lipson’s story if Jill hadn’t laughed when he said it.
“Is that what you told them?” Jill asked.
“Uh-huh, you were supposed to meet me here,” Sam said.
Jill shook her head at him and he smiled.
“You wanted a full update from the rehearsal dinner.”
“Trevor’s rehearsal dinner?”
“You were at the engagement party.” Sam nodded and Jill laughed.
“How did Mr. Lipson help?” Sandy asked Aden.
“Please call me Sam.”
“They do drug testing at Lipson,” Aden said. “My last arrest was twelve years ago … the year I started working at Lipson. When Jake took over, he insisted on hair-follicle-testing every employee. We have a zero-drug-tolerance policy. Everyone knows that about Lipson. Big Sam offered to provide all those records.”
“We’ll probably have to, but …” Sam’s voice trailed off when a policewoman came through the sliding glass door.
A little boy pressed passed the policewoman followed by a little girl. They threw themselves at Aden. Aden held them both in a tight embrace.
Watching Aden with his kids, Sandy felt a strange pang in her heart. The children were crying and talking at the same time. These people, the two children and their father, seemed like three pieces of one whole. They just fit together.
The police stopped to speak to Aden and Big Sam before leaving. They didn’t find drugs. Yes, Aden would be available for questioning. No, he wasn’t going anywhere. His children hung on him the entire time. When the police cleared out, Aden took Noelle and Nash to their rooms.
Jill and Sandy set to work. The Park Hill bungalow had been turned upside down by the Denver Police. Together, the women righted the furniture, straightened what was amiss, and swept up what was broken. By the time Sam came for Jill, the house was in order.
“I’m going to leave my car,” Jill said. Sandy’s attention jerked to Jill. “You can go home whenever you want.”
“I’ll go with you. I’m sure Aden would like to be with his kids,” Sandy said.
Jill shook her head and hugged Sandy.
“I think he’ll need your special help,” Jill said in Sandy’s ear. “You know what it’s like to come home from an awful experience. You could really help. I bet Aden will need you when the kids get to bed.”
Jill gave Sandy the Lexus keys.
“Yeah, I just found that out. I guess Jacob bought it for me for our non-date.” Jill hugged Sandy again. “I’m going with Sam. Love you, Sandy.”
Sandy stood at the front door to Aden’s house and waved. When she closed the door, Aden came running from the back of the house. Seeing Sandy, he slid across the hardwood floors to a stop.
“Will you stay? The kids are exhausted. Noelle’s already asleep. Nash should be out in a moment. I could really use … a friend.”
“Good.” Aden kissed her. “Thanks.”
The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.