CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY-NINE
“You don’t understand!” Sissy said.
“I love my mother,” Honey said. “She really sucks at being a mother. But I love her anyway.”
“That’s all you have to do,” Tanesha said. “Love her.”
“Can you love your mother and let her be who she is?” Delphie asked.
“Can I have some chocolate?” Sissy asked.
“Of course,” Valerie said. “Would you like me to make you a plate?”
“No, I’ll get it,” Sissy said.
She jumped up from the couch. She stretched her limbs and wiggled her shoulders. One at a time, the women hugged her. Noelle took her hand and showed her the chocolate cart. Sissy had just filled her plate when the boys came bursting into the room. While she watched, the chocolate cart was demolished by the locusts named Charlie, Teddy and Nash.
“No!” Sissy batted at his fork with hers. They got into an instant fork war. Noelle joined her defense.
“On guard,” Nash said.
Within moments, the kids were laughing and playing a fork sword war. Charlie had Sissy’s plate of chocolate in one hand while keeping Sissy away with the other when Sandy and Aden came into the suite. Sandy and Aden were hugged and chatted with as they walked across the room. When Sandy went to get Rachel, Aden snatched the plate of chocolate from Charlie’s hand.
“That’s mine!” Sissy said.
“We passed three carts of food coming in this direction,” Aden said.
A knock at the door brought the food.
“Listen you guys,” Aden said to Sissy and Charlie. “Before Sandy gets over here, I thought maybe we could talk. Sandy’s so heart broken, I’d hate for her to have to tell you.”
“It’s Ok, Shi-dai,” Charlie said. “Jake told me.”
“Delphie told me. I don’t like it.”
“I hate it,” Charlie said. “But I can’t change it. I mean I can give up everything I have now to try to be with her but… Jake told me to give him one reason why I’d do that. I thought for the whole horse ride back. I couldn’t come up with anything. We went to this cool cave where you’re supposed to let go of things. I let go of Mom there. It was hard but… Sam and Jake and Mike were… amazing.”
“I always wanted exactly what I have now,” Sissy said.
Aden hugged Sissy and Charlie.
“But I want some chocolate too,” Sissy said.
Aden gave her back her dessert plate. Before Charlie could steal it, Aden pointed him toward the other food carts where Teddy and Nash were swarming. Charlie jogged over.
“You’ll tell me if you want to talk more?” Aden asked.
Sissy nodded. She sat down on the couch with Noelle. Together the girls had almost polished off her plate when Sandy came back with Rachel. Before Sandy could say anything, Sissy began updating her about her amazing day with a movie star. Noelle ran to change into her bathing suit and Sissy joined her.
“So that’s it?” Sandy asked.
“For now,” Aden said. “We’ll have to watch them. And the trial…”
“We’re going back to change,” Tanesha said. “Come to the pool with us, Sandy.”
“I have to study,” Charlie said. “Mrs. Anjelika and I can watch Rachel.”
“You’re sure?” Sandy asked.
“I’d like to,” Charlie gave an impish smile. “Rachel’s my family too.”
Sandy hugged him. She changed Rachel’s diaper and put on a tiny one week old short suit. It was a little big, but Rachel looked really cute. She rocked Rachel to sleep. When she came out, the kids and Aden were at the pool and Anjelika was quizzing Charlie on his vocabulary. Sandy kissed Rachel’s cheek and set her in the bassinette next to Charlie. Charlie put his hand out to rock Rachel’s bassinette but never looked up. Sandy waved good-bye but they kept their focus.
Shrugging, she made her way to the pool where Jill had saved her a seat next to her and Heather. Tanesha gave her a virgin strawberry daiquiri.
“Was it horrible?” Heather asked.
“Worse,” Sandy said. “We saw the police cars coming to get her on our way out.”
“I’ll drink to that,” Tanesha downed her beer. “You know I’m drinking for four.”
“What?” Sandy asked.
“Have to keep the universal balance,” Tanesha said.
“What’s happening with Cam?” Sandy asked.
“Oh girl,” Tanesha said. “You do not want to know.”
“She’ll tell us when she’s drunk enough,” Heather said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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