CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and THIRTY-TWO
Monday morning — 8:07 a.m.
“You have to press. . .” Tres Sierra pointed to a button on the computer.
“This one?” Sam Lipson asked.
Sam’s pointer finger was out and hovering. Tres nodded. Sam pressed the button and suddenly a woman’s face appeared on the screen. She looked surprised. Her face broke into a wide smile, but she shook her head.
“You have to turn on the. . .” Tres said.
Sam hit the button to turn off the mute.
“Sam!” Helen Seigle, chief executive of the Marlowe School, said. “You are a sight for sore eyes!”
“Helen!” Sam replied.
“It’s great to see you,” Helen said. “How are you feeling?”
“Better,” Sam said. “I still get waves of exhaustion. The fatigue is. . .”
Sam shook his head. Helen nodded in empathy.
“But the docs say that the virus is gone,” Sam said. “I still wear a mask when people are around or they wear them around me.”
Sam gestured to Tres, who was out of the picture.
“I’m here with Tres,” Sam said. “We’re at their new house. It’s gorgeous. You should see it.”
Helen’s smile faded.
“Listen, as nice as it is to see you, I was waiting for Val,” Helen said. “We have to figure out what to do with the kids. Jacob said that they are going to open three more sites which means that. . .”
“A lot of kids will be at home by themselves,” Sam said with a nod.
“Exactly,” Helen said. “Is Val around?”
“She and Mike went to the hospital,” Sam said.
“Is she in labor?” Helen asked.
“Her doctor wants to induce labor,” Sam said. “Something, something. I’m sorry I never can keep it all straight.”
Sam looked at Tres, who was setting up his laptop.
“Do you know?” Sam asked.
Tres shook his head.
“Tres doesn’t know either,” Sam said.
“I hate to wait,” Helen said, “but if Val’s in labor, I totally understand.”
“Oh, sorry,” Sam said. “You have me and Tres. We’re taking over for Val until she can come back. She wanted me to assure you that she was still in charge.”
“Jake’s up to his eyeballs in worksites and the state funding and all the insanity that goes with that,” Sam took a wheezing breath. “So you have me.”
“And me!” Tres’s voice came from the room.
Helen looked at little worried but she nodded.
“So you have us,” Sam said.
Tres face appeared in the computer video call.
“Helen,” Tres said. “I’m here to talk about financing. We clearly need to make changes.”
“We do,” Helen said.
“That costs money,” Tres said. “Even if we do it ourselves.”
“Got it,” Helen said.
“Why don’t you tell us what you’re thinking?” Sam asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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