CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and THIRTY
“Like medicine?” Delphie asked.
“Sometime, when I’m doing someone’s nails and they get talking? I feel so useless,” Quanshay said. “They have real problems. Real life problems. And all I can do is listen. It’s not enough.”
Quanshay shook her head and looked down at the grass.
“She’s right,” Quanshay said. “I know I should be doing more but I’m just not sure what would really help.”
“I understand that,” Delphie said with a smile. “You also can’t get between someone and their decisions. We live in a cause and effect world. Their lives reflect their choices and their experience. If they don’t like their lives, it means they need to make different choices or work on their experiences in counseling.”
Quanshay looked away from Delphie for a long moment. She watched the chickens peck at the ground and stared at the blue sky. Delphie waited.
“Do you give yourself a chance to explore what you might want to do?” Delphie asked.
“Heh,” Quanshay said. “I was just thinking that. I. . .”
Quanshay shook her head.
“What does she say?” Delphie asked.
“She says that your sister is a nail technician,” Delphie said. “But if you do it for much more, you’re going to hate it. You could help your sister with the business end and. . .”
“Go to school,” Quanshay whispered. “The kids are old enough. They are great help with the little one. I could start at community college and. . .”
Quanshay looked at Delphie.
“What if I go through it all and I end up doing nails?” Quanshay asked.
“It’s good honest work,” Delphie shrugged. “Helps a lot of women look wonderful but. . .”
“It’ll never be enough,” Quanshay said.
“Phillis just said, ‘That’s it,’” Delphie said.
Quanshay nodded. Delphie touched Quanshay’s arm.
“Just something to think about,” Delphie said. “Most schools are going to be online this year. You could start online and move to in the classroom when all of this pandemic is over.”
“What about the kids?” Quanshay asked. “Royce is deployed. I never know when he’s out of town and. . .”
“You can bring them here,” Delphie said.
“They’ll hang out or whatever,” Delphie said. “We get homework done every single night. Jill goes to college. . .”
“So does Honey,” Quanshay said.
“Do you see anyone suffering? Ignored?” Delphie asked.
Quanshay looked out across the yard.
“J’Ron is loving the gardening,” Quanshay said. “He wants to take home some tomatoes.”
“He would be very welcome to do that,” Delphie said.
“Do you have any questions for Phillis before she leaves?” Delphie asked.
“Just. . . is she happy now?” Quanshay asked.
Delphie was quiet for a moment.
“She had a lot of physical issues from her assault,” Delphie said.
“I didn’t know that,” Quanshay said.
“No one did,” Delphie said. “She didn’t want anyone to know how much she suffered. She kept it to herself.”
“She is out of pain,” Delphie said. “She gets to see you grow up. She loves your family and your sisters. It’s a great joy for her to see you thrive.”
“You need to tell her to go,” Delphie said. “That’s what she’s waiting for.”
“Love you, Phillis,” Quanshay said, tears forming in her eyes. “I miss you. A lot. And. . . fly free.”
Delphie was almost too silent for a moment and then she looked at Quanshay.
“She’s gone,” Delphie said.
Quanshay broke into tears. Delphie rubbed Quanshay’s back while she cried. After a few minutes, the women hugged.
Quanshay nodded to Delphie and got up. Delphie watched her go. After a moment or so, she went up the stairs to check on Sam.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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