Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-six - Enter Wretched (part one)
Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-six - Enter Wretched (part three)

Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-six - Enter Wretched (part two)

CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and THIRTY-SIX

(part two)

They all looked up when Jacob and Tanesha arrived. The elderly man stood up.

“Hi,” Jacob said. “I’m Jacob Marlowe. You probably know my father, Sam Lipson.”

“Know him, like him,” the elderly man said. “But not as much as I loved your mother. She was. . .”

The elderly man shook his head.

“She was,” Jacob said.

“This one reminds me so much of his grandfather at this age,” the elderly man laughed.

“Dr. Bumpy?” Tanesha asked with suprise

She picked up Jabari from off of the kitchen table and set him on her hip.

“That boy could talk the paint off the walls,” the elderly man said. “What a delight.”

The elderly man turned to Jacob and sized him up.

“My name is Wretched Jones,” the man said.

“Wretched?” Tanesha asked. “Really?”

“My mother gave me this name,” Wretched said. “And I wear it with pride. Although, honestly, I think it’s the biggest word she’d ever heard.”

He snorted at that.

“You’re Rodney Smith’s daughter,” Wretched said.

“I am,” Tanesha said. “Do you know my mother, Yvonne?”

“Never a finer person than your mother,” Wretched said. “Not ever did I meet one.”

Teary at the compliment, Tanesha could only nod.

“You’re waiting for O’Malley,” Jacob said.

“I’m waiting for O’Malley,” Wretched laughed. “Bumpy said he’d be here too. But I wanted the first look.”

“Oh,” Jeraine said. His mind snapping back to the present. “Dad and Seth are coming here?”

“O’Malley is not going to like you calling him,” the man’s voice changed to tease Jeraine, “‘Seth.’ Especially when music is on the line.”

Jeraine smiled at the man. Jacob turned to Jeraine.

“Can you make us a pot of coffee?” Jacob asked.

“Coffee?” Jeraine asked.

“Maybe some of those muffins?” Tanesha asked.

“Muffins?” Jeraine gave a slow nod. “I can do that.”

Setting Jabari down, Tanesha went into the kitchen to help get Jeraine started. Jabari ran back to Honey’s apartment to be with his friends.

“Where’d the boy go?” Wretched asked.

“His best friend is my sister Honey’s daughter,” Jacob said.

“They were having a sleep over,” Tanesha said. “He doesn’t want to miss out on the wake up part of the sleep over.”

“Makes sense to me,” Wretched said. “All this belong to you, Marlowe?”

“It belongs to. . .” Jacob said.

“Me,” Delphie said, turning the corner from the second floor stairs.

“Oh my Lord,” Wretched said. “Delphinium.”

“Wretched,” Delphie said with a grin.

They went to hug but remembered the pandemic and stopped.

“In the middle of a pandemic, I find the finest blue flower,” Wretched said.

They laughed. Through his mask, he kissed her cheek.

“Are we going to the ballroom?” Delphie asked.

“Why don’t you take them down?” Jacob asked. “I’ll stay here and wait for O’Malley.”

“Hmm,” Delphie said. “I’d bet that Wretched has a few things to show you.”

Jacob gave Delphie a long look. She waved him downstairs. Jacob unlocked the door.

“Can you make the stairs?” Jacob asked.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...

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