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March 2021

Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-four - Tiny sprouts (part one)


(part one)

“Shall we go find your boys?” Honey asked.

“Please,” Max said.

They went through Honey’s apartment, past the little garden to the driveway.

“John’s sister, Niamh, says that John was tiny as a baby,” Max said. “They were all surprised at how fast he grew. Ciaran said that he shot up around the age Beau is now.”

“Maybe Beau will grow like that too,” Honey said with a smile.

“What’s the deal with Chase?” Max asked.

“Such a sweet boy,” Honey said.

“That’s what everyone says,” Max said.

“I think Chase is more relational,” Honey said. “He wants to connect with people. He sat on everyone’s lap until he discovered Nelson’s lap.”

Nodding, Honey looked at Max.

“That’s Maggie’s favorite lap,” Honey said.

“Good to know,” Max said.

“He would just nestle in,” Honey said. “I could see him listening, really listening, to what people were saying. I don’t think he understood what people were saying, he just wanted to hear their voices. My guess is that all of the noise and chaos was too much for him. I will tell you — the dogs love Chase.”

Max nodded. He looked up to see his twins inside the middle greenhouse. The boys saw Max at the same moment. Beau and Chase started squealing which brought all of the other kids from the lawn. The kids ran toward Max.

“Would you like to ask Delphie?” Honey asked.

Max looked at her.

“I’ve ask her about things all the time,” Honey said. “It’s very reassuring.”

Max gave Honey a vague nod.

“Do you know if Ooljee and her brother are here?” Max asked.

“Cian picked them up earlier,” Honey said. “Ooljee did not want to go.”

“She’s been lonely,” Max said with a nod.

The crowd of toddlers reached them. Honey picked up her daughter, Maggie. Max picked up Beau in his left arm and Chase in his right. The boys leaned into their dad and he held them tight. After a moment, Beau and Chase wiggled, and Max sent them down.

“Com’ on, Da,” Chase said, reaching for Max’s hand.

“We. . .” Beau grabbed Max’s hand and pulled on him. “D-ere.”

Pointing toward the greenhouse, Beau and Chase pulled on Max’s hands. Max looked at Honey.

“Go,” Honey said with a grin.

Max let himself be pulled along to the middle greenhouse where Delphie waited.

“Max,” Delphie said. “I know we’re not supposed to but. . .”

She held out her arm, and they hugged. Through the mask, Max kissed her cheek.

“Thank you for caring for our babies,” Max said.

“They are welcome anytime,” Delphie said. “Absolutely.”

“Do you know if they’re opening the Marlowe School?” Max asked.

“I am not sure,” Delphie said. “There’s a lot of work to do to get it up and running. You should talk to Jake.”

“I heard that Val’s in labor,” Max said.

Delphie sucked in a breath.

“On the radio?” Delphie asked, looking up at him.

Max nodded.

“That’s going to be a mess,” Delphie said, shaking her head.

“Sorry,” Max said, touching her shoulder.

He looked up when his sons called him.

“You have to see,” Delphie said. “It’s very exciting.”

Max followed her through the rows of seedlings to a set of seedlings along the back.

“Beau and Chase wanted to grow some flowers for the bees,” Delphie said. “We planted some lavender.”

“Look!” Beau said. “Look! Look! Look!”

“Look-look-look-look-look!” Chase said.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...