CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FORTY-FOUR
“But?” Heather asked, intentionally pushing Jill.
“I guess, I’m just tired,” Jill said. “Tired of the drama of all of it. Everyone has something to say and most of it is nonsense.”
“Drama,” Heather said, nodding.
“I think we’re lucky that everyone around us is on the same page,” Heather said. “Blane told me about a patient of his that just got out of the hospital. The patient’s family doesn’t believe in Covid. She hasn’t seen anyone for weeks because she won’t let them in her house to infect her again.”
“Can you. . .?” Sandy pushed two cake pans in Jill’s direction.
Jill started buttering and flouring the pans.
“What’s going on in Olympia?” Tanesha asked.
“Everyone is in retreat,” Heather said. “No one wants to get blamed for this disease so they are heading for the hills. That leaves a lot of work to do. I’m lucky because I have so much help, but. . .”
“What do we think is going on with Mr. Matchel?” Heather asked, changing the topic. She looked at Jill and then Tanesha.
“I think he’s just exhausted,” Jill said.
“He’s been mostly sleeping,” Tanesha said.
“Blane gave him acupuncture this morning,” Heather said. “He said the same thing. I worry that we’re missing a cognitive deficit here.”
“You mean like dementia?” Sandy asked, pouring cake batter into the freshly buttered and floured pans.
“Alzheimer’s,” Heather said.
“Maybe,” Jill said.
“We don’t spend enough time with him to tell,” Heather said. “And it’s way outside of anything I know anything about.”
“Did I hear you say that the French government is going to support the search for the Templar hoard?” Sandy asked.
“What does that mean?” Tanesha asked.
“I don’t think we know,” Heather said. “No one’s sure that Nelson will be able to go this year because of the pandemic.”
“Another year would be really hard on Nelson’s father,” Sandy said.
“I know,” Heather said. “It’s just finding the right crew.”
“This thing is touching every aspect of our lives,” Jill said. “Nothing is untouched.”
The women fell silent. Sandy patted the pans on the counter before tucking them into a preheated oven.
“We are gloomy,” Sandy said.
“Let’s not be,” Jill said.
Jill took another bottle of champagne out of the refrigerator.
“I’m tired of the drama and gloom,” Jill said. “Let’s celebrate that we’re still alive, still have each other — a lot of people don’t.”
“We have help with the kids,” Heather said.
“We actually enjoy our marriages and relationships,” Sandy said.
“Maybe it’s good that everything changed,” Tanesha said, sitting up.
The other women groaned.
“No, hear me out,” Tanesha said. “This whole world has been going along so fast. This is a chance to get off the rat race and really experience our lives. Breathe. Figure out what matters to us.”
The women were silent for a long moment.
“I think you’re right,” Sandy said. “I’ve worked so much — building a client base, cutting hair, learning new techniques of dying hair, paying the bills and. . . Now I can’t book clients. I can’t work.”
“I have time to think about what I’m doing,” Sandy said.
“Me too,” Tanesha said.
“I know, I know,” Jill said. “But don’t ask me how I need my life to change.”
“We’re too in the middle of it to figure that out,” Heather said with a laugh.
Jill filled up everyone’s champagne glass.
“To us,” Jill said.
“To us!” Heather, Sandy, and Tanesha said in unison.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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