CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FIFTY-ONE
Tuesday afternoon — 4:05 p.m.
Delphie stood absolutely still in the middle of the backyard.
“You okay?” Sam asked, coming out of the house.
“Me?” Delphie turned to look at him. “I’m fine.”
Sam held out his arm, and they hugged.
“What are you doing?” Sam asked.
Delphie laughed. She patted his chest and moved away.
“It’s hot,” Delphie said.
“It is hot,” Sam said. “Why don’t you come inside and cool down?”
“I was thinking about the kids,” Delphie said. “They’ve been cooped up all day. Usually we’d go to the pool but. . .”
“The pools are closed,” Sam said.
“That little pool of Val’s is too small for everyone,” Delphie said.
“And now in the direct sun,” Sam said with a nod.
“Too much sun,” Delphie said with a nod. She raised her hand toward Sam, “I know, I know. I wanted maximum sun in our yard, but now. . .”
“The chickens are in the shaded part,” Sam said with shake of his head. “I don’t know, Delphie.”
“This year is just. . .” Sam said.
“This year?” Delphie asked. “This pandemic is going to be around for a long time. We have to figure out what we can do for these kids.”
“I understand why you’re concerned,” Sam said. “But they are back in school. They seem to be pretty happy there. The school is adding more physical exercise, which everyone’s enjoying.”
“Everything’s okay,” Sam said.
“Then why doesn’t if feel okay?” Delphie asked.
“Millions of people are sick,” Sam said. “We’ve been lucky to not have any deaths in the house. . .”
“But people are dying,” Delphie said, softly.
“I’ve been so lucky to have survived,” Sam said with a nod. “If it weren’t for Jill, her mother, Otis — I don’t know if I would have survived.”
Delphie looked away from him to hide the tears that come to her eyes whenever he talked about being ill.
“Hey,” Sam said.
Delphie turned back to look at him.
“I’m okay,” Sam said.
“I know, I just. . .” Delphie said with a shake of her head. “I know how close you were to. . . and. . .”
Sam put his arm around her, and they hugged again.
“It’s something I wanted to speak with you about,” Sam said.
Delphie wiped her eyes and looked up at him.
“I. . .” Sam started. “Well, there’s no easy way to say this but. . .”
“Just spit it out,” Delphie said.
“I think it’s time to really retire from Lipson Construction,” Sam said. “I mean, if that’s okay with you.”
“Why would it have to be okay with me?” Delphie asked. “Jake and Aden probably need. . .”
“No,” Sam said. “It’s you that I’ll drive crazy.”
“How so?” Delphie asked.
“I’ll be around more,” Sam said with a shrug.
Delphie grinned at him and didn’t respond.
“What?” Sam asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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