CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FORTY-NINE
Monday midday —11:32 a.m.
“Okay, I’m back,” Honey said, scooting into her seat.
Honey and Jill were using the room in the basement that they’d set up for the kids online school. It was equipped with their fastest internet and newest computers. They were able to sit side by side, six feet apart, with the computers in front of each of them. There were two HEPA fans blowing as well. Since the Castle hadn’t had outside guest in months, they had decided to treat each other as if they were in the same “pod.” This meant that they didn’t have to wear masks around each other and could eat together indoors.
“I logged you in,” Jill said.
“Thanks,” Honey said, frantically typing into the computer in front of her.
“Are you okay?” Jill asked.
Jill pulled a Bluetooth earbud out of her ear in order to hear Honey.
“Oh, you know,” Honey said.
“What?” Jill asked.
“I need a day off,” Honey whispered. “I was upstairs staring at the wall. I mean, no work? No kids? It’s. . .”
“Weird?” Jill said. “Wonderful?”
Honey nodded. Jill stuck her earbud back in her ear. For a moment, the women focused on listening to the start of their classes. A few minutes later, Honey glanced at Jill.
“Nice hair,” Honey whispered.
“Sandy did it this morning,” Jill said. “Your hair is so beautiful — long, pink cast, and curly!”
“The curly surprises me too,” Honey said. “I just never had it long enough to have any wave.”
“So lovely,” Jill said.
The women fell silent as they listened to their teachers. The hour slipped away.
Jill took off her head set first. Jill’s movement caught Honey’s attention. She took off her headset.
“What do you have next?” Jill asked.
“Another class, you?” Honey asked.
“Same,” Jill said. “Mine are packed together on the same day. I guess that’s what people wanted.”
“Mine’s the same, too,” Honey said.
Honey reached out to grab Jill’s hand.
“I’m so glad to be here with you,” Honey said. “I don’t know what I would have done without you these last months, especially when MJ was gone.”
Honey shook her head.
“I feel the same way,” Jill said. “I don’t know what I would have done without you. You’ve been like bedrock for all of us.”
“We’re so lucky,” Honey said.
Jill nodded and smiled.
“I was going to make some tea and get us some water,” Jill said. “Can I get you anything?”
“I brought these,” Honey said.
She turned in her seat to open her backpack. Inside, there was a metal tin, like the ones used by Sandy for cookies.
“Sandy made these for us,” Honey said. She worked to open the tin. It was hard for Honey, but not impossible like it was.
“Are they. . .?” Jill asked.
“They are,” Honey said.
“Mexican wedding cookies,” Jill and Honey said together.
Jill mock swooned.
“Coffee then?” Jill asked.
“Please,” Honey said. “I need to use the toilet.”
“Do you need help?” Jill asked.
“I can get there,” Honey said.
“Your walking is incredible,” Jill said.
“Let’s see if I make it out of the basement,” Honey said with a snort. “MJ said he’d come to get me.”
Jill grinned. Honey got up. They swiftly went through their break. When they settled in, they had fresh coffee and wonderful cookies.
“Ready?” Jill asked, blowing out a bit of powdered sugar.
Honey pointed to her screen. Her next class had already started. Jill grinned at Honey and logged into her next class.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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