CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FIFTY-ONE
“He was so sick,” Jacob said softly.
“He nearly died,” Jill said.
“Then this company stuff,” Jill said. “You very nearly lost the entire company. You, your parents, Val — you’ve worked so hard for so many decades to build this company and then wham!”
“We were told to shut down,” Jacob said, softly.
“No Marlowe School,” Jill said. “The kids were home all the time. I was home. Everyone was standing around staring at you, expecting you to find a way to make it all work.”
Nodding, Jacob drank his water.
“It’s a lot,” Jill said. “I know you hate this word, but it’s traumatizing!”
“And now, we’re supposed to just go back to normal,” Jacob said. “Or as normal as possible. It’s insane, really. We’re lucky that no one’s fighting wearing masks or social distancing. Otherwise, that would be that. Seriously.”
“It’s just because people trust you,” Jill said. “Trust Sam. Everyone knows that they are the lucky ones, because we all know people who are out of work. Businesses are closing left and right. None of the servers at Pete’s are working. They are all at home praying to get unemployment. . .”
“That system is a mess,” Jacob said.
“Right,” Jill said. “You’re traumatized by everything. It makes sense that you’re a little stunned at the idea of being done with all of it.”
“People are still job sharing,” Jacob said. “Val’s still got money on the line for people insurance.”
“We’re not done with this,” Jill said.
“According to Delphie, we won’t be done with this for a long while,” Jacob said.
“Why?” Jill asked.
“I don’t really understand it, but I guess the virus mutates,” Jacob said with a shrug. “She said to expect it to get worse before we’re out of the woods.”
“It’s terrifying,” Jill said, under her breath. “We’re so lucky that none of us has been sick.”
“We cheat,” Jacob said. “Without your help, Dad would be dead.”
“Luck,” Jill said. “And, we’ve tried to share that luck. Blane and Nelson are running those clinics for neighbors on the weekends. We’ve been passing out dinners to people stuck at home.”
“We took in all of those Fey kids,” Jacob said.
“Right,” Jill said. “Grew all that food.”
“Speaking of food,” Jacob said. “Delphie wondered if you could help with the canning.”
“I’ve never done it before, but I’m game,” Jill said with a shrug.
“I guess, Delphie has gotten her friends to do the cooking,” Jacob said. “Sandy, too. She needs help sealing all the jars of jam and soup and stuff. Val helps. There’s just going to be a lot more.”
“There’s always more to do,” Jill said.
Jacob turned in his seat to look at her. She nodded. He looked away and shook his head.
“You’re right,” Jacob said. “Of course. There’s always more to do. There’s more to do here at the Castle. There’s more to do at the Marlowe School.”
“Lipson hasn’t restarted their private contracts,” Jill said.
Jacob pointed at her. They fell silent for a long moment. Jill finished her glass of cold water.
“It’s going to be okay,” Jill said.
“God, I hope so,” Jacob said. “It all just seems like chaos now.”
“You love chaos,” Jill said.
Jacob got up and held a hand out to her.
“Let’s go make some order,” Jacob said.
Jill laughed out loud. He grinned. She took his hand. Leaving their water glasses on the counter, they went to bed.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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