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July 2021

Chapter Six Hundred and Fifty-one - Enter a little chaos (part five)


(part five)

Tuesday night — 9:15 p.m.

“I don’t know,” Jacob said. “I just don’t know.”

He shook his head. Moving around their couch in the loft, he sat down next to Jill.

“What concerns you?” Jill asked.

“I. . .” Jacob said. “I don’t know if it’s change or if I. . . Oh hell, I don’t know. I’ve spent the last months working non-stop, 24/7 to keep Lipson Construction open and everyone working. I spent the entire day going from meeting to meeting about either the company or with the union or with the state or with the residents of Honey and MJs building or. . . I don’t know.”

“It does seem weird to now say ‘Let’s sell the rest of the company,’ when you’ve been working so hard,” Jill said.

“We don’t know when or if this pandemic will be over,” Jacob said. “The state believes that we’ll have vaccine ‘soon’ but what the hell is ‘soon?’ And even then. I heard from some guys that they don’t think that they want to get vaccinated.”

Jill shook her head.

“The misinformation machine is working overtime,” Jacob said.

“For the election,” Jill said.

“I doubt it will stop at the election,” Jacob said. “It’s here to stay.”

Jill groaned.

“How was school?” Jacob asked.

“I didn’t have school today,” Jill said.

“I’m sorry,” Jacob said. “Of course, I knew that.”

Jill put her hand on his leg. He turned to look at her.

“You seem kind of. . .” Jill started.

“Freaked out?” Jacob asked.

Jill nodded.

“I am freaked out,” Jacob said. “I mean, there was a time when I dreamed of being free of this company. I wanted to. . .”

He blew out a breath.

“I’ve said this so many times that even I am bored hearing it,” Jacob said.

Jill grinned at him.

“I thought my life would go this way, but it went that way and upside down and now we have three kids and it’s so fucking hot,” Jacob said. “Why is it so hot up here?”

“We didn’t turn the air conditioning on out here,” Jill said. “It’s in the bedrooms, but not out here. I can turn it on, if you’d like.”

Jacob scowled.

“What’s really going on?” Jill asked.

“I. . .” Jacob sighed. “I don’t want my dad to die.”

“Die?” Jill asked, confused.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Jacob said. “If he retires, he’s that much closer to death. I guess, I don’t know. I. . .”

Jacob shook his head.

“I feel a little crazy,” Jacob said with a grin.

“You sound a little crazy,” Jill said.

Jacob nodded.

“You know what I think?” Jill asked.

Jacob looked at her. He got up and went to the refrigerator. He took out the pitcher of water and poured two glasses. He dropped a couple of ice cubes into the glasses and carried them back to the couch.

“Thanks,” Jill said.

“Yes, I would like to know what you think,” Jacob said. “Always. What do you think?”

“I think you’re traumatized by everything that’s happened this year,” Jill said. “The pandemic is terrifying. Your father got sick before we even realized there was a virus, let alone a global pandemic and it was before we were sent home.”

“He was so sick,” Jacob said softly.

“He nearly died,” Jill said.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...

Chapter Six Hundred and Fifty-one - Enter a little chaos (part four)


(part four)

“What?” Sam asked.

“Oh, you,” Delphie said. “I’m sure that in your mind you’ll hang out at home, read books, watch some television, practice golf. . .”

Sam winced at the word “golf.”

“Fishing, then,” Delphie said.

“Sounds great to me,” Sam said.

Delphie laughed.

“Why is that funny?” Sam asked.

“You are,” Delphie said.

“Why?” Sam asked.

“I’ve known you since you were ten years old, Sam Lipson,” Delphie said. “You’ve never been able to tolerate inactivity. You’ll go fishing one day and the next start remodeling some place or training dogs or. . .”

Delphie shrugged.

“Is that a bad thing?” Sam asked.

“It’s a you thing,” Delphie said. “I’m sure that Jill and Jake could use help in their rehab business. Rodney’s pretty excited about the men he works with. Honey and MJ could use help starting another apartment building for folks in wheelchairs.”

Sam gave her a thoughtful look.

“That’s off the top of my head,” Delphie said.

Sam smiled.

“Maybe I’ve changed,” Sam said.

Delphie laughed out loud so hard that Sam began to laugh. After a moment, she turned to him.

“I think you should have more fun,” Delphie said. “I agree that it’s time to let the employees own the company. It’s time for you to move on.”

“Let go and let God,” Sam said. “Aden said at breakfast this morning. I. . . I’m not sure I know how to do that.”

“I think it’s something that must be done,” Delphie said. “Not eased into or thought about.”

Sam nodded. He stared off into space.

“When the kids were little, we used to lay out plastic sheeting and spray them with water,” Sam said. “The kids would slide along the sheeting. They cooled off.”

Delphie nodded.

“If we put it on the driveway, the photographers will take photos of Val and Grace,” Delphie said.

“We have to put it here,” Sam said. He gestured to the area of ten-foot-wide grass between the back deck and the garden. “It’s still in the sun though.”

Shaking her head, Delphie shrugged.

“We’ll figure it out,” she said.

“And me retiring?” Sam asked.

“It seems like you’ve helped the company through this last crisis,” Delphie said. “You can always step in if they need it or if something happens.”

“So it’s okay with you if I retire?” Sam asked. “It will give me time to get up to some mischief and adventure.”

“Of course it will,” Delphie said with a grin. “Chaos, too!”

Sam smiled. He hugged her again.

“Did you get some watermelon?” Sam asked.

Delphie let go of him and looked up.

“Watermelon?” Delphie asked. “What are we talking about?”

“We’d better get inside before those boys eat all of that watermelon!” Sam said.

Laughing, Sam ran into the house. Delphie ran in after him.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...