CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY
Saturday morning — 5:30 a.m.
“Who are you?” Rachel Ann whispered to the person sitting on her bed. “If you’re a scary monster, then you’re going to have to deal with my big brother!”
The woman leaned forward.
“No scary monster here,” Sissy said.
“Sissy!” Rachel Ann said, throwing herself onto her brother.
“Shh,” Sissy said, in a whisper. “You don’t want to wake everyone up!”
“Did someone say Sissy?” Charlie asked as he opened the door to the room.
“Heya Charlie,” Sissy said.
She stood and hugged her sister.
“Should we be hugging?” Charlie asked. “We don’t know if you have Covid. Do they have Covid there?”
“Who’s talking?” Noelle asked. “Why are you talking in the dark?”
She reached over and turned on her bedside light.
“Sissy!” Noelle squealed.
Noelle jumped up to hug Sissy.
“Jill picked me and Ivan up at the airport,” Sissy said. “She wanted to surprise Sandy, so she came to get us.”
“How did she know?” Sandy asked, leaning against the door frame.
“I’m not sure,” Sissy said. “Was Helene here?”
“The pretty French lady?” Rachel Ann asked. “I told her that you were there and she said that she knew you well!”
“That must be it,” Sissy said. “Jill said something about Helene but I couldn’t put it together.”
Sandy held out her arms, and Sissy hugged her tight. Sandy kissed Sissy’s cheek.
“How are you?” Sandy asked when she pulled away.
Embarrassed, Sissy just nodded.
“Sissy!” Nash squealed from the adjoining bathroom door.
Nash and Teddy rushed into Noelle and Rachel’s room. Everyone was talking and laughing at once. Aden stomped down the hallway holding a towel around his waist.
“What’s everyone doing out of bed?” Aden said in the hallway. “You know that we have a long day today. If you don’t. . . Sissy?”
“I’d hug you but. . .” Aden gestured to his wet body. “It’s wonderful to see you. Really wonderful. Is Ivan here too?”
“He’s staying at Seth’s,” Sissy said.
“Why?” Sandy asked.
“It’s all a long story,” Sissy said. “We can talk about it when everyone’s awake.”
“Go,” Sandy said. She patted Aden’s chest. “Finish your shower.”
“Pancakes?” Charlie said in a yawn.
“Sounds magnifique,” Sissy said
Charlie kissed Sissy’s cheek and hugged her again before heading to the kitchen.
“Why don’t you guys get ready?” Sandy asked. “It’s cool out. I’m sure Val’s already cooking and Delphie’s got people picking.”
The kids jumped up and started getting dressed.
“Sissy?” Sandy asked.
Sandy held out an elbow. Sissy took her elbow and they walked to Sandy’s bedroom.
“We probably just have a few minutes,” Sandy said. “I wanted just to look at you.”
“I talk to you every week!” Sissy asked.
“It’s different to see you in person,” Sandy said. “How are you?”
“Good,” Sissy said with a nod. “Really good.”
“What are you doing here?” Sandy asked.
“I didn’t tell you because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but school’s done,” Sissy said.
“What do you mean ‘school’s done’?” Sandy asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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