CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-ONE
Talking to Sandy and Aden would make everything that was happening real. For the last six months, she told herself that she didn’t have to deal with everything until she spoke with Sandy and Aden. Standing outside the apartment, she took a breath for courage and went inside.
Aden was sitting at the table. He had his laptop open, his phone, and a checkbook. He was clearly ready for anything. There were glasses of water and a pitcher on the table. Sandy came in from the kitchen with a pot of tea. Sandy nodded to Sissy and went back into the kitchen for something yummy.
Sandy did not disappoint. She returned with her “Everything” cookies that included nuts and chocolate and caramel bits and some candies and other yummy things. They were Sissy’s favorite.
“Have a seat,” Aden said, gesturing to a seat next to him at the round table. He gestured to everything in front of him. “I wasn’t sure what we’d need, so I. . .”
Sissy grinned at him.
“It’s really great to see you, Sis,” Aden said. “I’ve missed you. You’re such an important part of our family that we all miss you.”
“I miss you guys too,” Sissy said. “It’s like a rock in my shoe. I feel it every day.”
“We never got used to it either,” Aden said. “That’s not to underestimate your incredible accomplishments.”
Sissy smiled at him. Sandy took a seat next to Aden. She set her phone in front of her.
“We watched your final dance for school,” Aden said.
Sandy held up a hand showing five fingers and mouthed “times.” Sissy grinned.
“You know, I lead meetings all day, all week,” Aden said. “I don’t want to step on your toes.”
Sissy gave him a little shake of her head and sat down next to Aden. She shifted the chair so that she could see them both. As a younger girl, Sissy talked nearly non-stop. Neither Sandy nor Aden knew what to do in Sissy’s silence. They waited.
“I. . .” Sissy said. She looked up at them and then sighed. “If I tell you then it all becomes real.”
Sandy reached out for Sissy’s left hand and Aden took her right.
“Just tell us,” Sandy said, softly.
“Can’t fix a problem we know nothing about,” Aden said.
“You probably remember that Ivan moved to Paris to rest,” Sissy said. “He was tired from working and everything. I mean, he’s danced all of his life. He’s the eldest male dancer in the world.”
“It turns out that he had a kind of blood cancer called ‘Myeloma,’” Sissy said. “The doctors think it’s from his time in the gulag. They think that he’s had it for a few years. They got his samples from when we were shot. They found evidence that he already had the Myeloma.”
“When did you find out?” Aden asked.
“Right after I graduated,” Sissy said. “I. . . I mean, I’m such a child. I thought that if we ‘took care of it’ for a few months that we’d get married and live our lives.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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