CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-TWO
Saturday afternoon — 1:11 p.m.
Shuffling her tarot cards, Delphie looked up at Ivan and Sissy. The windows of her apartment were wide open. They were sitting six feet apart and each of them were wearing face masks.
“What are your questions?” Delphie asked.
“We decided on three,” Sissy said.
Sissy looked at Ivan. He gave her a soft smile.
“I am only here so that she will accept,” Ivan said.
“Accept what?” Delphie asked.
“I am dying,” Ivan said. “My life is over. There is nothing left for us.”
Sissy’s face flushed with anger and emotion. Delphie scowled at him.
“Why is this important to you, Ivan?” Delphie asked.
“It is the truth,” Ivan said. He gave an exhausted lift of this shoulder.
Moving quickly, Delphie laid out the cards and then scooped them up again. She shuffled.
“And?” Ivan asked, his voice laced with exhauster.
“I was just checking something,” Delphie said. “What are your three questions?”
“I want to know what you checked,” Ivan said.
Delphie smiled at him.
“I had a sense that your desire to just fade away was. . .” Delphie sighed.
“Be clear!” Ivan said, emphatically.
“Okay,” Delphie said. “Your sense that ‘there is nothing left’ for you, for Sissy, for the both of you, has more to do with the fact that you believe that you don’t deserve to be happy than any intuitive knowing about your health.”
Ivan scowled but Sissy nodded.
“You have suffered enough, Ivan,” Delphie said. “Your sister, your mother, and your father believe that you had suffered enough. It’s time for you to live a joyous life.”
“I am Russian,” Ivan said. “Joy does not come naturally to me.”
Delphie smiled at Ivan.
“And now this sickness,” Ivan said. He shrugged.
“Hmm,” Delphie said. She smiled at Sissy. “What are your questions?”
“Is there hope?” Sissy asked.
“For?” Delphie asked.
“Us,” Sissy said. “For Ivan’s health. For our future. For my future?”
“Yes. Yes. And yes,” Delphie said with a grin. “There is a lot of hope.”
“For?” Ivan asked.
“You have options with your health,” Delphie said. “I see two children. I see Sissy dancing for at least another decade.”
Delphie shrugged. Ivan shook his head with disbelief.
“Okay,” Sissy said. She glanced at Ivan and continued, “Otis believes that our own option is a bone marrow transplant. Are there other options? Better options? Will any of these things work?”
“What are the options?” Delphie asked and stopped shuffling the cards.
“Continue chemotherapy,” Sissy said.
Delphie placed a card on her table.
“Immunotherapy,” Sissy said.
“Okay,” Delphie said, placing another card.
“Bone marrow transplant,” Sissy said.
Delphie put down another card.
“Um, Blane talked about something, but we weren’t sure what he was talking about,” Sissy said.
Nodding, Delphie set down another card.
“Anything else?” Delphie asked.
Sissy looked at Ivan.
“Give up,” Ivan said. “Not waste the money and time. Let go, let God.”
“Of course,” Delphie said and set another card onto the table.
For a long moment, they were silent.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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