CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-TWO
Saturday midday— 12:31 p.m.
“Hey,” Tanesha said. She leaned over the bed to shake Jeraine’s shoulder. “You said that you wanted to get up at 12:30.”
“None of that,” Tanesha said. “You know that you’ve had enough sleep. You have to stay on schedule or your head gets off.”
“Feel tired.” Jeraine flopped over onto his back. He stared at the ceiling for a moment. “Actually, I’m okay.”
“How’s your head?” Tanesha asked. “Last night was a late one.”
Jeraine had a concert last night in the ballroom of the Castle. The musical guest was a jazz band that met over the Internet during Covid-19 lockdown. They were big on the social media platforms where they’d met and very popular with the public, in general. The band insisted on piping the music outside of the Castle. The Casino’s team set up speakers on the greenhouses in the Castle driveway. Wearing masks and socially distancing, the bands fans danced and sang along in the parking lot of the 7-11 on Colfax Boulevard.
Jeraine was up with the band long after his designated sleep time so he’d slept in late.
“Actually, I’m okay,” Jeraine said. He sat up and got out of bed. “Excited for Harvest Day. How’s it going?”
He walked across their bedroom to use the restroom.
“It’s fun,” Tanesha said. “I’m having fun, at least.”
“And Sissy?” Jeraine asked from the bathroom.
“Ivan’s got a kind of blood cancer,” Tanesha said. “He doesn’t want to marry Sissy. Just wants to just fade away.”
“Damn,” Jeraine said from the bathroom. “That’s drama.”
“Hmm,” Tanesha said.
Jeraine flushed the toilet.
“I’m going to make your smoothie,” Tanesha said. “I’ll meet you in the kitchen.”
“See you there,” Jeraine said and turned on the shower water.
Tanesha went out to the big house kitchen. She put together Jeraine’s morning smoothie with a little bit of frozen fruit, some spinach, a cup of nut milk, protein powder, and some of his medications for his head.
Dressed in jeans and a long sleeved T-shirt, Jeraine came out with a towel on his head. She set the smoothie in front of him and he drank it down without question.
She gave him a glass of room temperature water. He drank it down.
“I wanted to say something,” Jeraine said.
“What’s up?” Tanesha asked.
“I know that when I came in last night, you were talking to Heather about something more important than your hair,” Jeraine said.
“Oh yea?” Tanesha shrugged. “What do you think you know?”
He grinned at her surly response, and she smiled in return.
“I wanted to remind you that you can talk to me,” Jeraine said. “I can handle more than conversations about your hair.”
“Good to know,” Tanesha said.
“Seems like something big is going on with you,” Jeraine said.
“I don’t know if I can go into it with everything going on today,” Tanesha said.
“Did something bad happen?” Jeraine asked.
“No, no, I mean, yes,” Tanesha said with a nod. “Working in the ER is awful. Totally awful. I cry every single day when I leave. I gotten to a point where I dread going in. I don’t think I can handle it anymore.”
As they had practiced in couples therapy, Jeraine didn’t offer suggestions. He simply listened. When he was sure she’d finished talking, he nodded.
“I understand,” Jeraine said, evenly to encourage her to talk.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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