CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTY-SIX
“Poor babies,” Jill said, nodding. “How do they like their room?”
“We’re meeting with a child therapist tomorrow,” Tanesha said. “We signed up for a home service to come in and help. Play therapy that kind of thing.”
Tanesha sighed and shook her head.
“Do you want me to check to see what they need?” Jill asked.
Tanesha’s head jerked to look at Jill.
“Can you?” Tanesha asked.
“I can try,” Jill said. Jill nodded to Heather. “Can you. . .?”
Heather held up her hands and rubbed her fingers together. The air filled with a wonderful smell and everyone seemed to relax a little bit. Jill nodded to Heather and went over to the boys again. After a few minutes, she returned. The girlfriends moved away so that they could speak privately.
“Okay,” Jill said. “The older boy, Trey?”
Looking worried, Tanesha nodded.
“He’s the reason the boys are here,” Jill said. “He wants to be your son — you and Jeraine. He’s been jealous of Jabari living here and pushed to come live here. Now that he’s here, he’s not sure he’s deserving of being here. So he has this conflict — wanting to be here and feeling like he shouldn’t be here.”
“Loyalty,” Sandy said.
“What?” Tanesha asked.
“He feels caught between his loyalty to his mother and his desire to survive,” Sandy said. “I felt that way when I moved in with my dad. I felt loyal to the other guy, who’d said he was my dad. It’s hard.”
“That’s helpful,” Tanesha said. “Thanks. And Bubba?”
“He’s very sad,” Jill said. “He doesn’t know why his dad is gone. He’s afraid that he’ll lose the love he got from them. He doesn’t want to be here or really anywhere right now.”
“He’s suffered an enormous loss,” Heather said.
“Do they have Covid?” Sandy asked.
“They are just a day away from showing symptoms,” Jill said.
“Can you help?” Tanesha asked.
“I have,” Jill said. “We should get Blane to treat them. Bubba needs Blane and Jeraine, well, and you, of course. I guess, you know, it’s like that song.”
“Song?” Tanesha asked.
“Hold on loosely but don’t let go,” Jill said. “You’re going to be fine. Truly. They’ve been waiting and wanting, their entire lives, to live with you and Jeraine. It’s their dream.”
“And their nightmare,” Sandy said.
Tanesha nodded. Tanesha held her arms out and her best friends hugged her tight.
“We’ve got this,” Heather whispered.
“Oh you guys,” Tanesha said and started to cry.
They held each other for a long moment and then separated.
“Where is Blane?” Sandy asked.
“Vaccination clinic at the Castle,” Heather said. “They are vaccinating everyone at Lipson. They got some vaccine today so they’re using it. Did you get yours?”
Sandy nodded, as did Tanesha and Jill.
“Good,” Heather said. “Remember, you’
“Mama?” Jabari asked. “Can we have a cookie?”
Jabari’s voice broke up their private conversation. The women moved into action. For a moment, the boys’ sickness and loss was behind them, and they were just little boys eating cookies and playing.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...
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