CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FOURTEEN
Scowling, he stopped talking.
“Sounds like the meeting was awful,” Jill said.
“Worst than awful,” Jacob said. “People were screaming at each other. Pointing fingers. Raging. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it. I was halfway between shocked and furious. I sat there dumbfounded and so ashamed. I mean, what would Mom say?”
Jill didn’t respond to give him space to talk.
“I’m so ashamed,” Jacob said. He turned to look at her. “That’s just it. I feel so full of shame and… I didn’t do anything. I’m not the one who is angry! I’m not the ridiculous fool that… I’m just the fool that thought it could work.”
“You weren’t able to come to an agreement?” Jill asked.
“We did,” Jacob said. “I mean, they did. Finally. After I told them about the offers and how greedy and stupid everyone thinks they are and…”
“Are you working tomorrow?” Jill asked.
“No,” Jacob said. “We’re off until Wednesday to figure out the logistics of this… bullshit.”
“Ah,” Jill said. “They chose job sharing.”
“I believe you owe me a silver dollar,” Jill said.
Jacob turned to look at her.
“How did you know?” Jacob asked.
“Delphie told me,” Jill said.
For the first time in a long time, Jacob laughed out loud.
“I should have listened,” Jacob said.
“Now that’s something to be ashamed of,” Jill said.
Jacob looked at Jill but didn’t respond. Jill pointed at him.
“You have nothing to be ashamed of,” Jill said. “You believed the best in people, and look — they’ve chosen to do what’s best for them. So truthfully, you were right.”
“Why does it feel so crappy?” Jacob asked.
“The fighting feels crappy,” Jill said. “All of this arguing and fake facts and this horrible virus and…” well, everything. It all feels crappy.”
Jacob nodded and went back to looking at the mountains.
“Come on,” Jill said. Standing, she held out her hand, “Come inside.”
“To ravish you?” Jacob asked.
“I have decided to ravish you, instead,” Jill said.
Jacob laughed. Grabbing his hand, Jill dragged him to her. He kissed her hard. Laughing, she ran back inside. He gave one last look at his mother’s ghost, which was hanging over the garden.
“She’s right, you know,” Celia Marlowe said.
He heard her voice for the first time tonight. He felt immediate relief.
“You have nothing to be ashamed of,” Celia Marlowe added.
“Go,” Celia said. “Relish the joy in your life.”
He ran off after Jill.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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