Great stories about good people caught in difficult situations.

Denver Cereal - Chapter Three : What he's missing....


What he’s missing….

“Back off Trevor.” Jill’s brother Steve growled.

Jill’s head jerked to see Trevor storming toward her. Steve put his arm on Trevor’s shoulder and pushed him away from Jill and Jacob. Turning to Jill, Steve said under his breath to Jill, “Get this over with.”

“Jill, I need to speak with you,” Trevor said.

Standing, Jill put her hand on Steve’s arm, “It’s all right.”

“What do you want?”

“Why are you here?” Trevor’s eyes were slits of rage and indigation.

“To celebrate your new life,” Jill said. “I’m very happy for you.”

“Bullshit,” Trevor fury packed words spit at Jill with each word. “You show up in your ‘get lucky’ boots to celebrate my new life?”

“What I wear is no concern of yours,” Jill said. “Anyway, I’m just a one night stand.”

“Ah Jill, what did you expect me to say?”

“I love her with every cell in my body, every fiber in my being, every thought in my head, and every action in my life.” Jill imitated his voice. “That’s what you used to tell everyone, including me.”

“Jill, please try to understand. I still love….”

“Don’t even start. You threw away me. You threw away our friends. We were all too low class for you. Yet….”

“I know that look. What are you up to?”

“All your low class ex-friends are here, Trev. Look around.” Jill leaned into him. Her face was less than an inch from his face. “We came to wish you a nice new life as far away from us as possible.”

She watched surprise, then fear flash through Trevor’s eyes. Taking his glass of champagne, she drained the glass then gave it back to him.

“Thanks,” she said.

She raised one eyebrow in challenge to Trevor. He opened his mouth then shifted to neutral. Jill turned to see what he was looking at and found Megan, wearing a server’s uniform, holding a cordless microphone. Trevor was always terrified of Megan.

Jill beamed at her oldest sister. Only Megan could be completely loving and absolutely disapproving at the same time.

“Go on, sis,” Megan said.

Jill took the microphone.

“May I have your attention, please? I’d like to make a little toast to the happy couple.”

The crowd moved to get a view of Jill and the rich girl came to hold Trevor’s hand. “But first, in order to launch Trevor into his new life, we wanted to share some photos with you.”

The lights fell and a screen came down from the ballroom ceiling. The band began to play, “The way we were”. As the crowd became silent, and Trevor’s rich girl started screaming, a photo flashed on the screen.

“I don’t know what’s here…. Oh you can’t turn it off. When you trust a working person to set things up for you, you should check his loyalties first.”

The rich girl stomped to the back of the ballroom to find a way to turn the photos off.

“Um… this is a photo of Trevor and me at our junior high school dance. Aren’t we cute?”

A picture of Trevor and Jill dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy filled the screen. The photo vibrated with joy and laughter. The image changed to a picture of two wrists with matching tattoos that said “Soul Mates” in scripted blue letters.

“Those are our tattoos.”

Jill turned over her arm to show the tattoo that was still inked on her wrist. Glancing at Trevor, he held up his wrist. His blank wrist combined with his nasty smile knocked the wind out of her. She gasped for breath. Her mouth dropped open and she gawked at him. .

“Go on.” Megan slipped her arm around Jill’s waist.

Jill nodded.

The screen shifted to a legal document - their wedding license.

“This is our wedding license. We got married three years later. My parents died when I was ten so we had to talk my sister Megan into it.”

“I was against it,” Megan said.

Jill laughed at Megan’s strong tone. Megan was always so smart about everything.

The image shifted to their wedding picture. She wore a short white rayon dress that cost twenty dollars at Sears. Trevor wore a borrowed tux three sizes too big. Sitting on his bended knee, she was laughing at something he’d said. They were kissing in the next photo.

“I was sixteen and he was seventeen. Here’s our first apartment. “

Oh and that’s a picture of our puppy, Scooter.” An image of a tiny mutt puppy flashed on the screen. “He was a wedding present. Scooter got hit by a car a couple years ago.”

While the screen flashed through three or four pictures of them playing with Scooter then showed a picture of them kissing in their high school graduation robes.

“We graduated from high school.” Jill laughed. The picture switched their graduation party. “I’m pretty drunk here.”

She was sitting facing Trevor, on his lap, wearing only a small panties and her graduation hat. Trevor’s face was buried in her neck. She heard laughter and cat calls. Looking up from the screen to the crowd, she realized that they were doing something no one expected - these rich people were enjoying the show.

The picture changed to one of her standing sideways.

“Ok, you can’t tell, but I’m pregnant here. Trev wanted a photo every week.”

The screen flashed through nine months of her growing big. Then there was a photo of Trevor kissing Jill while she held a one minute old Katy.

“That’s Katy. Her name is Katherine, after my mom, but we call her Katy. Isn’t she beautiful? She just turned four.” Jill beamed.

The images flashed through countless pictures of Katy. Infant pictures changed to toddler pictures. Image after image, Jill watched her pretty baby grow up. They seemed so happy in the photos. The image shifted to Christmas.

“You can see by the date on the picture that this was last Christmas. That’s a picture of Trev and me at Keystone.”

They were sitting on the ski slope, with their snow boards, wrapped in each other. “I love Jill” was cut into the snow and Trevor was kissing her face. They looked so blissfully happy. Images flashed through a family Christmas pausing at a New Year’s Eve party. Taken at midnight, Trevor and Jill were making out in the corner of the picture. The back of Jill’s gold t-shirt read, “Trevor’s wish” while a large “J”, the rest unseen at by the angle of the picture, was visible in the back of Trevor’s matching t-shirt.

When the next image flashed across the screen, the crowd gasped.

“These are our divorce papers. As you can see it was two days later that Trevor divorced me and that means….”

“You’re still married,” a man’s voice yelled from the back of the room. “Lawyer, sorry.” The crowd laughed.

“Until tomorrow,” Jill said. She took a step toward Trevor who was shaking his head. “I wanted to give you a few things to help you in your new life.”

The band began to play “I will survive”.

“First, here’s my wedding ring. While I see that you managed to get her a diamond, my little thirty dollar ring was good for nine years. You should keep it.”

She pulled the ring from her left hand and placed it in Trevor’s hand

“I think you should have these.”

There was a whistle from the back of the room as Jill unzipped the beautiful boots. She gave the boots to the rich girl.

“He calls these his ‘get lucky’ boots. They’re a little big for you but you can get them altered. Just put them on, honey, and you’ll have a good time,” Jill said. Megan touched Jill’s arm then helped her step into the black pumps. “Thanks.”

“I guess that’s it,” Jill said.

“No. It’s not,” Steve yelled from the back of the room.

“Oh,” Jill nodded.

In her heart of hearts, Jill hoped that Trevor would see their happy pictures and change his mind. She let out a breath. He wasn’t going to change his mind.

Megan was right, as always.

Trevor only saw dollar signs.

Lowering her head to cover her last hope exploding in her heart, she unbuttoned her shirt. Reaching into her shirt, she retrieved a folded piece of paper. Candy gave her the long stem white rose.

“This is our wedding present for you, Trevor.” Her eyes full of tears, Jill voice caught on the words. “We terminated your parental rights. You’re not Katy’s daddy anymore.”

“No, Jill, no,” Trevor shook his head back and forth as his voice rose in desperation. “No, you can’t do that.”

“You haven’t even seen her in six months!”


“It’s done,” Jill said. “You signed the papers when Mikey had you sign the financial papers.”

“Then it’s legal,” the lawyer in the back of the room yelled.

“Now, we are leaving which means that you high class people don’t have low people to serve your dinner or your drinks or even play in your band. Pete said that if you bring your invitation to the Kitchen on Colfax, he’ll feed you dinner as a freedom present for me.”

“Good luck,” Jill said.

She gave Trevor the rose, then she couldn’t resist the magnet like draw of him. She kissed his lips. He moved to draw her deeper, his lips pulling at hers, but she shifted away from him.

“I’m not yours to kiss anymore. No matter how much I love you…” her voice, barely above a whisper, caught and tears dropped. “You chose someone else. I had nine wonderful years with my soul mate. That’s more than most people have in a life time. I have no right to complain.”

She put her hand on his chest then she nodded.

“Good night.”

As she embarked on a hip wagging trip across the floor, someone clapped. She looked over to see Jacob then his father clapping. The rich people began to cheer for Jill. She blushed and left the room.

“That’s the girl, isn’t it?” Jacob’s Dad asked.

Jacob nodded.

“She is very much like your mother.”

Jacob watched Jill through the glass wall as she rode the escalator down from the Seawell Ballroom.

“She’s really just herself.”

“You are a damned fool if you don’t snatch up that woman,” his father said under his breath. His weeping daughter came over to him.

“Now sugar,” he said turning to his daughter. “I told you not to gloat about stealing someone else’s man.”

“But Daddy….”


2 weeks later

“He’s been here every night,” Candy said to Jill. They met in motion behind the counter at Pete’s Kitchen.

“So?” Jill replied. Leaning through the cook’s window, she pointed at the check. “José, can you make sure those hash browns are a little crispy?”

“You should talk to him,” Candy continued. She filled two coffee mugs and walked toward the floor.

“I told you, Candy. He’s in love with some married girl.” Jill called after her.

Candy shook her head. She was almost to the booth when she turned back to Jill, “Go talk to him.”

Jill straightened her bright pink uniform with its little white apron and walked over toward Jacob. He was reading the newspaper at the counter. He looked up to watch her walk over to him.

“What’s up?”

“I was wondering if you would marry me, but I’d take a date or a conversation or maybe another kiss.” Jacob’s face flushed with emotion. “How was that? I’ve been practicing.”

“Very smooth,” Jill replied. “What about the married girl?”

“What married girl?”

“The one you’re in love with?”

“Oh her. She’s divorced.”

Jill sat down on the bar stool next to him.

“Why aren’t you with her?” She knocked him with her shoulder. “You should go get her.”

Jacob’s eyes held Jill’s. In one fluid movement, he kissed her lips. Surprised, Jill pulled back to look at him again.

“You OK Jill?” A beefy cook appeared across the counter. He glowered at Jacob.

“Yeah, Risto. Thanks. I’m Ok..”

Jill smiled at the cook. The cook leaned into Jacob and Jacob sat back on his stool.

When the cook turned away from them, Jill said, “I’m the girl?”

Jacob nodded. “From the moment I laid eyes on you nine years ago.”

Blushing bright red, Jill looked away from Jacob.

“I’m not very lucky at love. But I guess you know that,” she said. “I promised myself, well and Megan, that I wouldn’t ever even date again, let alone fall in love.”

“Give me one chance. We don’t even have to call it a date. In fact, it won’t be a date. I can take you to a movie or…”

“I’d like to go to the zoo.”

“What if I take you and Katy to the zoo tomorrow?”

Jill blushed.

“I don’t know. I’ve read that it’s not good for babies to have other men around. But I can’t really afford to take her so…”

“No romance, no hanky panky, no date, just the zoo. Well, maybe some lunch and the zoo.” Jacob held his hand out for her to shake.

“Lunch and the zoo sounds like a date but okay.” Jill shook his hand.

“When do you get off?”

“In an hour,” Jill said.

“Can I take you home? I mean, in my truck… I know you walk to work. We could walk. I mean, it would be great if you would let me take you to my home but I don’t want to be too forward… or move too fast or …”

Jill laughed. Walking back to her station, she said, “Sure.”

Denver Cereal continues next week… who knows what will happen next….


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