Cara Mia Delgatto and the Bye-Bye Birdie, Part 14

Note: We’ve had so much fun with serialized stories that I’m trying my hand at one again! Here’s the next installment of a new adventure for Cara Mia Delgatto and her friends. To read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 scroll to the bottom of the blog where it says OLDER POSTS.

Sid had been on the sidelines for most of this adventure, tapping away at his keyboard and quietly marshalling resources. On Saturday, when we had our final planning meeting at Martin Gardens, he had announced that a variety of media would be joining us on the appointed day to watch the installation. Greta had invited all the mucky-mucks of her parent company, but none had responded. Her immediate boss had given her a lukewarm okay to the idea of planting a few flowers and generally sprucing up the landscape.

“I wasn’t entirely honest with him,” she admitted to me over a glass of wine. We’d become pretty good friends. I had learned that she, too, was a single mother. Her husband had abandoned her shortly after they learned their son had Down Syndrome. Freddie had struggled through life, but recently found a place at halfway house (I guess that’s what you’d call it) for adults with disabilities. He bagged groceries and loved his freedom. However, he still had a wide variety of medical needs that drained Greta’s resources.

“Why didn’t you brag to Mr. Salazar? This has turned into a really, really big deal!” Skye tucked her legs under her bottom and curled up on her futon. Admittedly, her apartment had become our gathering spot. She’d done such a fantastic job of turning trash into treasure with her decor that I never failed to get inspired after a visit.

“He’s prickly at best. Doesn’t like me. Doesn’t think I’m qualified. Doesn’t think I show him the proper deference.” She paused. “A bit of gossip. His nephew applied for the same job that I did, but I got it and he didn’t. Rumor has it that Mr. Salazar wants me out so he can bring Paul in and crow about my failure.”

Each visit began with the “How Is Helen?” report. This had been no exception.

“She’s fading fast. Manages a bite of food now and again. Extremely cachetic. Um, that means she’s wasting away and ‘extremely’ is redundant to be precise.” Greta was usually precise except in matters of the heart. I found her an odd juxtaposition of rigid and soft, almost as if both sides warred within her.

“Will she make it through tomorrow?” I was worried. Kookie had been installed in his new cage. Poppy had concocted a sort of small sized hurricane shutters that could be lowered when the sun was too bright or the wind too fearsome. We didn’t find any more of his feathers on the ground, so the plucking seemed to have stopped. He wasn’t eating much, but now instead of shrieking Helen’s name, he cooed and sang lullabies.

“Almost as if that durn bird knows she’s on her way to eternal rest,” Poppy had observed.

Skye took all this a bit hard. She’d always wanted a bird. Then along came Kookie. And she’d willingly given Kookie back to Helen. But I could see the sad light in her eyes each time we visited. However, Skye was no stranger to loss. I had a hunch that in her mind, she chalked this up to yet another disappointment that life had thrown her way.

~To Be Continued~

Author’s Note: Oh my gosh! I asked you to “talk” to me–and I was bowled over by your response! I’m taking a series of online classes right now. One teacher says that Facebook is a TOTAL waste of time for authors. That we’re only fooling ourselves. But I think we’ve found a wonderful way to share with each other–and because I feel closer to all of you, I get tremendous energy. So here’s a big HUG from me to you. Have a great day! — j