“Hmm?” Jammed in my mouth was a slice of toast, the honey and butter exploding across my taste buds.
“Lori?” He snapped his fingers in my face.
I slapped it away. “What? What are you going on about?”
He raised an eye brow. “There is a new shed in kit form out beside the caravan to be put together. You have beams arriving tomorrow, we have timbers arriving for the walls that have to be strengthened and replaced this afternoon, the weather boards are stacked next to the house under a plastic tarp, and you tell me this morning that the leco is coming next week to run the wires.”
“You’re fucking treating us like slave labour.” Bellowing back, my brother flapped his hands in the air. “How the fuck are me and Kent going to get all of this structural work done in one week?”
I shoved the last bit of tasty toast into my mouth and chewed. “Andrew, you forget that I know how long it takes to rip plaster board down and throw it out back, and how long it takes to acro-prop the roof while you build new walls that can support the beams and then put them into place and nail it all off. Don’t go bitching that there isn’t enough time.” Jeez, pissed at me for being ungrateful and not wanting the project to rush forward and then chucks a tantrum when I get things organised and start accepting their help. Can’t fucking win with men. What is the real problem?”
He screwed his mouth up like a child.
I sighed. “Alice called me.”
Turning away he slammed the door after himself.
I hurried, chasing him across the yard to stand in his way. “You have to talk to her sometime soon. She has every right to…”
“To what?!” He yelled in my face. “I already let her see the girls whenever she wants to.”
“She has every right to talk to her husband.” I countered. “Fucking man up and either work it out or end the marriage completely. Stop pussy-footing around it.”
I stormed back to the house. Behind me, the door to the caravan slammed. “Idiot, he’s throwing away a perfectly good marriage to live in the back garden of his sister’s house.”
“That’s because his heart is broken,” Kent stumbled into the kitchen in his underwear.
“What have I told you about walking around naked?” My eyes shot up to the ceiling. “I don’t want to have to see that.”
“I’m in clothes.” The fridge opened. “And give your brother a break. It sucks when someone breaks your heart.”
“Speaking from experience?”
“Nope. What are you doing today?”
I paused. “Well, it is the weekend. I was hoping to get the kit for the shed started.”
“Shouldn’t you have council approval for that?”
“Yes and no. It isn’t much bigger than a garden shed. But is more of a solid build and we will be concreting the floor soon.”
“Why not stick with what you have?”
I sighed. “I am going to. But for now we need a little garden shed to store things in down the back of the yard. When the time comes I’ll replace the big shed with like for like and just make it solid. That way a car can be parked in it and locked up.” Before he could add anything else, I dashed into my room.
Five minutes later I was dressed in old clothes and headed out back.
Andrew was cursing at the steel shed that was now cut open from its packaging and spread the pieces around. I sighed. This was going to be one fucking long day… but a good one nonetheless. “Do you have the instructions?”
Surprisingly enough, the build went quickly. Andrew had concreted in the post supports the other day while I was at work. It was a simple thing of putting up the posts and tightening off the nuts. And then we had to dangle from ladders as we connected the roof sections. “Why didn’t you buy a C perlin shed?” Kent grunted. “This steel is over kill.”
“Because,” I huffed as I hauled my side up into the air with me. “They were the same money, but this is stronger and will last longer.”
“It will depend on how well the post supports hold up,” Kent teased. “I’m not sure if there was enough cement in the mix.”
“Piss off,” Andrew reacted. “I put more than the recommended serving suggestions, and mixed that barrow until it was fucking perfect. These supports are never coming out.”
“Want to bet on it?”
Finally, we had the pieces in place and quickly got bolts into them to hold them in place as we adjusted it and put more bolts in. We continued with the other end of the pitch roof and then the top hat and bracing. It really was nothing more than a garden shed, but it was fabulous. Just right to store some crap as we built.
I couldn’t stop grinning as we sat on the garden entertaining set and ate lunch.
“Stop grinning like that,” Andrew shoved more of his sandwich into his gob. “It’s not finished.”
“I can’t. It looks amazing, and that’s only a couple of hours’ worth of work. By tonight we will have a lockable garden shed to store things. And then tomorrow we can start ripping the plaster board down from the rest of the walls.”
“The furniture has to be moved out.”
“And you two,” Andrew added.
Kent and I both looked at him like he was crazy. “Why?” I asked.
“Because it’s a worksite.”
“So?” We both said.
“You forget; we’ve lived in worse places than this.” I looked to Kent for confirmation.
“No, we haven’t. This is a worksite, Lori. Now, come on, let’s get the tin on the walls and roof and figure out how to swing this door. Where’s that tek gun again?” He surged out of his seat.