I stared at the ceiling and wondered.
Andrew came home long after I had, leaving me to explain to mum what had happened and to help put the girls to bed. They had looked confused because daddy was always there for them. I had kissed their heads and told them everything would be alright.
Kent was still out.
Where the fuck could he have disappeared to?
I had considered calling him and seeing if he was alright… then again, he could take care of himself. There was something more there, I know it, something more than the fighting words and I wasn’t sure what was his problem.
Maybe he’d been in one place for too long.
Sighing, I rolled onto my side.
I know I needed to achieve something again. That afternoon, even though it was hard doing it on my own and I needed that extra pair of hands to make it go faster, I loved it. Something had gotten done and I had made that happened. I didn’t have to ask anyone else to help or pay. I did the work.
Once again, I was reminded of why I wanted to buy that house in particular in the first place.
The floorboards in the hall squeaked.
I ignored it.
The door to my room opened and a flash of light blinded me. “Oi,” burying my head into the pillow, I muttered curses. “Fuck, that’s fucked to do to a fucking sleeping person.”
“Get over it.” Andrew replied. “Can we talk?”
“About?” My head raised up and turned his way.
I could vaguely see him lean against the door jam. “This afternoon.”
“Okay.” Something heavy filled my gut. This wasn’t going to be a good conversation, there was nothing positive and bursting about his stance. “Is everything alright?”
“Alice and I are getting a divorce.”
“What?” I gasped.
“We talked. Really talked, for hours. And this isn’t working.”
“But, this right now is a temporary separation. Aren’t you going to try again?”
Andrew sighed. “Lori, I’m not going to explain all of the ins and outs of my relationship, but this has been coming for a long time.”
I couldn’t respond, couldn’t defend Alice and true love, there was nothing for me to say.
Andrew continued. “For the time being, I’m going to look for work and then find a place to rent.”
Then the penny dropped; he wasn’t going to be slave labour anymore for the renovations. Funny, that didn’t shock me or make me angry. “Okay. You’ll easily pick up work in the building industry. Especially with the older guys, just as an in-between job.”
It took Andrew a second to speak again. “You’re alright then? I won’t be able to help out with the house much more.”
“It will be fine. Thank you for everything you’ve done so far. That said,” I grinned into the darkness. “I’ll ask for help when I need it on the weekend.”
I didn’t mention the idea that had been growing in my head as I realised what he wanted to do with his life. As soon as I got the bathroom to a point, I was moving back home.
Andrew laughed. “I’ll be there for the cider.” And then he left, closing the door softly after himself.
That was that. Things were changing again and it was time to flow with it.
I fell asleep for a little bit, dreaming about the kitchen and how it would be laid out with cupboards and the stove and fridge, it was going to be white with a granite benchtop, if I called the funeral homes they might be able to get me a deal with the granite, dad did that once before, got it for a fraction of the price the kitchen mobs were asking for.
Then I was being shaken.
“What? What the fuck?” I glared at the dark figure. “Fuck off.”
“Lori,” Kent’s voice was calm and even.
“What is it?” Pushing myself up, I reached over for the lamp. Once illuminated, Kent looked like shit. “Are you alright?” My tone softened.
He nodded. “I went round to dad’s and had a talk to him.”
That was informative. “Kent, what’s going on?”
“I’m going to America to work for a bit. Dad has a mate who went over a couple of years back he says that he can get me a job over there and get me in with the union.”
“Oh.” This was a surprising day. “Is that what you want?”
“Yeah. I’m driving you crazy and you’re driving me crazy and being back in this town is fucked. I need to get out and see the world again. And if I’m working then…” He didn’t finish the sentence.
I stared back at him, emotionless. This was Kent. After traveling together for a while, he kept going while I came back home to get a job so I could buy a house and renovate it. That was my dream. His was overseas.
“Lori, say something.” A muscle in his jaw leapt.
“I’m going to miss you.”
That was the wrong thing to say to him. Scrunching up his face and pushed away from the bed and scrubbed his hands through his hair, causing more of a mess. “Lori, why is it we were great in the beginning and now…”
“Maybe we’ve grown the fuck up.”
This was moody Kent. I liked positive and get it done Kent, but when he’d been in the same place for too long or the real stress got to him, this is what came out.
“Is this something to do with the money also?” I ventured a guess. Things really changed when he asked for a share in the profits at the end.
“Partly. But that’s my shit.” He grinned, his hands leaving his head to sit on his hips. “Anyway, I’m here until I can raise the cash for a flight over and a couple of nights in a hotel, then I’ll be living off the new pay check.”
“So you’re staying with the bakery?”
“Yep, and I’m going to help as much as I can to get you back into the house.” He crossed his heart with his fingers and winked at me. “Can’t leave me best mate hanging.”