The girls were running around the backyard with the ball from the shed, playing some random game.
“Yep. At least we’re part way.” Kent Sucked down some beer.
Andrew grinned. “Once they set we’ll let the beams down and the whole house will be resting on the piers we’ve just done.”
They grinned at each other and clinked the bottles.
I seethed. This wasn’t what I fucking wanted when I bought the house. I was going to renovate at my own pace, being part of every step. Even with the electrician I was going to help as a trade assistant. It was meant to be my victory, to say that I had conquered this mountain and can now move on to bigger hills.
Instead, the men pat me on the head and tell me not to worry about it.
What the fuck?
Okay, I did make it a condition for living in the house they had to work on it while I was earning money to pay for the mortgage and the renovations. Fuck I hope they didn’t use my money to pay for those beers. I hate beer.
“Why don’t you grab a cider, Lori, and sit with the mighty men?” Kent laughed at his own joke. “Damn I hadn’t worked that hard in ages. It feels amazing.”
“I know. Like my body had missed doing something so labour intensive. I could see that we were achieving something as we went, what a high to have.” With another chuckle, Andrew tipped his bottle to his lips. “Huh, empty. Hey sis can you grab a fresh one for me?”
The both looked over at me, afraid.
“Guys, I know I asked you to work on the house, but this isn’t what I meant.”
They looked daft. “What are you getting at, Lori? Are you upset?” Kent inched forward slightly. That was a habit I recognised, he was fearful of me losing my temper.
“Yes I am, Einstein!”
Andrew moved fast. “Duty calls,” and made a dash over to the girls.
“What did we do wrong? We’re getting jobs done on the house, just like you asked. I don’t see the problem.” Frustrated he turned away and leaned his forearms against his knees.
“The high.” I repeated. “When you get in and do something that was so natural for your body to do and you can see what you’ve built in a couple of minutes, you get that high. A sense of achievement.”
“That’s what I fucking want to feel.” I hissed. “That’s the very fucking reason why I bought this house, because I could fix it up on my own and get that feeling at the end.”
Kent was silent. He tipped the bottle to his lips, swallowing with loud gulps. It smacked as he lowered the bottle and air replaced where his mouth had been sucking.
“Is that it?”
He frowned. “What the fuck do you want from me? I do the job you ask and you’re chucking a tantrum like an ungrateful little bitch. I don’t know what you want.”
Bitch. He fucking called me a bitch, “You know what, fuck you.”
I stormed back into the house, slamming the door to my bedroom since it was so damn close and went straight to the dresser. Nope, I’m not sticking around this place like this. I’m going out.
“Fuck.” I kicked the dresser, glad I was still wearing my work shoes. “I can’t run off like this, this is my house… and we have to live together. Fuck.” I gritted my teeth. “I’m not apologising. What do I have to apologise for.”
But I wasn’t in the mood to leave my room and socialise and play the happy aunt to my nieces. Or to see that stupid grin of satisfaction on Andrew and Kent’s faces. Nope.
I knew this was jealousy and it wasn’t going to get me anywhere, but fuck it, I hate that I’m not being a part of the major process.
Sinking to the bed I slowly toed off my shoes and reached for the buttons of my shirt. It was nice, as the cotton blouse slipped off and disappeared from my care. Unfortunately, I had to stand to remove my pants and socks but as soon as they were gone I took a deep breath in and sighed.
“That’s better.” I hung there, bent at the waist and enjoyed the stretch up the back of my legs. Slowly and with a great deal of control, I rose up, each part of my spine clicking back into place one by one until I as upright.
Then I dropped. I fell backwards onto the bed and didn’t move, just staring up at the ceiling with the old tea looking water mark across it.
My mind zoned out. No thoughts. No movement. Nothing.
There was a knock at the door and it opened up without waiting. “Shit, Lori. What the fuck are you doing?”
Lazily, I rolled my head to look at Kent standing in the doorway. “Huh?”
“Were you sleeping?”
“No. Just moth collecting.”
The man stepped into the room and closed the door. “Strange woman. Dinners ready, so get dressed and come out.”
I looked down. Oops, bra and panties. At least they were a nice pair.
“Look…” His face was going scarlet.
What was his problem? He’d seen me naked plenty of times when we travelled together, and even now as I did the dash from bathroom to bedroom.
“Are you alright?” I sat up, my back to him, and stayed very still. What was going on?
“We’re not taking your thunder. This is your house, we’re just doing what we can to get it finished. Living on a worksite with three adults, two who have to share even though their grown men and straight, and two little kids, is fucked. We just want to turn this place into a home.”
Grr, he didn’t get it at all. I was glad he couldn’t see me roll my eyes.
“Are we cool?” He asked.