Number forty one
February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
She can hear the steps creaking as he comes down the stairs from the bathroom; she is counting out the notes onto the new wooden counter-top.
Nine thousand pounds. Stacked up like that all those purple faces don’t look like much, really, but they’ve bought her this dream space, where her cookbooks sit neatly on that shelf and the drawer with the pans in slides away just so.
Her husband was fretting over the money last night, not the amount so much as that he said he didn’t like having that much cash in the house, and why did it have to be cash anyway, there’s something not right about that, he could feel it. She told him to be quiet, that it’d be fine, that hadn’t the lads done a great job? They’d been a pleasure to have around. He was forced to agree about the kitchen. Not that he ever comes in here, save for to rummage in the fridge at midnight or to carry the plates through for her to stack in the dishwasher. He’s just not interested nowadays.
The builder moves towards where she is standing, runs his hand along the oiled surface. In that moment, before she’s even handed over the pile of notes, there is a quick awkward glance exchanged that acknowledges all the things that didn’t happen and weren’t spoken in all those previous days.
His mate is waiting outside in the van and he’ll be getting impatient, now.