It was unusually warm for the beginning of May. As soon as I woke up I could feel that humid summer stickiness glazing my skin. I rolled over to see Sidney's face covered with the bright sunlight that was filling the room. I found it hard to wake him up from his content slumber, but I softly poked him in the shoulder. He stirred and I poked him again. "Sid, wake up." He groaned as he stretched out a bit, his arms curling around my waist pulling me closer to him. "5 more minutes" he said into my hair. I accepted his offer and laid there listening to his slow breathing. I looked over his shoulder at the clock and realized I had actually given him 10 minutes. I started to untwist myself from him, but he pulled against me.
"Come on, can't we just sleep for a few more hours" he whined like a child. "No." "Why not?" "Because it is 75 degrees and I don't have to work, so I have a place to be." "And where is that?" He asked, looking defeated. "Outside."
After I ate breakfast, I changed into a bright yellow shorts and a crisp white tank top. I sauntered downstairs to find Sid sitting in front of the TV, shirtless with his feet up and a glass of orange juice in his hand. "I need to borrow your car." I stated from the kitchen. He turned around and looked at me. "Where are you going?" He asked taking a sip of juice. "Home Depot." He half choked on his juice and started laughing. "What do you need to go to Home Depot for?" I frowned, "Garden supplies." His laughing stopped once he realized I didn't need any sort of tool; I didn't have a good reputation with those sorts of things.
Memory (Junior Year)-
Bang. Bang. Bang. “Ow. Shit!” Bang. Bang.
“What are you doing?” I turned around my thumb in my mouth and a hammer in my hand and saw Sidney staring at me, wide eyed, like I was a monster. “What does it look like I’m doing?” “I don’t know. That’s why I asked.” I picked up a book that was on the other side of a workstation in my dad’s garage. “How to Build a Bluebird House...” he read off the front cover a small smile creeping onto his face, “And you are doing this because?” “It’s for my ecology class. We are all taking a trip in 2 days to a nature preserve that has an over populated Bluebird population and they need more houses. So we all had to get one. I figured I would be original and organic, in a way, and make my own.” I wiped at my forehead and glanced outside at the in ground pool that was calling my name. “Oh, well that is very nice of you” he said, running his fingers across some wood.
“Ow! Pey, did you sand this?” “Why would I put sand on it, Sid?” He rolled his eyes and pulled a small piece of wood out of his finger. “You don’t put sand on it genius. You rub the wood with sandpaper to make it smooth so you don’t get splinters, like I just did.” I felt my cheeks flush and I turned away, looking at the few pieces of wood I had been putting together in no certain order with a hammer and about 50 nails. It looked nothing like the picture on the front of the book, or any other birdhouse I had ever seen for that matter.
“Do you want some help?” I turned around and nodded at him sheepishly. He smiled and came towards me, pulling on the apron I was wearing. “What is this? Iron Chef?” “I didn’t want to get my clothes dirty!” He laughed and pulled it off, “Those clothes already look dirty enough.” I looked down at my ripped jeans with fake paint splatters on them and my white t-shirt with the collar cut out. “You’re right” I said. He picked up a hair elastic off of the bench and gave it to me. I put my hair up in a sloppy ponytail as he picked up the birdhouse book and threw it in the garbage.
That day we spent 3 hours making a bluebird house, painted a crisp white with a blue roof, a heart shaped entrance/exit hole, and a golden rod to stand on in the front.
"Oh, well sure the keys are in the middle consol." "Okay." I slipped on my flip flops, grabbed my sunglasses and purse and kissed Sid on the cheek. "I'll be back, um, I don't know when. But I'll be back." I said. He smiled, “Okay, I'll be here."
"Your total comes to 758 dollars and 34 cents." I watched the older man swipe the gold card through the machine and I could hear Sidney's voice in my head. "What kind of plants did you buy that cost 700 dollars?" He would only be a little upset because he wasn't really the big yard decorator and thought the simple shrub would do. My attention snapped back to the register as he slapped the receipt that seemed to be two feet long down on the counter asking me to sign it. I signed it and thanked him, pushing the very full and heavy two carts to the car.
Two hours after I had left I backed up the driveway and shut the car off. He met me in the driveway. "So, what did you get?" He asked. "Oh, not much" I replied. He opened the back hatch and started laughing. "Not much, only a few hundred flowers." I laughed and started to take everything out and laid it out on the edge of the driveway and the grass. He followed me and asked if there was anything he could do to help this surge of exterior decorating. "Well I don’t really see you as the whole ‘gardener’ type, so…” I looked around the yard, which seemed so much larger, “Maybe cut the grass?”
“Anything for you Martha.”
Sincere Apology - All, Please let me apologize for completely dropping off the planet with these stories. As I’m sure you know, my life saw several major changes in the p...
10 months ago