idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part thirty four
Rick entered the kitchen. Lynn was attacking raw hamburger, eggs, bread, onion flakes and barbecue sauce in a bowl.
"You seem to be having a good time."
She tensed and pulled back from the mixture, her hands shaking.
"What is the matter?"
"I cannot find any potatoes."
"Well, all I have are instant." He paused and then added, "Will that be okay?"
"Jenny wants red skinned pototoes. She wants my mom's meatloaf."
"So it won't be like hers."
"Okay, it will be like Lynn's then."
"It won't be good enough."
"Ah, so now we have a theme."
"I am talking about this meatloaf."
"Are you?" Rick walked over to the sink and washed his hands. Then came around behind Lynn reaching over and taking her hands, he placed them both in the bowl.
"What... are... you.... doing?"
"Helping. The faster we get this thing in the oven. The sooner you can help me."
The meatloaf went into the pan and into the oven, without further problems. After they washed up, Rick grabbed her hand.
"Carl, the timer is on. Just turn off the oven when it goes off. We'll be back in about an hour or so."
"No problem, cuz."
Heading out the back, Rick went to the storage shed with Lynn in tow.
"What is going on here, Rick?"
"I need your help."
He handed Lynn a hammer and a bag of nails. Then grabbed a two x four from the shed and walked back to the deck. Lynn, frowning, followed him.
He glanced at her and smiled to himself. Even as frustrated as she was, he did not seem to mind.
"Go sit over there, and keep me company. I gotta replace this board." Removing the bag and hammer from the girl who proceeded to flounce herself in one of the chairs.
"Lynn, you have always done your best, right?"
She glared at him as he started to hook the hammer claw onto the support wood and pull up the broken rail from them.
She sighed. "Yes. But sometimes my best isn't good enough."
"Ah, so you want to be perfect."
"NO. That isn't it."
Rick removed the broken board. He pulled the new one up and measured it, taking a pencil our and marking the board.
"Damn, I forgot the saw. Lynn, can you go get the circular saw from the shed?"
"yeah, it is a saw with a half circle of metal and the rest is the blade. The guard should be on, but be careful anyway. Okay?"
He watched her descent and went into the kitchen for a couple bottles of water.
About a half hour later, Lynn emerged, dusty, hot, and with the thing she hoped was what Rick wanted, along with an extension cord.
"Thanks a lot," Taking the saw and cord from her. "Just what the doctor ordered." He took the board and laid it on the edge of the stairs.
Lynn came over and held the end down.
"No problem, my dad was a would be carpenter."
"Yes. My mom would always yell at him for his messups."
"But he gave it his best."
He sawed thru the piece. Blowing off the end, he said, "Damn. I need to smooth this."
Lynn pulled out a piece of sand paper.
"Will this do?"
She knelt down and watched Rick sand the end to the board.
"It won't match the stain."
"I know, but I'll get to that next week end or so. It is going to have to age a little."
"So your dad, what happened to him?"
"Well, he joined the National Guard."
"We lost him in the Gulf war. I was about ten or so when that happened."
"Really?" he paused, "I bet that was a hard time."
"My mom... she walked around the house like a zombie for a while. Charlie was too much for her to handle, it seemed for a while we were just way too much for her."
"What did you do?"
"I stepped up. I took care of everything."
"Did you ever get a chance to say goodbye to your dad?"
"Well, there wasn't a funeral. There wasn't any body. I think that was the hardest for my mom." She got quiet.
"I bet it was hard for you too." he added quietly.
"What? I am strong. I don't need to act like she did...ever."
"Yeah. I even yelled at her once about it. That I would never let anyone in that could hurt me like that."
"Ah, a voice of a child." Rick murmured.
"What the heck is that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing." He got up and placed the board that fit perfectly.
She got up without being asked and held the board, handing him a nail.
"What happened when you yelled at your mom?"
"She slapped me and then hugged me like I was something precious."
"Did she say anything?"
"That she was sorry. She had forgotten about her important people. That she missed my dad so much. That someday, she hoped I would meet someone who would make me as happy as he made her." She paused. "Then she said, she and my dad would go on living thru us after they were gone."
Rick hammered away and let that sink in for a bit.
"Done." He put the hammer down on the table and took the bag of nails from Lynn's hands.
"I am sorry for my rudeness today."
"Yeah. I think I am running scared. I overheard what you and your friends were talking about. I have seen how difficult things are on Jenny." She paused. "I don't want to see you get hurt."
"Me? Get hurt?"
"Yeah. I think I could handle just about everything but that."
"So, just a little while ago, you told me we shouldn't be in a relationship. Now you are telling me you're afraid I will get hurt? Can you make yourself clear? I mean, it would be easier for you if we weren't together. I mean, you and Charlie could go about your lives like nothing happened."
"I said, Shut up!!!! I need you to be in my life!" She yelled at him and then stood there like the deer he had come to know. Both hands over her mouth, like a secret had been revealed.
Rick smiled at the girl standing before him. She seemed to be filled with fear and trembling at what she just said.
He walked to her and gently removed her hands from her mouth, holding them.
"Look, I don't know what is going to happen. Push come to shove, the worst is that I will be out of a job...as far as I can tell. But a future without you in it, now that would be bleak." Lynn dropped her eyes to the ground. Rick pulled her chin up and bent down to look into her deep brown eyes. They were wide open as if trying to see everything. He bent down to give her a gentle kiss on her forehead and then added, "It is going to be okay. As long as I know you are there."
"You think they are going to be okay?"
"Sure. He is what she needs right now." Taking a drink of her tea, Jenny smiled.
Carl started to get up.
"Where are you going?"
"Just to get a beer."
"Ah, here." She handed him one.
"What you wanted."
Carl looked at her. Noting her sly smile, he thought, gotta remember that one.
Settling back down beside her, Jenny came closer and turned his head to see his bruise.
"Does it hurt much?" she asked concern written all over her face.
"Only when I laugh."
"Please." She got even closer to inspect it. Then gently kissed it, smling to herself. "There. Now it will feel better."
Carl turned his head and planted a kiss on her lips.
"What? What was that for?"
He smiled. "No reason." As he placed his hands on either side of her shoulders pulling her in for a better kiss. Stopping suddenly at the pain, and pulling away. He grimaced.
"I think this is going to have to wait for a while."
Jenny giggled and pushed him back. "Yeah."
to be continued...