I go back to painting. It’s not long before the last stroke of creamy white paint is applied.
‘He who dies with the most toys wins!’ Dumb quote.
I tap the paint lid back on the can and grab the stencils, pen and paint brush. The shop is quiet other than the radio blaring ‘American Woman’. I figured Drew must have changed the station when dad left the shop. The paintbrush is rinsed and clean so I feel pretty safe about leaving. The paint can go back by the door and I need to check to see if anyone is still here.
After sitting the can down, I walk over to the supply room. No one is in there so I better lock the doors. The overhead door is just a push button. It seemed like it took forever to close. As I walk in between the semis towards the front door I can’t help but notice how huge they are. It’s kind of creepy in here when I know I’m alone. Everything echoes. A few birds fly from the rafters making me stop and look up. When I look up to the ceiling, I see the nest that the birds had built. I wonder if the guys know about it. If Barry did he probably brought twigs in to help the bird. He’s such a Dr. Doolittle. I hear a truck has pulled up as I get closer to the door, so I figure I better wait until whoever it is comes in, and then I don’t need to bother with locking it. Hopefully it’s not a trucker or customer…that would be awkward.
“All done?” Big smile, again.
“Yeah…do you want to look at it before I leave? In case it’s not what you wanted?”
“Yeah… let’s take a look.” He starts walking back and opens the overhead door. The sunshine spills into the shop once again. I’m feeling uneasy being here alone with him, and I shouldn’t.
I follow him out to the trailer. He’s looking it over slowly, pausing to look closer in spots. Great… I did something wrong.
“How about I give you two hundred now and you can start on my other trailer next week?” Wow. Not the reaction I expected.
“Sure… I mean are you sure? That’s a lot of money.” I stammer.
I really think that’s too much. I really don’t want to take that much; this was too easy of a job.
“Do you realize how much it would have cost me to have a body shop do this? You’re saving me a lot of money. I really appreciate you doing this.” He takes his wallet out and tries to hand me the money. I shove my hands in my pocket. It’s too much.
“Tim, that’s too much.”
“Gia. You’re so sweet to not want to take it… but you earned it. I can’t have you paint for me if I feel like I’m taking advantage of your sweet nature.”
I think I just turned every shade of red there is. He’s holding the bills out to me and has his head drooping down to look me in the eye. I feel so… stupid.
“Okay. I don’t want you to feel bad.” I say and then laugh a little at him. This is ridiculous. Why wouldn’t I take the money? I don’t have a job! Sweet nature?
“Thanks Tim. When do you want me here next week?”
I need to get out of here before I blush any more than I am. Hopefully he will think it’s just that I’ve been in the sun to long.
“I’ll let your dad know and he can approve it, okay?”
He seems satisfied that I took the bills. I feel we are back at a normal conversation now. Sweet nature?
“Okay… see you later.” Tim says.
“Yep… see you!”
I walk as fast as I can to the front door. The bathroom at home is hopefully ready to be used. I’m not in the mood for that camper shower contraption. I can hear the big overhead door closing at the back of the shop; instinctively I look back and realize that Tim has been watching me as I walk towards the front door. I didn’t think I would see anything but a big door coming down, but he caught my eye. How embarrassing can this get?
I turn back to the front door quickly and the view of the door is nothing but a glimpse of a can, black goo splashing, and then a startled look from Drew. The clank of the can he was holding ends the seemingly slow motion movie of the mess.
I’m covered in black… goo. I don’t know what it is. What the…? My hat is dripping, t-shirt is sopped, and my jeans… splattered.
“I’m sorry Gia! I’m sooooo sorry… ” Drew is dancing from foot to foot as he panics over the spill. He grabs the nearest shop rag and offers it for me to use. I grab it and start to wipe, but it just smears. How do I get this off?!