“I can’t believe you guys did all this in twenty-four hours,” I say as I look around the house, which has a new paint job and working lights. I look over at Brody who stands there with his big arms crossed over his chest and his legs spread apart. “Even the outside looks brand new.”
“I’m glad we could make it right,” he says as I hear footsteps upstairs. “They are just finishing up the final touches. Miguel should be done in about five minutes, and then we will be out of your hair.”
I walk into the kitchen, taking in the new stainless steel appliances, and open the fridge to find it fully stocked. “You guys didn’t have to stock the fridge,” I say. Crystal walks in with her mouth hanging open in shock.
“Holy shit,” she says as she takes in the room. “You guys did all this in twenty-four hours?” she asks as she goes upstairs to her room. I hear her yelling, “Holy shit,” and I look over at Brody who smiles. I hear her coming back downstairs. “You see what happens when you threaten to poison cattle?” she says, putting her arms to the side of her. “Boom. Mic drop.” Her outstretched fist opens.
Miguel comes downstairs, nodding at Brody as he makes his way outside with his tool box. “See you tomorrow, boss,” he says, turning to nod at us also. He walks out the new door as the new screen door slams shut behind him.
“Look at these appliances,” Crystal says, opening the fridge and seeing it fully stocked. She grabs a bottle of beer and hands it to Brody, who takes it from her with a nod. She pulls out another two, one for each of us, and twists the tops off. “To the adventure finally beginning.” We click the bottles then we bring them to our lips. I look out the window and see a big white truck backing up. “What is that?” she asks. Pushing off from the counter, she goes to the door, and I follow her. I see four SUVs pulling up alongside the white truck.
The only ones I recognize are Delores and Heidi, who introduced herself as Jensen’s mother when we had the tea party. Delores gets out of her truck, and I see another tiny woman with bleached blond hair get out of her own SUV. She smiles at us and waves as she walks up the steps. “Hey,” she says, her voice coming out soft. “Look at this house, it’s almost brand new.” She admires the swing that has been either painted or washed down.
“Hey, gorgeous.” We hear Brody from behind us move us to the side and grab the woman by her waist, lifting her up. “Give me some sugar,” he says. The blonde just smiles at him and sighs, leaning in to kiss him. He puts her down as he drapes his hand around her shoulder, and she wraps her arms around his waist, her head reaching the middle of his chest. “Ladies, this is my wife, Darla.” He looks down, smiling again as we both say hello at the same time.
Delores walks up the steps, dressed in jeans and a white dress shirt rolled up at the wrists. “Okay, enough of that lovey-dovey; we have a job here,” she says as she takes off her sunglasses and smiles at us. “Now this,” she says as she takes in the room once she walks into the house, “this is what I’m talking about.” She walks to the kitchen and turns on the water, then goes to the fridge and opens it, nodding in approval that it is stocked. She turns on every burner on the gas stove until they all light up. She turns them off, then makes her way around the whole house, testing everything from the light switches to the sockets to make sure everything is in working order. “Okay, boys, let’s get it done,” she yells, and Crystal and I just stand there shell-shocked as three men jump out of the truck and move to the back and open it up.
I take in the back and see that it is filled to the brim. “What is all that?” I ask, looking around. Heidi just smiles at me as she approaches.
“This is everything you guys ordered.” She points at the truck and tears escape me. “And stuff we also picked out as a thank you for not suing us.” She comes to hug me. How did such a wonderful woman make the biggest jerk face on earth?
“So while the big, strong men bring in the stuff, us womenfolk will put it away,” Delores says as she starts giving out orders. Brody meets the three other men by the truck.
“Ladies,” he yells out, and we all turn around, “this is my best friend, Doug.” He points at the biggest guy there. If I thought Brody was big, this guy is almost double his size. Doug just nods at us as Brody continues the introductions. “This is Kingston,” he says of the middle one who is almost the same build as he is, and then he points at the last guy standing there with a blue baseball cap, black beard, and brown eyes. “Now this one is Gabe.” He looks at Crystal. “And her boss.” He points as I see Crystal’s throat swallow down.