House To Himself

‘Jules?’ Harold called out into the silent house, the door swinging softly shut behind him. ‘Julie?’

         She didn’t respond, so he slipped his shoes off and trudged into the kitchen, throwing his jacket and newspaper on the kitchen counter. He glanced around the empty room – normally him throwing his jacket on the counter made his wife come tearing around the corner to yell at him.

         ‘Hehehe,’ Harold chuckled to himself, swinging open the fridge. ‘House to myself!’

         He began throwing the ingredients for a sandwich on the bench; no salad, all cholesterol. When in Rome, he told himself.

         Harold, what on earth are you doing?’

         Harold almost threw a full chicken across the room as he spun around to see his wife, standing in the doorway with her arms folded.

         ‘You could have given me a heart attack!’ he yelled at her.

         ‘Oh, you’re going to give yourself a heart attack,’ she rolled her eyes, stomping forward to snatch the unhealthy ingredients from the kitchen bench. She shoved him to the side and began stuffing them back into the fridge.

         ‘Do you want me to head off, or…’

         Harold’s heart had another skip as a new voice entered the kitchen, a deep, masculine voice.

         ‘Christ on a breadstick!’ he yelped. ‘Who else is here?!’

         ‘Oh relax,’ Julie rolled her eyes again. ‘It’s just Charlie.’

Charlie smiled and waved at Harold. ‘Hiya granddad.’

‘Charlie,’ Harold half-smiled, still recovering.

‘He’s come to give me a hand with those bath modifications we were talking about,’ Julie explained.

‘Right…’ Harold frowned. ‘Wait, I thought we weren’t doing that anymore?’

‘Just because you didn’t want to spend the money doesn’t mean we aren’t doing it,’ Julie said, looking genuinely confused.

‘Do you know how much a bathtub remodel costs? Sydney prices! Sydney!’

‘He’s exaggerating,’ Julie sighed to her grandson. ‘It’s quite reasonable.’

‘It’s your inheritance,’ Harold wagged a finger at Charlie. ‘It’s your inheritance she’s flushing away!’

‘Riiiiight…’ Charlie nodded. His eyes lit up as they landed on something on the bench.

‘Grandma,’ he started. ‘If granddad isn’t allowed–’

‘Yes,’ she sighed. ‘You can have the chicken, dear.’