He spent several minutes introducing everyone to Deacon, who knew he would never learn all their names. One of the older ladies, having anticipated this difficulty, had reusable name tags for them all.
“Sometimes even we forget one another,” she explained with a giggle.
She presented Deacon with a name tag and had one for Kacy too, only hers said Hillary. Apparently, the nickname was not widely known. She came in a few minutes later, gladly accepting her name tag, and was introduced to everyone by Dino. She and Deacon noticed he did more schmoozing than working, but no one said anything, it wasn’t a big deal.
“About those set plans,” Kacy approached him, helping him with a stubborn flat. “Have you looked at them?”
He shook his head, unable to speak with the effort of loosening a rusted screw. Giving up with a grunt, he leaned back against the wall and looked down at her.
“Remind me to put tools on the list,” he gasped. “We need power screw drivers, these aren’t gonna do!”
He gasped again, attacking the stubborn screw once more. He sat down hard on his butt when it finally came loose. Laughing, he picked himself up and dusted his jeans.
“No,” he replied belatedly, “not fully, just a glance. Is there a problem?”
“Well,” her brows puckered, “Going to be a difficulty with lighting. Some of the flats are at odd angles and they intended to use the center seating section as part of the set, given its need for secret panels and the like. Going to mean extra lights and some new pipes being set up at the wings.”
“Okay, make me a list of what you need. I still don’t see the problem.”
He was distracted a few minutes by volunteers asking him questions. When he turned around, she was frowning.
“Do you think I don’t know what I’m doing?” Her accent came out most strongly when she was angry.
“I didn’t say that, I just said….”
“That you don’t see the problem.”
Hands on hips, she stood practically toe to toe with him, glaring up at his chin, angry green eyes flashing. “You’re being obtuse.”
He blinked down at her, it wasn’t exactly what he had expected her to say. “Obtuse?” He unconsciously copied her accent.
“You know what it means, don’t you? Would you like a dictionary, or have you an above average vocabulary?”
“Yeah, I know what it means. But I don’t see how it’s applicable, Kacy.”
“I’m not going to explain. Look at the bloody plans yourself, and then we’ll talk. Honestly! Must I do everything? Oi!” She called to an elderly couple who were setting up a ladder to take down a curtain on the side wall near the wing. “What are you after?”
They looked at one another and then her, shocked into silence.
The woman spoke up hesitantly. “Deacon said to take down the curtains for cleaning.”
She rounded on Deacon, furious. “You told them to take down curtains? Them?” She waved her arm angrily in their direction.
He rolled his eyes heavenward. “Not them specifically. I made a list, and told everyone to break it down and do the jobs they were comfortable with.”
Stalking up to him, she grabbed his sleeve, dragging him out of earshot. “They must be at least seventy-five years old! What were you thinking?” she hissed at him.
“What I’m thinking right now, Hillary,” he said her name with disdain, his whisper louder than he intended, “is that you need to lighten up! Back off and let me do my job, and you do yours!” Fury added volume to his comments.
She kicked him in his sore shin and left him hopping up and down, clutching his injured leg, swearing loudly. Several of the older ladies looked scandalized by the invectives he hurled after Hillary. He told her impossible things to do to herself, with vegetables and small rodents. One of the men got him to a chair and checked his leg.
“I’m a semi-retired doctor, young man. Sit still.” He poked and probed with expertise. “Nothing broken, but you’ve got a nasty bruise.”
“Already had that,” Deacon sucked in his breath as the old man pressed the impact site. “Hit it earlier on a coffee table at home.”
“Did she know that?” The doctor’s wife looked appalled.
The volunteers were scandalized.
Kacy poked her head in the door, her arms full of papers. “I’m going home and I’m taking the car. I suggest you find your own way!”
Wonderful, now they think she and I are living together, and this is a lover’s spat.
©2021 Dellani Oakes
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