Mikaela’s cell phone rang as she shrugged on her coat. She checked the call display half afraid to see the hospital switchboard. Margo, she read with a smile.
“Mikaela, I have a favour to ask.”
That was enough to send a shot of adrenalin through her. She could count on one hand the number of times her best friend had asked for a favour in the past ten years. “Of course. Ask away.”
Margo hesitated. “I shouldn’t even bother you with this, but I’m in such a bind.”
Mikaela heard the uncertainty and worry. “What, do you need a kidney? Bone marrow? You’re killing me. What is it?”
Margo laughed. “Sorry, you’re right. Nothing so drastic. Although I need your time, which is probably a hotter commodity than your kidney.” Margo sighed. “For the past two weeks, Chloe and I have been painting a house for a client. I flew to Rainy River for a meeting this morning and left Chloe to finish the last room. Which she should have been able to do, except this morning, she slipped and broke her wrist.”
“Oh no. Poor Chloe. Is she okay?”
“Yes, she’s fine. She went to the Emergency Department. She’s in a cast for six weeks and pretty high on painkillers, but at least she didn’t need surgery. The problem is, I can’t get a flight home until tomorrow morning. I promised the client I would have the painting done and everything put back by tomorrow, and Chloe said the bedroom still needs another coat of paint.”
“So you need me to go over and finish it?” Mikaela asked.
Margo sighed. “Yes. I know you haven’t painted in a few years now, but…yes.”
“Why don’t you just explain to the client what happened and ask if it would be OK to take another day?”
“We were already cutting it pretty close. Tomorrow night there’s a big party planned. They want to showcase the entire house because it’s going on the market. The event planner will be there at noon.”
“I know. I’m really sorry to ask.”
“No. No. Not at all. Of course I can do it.” It brought back memories of all the summers they spent painting to earn money for school. Mikaela had gone on to do a residency. Margo kept the business running. “What’s the address?”
“No problem. I’ll grab a bite to eat and head over.”
“I’ll text you the code for the front door. If you have any problems, just call me. Chloe said she got the first coat on, so if you could get the painting done, that would be fantastic. Leave the cleaning. I can get there first thing in the morning and do the rest. Mikaela, thank you so much.”
Mikaela dragged herself to her car and with a detour to Tim Horton’s for an extra large double double, drove home. With a look of longing at her bed, she grabbed a change of clothes and headed over to 1273 Pinewood.
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