“You will probably want to get that bathroom in my room redone before you move in. It hasn't been touched in nearly forty years, which reminds me, I am having trouble with the cold water tap. I'm sure Bennett's crew can take a look at it.”
“I can take a quick look,” Lizzie responded. “Besides, I should go up and make some notes for Bennett on what I want to be done up there.”
“It can wait for Bennett's men, child. Last time you tried your hand at home repair, I recall a trip to the emergency room was in order."
“That is only because I was foolish enough not to read all the directions. Besides, it’s only a water tap, so I am just going to take a quick look.” She was a bit annoyed that her family always had to throw her missteps and embarrassing moments up at her. “I'll be right back.”
“Okay, child, just hand me the phone before you go up.”
Lizzie handed her the phone and headed up to the master suite. She sat on the edge of Aunt Dorothy's bed and closed her eyes. She recalled rainy morning snuggles and reading together when she was young. She had sat on this very spot many a time, watching as Aunt Dorothy fixed her make-up and her hair at the dressing table on the opposite wall. She opened her eyes and slowly took in the room. The salmon-colored walls would have to be changed. She did not mind them so much, but Bennett would not want to start and end every day in what he would call a pink room. The wide plank cypress flooring was so beautiful; she hoped Bennett would be okay with not covering it up with a rug.
Lizzie rose and peeked into the wall of closets Uncle George had built with his own hands. So many old houses did not have proper closets, and that is one thing she was glad that Uncle George and Aunt Dorothy had remedied. Next, she opened the bathroom door. It was like stepping back to the late 1970s—the last time it had been renovated. The yellow tub, sink, and toilet, combined with the silver metallic wallpaper, were overwhelming. This is a gut job, Lizzie thought. They could sleep in the guest room and use the hall bathroom for a while, which was in much better shape if Bennett couldn't get a crew on this right away.
Lizzie stepped over to examine the sink. The hot water tap turned easily, but the cold water tap did not budge. Lizzie pushed on it with more force, but nothing happened. She tried again, this time pulling up as she pushed. The handle came off in her hand, releasing a powerful gush of water. Startled, Lizzie lost her balance and fell backward over the edge of the tub, landing in the middle of it, on her backside. A geyser of water was now spewing from the faucet, spraying to all four corners of the bathroom. “Aunt Dorothy!” Lizzie hollered. “Right here, child, and I have already called Bennett. He should be here any second.” She was standing in the doorway, looking in at her soaking wet niece, still in her Sunday best.
“How did you know?” asked Lizzie, struggling to get herself out of the tub.
“I had a pretty good idea when you said you were going to take a look at that tap. That is why I had you hand me the phone before you came up here. You best come on out of there and fetch a towel or two from the linen closet.”
Lizzie had just wrapped herself up in the towel when they heard the front door slam and footsteps running up the stairs, wrench in hand, Bennett quickly shut off the water, took a look around the room and said, “Good thing this is a gut job.”
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