A TASK FINISHED:
The hard work was about done. Both of them sat briefly, before hauling one last load off to the GoodWill store. They smiled at each other. Both seemed a bit tired; after all, they'd been working on this for two days now and were only seeing 'the light at the end of the tunnel' at this point.
For Jake Wattss it was the end, kind of, of a whole huge part of his life. He'd even come back home to take care of his Mom, the lovely Susie Wattss. But now 'his Susie', Jake's Susie had finally succumbed to the problems that attended her MS. She was gone, that's the thing that still amazed and confused Jake, Susie, his lovely Mom was actually gone.
Sue Wattss and Cecelia Morgan went back a long way. They'd been best buddies as girls and always remained close: being part of each other's weddings, going to school together. Both, due to the way life at times treats people, ended up living alone. Cecelia, having married a much older man, who'd died on a business trip, never had children. Her pal Susie Wattss very early in life had her Jake. It was one of those teenaged pregnancies but in Susie's case she was helped, protected and encouraged by her wonderful parents, both gone now too.
Jake was always Susie's pride and joy, and the slim difference in age, a mere 16 years, made them, over the years, more like pals than Mom and Son, especially once Jake was grown and away.
But Jake had come back from his army tours to live at home. By then his Mom wasn't doing all that well and he took an active hand in helping her out. But Cecelia Morgan was always there to help. As a matter of fact, as Susie began to really fail, Cecelia became the major factor in her care. At the time Jake was busy working in the construction business, outside in the good weather and on inside jobs in the winter.
(Jake had had some good training as a construction worker, while in the army and topped that off with a degree in engineering, once he was finished with the army.)
At 32 Jake was both good looking and in great shape. He treated both his Mom and his 'Aunt Cecelia' at times with great romance, dancing with them, taking them out and being a general swain for both of them. It was, in this respect, a lovely relationship.
And when Susie finally died, Cecelia was there both to console Jake and to help him with the arrangements. They'd made it a fairly private family kind of funeral, which Susie had wanted. But then, afterwards, there was the huge task of going through Susie's things.
At first Cecelia stepped in to help sort out and move along Susie night wear, and underwear, sparing Jake that kind of job. After a conversation with each other, Jake and Cecelia decided against having an auction sale of the items and simply went on with the task, once the 'unmentionables' were dealt with, of boxing and carting off the other things that needed to be moved out.
It was a long process and provided Cecelia and Jake a busy, busy two days but now they were finished, and resting.
Cecelia Morgan was much like Susie Watts. She, at the time of the funeral, was 49 years old but just lovely. She was petite, like Susie had been but she was, of the two of them, the busty one. Often enough Susie had told Cecelia that she envied her 'chestiness'. Of course, at her age, Cecelia was beginning to put on a small amount of weight, not so much noticeable by others but all too plain to her. She worked out to keep the 'spreading', as she complained about it, both to Susie and also, at times, to Jake, under control.
Jake's normal reply to Cecelia's complaints about getting a big butt were frequent sallies into an area of kidding and jibing at her that always had the effect of bringing her out of her thoughts. He took to calling her, at those times, Callipygious Cecelia.
She, of course, looked it up and it always made her squeal with delight, when he called her that. At times it was only 'Cal', when he spoke to her, and was in the right mood.
She'd frequently tell him to 'stop that' and complained, in a fake manner, that he was being disrespectful. But his answer was always a variation on saying that the term was one of endearment for him and meant as an out and out compliment. That also made her squeal or giggle, and frequently enough, hit him ineffectually with her fist. It certainly left Jake grinning every single time.
"We're done, Cal," he said, looking over at his 'Aunt'.
Cecelia giggled at the reference; plus, it had the effect of lightening the mood of the two of them right then.
"Yes," she said, "Thank heaven for that."
"I can't hardly thank you enough," he said. "Your help has been sensational. I'm forever in your debt for helping me out."
"Oh, honey," she said, going to him and putting her hand on his cheek. "Of course I helped. We're family; that's what we are: you, me and our lovely Susie!"
Cecelia began to cry then and Jake simply rose and put his arms around her and let her cry.
"She was so wonderful!" Cecelia sobbed. "And I loved her so!"
"Can I take you out for some dinner?" he asked.
"Why don't we go to my place," Cecelia said, "I have some steaks that I can broil for us, and we're both beat."
"Thank you, love," he said, kissing her on each cheek.
(It probably should be mentioned, at this pointed, that Jake Watts had had the 'hots' for Cecelia Morgan for years. In his teenaged days, she was constantly the companion of his masturbation fantasies. He simply enjoyed ogling her and worked hard at keeping that from being obvious. But that kind of attention to Cecelia never faded for him. It was still part of his everyday feelings. )
The decision was made then. They went to Cecelia's, which was actually next door so that she could make a dinner for the two of them.
During dinner, she asked him about plans. She realized, when she asked it, that she was a bit anxious about the possibility of Jake leaving the area. She decided to store that information in the back of her mind and only bring it up to look at it later.
"I think that I'm going to do a rehab on the house," he said, and she smiled. "I've talked to my boss and we're slow right now. I'll spend a couple days a week doing it and the rest of the time with the regular job."
"Oh, that sounds grand," she said. "What are you going to do specifically?"
"Well, I have to look it over well and do some sketching," —- Jake had a good hand at drawing and frequently added sketches for the jobs that he was working on. "Then," he went on, "I'll maybe begin with the bedrooms. I don't like the way that those rooms are set. The two on the one side of the hall with the bathroom there I'll turn into a master suite, making the bathroom en suite in the process. Across the hall, I'm going to simply turn that bathroom, between those rooms, into a free standing one. Then both of those rooms will be guest rooms."
"Sounds cozy," she said. "I know that no work has been done there for such a long time."
She yawned at that point, putting her hand over her mouth, and blushed. "Sorry!" she said quickly.
"Hey," he responded, "It's been a long day and you've been helping me since morning. You get to be tired." He chuckled then and said; "Sounded like a kind of sexy sound to me, anyway! That's my sexy Cal!"
That made her blush again, and she put her hands up to her cheeks automatically. He reached out his own hand and stroked her cheek.
"Cecelia Morgan," he said softly, "You are the best of the best! Momma's best friend forever and, I have to tell you, the love of my life!"
Cecelia blushed again and tears formed in her eyes. She put her own hand over his and said: "I'm so pleased that you're going to stay, Jake. It wouldn't be the same without you here."
She thought a moment and asked: "But I was wondering: if you're going to do the bedroom rehabbing there, why not come and stay with me? It'll get you out of the mess and you'll have a hot meal at the end of your day and a place to stay."
His smiled broadened and he said: "Why, aren't you just the best of the best! Thank you, thank you; that's a great idea. Are you sure that I won't be putting you out?"
"Absolutely," she said, "And I do intend to help with the work next door. I can hold the ladder and fetch the hammer and bring the coffee and all sorts of things." She was grinning at him, when she was finished.
"I guess you can!" he said. "That means Carpenter's apron and hammer, boots and hard hat for Cecelia!"
"Goodie for me!" she said, noticing right away that he had stopped using the normal 'Aunt Cecelia' for her. In her own mind, she saw that as a bit of progress. She certainly wasn't sure for herself what that 'progress' was in aid of but it struck her as progress.
"Clean up?" he asked her then.
"No," she replied, "You're the construction boss and I'm the 'gofer', the scullery maid. I'll clean up."
"If I'm the boss," he said, smiling, "Then I insist on helping with the clean- up."
"Thanks, boss!" she said, returning his smile.
"Any time, Cal!" He made her giggle, once he called her that again.
They worked companionably on the clean-up then and, once it was all done, Jake admitted that he was tired and was going home to bed.
"You'll bring your things over this week?" she said.
"You know," he returned, "I will; I'm intent on getting this started right away. It'll be kind of therapy for me at the same time."
"Yes," she offered, "I'm sure it will be."
They walked to the door then. He turned to her, when they were at the door and put his arms around her. She, for herself, sunk into the protection of his arms and sighed to herself.
.... There is more of this story ...