One Summer, Part XV (Renovation & Dresser Drawers)


Many thanks to @balfeheughlywed​ for continuing to right my course with this story, @notevenjokingfic​ for never failing to give it to me straight in the kind way only a friend can, and @smashing-teacups​ for somehow not giving up on me with my comma splices/missed words/jacked up grammar. And just as many thanks to everyone who has hung with this story. My little summer project has turned into a bit of a passion, tbh. Finally, real life is kicking my ass right now, but I’m going to catch upon my own reading here soon. Promise. xx.

Part I (Adso), Part II (Dislocated), Part III (Entryway), Part IV (Pizza & Beer), Part V (Croissants & Coffee), Part VI (SMS), Part VII (Desktop), Part VIII (Sunday Sunflowers & Sundresses), Part IX (Caught Out), Part X (Netflix & Advil), Part XXI (Ben Nevis & Loch Lomond), Part XII (Non-Negotiable), Part XIII (Same), Part XIV (Toothbrushes & Eyeglasses)


One Summer
Part XV: Renovation & Dresser Drawers

Working in tandem, it took Jamie and Claire three weeks of near-daily weeknight labor, and the ritual sacrifice of two weekends on the altar of home renovation, to complete two bathrooms.

It was well into July. As the days withered and the month disappeared in a ceaseless march towards August, Claire filed away their self-imposed expiration date.

A certain domesticity swept Claire up. It was born of working together. Without any reticence, she allowed daydreams to weave a diaphanous covering over her more pragmatic side. Daydreams involving explicitly homey notions of curating a mutual space.

A home.

Any home.

Even one that would, of necessity, be stripped of all conspicuous personal relics (though she had few), photographed (retouched so as to be portrayed to its finest advantage by minor Photoshop tweaks), and monetized. Even one designed with the specific purpose of inviting strangers inside – strangers who would sleep under hotel-quality linens at a price calculated to be competitive with various local inns and lodges.

Beyond the technicolor daydreams that made Claire’s mind a teasing tilt-a-whirl, she had utterly destroyed two bathrooms with a sledge hammer. She had done so of her own volition, and it meant that there was no shortage of tiling, painting, and plumbing work to be done.

On the first weeknight of their labor, after Jamie told her she’d done a “braw job” with the demolition phase, Claire caught her brazenly self-congratulatory reflection in the bathroom mirror. She was glowing in the kind of way she always thought could be brought about by this serum or that night cream, a rigorous skincare routine (a series of bottles purchased with Geillis’s help that she’d swept with the back of her hand into the rubbish bin before leaving London).

Evidently, Jamie brought lit-from-within radiance out in spades.

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