“My husband says you’re the best trim painter in Griffin Construction. Steady hands, smooth strokes, no taping necessary.”
“That’s right, Mrs. Griffin,” Gina said.
The two women, with a generation between them, stood at the same height, 5′ 9″, had the same hazel eyes, and then the differences: skin tone, hairstyle, fingernail length.
“Call me Rita. Let’s do a house tour. Please take off your shoes.”
Gina, dressed in splotch-free painter jeans and a white t-shirt, toe-heeled off her tennis shoes.
“Dale had three painters come out to spray the ceilings bright white, and I chose yellow, lime, violet, teal for wall colors. To be a little playful, you know.”
“I heard. The guys were a little nervous to paint the boss’s house.”
“Understandable. For the trim, I want two shades brighter. And sharp edges, no spill overs. He said you could make it look perfect.”
“Sharp edges and bright colors will make you happy?”
Perfection achieved after a week of paradise for a trim painter: a mansion with high ceilings, top-of-the-line angled brushes, lunch at poolside, a cold beer at the end of each day. The last day, they chatted longer than usual.
“Your sharp concentration keeps your hands steady,” Rita said.
“Yes. I used to juggle knives.”
“There must be other things you could do with those steady hands.”
“Defuse a bomb,” Gina said.
“Needle a tattoo.” Gina showed the dolphins on her calf.
“Be a makeup artist.”
Eye roll from Gina.
“I bet you’re a patient and detailed lover.”
Another nod. “My lovers are women. That’s probably something you know nothing about.”
“That’s true. But I think about it all the time.”
Kay Rae Chomic is a novelist (A Tight Grip), and writer of flash. She has been published in Storgy Magazine, Crack the Spine, Five:2:One’s The Side Show, 50-Word Stories, Writer Advice, Two Sisters Writing, Hysteria 6, The First Line. She was long listed for Flash 500, a LISP short story semi-finalist, and will soon be published by The Dribble Drabble Review. Kay lives in Seattle, has a passion for ping pong, and is a Motown fan forever.