‘Wow,’ Laura nodded, arm on my shoulder. ‘Colour me impressed.’
‘It’s better than you thought?’ I grinned proudly at her.
‘No, I’m impressed you actually finished the thing.’
I dipped my shoulder so her arm fell off, and she laughed as she caught her balance.
‘Do you think my mum is going to like it?’ I asked her.
‘I don’t know,’ Laura shook her head. ‘She might pull out the electrical work and rewire it herself.’
‘That’s actually why I made the walls out of solid steel,’ I nodded. ‘To keep her out.’
‘Do you think it’s enough?’
‘At least until I can get the lasers working,’ I said. ‘Plus, as an added bonus – fridge magnets work on every wall.’
‘Revolutionary,’ Laura nodded along. ‘You might have trouble explaining to the accountant why you spent so much time at a store that specialises in plumbing supplies. Cheltenham houses are rarely made of just plumbing supplies and solid steel.’
Laura cracked first, and let out a laugh that made me start chuckling.
‘You two seem to be enjoying yourselves,’ my mother’s voice drifted towards us. We turned and watched as she picked her way across the last bit of the backyard to stand in front of her new flat.
‘What do you think?’ I asked her, nervously.
‘I like the colour,’ she said after a short wait.
‘The… the colour?’ I frowned. ‘The colour, cool. Great.’
‘Didn’t she pick the colour?’ Laura murmured next to me.
‘Yep,’ I said, through gritted teeth. ‘And it only took five trips to that local hardware store. Sandringham is local, isn’t it?’
‘Is there a key?’ my mother asked, turning to me. ‘It seems to be locked.’
‘Oh, right,’ I patted my pockets, looking for the copy I’d had made. ‘I have a few spare copies, in case we ever—’
‘Excellent,’ she interrupted me, reaching over and taking the whole keyring ‘I’ll hang onto those.’
‘Actually, I was thinking we should all—’
‘See you at dinner,’ she called over her shoulder as the door slammed shut.