(Oops I failed. If I'd opened the story with my full blown, steam whistling, ear splittin hissy fit, you would have cheered when Rob calmly climbed down from the roof and took the ladder with him. Dad clapped. Mom approved. Sheez, you'd think I have a reputation.)
Heat pricks my spine and a lock of hair sticks to my cheek. I can't believe he took the ladder. Who does that? "ROB. DAMMIT."
He's in the house drinking a beer. I can tell. He thinks he's funny, only the next time the sewer pipe needs to be snaked, he can damned well do it himself. I quit. At least I'd quit if I could get off the roof.
"Listen you son oF A ... "
The dogs race into the backyard and spin in circles til I groan. They look up, settle on their haunches and cock their heads. "Get Daddy." I tell them. They look at each other and glance back at me. I swear they're amused. "Go," I jerk an arm toward the sliding door beneath me, "Get. Daddy."
They bound into the house as I strip off dirt streaked gloves and judge the distance to the pool.
"Too chicken to jump?"
I jerk upright. Rob stands on the patio and tilts a iced bottle of beer to his lips. He's smug. Too smug for a man with a diminishing life span. "Get. Me. Down."
"No, I think you need to get rid of that attitude before I bring back the ladder." Whistling, he disappears into the house.
It's summer. It's Florida. I'm not losing the attitude til the first cold snap in November. When anger overrides fear I sit down, roll over and shimmy back to the edge. My legs dangle in midair, but I shove down the panic and kick back til I collide with the fence top.
Ten seconds later I barrel into the house, but it's quiet. Too quiet. And then I peer through the plate glass window. Rob's across the street chatting with George. The dogs are with him. He spots me and hoists his beer bottle in salute.
Why that son oF A ...