‘Martha,’ Jeb frowned, glancing down at the blueprints his wife had just dropped in his lap. ‘Martha, what are these?’
‘Blueprints,’ she said quickly. ‘Cup of tea?’
‘Ooh, yes, that would be nice—wait a minute!’ Jeb said sharply. ‘Blueprints for what?’
Martha sighed and slowly backed out of the kitchen, head held low.
‘The new bathroom,’ she said.
‘What new bathroom?’
‘Our new bathroom.’
‘What’s wrong with our current bathroom?’ Jed frowned. ‘We have that new bathtub and everything!’
‘About that,’ Martha said with a grimace. ‘We need to replace the tub.’
‘Or we can just find a Sydney company that does bathtub cut outs for elderly people!’ Martha said quickly, grinning nervously. ‘But I do think we need a… new solution.’
‘I thought our bathroom was fine,’ Jed shook his head. ‘Where is all of this coming from?’
‘Well, we always did say that your hip was a few years younger than mine,’ Martha sighed. ‘And I don’t think mine can cut it anymore.’
‘The whole bathroom routine!’ she said. ‘Every time I walk into that room I’m just reminded of all the things that have gotten harder for me over the years!’
‘Oh…’ Jeb’s expression softened. ‘Oh, Martha, I had no idea—’
‘It’s fine,’ she said, cutting him off with a brief, but warm smile. ‘It is. But I do need to do something or I’m afraid I’m going to get hurt. And it’s for you as well!’
‘Yeah, yeah,’ Jeb sighed. ‘A couple of years behind, I know. Well, how much will this bathtub remodel cost, then?’
She motioned for him to flip the blueprint over, at the handful of figures she’d scrawled on the back of the page.
‘Marth!’ he began to blow up. ‘That’s… that’s actually surprisingly reasonable.’
He sank back into his chair with a frown, running his fingers across the numbers.
‘Alright,’ he said. ‘We can do this, then. Especially if it’s something you need to feel safe in your own home.’
‘Thank you, dear,’ she said. ‘Now… tea?’
‘Better make it coffee,’ he sighed.