“Dennis. Dennis? Dennis!”
“You’re very shrill when you get tired, you know.” This, mostly likely, did not represent the best response in the given moment. He’d uttered worse things, usually more quietly.
Mrs. Uldridge pulled up to her full height, bony fingers encircling the upper curve of generous hips, “Dennis Uldridge, you disrespectful slug of a man! If you weren’t mostly done with the sink I’d kick you in the…”
“Doesn’t shrill connote loveliness or being like music?” he tried from under the plumbing.
She held her tongue. She rolled her shoulders. She popped her neck twice.
“Listen well, twerp. Think before you reply,” she cooed slowly, “Do you think I’m stupid?”
Dennis thought. He thought some more. He pictured himself single, free—joyful even. Not possible, he well knew. Life held him by the bollocks, firmly without mercy.
He sighed. He let the hope ebb once more.
“No, my love. I’m very sorry. Why don’t you go shopping or out for drinks? I’ll finish up rightly, I promise.”