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Candid Photographs

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“This is pretty awesome, I can’t lie to you.” Kait places her hands on her hips as she looks at the vintage camper from the fifties, at least, possibly older. “I do think it’s quite the undertaking. Nothing wrong with a little challenge, but...let’s not beat around the bush.”


“I know, but...I think we can do it. There isn’t anything one can’t learn by watching instructional videos on the internet.” Cole nods a little, standing beside the woman as they both take in the smallish camper, “I’ve...we’ve cleaned it top to bottom. I guess...measurements are next?”


Kait nods a little, “but we also need to...sketch out what your plans are. Have everything in place before we move on from there.” She offers her suggestion, “at least that’s what I’d do in this instance, but this is your circus. You do whatever you want.”


“No, I think that’s a good thing. Planning is a good thing.” Cole nods, “work with the others in deciding fabrics and textiles before really going crazy. I think gutting it and cleaning was a good first step, especially based on the tutorials I’ve watched online.”


“That’s been your source of information this whole time?”


Cole slowly turns his head to look at the other woman, “where else would I get it from?”


Kait shrugs, “I don’t know...reading a book or...” She exhales slowly, “which makes me sound older than my years, I suppose.”


“I read plenty, but I’d prefer the most updated information available...which I’m not going to get by reading texts from twenty years ago, if not longer.” Cole shakes his head, “not that you didn’t know what you were doing then, but things have changed greatly...probably.”


“Probably not as much as you’d think.” Kait folds her arms over her chest, “carpentry has been here long before us and it will be here long after us.”


Cole rolls his eyes, an amused smirk in the corner of his mouth, “I know, I know.” The rustling of the carport cover near them earns his attention as his grandmother pokes her head in, “Gran.” Cole begins to beam as she enters the space more, “you’re finally home.”


“That I am.” Bernie accepts an eager embrace from her eldest grandson, holding him closely though he’s now the same height as herself, “and I couldn’t help except notice this large...structure in your drive as Serena and I pulled up.”


Cole lets his grandmother go, turning to look at the camper with a nod, “something I’m working on.”


“Oh, I can help, if you’d like.” Bernie offers, smiling a bit.


“No, Gran.” Cole shakes his head, “I want you and Nan to...have some time to yourselves and-”


Bernie sighs, warning a bit, “Cole-”


“I thought it would be something nice to do with Kait as a bonding experience.” Cole replies sheepishly as he glances back at the camper, doing his best to maintain the illusion for his grandmother, “and it’s for the...the channel to get to know her as well. So...” He shrugs, licking his lips after a moment, “we could probably use a supervisor though, if you’d like...from time to time.”


There’s something about the teenager’s face, possibly the way he doesn’t look her in the eyes as he says his words, that alerts Bernie to the boy not telling the full truth. “Okay.” She answers simply, prepared to speak to her daughter after, “well, I’ll leave the pair of you to it then.”


“No, we’re about to call it a day.” Kait offers her a kind smile between both Cole and Bernie, “we’ve done a deep clean and removed a few things to refurbish. Actually, we’ve completed far more than I believe either of us expected to today.” She nods, looking back at the camper, “so, I reckon we can call it for the day. Wash up before dinner.”


“Good idea,” Cole nods, watching as Kait leaves the enclosure before looking at his Gran, “I um...I’ve been feeling really anxious lately and um...I thought this was a good idea, and it has been, isn’t helping my-”


“It’s okay.” Bernie wraps an arm around his shoulders, knowing she’s one of the only people in the family he’s ever really willing to truly open up to given all of their experiences together. “How about you have a proper soak with some...nice, relaxing music? Possibly a book or...” Bernie shakes her head a little, “and I’ll be downstairs when you finish.” She pauses, “you’re still...over to ours, right?”


Cole nods, flashing a quick smile, “only place I could get any peace.”


“Understandable.” Bernie nods to him, feeling his subtle tremble as he takes hold of her hand. “Darling, you can’t work yourself into an anxious tizzy each time your Nan and I want to spend time together.”


“I-I don’t.” Cole shakes his head, “I try not to, b-but sometimes-” He swallows, “and m-my therapist had a family emergency this time and it’s-”


“I know.” Bernie offers him a soft smile, reaching her free hand up to push hair back that had fallen in his eyes. “We’re here now...and I can’t wait to hear more about your newest project.” She tilts her head toward the camper, “quite the undertaking.”


Cole hums his approval, “too much.”


“The only way to learn to walk is to put one foot in front of the other.” Bernie nods a little, “and even if you want this to be a bonding experience, there’s no reason you can’t accept help from others.” She motions in the direction of her house, “let’s get on home. I know your Nan wants to tell you all about how we saw Ric.”


“Uncle Ric?” Cole perks up a little, “in Spain?”


Bernie hums with an affirmative nod, “one in the same. Quite the story too.” She gently guides him from the enclosure, walking toward the house, anything to calm the boy back to where he was mentally before they left. “Chin up, shoulders back.”


Cole smirks to himself, “yes, ma’am.”