"Damn ladder," he muttered as he walked across La Place de Republique carrying a ladder.
He stepped in a puddle. "I should have put on shoes instead of these stupid sandals. Stupid weather. Rainy one minute, sunny the next."
He changed hands and when he grabbed the wooden step, he felt a prick. He put the ladder against a green light pole. A splinter, too small to be removed by his fingers mocked him. He would have to wait until he delivered the damned ladder to his bitchy sister-in-law before he could go home and get the tweezers. He wasn't going to ask that bitch for anything.
Why couldn't she buy her own stupid ladder
Two little girls ran by him laughing. Noisy brats. Where were their parents letting them run wild.
Laughter came from the café across the Place. They never should let it open, he thought. Disturbs us all.
His sister-in-law's house was painted sandy pink with baby blue shutters. She had flowers on the balconies of the second and third floors and big pots of flowers on each side of her door, which Maria opened.
When she hugged him, he shuddered. Cheek kisses were bad enough.
"You're so kind to me," she said.
"Give my love to my sister," she said aloud and under her breath added, "being married to you, she needs it."