‘I can’t believe how heavy it’s raining!’ I called into the entryway as I ran through my front door, briefcase tucked under my arm and a huge grin on my face. ‘It’s cats and dogs out there.’
I slipped off my boots and my coat, my smile dimming slightly when I didn’t hear anything back.
I ruffled my hair a little to get any miscreant drops of water out and wandered into the empty kitchen. ‘Priya?’
I did a quick sweep of the lounge room and bedrooms – nobody.
‘That’s weird,’ I murmured to myself.
A loud crash echoed through the house, sounding like it came from the basement, and I quickly sprinted towards it. ‘Guys?’
I almost bowled my wife over in the hallway, and she let out a little shriek of surprise.
‘When did you get home?’ she asked, slapping me on the shoulder.
‘Just then,’ I babbled, confused. ‘What’s going on?’
‘A pipe burst,’ she sighed. ‘I sent the kids to your mum, and your dad is helping me with the water.’
‘Is it bad?’ I asked. She nodded glumly.
‘I’ve tried finding a drain blockage plumber near me, but they’re all flat out with the weather. God, I hate the rain!’ she shook her head.
‘Yeah, uh… yeah, me too,’ I nodded. ‘How’s dad doing?’
‘Just fine, thank you,’ a crotchety old voice called up the basement stairs. ‘And I’ll thank you not to talk about me when I’m not in the room!’
Priya closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
‘That bad?’ I mouthed at her. She nodded wearily.
‘I’ve tried very hard to find someone experienced with commercial plumbing services,’ she whispered. ‘So, so hard.’
I rubbed her shoulders supportively.
‘Alright,’ I sighed, rolling my sleeves up. ‘Let me help. What do you need, Dad?’ I called down the stairs.
‘A bit of quiet would be nice!’ he shot back.
‘Honestly,’ Priya shook her head, ‘I’d lock the door if I knew for certain he wouldn’t drown.’
I nodded, in total agreement.