“Yeez, that’s tough.” Murray was a sweetheart, an older man with a thick Scottish accent. “Mrs. Donovan paid us a visit this afternoon. Seems the plumbing went on the fritz minutes after her old man got in his road train.”
The men chuckled.
“Poor Shirley, what with Mr. Donovan gone for weeks, she needs you, Jo.” said Derek with a deadpan look.
“Mrs. Donovan needs you to do some fixing.” Marty said winking in Jo’s direction. “She looked desperate.”
“I reckon, our Jo’s up to takin’ care of her needs,” chuckled Marty.
Jo enjoyed the teasing. Even if they had some misgivings about Jo’s lifestyle, they liked and respected her as a working mate.
When the card game finished, Jo made her way carefully with a full moon lighting her path. She had enjoyed the men’s company and was in a happy mood. She noticed the watering can by the front door. She knew the door was open, but she decided to bang on it instead.
Jo yelled, “My Gawd, Donna, its bloody raining. And the sky, Gawd, it’s a colour I’ve never seen before. It’s bloody scary and…
“It isn’t raining.” Donna responded in a bored voice.
“I’ve got $30 dollars, I won from poker. I say it is raining. Back at the broken down bus, you were a beating woman. $30 dollars….”
“A fool and her money are soon parted.” Donna opened the door and yelled out as the water came over her body.”
“I keep my money. Now, you owe me $30, or I’ll take it in trade.”
“No, Jo, you’re a loser. You’re uncouth and the stories about women falling at your feet, is pure fiction. Anyone would have to be hard up to want you!”
Jo sat on the porch. What had gone wrong? Gawd, the women had no sense of humour. Mrs. Donovan or Shirley would have laughed and probably turned the watering can on Jo. Better to concentrate on Shirley and keep clear of this snob.
Donna woke suddenly. Jo was lying on top of the bed, beside her and sound asleep. The bloody twit was drunk. Donna felt anger, but to get up might wake the woman, better to just sleep and get up before the drunk woke.
Half way into the night, Donna woke up to Jo’s head on her shoulder and an arm across her breast. Were these moves another seductive ploy? No, the woman was asleep. Donna felt the warmth and the touch of a body beside her. Part of her wanted to wake Jo up, but what scenario would take place. Donna recounted the unkind words she had flung at Jo. The woman was playing and part of the silliness had resulted from a few drinks too many. Donna placed her head next to Jo. Intellectually Donna felt herself strong, but emotionally she was a wreck. It wasn’t just Jo, there were serious issues ahead of her in Alice Springs. These issues had caused her to lose her sense of humour. She resolved to be nice to Jo in the morning.