The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Tell me again why I agreed to help you with this.” Matt, red-faced and grunting, continued to push the spa toward the recently cut square at the far edge of the deck. His feet slipped, and he could feel sweat pouring from his forehead into the corners of his eyes, making them sting. It was hot, way too hot for early May. Too damn hot for this, that’s for sure. Even Travis’s dog, Moby, was hiding in the shade and panting, his tongue hanging out.
Travis Parker, who was pushing the massive box alongside him, managed to shrug. “Because you thought it would be fun,” he said. He lowered his shoulder and shoved; the spa—which must have weighed four hundred pounds—moved another couple of inches. At this rate, the spa should be in place, oh . . . sometime next week.
“This is ridiculous,” Matt said, heaving his weight into the box, thinking that what they really needed was a team of mules. His back was killing him. For a moment, he visualized his ears blowing off the sides of his head from the strain, shooting in both directions like the bottle rockets he and Travis used to launch as kids.
“You’ve already said that.”
“And it isn’t fun,” Matt grunted.
“You said that, too.”
“And it isn’t going to be easy to install.”
“Sure it is,” Travis said. He stood and pointed to the lettering on the box. “See? It says right here, ‘Easy to Install.’” From his spot beneath the shady tree, Moby—a purebred boxer—barked as if in agreement, and Travis smiled, looking way too pleased with himself.
Matt scowled, trying to catch his breath. He hated that look. Well, not always. Most of the time he enjoyed his friend’s boundless enthusiasm. But not today. Definitely not today.
Matt reached for the bandanna in his rear pocket. It was soaked with sweat, which had of course done wonders for the seat of his pants. He wiped his face and wrung the bandanna with a quick twist. Sweat dribbled from it like a leaky faucet onto the top of his shoe. He stared at it almost hypnotically, before feeling it soak through the light mesh fabric, giving his toes a nice, slimy feel. Oh, that was just dandy, wasn’t it?
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