When Andy first showed him the clipping from the middle section of the Sunday paper, they had only been saving money in their old mattress for seven months. The doll was reclined on the living room couch, watching some of the orphans tumbling on the rug in play. Two boys, wrestling. "It's perfect, Chucky," Andy said, circling the photo with an old yellow highlighter. "It's close by, and it's not so expensive. It's a little rough, but I think it will do fine." The doll glanced at it for only a second. "You're fucking crazy, Andy," he muttered, before turning back to his previous occupation. One of the boys had lost a sock. "That thing is old and broken. There is a reason no one wanted that piece of shit."
Andy had only laughed, the light in his eyes reflecting gold back at the doll. "We can fix that, you know," is all he said. Chucky let out a gruff breath, but he didn't argue.
He knew better than anyone that Andy had a knack for broken and unwanted things.
The drive wasn't that far, especially since it led out of the city by a few miles and the roads had little traffic. It didn't take long before they could see the torn down house with peeled paint and leaning or missing shutters. There wasn't even a door. "Well," Andy said, putting out is hand in pride. "Here it is." He stepped out of the car to get a closer look at it, inspecting every part as if it were some newfound treasure. Chucky just stared at it. It was a hole of a place, really. What could have possibly given Andy the idea to want this?
"I still think this is fucking stupid!" he called. But Andy only grinned at him before returning to his observation, scribbling in a little notepad every once in a while. The doll slid down in the passenger seat of the car, still eying the house disagreeably. "What does he see in you anyways?" he asked aloud. Of course, the house wouldn't answer back, so Chucky contented himself with staring at it in disgust.
Andy came back after a good five minutes (though the doll would argue it had been hours) with several notes and lazy sketches in the small leather notepad. "I got it," he said, obviously ready to tell his whole blueprint for the junkpile. Chucky pretended he had no interest, but the excitement of Andy's voice and the way he explained it all out made it hard not to finally nod and go along in agreement. Chucky growled under his breath. "Fine," he said at last, despite himself. "But don't expect for this to actually work."
Andy just nodded. But he still wore a grin on his face.
Months passed by. Paint was bought and messes were made, with several t shirts and shorts past the point of no return, being splattered by colors. Shingles burned hands under the hot sun. Fights broke out and make ups were put in order. A door was put in the open gap. Rainy days caused emergencies and blue tarp to be rapidly put in place. Hammers were dropped and nails were bent, shouts of anger and frustration were made and laughter until tears came occurred.
And slowly but surely, the old trash box began to transform into a visible, obvious house.
Chucky couldn't come to admit it at first. When he finally put down his gloves and looked up at this unrecognizable thing before him, he didn't know what to say. He just stood quietly and stared at it, trying to wrap his mind around the fact that they had actually done it. They had actually fixed this piece of crap! He'd have never thought- no, he didn't think- that this was actually going to be accomplished. He plopped down onto the grass and stared, without a word to say.
It was Andy who finally broke the silence. "Well," he said quietly. The sun was shining right on the house, as if it were a sign. "This is our home now." He sat down in the yard next to the doll, wiping the sweat from his brow and staring on the house with pride.
This is our home now.
There were too many feelings in the doll going on. He didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or hug the young man sitting next to him. This house had actually been saved, and now it was theirs, theirs and no one else's, and they had built it, together and alone. He felt the mix of emotions starting to well up in his throat and choke him. He was not alright with it, and put a stop to it immediately, saying:
"I still think it's fucking ugly."
Andy just threw back his head and laughed.