Supplying Construction Supplies

‘Aaron, give me a hand here,’ I called out across the construction yard, grunting as I wrapped my hands around a huge oak beam. ‘Aaron! Aaron!

My apprentice looked up at his name, mouth full of the ham sandwich his mum had made him this morning. He quickly swallowed it – almost choking – and sprinted towards me, ducking the throng of other workers heading to lunch.

‘Sorry, boss,’ he said sheepishly, quickly taking some of the load off me. I grunted my thanks.

‘Where’s this heading?’ Aaron asked, swivelling his head around.

‘My truck,’ I said, gesturing towards where all of the site’s vehicles were parked.

‘Why your truck?’ he frowned, momentarily forgetting he was terrified of me.

‘I’m taking it home,’ I told him. ‘We don’t need it on this job after all.’

‘Isn’t that, uh…’ he froze a little bit, beam resting on his shoulder. ‘Isn’t that stealing?’

‘Of course it isn’t,’ I rolled my eyes. ‘I do it all the time.’

‘You what?’

‘I do this all the time,’ I repeated. ‘Whenever we have a spare bit of lumber, I just take it home. Make a table or something.’

‘And you’re allowed to do that?’ he frowned. ‘Y’know, I live right near the best place in Cheltenham to get building supplies, if you’re strapped for cash or something—’

‘I’m not taking it because I’m poor, you idiot,’ I snapped at him. ‘It’s a hobby!’

‘Stealing wood?’

Making tables!’

‘Oh,’ he nodded. ‘Oh, right. Are you sure the foreman cleared this?’

‘Why would he clear this?’ I frowned at him. ‘You’re not making sense. Besides, he’s at the local hardware store. Bentleigh is only twenty minutes away, which means…’

‘We have to move quickly?’ Aaron asked glumly.

‘Correct,’ I nodded. ‘Chop, chop.’

He sighed and lifted up his end of the beam again – I tried not to notice how much obviously stronger than me he was.

‘I still think this is a bad idea,’ he grumbled as we walked.

‘What would you know?’ I chuckled. ‘You’re just the apprentice.’