I push open my front door and my bag swings around to my front. I slip it off my shoulder and it drops to the floor.
“Mum!” I shout with tense shoulders. No answer. I push open the kitchen door. Empty. Lounge. Empty. “Mum!”
I can’t believe she made me walk all the way home after netball practice when she promised that she’d pick me up. I check my phone. Still no reply. Where the hell is she?!
I stomp up the stairs. She’s done this to me far too many times. I could have driven myself there if she had fucking let me borrow the car. I don’t know what I would have found worse, to come home and find her lounging around or to come home to an empty house meaning she’s probably gone out shopping or something and completely forgotten about me.
I freeze when I hit the top step. I’m not alone. The bathroom door is slightly ajar and the light sends a streak through the landing carpet. Tom is singing Pure Imagination and his voice makes my whole body tingle. He has such a beautiful voice. He always sings in the shower. His singing must have drowned out my shouting.
I step a little closer, now being extra careful not to draw attention to myself. A floorboard creaks under my foot and I pause. But he is still singing away so I continue. I make it to the door and peer in. The sight takes my breath away. We have a walk-in shower which takes up almost the full back wall of the bathroom and can probably fit about four people inside. Why it’s so big, I have no idea. My mum likes to pamper herself but does she really need three different shower heads?
The glass is all steamed up so I can only make out his creamy silhouette as he runs shampoo through his hair. He is facing the wall and I can see his beautiful muscular back. Not too muscular. Just nice. And his bum looks perky and firm. I bite down on my lip and the thought of giving it a cheeky squeeze.
His sudsy fingers work through his hair and I watch as the suds run down his back. He has such silky hair. His golden curls protrude from his forehead and flow back in styled waves to the back of his head. He has a slight beard that frames his thin pink lips too. I don’t usually like beards but his suits him so much I wish I knew what it felt like grazing my cheeks.
I do wish that my mum hadn’t snatched him up but if she hadn’t I would have never have met him. There is no way I am ever calling him my stepdad. That would just be wrong. It makes me cringe even saying that he is my mum’s boyfriend. Well, most people don’t call him that. My mum’s friends call him her toyboy. That just makes me want to hurl.
The age gap between them is pretty big though. My mum is almost fifty. Well, she’s forty-five. Okay, she is a very young forty five. I hate to admit. She can easily be mistaken for being in her late thirties because of her long blonde hair and slim figure. But Tom is a ripe thirty-two. I’m twenty-four. I’m closer to his age than my mum is! I do sometimes wonder if that has slipped into his mind once or twice.
I rest my head against the door frame and continue to daydream to the soothing sound of his voice.
Tom and I have so much more in common than him and my mum. That’s why whenever my mum drags me down to have a movie night, it always ends up just being me and Tom curled up on the sofa sharing a bowl of popcorn because my mum has given up on the film whereas we’d be captivated by it.
Comedies are the best films to watch with him because I get to hear his laugh. It’s like a throaty cough. Absolutely adorable. His tongue sticks out a little and presses against his bottom teeth as the sound leaves his mouth. He likes it when I smile because I have really deep dimples. He actually poked his finger in one once which made my face grow bright red. So red that I had to hide it with a pillow.
So here I stand, watching him lather up his perfectly sculptured body with shower gel. It’s mint. How do I know that? Because when he hugs me, the smell is intoxicating.
I chew my lip. What does a girl do in a situation like this?