“Some thirtieth birthday this turned out to be,” I grumble to myself as I pull into my driveway. I had no big plans; single fathers seldom get to make big plans. Still, I had hoped to at least have a quiet birthday dinner at home with my son, and instead, my dick of a boss makes me work three hours late. On my birthday. On a Friday, at that. I’m sorely tempted to dust off my resume and start looking for a new job, but I know I wouldn’t find another job that could match my current salary. And that aside, this isn’t exactly the best time to be looking for a job. I know I should be thankful I have a job at all.
On the list of things I am thankful for is that my son Billy’s babysitter, Robin, was available at such short notice to pick him up from school. I see her yellow VW bug sitting in my driveway, and I know that for a college freshman, giving up her Friday afternoon to babysit Billy for me until I get home from work is a big sacrifice. I’m sure she’d rather be out having fun with her friends than spending time with a five-year-old. This was a big imposition, and I purposefully swung by the ATM to pick up extra cash to tip her well for her trouble.
Fortunately, Billy loves Robin, and from what I can tell, she seems to love him, too. She has been babysitting the little guy literally his entire life. Robin was just thirteen when she started sitting for him. It isn’t easy for anyone to be a single parent, let alone a guy who had never even been around kids and suddenly found himself a widower with an infant. Even when he was a screaming infant, Robin had a knack with him. I’ve told her parents many times I don’t know what I’ll do when Robin decides she can’t babysit for me anymore. She assured me that I pay better than any part-time job she could get and that she’ll be around as long as she’s going to college. I hope so.
I smile as I get out of my car, knowing that I’ll at least have a relaxing evening of playing video games with my son. The day is already picking up.
“Daddy’s home!” I call as I let myself in.
In the next second, I hear a flurry of commotion from the kitchen.
“We’re not ready yet!”
“What do we do?!”
“Go do what we planned!”
A split second later, Billy comes racing out of the kitchen, an oversized apron tied around his body and flour decorating his cheeks and hair. “Happy birthday, Daddy!” he cries.
I kneel down as he races into my arms. “Thanks, little man,” I say as I give him a big hug and pick him up. He breaks down into giggles as I carry him into the kitchen by the waist and upside down.
“I need my sous chef back!” Robin calls as we enter the room. I obligingly set Billy down, and he races over to her side.
In that split second, I’m almost rendered speechless by a flash of a future that wasn’t meant to be. A gorgeous redhead, wearing a pink apron, is cooking in the kitchen with my son. I never imagined, five years ago, that the redhead would be my babysitter.
I then notice, a moment later, that this gorgeous redhead with the surprisingly shapely body is my son’s babysitter. What happened to the beanpole that used to watch him? Puberty was definitely kind to this young girl.
“You okay?” Robin asks.
I realize I must have been staring for a few minutes, so I shake my head and smile. “My birthday just got a whole lot better.”
“It was Robin’s idea,” Billy said. “I wanted to get take-out pizza.”
“Well, I think a home cooked meal seems even better,” I answer.
Robin shoots Billy a goofy look. “Told you so.” The way these two interact really warms my heart; the affection between them is apparent.
“You can go get cleaned up,” Robin says, giving me a look over the shoulder as she and Billy return to their cooking. “Dinner will be ready in forty-five minutes.”
“Are you sure?” I ask. “I don’t mind finishing up so you can head out for the even-” She cuts me off before I can finish.
“Dinner will be ready in forty-five minutes,” she says again. She points a wooden spoon at me and says, “Don’t make me undress you, put you in the shower, and bathe you myself.”
Billy giggles at her threat. My response is to put my hands up in mock surrender and retreat from the kitchen. However, in the privacy of my bedroom, I have to will my erection away. My mind easily conjures up an image of a shapely redhead, the face and body some amalgam of Robin and my wife, standing naked with me in the shower, her firm breasts pressed against my chest, as she slowly soaps my body. Her hand with the soapy loofah starts at my chest and works down my torso until she starts off washing my cock but then…
I shake the image away. What the hell is wrong with me? Robin is a kid. She’s…
The rational part of my mind, the same part that knows I haven’t gotten laid in a long time, chimes in with an undeniable fact. She’s in college. She used to be a kid. She’s a woman now.
I’m tempted to masturbate in the shower, but I don’t. Later tonight, after Billy goes to sleep, I’ll lock myself in my bedroom, find some internet porn, and masturbate until I’m satisfied. It’s a pretty typical routine for me. I try to date, but most women are scared off by Billy. That’s fine. I don’t want a woman who can’t handle me having a kid, and at the same time, I can respect that. I’d rather a woman run away than get close enough to meet Billy and then hurt us both. That’s why I’ve never introduced a single woman I’ve dated to him. None have stuck around long enough.
But God help me, what I wouldn’t give to just have a good one night stand or even better, a friends with benefits arrangement. My right hand is getting old. I don’t even want to think about the last time I actually had sex. It was definitely over a year ago. My balls ache just thinking about it.
After a shower and putting on fresh clothes, albeit just a pair of blue jeans and a sweatshirt, I rejoin Billy and Robin in the kitchen. “We’re almost done, Dan!” Robin says with a wink as she walks into the dining room with a covered platter.
I had insisted she call me Dan years ago. Mr. Marshall just felt too formal, especially given how much time she spent with Billy. It had been a little weird for her in the beginning, but I think she finally got used to it. If she hasn’t, she at least does a good job of hiding it.
Dinner is truly wonderful. Robin and Billy made us a great meal of steak, baked potatoes, and side salad. Truthfully, they did a great job. “Billy, can you bring us dessert?” Robin grins. Billy grins back, hops off his chair, and races into the kitchen.
“Robin, this has been a great gift,” I say. “I can’t thank you enough for it.”
“Oh, we’ll think of some way you can thank me.” She smiles.
I’m so startled by her bold reply that I can’t even think of anything to say before Billy is back in the room with a very sloppily iced cake, covered in sliced strawberries. Surely…she probably just meant financially.
Financially. It has to be. And I’m glad I’m sitting down because my erection is trying to make itself known again. I’m also glad I decided to wear jeans and not sweatpants to the table.
As Robin serves us cake and we continue joking and enjoying our meal, I’m convinced even more that I simply read too much into her innocent comment. I’m simply too horny to be thinking straight, and I’m reading sexual innuendo into everything like a fifteen year old boy.
Before dessert is even over, Billy’s head is falling forward.
“Little man, I think you are up past your bedtime,” Robin says.
Billy yawns and doesn’t even try to disagree. I pick him up, and by the time I’ve reached his bedroom upstairs, he’s fallen asleep. I don’t even undress him. I just gently lay him in bed, cover him up, and shut the door.
Back downstairs, Robin is clearing off the table.
“Robin, you’ve done too much,” I say, picking up a few dirty dishes. “I’ll do the dishes.”
“We’ll do them together.” She walks past me with a stack of plates and pokes me in the side. “After all, the birthday boy shouldn’t be expected to do ALL the work.”
I swallow hard. Yeah, I’m definitely reading too much into everything.
“How old are you now, anyway?” she asks from the kitchen. I gather up the rest of the dishes. “You can’t be more than twenty-six or twenty-seven, can you?”
I laugh, sliding the dirty dishes into the soapy water in the sink. “No, I’m afraid I hit the big three-oh this year,” I answer. “But I’m flattered.”
She leans against the counter, and my eyes linger on her body a bit longer than I mean to. I really am struck by how much she has changed. Just last year, she still looked like a kid. Hell, just last week it seemed she still looked like a kid. Now… not so much.
“You really don’t look that old,” she said. “In fact, with your physique, I could be convinced you were one of the young frat boys on campus who are always hitting on me. Of course, you’re more mature than them, so I’m sure that would give your real age away.”
I can’t decide if she is flirting with me, or if it’s just my desperation for sex making me imagine things. Regardless, I’m the grownup in this situation. Even if she is flirting with me, which she probably isn’t, nothing can happen.
“Well, thank you for the compliment. But I’m afraid I went to college back when dinosaurs and boy bands roamed the Earth.”
“You don’t really strike me as the boy band type.” She pulls a strawberry off of the partially eaten cake and delicately licks the icing from the juicy red fruit.
I force myself to glance away. “I wasn’t. I was more of a Blink-182 fan.”
“They recently came back together, didn’t they?” she asks. “Do you have any of their old CDs?”
“I actually do.”
“Put one on. I haven’t heard All the Small Things in forever!”
After a few minutes of digging, I finally locate the CD, slide it in my Bose stereo system, and when I come back in the kitchen to the quiet strains of alternative rock, Robin is already dancing to the beat of the music.
“When’s the last time you went dancing?” She slowly dances up to me.
“Afraid to dance?” She forms a mischievous smile. She places her hands on my hips and continues to move with the music. I immediately pull away; I don’t trust my body to be this close to her right now.
“Not much of a dancer.”