Falling for my Neighbor

By: Lila Younger

When Jamie wakes up, we have lunch, and then I go for a walk around the town, taking in Main street and the surrounding neighborhood. They live in a really nice part of town, full of other big McMansions, old trees, and well maintained lawns.

Macon also signed Jamie up for mommy and me classes at the Y, so we do that too. At first I felt really awkward, because Jamie isn’t my baby, but nobody questioned it at all. Sometimes I secretly pretend that I am her mommy, that Macon and I are married. It’s silly, but I can’t help it, especially when Jamie holds on tightly to me. She’s shy after all, and even after a few weeks of classes, she doesn’t go more than an arm’s reach away from me at all times.

Then it’s time for her second nap, and that’s when I relax a little too. We go to the library every week to get new books, so I always have something to read. I’ve been going through a lot of parenting learning books, things to do to help develop Jamie’s growing brain and stimulate her. I want to be the best babysitter I can be after all so Macon doesn’t have a reason to let me go.

The more I read about child education, the more interested I am. There’s so much learning that happens at this age, and it can really help shape a child for life. I never knew that, but it gives me even more purpose. I feel like it’s something I want to be a part of, and secretly I begin to look into an early childhood education degree. My mom would never approve, I know it, because she expects me to follow in her footsteps, but the more I think about it, the more I want to do it.

When Jamie wakes from her second nap, we play together, and I try to put everything I read into practice. Sometimes we do photoshoots, which are the best part. I know my camera phone isn’t great, but Macon always appreciates it when I send a picture showing what Jamie’s doing. I decided to add a little bit extra to the pictures in case he wants to print them out one day and put it in an album, plus it gives me a chance to flex my photography skills.

Macon always comes home at five, and Jamie’s quickly learned that the sound of the lock in the door is a signal that her daddy’s come home. No matter what she does, she’ll drop it and crawl as fast as she can into the foyer to meet him.

Secretly, it’s my favorite part of the day too, because I can see just how great a dad he is. The joy on his face as he swings his daughter around in the air just adds another dimension to how I feel about him.

Macon has to work late tonight though, and it definitely confuses Jamie. The poor little girl keeps crawling back and forth from the living room to the front door, until finally at seven, she’s so tired that her eyelids droop. I have to take her upstairs to her crib, and she’s asleep by the time I make it downstairs to the baby monitor, poor thing.

I decide to tackle the dining room since I finished unpacking everything in both the kitchen and living room. I think someone, maybe his ex-wife, must have decorated for him, because there’s so much stuff. Beautiful vases to go along a mahogany table that could seat ten, charger plates carved out of wood, silverware that looks like it’s never been used, cloth napkins, crystal glasses, candles and even more plates in an elegant lavender palette.

I’m trying to figure it all out, whether some of the stuff is supposed to go into the hutch or on the table when I hear the lock in the door turn.

“Sorry I’m late,” Macon calls out as I head towards the door. “Crazy situation today.”

He looks extra sexy today, with his shirt rolled up from his forearms and the top button undone. I guess it was a stressful day after all. He always looks good in his suit, but I like this relaxed look even more.

“Don’t worry about it,” I tell him. “Jamie’s already gone to bed though.”

He’s carrying a plastic bag of food from the new Asian fusion restaurant that opened in town. He eats so much takeout, and I make a mental note to cook him a meal one of these days. It can’t be healthy to eat that all the time. Takeout is full of salt after all.

“I got enough for two,” Macon says lifting up the bag. “To say thanks for staying late. I hope you like Pad Thai.”

“I’ve never actually eaten Asian food before,” I admit.

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