Hot Single Dad

By: Claire Kingsley


The girls head upstairs and Weston looks at me with raised eyebrows.

“What?” I ask.

“She’s your new nanny?”

“Yeah,” I say. “She’s Melanie’s sister, actually.”

“Wow,” Weston says. “Well, you’re fucked, aren’t you?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know what I mean,” he says.

“No, it’s not like that,” I say. “She’s just here to help me with Charlotte.”

“Right,” Weston says. “Where’s she staying?”

I hesitate because I know exactly what he’s going to think. “Here.”

He laughs. “Yeah. Good luck with that.”

“I don’t need luck, because there’s nothing going on,” I say. “I’ve always had nannies for Charlotte. I don’t have issues keeping my dick to myself.”

He stands and pats me on the shoulder. “Of course not. And she’s just another nanny.”





4





Linnea





Charlotte’s school is walking distance from their house—one of the reasons Caleb bought it, I think, which of course makes me a little melty. I shake my head and try to stop thinking about him. I have a job to do, but I keep getting lost in little daydreams about him. It’s ridiculous, really. I figured I’d get over my insta-crush right away, but here I am, weeks later, and I still find myself thinking about his smile.

Okay, so I’m thinking about more than his smile. But damn it, he has so many things to daydream about.

Most of the other people waiting for the first graders to get out are moms. Several have toddlers in strollers or clinging to their legs. One little girl, who always has the cutest little pigtails, claps and squeals when her big sister comes out. It’s the sweetest thing.

I bet Charlotte would love to be a big sister.

Not for the first time since I moved here, I think about my own sister. I still feel guilty, like I’ve never been sad enough over losing her. I was sad when she died. I cried and felt that crushing sense of loss that makes the world feel like it’s dull and gray—like you aren’t sure if you’ll ever be happy again.

But after a while, I got on with my life. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say, I went back to trying to survive the hell that was high school. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. My teen years weren’t exactly smooth sailing, and losing my sister in the midst of it didn’t make things easier.

I was so shy, I had a hard time functioning at school. Luckily, I didn’t get bullied—I was too invisible for that. No one noticed me. But it’s a strange thing to walk through crowded hallways, constantly surrounded by people, and feel as if they can see right through you. As if nothing would change if you weren’t there.

I came out of my shell a little more in college. Being away from home helped. My parents were always critical and it was impossible to live up to Melanie. She was so perfect. And when she was gone, all their hopes and dreams came to rest squarely on my shoulders.

But I was such a strange, quiet thing. My family didn’t understand me—not my love of music, nor my soft-spoken demeanor. There was a time, when I was about eleven, when I became quite convinced I must have been adopted. I don’t even look like my parents. Apparently I take after my paternal grandmother. But it was hard being the odd one in the family. All I ever wanted was to feel normal.

Being the nanny among what I’m pretty sure are mostly mothers is a little strange, but I won’t let it get to me. Although I’m not nearly as shy as I used to be, I still have a hard time striking up conversations with strangers. There’s one mom who makes eye contact with me and smiles most days. I’ve been trying to work up the courage to say hi to her and introduce myself, but so far, I haven’t quite done it. Soon. Maybe I’ll be brave enough soon.

The door opens, the pigtail girl claps and bounces up and down on her toes, and the kids start coming out. The teacher makes sure there’s a parent or other adult waiting before she lets each child go. I wait as Charlotte’s classmates are all released to their respective adults.

Kids stop coming out, but I don’t see Charlotte. The teacher, Ms. Peterson, glances back a few times, then makes eye contact with me. “Hold on one second.”

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