I shake myself out of my stupor of staring at Jackson’s naked chest and grab the hand he has held out for me. I had seen him move in a few weeks ago and we’ve shared a couple of neighborly waves whenever we’re outside at the same time, but I have never seen him up close.
“I’m Jenny. It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for doing something to shut her up. I was thinking about just going inside and locking her out until she calmed down,” I joke with a nervous laugh.
Shit, I don’t know this guy at all. What if he doesn’t get my joke and calls the police. Can I get arrested for saying I’m going to lock my three-year-old out of the house?
Luckily he laughs right along with me and gives me a heart-stopping smile. I’m totally not kidding. My heart stutters for a minute before picking back up.
I start to bend down to pick up some of the mess in the driveway when Jackson puts his hand on my arm to stop me.
“Hey, don’t worry about this. I’ll clean it up. Give me all of the bags and you go on ahead and get the kids inside.”
He smiles at me again and I kind of want to melt into a puddle of goo in the driveway with the pickle juice and tomato sauce.
When was the last time Drew smiled at me like that? Like he wanted to lick my face. And when was the last time he ever offered to help me with anything, aside from those weird dishes and laundry comments he made the other night?
I thank Jackson and leave him in the driveway while I usher the kids inside to put them both down for a nap.
Fifteen minutes later, I am still arguing in the living room with Veronica about taking a nap when there is a soft knock at the front door before it’s opened a crack.
“Jenny? Is it okay if I bring these bags in?” Jackson asks, peeking his head in the door.
“Oh, yes! Sorry, I forgot to come back out and get them,” I tell him as Veronica jumps down off of the couch and runs over to him.
“Are you a shit turd?” she asks him in an innocent voice.
“Oh my God, Veronica! You don’t say that!” I scold her, feeling my face get extremely red with embarrassment as the Greece God in front of me just stands there, still shirtless, laughing his ass off.
“I’m sorry,” I tell Jackson as I take the grocery bags from his hand.
“It’s fine. Sometimes I can be a shit turd so at least she was accurate,” he says with a smile. “Oh, I swept up the mess and put it in your garbage can in the garage and then hosed down the driveway. I hope that’s okay.”
I stand there with the bags in my arms just staring at him.
I know he said he would take care of the mess, but I just figured he would be a typical guy and shove it out of the way with his foot and then go home. I should ask him if he can teach Drew some lessons.
He looks away suddenly and pulls a t-shirt out of the back pocket of his jeans and slips it on over his head, apologizing to me as he does it like he was offending me or something. I want to scream at him and tell him it’s more offensive that he put the shirt back on, but then I realize I’m standing here holding a bag full of tampons, panty liners, douche, and vinegar, and the bag is see through and he just freaking carried it in for me.
“The vinegar is for french fries. My husband likes vinegar on his fries, and he likes it on cucumbers when I make cucumber salad, and I also put it in my homemade Italian dressing, and it totally doesn’t go with the other stuff in the bag because you know, it’s already scented flower fresh. I don’t like my ‘down there’ to smell like french fries or dressing, ha ha!”
Oh my God, why am I shitting out of my mouth?
Jackson just laughs and for once it feels like someone is laughing with me and not at me, and I should just get on a bus and go right to hell because I’m ogling someone that isn’t my husband.
“I’m sorry. I’m just really tired. I haven’t slept since my son was born.”