“Daddy?” Amy tugged at her father’s hand. “Who’s that lady?”
His trance broken, John looked down at his daughter and attempted a smile. “Just an old friend darling,” he said with as much reassurance in his voice as he could muster. “Right you two, it’s about time you got to class. Do you know where you’re going?”
Jasper, who knew exactly where his new classroom was, shot off like a rocket. As Amy hesitated, John could feel Jen’s eyes on him from across the room. He felt her presence viscerally, and it unnerved him.
“Can I help?” she said, in front of them now. John caught a scent of flowers, noticed a set of delicate beads around her neck. She looked, he thought – though even thinking it felt like a betrayal – radiant. She was still slim, but her face was fuller somehow, her skin pink and plump. A light smear of balm on her lips reflected the light, appearing to sparkle. Apart from that her makeup was minimal, her curly blonde hair tamed with her trademark red bow. John’s stomach clenched.
“My daughter, Amy, she’s, um…” He stopped, unable to find the words.
Fortunately his daughter was less shy in Jen’s presence, unaware as she was of the history and gravitas behind this chance encounter. “It’s my first day in Year One,” she announced. “Do you know which class room I need to go to?”
Jen smiled and knelt down beside Amy. As she did so the material of her wrap dress fell to reveal part of her upper thigh. She quickly rectified the problem, but not before a shock of lust had jolted in John’s groin. “Well guess what Amy? My name is Mrs Marsh and I’m your new teacher.”
As John struggled to register his childhood friend’s marital status, she stood up and rested a hand upon her stomach, where, he now noticed, there was an unmistakeable bump.
His heart sank.