At the foot of the stairs, Olivia came to a screeching halt. The sight, a few yards in front of her, left her totally speechless and breathless...
In her opulent bespoke kitchen, the man she’d seen picking weeds and digging flower beds only an hour ago wearing stained green tee shirt, dark trousers, muddy boots and gloves is now preparing breakfast as if he's a celebrity TV chef on live television.
Oliver looked up in time to see her drooling mouth. He flashed her a winning grin as he stirred the bubbling liquid in the milk pan. She looked to her left, on the island extension were they ate quick meals, were two plates complete with cutlery and mugs.
Taking in the scene, she understood why her son had dismissed her belated offer to prepare his breakfast.
Contrary to the instant guilt that came over her at Shawn’s outburst earlier, she realized her son hadn’t suffered neglect at all. Mr. Gardener had extended his scope to providing breakfast for her son and doing school runs behind her back!
Oliver's practically taking over the running of her home. She covered her face with her hand. No, it is more of acute embarrassment. And perhaps, with a tinge of anger? She couldn’t put her finger on exactly what she found so appalling about the scenario playing out in front of her.
While she stood like a robot at the foot of the stairs, Shawn came bounding down the stairs, looking at his wristwatch at the same time.
‘Hi mate,’ Oliver called out animatedly at the sight of her son pulling his schoolbag over one shoulder.
Oliver’s voice was like hot, liquid honey flowing through her veins…
This is all going badly this morning.
If she asks Oliver to get out of her kitchen, she risks offending her son who’s obviously settled into the routine of eating hot, freshly prepared meals for breakfast.
‘Come over and join us mum,’ her son called out as he dumped his bag on top of the kitchen worktop. ‘Never mind, am sure Oliver doesn’t have enough for three.’ She said faintly when she found her voice.
‘There’s always extra. Isn’t there an extra portion left, Oliver?’ her son asked, as he went round, pumping the gardener on the arm like chummy friends do.
Her stomach almost fell out at the sight...