The Boyfriend Thief

The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

Book: The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris Read Free Book Online
Authors: Shana Norris
looked ready to topple over at any moment. One of the pots on the stove bubbled, sending a spray of red liquid across the stovetop and the floor. I cringed as I eyed the stain, which would probably take at least an hour of scrubbing to get out of the tiles.
    “Lasagna, chicken cacciatore, gazpacho, Swedish meatballs, potato salad, and Cesar salad,” Dad answered.
    “How many people are you planning on feeding?” I asked.
    “Just the four of us.”
    I sucked a deep breath in through my clenched teeth. Distal phalanges, intermediate phalanges, I recited in my head as I fought to control my temper. I couldn’t believe Dad had let that woman do this to my kitchen. Proximal phalanges. He knew messes drove me crazy. Everything had its place and any sane person knew they should clean as they cooked to keep from ending up with a trashed kitchen. Metacarpals.
    Of course, any sane person would not cook a feast big enough for twenty people to feed four. Carpals.
    The recitation didn’t work to calm me down any. I stomped across the room and yanked open the refrigerator. I needed caffeine. I usually tried not to drink sodas, but this was an emergency.
    When I reached in to grab a can of soda from the usual spot, my hand found fruit instead. I stared at the mango in my hand, blinking a few times, as if it would magically morph into a cold soda can.
    “What is this?” I asked, waving the red and green skinned fruit.
    “A mango,” Dad answered. “I know you’re a bit sheltered from the rest of the world, Avery, but I believe you’ve eaten mangoes before today.”
    The temptation to lob the mango at my dad’s head to knock some sense back into him was almost too great to resist. “I know what it is. What I meant was, why is it on the second shelf and not in the crisper drawer? The second shelf is the soda shelf.”
    “Sorry,” Trisha said, giving me an apologetic grin. “Your dad asked me to unload the groceries and I usually throw things in wherever they’ll fit. I don’t even know what a crisper drawer is for.” Her giggle was starting to get on my nerves.
    I pushed the refrigerator door open all the way so she could have a full view of the inside. “The crisper drawer,” I said as I pointed toward it, “is for fruits and vegetables. To keep them crisp . Hence the name. Fruits go on the left side of the drawer, vegetables on the right. I even put labels on the drawer to let everyone else know this and a divider to keep them separate. See?” I pointed to the two small labels I had made on the label maker I’d bought a couple years ago after Ian kept putting things into the wrong place.
    “The second shelf is clearly labeled ‘sodas.’ Which means, only sodas are to be put there. Fruit does not belong on the soda shelf.” I opened the crisper drawer and slammed the mango inside, most likely bruising it. But I didn’t care. Trisha had crossed the line when she came into my house, messed up my kitchen, and ruined the organization of my refrigerator.
    “It’s not a big deal, Avery,” Dad said as he stirred the contents of one of the pots. “It’s a wayward mango. No harm.”
    Of course I couldn’t count on him to understand. All he could see was this hot thirty-some-year-old woman who was willing to make out with him. There was no hope of getting Dad to see things clearly as long as he let his hormones run wild.
    “Whatever,” I said, grabbing my soda and slamming the refrigerator shut. “Look at the labels next time and put things where they belong.”
    I stomped to my room, my anger bubbling more and more with each thud of my feet on the floor. This was how disaster started. Dad let Trisha into our home, let her do things her way, and then once that relationship was over, I’d have to work overtime to get everything back the way it should be.
    When Mom was still here, it wasn’t uncommon to find things in weird places. Like her keys hanging from the cup hooks in the cabinet. Or one shoe sitting on the

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