I screamed and threw my toothbrush at him. Not waiting to see if my aim was good, I rushed out, slamming the door behind me.
The man opened the bathroom door. “Lily, let me ex—”
“Stay back.” I grabbed the mini-vac off the floor and revved it at him. I could hear Mom rushing up the stairs.
“Lily? What’s going on?” Mom stopped when she saw the man. “Matt! Welcome home!” She threw her arms around him, kissing him.
I dropped the vacuum.
“Lily,” Mom said, pushing the tub-man forward a little, “this is your father. Matt,” she started tearing up, “this is Lily.”
Will nothing in my life ever be mathematical or normal again? Not only is my father not dead, but I meet him while brushing my teeth, and my mother greets her husband that she hasn’t seen in fifteen years like he just came home from a day at the office.
Tub Man handed a present to my mom. Then he hugged me. I pulled back a little from the hug, but he didn’t notice. He just squeezed tighter and said, “I’ve missed you so much, Lily. I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since you were born.”
I couldn’t think of any response to this, so I stared at him, studying his features to form an equation.
My father = a tub-loving, blonde-haired, tallish man, who is not dead, but apparently has a loose definition of what it means to be a family man.
My mother interrupted my analysis. “Let’s go downstairs,” she said. “We’ll be more comfortable. Lily, don’t forget to put the vacuum away.”
Tub Man beamed as he put his arm around Mom.
I picked up the mini-vac, stuffed it in the closet and followed my “parents” to the living room. My mother sat next to my “father” on the couch. I sat in the chair opposite, processing what had just happened. How did he get in the bathtub? If he came to our house after school, I would have heard him coming upstairs. If he had been in the house since before I got home, why did my mother act like she had seen him for the first time upstairs? And why was he in the bathtub?!