Sighing, I peered at the pile of worn clothes and dirty dishes scattered around my son’s room.
Callum was a typical 16-year-old – messy and totally addicted to playing video games.
‘I’m not your maid, Callum,’ I moaned.
But with a headset on and eyes glued to the television screen, I could tell he wasn’t listening.
Just then, he turned around with a huge grin on his face.
‘Takhari has invited me to stay with him,’ he said. ‘Please can I?’
‘I’ll think about it,’ I replied.
Callum had met Takhari three years earlier playing Xbox online.
He lived around 500km away and was 18 now.
They’d spoken constantly but never met in person.
At first I was dubious, but then I realised my boy was growing up, so I agreed to drive him there.
It meant I could meet Takhari and his mum too.
During the four-and-a-half hour drive, I thought about how crazy the situation was.
But as we pulled up to Takhari’s house, a handsome lad was outside.
‘That’s Takhari!’ Callum beamed.
Then he jumped out of the car and the two hugged.
Moments later, I was sitting with Takhari’s mum in her kitchen while the boys played video games upstairs.
‘It’s lovely they’ve stayed friends for so long,’ she said.
When I realised they were a normal family, my nerves disappeared and I said my goodbyes.
A week later, I picked Callum up.
‘I’ve had so much fun, Mum,’ he said.
Meeting Takhari for the second time, I noticed how gorgeous he was.
But I shook off the notion. Aged 40, it was ridiculous to find an 18-year-old attractive.
‘Here’s my number,’ he said, typing it into my phone. ‘Call me if you get lost.’
‘You’re more than welcome to visit Callum,’ I told him.
Back at home, my marriage to Callum’s dad was falling apart. We also had a daughter, Addison, eight, and we agreed to wait a few months until after Christmas before we told the kids we were splitting up.
In January 2018, I moved out with Callum and Addison. And before long, Takhari came to visit Callum for a 10-day stay.
The moment I saw his smile and chocolate-brown eyes, my heart melted.
You’re being silly, I told myself. You’re way too old for him.
But as Takhari confided in me about personal things, he seemed so grown up.
I found I couldn’t stop thinking about him.
Before I knew it, it was time to drive Takhari home.
When we arrived at his house, he suddenly leaned forward and kissed me.
At first, I was shocked. But it felt so natural. I never thought a gorgeous young man would be interested in a mum of two.
After all, he was 22 years my junior.
Back home, I couldn’t get the kiss out of my head.
I can’t stop thinking about you, I texted Takhari.
I was really nervous, but I’ve wanted to do it since I first met you, he replied.
Over the next few days, we spoke in secret.
When Takhari’s mum discovered we’d been chatting, she kicked Takhari out and refused to speak to us.
With nowhere else for him to go, I suggested he could stay with us.
I can’t lose my son, I thought, terrified of what Callum would think.
‘I need to speak to you,’ I said one evening. ‘Takhari and I have romantic feelings for each other.’
He didn’t even bat an eyelid.
‘And I’ve offered him to live with us,’ I said carefully.
‘That’s fine,’ he said.
‘Are you sure?’ I said. ‘If you ever decide that you can’t accept me being with Takhari, then that’s okay. Neither of us want to sacrifice our relationship with you.’
So Takhari moved in and slept on the floor next tomy bed.
Addison quickly grew to love him.
‘Can we play LEGO?’ she asked Takhari one day.
‘We’ll build the biggest castle we can!’ he laughed.
My mates think it’s hilarious that I have a younger man.
‘You’re a cougar, Dawn,’ they giggle.
We have received criticism, though.
Strangers give me dirty looks when I’m holding Takhari’s hand in public.
A family member even said I’d groomed him and threatened to call the police.
As for our sex life – it’s amazing! Takhari is so attentive and I feel like I’ve had a new lease on life.
I had a hysterectomy last year, so I can’t have more children, but we’ve spoken about adoption in the future.
We’ve been together for two years now and I don’t feel like I’m getting older.
I’m relieved that Callum, now 18, and Takhari, 20, are still close. Plus Takhari’s mum has accepted us.
Most of the time we forget about the age gap.
Takhari’s the most amazing man – who just happens to be 22 years younger.
I really love Dawn with all my heart.
No matter what we have been through, she has always been there for me.
I love her gorgeous eyes and her figure, especially her mummy belly.
I don’t care about our age gap and it never even crosses my mind.
We’re just too busy having fun!