Roy skipped out of the family room clutching his package. He whined, “It’s the comohshul an’ I gotta pee-pee.”
For the first time tonight Janie felt angry and disgusted. She stood upright, turned to the boy. “Look here you, you should be in bed right now.”
“But the police’ll want to intaewohgate me.”
She guessed he was right but didn’t want to be bothered. Her reputation, indeed her future was at stake.
“Use the john upstairs why don’t you?”
“I gotta go weal bad an’ I don’t think I can make it.”
She surprised herself when she sarcastically suggested, “Then put a rubber band around it.”
Roy hurried into the kitchen where he’d seen mommy routinely drop rubber bands into a drawer.
Janie noticed that Emily’s muffled whimpering had evolved into full-blown crying. Her resolve to sober up melted. She vaguely realized that the chemicals in her system would run their course regardless of her notions. The juxtaposition of paranoia and an already thriving hypersensitivity made her sorely regret the decision to do E. Operating with chemically-drenched reasoning, she held the trollop on whom she had a crush responsible for the present situation. But quieting Emily and convincing her to come out of the locked bathroom took priority over the luxury of external blame.
Janie begged: “Please stop crying and come out. I swear by Berti Blaze the police won’t arrest you.”
The babysitter had intended to offer reassurance but her words only elicited louder crying—in fact extraordinarily loud. On the other side of the door Janie heard a gurgling sound followed by a phlegm-wet cough, then the yowling resumed. Janie officially began to panic.
“Please please please be quiet. The neighbors will hear.”
“I—don’t—care!” Emily’s ongoing tantrum had taken the breath out of her. “I—want the—world to—know—what a—crummy—brother—I got . . . I mean—have!”
Janie sharply turned her head toward the front of the house and stared with wide eyes when she heard the doorbell accompanied by staccato pounding. Someone was at the door. Inside the bathroom Emily seasoned her harsh blubbering with piercing shouts of Oh my God!
Janie told herself to remain calm. She had no idea how she would explain the awful racket coming from the bathroom and prayed that an explanation would magically reveal itself within the next few seconds.
The runner in the hallway had bunched were Janie had dropped to her knees. She started for the door, tripped and fell hard on her face. She lay still for a few seconds and an intense pain quickly blossomed around her nose. When she lifted her head she saw a pool of blood and panicked. She ran her hand over her scalp; she thought she might have literally split her skull. She found no gashes but noticed blood gushing from her nostrils. Through a haze of shock and nausea Emily’s incessant yowling seemed to originate far away.
Roy came bolting out of the kitchen and flew past the obviously injured babysitter. Janie noticed his bare ass and realized that he wore no pajama bottoms.
He reached for the front doorknob and bellowed: “Don't woey, I’ll get it!”