I don’t know why it hasn’t taken me this long to come up with a sequel, or why I just haven’t written anything in so long. It’s probably because I just don’t feel like the sequel does the first story any justice, and I have had to go back and tweak it so many times, I just feel like I may have done more harm than good. And I just felt like all my stories were getting, well, boring. I guess that’s all for my audience to decide, so here are the first four chapters, I will post more after hearing some comments and critiques, and maybe some ideas that you all may have as to how to continue. My main fear is that I rushed the characters into diapers too soon, and that will make it feel kind of formulaic. But I love stories about diapers, so I am somewhat torn. But either way, enjoy!
Wishes and Consequences 2
The house was nearly empty. Just a few more boxes upstairs in my old bedroom. Well, it hadn’t been my bedroom for a long time, but it still had a familiar feel to it as I stepped in. Even completely barren, furniture all moved, and just the last of the final boxes in the corner, I still felt a sense of nostalgia as I bent down to pick up a box. I had grown up in this room, and every scuff on the walls, scratch on the floors, and even the dent in the door all had history for me. It still had the pink walls, and the light still came through the windows the way I remembered. This is where everything happened. I sighed as I thought of all this, even with the weight of the box in my arms, I stood stoically thinking of my past, and pondering my future. I didn’t even realize how much time had passed or even that someone had entered the room behind me.
“Ella? Do you need any help with those last few boxes?” I nearly dropped the box I was holding in surprise. I hadn’t expected anyone to be in the room with me, I thought everyone was still downstairs.
“Sam! You nearly scared me to death! I’m okay, I could use some help. I was just thinking,” I replied and handed him the box I was holding, and I bent down to grab the last box.
“There is a lot of history in this house, I understand. I haven’t been here since I left for college, but I am still fond of the old homestead,” Sam said and smiled.
“Yeah, it’s been a long time since we were all back as a family. I just hate the fact that we have to sell this place, but with mom gone, I guess we don’t have much of a choice.” I sighed as I pondered the events of the past week and everything they meant to our family.
I had left home at 18. That was almost 20 years ago. Sam, being six years younger than me, had left for college at 18 as well, but by that point, we were all but relative strangers. Each year, I would return for family gatherings, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, but eventually my own family obligations got in the way and my home visits became less frequent. Sam didn’t even come back after he left for college, it took mom’s death to bring him home. The reason for his absence always gave me pause to think, but I never pushed him for an answer. I had my own reasons for the few times I came home, all of them selfish and unworthy of explanation.
“Ok, enough reminiscing. I will be downstairs. Take one last look Sam, this is the last time we will ever be home, for the rest of our lives.” I bumped Sam as I walked past and out the door.
I could hear Sam audibly sigh as I walked away.
I walked to Sam’s van and placed my box in the back, and a few minutes later Sam walked out and did the same. He closed the door and paused. I looked at Sam, and he looked at me, and then at the house.
“Well, that’s it, I guess,” Sam said as he breathed out heavily.
“Yeah, that’s it,” I shared the sentiment.
A car horn blared behind us.
“Mom! Let’s go already!” I could hear my daughter call from the car, and my son was crying in the backseat.
“Well, I guess that’s my cue! Bye, little brother, I guess I will see you at the close of the sale, if not before.” I said as I reached to embrace my brother in a hug, and awkwardly, we embraced. I guess it had been a long time, and we were not always known to be all that affectionate. Maybe it was our age discrepancy, but I could never figure it out.
The hug lasted probably longer than it should have, as we were both unsure as to when we should let go, but both of us did take one last look at the house, before another horn blared, and we slowly departed to our vehicles.
Sam turned to look back at me and yelled, “Bye Sis!” and I turned back to wave before I got in my car.
My son was upset but had stopped crying as I entered the vehicle, and my daughter was in her own little world, phone in her hands, headphones on, oblivious to the presence she had requested just moments prior. To be twelve again, I mused as I buckled my seatbelt, and made sure my daughter was buckled in as well.
I tapped my daughter on the shoulder, and she looked up from her phone and rolled her eyes, an expression I was growing used to seeing as she came upon her adolescent years.
She popped her headphones off and, said, “What?”
It was like I was interrupting an important meeting with a trivial question whenever I bothered her.
“Ready to go?” I asked earnestly, as this would be a long drive home.
“I’ve been ready forever. What took you so long? I thought you said it was only a couple of boxes.” Sarah sighed as she rolled her earbuds in her fingers. Her legs were crossed, and she was fidgeting a bit as she spoke.
“Well, yeah it was just a few boxes. I guess I just got caught up in the nostalgia of it all. Are you ok? You seem to be squirming a bit. Do you need to use the bathroom before we go?” I asked as Sarah shifted in her seat and crossed her legs the opposite direction.
Sarah shot me a dirty look, like I had asked an extremely personal and unwanted question.
“Geez, mom, I am fine. Let’s just go already.” She sighed and started to put her headphones back on.
“Sarah, don’t act this way. We are here, at the house, the bathrooms still work, you can use them if you need to. I don’t understand why you always do this. You always wait until the last moment to use the bathroom, and its always me who is the bad person when I have to stop suddenly on the road to find a rest stop, or heaven forbid, we can’t find one, and well, I am sure you remember what happened on the way here!” I exclaimed as my knuckles turned white on the steering wheel, and I flashed back to the drive here, and not two hours into it having to pull over to the side of the highway, in the middle of nowhere.
There I had to deal with my sobbing and soaking wet daughter, try to calm my empathetic son, who was crying as well, and find a towel to clean the seat as my daughter peeled off her wet jeans and underwear. All the time she was crying, apologizing and blaming me for not stopping to let her use the restroom, and I was arguing back, telling he she should have gone when I asked her to, and trying to get her to stop crying by taking the blame for the whole ordeal. It was a losing battle that we both regretted.
I, of course, hadn’t had the foresight to see this whole event happening, so I hadn’t packed any extra clothes for my daughter. So, even as she cried while drying herself off, I had to give her the bad news. And when she realized that meant either finishing our trip half naked, or as I suggested, wearing the emergency pullup I had in my purse that I carried for her little nighttime issues, she was absolutely crushed. But she couldn’t stay nude from the waist down until we reached a store where we could buy her some new pants, so she reluctantly agreed to wear the pullup, and covered herself with the towel. I don’t know if she was too embarrassed to ask to stop and get more clothes, or if she just didn’t notice we had driven the rest of the way without stopping. Either way, we made it without further incident.
“Mom! You said we didn’t have to talk about that ever again! It was an accident!” Sarah blushed furiously and clutched at the towel that was still under and over her, that I had used to dry the seat and keep her from sitting in her own mess, and that she was using to hide the shame of only having a pullup on underneath. Of course, I was wondering if she was just trying to hide the fact that she was in a pullup, or if she was trying to hide the fact that it was wet.
“Oh? And is it an accident every morning too? It is getting awfully ridiculous, the wet beds, the wet underwear, the wet pullups! Are you wet right now? Do I need to check? Sometimes I wonder if you are a teen or a toddler!” I was immediately regretting my choice of words as they came streaming from my mouth. My daughter looked at me like I had just broken a sacred bond of trust.
“Mom, that’s not fair! Why do you hate me? I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I don’t need to go to the bathroom! My pullup is dry! Can we just go home?” Sarah exasperated as she stopped sobbing long enough to answer, and she put her headphones back on, and I knew that was the end of our conversation.
My forehead was planted on the steering wheel, and my daughter had turned toward the car window. I could hear the music in her headphones, so I knew anything I said would fall on deaf ears. I wanted to apologize. I wanted to tell her that I wet the bed when I was her age, that I had to wear protection as well, that it was a constant strain on my own relationship with my mother, and that yes, it would stop eventually, but the struggle was eternal. I wanted to tell her that I sometimes still had accidents myself, and that she wasn’t the only one who still needed pullups at night, and on long car rides. But I was a coward. I couldn’t share my secret shame with the one person who I knew would understand. Instead I just took all my frustrations out on my daughter’s already shattered self-esteem.
I turned my head back to check on my son, who was like a trooper through it all. He had the bladder of a camel, it seemed, and I never had to stop to change his clothes, and he always went to the bathroom when we took pit stops. In fact, I couldn’t remember ever having a toileting issue with him. He must take after his father.
I looked at my son and smiled, and he smiled back, and without skipping a beat, I put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway, quickly departing the home I grew up in for the final time.
I thought about Sam a lot over the years. He was my little brother after all. I wondered why we never really saw each other anymore, but I figured that was as much my fault as his. He had his family, which he had just started, in earnest. He was married and had a kid in the first couple of years out of college. I took a while longer. Here I was, nearing 40, and with a child from two marriages, the first failed, but gave me my daughter, Sarah, and my current one, as successful as I hoped it would be for years to come, had given me my son, Thomas. Sam’s little girl was 7 years old, so the age difference was an obstacle, and our children never really formed bonds with each other, as I had hoped they would. This was probably because they had only met a few times, over the years. Anything to give me an excuse to make our families visit each other more often. I know families could drift apart, but even as much as I wanted to make things work, something always came up and our schedules could not match up to bring us closer together.
I had moved a couple states over for school and settled down there with my first husband. After our divorce, I moved across town, but never any closer to home, as I still called it after all these years. I would visit my mother on holidays, but over the years my visits became more and more infrequent. When mom got sick, she didn’t tell anyone at first, not until it became clear she wouldn’t make it through the year. That is when our families, Sam’s and my own, finally came back together to handle what became more of a chore than a reunion. Sam did most of the planning from his home. He handled mom’s funeral arrangements, hired the moving company to pack up the house, and scheduled everything from his own home, without ever stepping into the house. I was amazed by his meticulousness, but Sam always did things efficiently. I remember when we were younger, his toy box in his bedroom was organized by size and color. He had a system of order for all things, and it showed these last couple months. I don’t know if it was a mistake on his part to leave the last few boxes in the house for us to retrieve, or if he just wanted to see it one last time. Either way, I was glad to be able to help in some way.
I was surprised by my mom’s sudden passing, but Sam was more stoic, like he had an idea this was coming. The cancer took her suddenly, in my opinion, but only later had I found out that she had been diagnosed almost a year prior to her passing, and that she had undergone treatment to try to survive longer than she had. Sam knew all this, but I was not privy to how close he was to our mother, even though he never came to see her. Apparently, facetime counted as visiting, and our mother was more versed in technology than I was, and Sam and she were constantly video chatting. So even my few visits a year were not enough to match my brother’s visits over the internet.
This all was going through my mind as I drove the six hours it took to reach my home. And with just a couple pit stops on the way, we made it in close to record time. Sarah was still in her pullup, still with the towel around her waist as she raced inside. I took my time, helped Thomas out of his car seat, and by the time I got inside myself, I could already hear the shower running as Sarah was in it.
The movers had taken everything but the last few boxes to a storage facility in my town, that was close to my home, and I knew I would have to start going through the boxes and trying to figure out what to keep and get rid of the next day. I had nothing but time as I was still on bereavement leave from work, and it was summer, so my daughter was home from school, and I had my son out of daycare while I was home as well. I figured we could work on it the next day, so I just drove.
With all the driving, we were all exhausted when we got home. I made a quick dinner, and Sarah emerged from the shower to eat as I got Thomas ready for bed. After I gave him a bath, he was nearly asleep as I changed him into his pajamas. I couldn’t believe he was already four years old, he was growing so fast. After I tucked him into bed, I walked out of his room into the hallway and almost bumped into my daughter returning from the kitchen. She was in a white robe and had her hair in a towel.
“Let’s get to bed in the next hour, Sarah, we have some work to do tomorrow. Please,” I said as I followed her to her door.
Sarah sighed, a breathy teenage, I-know-mom-jeez, kind of sigh. “Fine,” she said as she opened her bedroom door. I stood in the doorway and looked into her room. It looked a lot like my room growing up, posters adorning the walls with the latest hot young boys in the music and movie business. I guess some things never change. Sarah walked over to her bed and sat down, the plastic sheet on her mattress giving off a crinkle as it settled. Some things, however, stayed the same.
“Do you need any help getting ready for bed?” I tried to approach the situation cautiously, but I was bad about it.
“Jeez, mom, I’m not a little kid anymore! I will put on my pullups and tuck myself in, I don’t need your help. I’m not 8 years old anymore, you don’t need to help me with my night diapers anymore.” Sarah said it all so matter-of-factly that I almost gasped.
“Well, I am sorry. I just thought you might need some help, we are all tired. Just try to get some sleep, okay? I love you, sweetie.” I tried to glaze the tension over as sweetly as possible, but Sarah wasn’t having it.
“Gosh, I am 12 now, mom. I don’t need you checking up on me. I am sorry I am not like Thomas, your perfect son who can keep his bed dry all night.” Sarah exclaimed as she stomped over to her dresser drawer, grabbed a pullup out of the top drawer, fluffed it out and pulled it on all without removing her robe. She then stormed back to her bed and sat back down, with another crinkle, and crossed her arms defiantly.
I grabbed the handle of the door, and leaned in as I spoke, “We are all different, sweetheart. Even the fact that your little brother doesn’t have this issue, it shouldn’t bother you like you let it! I know you want it to end, believe me, I understand that, but you have to let it happen naturally. Let’s just leave this for another night, its late and we both need some sleep. We can forget about what happened earlier, we will just try to be more prepared next time.”
Sarah sighed as she whispered, “I’m sorry mom. I’m sorry I wet myself. I didn’t want you to be mad at me, so I didn’t even tell you I needed to go again, I just used my pullup on the ride home. I feel like such a freak.” Sarah started to cry as I crossed the room and sat next to her on her bed and held her in my arms.
“Oh sweetie, you’re not a freak. A lot of kids have the same issues as you do. Remember what the doctors said, you will grow out of it like other kids do, you just have to let it happen naturally. Don’t worry about it so much, accidents are accidents. I know you can’t control it, even if it seems like I don’t understand it and I get frustrated, I am not trying to take it out on you. I feel like I have failed as a mother, that’s all.” I said as I cried with my daughter.
“But, Thomas doesn’t have the same problem! Why is it just me? What did I do to deserve this?” Sarah said through sobs.
You have me as a mother, I thought as I held her tight. It’s all my fault.
“I don’t know why, sweetie. Let’s just get some sleep.” I lied as I got up from the bed and helped Sarah under her covers.
Sarah rolled over and faced the wall, and I flipped the light switch off as I left the room, leaving her in darkness, as I closed the door.
I retreated down the hall to my own room. There, I went into my bathroom, showered and put on my own robe, before sitting down on my bed. I felt my own bed crinkle, as my plastic sheet rustled under me, and before I got into bed, I went to my own dresser and got out my own pullups. I put them on just like my daughter had put her own on, and as I got into bed I realized just how ironic it all was. I guess I could never really tell my daughter the whole truth, as I had always struggled with wetting at night, all through my teens and formative years, and my pregnancies had only compounded the problem further.
Some things change, but it seemed my daughter and I were still the same.
I woke up early the next morning, quickly changing out of my own wet pullup and went to get my kids out of bed. Thomas was easy to wake, and I sent him to the kitchen table for breakfast. Sarah was a deep sleeper, so I had to wake her up each morning, even an alarm clock would not wake her. I walked into her room and turned on the light, and saw Sarah curled up in bed. Her comforter was on the floor and she was curled up in the fetal position, her back to the door. Her robe was hiked up and I could see her pullup from the doorway. I could also see it was wet, as was her sheets and robe. It looked like she had leaked through. I went over to her to survey the damage. The plastic sheet protected her mattress, but her sheets would have to be cleaned as well as her robe. I lightly nudged Sarah, and said her name softly, and when that did not work, I shook her more violently, and spoke louder.
“Sarah, honey, wake up! You need to get in the shower. Come on honey, get up, your pullup leaked through, I need to change your sheets!” I said as I shook her by the shoulder, finally getting her to a slightly awoken state.
“Wha…Gosh mom, I’m up, ok. I’m up! Stop shaking me. Oh, jeez, I’m all wet! Damnit!” Sarah whined.
“Hey, now, watch your language! Come on, get up, I need to get your sheets in the wash.” I said as I started to pull the sheets off the bed.
“Fine! Sorry, I am just frustrated, you know how much I hate this. I hate being wet in the morning, its such a hassle! Let me get up!” Sarah said as I almost wrapped her in the sheet I was pulling off her bed.
Sarah stepped out of bed gingerly, waddling a bit, not out of the thickness of her pullups, but out of disgust as to the contents. As I pulled the sheets off the bed, she disrobed, handed it to me, and standing in just her pullup, she grabbed it by both sides and tore it off in a quick forward motion, rolling it up and walking it over to the diaper genie in the corner of her room. I remembered how much of a fight she gave me when I moved that diaper genie over from Thomas’s room and into hers, but she quickly embraced it as it made her room smell less of urine and she didn’t have to take out her garbage every day, which made her lazy teenage self happier.
Sarah marched out the room stark naked, like most mornings and into the bathroom, and as I gathered all her sheets and robe and headed toward the laundry room, I could hear the shower come on. I walked through the kitchen and Thomas was at the table, waiting for breakfast, so I quickly dropped the laundry into the washing machine, turned it on, and headed back to pour him a bowl of cereal.
I tussled his hair after I set the bowl down in front of him and he said, “Thanks, mommy!”, before digging in. I started a pot of coffee, and turned on the tv in the living room. Letting the news fill the dead silence of the house.
Soon, I was on my second cup of coffee, and Thomas was changing the channel to cartoons. Sarah emerged from the shower in a towel and headed to her room. I went to Thomas’s room and got him some clothes and took them to him to get him dressed. After that, I went to my own room to get dressed, and by the time I emerged Sarah was dressed and on the couch watching cartoons with her brother or staring at her phone pretending not to be interested to what was on tv. I wasn’t so sure.
“You guys ready to go?” I asked as I got my purse and started to make sure I had everything ready.
“Yeah,” was Sarah’s reply. Thomas chimed in, “Yes, mommy!”
“Sarah, do I have to ask?” I inquired, again trying to be sensitive.
“Jeez, I have a pullup on and there is a spare in your purse, if you hadn’t noticed.” Sarah harrumphed. I just shook my head.
“I am just trying to spare you the embarrassment of wet pants, you know how you get when there isn’t a bathroom available, and the storage unit doesn’t have one.” I sighed as I saw the pullup in my purse, where she said it would be.
“Yeah, mom, I get it. You treat me like such a baby, I swear. I am like the only 12-year-old in existence who still needs to wear these things all the time. I don’t need you to remind me.” She huffed and crossed her arms. She was wearing a pair of khaki shorts and a long shirt, in my opinion to try to hide her thicker underwear, but even though I knew she was wearing them, I could not really tell just by looking at her, so it was all in her head. Thomas was in jeans and a shirt with trains on it, but his underwear had Spiderman on it, because he was like a camel and could hold his bladder like a champ, not needing the extra padding his mom and big sister required.
“I tell you all the time, they don’t make and sell these globally because only you have this issue. Millions of kids go through the same thing, stop being such a drama queen.” I said nonchalantly.
“Now, go get your brother in the car, I will be out shortly.” I said as I ushered them out the door.
I turned off the tv and went to my own room and grabbed a spare pullup for myself, painfully aware that I was in the same situation as my daughter, but unbeknownst to her, I suffered in silence.
I joined my children in the car and off we went to the storage unit. It was an unmanned unit, and I had to punch in a code at the gate to gain access as we drove up. When we were past the gate, I drove around until I found the right unit number, and I parked right outside it. All the units were uniform and looked the same, and there were rows upon rows of them, all reminding me of a car garage, as they were white buildings and had large steel doors that rolled up with a touch of a button. I used my key on the padlock and pressed the button to start the door rolling up, as Sarah got Thomas out of the car.
As the door slowly opened fully, I saw the task we were about to undertake. The unit was big enough for us to enter, and had boxes lining both walls up to the ceiling, with a path large enough to walk down the center. The boxes were labeled, as Sam said they would be, as he had helped the movers to identify the rooms in the house and had told them that each box should be labeled by which rooms they came from. There were boxes labeled kitchen and living room, and some labeled Ella and Sam. Even some with my mother’s name. It was all very meticulous, as was Sam’s nature.
I led my children to the back of the unit, where the furniture was, and took some chairs from a corner and had them both take a seat. Then I got some boxes labelled Ella, and put one in front of my daughter, and set one down for myself.
“Sarah, you can help me go through my old things, and if there is anything you would like to keep, let me know, otherwise, just set it to the side and can figure out what to do with it later.” I said as I used a boxcutter to open both boxes, before returning it to my pocket.
“I guess I can help. Why can’t we just sell all this stuff? I am sure it is all probably out of date. I don’t want any old stuff.” Sarah Sighed as she started to dig through the box, that had a lot of my old clothing in it.
“You kids are always talking about how cool retro stuff is, I thought maybe there might be something in there you might think is cool, even if it is old.” I said as I tore through my box, which was just old diaries and posters and toys.
“I don’t know, maybe I might find something. Ew, but not this, or this.” Sarah said as she started tossing clothes into the corner, at a feverish pace.
We both found some things that made us laugh, shudder and wince. Some things I couldn’t believe I owned and some things even Sarah thought were cool. There were even some toys that Thomas was thrilled by, and I gave them to him to keep him busy as Sarah and I went through box after box. I went through Sam’s old things that he said he would want to donate to Thomas, and most of the clothes and toys I found were to Thomas’ liking, but it seemed everything I found for him he liked, so some I had to put into the garbage pile, as Sarah had started affectionately referring to the large pile of clothes and toys we had had set aside as.
As we came upon the last of my childhood memories stuffed into boxes, we were all getting exhausted, and hungry for lunch. Hours had passed as we worked, and I told Sarah and Thomas we would do one more box and then go and get some lunch, and probably even call it a day. Sarah was relieved to hear this.
“Finally, I want to go home already!” She stretched as she said.
“Alright, just one more and we can go.” I said as I handed her the next box.
Sarah started to go through the box, tossing mostly everything she came across, until she just stopped suddenly. I was going through a box of my own, and didn’t notice for a few minutes until heard her sigh and say,
“Wow, this is so cool! Mom, can I keep this?”
And that’s when I looked up and saw what was in her hand. A shiver went down my spine as I looked at the amulet with the brown bracelet. It was glowing that eerie glow, shining in Sarah’s palm as she looked upon it in amazement. I just stared in shock. I couldn’t quite place why, but I was absolutely terrified in that moment, frozen in place. All I knew was that the amulet was evil, and I needed to get it away from my daughter, but I could not move. It felt like I was watching a movie of my own and my daughter’s interaction from that point on, and I could only scream in silence as words poured from my mouth that I did not remember formulating the ability to speak.
“Oh, what’s that you have there?” I said, not able to scream out and say, drop that right now!
“It looks like an old bracelet. It’s glowing! Can I have it? It makes me feel all warm and tingly. I really want this mom!” Sarah practically giggled like a mad woman, and lashed the bracelet around her wrist, before I could tell her to drop it, smash it, or burn it. Anything to get it away from her, but I was a prisoner in my own body, forced to watch what happened next, not really knowing what it may be, just that it would not end well.
I had this feeling in my gut that that bracelet was the worst thing my daughter could find, but I just didn’t know why I felt so appalled by it. Why couldn’t I remember? And what could a bracelet have done to make me so frightened by its very existence? I was so confused and terrified, and I couldn’t say anything! All I could do was watch the horror unfold.
As Sarah lashed the bracelet onto her wrist, a powerful flash of light beamed out from the amulet, and both my daughter and I were forced backwards into seated positions. I could hear Thomas crying in the background, but it was more of a disembodied yelp than anything else. As the light faded and everything came back into focus, I could feel myself growing warm and tingly, and my bladder released. Luckily, I was wearing a pullup, so the damage was contained. Sarah shook her head and cried out.
“What was that? Mom, I think I wet myself.” She said as she started the sniffle.
“Are you ok, Sarah? Does anything else hurt?” I said as I raced to her side, ignoring my own predicament for the moment.
“Yeah, it’s just that surprised me, that light. I’m sorry mom. I’m all wet.” Sarah sniffled and started to cry. Thomas had made his way over to us and we all huddled together, crying and confused.
“It’s ok. Were all ok. Sarah, I think you should probably put that bracelet back where you found it. Let’s get out of here.” I said as I gathered my children and stood up. Sarah tried to take off the bracelet, but with little success.
“It won’t come off! It’s stuck!” Sarah cried as she tore at the bracelet, and it glowed more feverishly.
“I don’t want to take it off. I like it, don’t you like it, mom? It’s so pretty.” Sarah practically drooled as she admired the bracelet and amulet adorning her wrist.
I wanted to scream, take that damn thing off! But I just heard myself reply,
“Alright, you can keep it if you like.”
And that was just when everything started to get weird.
I just felt the extreme urge to get my children out of the storage unit and back home. So, we just left. We got in the car and left. We didn’t gather anything we had unpacked, we left everything a mess, it was all I could do to wait until the door to the unit closed and lock the padlock back in place before I hurried my children into the car and raced off for home. I was still a bit shocked and befuddled as to what had just happened, and the drive home was a blur.
I couldn’t place where my mind was. I couldn’t understand what I was feeling. It was like every fiber of my being was screaming, destroy the amulet! Run away! But all I could do was drive home in a fog. I still felt like I wasn’t in charge of my own destiny, it was like I was a puppet on a string. Like I was being led to my next conclusion, but I couldn’t place why.
I got my kids inside the house and, as Thomas had somehow fell asleep on the ride home, I took him upstairs to bed. A nap couldn’t do much harm, I supposed, and I thought about doing the same. But Sarah interrupted my train of thought, when she said,
“Mom, I need your help.”
I was confused but felt a strong pull to stop everything I was doing and see to my daughter. I went to her room and there she stood, in her oversized shirt, pants around her ankles. There was a bag of her old night time diapers sitting on her bed, the ones I had stopped using on her just recently when we both decided she was old enough to wear pullups to bed and too old for me to change her anymore. Next to that sat a bag of wipes, baby oil and powder. I was confused as to how the items had gotten there, but I couldn’t say anything, all I could do was look at my daughter.
Sarah just stood next to her bed with a pleading look in her eyes, her face slightly stained by tears, and I felt an overwhelming sense of duty. So, without a word, I crossed the room, took my 12-year-old daughter by the hand and led her to her bed. Once there, I hiked up her shirt, saw the wet pullup that adorned her waist and laid her down gently onto her back. I tore the sides of her pullup and removed the soaked garment, before folding it up and putting it in the diaper genie next to the bed. Then I grabbed some wipes and cleaned her diaper area, before popping the top on the oil and powder, and generously applying them to her. I then grabbed a diaper form the open bag, and even though we had stopped using them years prior, attempted to put it on my daughter like it was second nature. And to my surprise, they fit perfectly, as I taped up the final tape and sat my daughter back up.
“There, all nice and clean. Sleep now, child.” I heard myself say, again feeling like I was just watching myself go through the motions, and words came from my mouth that I never thought I would say.
I laid my daughter down in bed and tucked her in, before kissing her on the forehead and, leaving the room.
Then, I made my way to my own room, feeling like a drunk that just needed to stumble home and sleep it off.
I fell into my bed and passed out, as my whole world turned black.
My dreams were of myself, all the way back to when I was just 8 years old. I remembered my father passing away, my mother crying for days, and my little nighttime issue rearing its ugly head. I remembered Sam, being just two at the time, and being better than I was at keeping himself dry and using the toilet. I remembered my mom yelling at me, the constant fights we had, the dry nights chart in my room filling up with rainclouds and suns, for wet and dry nights, respectively. I remembered feeling relief at these occurrences, however, never shamed by my own childish actions. I remembered thinking it could be worse, but why did I feel that way, why did I think this was the right way my life was supposed to turn out?
Because you aren’t living your real life!
I heard a voice echo in my head. But I was confused, what did it mean? Why did I feel like a stranger to my own body and mind?
Suddenly, I was 12 years old again. I was sitting on the curb of my middle school, and I was talking to my best friend. But I couldn’t hear the conversation. I could watch as though I was a spectator to my own life. A van pulled up and both of us got in, there was my mom, asking me about school most likely, and there was Sam in the backseat. But shouldn’t he be older? He looked like a toddler. And smelled like one too. Like he had just made use of his diaper. That was very apparent to me, even though I couldn’t hear any of the conversation between my mother and I. But I was 12, Sam should have been like 6 years old by then. What was going on? That’s when I noticed the bracelet I was wearing, and the amulet, and the shining light.
I was transported to my home, and I could see myself asleep in bed. My mother came in and woke me up, only to find that I had wet the bed. But, I wasn’t in diapers at night? What was going on? I pondered all this as I saw myself wake up repeatedly, to the same result. Finally, I saw my mother get fed up with it all, and that was when she started buying me diapers again. But, that’s not how it happened! I wanted to scream! I didn’t just start wetting the bed. My father passed away and I started having accidents, years before I was 12! This wasn’t right!
Sam was too young! I had always worn pullups at night! This wasn’t real! I wanted to pinch myself awake, but instead I felt like I was transported again, this time seeing myself in different stages of diaperedness, in cribs and messy diapers, being cared for by adults I didn’t recognize as their faces were obscured. Sleeping in cribs and drinking from bottles. Riding in strollers and wearing frilly dresses. It was all so much to take in, I finally screamed,
And I found my 12-year-old self, in a long white T-shirt and an oversized diaper, sitting with my legs pulled up to myself, my head on my knees. I was a mess, most likely sobbing, sitting on the cold wet floor of what was like a cave of sorts, with a spotlight on me but everything else shrouded in darkness. The amulet on my wrist glowed, and I finally heard myself speak.
And suddenly, I turned to see something in the distance. It looked like a throne of sorts, like the kind you would see in a castle made for a king. And seated at that throne, I could make out a slender figure, one leg propped up on the arm of the chair, one hand clutching his chin in a thinking pose, like he was pondering what would be my future. And as I slowly floated toward him, he became clearer. The suit he was wearing, the slickness of his hair, his drop dead gorgeous features, and his wicked, wicked smile. His lips curled, and he spoke,
And I felt myself wake with a start, suddenly remembering everything, and suddenly remembering what all that meant.
And as the hand on my husband rose to slightly brush my back, I looked down to see what my nightmare truly meant, because as looked down I did not see my husband lying next to me.
It was Loki!