by S. Timona Ross
Soft cotton, pink and white with splashes of yellow and purple, for as far as the eye can see. Lavender fumes fill the air, and Violet is suffering from an emotional ambivalence. She loves the smell of clean laundry but abhors the particular tasks that proceed. Violet clumsily grabs the straw from the water bottle with her mouth and takes two long pulls. Then, she retrieves her favorite undies from the basket, the warmth from the dryer is held captive between the layers of threading, creating an amplified aroma. The white panties with rainbows and stars gravitate to her nose as she slowly inhales her morning chore. Piercing eyes snatch her from her trance.
She jolts to find her mother gawking at her which then suddenly morphs into a smile. The twinge of embarrassment causes Violet to cast a smirk of her own. She then gulps more water.
Her mother reminds her of the litany of chores to complete before she can go out and play. Fold the play-clothes, put them away and pick up the toys in her bedroom. Since communication is not achieved solely by the actions of the speaker, the list began in a stentorian voice and ended in a muffled whisper. What did Violet hear? Play, yes her reward for helping out around the house. Hurriedly, she doubles the garments twice and stacks them high. Fearing the tongue lashing that comes from sloppy work; she repeatedly verifies that her mother’s attention is elsewhere.
Violet begins to reload the now empty laundry vessel with her clean folded wears. Again, she consumes more water. Carrying the white plastic basket to her room she moves with ever, so precision to avoid stepping on her belongings. Destination, the other side of the room. The drawers on her highboy undergo severe snatches and slams as shirts, shorts, skirts and panties whirl around. As she heads back to the living room for more water, the phone rings. With her heart racing, she quickens her pace dodging toys, shoes and art supplies; that call is for her.
“Violet, Margo is on the phone!” her mother yells, from down the hall.
“Hey, Margo… Yeah, I’ll be out in a minute… Yeah, I drank a lot of water.” Violet says, full of excitement. “No, I don’t want to wear a skirt. I’m going to wear my pink shorts instead.” Violet continues in a barely audible tone.
Her mother cuts the chase, grins at Violet and says “Wash up, get dressed and do not leave your pajamas on the floor! Then let me know when you are ready.”
After what seemed like a nanosecond, Violet stands before her mom. “I’m ready!” she says.
“Did you put your clothes away?”
“Have you cleaned your room?”
“Are you sure?”
“Alright.” Her mom says. “Stay in front of the house where I can see you and stay away from the ally… it’s not safe there!”
Violet and Margo survey the ally to ensure they are alone. Satisfied with the lack of activity they proceed as planned.
“Ready?” Asks, Margo.
“Ready.” Says, Violet.
“This time, we should bend our bodies more and lean to the side.” Margo demonstrates her instructions. “Ok, now, hurry before someone comes in the ally,” Margo demands.
Quickly, Margo lifts her skirt, pulls down her panties, bends her knees and leans to the side as she illustrated moments earlier. Her eyes are darting around like a ricocheting bullet. Watching the entrance to the ally, the time on her smiley watch, and the progression of her best buddy.
Meanwhile, Violet struggles with the zipper on her shorts before lowering the elastic on her underwear, forcing both articles of clothing to snuggle her ankles.
If the girls are lucky, they can brag to Margot’s brothers that they too could pee outside without urine running down their legs; and if not they established an unspoken vow to keep trying.
“Hey, hey, what are you girls doing? Don’t move. I know your mothers!” Mr. Denson shouted.
Mr. Denson’s thunderous baritone voice and deadly stare shake the children at their cores. The unwanted attention thoroughly mortifies them; they fix their clothes upon themselves and await the horrible fate to come. Waiting for him to descend four flights of stairs is taking an eternity. Violet wants the fiasco to end, and yet she knows it has only just begun.
Hot salty tears meander towards Margot’s chin and meet in the center underneath. Violet copes differently. Trouble inflicts her with the deer-in-the-headlight syndrome coupled with clenched butt cheeks. No need for darting eyes. All eyes are fixating on the direction in which Mr. Denson will undoubtedly surface.
Mr. Denson rounds the corner like a madman, smelling of baloney and cheese. His filthy cut-off denim shorts contain one corner of his red and black button down shirt. The opposing corner, refusing to comply, sits on the outer pant leg. His knee-high socks are dingy and his tennis shoes raggedy.
He interrogates the girls relentlessly, asking questions to help him make sense of the atrocity. After two minutes he concludes that the first girl is comatose and the second girl can only cry. Grabbing each by the arm they journey to Violet’s house.
Mr. Denson’s pounds on the old wooden door match both his voice and his gaze; ear-splitting and chilling until the inescapable, Violet’s mom answers the door.
“Hey, I found these girls in the ally-way getting naked.” Mr. Denson says. “From my window, I saw panties with rainbows…”
“And stars.” Violet’s mom chimes in, before giving her daughter the death stare.
Oh my goodness, Violet wonders how he could see the tiny details from his window, four floors up. Does he have superhero bionic vision? She just wanted to try to pee outside without it running down the side of her leg.
“Violet, why were you taking off your clothes, outside? What were you thinking? Answer me!” Violet’s mom is furious.
Violet is the center of attention, and she is as chatty as a mime. Her gaze meets her mother’s, her neighbor’s and her best friend’s. Her mouth will not work; her paralysis causes frustration. Internally, she calls for backup.
‘Lord help me. Lord can you hear me. Grandma said that I didn’t need to speak out loud for you to hear me. Lord do it now, I need my superhero abilities now. Make me disappear. Make ME disappear. MAKE ME DISAPPEAR.’
Violet’s mom is not receiving the response she desires and her temper is escalating by the second. Violet is sympathetic; for her pleas to God are going unanswered as well.
Her body sways, her butt is clenched, and her shy bladder is no longer shy. The stored urine is ready to make its appearance. The silence breaks.
“I have to go, mom; I have to pee!” Violet yells, as she makes a mad dash for the bathroom.
Time is of the essence, and unfortunately, it is no longer on her side. Undressing is no longer an option; she braces for the accident. In a last stitch effort to put the waste where it belongs, she plops down on the toilet fully clothed. Her bladder relaxes.
From the restroom, Violet can overhear Margot sheepishly explaining the urgent need for release. She also hears Mr. Denson leave and her mother sending Margot to the watering hole in the master bedroom. Violet chooses to relish her time in seclusion, nothing good will happen when she leaves this haven. The full pint of pee is working in her favor, in prolonging the inevitable. She takes notice of how she pisses longer after she holds it for an extended period.
“Violet! Come out of that bathroom!” Violet’s mom bellows.
As Violet finishes, she hears her Dad’s voice. Yes. His arrival is the next best thing to her disappearing act; although she will still accept her first request if God were running a little late with blessing distributions.
Violet’s mom gladly catches him up to speed on the recent shenanigans.
“Hurry up in there.” Violet’s dad says disappointedly.
Violet emerges from the bathroom, pants soaked and gives her father her most pitiful face.
Dad asks, “How was your day sweetie?”
With eyes remained on her mom, she side steps into her bedroom, trips on a toy, loses her balance, falls and strikes her head on her foot locker. She raises her right hand to inspect the gash as blood drips down her face.
“Boy, that’s going to leave a scar,” Margot says, peeking from between adult legs.
“Not so good daddy. Not so good.”