Friday, 8 August 2014

Brazilian Wax l Part 3: Who Says You Can't Go Home?

Adam was a very laid back individual. He really was. He was the joker of the relationship, the clown, the one who took the piss out of everything and the one his girlfriend could always rely on for a laugh (cheap as it often was). His humour was acute and his laugh was infectious – however, that didn’t mean he couldn’t be serious when he had to, and really, the class fool persona he displayed to the world was just a fa├žade. He really was a mature individual, as hard to believe as some people found it; the clownish exterior was simply him refusing to be negative and wanting to make the most of life.

Some boyfriends might have laughed at their lover if placed in the situation that Adam was in, and perhaps many people may have expected Adam to be one of those boyfriends. However, seeing his twenty-three year old girlfriend helplessly wet herself right in front of him didn’t inspire him to point and laugh; it filled with very real fear. Something wasn’t right, and he very quickly surmised that that something had to do with his girlfriend’s head.

He couldn’t actual see her accident – luckily for her dignity, the details were hidden beneath the table. However, judging by the fact that Bethany had conveniently stopped her awkward seated jig and that there were dramatic crocodile tears welling up in her eyes…well, it was kind of obvious what had happened.

If there was any mystery left to unravel, Bethany herself dispelled it only a moment later.

“Daddy,” she whined in an unusually high, wavering voice that threatened to break at the slightest provocation. She looked across at her lover with big, wet eyes. “Pants icky.”

For the first time since his girlfriend had begun acting strange, Adam felt real, uninhibited fear. Sure, he had been worried, but the sudden appearance of the word ‘Daddy’ amplified that tenfold. It was painfully obvious that this wasn’t some bizarre act – no, something was very horribly, acutely wrong. For whatever reason, Bethany seemed to think she was a toddler. It was as if someone had taken her adult persona and simply swapped it out for a much younger one, creating an incredible awkward contrast between that and her very much adult body. She’d mentally returned to childhood.

Childhood might have even been an overstatement. His intelligent, adult girlfriend – Bethany, the psychology major – was sitting in public in a dripping wet skirt that she had peed in. Complete with her apparently neutered mannerisms and vocabulary, maybe babyhood would be more accurate.

For Christ’s sake, keep calm, he quickly thought to himself as he felt raw terror began to well up inside him. It was gnawing at the lining of his gut, burning his chest and his throat, threatening to engulf him entirely and shut him down. Calm. The fuck. Down. If you panic, you’re going to make this even worse, and that’s the last thing you want right now. Look, she’s still perfectly ok physically. She’s not in pain. She’s not dying.

Bethany was still watching him with her unnaturally innocent, puppy-dog eyes. Puppy-dog eyes that threatened to overflow with tears any second. As he watched, she sniffled dramatically like any toddler might do.

She’s not right in the head. She thinks she’s a child. There’s no point treating her like an adult right now, so don’t even bother. Go with it until you figure out what to do.

“Beth,” he began uncertainly. “Did you have an accident?” He cringed as soon as the words left his mouth. Fuck. That was, unquestionably, the most awkward thing he’d ever said to his girlfriend.

If she noticed, she didn’t comment on it. She didn’t even appear that phased by the fact her boyfriend had just questioned her potty training. She just bit her lip, squirming restlessly in her seat and nodded ever so slightly. Ashamed.

It wasn’t the shame one would expect from an adult that had wet their pants, though. It was the shame of a child having an adult discover that they had wet their pants.

She’s turned into a fucking kid. Oh my god, what the hell do I -

CALM.

He had to get her out of here, now. If someone else noticed this, there would be looks. There would be questions. God forbid, what if someone they knew was here? If they saw Bethany in this state of mind, complete with an enormous pee stain down the front of her skirt, she would never live it down. He would never live it down. What if –

CALM.

I’ll just take her home, he decided, once again staving off terror. If I haven’t figured out something by then, I’ll take her to the emergency room.

Do they treat this sort of thing at a normal hospital? The thought came to him unbidden.

He didn’t have an answer for that.

“Baby, it’s ok,” he said, trying not to sound patronising while simultaneously realising she probably wouldn’t notice or care anyway. “Don’t cry, it’s ok. Just…just stay seated, ok?” His eyes fell on her jacket, still hanging from the back of her seat. A plan began to formulate in his head.

Bethany whimpered slightly and a single tear rolled down her cheek, but nodded her compliance. In return, Adam offered her a strained smile that was more of a grimace than anything that would reassure her, and sprang to his feet. He had to get her out here quick, before she broke down entirely and it became an enormous spectacle for an audience of hundreds.

Hurrying around behind her, he took her jacket in his hands. Wasting no further time, he threw it over her lap, covering the enormous, dark stain that carelessly blurred the zigzagging patterns of her skirt. It was an awkward, imperfect solution and would most probably fool the best part of nobody, but it was all he had.

“Sweetie, I need you to lean forward for me,” he said quietly, trying to keep his voice low. She was leaning back in the seat, and he couldn’t get behind her to tie the jacket’s arms together.

She just watched him over shoulder, still visibly upset. “Whatcha doin?” she asked in a wet voice. Again, he noticed how different it was to her normal one. She sounded ridiculous. Her voice had become high pitched and lisping and everything he didn’t want to hear, but it was more akin to a poor imitation of a child’s voice than anything believable. She paused, then after another, tearful sniffle, added, “Are you mad at me, Daddy?”

Once again, Adam cringed. He was really going to have to sell this.

At the very least, it’s made her forget about that fucking toy. That’s something...right? Right?

“No, Daddy’s not mad,” he managed to force out, giving his girlfriend-turned-baby a gentle push between the shoulders. “Come on, lean forward.”

Thankfully, she didn’t protest any more than that, and willingly got out of the way so Adam could do his thing. He quickly tied the arms of the jacket around her waist, then grabbed her by the hand and pulled her to her feet. He noticed the enormous puddle of pee left behind and swore to himself. It was everywhere – there was a puddle on the seat and even more on the floor.

Nothing he could do about that; it was a problem for the unluckiest janitor in the world. Reaching down under the seat, he tentatively grabbed Bethany’s bag. A passing glance revealed that it too was drenched in his girlfriend’s mess. Disgusted but with no other choice, he threw it over his shoulder. A pee stained bag was the absolute least of his worries right now.

“Where we goin’?” Bethany asked in her newfound toddler voice.

“Home,” was his curt answer, and he began to pull his lover away from the accident site, hoping against hope they’d be gone before someone noticed the puddle. It was a miracle that it hadn’t happened already.

What is going on? He screamed internally. What the hell is happening?

Adults didn’t just suddenly realise they were actually children. This was insane. Absolutely fucking insane.

 She noticed the mess behind them as they hurried away. “Went pee, daddy,” she said sadly. Without looking back, Adam could hear the quiver in her voice. Actually seeing what she had done was going to set off the waterworks good and proper, apparently.

Pleasedon’tcrypleasedon’tcrypleasedon’tcry...

He didn’t even want to imagine what a twenty-three year old sounded like while bawling like a baby. He was sure it would be a million times more painful than a wailing baby already was.

“Yes you did, but it’s ok,” he said desperately. It was lucky they had sat on the edge of dining area, as he managed to pull them away down one of the arteries without calling attention to them in seconds. It would have been a nightmare had they been trapped in the clutter of the centre. “Beth, it’s ok. Babies have accidents.”

He heard a very noticeable sniffle. “But I’m a big girl,” was the response. There was a catch in her voice.

He didn’t answer – he knew he had to defuse the situation further, but he really wasn’t a baby person. How did people interact with little kids?

“Of course you’re a big girl,” he tried. He squeezed her hand reassuringly and threw a small smile over his shoulder. To his horror, he could see she was crying softly to herself – her eyes were red and puffy and there were tears running down her cheeks. She was on the brink of losing. “Even big girls have accidents some times.”

Pleasedon’tcrypleasedon’tcrypleasedon’tcry...

“Really?” he could hear the incredulity in her voice. The innocence in her voice would have been adorable if it wasn’t terrifying.

“Really,” he tried, distracted with carving a path through the crowd. There were so many people around that even walking in a straight line was difficult – unlike what one may expect from a civilised society, there was absolutely zero order to the process, and hundreds and hundreds of people moved about in every direction, content to get wherever they wanted however they wanted with just about zero concern for anyone but themselves. He was forced to abruptly halt as a woman with a shopping trolley came to a stop with absolutely no warning in front of them; narrowly avoiding that collision, he hurried around her and on his way, shooting her a frustrated glare as they passed by. “I mean. Even your…um…mummy…still does it every now and then. It’s ok if you go pee in your pants sometimes.”

Her mummy? What?

Inside, he was mortified. What the fuck was he even saying?

It did the trick though.

“Silly mummy,” Bethany giggled. “Too old for dat!”

He felt like crying.

The exit was in sight – an enormous, automatic door that spanned the entire length of the wall. All that was barring their escape were these god damned crowds. He impatiently pulled Bethany around an elderly couple who were leisurely strolling down the middle of the walkway at approximately three kilometres an hour, earning reproachful stares from the both of them as they did so. Right now, he couldn’t care less.

A moment later, they were free. Stepping out into the fresh air, Adam looked around hurriedly, so pre-occupied with his stress that the memory of where they had parked completely escaped him. Looking around, he couldn’t locate anything familiar. The car park was the standard affair for a mall – black asphalt as far as the eye could see, the monotony occasionally disturbed by a trolley bay, with cars as far as the eye could see. None of them held a hint to where they were heading.

Where did we park? God damn it, think think think think think THINK.

His eyes finally fell upon Bethany’s green Volkswagen bug completely by chance. It was a little way to the left, halfway down the closest parking aisle. Quickly, he once again resumed pulling his girlfriend onward. Almost there, he reassured himself. Just a little more. Almost there.

Bethany may have picked him up earlier that day before driving both of them to the mall, but as it was, she was in absolutely no condition to drive home. It was this fact that prompted another realisation on behalf of Adam – he was going to have to drive a manual. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t, but it had been a long, long time since the last time he had been acquainted with the clutch. He was twenty five, and the only time he had ever driven a manual was when he had first been learning how to drive. His first car had been an auto, and he was still driving that to this day. This was going to be painful. Jesus, could nothing go right today?

The couple hurried down the road, Adam at an urgent, breakneck pace and Bethany stumbling along behind, looking all around and admiring the view with huge, curious eyes. It took them only a minute to reach the car.

Beth’s Bug, he’d refer to it affectionately. It was a small, green car with a collapsible vinyl roof and it was normally Bethany’s pride and joy. It had been a birthday present from her real daddy when she first turned eighteen – he remembered how excited she had been, and how she had insisted that they had used it as their one and only form of transportation when they went on that holiday to Sydney (despite it being too small for the task of transporting luggage and whatnot). She’d refused to take anything else; it had to be her baby. It was practically the third member of their relationship.

Now it wasn’t even clear if she was still capable of driving. The thought sent a chill through him.

He stopped at the back of the car and let go of his girlfriend’s arm. “Sweetie, wait a moment,” he said. “Daddy needs to find the keys.” It earned a small nod from Bethany. She was sucking her thumb.

The patronising tone was already becoming more and more familiar. Shrugging, he quickly unshouldered Bethany’s pee-drenched bag, throwing it on the ground so he could rummage through it. The outside was dark from the wetness, and the inside was no better – everything was damp and drenched in his girlfriend’s fluids. Wincing at the acrid smell and trying not to think about what he was touching, he managed to dig out the car remote without much trouble. He unlocked the bug, straightened up and threw the bag over his shoulder again. Time to get going.

“Come on, let’s go,” he said. He went to get in the car, only to notice that Bethany wasn’t moving as he opened the door. She was admiring the world around her without a care in the world, absently and sloppily suckling on her thumb with a vacant, silly grin on her face. He couldn’t help but notice the line of drool that was running down her chin. Apparently the car park of the local mall was both new and exciting to her sadly reduced brain.

“Forchristsake,” he muttered under his breath. A station wagon rolled by at that moment, and he could very clearly see the driver looking right at his girlfriend with a puzzled expression before continuing on his way. Irritation became the companion of fear. He slammed the door shut and hurried back around, roughly grabbing her by the hand and pulling her around to her side of the car. She giggled as he did so.

“Baby, we need to go,” he urged her. “Come on, no more fooling around.” He opened the door for her and pushed her inside before hurrying back around to his own side, throwing the bag in the back seat and letting himself in.

Bethany hadn’t done her seatbelt – she was still preoccupied with her thumb.

Idiot. Of course she hasn’t, she’s three.

“Beth, do your seatbelt,” he sighed in exasperation, not really expecting anything to happen but hoping for the best. He did his own, inserted the keys and started the car up, watching her worriedly.

“Huh?” was the only response.

“Forchristsake,” he grumbled yet again. He quickly undid his own so he could lean over his girlfriend’s lap to grab the belt. In one quick gesture, he pulled it down across her body and buckling it up himself.

Bethany didn’t look the slightest bit embarrassed or ashamed at having someone else do such a simple thing for her.

Well…she is a three year old, Adam bitterly thought. Seatbelts weren’t in the contract.

Shut up and drive.

With that, he began the awkward process of manoeuvring the pedals the right way to make the car work. His first attempt ended dramatically and instantly with a loud bang as the car stalled.

He uttered a profanity that no three year old, twenty three as she may be, should ever have to hear.

He got it on the second try, and off they went, admittedly far clumsier than one may expect from a licensed driver of manual cars. By the time they had got out of the car park, though, he had it more or less under control, and they left the mall with no further issues than the dozens they already had.

*

The drive to Bethany’s place was uneventful, and Adam took the opportunity to reflect on the situation. Next to him, his babified lover babbled nonsensically to an audience he was probably supposed to be a part of – right now, though, he didn’t really want to indulge her. She’d finally relinquished the thumb from her mouth and was now gazing out the window, becoming irrationally excited at the most inane things.

“Lookdaddyadoggie!” she shrieked at the top of her lungs, pointing at a guy with his dog walking along the sidewalk. The noise almost made him veer off the road.

“Yes sweetie, that’s a doggie,” he agreed wearily.

What was going on? What the actual fuck was going on? Had someone came to him yesterday and said, “Hey, you’re beautiful girlfriend is going to turn into a drooling, pants-wetting moron for no reason whatsoever!” he’d have laughed and questioned their sanity. Adults don’t mentally become babies again. Impossible. People may get very, very fucked up in the head, of course there were all sorts of mental problems someone could acquire through no fault of their own, but to literally become a toddler in all but body was ridiculous. He’d certainly never heard of such an instance, and he was sure that he would have if such a thing existed.

He’d be scouring his brain mercilessly for an answer the whole while and could come up with nothing. He couldn’t answer why she was suddenly acting like this and he couldn’t answer what he was meant to do about it. He wasn’t really convinced that taking her to a normal hospital was the answer, either. She was physically unharmed; it was the head he needed to fix, and unfortunately he didn’t really know where to go to get help for that.

“DADDYANOTHERDOGGIE!”

 He braked completely by instinct before stopping to think.

“FUCK.”

“DADDYIT’SSOWHITEANDFLUFFY!”

The phone began to ring yet again from the backseat, adding Jon Bon Jovi’s question of why one may be unable to return to their primary place of residence to the din.

Behind him, someone went to work on their horn. Gritting his teeth together, he went to start moving again…and stalled.

“DADDYCANWEGETAPUPPY?”

Beth, no,” he said weakly. He looked in the rear view mirror, half expecting the guy behind them to get out of the car and physically assault him. They were in the middle of a major suburban street – if someone had done to him what he’d just done to the rest of the world, he’d be furious. He couldn’t stop here. His heart beating like a drum, he tried to take off again, this time with much more success. A moment later they were moving.

“Please?” a sad, broken voice came from beside him.

Adam tore his eyes away from the road and, looking at his poor, babified girlfriend, couldn’t help but feel pity. Short of her body (and even that had the ‘baby’-fat aesthetic going for it), nothing about Bethany screamed adult right now. Her eyes were still swollen from her borderline meltdown earlier, and she was watching him with an odd mixture of over-the-top excitement and over-the-top misery at the thought of her very own puppy. Her chin was wet with her own drool and her hair was an absolute mess. Even her mannerism had been wrecked, as evidenced by her insane enthusiasm about seeing a fucking dog, of all things. It was heartbreaking to see the girl he loved reduced to such a state.

He couldn’t bring himself to say no.

“We’ll see,” he reluctantly lied.

That seemed to placate her. She squealed enthusiastically and clenched her hands together over her mouth in unadulterated, childish glee.

He sighed. Please get better, Beth, he thought desperately to himself. Please. You’ve gotta.

At that moment, the phone stopped ringing.

*

Angel Bay was a very small town – it was a coastal, touristy destination, and as such it was a very tiny, compact sort of location. It took the couple only a few minutes to navigate away from the bustling central streets to Bethany’s house on the outskirts of town. Before they knew it, Adam was pulling into her driveway, lined with an assortment of blooming flowers and thick hedges for privacy, before hurrying out of the car to unbuckle his girlfriend’s seatbelt. The moment that was done, he was pulling her up out of her seat and dragging her through the front door.

Ok, this is it, he said to himself nervously. The only sound was their shoes clicking along the polished tiles of Bethany’s immaculate entryway as they rushed down the hallway. They emerged into her living area only a moment later, a small, to-the-point sort of room that consisted of a couch and a TV on the far wall, a bare-essentials kitchen immediately to the left and a table to eat at just beyond that. He pushed her down on the couch before pausing to consider his next move. If you don’t have an answer in the next five minutes, you have to get someone with medical know-how involved. She’s out of sight now. Time to actually fix something.

Bethany instantly made to get up, physically pushing herself off the couch and staggering to her feet awkwardly just like any little girl would. “Daddy,” she whined. “I’m hungry.”

“Beth, no,” he sighed. He seated her back down, then followed his own example and slumped down beside her. Maybe she was still in her own head somewhere, trapped by this three year old he was becoming so well acquainted with. He took both of her hands in his own, pulling them into his lap and looking her directly in the eye. She stared back with childish confusion, clearly not understanding why her Daddy was acting so strangely. She wanted food. Not a lecture. “Beth. Are you in there, at all?”

The look of confusion deepened. “In…here?” she said uncertainly, clearly not understanding the question as she looked around the room to locate the elusive ‘here’. Her voice had yet to leave that awkward, high pitched lilt that sounded so forced and stupid. It sounded like an adult impersonating a child rather than anything natural. He felt his heart sink.

“Beth, how old are you?”

“Three!” was the immediate, enthusiastic answer. Adam flinched in surprise as she yanked her hand free of his own and held up not three, but four fingers in front of his face. “Dis many!”

Adam stared. Beth had never been a renowned mathematician, but she certainly knew the difference between three and four.

Well. Ok.

“Um. Great,” he hesitantly answered. His terror washed over him with renewed strength.

Fuck. She’s gone, he lamented. His girlfriend really did have the mental faculties of a toddler. He could feel his hands sweating against his girlfriend’s own. She’s gone and there’s nothing you can do about it, she’s your daughter and you’re her Daddy and you’re going to spend the rest of your life walking her to a special school and treating her like she’s –

FortheloveoffuckingGod. CALM.

“No. Beth…no. You’re twenty-three. TWENTY three, not three. You’re a psychology major. You have a car and a house and a boyfriend that loves you very much.”

She didn’t answer him. She simply watched him with round, confused eyes, fidgeting a little beside him as she listened.

He wasn’t getting through. “Don’t you remember that, at all?” he asked, the first hint of desperation creeping into his voice. “Anything? At all? Remember when we met? We were in Schuman’s English class together. Angel Bay High. 2007. Schuman recommended we compare book reports, because mine were God’s gift to English teachers and yours sucked ass. Ring any bells?”

That’s no way to talk to a three year old!

SHE’S TWENTY THREE.

 “Daddy, I need to potty,” Bethany suddenly exclaimed. Her fidgeting turned into a full blown jig, albeit a seated one, and her hands flew to her crotch and began to press into it vigorously. Her face contorted into an expression of pained desperation almost instantly.

He wasn’t getting anywhere.

Well that went well.

If you were slightly more adept at talking to children, you would know it’s impossible to reason with an excitable toddler. Moron.

Fuck OFF.

“DADDYYYYYYYYYY!”

“Ok, ok,” he muttered bitterly, officially giving up. Trying to trigger an adult memory was clearly not going to work, and he didn’t need her splitting his eardrum open on top of everything else. He pulled her to her feet and hurried to the bathroom. They’d get this out of the way, and then he was driving her straight to the ER. He had absolutely no idea what else to do. She was legitimately convinced she was a toddler.

Maybe you could –

Maybe I could what? He snapped at himself. She can’t even count to three on her fingers, for fuck’s sake. What the fuck am I meant to do? She’s not in there.

You have to have missed something, his calmer, more logical side tried to rationalise. A grown woman doesn’t suddenly believe she’s a toddler without a cause.

That doesn’t happen even with a cause.

But it has, was the answer. It’s happening right now, whether you like it or not.  Now, think: what was she doing when this started?

Adam thought back. The very first sign of trouble had been in the bathroom before lunch, when she’d almost wet herself in front of him. She’d got progressively worse from there very quickly, until it had come to a head as they ate just afterwards.

Was it something I said, maybe? He wryly thought to himself. There wasn’t anything particularly telling in any of that.

Funny. Idiot.

They reached the bathroom at that moment, and without further adieu, Adam let them in and jostled his girlfriend over to the toilet. “Do you need a hand?” he asked uncertainly. She’d managed to do it herself the very first time in the mall bathrooms, but obviously her condition had got worse since then.

“Daddy,” she whined dramatically. She fixed him with huge, urgent eyes. “Hafta pee!”

That’s a yes.

Hoping she wouldn’t remember the next few minutes when she finally came to her senses, he bit his tongue and knelt down beside her. “Baby, hold still,” he said gently. She was in the midst of an elaborate potty dance, bouncing up and down with both hands pressed hard into her crotch. She stopped at his request, but continued to vibrate and shake on the spot, moaning desperately all the while.

“Hurry!” she wailed.

This is the third time in an hour. How is it even possible for someone to piss so much?

“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered, ripping her pee-stained jacket free from her waist and pulling her skirt and underwear down around her ankles. Throwing the jacket aside, he gently pushed her down on the toilet, trying not to stare as she instantly began to pee, the torrential stream echoing off the bowl and around the room.

However, one thing did catch his eye and made him stare.

Her crotch.

It was bare.

Not a pube in sight.

Of course it’s bare, idiot, he hissed to himself. That was the point of this morning. Remember?

Of course he remembered. Of course he already knew this. But there was something niggling at the back of his mind. Something telling him that this was important. This was a piece of the puzzle.

He thought back to a little before Bethany had begun to act strangely. Before she had almost pissed herself in front of him in the disabled toilets. He thought back to the bizarre hour they had spent in the waxing salon and how she had left spitting mad, ready to scream and tear anyone that looked at her funny a new asshole.

She never did get around to telling him what was quite so bad about her experience other than the fact that they had been treating her like…like a…

Like a little kid.

That can’t be a coincidence. Surely.

He suddenly found himself wondering who had been spamming Bethany’s phone for the last hour so urgently.

Hope surged dramatically in Adam as he realised that maybe he could fix this. Maybe he’d had the answer with him the whole time. “Beth, stay here,” he said urgently. She was still peeing, but he didn’t care. This couldn’t wait. He grabbed her shoulders and looked her right in the eye, fully aware of how awkward a time this was to be touching her. “When you’re finished going potty, don’t move, ok?” he commanded. “Daddy will be right back.”

“But Daddy – ”

He didn’t hear his girlfriend’s response. He was already sprinting out the bathroom, down the hall, through the front door, ripping the car door open and pouncing on her bag.

“Comeoncomeoncomeon,” he muttered to himself. He was suddenly positive that the person who had been frantically ringing Bethany’s phone earlier must have been Mr Smith. It made so much sense - the childish treatment, followed by his girlfriend suddenly acting like a toddler…it was an admittedly slim connection, but it did fit. The cacophony of phone calls would imply something was very wrong, and considering the timing…he dug through the bag, searching for the phone, an ancient flip-top model that she had never got around to replacing with anything remotely resembling modern. “Come on…”

A second later, he pulled it out with a grand, excited flourish Heart pounding, he punched in her password, and…

“YES!” he screamed.

Five missed calls from contact WaxSalon. You have one new voicemail from contact WaxSalon.

Putting the phone on loudspeaker, he accessed the voice message and hurried back inside to help Bethany finish up on the toilet.

“Ms Green!” the dry, overly formal voice of Mr Smith crackled through the phone’s speakers as Adam rushed down the hallway. “I hope this finds you in good health. If it does, then please, do disregard this message!”

The voice paused.

“And if it doesn’t?” Adam asked no one in particular. He burst back into the bathroom, seeing Bethany with her pants and underwear around her ankles, looking around worriedly for the source of the commotion. He was so animated it was spooking her. “Come on, on you bastard! If it doesn’t?”

“If it doesn’t, however,” the voice continued, as if it had heard Adam’s heckling. “Then I regret to inform you that it’s probably the fault of us here at Pamper Yourself!, unfortunately. Admittedly, even if all is well, I cannot promise you that it will remain so.”

“Daddy, what’s goin’ on?” Bethany asked uncertainly.

“Baby, shush,” Adam quickly stopped her. He placed the phone down on the floor beside the toilet and grabbed a thick wad of toilet paper, running it over his girlfriend’s privates, still dripping tiny, golden drops which greeted the water below with a delicate ‘plink!’ Trying to be as attentive as possible while simultaneously trying to avoid thinking about what he was doing was a difficult task. Wiping his girlfriend’s slit clean of her own piss was an experience no man should ever have to suffer through.

“It would appear that there has been an unfortunate…” Mr Smith paused again momentarily, his voice becoming unsure, as if he was choosing his words very carefully. “…mix-up, shall we put it?”

“You don’t. Fucking. Say,” Adam practically spat. The venom in his voice made Bethany jump and look at him in fright. He bit back a more explicit comment for her sake and went about re-dressing her, pulling her to her feet and then dragging her skirt and underwear back up around her waist.

“This is an issue that I’m quite honestly not comfortable discussing over the phone,” the tinny voice went on. “However, it is absolutely imperative you get in contact with me as soon as is convenient.”

He paused yet again, and Adam could practically hear the cogs turning in the man’s brain. What a wretched old man, he raged. He knows exactly what he’s done. ‘Not comfortable discussing over the phone?’ Try potty training your girlfriend, then tell me you’re not comfortable, asshole.

“And...well, that’s all. I do hope you’re having a wonderful day, Ms Green,” he concluded lamely. “I await your call so we may endeavour to sort this out!”

With that, the phone went silent.

“Who was that, Daddy?” Bethany asked, confusion evident.

Adam didn’t answer; his mind was racing, trying to formulate a plan. He pocketed the phone and dragged Bethany back out onto the couch as he did so, turning the TV on and flicking the channel onto Cartoon Network with a distracted “Stay here.” He paced away, musing silently.

So it was because of the ‘waxing.’

He did say they would be waiting there to sort it out, he cautiously began. A moment later he grudgingly added, and the way he was talking did make it sound like it may have been an accident.

How in the hell do you accidentally make someone think they’re a toddler? He shot back bitterly. How do you accidentally remove twenty years of potty training? Unlearn their ability to count to ten?

He can probably tell you, was the answer. Look, this isn’t a normal. It’s not like she’s broken her arm, and a doctor can put in a cast and a month later it’s all better. It’s not even like she’s depressed or whatever. You’re not going to find happy pills for this. This isn’t normal and no one is going to know how to fix it. This guy is probably you’re only chance of getting your girlfriend back.

“I can’t trust him,” he said out loud to himself. He looked over to his girlfriend, who had apparently become hopelessly entranced by an episode of Adventure Time. Her thumb had been reunited with her mouth sometime in the last minute. “If it really was an accident, he probably wants to make sure we don’t rat him out. We’ve got no idea what will happen if we go back in there. We can’t do it.”

You don’t have a choice, was the solemn answer.

He sighed. It really was undeniable. If he didn’t confront this guy, there was a very good chance that Bethany would spend the rest of her days relearning basic mathematics and drooling all over herself.

“Beth,” he called, still not convinced. She looked over her shoulder, and the view that met his eyes was enough to instantly make up his mind. Her thumb was firmly entrenched in her mouth while behind her the TV rudely blared out the screeching, immature voices of cartoon characters. There was no way he could afford to not go back. It was his best bet of rescuing his girlfriend from a perpetual fate of cartoons, potty-training and a re-education the equivalent of primary school.

He knew what they had to do.

“Baby…we need to go visit someone.”

Continued in Part 4: Green

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