I’m sorry that this installment in the story is a little late, but I was on vacation in Seim Reap looking at the amazing ruins of Angkor Wat. It was quite the trip and had given me a great perspective on the way things are working in the world right now. Look for that story in the next couple of weeks with some spectacular pictures as well. But until then, here is the third chapter of Accountability.
When I opened up the front door, there was a teenage girl standing next to a postman. She had dark black mascara under each eye about an inch thick. She wore bright red lipstick that glittered when the light hit it just right. Her jet black hair was puffed out so it created the look of licorice cotton candy sprouting from the top of her head and cascading down to hide her face in a dark shadow. She wore a red push-up bra peeking through the top of her tight fitting white tank top. It pushed up what little she had of breasts to turn them into pale oranges. She also wore tight black jeans showing off every muscle in her legs except for her calves which were hidden behind black knee-length high-heeled boots. In her left hand, she dangled a little black purse with a picture of Hello Kitty on it. She looked like she had just been pulled off the street from her night job, and the postman looked like the one required to drag her to stand at my front door. He held a clipboard in his hand and looked down at the name on it.
“Is there a Robert Young here?” he said as he looked over my shoulder to see if I was hiding him somewhere in the house. The girl snapped her gum loudly behind him.
“He’s at work right now, but I am Rachael Young, his wife. Can I help you?”
He looked down at the clipboard again and growled. He looked over his shoulder at the girl rolling her eyes at him and he turned back around to me. “I guess you are close enough. Can I get you to sign here?”
He held out the clipboard and removed a pen from behind his ear for me to use. I looked down at it and saw Robert’s name written on a certified mail slip with a big X next to the place asking for a signature.
“Can I ask what this is for?”
“I’m delivering a piece of certified mail and I need you to sign for it in order to get it off my hands. You are his wife, so you can sign for him.”
I started to hear Lindsey crying upstairs in her room, so I bent down to quickly sign the piece of paper. Everything was piling up on itself really quickly, and I wanted the man to give me the piece of mail so I could go attend to Lindsey’s needs. I looked up at him after I had finished signing and said, “Thank you very much, and if I co…”
“She’s all yours lady,” he said and turned from my front door and ran back to his mail truck.
The girl strolled in like she owned the place. The tips of her high heeled boots clacked upon the linoleum as she sashayed her way over to the big couch and plopped down, dangling her boot heels over the edge of the arm. While she was waiting for my response, she dug through her purse until she was able to extract a small compact mirror from it. She popped it open so she could look at herself and make sure her hair was still poofy and proper. I was lost as what to do because Lindsey was starting to move from a gentle cry to a full blown-out scream. She had never been forced to wait this long for me to attend to her needs.
The girl looked up at me and asked, “Are you going to take care of that? It’s really annoying.”
It was as if I needed her words to give me leave to go run upstairs to make sure Lindsey was alright and that’s just what I did. Lindsey was standing up in her bed. Her mouth was opened wide like a bottomless cave unleashing the howl from down below. Her eyes were creating streams of water flowing into that dark cave decorated with five stalagmites and three stalactites dangling from its edge. Her new Baby Bear was lying on the ground five feet from her bed. I picked it up and handed it to her.
“Don’t cry honey. I have your Baby Buddy right here,” She grabbed the bear from me.
She threw Baby Buddy across the room and started to scream louder, “I want my blankee!”
It was stupid of me to give her the newest toy when the one that traditionally comforted her would have been the one she wanted. I quickly scanned the room for her blankee, but I couldn’t see it anywhere. “Honey, where is your blankee?”
This put her into a stage three temper tantrum. This wasn’t the worst stage, but it was still devastating to see. Lindsey would scream while crying and lay down on her stomach to bang her fists into whatever object she was laying on. “You lost my blankee!”
I knew I had to stop this temper tantrum before it hit stage four or it would take me forever to calm her back down. I knew the only way to prevent this disaster would be to find her blankee and quickly. My mind raced to think where I had seen it last. We had it with us when we went to drop off Zach at school and I remembered seeing it in the car next to Lindsey’s car seat when we were done at the post office. In fact, I remembered seeing it there when I took her out of the car seat because she cared more about her new stuffed Baby Buddy then she did about her blankee. I remember thinking it was a nice improvement to have her care more about her new toy than the one she usually dragged around all over the place.
“I know exactly where your blankee is. I’ll be back with it in just a second.”
She calmed down a little bit. The tragedy was reverting back to stage two. She was starting to sit up, but the tears and the howl still continued. The blankee would help return her back to normal within a matter of seconds. When I thought she was in control of her senses enough, I ran down the stairs to the garage. I would have been able to get her blanket and be back in less than a minute, but as I ran into the living room, I had to stop because I realized there was one more thing I had to deal with, the young lady checking her make-up in the compact mirror as she lounged on my couch.
I moved closer to the girl. I had my index finger ready to point and was about to say something when she snapped her compact closed. The stranger looked up at me with blue eyes hidden away behind too much black eyeliner.
“So, where is Robert?” she said. She made sure to enunciate the “b” in his name so I could see her bright red lipstick make the condescending sound.
“Who are you?” I asked her.
She rolled back her eyes and let out an exaggerated annoyed sigh. “Robert didn’t tell you about me?” She made sure to make that condescending “b” sound again.
My mind raced
Was Robert having an affair? He had been a little more aloof lately. Why would he be having an affair with somebody so young? She was old enough to be his daughter. Had he been going to the Mother Mall to find a younger model to replace me? If this were true, why would he have told me about her? Why wouldn’t he just go to the Mother Mall and pick one up instead of taking his chances by ordering one by mail. I looked back at her and stammered out a, “N-n-no?”
She puffed out another annoyed sigh as she got up from the couch. She reached down her shirt and pulled out a tattered envelope from her bra. She handed it to me, “That should explain everything.”
I looked at the unopened piece of mail. It was addressed to a Palin Young and it had come from the Department of Motherhood. What did the Department of Motherhood have to do with my husband and this girl who shared his same last name? I looked up from the envelope to see this girl get up from the couch and bend over to unzip her boots.
“BLANKEE!!!!” screamed from upstairs, and my thoughts returned to the other crisis going on in my house.
“I’ll be back in a second to deal with you young lady,” I told the stranger who had invaded my humble home.
She rolled her eyes at me and worked to pull off the tight fitting boots. “Whatever.”
I didn’t have time to deal with her at the present moment, so I let her pick up the remote to the television. She started to flip through the channels as I ran to the car to grab Lindsey’s blankee from the back seat. When I had it, I ran back upstairs. As I was passing through the living room, I noticed the girl had done something with the television and a smaller box appeared on the screen saying something about locked channels. I knew I had to prioritize and I would figure out what she was doing after I had calmed down Lindsey.
I came back into Lindsey’s room and her meltdown had moved from level two to borderline level four. A river of snot had joined the river of tears covering her face in a wet, messy goo. She had quit pounding her bed and was now rolling on her back instead. Her mouth blared out decibels not meant for human ears to hear. I grabbed the box of Kleenex on the dresser in hopes to clean her up a little bit after I calmed her down.
“Honey, mommy has your blankee,” I said as I handed her the prized possession. She opened her eyes a little bit to see the thing she most desired. She reached up with one hand to grab the blankee and took the index finger and middle finger from her other hand to stick into her mouth. The crying and screaming had stopped, but a huffing gasp of air continued through the small spaces created by her lips wrapping themselves around her fingers. She laid down on the bed and continued to whimper. I took out a couple of Kleenexes and used them to wipe away her tears and the snot spreading itself across her face.
After I had cleaned her up to the best of my ability, I asked her, “Are you doing better now?”
She nodded back her answer. That was when I started to hear the strangest noises coming from the family room. It was the combination of a woman moaning and a man grunting. I looked out Lindsey’s door wondering exactly what was going on downstairs. Lindsey stopped whimpering long enough to sit up in bed and look out the door herself. With one crisis diverted, it was now my time to turn my attention to the other one.
“Lindsey, there is something that mommy has to do downstairs. Can you stay up here until I tell you it is okay to come down?”
The noises got louder and faster, and Lindsey looked out the door like she was terrified of what she would find downstairs. She looked back at me and nodded more enthusiastically this time. I left Lindsey’s bedroom and went downstairs to talk to the invader.
When I got downstairs, she had herself sprawled out on the couch, and she was watching television. This was the source of the sounds I was hearing. On the screen was a naked woman on her hands and knees moaning loudly as her breasts swung back and forth like over-bloated udders underneath her. Behind her was a naked man grunting rhythmically as he banged his pelvis into her rear.
The girl sitting on my couch looked up at me and said, “Hey, look, I was able to unlock the Playboy channel for you.”
I picked up the remote and quickly turned off the television.
“Hey, I was watching that. You are, right now, breaking Standard Number Three: A mother should not impede the learning and exploration process of her children.”
I threw the remote back down on the coffee table. “That would be great if I was your mother, but I am not. I don’t even know who you are.”
The girl sat up on the couch and said, “Didn’t you read that letter that I gave you, yet?”
I had completely forgotten about the letter. It was in the back pocket of my jeans. I pulled it out and opened it up. The girl on my couch rolled her eyes as she picked up the remote and said, “That letter should explain everything.” I stood in the middle of my living room feeling like a stranger in my own home as I read:
“Dear Palin Young,
I am sorry to report to you that your mother has failed her assessment for the third year running. Because of this, she is required by law to be sent to the Capital Limited Re-education Center. Since this is the second time she has been sent to be re-educated, and because she is an only mother, you will be relocated to another mother who can be a better role model for you.
Our records indicate that you have a father, a Robert Young, who is living on the opposite side of town. He is married to a mother who has performed exceptionally well on her last three assessments. We at the Department of Motherhood believe that this is the perfect environment for you to achieve your full potential. Her name is Rachael Young and she will now be your new mother. You’ll be delivered to her through certified mail by the United States Postal Office and the mothering will officially begin the moment someone in the household signs for you.
Due to the circumstances, if you encounter any difficulty making adjustments to your new environment, please contact us at 1-800-555-LOVE. Ask for your case manager, Miss Allison Torpedojager, to help you through any tough times.
Thank you and enjoy your new mother,
I looked down at the letter and said, “Robert has another child?”
Palin flopped herself down on the couch. “Oh, didn’t daddy tell you about me?”
I thought I knew everything about my husband. He was a great provider for this family, but I had no idea he had a past, especially one including this stranger now invading my home.
“Well, he should have. It seems my biological mother and he were quite the item back in high school. They were voted prom queen and king and that was the night good old daddy knocked up mommy dearest. Nine months later here I come as their bundle of joy. Of course Robert tried to do good by mom by marrying her right out of high school, but they just weren’t meant to be together. Robert eventually divorced my…”
“Wait a minute, Robert has been married before,” I said as I slouched down in the seat behind me.
Palin gave me a look of genuine surprise. “Wow, there is a lot old Robert hasn’t told you. Don’t worry it didn’t last long. Robert and my mom fight all the time. It was over by the time I was five years old.”
A lot of questions raced through my mind, “What do you mean ‘fight all the time’? Does he still see your mom? When was the last time you saw him?”
“Oh, he comes over about once every other month to see how I’m doing, but for the most part he makes himself pretty scarce. Most of the time he comes over, gives my mom a little money, they fight some, he talks to me for a bit, and then comes back here to the family he apparently really loves.”
I was in complete shock. How could he do this to me? How could I have lived with him for the last seven years and not have known about his other family? If he was keeping this a secret from me, what other things about my husband were out there I didn’t know about? It made me feel like I had been living with a stranger for the last seven years. I started to wonder what I really did know about my husband. We courted for such a short time, and quickly had Zach right away because of my love for children. He never took me to his work; I never met any of his co-workers; I didn’t even really know what he did for a living. I knew nothing about this man, and his past had just knocked on my door, waltzed into my living room, and blessed us with free porn for all eternity.
Palin continued on with her story, “So when my mom failed her assessment again due to some minor glitch about boyfriends, she was sent to The Capital Limited Re-education Center and I was left to my lonesome again. Grandma died a couple of years ago. That’s who took care of me last time, so all that’s left is Robert. He’s my closet living relative. So, because of some freaky new rule, I am the newest edition to your family.”
I looked over at this teenager lounging on the couch in my family room and muttered out the only thing that I could think of, “I guess that makes me your mother.”
Palin fluffed the pillow behind her head. “Yep, that’s right. Now let’s get things started off right. You can go get me a soda, mother.”