The morning after “Pantygate”, Anitha met Annabelle in the kitchen as had become their custom. Neither was a morning person, so they generally kept their greetings brief.
Annabelle had just finished buttering her bread silently and preparing to take her tea to her room when Anitha stopped her.
“Umm, you know you left a piece of toast in the toaster from yesterday right?”
Annabelle was stunned. Images of this woman’s soiled crimson underwear were emblazoned on her psyche, and she had the nerve to rebuke her about a piece of toast?
“That toast isn’t mine, Anitha,” Annabelle replied. “I don’t toast my bread.”
“Well, I know I didn’t do it, and Ravi hasn’t been here all week so HE didn’t do it,” Anitha sniffed.
Your husband was just here yesterday you stupid cow!
Annabelle refused to engage any further in the conversation. She took her untoasted bread and tea to her room and thanked the heavens that it was Thanksgiving. She’d be going home and away from this asylum.
Annabelle relished in a laziness that she had not been able to enjoy for the last 5 weeks. The next 3 days were spent doing nothing but eating, watching the last season of Dexter and occasionally venturing out of the house. On the second day of her holiday, she got an email from Anitha.
I know it was not you who left the bread in the toaster. I am sorry for any discomfort our chat might have caused.
Annabelle sucked her teeth and deleted the email. She could imagine the whole scene now. The woman had probably bitched about the incident to her husband only to have him confess, without shame, that he was the culprit responsible for this unholy demise. She had seen him feed Serena yoghurt the previous morning, and could only assume it was accompanied by a piece of bread, which was all the child ate. She shook her head and went back to munching on leftover turkey and dressing.
When Annabelle returned to the house, it was in a state of disarray, which she had of course expected. Before she left she had noted that there was urine on the guest bathroom toilet seat and left it right there. The Rajwanis were having guests over, and she wanted to see if they would take the initiative to wipe up their own waste. They had not.
She walked into Serena’s bathroom and found an explosion all over the toilet. Way to start the morning.
“Serena sat on the toilet this weekend,” Anitha announced proudly.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. She did. Because I told her to sit on the toilet and she did,” Anitha gushed emphatically.
Annabelle allowed her to continue to believe that. What did it matter? She resisted the urge to tell Anitha that she would have been far more impressed if she had taken the time to clean her daughter’s pooped from the seat and rim. Instead, she readied herself to complete that task.
That Monday was a dreary, blustery day. Annabelle looked outside of the kitchen window at the drizzle and frost and was grateful to be indoors. Anitha was looking outside of the window as well, from her perch on the plush sofa.
“Ugh. I have sooo many errands to run today, but it’s just such an icky day,” she began.
Annabelle hummed in agreement.
“Hey, I need you to run to Home Depot and pick up some soil to repot this fern,” she continued. “And then let’s watch a movie when you get back! Will you pick up the new Twilight?”
Annabelle shouldn’t have been surprised at her inconsideration, but she was. She felt goose flesh pimple up all over her body.
“I’ll need money to pick up these things, Anitha.”
“Oh. Well, they’re only a few dollars. You should have the money in your account…I can reimburse you when you get back.”
No dice. Annabelle had done that twice before, and Anitha had short changed her each time. Besides, how presumptuous of her to spend Annabelle’s money on HER personal needs!
Annabelle stood by the door with umbrella in hand, unmoving until Anitha stood.
“I estimate I’ll need $20 to do all this.”
Anitha sniffed and handed her a bill, instructing her to bring back the change.
“I will. With a receipt,” snarled Annabelle before she left to face the wintery elements.
As she was in the checkout lane, Anitha called in a panic.
“Where are you? Hurry up! We have to watch the film before Serena wakes up!”
“I’m checking out now. I’ll be home as soon as I can!”
Was this woman so afraid to be alone with her own child?
“Oh. And can you pick me up some chocolate and mint pastry from that bakery in Buckhead? I feel puckish.”
“Uh huh. Sure,” replied Annabelle
Nope. There is no way I’m going on this fool’s errand. If this woman wants chocolate for her period, she can damn well pick it up herself!
Annabelle returned to the house, cold and damp. Anitha was smiling from the same spot on the couch.
“Okay! Let’s watch our film!” she dripped sweetly.
Annabelle flopped down on the opposite chair, loosing herself in the vampire drama.