Chapter 23: Family Time
It had taken a good fifteen minutes to coax Sherry to leave him at his own house without coming inside. He was about to try to get off the lie of the century to his dad, so that some sense of normalcy could prevail in his house, at least till he got a hold of things, and Sherry’s presence was a factor Chris couldn’t rightly account for. She was supportive of him, but he didn’t need anyone double checking one version of his story against another one. That was the only support Sherry would likely be able to provide.
It took another fifteen minutes of him pacing in his family’s garage, trying to work up the courage to go inside and confront his father; to prove, or at least convince his dad that he wasn’t some kind of freak. But Christopher was having trouble finding his courage. He’d been gone less than two whole days, and already he felt like he was some stray dog pissing in a wolf’s territory.
For starters, there in a nearby trashcan, right where he could see it. Was the opened package of Depends sitting right on top of the heap. The top stack of adult diapers leaned lazily over itself like books where the bookends had been taken. It was covered in a day’s worth of grime, but Dr. Cole had taken the time to show his son proof of what he had found under his son’s bathroom sink, and that there was no denying it one way or another.
Yet deny, deny, deny, was what Chris intended to do. This was a conversation that Chris had never hoped to have with anyone, least of all with his father. Even worse, was that to Chris’s knowledge the rest of the world was now completely ignorant of his fetish. Adult Babies and Diaper Lovers never existed, as far as the rest of the world need be concerned. A lifetime ago, or about a week ago, depending on how you were measuring, Chris could have at least taken some cold comfort knowing that there were resources he could show loved ones to explain his kink better than he could have.
So instead, he was going to lie up a storm. In the car ride over, before he was interrupted by a crazy old man claiming to be a magician, he had spun an elaborate web of lies about a young pre-med student so overworked that he was starting to experience nighttime enuresis, but he was so ashamed about needing diapers to control it, that he was losing sleep over it, causing even more emotional instability. It was all horseshit, but maybe if Chris pretended hard enough, it would be real for the thirty seconds it would take to lie to his father.
As Chris entered the house, he got the distinct feeling that it was about to be the longest thirty seconds of his life. Chris could hear the TV all the way from the laundry room, and it sounded like a bunch of grown men talking. No laugh track, lots of shouting. That meant that Dad had manned the main TV, and was likely watching Sports Center, or whatever new Sports Analysis program was on ESPN. The volume indicated that he didn’t care to be bothered with interruptions.
As Chris walked into the family room, Dr. Cole turned the sound off.
“Christopher,” the doctor regarded his son coolly.
“Dad,” Chris answered. Maybe the air had just kicked in, but Chris felt a chill run down his spine when his father locked eyes with him.
“You’re home earlier than I expected.” Damn…he had expected Chris to walk home.
“Sherry gave me a ride.” This was quickly becoming an interrogation, Chris felt.
“She have your old basketball uniform, too?” Dr. Cole gestured to Chris’s blue and silver basketball uniform that he hadn’t worn since high school. Chris’s eyes narrowed at that. He hadn’t expected to be quizzed on his outfit. Chris felt his face grow warm.
Holy shit! Maybe that hadn’t just been him sulking in sour grapes. Maybe his dad had actually intended for him to walk home from the hospital naked? But then, does that mean that Roxanne had dropped off the clothes without his father’s consent or even knowledge?
“It fits me better than anything the hospital had.” Chris responded. Dr. Cole gave off a dry chuckle at that one.
“It does at that,” he said. “It does at that. Anything else we need to discuss?” It was less of a question, and more of a challenge, daring Chris to talk when the decree handed down yesterday had been “We shall not talk about this”.
Chris, stared his father, and said, “No, sir.”
“Good.” And that was that.
Chris felt himself meandering away from the TV, and his father’s gaze. Ashamed at himself for not being able to meet his dad’s gaze. Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw the door to Sammy’s room, and something clicked.
Upon, seeing Sammy’s closed room door, Chris knew immediately what had bothered him in the garage a few minutes before.
The Depends package had been at the top of the trashcan in the garage, but knowing Dad, he would have thrown the offending garments away as soon as he found them, sometime before the reaming in the hospital yesterday. The package shouldn’t have been at the top of the trashcan. And while Chris wasn’t exactly Rain Man, he had only taken the one Adult Diaper out of the pack, but anyone could tell that the more than one had been removed since. Someone had dug that pack up, taken a few more diapers out, and not replaced it at the bottom of the trashcan.
His father’s surly attentions directed once more at the latest talking heads show on ESPN, Chris crept towards his oldest little sister’s room.
“Sammy? You in here?” Chris called in, poking his head in the door as he opened it. It was still painted pink from its time as a nursery, but now decorated with posters of boy bands and teen heart throbs, a small TV on one side of the room, and a bed on the other.
A perfect, immaculately made bed, in a very clean room. A clean room with nothing to hide in it, but with the door shut. Chris slid in and eased the door shut behind him.
A few days ago, when he had first emerged out of his baby fantasy land, Chris had come to the door to find it locked, with a decidedly nervous Sammy behind it and bedsheets clearly strewn on the floor. Roxanne would not have been happy, Chris had thought then. But something wasn’t adding up.
Samantha wasn’t the sloppy one, Brianna was. Bri was the precocious one, the sloppy one, the artist and free spirit in the family. Chris could bet 50 bucks that Bri’s room was a pig sty right this second, with toys strewn about her bedroom floor and a bed that resembled a bird’s nest rather than a little girls’ room. Roxanne had lovingly joked on more than one occasion that if she had had Brianna first, Samantha would never have been born.
Sammy was the polite one, the neat one, the people pleaser and future socialite. When she was three, Sammy would literally play “Clean the room” instead of actually playing with toys. So why had her door been locked, and her sheets on the floor? There hadn’t been any other mess in the room.
“You know why” a little voice in the back of Chris’s mind whispered. “You just don’t want to admit it.”
“She was just playing a dumb kid game, was all”, Chris whispered back to the voice, a voice that he wasn’t sure was his conscience or something else.
“She had the sheets wrapped around her like a diaper,” the voice persisted. “That’s why the door was locked. That’s why it took her a minute to get to the door. That’s why the sheets were on the floor. She panicked, ripped them from her waist and dropped them to the floor. She’s just lucky that she wasn’t bold enough to put them on under her pants yet. You know it’s true.”
Chris only shook his head mutely. Maybe he was going insane.
“You’re not going crazy,” the voice whispered. “You’re just a freak.” Chris knew that wasn’t his voice he was hearing anymore. “Look on the bright side, you’re not the only freak in your family.” Chris did the best he could to ignore the voice as he scanned the room. He was looking for something.
“That’s right,” the voice coaxed. “Prove me right. Prove us both right. Find those diapers she stole from the garbage.” Chris eyed the bed. Had Sammy’s pillows always been that fluffy? Or had she slipped in some extra padding.. He had to know, to be sure, and so he inched closer to the bed.
“Jackpot,” Chris heard the voice proclaim inside of him. As he got closer, he thought he saw a familiar flash of white plastic coming from inside the pillow case. Slowly, like he was reaching for a coiled snake, Chris’s hand drifted towards the pillow, somehow knowing what would be contained within.
“Chris?” a voice snuck up behind him. “What are you doing in my room?” Chris whirled around.
“Sammy!” Chris yelped. It took everything he had to make sure his eyes didn’t dart nervously around the room like he was looking for an excuse. He found himself biting his tongue just so the words ‘This isn’t what it looks like’ wouldn’t come pouring out of his mouth. What came out instead was, “I was just looking for you!”
“Why?” Now it was Sammy’s turn to look uneasy.
“Oh, you know,” Chris hemmed and hawed, sticking his hands back into his pockets. His fingertips came alive at the feeling of fake paper money crammed into his pockets. Then he remembered the encounter with the crazy old magician less than an hour previous.
“Thought we might play a game, y’know, for old time’s sake.” Chris suggested.
“What game?” Sammy asked, her eyes wandering past Chris and to the pillow on her bed.
“Monopoly!” Chris proclaimed with fake enthusiasm as he reached into his pockets and threw wads of paper money into the air. “Ta-da!” From the look on Samantha’s face, she was either bewildered or bemused and couldn’t quite decide which.
“You. Are. So. Weird.” she finally decided.
“That’s me,” Chris confirmed, “lately anyways,” he added in mostly to himself. “So whaddya say, kiddo?” Samantha got that look on her face that told Chris she wanted to refuse but didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Bri would have just said nope, turned around and walked away. Then again, Bri, Chris suspected wasn’t hiding a Depends that was still too big for her under her pillow.
“Don’t ask me how I know this, but I really, reeeeaally need to play Monopoly with you and Bri, right now.”
“Look, maybe it’s the meds I’m on or something,” Chris lied, “but I want, no, need, to play a game of Monopoly with you and Bri. And I have a feeling, the sooner, the better.” Now it was time for Samantha’s eyes to dart around in discomfort. Chris figured it was time to turn the tide of this conversation.
“I am willing to bribe you, both of you.” Chris added.
“How?” Now Sammy was interested. “Money?”
“Better,” Chris replied
“Better than cash?” Samantha asked. Now, she was interested.
“I have a car, independence, and more free time than a third and fifth grader-“
“Sixth grader,” Samantha corrected.
“-soon to be sixth grader,” Chris allowed, “are given. If I give you cash, you can spend it however you like, but Roxanne and Dad,” Chris paused for emphasis, everyone in the Cole family knew who the hard case in the family was, “will be there supervising you at whatever store you go into.” Chris waited to let it sink in. It was time to take a gamble that this version of Sammy had the same sneaky streak that his “big sister” variant from his time as a big baby possessed.
“Play one game of Monopoly with me, and I’ll go to any store you want and buy something for you, without your mom or Dad knowing. No judgement, no questions asked. Our secret. You don’t even have to tell me right away what you want.”
He saw a glimmer in her eyes and recognized it instantly. It was the glimmer of greed. A flash of hunger in those eyes. Though secretly he hoped it was something more PG, like a CD of a band that her parents wouldn’t approve of, Chris thought he already knew what his sister was thinking of.
“Same deal for Brianna?” Samantha asked for clarification.
“Same deal for both of my little sisters.” Chris confirmed. He was so close to closing the deal, he could feel it.
“Does Bri get to know what you’d be getting me?” Sammy looked worried.
“Not at all. The only person who’d know is me. Neither of you would know what I’m getting for the other.” Then his mind flashed to advertisements he saw on certain websites that no longer existed anymore. “Discretion guaranteed.” That seemed to do the trick. Samantha finished wrestling with herself.
“Deal.” she said.
“Wait…” Chris added, forgetting a detail, just in case his hunch was wrong. “It can’t be anything illegal. I’m not buying you beer, cigarettes or drugs.” He was still a big brother after all.
“Deal.” Sammy reconfirmed.
Within five minutes of searching, and the offer of a bribe to Bri, Chris found himself sitting at the kitchen table, the Monopoly board unfolded. To his left was Sammy who was busily sorting out and organizing the various properties, and to his right was Brianna who was readily sorting the crumpled Monopoly money that Chris has been clutching in his hand.
“This better be worth it,” Chris muttered to no one in particular; still hoping that somewhere the ridiculous old man was somehow listening.
“What’d you say, Chris?” Sammy asked, looking up from the Park Place property deed.
“I said thanks guys. I needed to get my mind off…stuff. I’ll make sure it’s worth it.”
Sammy seemed to accept this. Bri just kept sorting and absent mindedly shook her head.
“Weird,” was all she said matter of factly. Then she started dealing out the money. But rather than start out with with the gray 1’s or the ever popular orange 500’s, Brianna started dealing out turquoise 20’s.
“One for Chris, one for Sammy, one for me.” Bri said, giving each of them a single “20 dollar” Monopoly Bill.
“Bri, we’re supposed to have six 20’s,” Samantha started to chide the youngest sibling. “And you’re supposed to start with five ones, and….”
“Shhhhh,” Brianna quirkily replied. “I’m working on it.”
“One, two for Chris, one two for Sammy, one, two for me.” Brianna said, not breaking rhythm. Now each of them had three “20 dollar” Monopoly Bills.
“Briiii,” Sammy whined. “While we’re all young, please?”
“Hold on a sec,” Chris motioned for the older of the two to stop. “I think she’s on to something.” The wheels in Chris’s mind started turning.
“Oh my god,” Sammy’s eyes practically rolled out of her head. “Are you serious?” Despite Samantha’s protestations, Brianna went on as if her older siblings weren’t even there.
“One, two, three, for Chris. One, two, three for Sammy. One, two, three for me.” Now finally, each player had six “20’s”.
“Bri, why ARE you dealing like that?” Chris finally had to ask.
“I dunno,” Bri shrugged. Just seemed like a fun game within a game for me. “Reminds me of something I saw on a cartoon one time.”
“Pfft,” Samantha griped, “real mature, Bri.”
Chris vaguely remembered a bit like that from a long forgotten cartoon show.
“Yeah, Bri,” Chris said, “But isn’t that supposed to go something like, ‘One for you and one for me; two for you and one, two for me? That way, you get three bills, when I only get two and six bills when I only get three?”
Brianna shrugged. “Yeah, but that didn’t seem fair.”
“Actually,” Samantha joined the conversation in earnest this time. “It kind of reminds me of a pattern we learned in math class earlier this year.”
Chris was great at memorizing the causes and diagnosis of various ailments, and great at running computations, but something wasn’t quite clicking.
“You mean like ABC, ABC, ABC, on and on again?” Chris asked indicating each sibling around the table as either A, B, or C.
“No!” both sisters scoffed in unison, incredulous that their brother wouldn’t recognize such a simple pattern.
“You’re thinking of a repeating pattern, Chris,” his fifth grade sister lectured. “Bri’s doing a growing pattern.”
A lightbulb went on in Chris’s brain.
“You mean instead of A, B, A, B, A, B…” he took a breath. “The pattern is A, B, AA, BB, AAA, BBB, and so on?” Each time, he motioned to himself as “A” and the formerly empty spot across from him at the kitchen table now, occupied by Wubby, as “B”.
“Well,” Sammy corrected, “In this case, i Bri’s pattern would be A, B, C, AA, BB, CC, AAA, BBB, CCC,”. She motioned between them indicating Chris as A, herself as B, and Brianna as C.
Chris was already doing the math inside his head and paying no attention to Samantha’s correction. How could he have been so oblivious? So stupid? He jumped out of his seat. “Bri! Sammy! You a two are geniuses!” he exclaimed before sprinting upstairs to his room.
“Hey!” Sammy called after him, “What about the game?”
“Just a second,” Chris called down, “I gotta check something on my calendar.”
“Okay,” he heard Bri’s voice echoing, “but I’m getting bored!”
“Just keep dealing!” Chris shouted, “Even if we don’t play, I’ll bribe you later!”
“Kay!” both of them agreed.
Chris slammed and locked his door behind him. Digging through his desk like a badger, he was able to rummage out a pen and paper. With frantic strokes he sketched out a rough grid, representing a calendar. He hadn’t had an actual concrete physical calendar since he was in middle school, so he had to make one from scratch. He only needed this month anyways, so a simple grid would suffice. He put in the numbers and the dates, and then labeled the two part of each column “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, and so on.
Finally, being thorough to the point of anal retentiveness, Chris made one final Key in the bottom right corner.
A= Adult Day
B= Baby Day
Chris glanced up and saw that Wubby had once again appeared on his bed, practically spying over his shoulder. At this point, Wubby was one of the few things that actually didn’t surprise Chris. He turned back and stared at the bear, and thought about the Depends that his father had found under the sink in his bathroom.
“Not worth the risk”, Chris decided before quickly ripping the bottom right corner clean off his homemade calendar and making a quick trip to his personal bathroom to flush the key down the toilet. He would just have to remember what A and B meant for the purposes of this exercise. Feeling more secure in himself, Chris took a deep breath as he put the pen down to the paper and began to recall the recent events in his formerly normal life.
“One for A” he said, pointing to the Calendar of his first day of Summer Break. The day after he had turned in his last term paper, thrown out all of his adult baby diapers, signed out of his adult baby message boards and come home. He had spent the majority of the day driving home from college, but there had been absolutely zero baby stuff in his life at that point. A completely normal day. A total purge. Not coincidentally, he now felt, it was that night that he had re-found Wubby, bejeweled eyes and all.
“One for B”, he moved to the next day. When he woke up in a giant crib, in a giant wet Pampers, was taken to the library, pooped his pants in front of his sisters, babysat by Sherry and then put back to bed.
“One, two, for A”, he counted the next two days of the week. The first day of being bewildered that no one remembered him as a baby anymore, and then him making a series of assumptions, which led to Sherry walking in on him in a wet but very adult diaper, and him outing himself as a diaper wearer- even though for some reason she already knew that. But still other than that, it was two really mundane days. Except for that night he began searching the old sites to find out that they didn’t exist anymore. He had started to have a panic attack, crying and even peeing himself up until…
“Midnight,” Chris hissed under his breath. The beginning of a new day. That’s when reality shifted and he found himself back in the nursery again, with Roxanne tending to his needs of a clean diaper and a dry bed. And he spent the next day as a giant baby.
“And the next, Chris muttered to himself, before groaning “Angela,” and shuddering in revulsion at what the little terror had put him through. Still, that was “One, two, for B”. And he had been ultimately victorious against the kid, even to the point where she got a taste of what it was like to be dressed up against her will again. Chris had been drifting off to sleep that night, victorious, until…
“Shit…” Chris whispered. “Til Midnight. Start of a new day”. That’s when reality had shifted underneath him again, and Chris had gone from a comfy crib to a confining hospital bed, and everyone had seen him as an adult…one who had had a nervous breakdown because his last active act as an adult was to be throwing an absolute temper tantrum and pissing all over himself.
He spent the next morning receiving visitors, and being confronted by his family, and a terrible near sleepless night being observed.
“That’s one,” then got out of the hospital today, and came home.
“That’s two,” He marked today’s date and yesterday with an “A”. He marked the next day with an “A?”.
“And if I’m right, that’s three for A as of tomorrow. Which means after tomorrow, there will be three days of…” he dared not voice his hopes aloud.
He logged into his computer, and got into g-chat. Sherry was on, thank goodness. Worst case scenario, he could at least make plans with her.
SunnySher: Hey you! How’d it go?
Cole4.0: Went well enough. Not a lot of talking, but no shouting either.
SunnySher: Good enough, I guess.
Cole4.0: Change of subject?
SunnySher: Sure, what’s up?
Cole4.0: Tonight’s no good. Gotta show family I’m sane tonight. Tomorrow night?
Cole4.0: Dinner? Movie?
SunnySher: You bet! When do you wanna pick me up?
Cole4.0: Late. Pick you up at 7:30? Dinner by 8:00? Movie by 9:30?
SunnySher: So if you were to drop me home, right after, it’d be what? 12:00?
Cole4.0: Yeah about that time.
SunnySher: Aren’t you worried about your folks?
SunnySher: They gonna be worried about you?
Cole4.0: Not if they know I’m with you. You can be my
Chris hesitated a moment, then typed in “babysitter”.
SunnySher: Ha…ha…that was so funny I forgot to lol.
Cole4.0: Would you have preferred to be my “chaperone?”
SunnySher: …..ew…no chaperone sounds old. I’ll take babysitter.
Cole4.0: My sexy, sexy babysitter.
SunnySher: You are definitely feeling better.
Cole4.0: I feel like I’ve gotten a little perspective all of a sudden. See you tomorrow night?
SunnySher: Tomorrow night it is!
Cole4.0: Gotta go crush some kids at Monopoly
SunnySher: Have fun. Love you! Bye!
Cole4.0: Love you too! Bye!
Chris logged off, and didn’t even flinch when he found Wubby right by his desktop. “And if I’m right about this, Wubby,” Chris licked his lips, “Right after my date, the fun really begins again.”
“Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn’t” a voice inside Chris whispered back, non chalantly. “It’ll only be temporary though. Doesn’t change things here, does it?”
Chris smirked. “You overplayed your hand this time, Wubby. Now if you’ll excuse me,” he bowed mockingly, “I have a game of Monopoly to play with my sisters,” and with that he walked triumphantly out of the room.
“Dumb kid,” Wubby’s blue eye whispered to the red one, “he still thinks we’re the bear.”
“One can hardly blame him,” the red eye responded back. “He’s right about one thing though. You did overplay your hand this round.
“Obviously. You’ve made clear harsh truths about his father and his sister over the course of two days. A similar blow on the third day tomorrow runs the risk of pushing him to my side of the fence when his moon is up.”
“Let him have his third straight day. Let him stew in what he’s learned. He’ll benefit from it.” The blue stone said.
“How do you figure it won’t just push him to my end of the pool?” the red one inquired.
“Found out about his sister early, didn’t he?” the blue eye lectured. “He’s not alone anymore if you ask him. But if he chooses you to win this Game, then she’ll be the one that’s alone and confused.
“Oh my!” the red one practically shrieked with the delight. “You’ve become a bit of a bastard with this one, haven’t you?”
“I work with what I’m given,” the blue one humble bragged.
“This will be quite a Game indeed.”