A New Day
MUM! I woke with my father’s disgusted face hovering above my hospital bed. I remember his impatient question, “How long do I have to wait for her.” Not for Mouna, not for my daughter, but for her. I would have obliged him by killing myself, but they had wrist restraints on me.
After taking me there from the hospital, I remember my father handing me over to Izza and Dora, with, “I have a real family and can’t do anything with her. It is your sister’s flawed child; you have her. She is just as much an oddball as your whole family. I will pay for her upkeep but don’t expect me back.” He went back to the car and drove off.
Those words echoed in my mind, and nothing could distract me from feeling like garbage. I almost did not notice that someone was massaging my shoulders and another my feet. When I did, I twitched away and curled up into a ball until I remembered. I must have been screaming again.
Izza, I think, asked if I was ready for a shower, and I shrugged. As I did, I knew I was being rude and unreasonable, moody, and a teenager, but I could not care less. I knew that they were trying to help me, but I could not do anything other than what I did.
They helped me out of bed, unzipped, and helped me out of the onesie. It was broad daylight. Why did one say broad daylight? I just let them undress me, but I stopped them when it came to my pink rubber catsuit. I did not want them to see my scars again and would undress like yesterday. They gave me my rubber dressing gown and sent me off into the bathroom.
When I finished with the toilet, showering, and brushing my teeth, I dressed into the long nightgown and drew over the hood. When I returned, Izza and Dora gave me a Mani-Pedi. There was not much to do with my chewed fingernails, but my toenails were long and ugly.
They redressed me much the same as yesterday. First came a firm pink rubber base layer, gloved, hooded and footed catsuit over my arms and legs before removing the rubber nightgown. Next, they helped me into a pink thermal full cover catsuit and then came my corset. When they finished closing the front, I did not let go of the trapeze. I needed pain; I needed my corset tighter. They firmed my corset and braced my shoulders until I had to let go of the trapeze and sat on the bed. After a short break, they dressed me into the black layers.
First came the four black thermal tights, then the short-legged black rubber gloved and hooded bodysuit to keep them in place and firm. I was toasty and needed a breather, but the twins continued. Yes, they were already wasting a lot of time with me, so I understood and cooperated as best as I could.
They dressed me into a fresh heavy silky material white blouse with wide sleeves coming together at the wrist. Over this came a tight-fitting, no-sleeved black latex dress with white trims than the ruffled petticoated shorts to flare the skirt. The blouse’s collar came out of the neck, white ruffled socks showed over my black wedged boots just above the ankles. Dora had me wear a pair of white mittens over my gloves.
It must have looked cute, especially when Izza dressed a bonnet over my hooded head because they clucked like two mother hens. They carried on as if I was a miracle newborn. It wasn’t that bad, but I could not emphasize with their excitement about me and my looks. As I caught my breath, I figured that it was their way of making me feel better. Well, it did, a little. They sat beside me, chatting to me all the while in their way of ping-ponging as if two mouths spoke from the one brain. I was not listening to what they said but how they said it.
Yes, they were strange, and how they dressed me was weird, but I think it was my type of strange and weird. Then it got bizarre when they each took a hand and squeezed me between them. After the initial surprise even shock, I thought it was kinda nice.
After that weirdness, they walked me down to Cook, and while I ate an egg, salmon, and caper sandwich without the crust, the twins instructed Cook that I was to start the dining room set-up without her help. I thought that strange until I saw the dining room.
All of Slytherin could dine at the twin’s dining table. One could also roller skate, build a narrow house, use it as a ramp to board a jumbo, or make a bridge across the Hudson. It looked like it was made from one cut of a tree. Imperfections and splits were filled with a black onyx resin with a reddish tinge. It had large silver centerpieces and silver vases with black and purple flowers. The edges were smooth but not overly machined.
On top of the almost as long sideboard, I saw tall piles of different placemats and unfolded napkins. The picture Cook gave me showed me how to fold napkins and set up the table. Oh, very funny! I had to fold the napkins with two latex gloves inside latex mittens. Yet, in a way, I was flattered that the twins thought that I might pull this off.
I moved all the chairs back but had to rest, overheating. The layers and the ruffled shorts made sitting with my bony bum comfortable. Yes, I felt compressed and hot, and yes, the corset hurt, but I felt better than in a long while. Before the black dog got me, time to work.
I took the larger silver under placemats and distributed them, then I rested. Next, I did the upper, smaller mat-blue placemats and rested. Yes, that worked well, and in this way, I distributed the three plates and the soup bowl one dish at a time. I was heating up, so I went to Cook as promised and ate a small bowl of fruit salad and drank a glass of water.
When she thought I was not looking, she checked me out, then when I looked at her, she smiled and shrugged. I am not sure I understood this all, but it was past midday, and I had to get the cutlery and glasses positioned.
I kept to my rhythm, taking a rest at each round, enjoying the simple task and the heat. I only noticed my sore calves and waist when I stood to continue working, but it was easy to work through.
The blouse’s overloose sleeves were an extra challenge, brushing against my table settings, and I almost broke a few glasses. I adapted by keeping my elbows in and slowing my movements. Then came the napkingami, like origami except with napkins. I think the one I had to make was the Rosebud which could include cards with names.
I sat and folded and folded, and it would have been much easier without the mittens, but that is what my aunties wanted. I think they meant to keep me busy and tire me out so that I do not scream and thrash in my sleep. So far, they have been the best thing in my life, but as always, the black dog had me also wondering how long this would last.
Frustrated by my inability to get the napkins right and this thought, I went to Cook for something to eat and drink. I slowed down and used a very important special tool, my tongue between my teeth, and I got the first napkin folded. Working slowly and deliberately, I went into a folding napkin trance. I felt the black dog, so I forced my thoughts the other way and wondered what sleepovers and friends were like. I knew what a party was or had a general idea, but I was a loner, and then I had to look after mum.
After the napkins came the thirteen pieces of cutlery. I set up the head of the table first, as a reference, then thirteen rounds of the table with sit-downs in between. A final round to move the chairs back in, then another round to recheck everything, ensuring that all was the same and identical. I was finished and dead tired.
I went to Cook, ate a salad, cheese, and ham sandwich, and drank cherry juice. I put the dishes into the dishwasher and barely made it out to my bedroom. I was asleep in no time, with my feet still dangling over the edge of my bed. I think this was the first time when I chose a bed instead of a chair for sleep...