“I must apologize; I’ve been a terrible neighbor. You may not be aware of this, but regardless, I intend to make it up to you. I hope you can accept my offering and forgive my actions.”
Martha sat across from me, my small coffee table dividing us. Upon the table was a small spread of cookies, scones, and other munchies. They weren’t my usual choice, and neither was the tea I had served, but Martha was always a little more sophisticated than I so I was trying to impress a little at least. I knew the illusion would only last for a short time.
She was uncomfortable in her seat, looking wary. I honestly was surprised she even accepted my invitation and offer of tea. The reason for her discomfort was something she’d been trying—even now hoping she’d managed—to hide. I’m embarrassed to report that she had not. There was a distinct difference in her gait, and a faint noise. In truth, she would likely have succeeded, had I not already known she was wearing a diaper.
“Hank, this is nice, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She sipped her tea hesitantly, expressing confusion with every movement.
Her diaper wasn’t the only thing I knew about, there was so much more. I felt guilty for knowing. Such things were private. I’d been trespassing, eavesdropping. I knew everything, more than she knew, more than almost everyone else knew. Certainly more than I should know.
I hung my head. “Surely you are aware of a recent incident involving someone picking up bottles in the street?”
She looked up at that.
“You, uh… probably guessed that those were mine. Well, they are, or were. Anyway, I had way too much to drink and must have left them in the middle of the street instead of, you know, in the trash can.” I found myself scratching the back of my head. “Sorry about that, really. I’m trying to kick the habit and I just wanted to apologize for trashing up the neighborhood.”
Her surprise reverted to confusion. “This is a nice gesture. Thank you, but you needn’t—”
I held up my hand.
“This isn’t about that, actually.” I held my phone in my hand, drumming its screen, trying to come up with a good way to present the actual reason for my inviting her over. “It’s something far more important.”
I got up from my seat and crossed the room. I thought back to that day. I had awoken later in a terrible state. The diaper she was wearing, or perhaps the one our other neighbor Diana had been wearing—did everyone else here wear diapers?—would done me well that night. The following morning found both me and my bed in a sorry state. I had to clean everything up through a blinding hangover, and that’s when I looked out to see Diana cleaning up the street of my empties.
I had stumbled outside later, when supposedly no one else was around. Through the hazy memories of an evening at the pub, and then the long trek home, I had this horrible feeling I’d gone and trespassed onto Martha’s property…
I couldn’t take it any more. I reached the flask from my pocket and took several deep gulps. I needed a little boost to make me remember why I’d done any of this, why I was still doing it. Oh, right, alcohol. Alcohol had been what started this, alcohol was why I was doing this right now. I’d drowned my previous hangover in another bottle, and the one after that too, after I’d learned what I’d set in motion.
I had intended to simply chase away the guilt, but the booze had got me thinking I needed to do something. It was unfortunately right in the middle of my drinking session that the police had knocked on my door. Two officers, the same ones as had visited both Diana and Martha herself. Everything that I’d seen had given me ideas I never thought I’d ever have. But the more I thought on them, the more I liked them. The fact that she had arrived still wearing a diaper gave me hope that she would, in fact, like what I had prepared.
I waited a second for the deep swig to hit my head, then I tossed down another, replaced the lid, and the flask into my pocket. I turned to Martha who I feared I’d kept waiting too long. She was looking even more uncomfortable now, maybe from witnessing me drinking, maybe from something else. Little of column A, little of column B, if I had to guess. She would see soon enough.
I jerked my head toward the hall. “Come here, I have to show you something I think you might like.”
Of course she was too polite to say no. Setting down the cup of tea, she rose and followed me down the hall. The hall led to the stairs which led down to the basement. The room at the bottom of the stairs I’d tried to clean up as best I could, but it was still largely a wreck from my last drinking session—though the damage wasn’t entirely my own fault.
I was leading her toward the next room, the farthest corner. But she stopped, a pained look on her face. I didn’t understand for a second, then I remembered her diaper. Was that an accident? I stared at her for a minute before I realized how much the booze was already taking effect—my hands were idly replacing the flask once again into my pocket, now empty. She wasn’t looking like that because of her diaper—maybe she was, I didn’t know—but she had caught sight of the desk off to one side and what was upon it.
It was a kit, a backpack; it was open and from it had been pulled a couple large adult diapers and a number of other implements. Gags, restraints, and an enema kit. She was frozen looking at it, then at me in terror.
I tried to calm her but did a terrible job. “It’s okay, it’s okay. I already know about your diaper.” I held up my hands to show her I meant no harm.
She backed up now, shaking her head. No, you don’t understand. It’s not like that, I didn’t mean—”
I reached to grab her hand but she pulled away. I reached again and caught her this time. Tears in her eyes but she couldn’t get away. I put my finger to my lips. “Shh. I’m sure you’ll like this.”
“Hank, please! Let me go. You’re drunk again. I’m not like you think I am.”
Words failed me and I became a bit frustrated. I will admit that the booze in my brain spurred me a little more than perhaps I should have let it, but each new step was too far to retrace. I just needed to get her in the other room.
Pulling her by the wrist, I basically had to drag her across the room to the door. Why had I been doing this so much recently? “Stop, listen, just let me show you.”
“No!” she screamed.
I had grabbed the kit from the desk and apparently she didn’t like that. I ignored her protests at this point, flung open the door and had to all but shove her inside.
She stopped. Silent. Staring in shock.
I dropped the bag on the ground beside her and fished out my phone. I flicked over to a video I’d made a couple days ago, when she’d been confronted by the police. At the time, I’d been hiding around the corner of her house, as I’d been trying to see if I’d drunkenly messed up her yard. But that intention had been entirely forgotten once I saw what was happening. Thankfully, I’d been in a sober enough state to record the proceedings. Evidence which I could later use to my advantage; evidence which I was now presenting to her, along with what else I’d acquired.
Or rather, who. Or whos? Or however you say the plural of who.
Anyway, she now had evidence I’d filmed through her window. An invasion of privacy I know, but she likely wouldn’t mind. Seemed she didn’t even care.
She was too busy staring at the two officers I had bound and gagged in the center of the room—both in diapers, just in case. Blame the liquor for that too. I hadn’t meant to, honestly. But once I showed them what I knew about what they’d done, they got all belligerent. Then there was a brawl and they’d ended up down here. Gotta say I sure was surprised the next morning when I found them; took me a while to remember what I’d done.
I was so glad to see Martha come back from where they’d taken her. I didn’t dare ask what had happened after they’d left, especially given what I did know. I felt guilty. She’d been a victim in all of this. I should’ve stopped them taking her, but I feared they’d take my phone, and with it all the damning evidence. I’d secured it, then got drunk all over again, and then the officers had showed up at my place.
“I know what happened.” I said to her, as she was still silent. “I know what they did. You can take them to court if you want, I’ve got evidence. Or, you can do what you like with them here, I’ve got supplies, their own actually.”
She continued to stare at them for a good while, then turned to me and…