Storytime – what is written below is a work of fiction.
The distant rumble of thunder seemed diegetic to the TV drama that Mei Lin was watching. Relaxing on the sofa after a hard day’s work seemed a good way to unwind, but it didn’t seem right. Her husband was off on consignment to Malaysia, her son was off serving the country while her daughter was away in her university hostel on the other side of the island.
Remembering that she had finished yet another lecture quiz today, she felt like calling her. But Hui Ting had warned her repeatedly not to call. Hesitating, she decided to think on an excuse while she drank her medication, before calling.
As she gulped down the pills, she heard the front door opening. Rushing out of the kitchen, she saw that it was just her daughter.
“Yes Ma,” Hui Ting greeted as she locked the front door.
“It’s only the middle of the week! Why are you back so soon?” Mei Lin asked.
“Nothing.. nothing Ma, just don’t have lesson today,” Hui Ting answered gruffly as she brushed past her mother, towards her bedroom.
“But don’t you have some Lab session tomorrow?”
“I.. just.. want to sleep on my bed okay! Now let me take a shower first!”, Hui Ting managed, trying her best not to sound rude as she dropped her schoolbag beside her bed.
“Ah, so you need to pass motion. That’s why you came home,” Mei Lin smirked.
She saw her daughter tense up for a moment, before turning away and huffing off to the kitchen bathroom.
“You have clean toilets right beside your room, why don’t you use them?” Mei Lin asked.
“Because they are COMMUNAL toilets. Not clean. Now go away!”, Hui Ting whined before closing the bathroom door, perhaps a little harder than she should have.
“You young people ah, very stubborn. How many times must I say, just wipe the toilet seat..”
“Just go away, let me have my privacy..”
Mei Lin ignored her and started to unload the washing machine. She could hear the marked sounds of her daughter straining as she sat on the bowl, as what must have been large, dried lumps made their splash. Finishing just as she was finishing, she made her way to the sofa to wait for her to finish her shower.
Mei Lin watched with beady eyes as her daughter made her way to the sofa, holding a can of Coke.
“How are you going to sleep if you drink that thing?”, she asked.
“It’s ok Ma, I’ve an essay to write, it will last me,” Hui Ting replied.
“If you have so much work, then why are you coming all the way back home just to pass motion? Why are we paying hostel fees for you? And it’s a single room at that!”, Mei Lin began.
How many times must I tell you, those toilets stink! All those foreigners are unhygienic and..”
“But you are keeping all of that inside you and you can get sick! Isn’t that unhygienic?”
“That is why I asked you to let me wear Pampers, but you won’t let me!”, Hui Ting said.
Mei Lin glared at her daughter.
“You wanted to try them once when you were in Junior College, and now you’re STILL thinking about all that Adult Baby things?”, Mei Lin asked in a low tone.
“Ma! I’m not an Adult Baby or all those things, I just want to wear a diaper when I need to pass motion. I don’t see why you can’t..”
“Toh Hui Ting! Think for a moment! What will your NTU friends think if they find out that a 20 year old girl is still wearing pampers?”, Mei Ling spat.
“But they won’t cos I have a single room! You know how hard I scrimped and begged, just to be able to get enough points for a single?”
“You don’t see the point do you? You need to change frequently, need to put powder…”
“I’m not asking to wear 24/7, just when I need to pass motion. That is just once a day!”, Hui Ting said calmly.
“And who is going to pay for the pampers?”
“Ma, it’s not like I’m buying branded underwear every day! Giant they sell them for $8 for ten..”
“I’m not giving you $8”
“You don’t need to give me extra money. I’ll just cut down on food and manage!”
“Oh no you don’t! Then how are you going to eat enough fruits and vegetables? No wonder you were straining to pass!”
“You were supposed to leave me alone!” Hui Ting sputtered in shock.
“My dear daughter, I’ve been watching you and your brother poo-poo for years. In fact, you always had constipation as a toddler. Do you know why?”
Hui Ting, clearly embarrassed, was nevertheless curious. Why was she bringing up this old story now?
“Because when wearing a diaper, you don’t have the freedom to release, the diaper is blocking your bum..”
“Okay stop! I get what you are saying,” Hui Ting said.
“That when you wear diapers you will struggle to poop? That’s the fact..”
“No, no. That I won’t be getting diapers from you,” Hui Ting managed as she stood up.
“Good night Ma!,” she said as she walked away.
“You will understand when you have kids Hui Ting,” Mei Ling hollered after her.
She heard the bedroom door slam.