Having heard the scraping on her new paint, Rose came upon Jacob harshly.
“Look, Mommy, my racecar!”
“Dammit, Jacob. You’re going to ruin Mommy’s walls. You should know better.” Rose grabbed the little car and threw it on the floor. “Go play somewhere else.”
“Son, the car’s tires will scratch, and the walls have just been painted,” said Edwin, trying to explain. “Go play outside, okay?” Jacob’s bottom lip quivered. “You scared him, Rose.”
“You’re babying him, Edwin. Just like Elaine coddled you.”
“Oh, stop it. Just because Mom and Dad didn’t spank us kids, but you and Donald got the shit beat out of you doesn’t mean Mother babied me. Let’s go check out the shag carpet in the Florida room.”
Rose set her point aside—for the time being. For having started a cut, Rose was the kind to see it through, clean past the bone. She knew it hadn’t occurred to Edwin that his parents felt guilty for breaking his neck in the car wreck when he was five. Had they not been drunks, she figured, they might have been stricter with him and disciplined him through his bouts of mental paralysis. Negligence begets incompetence.
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