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ELEVEN
Beth followed Brian out of the elevator, looked at the sign that clarified which direction their room lay, said, “Go left, sweetie,” nodding to indicate which direction left was and then used her key to unlock room 314. “Okay, potty right away and then a quick shower before breakfast!” she declared as she rolled the large suitcase to the far side of the room and peaked through the lace curtains over the street below and into the twilit golf course behind its white, painted-brick privacy wall. “Guess they don’t want riffraff crashing their soirees,” she said to herself before telling Brian, “Quick! Go potty!”

“I go potty,” her son confirmed, leaving the small suitcase in the middle of the tiny hall that allowed access to the room, kicking off his shoes, pants and underwear, walking into the bathroom and climbing up the porcelain convenience.

Elizabeth followed her son’s example as she shed her own clothes but rather than letting them lie where they may she threw them into a far corner of the room, picked up Brian’s things, noted that his pull-ups were dry before dropping them in the waste can, placed both pairs of shoes in the closet and then rolled the small suitcase next to the large one before entering the bathroom. “Hey, lovie,” she declared, “you stayed dry! Great job.”

“I stay dry,” Brian acknowledged, nodding solemnly before adding, “I big boy.” He followed up his brief summation concerning his essence by declaring, “I done now,” as he removed his fingers from his downward thrust penis.

“You are a big boy! Let me use the potty too,” she added, using the john and then turning on the hot water in the shower. “Okay, let’s get clean, Mr. Velveteen!”

Brian scrunched up his face as he looked at his mother, declaring, “I no Mr. Velveteen. Mr. Velveteen is rabbit.”

“Right you are,” Beth conceded as she lifted her son into the tub, climbed in after him and shielded his body from the shower spray with her own. “He’s in the suitcase. My mistake,” she added with a grin, adjusting the water temperature before letting it cascade down on him. “Let’s get nice and clean, nice and clean and then when Daddy gets his shower done we can all go eat and then take a nap.”

“I no nap,” Brian declared as she bathed first him and then herself.

“Oh, you know nap alright. Mommy is exhausted.”

Joe’s entrance into the hotel room curtailed more conversation concerning the immediacy of a need for napping. “Hello,” he said, poking his head into the bathroom, dozens of flowers in hand. “Any problem getting the suitcases?”

“No,” Beth replied, sticking her head out from the curtain, “like what?”

“Hi, Pabbi!” Brian declared from behind the curtain.

“Hello, Love!” he called to Brian. “I just realized Leticia, that’s the young woman at the desk, had no idea what you looked like, that’s all,” he added to Beth. “You didn’t have to show ID or anything?”

“Nope. Recognized us right away. Even called Brian by name.”

“Really?” Joe asked. “Don’t remember giving Brian’s name, just ours.”

“I probably put it on the reservation when I booked.”

“Yeah,” Joe said bobbling his head, “that could be.”

“Did you talk to her when you came back in?” Beth asked, turning the water off and pulling back the shower curtain.

“No,” Joe replied, shaking his head. “She was talking to an older couple about taking a bus to that beach we talked about. The one with the macabre name? What’s it called again? Something de los Muertos?”

“Playa Los Muertos,” Beth whispered in a raspy voice, raising and lowering her eyebrows repeatedly to indicate melodrama. “Tall, sculpted woman with white hair and a, let’s say, slightly rounded husband?” she added conversationally.

“Yes. How did you know?”

“They were exiting the elevator as we were entering and Brian forgot to wait.”

“Were they… difficult?” Joe asked, handing his wife a large bath towel from the rack.

“No! Not a bit. Thanks,” she added, raising the towel slightly. “At first I was a little, I don’t know, put off by them? But then I realized it was her accent. Not very strong but definitely New York.” She snorted slightly as she realized why she’d been a bit defensive despite the woman’s friendly tone. “When she spoke her accent was subdued but discernable and for sure New York.” Beth shuddered for effect. “That accent just elicits a small, pit-of-the-stomach flip-flop whenever I hear it. Guess it’s an enduring holdover from all those years of having to deal with condescending New Yorkers vacationing in Maine.”

“Ah. I am sorry. Perhaps when you brush your teeth the taste will go away?” he said with a smirk.

Beth shook her head minutely as she toweled off Brian. “Har, har. Oh, hey! I didn’t get toothbrushes or deodorant out. They’re in the small bag. Would you grab them please?”

“Certainly,” Joe said, delivering his response with a grin and a wink before turning to go.

“Oh! And Brian’s rabbit! Mr. Velveteen should be in the same suitcase.”

“I will,” Joe assured with a wave as he made his way over to the suitcases.

“Mr. Velveteen!” Brian declared.