The rest stop was like all of the others we had stopped at while crossing the country. Concrete and cinder blocks ordeals painted white to better show off the less than witty graffiti. The eaves were open to the outside to allow bathroom smells and bathroom noises to flow out into the surrounding atmosphere.
Bubba and I were figuring out if we could get a soda machine to produce without putting any change in it when from the men’s side of the bathroom we heard the voice of a young boy. “Hey is anyone out there?”
We stopped what we were doing so we could hear better. . We had to know who was breaking the no talking in the bathroom rule.
“Yeah, what ya need buddy” now two people were breaking the no talking rule and one was our stepfather!
“Hey Mister, could you wipe me?”
Time stopped as we waited for the answer. After what could have been hours Mom and Becky came out of the adjoining ladies room. Becky’s hair and tee shirt damp. She didn’t care. She heard what we heard and wanted to know the answer
“Did you hear...” she started but we shushed her and strained our ears toward the open space at the top of the walls of the bathrooms.
A little more time passed and, though she was just as curious as we were, Mom ordered us back in to the car to wait. A few moments later our father figure joined us in silence and we returned to the highway.
My mom prodded him into tell the story. “So, how did it go in there?”
“Fine” he said studying the road in front of more than he had the entire trip.
Being the youngest and the only girl Becky could be more direct. “Did you touch that kids butt!?”
“Yeah,” Bubba added, “Did you wipe his butt?”
He looked to his right to his partner in life so they could have a moment and he could ignore us. but Mom wanted to know too. “Well?” she asked?
“Well there was a little guy in there that needed some help” he paused and we all leaned forward “so I helped a guy out”.
“Oh my god you touched his butt” my sister yelled
“eeewww” came from me and Bubba but all I could think about was the fact that he had never referred to me as “little guy”