I don't know how I got in, but I do know why. I really fancied Henri.
Kate and Jane and I each had a separate room, Henrietta shared a room with her sister Betty. I was completely wrong about Henni, I thought that she was looking after her younger sister because she was a bit of a problem.
Betty was very small, she looked like her sister, but she was extremely small. She wore clothes that were a mix of an American cheerleader, a German Funkenmariechen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. She also never spoke.
The four of us were teachers, Betty stayed at home and did weight-lifting. I thought that was a joke, perhaps plastic weights, but no, I could not lift the weights. My mind slowly started to work, Betty was not what I thought, perhaps she was a he, I was still mad about Henni, perhaps if I was nice to Betty I could get closer to Henni.
I had got to share the house by promising to renovate the spare room. So much junk – Betty helped carry it into the garden – some floorboards needed replacing – I bought a crowbar – Betty ripped out the bad floorboards.
Betty took them to the garden, leaned them against trees and punched holes in them. Nice bonfire. I decorated the room – my room – great – no more sleeping on the sofa.
One evening in spring, it was cold and the heating was off, we four sat together on the sofa and watched TV, Betty came into the room and sat on a chair and shivered. I got up and picked up Betty and put her on my lap. It was all very cosy.
After a while I could hear a funny noise, a buzzing sound that sounded like a purring cat. It was not very loud. I did not mention it to the others. It was a happy, purring buzz.
The cold spell continued and I continued to put Betty on my lap in the evening. Very cosy it was too and better still Henni sat next to me. One Saturday lunchtime as I was lifting Betty to put her in her high-chair for the meal I noticed that it was Betty that was buzzing.
I discovered more about Betty. She did not speak and did not hear, but she understood everything that people said to her, in fact, more than that. I once clapped my hands very loudly behind her head, but no surprise, no shock, after a few seconds she turned around and looked at me as if I were stupid. Very odd.
I thought about this for a long time, I was discovering a lot about Betty and nothing about Henni. On my way home from school one day I thought very hard about a bunch of flowers from the garden and picked by Betty.
Yes, you have guessed it, when I entered the house there was tiny Betty with a big bunch of flowers from the garden. She was smiling. Betty began to buzz. She was happy.
That night I lay in bed and had more thoughts. Betty could pick up her sister Henni and bring her to me. After some minutes I heard the buzzing. Betty walked into my room and placed Henni in bed next to me.
Betty jumped into my bed on the other side. I put my arm around the sleeping Henni and Betty put her arm around me and Betty stopped buzzing and I fell asleep.
I awoke to screaming “What are you doing in my bed?” and more. She jumped out of the bed and “What am I doing in your room?” I told her to ask her sister Betty. She stormed out. “What about your little sister?”
“What little sister? Betty is older than me. She can look after herself. You be good to her if you want to live a long life.”
This was all very odd and confusing to me. It got worse.
That evening my ex-boyfriend came to visit, not that I wanted to see him, no definitely not. He hit me once and I had left him. He was drunk, he wanted me back, he had certain needs, he needed me. He was shouting, he was doing violent motions with his arms, was he going to throw up?
Betty began to buzz. It was not a happy buzz, it was an angry buzz. Betty walked up to him and pointed to the door. He just laughed. Betty kicked him hard on the side of his left knee. He collapsed in a painful heap. Betty dragged him through the front door and threw him down the front steps. He crawled away on three.
Betty stopped buzzing. I picked her up and hugged her. Betty began to buzz. It was a happy buzz, but I was still confused. It got better.
Every night Betty carried Henni to my room and the three of us slept together. After a week Henni decided to stop complaining and have some fun with me. This was very good. Betty began to buzz. It was a happy buzz.
When I woke in the morning I opened my eyes to find Betty's face in front of mine. Betty began to buzz. It was a happy but determined buzz. I remembered what Henni had said “You be good to her if you want to live a long life.”
I lay back and it was very good.