The pounding on the door seemed to reach the inside of my head, for within seconds, I was overcome by this sudden, loud, irritating headache.
“Hanson, what are you doing in there?!” Jemma demanded to know.
“O-Oh, nothing, I’ll be out in a minute,” I yelled back as I rubbed my temples in an attempt to make the cranial pain go away.
I first thought of hiding the package under the sink or behind the garbage bin, but those ideas seemed moot since Jemma did see me enter the bathroom with the package beneath my arm.
“Hanson, I’m serious! Tell me, dear, what’s going on? Does this have to do with what I saw in the envelope? Why won’t you come out?” Jemma wailed, her pitch adding to my throbbing pain.
“Wait!” I yelled, “You opened the envelope?!”
“Why, of course. What’s yours is mine, dear.”
“NO! What’s mine is not yours,” I shrieked, opening the door and glaring her in the eye, “You had no right opening this piece of mail. What part of privacy don’t you get? This drawer, here,” I said walking her over to china closet and pointed at the drawers below, “when we moved in, I specifically mentioned for you to NEVER open it, but what did you do, Jemma, what did you do?!”
“Well, I-I used it for the napkin holders-“
“You used it for the napkin holders!”
“They were meant for personal documents, my private documents, remember?”
Her eyes grew nearly double in size and from the corner of each one, about a million small droplets formed and rolled down the sides of her cheeks.
“Oh, no…no, I’m sorry.” I exclaimed, heaving in a breath, and placing the envelope down on the ground.
My arms embraced her small figure and I held her till she stopped crying.
“It’s like I’m doing everything wrong, you know?” she wailed some more.
Upon relieving my arms from her bony body, I said, “You’re doing everything right, we just need to set some boundaries.”
“Okay,” she sniffled.
“Okay.” I exasperatingly said.
Jemma pulled her sleeve down, wiped the tears from her face, and said, “Alright, so what gives? I mean at first I thought it was this package from some dude you knew, but then I remembered that Tony’s name was written above the return address, which made me wonder why it came to you, and not for me? I was his college roommate. How do you even know Tony? And then I got to wondering why you went into the bathroom with this odd package filled with lottery tickets-“
“Hold it! Lottery tickets?!”
“Well, yeah, were you expecting something else?”
I blushed, then quickly looked away.
I had no basis for an explanation. And so I remained silent. What could I have said or done that would instantly fix the situation? Jeez, what a mess. I lifted the envelope off the floor, reached in, and pulled out a large clump of tickets. None of them have been tampered with, or scratched. This nearly brought tears to my eyes as well. I threw my hand up to the air and let the tiny colored papers float around the room. Multiple sheets landed in all different directions, some clumped to each other, others scattered separately. I never felt so defeated.
In order to explain all this to Jemma, I needed to figure out a solution for myself. What the hell was Tony thinking delivering such a poor joke? How could he have done this? We bet under reckless circumstances, it was a bad bet, ridiculous, in fact, (I don’t know, maybe we were drunk), but it was no excuse for him to not keep up his side of the deal.
I inched toward the door, Jemma’s high pitched wails following behind me. I had to figure out what was going on. Tony made decent money, he had to have at least half the payment, I knew that much. I demanded an explanation.
“Jemma, I’m going for a drive.” I stated.
“Wait!” she yelled.
“What now?” I asked.