When Helen discovers the wet bed, she flies into a rage. “Wetting the bed at night isn’t enough anymore, now you have to do it during the day?” Helen scolds Sam as she addresses Sam as “Piss Ass”. While Sam is being scolded she tries to physic herself up to what is happening and what is coming. She has no words to defend herself except to say that she did not do it on purpose and she is sorry. As Helen stood over Sam while Sam stripped the bed, Sam is beaten and told how lazy she is. Sam is then led down the stairs with Helen pulling her by the ear. Sam fights to keep her balance to keep from falling down the stairs. Somewhere deep in the back of her mind, Sam wishes she would fall down the stairs so she could hurt herself bad enough to land in the hospital away from Helen and Peter.
Every morning starts the same. As Sam wakes up wet, she says to herself before getting out of bed “Oh God I’m wet again” as she fills with fear and becomes panic stricken. She could not figure out why she wet the bed, but she knew she just could not wake up. Now that Sam is an adult she figures she did it due to the hell she lived in from day to day. Most days like weekends and holidays spent home, she cried ninety five percent of the time.
“Get out there and get those pissy sheets washed and you have 15 minutes to do it” Helen told Sam as she pushes her out the door. If it was a school morning, Sam would sometimes get off without having to do her morning chore but not very often, and if she did she would surely pay for it after school.
As Sam is pushed out the door crying, Helen locks the door so Sam won’t enter before being done her wash. She tries to explain she cannot do it because it is too cold. As she buttons her coat, she heads towards the barn, where she must fill a five gallon bucket full of cold water from the steel pump. She must then carry it back to the house where outside she fills the old tin wash tub.
As she gets her bucket from behind the cattle stable, she thinks about being in the barn, well at least she’s away from Helen even if it is just for a few minutes. The smell of the hay gives her a sense of comfort somehow.
Sam feels like a total outcast with this family because everybody else is inside preparing for the day. Mitchell and Leonard are getting dressed and having breakfast. They never tried to defend Sam while being tormented by Helen, Who would really blame them as long as Helen was on Sam’s back, she was leaving them alone. Mitchell was spoiled rotten. There were times Leonard was treated harshly but it never came close to Sam’s treatment, Sometimes Leonard and Sam would talk about running away together but in the end Leonard always chickened out.
Now comes the hard part of carrying the bucket of water from the barn to the house. Every now and then she must stop to put her hands in her pockets to warm them up since she isn’t allowed to wear mittens. After passing the big maple tree on her right and the garage on the other side, she knows she has reached the halfway mark. She looks at the house, almost feeling the warmth inside. Out here it is below the freezing mark. Finally she reaches the house but not without getting herself wet which she knows she will pay for later. Pouring the water in the wash tub, she spills more water on herself and she has used up most of her time by the times she gets her second bucket to the house. The water is cold as she scrubs the sheets on the old wash board. The more she tries to
hurry the longer it takes her. Helen never gives her soap to use, but she must rinse them adding two more buckets of water that she carried.
Helen appears in the window pointing to her watch. Her time is used up. As Sam wrings the sheets out, her hands turn white form cold. Now she tries to hang the clothes on the line but it is difficult due to them freezing. After she is done and in the house, her hands pain something terrible as they warm up. Sam wishes this task was the end of her punishment for the day over the bedwetting but it isn’t. She is tortured throughout the day. It does not end until Helen and Peter are in bed asleep for the night.