May 26, 1998
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Kaitlynne hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. When she got up so early in the morning that God wasn’t
even awake yet, she decided it was pointless to even try to get any sleep and just headed down to the kitchen. It wasn’t
fifteen minutes before Isaac joined her. By then, she had already started some breakfast. It wasn’t much; just a very
large bowl of cream of wheat. Somebody always woke up just a little after she did, so she wanted to be prepared.
“Morning, Kaity,” Isaac mumbled upon entering the room.
“Morning,” she replied.
“Pretty well once I actually got to sleep. You?” Kaitlynne asked as she poured orange juice in another
cup for Isaac and sat it in front of him.
“Not very well. I was worried about Joni.”
“What about Joni?” Uncle Jacob asked.
Isaac looked over at Kaitlynne with wide eyes. Kaitlynne’s were wide as well. Neither of them knew what to do;
there was no way out of this one and they knew it.
“Nothing,” Kaitlynne muttered.
“Really now? Then why is Isaac worried? Then again… why is Isaac even here?”
The two stayed silent.
“Joni was drinking again.”
It was almost a whisper, but Kaitlynne knew that her uncle had heard her when he squeezed his eyes shut and sat down
in the chair nearest to him. All was silent until a pale version of Joni appeared in the doorway. All eyes drifted towards
her. She didn’t look good at all. Her hair fell in stringy strands and there were bags under her eyes that were nearly
“Oh my God, Joni!” Isaac cried, jumping up and racing towards her, pulling her into his arms, “Are
“I feel sick,” she whispered, but they all heard it.
“You shouldn’t have drank, Joni…” Jacob muttered. “We need to get you do the hospital.”
Kaitlynne knew that Joni felt really bad when she didn’t chew Isaac and her out for ratting her out. They all
piled into Jacob’s new SUV. Isaac sat in the back and Joni laid across the seat with her head in his lap, his fingers
combing through her hair. Kaitlynne climbed into the passenger seat and Jacob, of course, drove. It didn’t take them
long to get to the hospital. When they got there, Isaac escorted Joni into the waiting room and Jacob went to sign her in.
Kaity saw one of those little things they always have for kids at hospitals where you move wooden beads along metal wires
and decided to play with that to get her mind off Joni. Jacob finished filling out the papers at sat next to Isaac and Joni.
“Joni Donnahue,” the nurse called out only minutes later.
“I’ll go with her,” Isaac insisted. It was more of a statement than an offer.
Joni walked inside the doctor’s office, Isaac close behind. Joni sat on the extremely uncomfortable bed and the
plump nurse went through the whole little process that they always do before you have to wait for the doctor. Finally the
doctor came in and spoke with Joni and Isaac before testing and then leaving the room only to come back later with a solemn
“Joni… I don’t know how to tell you this… your baby…”
“Oh no,” Isaac muttered.
“Is the baby okay?” Joni asked with tears forming behind her eyes.
“Joni, I’m afraid that, due to your excessive alcohol intake, you have a fifty to seventy percent chance
of the baby being mentally ill.”
“You mean… retarded?”
“Well, that’s not the polite term, but yes.”
The look that took over Joni’s face before she buried her head into Isaac’s neck made him want to cry.
He knew the baby wasn’t really his, but it might as well have been. The doctor informed them that he was very busy before
he left them to cope.
“Isaac,” Joni mumbled after minutes of silence, “I’m scared.”
“I know, Joni. I know. Is this motivation enough to stop drinking?”
“More than enough.”
“You ready to face reality?”
“No, but I have to.”
“Good point. Come on, baby.”
“Ike?” Joni spoke, just before Isaac opened the door.
“You’re the greatest. I love you.”
Isaac smiled, tossing an arm around her and opening the door. “I
love you too, sweetie.”