I'd like to apologize for the long gap between installments. I currently have no Internet connection at home, and pesky Real Life
has been taking up my free time. (Nothing bad, just time consuming.)
I'm hoping to get back to regular updates now, but until my Internet connection at home is up and running, I can't make any promises.
Tookie wakes up to hear her parents arguing. She sneaks over to where they are to listen in to the argument. Her father is drunk off TaterMash. And no matter how much I remind myself it's supposed to be alcohol, my mental image of TaterMash is still smashed Tater Tots.
In the middle of their argument, we get a long paragraph that describes Mrs. De La Crème's doll collection.
Maybe if they didn't stare so adoringly at her mother, Mrs. De La Crème could resist their charms and would share some of her love with Tookie.
That is simultaneously disturbing and sad.
Tookie's father accuses her mother of watching the 7Sevens with her "man friend."
The two insult each other's appearances, and Mrs. De La Crème calls her husband a "one-eyed unemployed monster."
"That's what all this is about, isn't it? You think I'm damaged goods."
He then grabs Bellissima (Creamy's doll) from her arms.
"Christopher, don't you dare hurt her!"
. . .
Because anthropomorphizing inanimate objects isn't creepy or a sign of mental illness.
"Sometimes I think you wish that sword had killed me. So that you could continue your life with her father."
"Your daughter's father, Creamy! Don't play dumb.
"Oh, you wish I was talking about Myrracle ... You know who I mean. The other one."
Mr. De La Crème then proceeds to completely destroy anything endearing or sweet about his previous interaction with Tookie.
"That circus freak. She is uncoordinated, unattractive, and unmemorable."
"There is nothing about me that lives within that girl."
He then gives exposition disguised as a rant. He says that Creamy said there were chances of complications when she was pregnant with Tookie, and that these complications could kill her and the baby. Because of this, she arranged for Tookie to be born thousands of miles from where Christopher was and prevented him from being there for the birth.
"And after that, you said you couldn't have any more children — your insides were ruined. But two years later, Myrracle came. Thank God. A real
miracle. The spitting image of her father ..."
Tookie's mouth dropped open. Did he really believe that? Was a child's life worth more if they resembled their parents?
Talk about completely missing the point. The problem isn't that she doesn't resemble her father. The problem is that (supposedly) her mother cheated on her father and lied to him about it, which means Tookie is not Christopher's daughter. It's a betrayal of trust. It's not a good reason to treat Tookie like crap — she had no control of who her parents were — but it is a good reason for Christopher to divorce Creamy.
Christopher shows his wife Tookie's toothbrush. He has an appointment at a paternity lab the next day, so he can confirm his suspicions.
"And once I find that out, I'm sending Tookie away ... I'm sending her to the factories."
Tookie gets upset at this (remember, in this world "factories = slave labor"). She makes enough noise that her parents hear her.
"Just go," he said gruffly, staring at her with his good eye. "For all of us."
This is enough to push Tookie to finally make up her mind about running away with Lizzie.
In the early morning, Tookie packs her things and pauses to look at Myrracle sleeping as she leaves.
"I know you'll get in," Tookie whispered. "I hope Modelland is everything you and Creamy always wanted ... and more."
Tookie had left her "secret" signal for Lizzie. That signal is painting "X-O-2" on her front door. So, it's not really secret, but it is coded. And if it was meant to refer to the Biblical exodus with the painting on the front door . . . that is epic symbolism fail.
Lizzie had left a response with the time that they would leave, which is why Tookie is preparing to leave now.
Tookie was escaping Peppertown forever. Escaping her parents. Escaping with Lizzie to the place of their dreams and being in total control of their destinies. She could start her whole life over ... and become a Rememba-Girl.
I thought about posting some information about the lives of homeless runaways, but it's too depressing. Let's just say that a life like that tends to sucks in the real world, and it would likely be even worse in this book, since the two girls are planning to live on their own in the wild. They wouldn't last a month.
Tookie's mother catches her when she's trying to sneak out. She sees Tookie's bag, and assumes that Tookie packed extra supplies for Myrracle. She praises her for it, calling Tookie a "good sister."
The family prepares to leave (both of her parents sporting "Modelland NEEDS a Myrracle!" t-shirts). Tookie tries to say she's not going, but her father shoves her into the car. Myrracle gives Tookie the SMIZE to hold.
As they're pulling out of the driveway, the family sees Lizzie standing by the house.
Lizzie took a few steps toward the car, as if she was considering chasing after it. Her shoulders drooped. Her mouth hung open. Her arms were heavy at her side. She looked so small standing there. So helpless.
Lizzie let out a shrill, window-shattering, eardrum-piercing scream.
Naturally, Tookie makes no effort to get out of the car or tell her parents to stop. Instead, she yells to Lizzie that she's sorry and promises that she'll come back that night.
The chapter then ends.