It was about 2:30 in the morning and I had to use the bathroom. I slid out of the warm bed into the cold and wandered to the bathroom not expecting anything out of the ordinary. I’d used the toilet in the middle of the night many times before so why should this time be any different. These middle of the night ventures to the bathroom are never done with the lights on. I don’t want to wake myself up.
As I sat on the toilet, I noticed something unusual in the bathtub. It was a dark, terrifying object that shouldn’t have been there. “Oh no. There’s a rat in the bathtub,” I said aloud. My heart pounded in my chest and I tried to move as far over on the toilet seat as I could without peeing on the floor. I wanted to hurry up and get out of the bathroom, but I just kept peeing. I swear that was the longest pee ever. When I was done, I jumped up off the toilet and fled the bathroom without even washing my hands. I made sure the door was securely shut. Then I did what anyone who’d just found a rat in their bathtub would do, I went back to bed. My husband was working and I thought I’d let him deal with it when he got home. Rats are his department.
I lay in bed just thinking about the rat, wondering how it got in there, wondering what I can do from keeping more rats from getting in the house, wondering how my husband would catch the rat. I was only in bed for ten minutes when my husband came home. My stepson, who should’ve have been sleeping, came out of his room immediately to start talking. I could hear them in the hall. I didn’t know if I should warn them about the rat or just let them find it on their own. I decided the scare of finding a rat might be too much to handle, so I got up and opened the bedroom door. My husband was facing me and my stepson’s back was turned. “Hello,” my husband said.
“There’s a rat in the bathtub,” I silently mouthed the words and pointed to the bathroom door. I didn’t want to upset my stepson.
My husband looked at me with a confused expression as I started to point at the bathroom door more intensely.
“You’re up,” my stepson said as he turned to face me.
I stopped pointing.
As we moved into the living room, my stepson announced that he had to use the bathroom and headed back down the hall.
“There’s a rat in the bathtub,” I whispered to my husband, grabbing his arm. “I think it’s dead or tired.”
We heard the creak of the bathroom door opening and closing, then the click of the light going on.
“How did it get in the bathtub?”
“I don’t know.” I didn’t know why he was asking me such a question. Maybe it was thirsty. Maybe it was lost. I didn’t ask it. I was sure I’d hear a hysterical scream from the bathroom any minute, but there was none.
“How do you catch a rat?” My husband picked up the colander and considered using it to trap the rodent.
The toilet flushed. The water in the sink ran. The door creaked open. The light clicked off. My stepson appeared holding a wet black sock and laughing. “Look what I dropped in the toilet.”
“Where was that?” my husband asked.
“The tub. I dropped it in the toilet and I didn’t know what to do with.”
“Put it down and wash your hands,” my husband said.
My stepson scurried back to the bathroom.
So it wasn’t a rat, but it really looked like one in the dark. Really it did.