Janet has made herself sick on the oatmeal cream pies her grandmother bought her. It’s summertime, so they took a trip to the bakery store over on the bypass, where breads and pastries are cheaper. It’s one of grandma’s habits left over from the days before Newnan had several grocery stores (one of each kind, a Kroger, Winn Dixie, Publix, and a super Wal-Mart) between her brick house on Highway 154 and the mini strip of stores that are slowly going out of business where the bakery is. Every summer Janet drives out there with her grandma to get bread for the french toast or fluffernutter sandwiches they make while her parents are at work.
Janet hides the box as soon as she gets home, stuffs it into the bottom cabinet where the pots and pans go, far in the back behind the cake pans that only get used on holidays and birthdays. She visits the box every hour, when she craves a new one, and by the time her parents get home from work, she’s eaten the entire box.
Her dad doesn’t understand why Janet looks sad during dinner, why she takes long breaks between bites. He hears her crying in the bathroom afterward, but doesn’t ask her why. Instead, he takes the trash out, not noticing the crumpled, empty box of oatmeal cream pies shoved down below food scraps, pencil shavings and cat litter.