And so Marietta carted her back to the doctor and the doctor carted them both off to the hospital, where he said he was going, at long last, to set things back to right.
The Marvelliefielles all lived in Memphis then and were terribly close. They went to the same church and shared Sunday dinners. After school, Melly Marvel stayed with Avril and the two of them curled up on the couch under a shared blanket to watch The Brady Bunch and feast on vanilla wafers.
So when the Marvelliefielles heard Melly Marvel was going to the hospital, they jumped into action.
Pretty soon Melly Marvel's hospital room was decked out like the board of Candyland- with games and treats and stuffed animals.
Moriah painted MELLY MARVEL in big pepto pink letters strung together with ribbon and hung the sign up over her bed as if therein lay a queen.
Melly Marvel felt like a queen that evening as she fell asleep.
Marrietta stayed with her and they both curled up in the bed when suddenly everything was wet. The bed, the mattress, both Marietta and Melly Marvel, not to mention Melly Marvel's stuffed panda bear, Buffy. All of them were soaked clear through.
Melly Marvel had wet the bed.
The woman who came in to help Marietta- who held the still asleep Melly Marvel in her arms like a lead-filled rag doll- said she'd never seen a little girl capable of so much pee.
But eventually it was cleaned up and eventually everyone went back to bed.
Early the next morning, the nurses came to fetch Melly Marvel, generously allowing Marietta to accompany her into the operating room so long as she wore a special suit.
Melly Marvel's last memory before she drifted off in a haze of anesthetic was of thinking that her mother- in an enormous white plastic suit- looked like a marshmallow. As her eyes closed, she giggled.