After saying goodbye to her friend, Lucy slowly made her way back to Mrs Johnsons office to collect her bag of clothes. She was dreading this, walking out into the yard holding it in front of everybody else, knowing just how many of them would no doubt be talking about her. There was one faint glimmer of positivity though, and that was the sooner she had her bag, the sooner she could be home and changed, back into some of her own clothes at long last. Then she’d only have the embarrassment of her accident to worry about, not being dressed like a baby too.
Knocking on the door, Lucy let herself in with a friendly but subdued “Hello Miss, I’ve come for my bag please.”
“Hi Lucy, how’s your afternoon been? I heard a little rumour that your maths lesson may have been a little better than you were expecting?” Dorothy smiled broadly at the young girl as she said this, winking slightly as she did so. “No problem, I popped your things in the cupboard out of the way. One second and I’ll grab them for you.”
“Yeah not too bad thanks, Miss. Well, considering…” Lucy gestured to her dress, and the barely disguised yellow bag that the secretary was now carrying over to her.
“I’m sure you’ve had better days! But try not to worry, it’s all over with now. You’ll soon be home, in a nice bath and then tucked up in bed ready forget all about it, I’m sure. Don’t forget, your Mum is picking you and Jack up, so wait out on the playground for her. And if she wants to talk to me, show her where I am please.”
Lucy gathered all of her things together, doing her best to hold the plastic bag so that as little of the yellow was showing as possible, although not very successfully. Satisfied the she’d done as much as she could, she thanked Mrs Johnson again and then made her way outside to face the music.
It seemed strange, hanging around in the playground at the end of the day. She’d been making her own way home for a couple of years now, and usually collected her little brother and then set straight off. But Mum was coming today, so she knew she had to wait. Very conscious of how she was dressed, and even more so of the plastic bag she was clutching tightly, Lucy stood off to the side away from most people and tried to keep herself to herself, not wanting to be drawn into any conversations or to have more people looking at her than she was sure already where.
Standing there, her mind began to wander and she was soon thinking about the fun they’d all have at Emily’s birthday sleepover. Anytime they slept at each others houses it was always a laugh, but this time at least a dozen of them would be there, and she couldn’t wait! She even began to put the events of the day to one side in her mind, forgetting momentarily about the discussion which awaited her once her Mum arrived. And then she was jolted from her daydreams by a shout from behind her which chilled her to her core.
“Look Tommy, it’s true, what Davie said is true. Lucy DID wee herself, look, look. She’s got a yellow bag, and she’s wearing somebody else’s dress and everything. I can’t believe she wee’d herself like a baby. Hahahah.”
There was no mistaking that voice, it was her little brother. Lucy was devastated, how could he have shouted something like that across the playground in front of EVERYBODY? She just wanted the ground to swallow her up. All at once, the shame she’d felt earlier washed back over her, but 10x worse. She blushed furiously and tears began falling down her cheeks once again.
And then, as if on cue, she hears another voice bellow across the yard, this time filled with authority. Her Mum, coming to her rescue.
“JACK DANIELS* you stop that RIGHT NOW.”
Well, almost to her rescue. If only she hadn’t followed up with “It’s not like you’ve never had an accident. Now leave your sister alone, I’m sure she’s embarrassed enough without you shouting everywhere about it.”
Thanks, Mum, Lucy thought to herself. Just what I needed, you confirming to everybody that what he’d said was true. Just marvellous! Angry though she was, however, it was nothing to how upset she was with Jack. She couldn’t help it, great sobs racked though her and she ran forward to throw her arms around her Mum, hugging and crying like she hadn’t since she was much younger, not even realising that she was still in the playground, surrounded by all of her friends. What a spectacle she had become.
After a few minutes, Lucy managed to compose herself a little, and extracted herself from the tangle she had become around her Mum. Now she was just embarrassed by having such a meltdown so publicly. She was pleased to see Jack looking suitably chastened after his dressing down, and felt sure that their Mum mentioning his own past mishaps whilst his friend Tommy was around had probably played a big part in this.
She meekly handed the plastic bag to her Mum, who took it without saying anything, and the three of them began walking to the car. As they approached the vehicle, her Mum unlocked the doors so that they could all climb in. Seatbelts buckled, they pulled away, and it was only as they turned out of the school carpark that Lucy reapplied something.
“Erm, Mum, why are we going the wrong way? Our house is in the opposite direction.”
*Totally unintentional, oops! 🙈2
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