Lucy had never enjoyed a shower more in her short life, washing away the shame and humiliation of her day felt amazing, and she was soon smiling again, with only the lingering worry of talking to her Mum about what had happened gnawing at her.
Once showered, and knowing she wasn’t going out anywhere that evening (she had a lot of maths homework to do, after all!) she slipped into her favourite comfortable pyjamas, bundled the dress and pants together and took them downstairs to be washed. Reaching the kitchen, she opened the door to the washing machine and noticed with a grimace that her wet skirt was already in there. She quickly covered the offensive article with the barely-less-embarrassing summer dress, and then hurriedly closed the door and spun around to face her Mum.
“Feel a bit better now sweetie?” Her Mum asked, holding her arms open and inviting her daughter over for a hug.
Lucy slipped her arms around her Mum and enjoyed the moment of closeness, simply nodding in agreement that she was feeling much better than she had done earlier. It really was amazing what a nice shower and your own clothes could do!
“Thank you for not making a scene with Jack then, love, that was really grown up of you. I know he can be a nuisance sometimes, that’s what little brothers are all about, but he really looks up to you so it’s nice that you set such a good example.”
“He was being really mean about my accident, Mum. Especially when he shouted about it in front of everybody at school! But I know how awful I felt when it happened to me, and I didn’t want him to feel bad like that.”
Mrs Daniels felt a lump rising in her throat, and she gave Lucy another squeeze as she added “You really are a lovely girl Lucy, and a great big sister. Things like that make me so proud of you” Which of course caused Lucy to blush furiously, but feel all tingly inside at the same time.
“So, sweetheart, what happened today then?”
Lucy cringed again, and barely stopped herself from groaning. She knew this was coming, but was hoping to enjoy a bit of her evening first! Ah well, maybe it was best to get it over with, she thought. Then this whole nightmare really would be behind her for good.
“I don’t really know Mum,” she began with a sniffle “I needed to go to the loo, so I asked Miss Johnson if I could be excused, and she said that the head had stopped her letting anybody leave during lessons. It wasn’t too bad, and I always wait until lunchtime, sometimes even until I get home, so I wasn’t worried. But then, it just started…and I couldn’t stop it! I tried Mum, I really did.” Lucy had started to cry again now, and she was getting more worked up as she recounted her shameful experience. “I think I just made it worse though, I held myself to try to stop it coming out, but it just went everywhere, and then all of my skirt was soaked and everybody could see. It was awful Mum.”
Lucy had, of course, left out the bit about starting to do it deliberately before she had lost control. She thought this may have been a little difficult to explain, and she much preferred this sympathetic version of her Mum to the angry one she’d have been confronted with had she told the whole truth.
Seeing just how upset her young daughter was, Mrs Daniels decided not to push the matter. It was clear to her that Lucy had just overestimated her own abilities, and had mistimed things in the most embarrassing way. No, shouting at her or punishing her wouldn’t help, she was sure the shame and humiliation would be enough to make sure it never happened again.
“There there Lucy, don’t be upsetting yourself again. What’s happened has happened, and we can’t change that. But it’s over with now, and I’m sure you’re going to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again, aren’t you sweetie?”
Lucy nodded, her eyes trained on the floor in embarrassment. She’d never imagined having to have this sort of talk with her Mum at 11!
“Then we’ll say no more about it. And I’m sure after his little dance up on the landing earlier, neither will Jack. Go on, off you pop to get your homework done whilst I sort some dinner for us all.”
Feeling that she’d got off very lightly indeed, Lucy wasn’t going to argue! She grabbed her school bag and made her way up to her bedroom. No homework had been set that day because of the timetable changes, but she knew that she had to get Mrs Moss’ assignment completed, because there was no way on earth she was going to put herself through the torture of another day like today.
Reaching her messy room, she quickly plugged her phone in to charge so that she could catch up with the girls later, and then began sifting through piles of rubbish to find the worksheet.
A short while later, her Mum’s voice rang up through the stairs “Jack, can you get changed out of your uniform for me please and bring it down to be washed.”2
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