Poor Lucy didn’t think it was possible to feel any more mortified than she already had, but this…this had taken away the last remaining vestiges of her self worth. She burned with the most intense feelings of shame and embarrassment, not able to look her Mum in the eye and feeling utterly disgusted with herself.
“Oh Lucy, baby, it really doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about a silly little thing like that. All that matters to me right now is that you’re ok, honestly. These things happen, it’s nothing that can’t be sorted out later. Right now, let’s worry about you, eh. Whatever has frightened you so much?”
Lesley pulled herself onto the edge of the bed and leant over to pull her daughter into a hug. Lucy was torn, however. She so wanted, so needed the warmth of her Mum’s embrace, but she knew she didn’t deserve it. She was dirty, disgusting, not worthy of being loved. That’s how she felt, and she recoiled from the touch she so craved, pulling away and curling herself up into a ball under the bedcovers. She wanted her Mum, but she just wanted to be alone too. Alone forever.
This scared Lesley. She knew her daughter, and no matter what was the matter, even when she had been in lots of trouble, even when she was terrified of something, she always wanted the closeness of a hug. What had happened to her poor little girl to make her so scared, to make her want to hide herself away? Surely something as insignificant as wet bedsheets couldn’t be the reason? What was going on in her poor, tortured little mind?
All the while, Lucy continued to sob to herself. She felt broken. Eventually she wore herself out, and succumbed to Lesley’s hug, immediately feeling the warmth of a mothers love wash over her and understanding the, no matter what, she WAS loved. She murmured into the bedclothes “I love you Mummy, I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry.” Before pulling herself back upright and returning the hug, squeezing harder than she ever had before.
Worried that Lucy would be getting uncomfortable in the wet bed, Lesley gently prompted her “That must have been some really horrible dream sweetie, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Do you feel up to getting out of bed, so we can try to make things a bit more comfortable for you?”
Lucy shrugged, but then slowly nodded. “I feel all icky, Mummy. Why did this have to happen?”
Lesley noted again the name ‘mummy’ which Lucy hadn’t used for many years, but didn’t say anything let she embarrass the young girl further. “I really don’t know sweetheart, sometimes it can happen when you’re scared I guess, and wherever was going on in that dream of yours must have really frightened you. Please try not to worry though, it’s easily fixed.”
“Can I go and get cleaned up?” Lucy’s voice was barely audible, husky and raw from the screaming and crying.
“Of course you can darling. Tell you what, you go and jump in the shower if you like? Or would you prefer a quick bath to freshen you up? And whilst you’re doing that, I’ll take care of things in here and then pop downstairs and make us a nice hot chocolate. If you feel like talking, we can. If not though, that’s fine too.”
Nodding again, Lucy nearly managed a weak smile a the thought of hot chocolate. Not quite, but nearly. She moved as if to throw back her duvet, as she always did when getting out of bed, but then hesitated as she remembered the horror that hid beneath. Instead she crawled out, blushing a deep crimson again at the sight of her saturated pyjama bottoms. Now this really was something that she honestly couldn’t remember happening to her before, and it’s something she deeply wished hadn’t happened right now. Without looking at her Mum, she hurried out of the room and across to the bathroom, pulling the door closed behind her.
A short time later, Lesley heard the sound of running water, a bath being drawn. She was glad, as she knew that a nice bath always helped her to relax when she was upset and worked up. Plus it would give her a little time to take care of the bed, and to conjure up the promised hot chocolate. Maybe even with a biscuit or two on the side.
In the room next door, Jack had started to drift back off to sleep as the commotion had settled down. Whatever it was, he certainly wasn’t brave enough to venture out of bed to find out, and it sounded like his Mum had things in hand. As his eyelids began to close, he heard an odd sound. Who was running a bath at this time of night? The only time he’d ever known that was when he was younger and he’d woken up to a wet bed. His mum had always insisted that he got cleaned up before going back to sleep, usually in her bed, He knew that hadn’t happened tonight, unless…no, surely not. And with that bizarre thought floating through his mind, he was asleep again.2
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