Poor Lucy just kept running. She didn’t know where she was heading, she didn’t want to be anywhere, but she knew that above all she didn’t want to see anybody. Only yesterday, 24 hours ago, everything had seemed perfect in her life. She was popular, confident, school was going well, she had no cares or worries in the world, and she would soon be starting high school. Basically the perfect life for an 11 year old. But now, in less than a day, she’d wet her pants spectacularly in front of her class, been humiliated in front of the whole school, had photos of her shame shared around the internet, wet her bed like a baby and now it seemed even her own Mum just wanted to humiliate her! How could she have done that, after all of her kind words and reassurances, how could she? “Argh!”
Having reached the very end of the school building, Lucy tucked herself away in the corner under the staircase, hoping she would go unnoticed and could hide hear for the rest of the day. Here she sat and sobbed quietly to herself, grieving for all that she felt she had lost in just one short day. Her solitude was short lived, however, when she heard her name being called. “Lucy, where are you?”
She tried to stifle her sniffs, but somebody obviously knew she was here somewhere, and they weren’t giving up looking. Eventually, as the voice became closer and clearer, she realised it was her friend Becky. For all she had wanted to be alone, the sound of a friendly, caring voice was too much for her, and she sobbed loudly again as she replied “I’m here, Becks, under the stairs.”
Becky ran down the stairs, sliding to a halt at the bottom and dropping down to her knees right next to Lucy and throwing her arms around her best friend. “Oh Luce, you poor thing, whatever has happened to upset you so much?”
“I’m such a baby Becky. I’ve ruined everything. H…How did you f..f…find me here?”
“Now let’s just get one thing straight Lucy, you’re no baby! You’re the bravest girl I know, coming back into school today after what happened yesterday. Nobody would have blamed you for hiding away. I saw you getting out of the car and dashing into school. When you didn’t come back out, I wondered whether you’d gone to the office to, well, sort anything out. And Mrs Johnson said you had been there, but had been rather upset and had ran away, so I’ve been searching for you ever since!”
Lucy was both amazed and impressed, the meant Becky must have been searching for her for about 20 minutes. She managed a very small watery smile for her friend, who in return grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze.
“I was feeling ok Becks, a bit nervous but thought I could do it. Then when I got to the office, I found out as well as sending back the dress, Mum had also sent in a change of clothes for me, in case I had another accident. Even my own Mum doesn’t trust me. Even she thinks I’m a baby.” And with that she teared up again, hiding her face in her hands.
Becky was shocked by what she’d just heard, but tried not to show it. “But didn’t you do it on purpose Luce, so there’s no chance of it happening again, is there? It’s not like you keep on wetting yourself or anything like that! Why would your Mum think you’d need a chance of clothes in year 6?”
Lucy and Becky had been best friends for years, first meeting when they started reception at this same school, so they’d been through all kinds together. As a result of their strong bond, they also knew they could talk to each other about anything, no matter what. And, of course, as in any true friendship, they were always totally honest with each other. Although this current situation was testing Lucy’s resolve and she very nearly fibbed to her friend.
“I know Becky, I’m mean obviously she doesn’t know that I started off doing it on purpose yesterday, she’d kill me. There’s only you that knows that. But still, a one off accident in what probably 6 years or so, why would she even think that?”
As soon as she said it, Lucy was wracked with guilt, and before her friend could respond, she had to say something.
“No, I can’t do it Becks. Actually, in truth, there’s something more. But you must, MUST promise me that you’ll never tell another soul, not even once, not ever. I can’t lie to you, but this can’t, CAN’T go any further.”
Looking shocked, Becky squeezed Lucy’s hand tightly again. “You know that Luce, I’d never tell anybody anything that you said to me in confidence, just as I know I could trust you with my deepest secrets, even with my life. But whatever on earth is it that’s got you into this state?”
“I…well…it” Lucy stammered as she began, she really couldn’t believe she was about to have this conversation. “It wasn’t just that one-off accident yesterday. I don’t know why, or how, b…b…but after all of the comments online last night, I had this awful nightmare and after I woke up screaming I..I…I, oh Becks, I’d wet my bed.” The relief of telling her friend and getting this off her chest was immense, but the shame was so great, she broke down once more and cried harder than she’d ever cried before.
Before either girl could say anything further, the school bell rang loudly throughout the building, and they both realised that hundreds of kids would be filing through the door and up the stairs above their heads at any second.1
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