After leaving the clothes for Lucy, Dorothy headed back over to her desk, knowing that she needed to call her Mum and let her know what had happened. Going home had been ruled out, but parents still needed to be notified, and given just how upset Lucy was she thought this may be best done quickly now, so as to save her the further embarrassment of hearing the call.
She quickly found the number on her computer, and just as she began to dial the shrill sound of the school bell rang out. Perfect, she thought, Mrs Daniels who she knew worked as a teacher, should be able to take a quick call now.
“Hello, Jeannette Daniels speaking”
“Good afternoon Mrs Daniels, it’s Dorothy Johnson here, calling from Victoria Primary School. Are you ok to speak briefly?”
“Hi there Dorothy, yes I’m fine to talk. Is everything ok?” Jeannette sounded worried, he didn’t usually receive calls from her children’s school, so something must be the matter, she thought.
“There’s nothing to worry about, but Lucy has had a little accident in school this morning, and I just wanted to let you know myself, straight away. Don’t worry, we’re taking care of it all here in school.” Dorothy had sensed the worry in Mrs Daniels’ voice, and wanted to put her at ease.
“Oh my! Is she badly hurt?” The worry in her voice intensifying rapidly, and in her mind she’s already making plans to arrange cover for her own classes so that she can be there.
“Ah, no, it’s nothing like that. Please don’t worry.” Dorothy then lowered her voice, aware that Lucy may be able to hear and also conscious that other pupils were now moving past her office on their way to lunch. “She didn’t quite make it to the toilet in time, I’m afraid, and got quite upset about it. We’ve found her some clothes to change into though, so she’s just getting herself sorted out now before heading out with her friends for the lunch break.”
Jeannette Daniels was stunned at the other end of the phone. Lucy had wet herself? She was 11 years old! She’d have been shocked if they’d called to say that Jack had an accident, and he was still in the infants, but Lucy? Relief washed over her at the realisation nobody was hurt (except no doubt her daughter’s pride!), but at the same time a perhaps unreasonable sense of frustration that her daughter had done this, no doubt through laziness or this bizarre notion she seemed to have that it wasn’t ‘cool’ to use the school toilets. Nothing had been said, but she had noticed how she always made a mad dash for the loo when arriving home, and it looked like this had finally caught her out.
“Thank you for helping her to get sorted Dorothy, and for letting me know. I won’t keep you now as I’m sure you’re busy, but could you please let Lucy know that I’ll come to pick her and Jack up this afternoon – if you need me for anything then, just let me know.
“Not a problem at all, Mrs Daniels, I’ll pass on the message. Hope you enjoy the rest of your afternoon. Please try not to worry about Lucy, we will look after her.”
In the bathroom, Lucy had finally gathered herself together a little. A little of her headstrong attitude returning, she realised that sitting blubbing on the floor wearing just her wet undies really wasn’t a good look! Finding some baby wipes amongst the bathroom supplies, she gave herself a good cleaning all over, and even sneaked a couple of sprays from a can of deodorant she had found on top of the cistern, no doubt belonging to Miss Johnson. There, at least she didn’t smell like a toilet any more.
She tentatively unfolded the new underpants that had been left for her, pulling a face as she saw the childish cartoon patterns. She hadn’t worn pants like these for years, and all she could think was how glad she was that nobody else would see them – if it had been a PE day, she’d have been mortified. Although, on the other hand, she thought, at least she’d have had her PE shorts to put on instead of the dreaded dress!
Pulling on the pants and cringing at just how childish they made her look and feel, Lucy turned her attention to the checked red dress. Her resolve started to crack, and she had to blink back tears again, but even this had to be better than walking around in just the baby pants, or her wet skirt showing her shame to everybody. She slipped it on and fastened the zip. Turning to look in the mirror, it was like she’d gone back 4 or 5 years, a much younger version of herself staring back with a puffy, blotchy and tear stained face and wearing exactly the same uniform she’d have been wearing at the end of the summer term back then.
One thing she did pick up on was just how short the dress was! She’d had a bit of a growth spurt recently, so was one of the tallest in her class – the dress seemed to ‘fit’ around her, but ended half way between her waist and her knee. What she wouldn’t have given for a pair of tights to help her cover up a bit! She knew she’d have to be careful walking so that the dress didn’t move too much and give anybody a glimpse of the childish undies she had on underneath.
Suddenly a thought flashed through her mind, and before she could stop herself, she laughed out loud! It was a pained, almost ironic laugh, as she processed the fact that she had just totally wet herself in front of all of her peers, the most humiliating thing that had ever happened in her short life, and here she was worrying about people making fun of how she was dressed. What a crazy situation. Hopefully Miss would have managed to speak to her Mum whilst she was getting changed, and she’d soon be on her way home.5
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