Having scaled the climbing frame, Becky and Em sat astride the top and looked out over the park. Down below them, Lucy and Dan were swinging side by side, clearly deep in conversation and both with wide smiles on their faces. And over at the far side a couple of young boys had now appeared, kicking a football around. Other than that, beside the occasional dog walker, the place was still just as deserted as when they’d arrived – presumably most people had gone out for the day to enjoy the weather.
“Those pair seem to have really hit it off, don’t they? I’m glad, Dan’s always been so quiet and withdrawn, it’s great to see him chatting and having fun.”
Becky watched them for a moment before replying “Yeah, he’s always seemed really quiet at school, kept himself to himself a lot. I agree though, it’s great that Lucy’s brought him out of his shell a bit, and after her rotten week she seems to be relaxing now too.”
They sat and observed the world from their vantage point for quite some time, enjoying the opportunity to chill out before the chaos that was sure to follow once the sleepover was in full swing. Eventually however Em became a little uncomfortable, and mentioned to Becky that they really should head back down.
“You coming back down Becks? I kinda need to pee now after drinking all of that coke, and straddling this bar isn’t helping. Come on, let’s go and check in with the others and see if anybody else needs a quick pit stop.”
Becky agreed, she’d drank just as much of the pop as her friend, and wouldn’t mind a quick trip to the loo herself. They swung themselves down to the ground just as quickly as they’d climbed up, outdoor pursuits being something they both enjoyed and excelled at, and were soon sneaking up behind Lucy and Dan who were still deep in earnest conversation.
“BOO!” Becky yelled, startling them both and causing Dan to slip from his swing and land in a crumpled heap on the ground below. “Oops, sorry Dan, didn’t mean to frighten you that much, haha. Are you ok?” She reached out a hand to help him back up to his feet, and was pleased to see that he grinned as he dusted himself down.
“No worries Becks, no harm done. But watch your back later, I’ll get my revenge!” And he gave an exaggerated evil laugh, causing them all to chuckle.
“What’re you guys up to?” Lucy turned in her swing to face them, looking the most content they had ever seen her, with a ruddy glow to her cheeks and a smiled which sparkled in her eyes. Being outdoors was clearly good for her, and being with Dan even more so.
“Oh, nothing much, we were just getting a bit uncomfortable up there, so decided to pop down for a quick pee break – all of that Coke is making itself known, haha. Either of you coming?”
Dan spoke first, nodding in agreement. “You know, that’s not a bad idea at all. We drank that whole 3 litre sharer bottle between us in just a few minutes. I probably shouldn’t have had so much, you know, but I guess it’s still only early. But no more now, I now you guys are cool with it, but I’d really much rather not have to try out any of the ideas Mum came up with.”
Lucy was still swinging, and at first was going to say that she was fine and could wait until later to go, but then she recalled the events of earlier in the week, and her own pledge not to take any unnecessary chances. A last minute dash to the loo was never a good look, and, if for whatever reason she couldn’t get there. Well, that didn’t even bear thinking about! “Yeah, count me in too, may as well if we’re all going. I didn’t notice the toilets when we arrived, which way are they?”
They’d travelled less than 5 miles down the road, and already Lesley was seriously questioning her own sanity. A short road trip had seemed like a great idea, but with the two youngsters in the back working through their repertoire of increasingly disgusting, silly and even vaguely rude jokes which they clearly found absolutely hilarious to the point that both were struggling to breath through the laughter, her resolve was already cracking. At least once they got to the theme park she could set them loose to burn off some of the hyperactivity that seemed to have set in.
“Boys, I know you’re both hoping to become the next big stand up comedian, but try to make time to take a breath between laughing and joking will you? And, if you can, turn the volume down just a notch please…I can barely hear myself think.”
“Sorry Mum” Jack managed between gasps for breath “But these jokes are just so funny, listen to this”. And he launched into a particularly disgusting little rhyme which would cause most adults to pull a face in horror, but instead had the two boys shrieking so loudly that passengers in a passing car actually turned to look.
“Oh, Jack, don’t make me laugh lie that again, I almost did a wee!” Tom was still giggling, but his face had suddenly taken on a more serious look and he grasped at his shorts. This of course caused Jack to crack up completely.
“Hahaha, don’t wee on the seat Tom.” And again he couldn’t catch his breath he was laughing so hard, his face turning bright red and the expression he wore causing Tom to burst out laughing despite his protestations.
“Come on lads, calm it down a bit pleas, if you’re laughing so hard that you can’t breathe, and that you think you’re going to pee, it’s time to wind it down a little. Are you ok Tom, do you need me to stop at a toilet?”
Calming himself down a little, Tom considered before answering. “No thanks Mrs Daniels, I’m ok. I don’t need to go, it’s just when Jack made me laugh so hard, I thought it was going to come out anyway.”
“Ok, well it’s definitely time to settle down a bit. We should be there in 10 minutes or so anyway, but if you change your mind just let me know. And you too Jack, it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Which of course caused her Son to blush and retort
“Muuuuuum, we’re not babies you know!”
But nevertheless, they did put their joke books to one side, instead talking about the rides and activities at the theme park which they’d heard about from friends, and planning which ones they wanted to go on first, as well as which ones they’d avoid – because they are too ‘babyish’, or the ones they said they just didn’t fancy (which, in truth, were the ones which sounded a bit too scary!).
Not long afterwards, the car swept into the large car park, and Lesley jumped out of the car, opening the child-locked doors from outside and helping the two boys to jump down.
“Race you to the entrance Tom” Jack yelled. And with that they were off.4
Audio Version of Chapter