“Oh, you know me, I’m easy!” Em smiled around at her friends. “Whatever you guys want to do is fine by me.”
“Well, it’sAs Ellie sat brooding over her awful situation, she felt her phone vibrate in her jeans pocket, and fishing it out noticed that ‘Lucy Daniels’ had accepted her friend request. Not feeling all that chatty after what her Dad had just done to her, she closed the app, thinking that maybe she’d introduce herself properly later, when she was back home and showered. Yuck, her wet jeans had now gone stone cold, and she felt sticky and minging all over. It had been YEARS since she’d had an accident, and it wasn’t something that she ever thought would happen to her again, certainly not at 13, and most definitely not in the middle of a theme park with hundreds of people around to witness her shame!
Keeping her word to Lesley and her Dad, she watched the 4 boys, who were getting to know each other through a game of tag, running in and out of the crowds and generally making a nuisance of themselves in the way that only young boys could, but at least they were out of her way she thought.
“Thanks, Ellie Love, I really appreciate you keeping an eye on the boys for me, sorry I took so long, but I had a bit of a brainwave. Look, your Dad was only trying to help you know, shouting at him like that isn’t going to help anybody.”
Ellie knew this, and in truth she did feel bad about laying into her dad in the way she had. It wasn’t his fault the ride hd got stuck, after all. Nor could she blame him that the gift shop wasn’t really prepared for teenage clothes needing to change their clothes part way through the day. And, blushing to herself again as she thought it, it was only her that had wet her pants, not him.
“I caught up with your Dad and had a quick word with him, then nipped out to my car to pick up these.” Lesley handed Ellie a plastic carrier bag, which she took with an apprehensive smile and a questioning look. “Some spare clothes belonging to my daughter, Lucy. There’s a pair of leggings in there, and also some clean undies, although don’t worry I realise you may not want to wear them! She’s a couple of years younger than you, but quite tall, so I think they will probably fit you ok . Even if they’re not perfect, it’s got to be better than wet jeans…or walking around all day like you’re ready for bed, haha.”
Ellie peered inside the bag, and was relieved to find a pair of straightforward, black leggings. Not at all unlike some she owned and wore herself. She looked back up at the kind lady, and gave her a warm grateful smile. “Thank you miss, you’re a lifesaver! I’m sorry I shouted at dad like that, I know he meant well, but really…did you see that nightie he bought?” She giggled a little. “Like anybody over the age of 5 would be seen dead in that? I wonder why they make it in my size, no wonder they still had them in the shop, I bet they’ve never sold any of them!”
Lesley chucked to herself at the young girls indignation, she definitely had a point that nobody her age would want to wear a dinosaur nightdress out in public, although didn’t point out that her daughter Lucy actually had the same one back home, in fact it was her favourite snuggly sleepwear when she needed some comfort, so long as nobody else was around to see her wearing it!
“Ok love, you nip into the loo and get yourself cleaned up and changed. Pop your we…dirty things into the carrier bag when you’re done. If you Dad comes back whilst you’re gone, I’ll let hm know where you are, and I’ll watch your brothers too whilst you’re getting sorted.
“Thanks Miss. Thanks for everything. You know, Sam was right, you really are the best.” and she beamed at her former teacher, realising for the first time just how much she missed her old primary school and the amazing teachers there. Her brothers didn’t know how lucky they were!
a bit boring just sitting around here, and the pop and snacks have almost all gone. Shall we head back to yours? We could, I dunno, but we’ll find something to do there I’m sure. Beats sitting here.”
There was a general murmuring of ascent from the girls, and even Dan was up for heading back, so long as they didn’t want to sit and do hair and make-up or something silly like that! “I know! Em, has your Mum still got her inflatable hot tub? Maybe she’d let us go in that for a bit?” He became excited at the prospect, remembering how much fun he’d had playing in there with his cousins during the last summer holidays.”
“Great idea Daniel! See, I knew you had to be here for a reason, haha.” Danielle laughed to the group, causing some giggles from Katy and Laura, but making Lucy look and feel a little awkward for her new friend.
Em agreed that they could ask her Mum. In fact, she had been thinking of doing exactly that, but didn’t want to steal Dan’s thunder. The other girls already seemed a little frosty towards him, and whilst she was sure it was nothing more than not really knowing him that well, she didn’t want to create any unnecessary awkwardness. Especially after what he’d told them earlier, as she realised they still had a potentially very challenging night to get through.
“Yeah, come on then, lets go and see. I’m sure she’ll be cool with it, but we will probably have to get it up ourselves. If we go now, it will be filled and ready to go by the time we’ve had dinner, then we can probably spend all evening out there – put some music on too? A proper hot-tub party!” The excitable group began making their way across the park and out to the main road, giggling and chatting as they did so. Then Becky had a thought “I hope everybody’s brought their swimming costumes!?”
The girls all agreed that they had, although Dan didn’t answer. He was wracking his brains to think whether he’d put swimming shorts in his bag or not, but with all the panic over spare clothes and bedding etc. he couldn’t remember picking any up! Oh no, he thought to himself, I really hope I did.
Reaching Emily’s home, the group bust through the side gate, straight into the back garden where they found her Mum relaxing on the patio, enjoying the glorious afternoon sunshine.
“Mum! Mum! Look who found us at the park!” Emily was making an exaggerated point of pretending that she’d not seen her Mum only a short time ago, and that they hadn’t spoke since the other 3 girls had arrived.
Cottoning on, Lisa played along to help keep Lucy’s cover. She explained to Emily that the girls had arrived when they were out, so she’d sent them looking for her. And then, turning to Danielle, Katy and Laura she told them that their bags were up in Emily’s bedroom if they needed anything from them.
“We’re going to….Sorry, I mean, Mum can we set the hot tub up please? We’d like to go in in later, if that’s ok with you I mean?” Em blushed, she’d gotten carried away in her excitement, and didn’t want her Mum to get mad at her for not asking permission first.
“Of course you can sweetheart. It’ll take a few hours to fill and warm up though, so why don’t you go and get it sorted now so that it will be ready after tea? It’s meant to be a nice evening, so you can stay out there late if you like, so long as you don’t annoy the neighbours. I’ll give me a bit of peace anyway!
“Thanks Mummy!….erm, Mum!” Em squealed with joy, and grabbed Lisa around the waist, dancing around her excitedly, and just catching and correcting herself when ‘mummy’ slipped out unexpectedly. “Come on girls, I’ll show you where it is and what we need to do. Dan, hope you’re feeling strong, it’s really heavy.”5
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