Daniel returned to join the others in the hot tub, once again launching him self in quite spectacularly, and splashing everybody else in the process.
“DANIEL!” The girls shouted indignantly, as they wiped the water from their faces and shook their hair. And then Em continued “Honestly, there’ll be no water left if you carry on doing that! Where did you run off to anyway?”
“Just to the loo, and then your Mum was up there sorting the laundry, so we had a bit of a chat. Sorry, I was freezing by the time I got back down here so just wanted to jump back in!”
“You mean to say you went all the way upstairs, dripping wet, just to go for a wee?” She rolled her eyes at him in disbelief as she said this. “You do know you could have just…”
“Emily, that’s disgusting! I’m 11 years old, I’m NOT going to wee in the hot tub. Ewww.”
The group erupted into hysterical laughter at this, interspersed with squeals of “Ewwwww”, although a couple of them did blush slightly, as it they maybe weren’t quite so disgusted by the suggestion as they were letting on, and Emily looked quite uncomfortable as she tried to stutter a reply.
“I didn’t…I mean..not, oh for heavens sake! I meant behind a bush or something, not here in the water. Although let’s be honest, how many of you really get out of the sea, or the swimming pool if you need to wee? This isn’t much different.”
The blushing girls nodded, and even Daniel acknowledged that he’d freely wee in the sea, and maybe even in the pool if he didn’t want to get out. “Definitely not in the hot tub though” he remarked “That would be like weeing in the bath and then lying in it. And there’s nothing worse than lying in your own wee, believe me.”
Almost before he’d finished speaking, he seemed to realise what he’d said, and could have kicked himself. Whilst Em, Lucy and Becks all knew about his little problem, the other girls had no idea, and he really wanted to keep it that way, especially from Danielle. Blushing profusely and wearing a look of horror, he tried to pretend that he’d not said anything, hoping the moment would pass and that the others hadn’t picked up on it.
“Whadd’ya mean Dan, do you often lie in your own wee?” Danielle had noticed his slip-up, and not knowing the back story wondered what on earth he had meant by it.
Groaning, Daniel cast a glance around at Em and Lucy, hoping that they’d help to dig him out of this hole he seem to have landed in, particularly as it was Em who had tripped him into it in the first place.
“Of course I don’t, Danielle, that would just be horrible. But…well, you know…”
Becky stepped up to the mark, doing her best to rescue their friend and help to keep his secret. “ Hands up, when I was little, I used to wee in the bath. And yeah, it is pretty disgusting now I think about it, but that’s what little kids do, isn’t it?”
Taking her lead, Lucy made her own little admission too, hoping it was enough to take the heat off Dan. “I don’t remember weeing in the bath, probably because I used to share with Jack and that would have been REALLY minging. But when I was really, really little, if I ever had an accident, there was nothing worse that waking up in a bed full of your own wee, ewwww. So yeah I know what Dan meant, even though I certainly don’t do it anymore!”
Daniel looked as though he could have hugged both girls, and probably kissed them too for that matter. They’d come through for him, helped him to cover his blunder and keep his secret. He’d always been a bit of a loner, having mates but never really any close friends, but now he realised just how it felt to have people who cared about him and would put themselves in the firing line to protect him, and his heart was overflowing. If he hadn’t known earlier that he’d made the right choice, he was absolutely certain of it now.
Mouthing “Thank You” to both girls, he turned to face Danielle, a steely determination in his eyes. Feeling a strength he’d never known before, he knew what he had to do, and he knew that it was right to do it now.
“Actually, Danielle, maybe I know a little more about lying in puddles of my own wee than you might expect. Thanks Becks and Luce for stepping up and protecting me, but do you know what? I’m not ashamed of who I am, and I’m not going to be laughed at or thought any less of because of it. So, the truth…” Dan now addressed Danielle, Katie and Laura directly, as they were the ones who didn’t know his secret. He didn’t realise it at the time, but as he was speaking, Lucy had grabbed hold of his hand tightly.
“The reason I haven’t been to a sleepover before, and the reason I nearly didn’t come to this one, is that even thought I’m 11, I sometimes still wet the bed. You probably think that makes me a baby, and that’s what I’ve always thought too, I’ve always been embarrassed and ashamed, wanting to hide away because of it. But it’s not something I can help, so why should I let it rule what I can and can’t do with my life? These three – “ He motioned towards Emily, Lucy and Becky with a wave of his hand “ – they know, I told them about it earlier today, and they convinced me to stay and showed me that it doesn’t matter. They were going to help me keep it a secret from the rest of you, but now I realise that it shouldn’t have to be hidden. It’s just a little problem I sometimes have, that’s all.”
Dan ended his monologue with a deep sigh as if a massive weight had been lifted from his shoulders. It was then that he noticed Lucy’s hand, wrapped tightly around his, and turning to look at her he saw a look of pride in on her face and just a single tear rolling down one cheek.
“Well done, that was so brave.” Was all she could say, squeezing his hand tightly again. In response, le leaned over and kissed her ever so gently on the cheek.
The group broke into spontaneous applause, both at what Dan had just said and also his and Lucy’s little exchange afterwards, although Danielle was noticeably quiet, feeling a little chastened having been put in her place and realising the she’d been made to look a little foolish in front of her friends, which she really hated.
“S..sorry Dan, I didn’t mean anything by it.” she murmured, although inside feelings of anger had joined her worry and fear that lingered after watching the movie, making for a very unhappy girl as the others resumed their playfulness around her.3
Audio Version of Chapter