It was after 3am when Danielle awoke with a jolt, completely disoriented. It took her a few moments to remember where she was, and then a short while longer to figure out exactly what had roused her from her slumber. When she did, however, she barrenly managed to stop herself from screaming out.
“No, no noooooooo!” She mumbled under her breath, struggling to keep her emotions in check as tears sprang from her eyes and she felt herself shaking uncontrollably. As she lay there crying in despair, she reached a hand out under her bedding, confirming her very worst fears. She didn’t know how, or why, but she had wet the bed!
This NEVER happened to her, not for years and years, and she just couldn’t quite believe that it had happened now, tonight of all nights. Why? It would have been humiliating enough had this happened at home, but with her friends all around her, she was absolutely mortified and had no idea what she was going to do. She had to find a way to hide it, there’s no way they can find out, she’d never be able to live it down.
Panic began to set in, she had no idea what time it was, or whether any of the others were awake or would be waking up soon. Frantically grasping around in her sleeping bag, she found her phone and tapped the screen to wake it up. Seeing that it was the early hours, a vague sense of relief washed over her. At least they should stay asleep for a while yet whilst she tried to think of something, that’s if they’ve actually gone to bed yet? Rolling over, but keeping her head covered, she squinted out from under the cover and could see what looked like Daniel half-hanging off the side of the bed, clearly flat out.
Chancing sitting upright, it took a few moments for Danielle’s eyes to adjust to the dim light in the room properly, but as everything came into focus she could clearly see the entangled heap of her friends on top of the bed, and fortunately none of them seemed to be awake. Maybe, just maybe she’d be able to find away to get away with this. She’d need help though, she thought to herself, and for a minute she was tempted to gently wake either Katie or Laura, her closest friends in the group, until she remembered just how badly she’d behaved last night when they were playing Truth or Dare. There’s no way I can ask them for help now, not after that. They’d probably tell the whole world that I’m a stupid, bedwetting baby, and I guess I’d deserve it too, as that’s exactly what I am!
Kicking herself for being so horrible the previous night, Danielle racked her brains trying to think of something. All she could come up with was getting her Dad to come and pick her up – it would be super embarrassing of course, but better than her friends finding out. Yeah, that’s what she’d have to do, and then she’d get her Dad to ring Lisa in the morning to tell her that she’d felt homesick or something. Perfect! The others wouldn’t need to know a thing, they’d probably just think she’d gone home because of the argument, as she’d said that she wished she hadn’t gone to the sleepover anyway – at the time she hadn’t meant that at al, it had just been anger and frustration talking…but right now, oh she really wished she’d stayed at home.
Careful not to disturb the others, she crept across the bedroom and gently opened the door, cringing as the soaking wet nightie she was wearing clung to her legs uncomfortably. Padding nervously across the landing to the bathroom, constantly looking up and down to make sure nobody was watching her, she only relaxed again once the door was closed and bolted behind her. Standing in front of the tall bathroom mirror, and catching sight of herself for the first time with a large wet stain spreading across most of the nightdress she’d borrowed from Emily, she broke down in racking sobs, absolutely devastated by what had happened. It was that damned bottle of pop I had to drink for the stupid game, she thought angrily. That’s what’s caused this, if I’d not had to do that then I wouldn’t have had all of this to worry about! What she felt, more than anything, was an overwhelming sense of shame.
It was obviously far too late for her to need to use the bathroom, but she’d thought that at least in here she may have a little privacy to try to call her Dad, as the last thing she needed was one of the others overhearing her. It was going to be bad enough without that! Taking her phone with a trembling hand, she found his contact and listened to the ringing tone on the other end of the line. It took 4 attempts before he picked up, and she was just about to give up and try to come up with another plan.
Danielle’s father yawned loudly as he spoke “Hello? Danielle, is that you Princess? Is everything ok?”
Hearing her Dad’s voice made her resolve crumble, and she wailed far more loudly than she had intended “Daaaaaaaaddddyyyyyy! I hadda accident.”
Hearing the pain and distress in his daughters voice, her Dad was immediately alert. “What’s happened sweetheart, what’s the matter? Try to calm down ok, I can’t help until I know what’s wrong.”
Sniffling as she tried to compose herself, Danielle did her best to explain to her dad what had happened. “We were playing Truth or Dare, dad, and I had to drink a full bottle of pop. Then there was a row, and I went to bed without going for a wee. It must be that, I’ve never, ever wet my bed before daddy. Oh why did it have to happen here. Please, please can I come home. Please come and get me, before the others see. Please daddy, please.”
Sighing, her dad understood. At 11 years old, he thought the days of him getting called to collect his daughter because she’d not made it to the toilet in time were long gone, but clearly not. Still, she was his little girl and he’d do absolutely anything for her, so there was no question, of course he’d go and collect her.
“I’m on my way sweetie. Have you told your friends Mum? I don’t think you should really disappear in the middle of the night without her knowing, she may worry. If you don’t want to tell her the truth, how about you were feeling homesick?”
Relief swept over Danielle, he was coming for her, which meant she was going to get away with this after all. Nobody else would ever know, she was saved.
“Thank Dad, I love you, I really do. Yeah I’ll wake her up when I’ve cleaned up and got changed. I’ll see you real soon, please hurry.”
Agreeing to be as fast as he could, they ended the phone call, and after giving her face a quick wipe to clean away the tears, Danielle realised that she’d not brought any dry clothes with her, so she’d have to go back over to Emily’s bedroom.
An unintended consequence of her breaking down when her Dad answered the phone, was that her wailing had disturbed Lisa. She hadn’t actually heard the sounds clearly, but had sensed the disturbance in her sleep, and being a light sleeper this had roused her. Not suspecting anything amiss, she simply thought that her nagging bladder had woken her once more, as it so often did these days, so pulling on a dressing gown and slippers she staggered out onto the landing, and bumped right into Danielle who was just creeping out of the bathroom.
Like a rabbit caught in car headlights, Danielle froze on the spot, horrified. She didn’t know what to say or do, which way to look, and her gut instinct was just to run, but where to?
Still half asleep, it took Lisa a moment to take in the scene before her and to understand. First she noticed the horror etched on the young girls features, then the tear stains on her face, and finally, the unmistakable stain across her nightie.
“Oh, sweetie! Come here.” And she held out welcoming arms to Danielle, who fell into them gratefully, tears once more spilling down her face.
“M…my Dad’s c..c…coming to get me.” She stuttered, struggling to catch her breath between sobs.
“You don’t have to go anywhere love, don’t worry. These things happen, but we can sort it I’m sure. It can be our little secret.”
Shaking her head, Danielle explained that she’d phoned her Dad already, and he was on his way. She needed to get changed quickly before he arrived.
“Oh lovey, well done you for being so mature and trying to sort it all out yourself. But you really didn’t need to do that, that’s what I’m here for, to help when I’m needed. Are you sure you don’t want to stay? We can phone your Dad back…”
Danielle again shook her head insistently. She was petrified that if she stayed, they others would somehow find out, and then she’d be a laughing stock, especially after how she’d treated them yesterday.
“Well, if that’s what you want. Don’t worry, I’ll cover with Emily and the rest in the morning, so nobody will know what happened. Go on then, you go and get yourself sorted. Chuck that old nightie in the wash, I’ll sort it. I’ll go and pop the kettle on, no doubt your Dad will need a brew after being woken up so early!”
Danielle felt absolutely disgusted with herself as she pulled off the saturated nightshirt and her sodden undies, slipping into fresh clothes from her bag and deciding to jump in the shower when she was home. She tossed the nightie into the washing basket as Lisa had suggested, making sure to pile some of Emily’s washing from the floor on top to hide it from view, and the quickly rolled up her sleeping bag, flinching again as her bare arms came into contact with the large damp patch in the fabric. Satisfied that she’d taken care of everything, she hastily made her way downstairs to await her dad’s arrival, hoping he wouldn’t take long…and really hoping he’d decline the offer to stay for a drink, as she didn’t think she could bare the shame of sitting there whilst they made polite small talk. She just wanted a shower, clean PJ’s and her own dry bed.
When her dad did finally arrive, nearly 20 minutes later, as soon as he set eyes on him Danielle broke down completely, sobbing loudly and unable to control her emotions. She fell into his arms, and despite being 11 was quite content to allow him to carry her out to the car. The man thanked Lisa for her help, but politely declined the offer of a hot drink, keen to get his daughter home where hopefully she would calm down and be able to return to bed for a couple more hours rest.
After seeing them off, and securing the front door again, Lisa made herself a quick cup of tea to take back upstairs to bed, and then after taking the opportunity to pay a visit to the loo as she’d been intending to when she’d stumbled across poor wet and weeping Danielle on the landing, she slipped back into her own bed. The rest of the kids had miraculously slept through the early morning disturbance, for which she was glad as it would help to spare Danielle’s blushes, and she was confident that she’d be able to smooth things over in the morning.7
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