Katie’s Dad arrived to take her home not long afterwards, and offered Becky a lift as they lived just around the corner from each other. After a hurried phone call to make sure that her Mum wasn’t already on the way, she gratefully accepted. Hugging both Em and Lucy goodbye, as Katie had just done, she then held out a hand to Daniel. He looked at it a little confused for a second, before realising that she wanted him to shake it.
“Bit formal don’t you think Becks?” He chuckled, grabbing her hand and then pulling her in to a hug. “See ya both at school tomorrow, yeah?”
The two girls climbed into the back of Katie’s dad’s car, although Becky was a little put out when he insisted that she sit on a booster seat, just like Katie. He was a Police officer, and quite a stickler for the rules, reminding them both as they protested that by law they had to use one until they were 12, as neither of them was yet tall enough to go without. Katie was used to this, of course, and didn’t put up much of a fuss – although she was embarrassed that her Dad had made a scene in front of her friends – but Becky pouted and very nearly said that she’d wait for her Mum after all. Just like Lucy, she was very image conscious, and liked to be thought of as grown un and mature, whereas Katie and Laura were quite content with still being kids, and had no intention of growing up any time soon. Being strapped into a kids booster seat wasn’t great for the image, and Becky blushed as she saw Lucy, Em and Dan all giggling.
The car pulled away, leaving just the three kids who decided to kill a bit of time chilling in the back garden, not wanting to start actually ‘doing’ anything just in case either Lucy or Daniel’s mum arrived to take them home, and besides they were all worn out after their late night and the fun and games yesterday. They ended up sat in a circle, cross legged on the lawn just chatting and laughing easily with Em gently teasing the other two about their ‘budding romance’, which neither of them bothered to deny.
“Thanks, you two, for being their yesterday. Telling you all my little secret was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it and to stay for the sleepover without your support. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on things like this all my life, and all because of something so stupid.”
Lucy felt a lump rising in her throat at this little speech, and turning to Dan she grabbed his hand in hers “Well, I don’t know about Em, but I love you just the way you are. I’m so glad you came, truly.”
“Thanks Luce. I’m glad too. And, typically, I got myself all worried and worked up about it, and then it was Danielle and not me who ended up wetting the bed, crazy!”
“Daniel!” Em stretched out her leg and kicked him had in the shin, shaking her head in disbelief. “You weren’t supposed to tell anybody, remember. You promised! Boys, honestly. Don’t ever let this one in on any secrets Luce, or before you know it he’ll have told the whole world.”
Dan had the decency to look a little sheepish, lowering his head as he realised his mistake, whilst Lucy’s eyes nearly popped out of her head in astonishment. “WHAT?!? Danielle…Danielle wet the bed? After everything she said last night and the way she teased poor Becks for admitting to an accident? You’ve got to be kidding. That’s…that’s…”
“That’s enough, Luce”. Em admonished, shaking her head. “Look, nobody is supposed to know what happened, not even me. Now I know Danielle was pretty out of order last night, but I think she’s learned her lesson the very hard, very embarrassing way. We all know accidents can happen to anybody, and now Danielle has figured that out too. She won’t be giving anybody else a hard time about it again in the future I’m sure. So we say no more about it, agreed?”
They all agreed, although Lucy a little reluctantly, as she was still hurting over how Danielle had treated her best friend, and had been quite looking forward to having something over her for a change. Em was right though, it sucked to have an accident, and she remembered just how awful she’d felt waking up to wet sheets. It had been bad enough having that happen so unexpectedly at home, but at a sleepover would have ben catastrophic and mortifying. No wonder poor Danielle had gone home, she must have been so ashamed, so maybe she had paid the price for what she’d done.
Before they could change the subject, Lucy’s phone rang. Nobody but her Mum ever phoned her, everybody else sent messages, so she knew who it was before he’d even fished it out of her pocket.
“Hi Sweetie, have you had a good time?” Lesley enquired, and Lucy could hear from the echo that her Mum must be driving, talking to her through the hands free kit in her car.
“Hey Mum! Yeah it’s been awesome. We went to the park, played Truth or Dare and even had a go in Lisa’s hot tub. And, guess what, Dan stayed too. We’ve had the bestest time ever.”
“Wow, you guys sound like you’ve been busy! Who’s Dan, is he a boyfriend you’ve been keeping hidden from me?”
“Muuuuuuuuuuum! You’re so embarrassing! He’s really cu..cool though, I’ll tell you all about him later.” Lucy was conscious that Dan was sat beside her, looking particularly embarrassed by this conversation, and didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. She very nearly told her Mum that he was really cute, but thought the better of it, saving that for later when they could have a proper girly chat together.
“Sorry love, he sounds nice though, I look forward to hearing all about him. I’ve got a bit of a surprise for you too actually, how do you fancy going out for tea tonight to meet a friend of mine?” Lesley could tell from the tone of Lucy’s voice that she’d hit the nail on the head, and there was definitely more to this Dan than just being a ‘cool friend’, but she’d let her daughter tell her when she was ready.
“Oh, you mean Ellie’s Dad? Yeah, sounds good, she told me earlier.”
“Oh…do you two know each other then? I hadn’t realised”
“Not exactly Mum. Well, yeah I guess we kinda do now, but we’ve never properly met yet. She found me online yesterday after you guys had met up, and we’ve been chatting. I can’t believe that Graham stayed over the first night you’d met him, haha, that’s brilliant!”
On the other end of the phone, Lesley nearly choked as she heard this. She’d have to warn Graham that there were spies in the camp, on both sides, so they’d have to be careful if they were getting up to no good. “You’re remarkably well informed young lady, I have to say. Ok, well we can have a chat about my love life as well as yours, can’t we. I was only ringing to say that I’m on my way over to get you, so we’ve got time to get changed before heading out. I’ll be there in ten minutes or so, if you want to get your stuff ready?”
Agreeing to be ready to go in ten minutes, Lucy ended the call and then explained to her friends that it was time for her to go, promising to fill them in on her Mum’s mystery new fella, and of course Ellie, once she’d met them.2
Audio Version of Chapter