For a moment Ellie regarded Lucy’s proffered finger carefully, before extending her own and wrapping it tightly around her new friends, the two becoming firmly intertwined. Then, without warning, she burst out laughing.
“Oh My God Lucy, pinkie promises? What are we, a pair of five year olds? Haha. Thank you though, I guess you really mean it that you won’t tell a soul, don’t you? After all, we may not be 5 any more, but NOBODY breaks a pinkie promise!”
At Ellie’s eruption of laughter Lucy’s face set in horror, afraid she’d done completely the wrong thing and humiliated herself in front of her new, older and much more mature friend. Pinkie promises were something babies did, after all. The only time she ever did them normally was with her annoying little brother…but then she realised the absurdity of the situation herself, and before Ellie had finished speaking she was giggling just as much, it was ridiculous that at 11 and 13 they were doing something that infant school kids would do, there was no denying that, but despite their maturity this was a real pinkie promise situation, and nothing else would have done.
“I mean It El, I swear. You can tell me anything at all. I’d NEVER break a pinkie promise.” Now it was Lucy’s turn to look solemn, she genuinely meant what she said, she’d never, ever break a friends confidence, and that’s what Ellie was now, a real true friend.
“Ok, well hear me out then, and try not to interrupt, it’s going to be difficult enough to say all of this as it is. If you want to ask anything then try to wait until I’ve finished if you can, or I’ll probably not be able to without crying yet again. So, as you know I met your brother and his friend yesterday at DinoLand. We were waiting to go on one of the rides, and the queues were massive, so by the time we got to the front I needed a wee quite badly, and had planned to go as soon as we got off. Then here was a kerfuffle over the pods only seating 3, so Dad and the boys got in one and I was going to ride on my own. Then they weren’t going to let Tom and Jack ride without an adult, and I thought that was pretty mean as they were tall enough and had waited in line just as long as we had, so I said they could come in with me. It was actually a really good rollercoaster, probably the best one there, not like all of the little kiddy rides they have – but something went wrong, and just as we got to the top of the highest bit the ride stopped, it had broken down!”
“Oh no!!” Cried Lucy, petrified as she was of heights. Then she quickly covered her mouth with her hand and glanced apologetically at Ellie, who had rolled her eyes at the interruption. “Sorry” Lucy mumbled from behind her hand.
“Yeah, it wasn’t great. I mean I wouldn’t normally have been all that bothered, other than it being a pain in the ass being stuck, but when you really need to wee the last place you want to be stuck is at the top of a broken down rollercoaster! They were trying to fix it, and kept making announcements and stuff, but all the while I was getting more and more desperate. Your Jack and his mate were fantastic though, trying to distract me after I told them what was wrong, but in the end that was my undoing. You see, they started telling jokes…and there was this one joke that was actually really, really rude but oh so funny. I don’t think got the double meaning, at least at their age I really hope they didn’t haha, but I did and I just couldn’t stop myself from laughing harder than I’ve ever laughed before. A word of warning Luce, if you’re ever really desperate for a wee and stuck in a fairground ride, don’t laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed before!”
Lucy’s eyes were wide now, for all of her moody teenage demeanour she was a really good storyteller, and she’d captured Lucy’d imagination entirely. The young girl could almost picture the three of them stuck up there in mid-air, and her own events of the previous week told her the horror of what poor Ellie must be about to experience in her memories.
“Well there I was, stuck in mid air, laughing and weeing, all control lost. It took me a few seconds to realise what was happening, and of course as soon as I did I managed to stop, but it was too late, the damage was done. I was wearing jeans, and even a quick glance down showed a massive wet stain. There was no way I was going to be able to hide it. At 13 years old I’d just wet my pants in public for the first time in…well, yeah it was a disaster! I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to do, so I just burst into tears. And to make matters worse, I needed to wee more badly than ever after stopping, with no sign of being able to get down anytime soon.”
Instinctively Lucy moved herself over next to Ellie and put an arm around her, leaning against her new friend and hoping that she was imparting some small comfort. After all, she knew the shame of wetting herself in the worst place possible – and at least Ellie’s had been an accident, not on purpose.
“The boys wanted to know why I was sobbing, of course, so I had to come clean. Have you any idea how embarrassing it is as a 13 year old admitting to a couple of 7 year olds that you’ve just wet yourself? They were incredible by the way, you’ve got one hell of a brother there, but it was still awful. Now, and this is where that pinky swear really comes into its own because if you breathe a word of this to another living person then I’ll make sure the whole of my school knows about your little accident, sorry I know that sounds harsh but I can’t believe I’m about to tell you this….well, as I said I still need to go and really, really badly by this stage. Chances are I wasn’t going to make it back down to the ground without wetting myself more, so in the end the boys convinced me to just do it rather than sitting there in pain. So I did. Yup, I wet myself the rest of the way on purpose, and I won’t lie after being so uncomfortable it did feel good for about a fraction of a nanosecond, until I realised what I’d done. If there’d been no hiding it earlier, there really wasn’t now, I was absolutely drenched – and sorry for the TMI – but it was running down my legs and pooling underneath me on the ride seat. I’d not had an accident so spectacularly since I was in primary school.”
Lucy noticed a single stray tear falling down her friends face, showing just how deeply this experience had affected her and continued to affect her, and she gave a warm squeeze of reassurance as Ellie went on with her tale.
“Would you believe it, almost as soon as I’d finished seeing the damned ride was fixed and we were on our way back down to the ground! Now there’s nothing I could have done about my first little accident, of course, but that may have been easier to explain than having totally soaked myself. Now I would have to come clean and ask my Dad for help. He was an absolute diamond, of course, I mean you’ve met him haven’t you so you know what he’s like? He went straight off to the gift shop to find me some new clothes to wear…but even that went horribly wrong. It’s quite a kiddy kinda theme park, so lots of dinosaur suits and stuff like that, but not really any clothes that you or I would wear, if you know what I mean? He did his best, but he came back with the only thing they had in my size, this absolutely horrible fluffy dinosaur nightie. I mean, yuk! You should have seen it, I wish I’d taken a photo so you could see how babyish it was. There was no way I could wear that, I think I’d have rather kept me wee’d in jeans on for everybody to see, and that’s saying something.
Now it was Lucy’s turn to feel a little uncomfortable, for she knew that she owned a particularly babyish DinoWorld fluffy nightie that sounded just like the one Ellie was describing, and she loved it although she’d never admit to it of course. She tried to give what she hoped was a sympathetic smile, and hoped her features didn’t give anything away.
“Well, I was a horrible brat I’m ashamed to admit, and I kicked off and made a real fuss about what he’d bought. It wasn’t his fault, I knew that, but I was just so embarrassed and I showed myself up. That’s when your Mum came to the rescue – she went after Dad when he was going to return the damned nightie and came back with your black leggings and some undies for me to borrow. I was saved! That was when I messaged you, sat in the toilet stall after I’d changed into your clothes.”
“Erm, Ellie?” Lucy asked questioningly, a look of confusion across her face. “My BLACK leggings you say? Well I noticed the pile of clothes on the end of your sofa downstairs, they’re definitely mine as I recognised the hoodie…and it’s cool, good choice! But the leggings are my purple ones?”5
Audio Version of Chapter