Ellie spluttered, a deep blush rising up her face. She hadn’t been expecting that! Trust Lucy to notice, she’d never have picked up on something like that.
“Oh, erm…yeah…well…I needed something something to put on this morning, didn’t I? Borrowing your ‘jarmas on top of everything else would have been a bit weird wouldn’t it, so I slept in the black ones and then wore the purple ones to come home.” Tripping over her words, Ellie knew she was nothing like convincing, it sounded pretty lame even to her, and she just hoped that Lucy would believe her and leave it at that. She couldn’t possibly explain that not only had she wet herself in public aged 13, but that she’d done it TWICE on the same day, and the second time wearing Lucy’s leggings and undies too.
Lucy was far from convinced, however, the nervous look across Ellie’s now crimson face, the stuttering and stammering, and the completely see-through story all giving away the fact that her friend wasn’t being entirely honest. That, and the fact she’d noticed the PJ’s that Ellie must have borrowed the night before balled up on the floor next to her bed when they’d called at home for her Mum to shower, so it just didn’t add up.
“Come on Ellie, you’ll have to try harder than that!” Hoping her hunch was right, Lucy persisted with her gentle interrogation. “If you didn’t wear my purple fleecy ‘jarmas last night, then which of your brothers did? Surely they’d be far too big on them!”
Knowing she was beat, and not wanting to dig herself any deeper into a hole, Ellie gave Lucy a sheepish look before holding her upturned hands out in a sign of surrender. “Honestly Luce, nothing gets past you does it! How’d you do it? Haha. I’m gunna have to watch my back in September when you start at my school aren’t I. Ok, ok, you’ve got me. This is another one of those pinky promise moments though, got it? Not a word, ever. And if you laugh I’ll never tell you another secret” And, satisfying herself that the younger girl understood the seriousness of the situation, taking in her very ‘matter of fact’ nod and the look of concentration across her feature, Ellie went on, feeling sick as she did so and realising just how vulnerable she was leaving herself. She really hoped she could trust Lucy as much as she thought she could, or she’d be finished.
“Ok, well, yes you’re right I did borrow your fleece PJ’s, they’re super snuggly aren’t they, you’ll have to tell me where you got them from, I’d love a pair. Anyway, I guess that tells you that I didn’t sleep in the black leggings I borrowed at the theme park too, doesn’t it? And eagle eyed as you are you’re spot on that I wore your purple leggings home this morning. I could try telling you that I’m some super clean-freak and never wear the same clothes twice or something, but clearly you’re not going to believe that, so…”
Ellie’s voice wavered, she was clearly struggling to put whatever it was that was eating away at her into words, and Lucy began to feel uncomfortable at pushing her new friend when this was so difficult for her. “El, whatever it is, it really doesn’t matter. Don’t worry, it’s cool, you don’t have to tell me. If you ever want to then you know where I am, but don’t get yourself so upset over it.” And she found herself once more reaching an arm around the teens waist and pulling her into a friendly embrace, a show of real understanding which Ellie felt much more deeply than just the physical contact.
Her heart warmed by the unexpected display of affection and solidarity, Ellie managed a weak smile before continuing. “ Well, the truth Luce is, and I’m sorry I know it’s pretty minging because I was wearing your clothes and all, but I had another little accident before we left the park to head back to yours. We went to the 4D cinema to watch the new DinoWorld movie, and I realised I needed to go for a wee – I’d drank way too much pop with lunch – but I didn’t want to miss the film or disturb the others, plus I know I may not seem it haha but I’m really quite shy and hate asking for the bathroom. I had no idea where the loos were, so figured I’d just hang on until the end and go then. No problem, I’m 13 after all, I can go a whole school day without having a wee normally, so a couple of hours would be fine. Have you ever been to one of those 4D cinemas though? They really take over your head, I was completely lost in the action – it was AMAZING! Then there was this massive explosion which came out of nowhere, and the next thing I know I’m not in pain anymore and I don’t need to go for a wee. It took me a while to realise what had happened, and then I just felt completely sick, you know? In my head I was panicking, I had no idea what I was going to do, I just kept thinking ‘Oh shit!’ and I was on the verge of bursting into tears, but somehow managed to stop myself as I knew I’d be found out if I did that, and there was no way I was going to let anybody know this had happened. I had to hide it, somehow, I just had to”.
Pausing for breathe after her monologue, having been determined to get it all out in one go as she knew that it was the only way she’d be able to without breaking down or clamming up, Ellie chanced a glance up at Lucy who was sat staring at her, mouth wide open, clearly in shock.
“Please don’t hate me Luce. Please don’t think I’m just a big baby. Please…please just say something??”6
Audio Version of Chapter