Ellie was absolutely speechless, completely floored by that revelation. What on earth could Lucy mean? Ok, so when disaster had struck whilst she was stuck up on the rollercoaster, she’d ‘finished the deed’ deliberately rather than continuing to suffer, but she’d already had an accident by that point – and it was very much an accident – so how could Lucy say that her accident in class wasn’t really an accident?
“Whaaaaaaat?!?” Ellie squeaked, dumbfounded. “What do you mean it wasn’t really an accident? You surely don’t mean you just wet yourself, in class, in year 6, on purpose? I mean, really Luce, that’s just weird if that’s what you mean!”
Lucy’s eyes immediately widened in horror and tears began to prickle at them, for one horrible moment she thought she’d done completely the wrong thing and her mind became whirlwind of emotions as she panicked that Ellie wasn’t who she had thought after all, that she was just going to be as bad as all the bullies and, worse, she’d just let her in on her deepest, darkest secret. She was finished.
“Oh, no, I’m so sorry Luce, that was out of order. I shouldn’t have interrupted you, and worse than that I should never have said what I just did. Who am I to call you weird? I’ve just admitted to wetting YOUR pants, after all, haha!” Ellie had seen the sudden change in her friends demeanour, and could see the tears threatening to fall from her wide eyes. She hadn’t meant to hurt the younger girl, it had just come as a bit of a shock and she’d spoken out of instinct, kicking herself immediately as she realised what she’d said.
Lucy managed a wan, watery smile at her reaction – Ellie had put her foot in her mouth, and nearly given her a heart attack in the process, but she was no stranger to such moments herself and she felt the panic slipping away as quickly as it had risen in her, understanding that no harm was meant.
“It’s ok El, I’m just a bit touchy about it all, that’s all.”
Lucy then quickly recounted what had taken place that fateful morning in school, explaining all about the forgotten homework and the big sleepover that she was so worried about missing – promising to fill Ellie in properly about that later, now that it had already taken place – and then her ridiculous plan to try and get out of school, where it all went so horribly wrong for her. The older girl sat in shocked silence as she took it all in, not quite managing to stifle a gasp at the point where Lucy wet herself completely, and then reached a caring arm around her shoulders as she became visibly upset recalling the immediate aftermath of her spectacular “accident”.
Emboldened by the compassion of her friend, she went on, talking her through the trip to the office, the kindly secretary who did so much to help her and fateful telephone calls to the head teacher and her Mum which had led to her having to stay at school despite what had happened. Ellie squeezed her tighter as she felt the girl faltering again, not uttering a sound but making her presence and support known.
As Lucy told her about the gingham summer dress that she’d had not choice but to wear, Ellie’s composure cracked and she couldn’t help but burst out laughing, remembering the ghastly dresses all too well and imagining for a moment the cool, mature looking girl wearing one. She just couldn’t help herself, some of the story had been harrowing but this mental image had her in stitches, and it was contagious, with Lucy sniggering herself and soon finding herself in the midst of an incorrigible fit of the giggles.
As they tried to regain control of themselves, the living room door creaked open and in wandered Jack, puffy eyed and grey faced,, wondering what the commotion was all about.
“Remember what I said El, that stays between us. Not a word to ANYBODY else.” Lucy spoke in hushed, conspiratorial tones whilst looking pointedly at her little brother, who was standing rather awkwardly staring at them,
Audio Version of Chapter