Hi again! Long time, no see!
Way back when I posted “Babysat for the Weekend,” I said I had a second completed story I would post and then never did XD sorry about that! yall, college is so much harder during a pandemic and you’ve been quarantined for a year and all of your neurodivergency symptoms are getting worse because of it XD it’s all good though, your girl did it, she killed it, she’s done with her coursework and gets to start doing research for her dissertation…but yeah I did forget to post the story, please forgive XD
Anyway! All of your likes and kind comments on my last story meant so much to me, so thank you for that! I hope yall will like this one too, but I’ll say up front that it’s a very different story. This story is darker, much more of a forced age regression type of story, and, to be blunt, it’s a bit smuttier. So maybe it will appeal to some of you more than “Babysat for the Weekend” did, and for some less, but I do hope you enjoy either way! Oh, also! This is definitely a little rough in the editing department, nothing horrendous and nothing that should impede understanding, just a few grievous typos is all XD
A Much Needed Vacation
Gravel crunched under my tires as I turned off the paved road down a narrow passage through the thick trees and other foliage. I hated driving on gravel roads, not least of all because, having grown up in the suburbs, gravel roads made me wonder if I was really were I was supposed to be or if I had gotten lost. My phone had long since lost reception and without GPS to rely on I had to double check the printed directions I brought with me to make sure I had the right turn off. This seemed like the place though, so I drove on through the gravel. I hated being bounced around haphazardly and couldn’t help but wonder if imminent engine failure was upon me every time a stray rock pinged off the underside of my car. My usual discomfort over this was only amplified by the claustrophobia of having the trees so close to me on either side, threatening to smack my windshield, scratch the paint, and rip away my side mirrors. At least the car was a rental.
Somehow, though, I made it through unscathed and the narrow gravel road leading through the trees became a short gravel driveway that ended just off to the side of a quaint, Victorian style house with a wraparound porch. Behind the house, a lake with glistening water stretched out for what seemed like forever. Although I couldn’t see it at that moment, I knew from the pictures on the rental site that a small, covered patio in the rear of the house led right up the water, with one portion of it jutting out over the lake to serve as a small, private dock.
This would be my sanctuary for the next week.
I threw the car into park and eagerly leaped out, my joints popping and protesting after sitting in the car for so long. I stretched, the motion and the knowledge that I was now officially on vacation loosening tension that had settled into my muscles and joints so deeply that I had almost forgotten what the absence of that tension felt like. That sensation of relaxation, however, reminded me that my joints and muscles were not the only parts of me protesting their treatment over the last few hours. The 64 ounces of soda that had once filled the plastic cup sitting in my car…no, jug would be the more appropriate term…was now filling my bladder and begging to be let out. Looking at my luggage in the backseat, I spent a moment internally debating whether I should start bringing them into the house now or come back for them, but the decision was quickly made for me as alarm bells starting ringing in my head and I instinctively pressed my thighs together.
Maybe it was the sudden shift from tense to relaxed, maybe it was the knowledge that my much-needed bathroom break was almost upon me, maybe it was something else, but I had suddenly gone from needing to pee pretty badly to needing to pee right that second, and having an accident seemed like an inauspicious start to my vacation.
Barely remember to slam the car door shut behind me, I dashed up the stops of the porch and to the front door, mindful of the way each step sent a jolt straight to my poor, abused bladder. My heart hit the ground when the doorknob refused to budge under my grip: locked. An image flashed through my mind of me pissing myself right here on the porch and for a moment I was sure it was a vision of my future, right up until I remember the email I had received from the landlord promising that I would find the key above the door frame. Moaning slightly, I stretched one arm upward, then stretched my whole body and lifted myself onto the balls of my feet in order to be tall enough to reach above the door frame. Between trying to stretch myself out and simultaneously clenching my muscles tightly enough to avoid an accident, I felt like I was about to snap. Frantically feeling along the top of the door frame, I breathed a sigh of relief when my fingers finally brushed an object that could only be a key.
My moment of relief was short lived, however, as the alarm bells in my head started ringing harder and faster. I could practically feel the floodgates beginning to weaken and crack and knew that any second they would burst. I was trembling and slightly bent over with one hand clutching my crotch as I fought to get the key in the hole. Finally, finally, the door swung open.
Thankfully, blessedly even, there was a bathroom near the front entrance, its door left wide open as if to announce its presence. Still, I had hobbled the last few feet of my journey, every shaky step threatening to finally jar loose the contents of my bladder. My bladder quailed and begged for release as I stood in front of the toilet trying to undo the buttons of my shorts, panic causing me to fumble around, and I almost just gave up as a sharp spike of pain shot through my lower stomach causing me to start dribbling into my panties, but I refused to let my struggle be in vain. At last, the button came loose and ripped my short down and practically threw myself on the toilet, the floodgates bursting at least even before I was seated.
“Fuck me,” I muttered, feeling vaguely like a slowly deflating balloon. Even once I was done peeing, which seemed to take a small eternity, I just sat there for a moment, my bladder feeling distended and still aching slightly. The panic that had filled me only moments ago had drained away with the contents of my bladder and I was left feeling overwhelming relief, albeit with an undercurrent of embarrassment at how close of a call it had been. Not to mention no small amount of happiness at the fact that no one had been here to see my undignified entrance.
When I was finally done basking the glow of relief, I took a moment to inspect my clothes. As expected, my panties were damp, but my denim shorts were untouched. Not wanting to just leave my damp panties on the floor of the bathroom and now having any other option, I pulled them and my shorts up, grimacing slightly at how noticeable the dampness was against my skin, and resolved to change as soon as I got my luggage in the house.
Walking out the front door of the lake house, I was surprised, startled even, to see to women walking the yard towards me. One was wearing a yellow, floral print sundress, the other a loose, flowing black skirt that went down to her ankles and a white, loose-fitting t-shirt. When they saw me, they both raised their hands in a wave that I tentatively returned.
“Hi,” I called out as I descended the stairs, “Can I help you?” I asked, trying to keep my voice level. It wasn’t that I felt like I had reason to be afraid, exactly, but I was unnerved by their sudden appearance at what was supposed to be a fairly isolated lake house.
“The better question is can we help you!” The one the sundress excitedly exclaimed with a slight giggle.
“We’re the landlords,” the second explained, “we were going to come out to get the house ready for you and welcome you, but it looks like you got here before us. I’m Madison, by the way, this is Sabrina, nice to meet you.” She held out her hand and I took it; her handshake was perhaps a little too firm.
“I’m Claire,” I said as I shook Sabrina’s hand, suddenly feeling very silly over my apprehension and thankful that they hadn’t arrived before me, or even just a few minutes earlier than they had. “I just got here, really. Just needed to run and use the restroom before I started carrying my luggage in.” I felt myself blush at the unnecessary information.
“Well, great!” Madison said, “Let us help you with your bags and we can show you around the house.”
I started to protest, to tell them that wasn’t necessary, but they were already moving towards the car and seemed implacable. The whole reason I had rented this house and taken a week off from work was to be completely and blissfully by myself for a while, but they seemed nice enough, and I could play hostess for a few minutes.
Three people made quick work of my luggage despite how much I had brought with me: I was a habitual over-packer. Madison and Sabrina took me straight to the master bedroom and then gave me a quick tour of the house. It wasn’t a big house, but I didn’t need to be big, just comfortable and quiet.
“Let me make you some tea!” Sabrina politely demanded as we ended the tour in the kitchen. She was grabbing the kettle that was already on the stove before she even finished. “Madison and I have the nicest little garden and we grow herbs and flowers and all sorts of stuff and Madison makes just the absolute best herbal tea with the harvest and you must have some I promise it’s just fantastic for relaxing it’s very soothing.” She rattled on without breath or pause as she filled the kettle, put it on the stove, and produced a metal tin and filter bags from the cupboard. “We always make sure our guests have some of this tea on hand,” she explained, “it’s like I said there simply isn’t anything that relaxes you more sometimes I have terrible trouble getting to sleep but this tea always puts me out and I just get the best sleep you should definitely have some tonight before bed too I promise you’ll sleep like a baby.”
Sabrina was bright and cheerful and exhausting to listen to, but she was charming and endearing in her own way too.
While Sabrina made the tea and extolled its virtues and relaxing properties, Madison began wondering through the house, tidying and straightening things that didn’t need to be and opening all the curtains (to let the light in, she said). I tried to tell her it wasn’t necessary, but she would have none of it, insisting that I let her make sure the house was perfect and full of natural light, which, much like her tea, was supposed to be restorative and relaxing.
“Don’t mind her,” Sabrina said as she set a cup of tea in front of me, “she’s always like this she just wants to take care of everyone and always makes sure our guests have a very good stay she’s very maternal like that really but that’s why I love her one of the reasons anyway.”
I picked up my cup, the tea was dark but not quite opaque and had an almost purplish hue to it. “So are you two-”
“Mmhmm!” She interjected before I could finish, vigorously nodding her head with a mouth full of tea before swallowing and continuing, “For about 12 years now but we’ve only lived in this area for about 8 years we live in the house closest to this one but it’s still a good mile away in that direction we also rent out a few other houses around the lake it really is a lovely lake do you plan on going out on the lake while you’re here? Drink your tea sweetie!”
I did. I had no idea how true Sabrina’s claims about the tea’s properties were, but I had to admit it was delicious: sweet and fruity. “Probably not,” I said, taking another sip of my tea before setting it down, “really I’m just looking forward to a week of quiet relaxation and solitude. I’m hoping to get a lot of reading down. Honestly, work has been very stressful, and I just needed some time to unwind.” Maybe the tea really was relaxing; I wasn’t usually this talkative or open with strangers. Maybe that was why Sabrina’s tongue seemed so loose.
“What is it that you do?” Madison asked as she came back into the room, apparently having arranged the house to her satisfaction, and took a seat at the table.
“I work in a law firm,” I said simply, restraining myself from going in to details. “What about you two? Or are you just primarily landlords?”
“Well mostly we just take care of our rental properties,” Sabrina explained, “but Madison also keeps busy with her gardening and even does a little bit of carpentry right dear? She actually made this dining room set and really a lot of the furniture in the houses we rent I say she does a little bit of carpentry but she really is quite good.”
“And Sabrina does a lot of crafts and a couple days a week she goes to the daycare that’s in the town a few miles down the road to help out,” Madison added.
We chatted for a while longer, Sabrina and I drinking the entire pot of tea while we did. I found myself genuinely enjoying the company, despite having wanted to be alone just moments before. They seemed like very good people and, perhaps more importantly, they seemed like they just wanted to share a moment with me rather than wanting something from me, unlike most people I interacted with in my daily life. Maybe that was why I enjoyed their company so much. Or maybe the tea really was as relaxing as Sabrina had promised.
Either way, it was late afternoon by the time they went home. Promising to check in on me occasionally, they left me with phone numbers for and directions to anything I might need during my stay, as well as their own number and directions to their house, which they traded for a promise from me to let them know if there was anything they could do to make my stay more comfortable.
With them gone, I took myself on a second, self-guided tour of the house, just to familiarize myself with the place a little more, before unpacking some of my things. I hated living out of suitcases no matter how short my stay was, so I made sure to move all my clothes to the dresser and closet in the master bedroom. With that done, I ordered pizza from the one place in the nearby town that would deliver out here (I knew because Madison had made sure I had the phone numbers for all the local delivery restaurants). Despite having lost cell phone reception on the drive out here, I was surprised when I couldn’t make the call. I was forced to use the landline for the first time in a very long time. With dinner ordered, I went back to my room to change into pajamas, tossing my now practically useless phone on the nightstand. After that, I spent the evening lounging on the almost impossibly comfortable couch immersed in a book.
Before long, evening had fallen. Thinking it couldn’t hurt to test Sabrina’s claims, I made myself a pot of tea and drank a few glasses while I read a couple more chapters. When I finally shuffled off to bed, I was fast asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.
I awoke from a night of strange, but barely remembered dreams. All I could remember were hazy details, most of which made no sense, but I was pretty sure that Madison and Sabrina had been in them. Regardless of the dreams though, I felt fantastic; I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so refreshed first thing in the morning. If the tea had caused this, I would pay a small fortune to make sure I always had some on hand for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I sat up in bed that I noticed something was wrong, and then I very suddenly realized something was very wrong.
I had wet the bed.
I threw back the sheets and stared down at myself, visually confirming what I certainly already knew. My pajama bottoms were soaked and there was a dark, wet stain on the sheets radiating out around me. The unmistakable smell of pee wafted up to my nose.
I had wet the bed .
I sat there completely stunned for what seemed like a very long moment before suddenly leaping out of bed and stripping the sheets as quickly as I could. The mattress was, of course, wet as well, but it didn’t look like it would stain. Regardless, that was how I ended up spending the first morning of my vacation doing laundry and scrubbing a mattress.
It was not ideal.
Truth be told, it was far from the first time I had wet the bed as an adult, but it had been a long time since I had. In fact, I had struggled with bedwetting for my years of my life than I had been free from it. I had been a consistent, nightly bedwetter well into my teens until it started to abate when I was seventeen. Over the course of the following seven years, it had slowly, slowly tapered off, from five or six nights a week, to three or four, to just a couple nights a week, to a few times a month, to just random, scattered occasions, to never again.
Well, apparently not ever again, because here I was five years later, desperately scrubbing a mattress to make sure the people who owned the house, and thus the bed, never found out what I had done.
Finally, the sheets and my pajamas were in the washing machine and the mattress scrubbed with no sign of staining, thank god.
I allowed myself a sigh of relief when I was sure there would never be any evidence to let my temporary landlords know that I had peed all over their bed and wandered into the kitchen to get some breakfast. After a moment of contemplation, I made myself a pot of that tea; who wouldn’t need to relax after a crisis like that? Breakfast itself was meager as I hadn’t brought much in the way of food with me. I had planned to go grocery shopping after getting settled in, but I had spent so much time with Madison and Sabrina that I had forgotten. Madison had left me with directions into town, however, and told me that there was a locally owned grocery store that also carried all sorts of sundries, with a focus on the kinds of things one might need while vacationing on a lake. I supposed I would have to go out later in the day, preferably before lunch.
It wasn’t until I was sitting at the dining room table with my breakfast and tea that a new, rather horrible thought dawned on me: what if it happened again? I knew my history with bedwetting and while I could hope that it was just a one-off accident, maybe a result of how exhausted I had been compared to how deeply I had slept, there was certainly no guarantee. If I had wet the bed once, I was all too aware that it could happen again, and I didn’t want to spend my vacation scrubbing my mattress anymore than I wanted Madison and Sabrina to find out what I had done. Realistically, I knew I probably wouldn’t have another accident. It was probably a one-time incident, and even if it wasn’t, even if my bedwetting was returning, it was unlikely that I was returning to the every night habits of seventeen-year-old me. Still, the question was whether it was a risk I was willing to take.
I sighed in resignation, knowing what I had to do. If I was at my own home, I wouldn’t take such drastic steps so soon, but what option did I really have? I now had two reasons I needed to go to the store today.
The drive into town was pleasant enough thanks to the gorgeous scenery and didn’t take very long at all. It was only a few miles from the house I was renting, but I hadn’t seen it coming in the day before as it was on the side opposite of the direction I had arrived from.
The town, such as it could be called a town, was roughly as quaint and small as the house I was renting. It was immediately clear to me that most of the town would not exist if not for the thriving tourist economy from people vacationing on the lake. There was a disproportionately large number of restaurants, ranging from the pizza place I had ordered from last night, to small town diners, and even a few that looked fairly fancy. Most of the latter seemed to be closed now; it seemed they only operated on dinner hours. Aside from restaurants, there were two antique shops, a bookstore, a movie theater with, according to the marquee, three screens, two stores that sold outdoors equipment (one of which specialized in aquatic gear), and, of course, the grocery store.
I pulled my car into the small parking lot in front of the grocery store and ventured inside.
The store was much bigger than I had expected based on Madison’s description of the place, but still not quite as big as the grocery store I went to at home. The air conditioning was blasting and made the store almost chilly enough to wish I had a light jacket. A bored looking young woman was stationed at one of the three cash registers in the front of the store and a small handful of people paced the aisles. Idly, I wondered whether the shoppers were locals or visitors like me. Either way, I grabbed a shopping cart and started copying their slow progress through the aisle.
Before long, my cart was full of all the things I would need for the week. Except for one, last thing. I meandered towards the section of the store that held medicines and “feminine hygiene” products, knowing from experience that was where they usually kept what I was looking for. It had been close to the decade since I had worn…protection for my bedwetting, but I still remembered. I could feel myself starting to blush as I turned down the aisle, keenly aware of how I was risking exposing my secret (potentially for no reason, I should add), and looking around to make sure no one was in the aisle with me. And yet, the aisle seemed strangely void of what I needed, aside from the kinds of pads used for light bladder leakage, which wasn’t going to be enough to keep my bed dry if it happened again. I walked back down the aisle to double check, but there was nothing.
As I definitely wasn’t about to ask the cashier to help finding what I needed, I headed towards the only other section I could imagine them being kept, even if I wasn’t happy about it. Buying adult incontinence products was bad enough without having to shop in the same aisle as baby diapers.
If I was blushing being in the other aisle, my cheeks were practically on fire as I walked past the displays of baby diapers, training pants, pacifiers, sippy cups, and all the other various accoutrement of baby- and toddlerhood. Absent, however, were the displays of adult protection that I needed.
I huffed in frustration. What was I supposed to do now?
Just as I was about to start wandering around the store again hoping to discover where they were kept (because surely they had to have them, right?), my eyes landed on a display I had previously missed of so-called “bedwetting pants” being marketed to teens and pre-teens. I was slightly skeptical of how well they would hold the contents of my twenty-nine-year-old bladder, and more than a little resentful of the indignity of having to wear pastel colored pull-ups with butterflies and hearts on them, but, according to the size chart on the package, the large size would fit me well. I hesitated, but, in the end, I didn’t have much choice other than risking another wet morning.
At least, I told myself, there was less chance that people would assume these were for me.
Trying to be nonchalant, I tossed a package in my cart and speed-walked towards the front of the store, wanting to get out as quickly as possible before anyone saw the “bedwetting pants” in my cart. They’ll just think they are for my daughter or something , I told myself, but I wasn’t very convincing.
Luckily, there was no line at the register. The young woman gave me a polite but largely neutral greeting, which I returned just as neutrally, and then began ringing me up. I dug my phone out of my purse and kept my eyes on it, pretending to text, trying to actively ignore the pack of pull-ups slowly advancing along the conveyor belt. But when it came to the front, the young woman grabbed it, scanned it, and dropped it in a bag without comment or any sign that something was unusual. Still, I felt tense and nervous while I paid and was only able to begin relaxing once I was outside.
At least that was taken care of.
With all my purchases safely in my car, I started to get in the driver’s seat to head home when I saw a storefront across the street I hadn’t noticed before. Above the door was a colorful sign labeling the place as “Little Adventures Daycare,” the place Sabrina said she volunteered at a few days a week. I felt a weird impulse to go see if Sabrina was there, but I doubted they appreciate random adults popping up at the daycare. Still, I found myself casting a last, lingering look as I drove by.
Soon enough, I was back at the house with all my groceries stored and my pull-ups stuffed into one of the dresser drawers with a few t-shirts laid over top. It might have been overkill, I had to admit. With that all taken care of, the rest of the day was mine to relax as I had been planning to do, which meant taking in some sun on the back dock with my nose buried in a book.
I thought about making some more of that tea, but the afternoon sun was quickly gaining strength and drinking hot tea sounded less than pleasant. Iced tea, however, sounded like exactly what the day called for. I set the water to boil in the kettle and began digging around in the cupboards for a pitcher. It took some searching, but soon enough I found two plastic pitchers. One I filled with cold water and a filter bag full of tea before setting it in the fridge to cold brew. The other one I filled with ice and, once it was done boiling and brewing in the kettle, poured the hot tea over it. Filling a glass with more ice, I took my glass, the pitcher, and my book out the back door.
Before long, I was settled into one of the lounge chairs with the afternoon quickly slipping away into evening.
Eventually, I was out of sunlight and almost out of tea. It was time to head back inside. But when I stood up to go back inside, I was suddenly struck by the aching fullness in my lower stomach that I somehow hadn’t noticed until that moment. I had to pee, badly.
I began having flashbacks to the previous day as I made my way inside, feeling as though my desperation was growing exponentially with every step. How had I not noticed I needed to pee so badly? I did my best to keep my thighs clenched together as I moved through the house with slow, shuffling steps, certain that if I tried to run the exertion would force my bladder to empty. How had this happened two days in row? On top of a bedwetting accident? I was too busy concentrating on clenching every muscle to really consider an answer to these questions.
I had the bathroom door in my sights when I suddenly froze in mid-step, gasping slightly as a wave of desperation almost doubled me over and I felt a dribble of pee run into my panties. Oh god , I thought, squeezing my eyes shut and letting out a low whimper. I was afraid to move lest it take effort away from holding it in. I just stood there, knees and thighs pressed together, hands clenched in fights, trying desperately to fight against my body’s effort to relieve itself. A very long moment later, I felt another spurt of pee escape, this one longer and more forceful than the first dribble, spreading warmth through the crotch of my jeans.
When the second spurt fought its way out, this time running a small rivulet down the inseam of my jeans, I knew I had no choice to but to run for it. I made a mad dash for the bathroom, more pee sloshing out of me with every step, soaking my jeans. I ripped open the bathroom door, practically tore my jeans off, and plopped down on the toilet. I was already peeing full force before my jeans were down.
Just like the day before, when I was down my bladder still felt distended and painful. Still sitting on the toilet, I took my jeans and panties off, knowing there was no way I could put them back on. I may not have fully wet myself, but there was a large wet spot in the crotch of my jeans and across the butt with multiple streaks running down the insides of the legs. I may not have fully wet myself, but it was pretty close.
I sighed, feeling a mixture of shame and disgust, and wiped my legs off with toilet paper before balling up my jeans and heading for the laundry room. I threw the jeans in and grabbed my sheets out of the dryer before heading to the bedroom, where I made my bed and put on pajamas. I briefly contemplated putting on one of my pull-ups in preparation for bed, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it as it felt too much like an acknowledgement of what had just happened, too much like jinxing myself. Of course I was worried about the fact that I had just wet my pants…or, almost at least…no, I may not have fully emptied my bladder, but using that as an excuse to say I had merely almost wet myself was just splitting hairs to justify lying to myself…and of course I was worried about that, but I didn’t want to think about it and wasn’t sure what to do about it regardless.
Surely it was just some strange reaction to being so relaxed after being so tensed up and stressed for so long. Surely it was just that.
I went back downstairs, retrieved my book and tea from the patio, and set myself up in the living room to keep reading for long enough to dull some of the shame and worry I was still feeling over my accident. It didn’t take long to get lost in my book, and not too long after that to start feeling my eyelids drooping. I marked my place in my book and headed to my bedroom, making a quick trip in the bathroom to pee even though I didn’t feel a strong need to do so.
Back in my room, I fished out the package of pull-ups and ripped it open. It turned out they had different patterns on them and the one I pulled out was a soft pink with flowers all over it. I took my pajama pants off and pulled the garment on. It wasn’t as thick as the protection I had worn to bed in my early twenties before my bedwetting tapered off to a point where I no longer needed such protection, but it was definitely much thicker than my panties and they rustled when I moved. They were also much softer than I remembered my prior bedwetting protection being and felt strangely comforting.
I climbed into bed, not even bothering to put my pajama pants back on and got under the freshly laundered sheets. I felt certain the strangeness and thickness of my new underwear would make it hard to fall asleep, but, much like the night before, I fell asleep almost immediately.
I had the bathroom door in my sights when I suddenly froze in mid-step, gasping slightly as a wave of desperation almost doubled me over and I felt a dribble of pee run into my panties. Oh god , I thought, squeezing my eyes shut and letting out a low whimper. I was afraid to move lest it take effort away from holding it in. I just stood there, knees and thighs pressed together, hands clenched in fights, trying desperately to fight against my body’s effort to relieve itself. A very long moment later, I felt another spurt of pee escape, this one longer and more forceful than the first dribble, spreading warmth through the crotch of my jeans.
When the second spurt fought its way out, this time running a small rivulet down the inseam of my jeans, I knew I had no choice to but to run for it. I made a mad dash for the bathroom, more pee sloshing out of me with every step, soaking my jeans.
I grabbed the handle of the door and tried to yank it open, but the door would budge. I moaned, straining to pull the door open, leaning back and using all my weight, but the stayed stuck. No no no no I thought, my mind full of panic, as I yanked and tugged while a series of spurts continued to soak my pants.
Suddenly, the door flew open, knocking me off balance and causing me to fall hard on my butt. The impact caused the floodgates to burst open and a ragged sob escaped me as I began peeing full force into my pants, the warm pee spreading across the seat of my pants and pooling on the floor around me.
“Uh oh,” I heard a patronizing yet sickeningly sweet voice mutter from above me, “it looks like someone had an accident!”
“M-Madison! I’m so s-sorry, it was just an a-accident!” I stammered as I looked up at the woman standing in the doorway to what I thought had been the bathroom but now seemed to be an oversized nursery.
“Aww,” Sabrina cooed as she appeared from around the doorframe, “it looks like the wittle-bitty baby peed herself!”
Madison sighed and shook her head, but she was smiling sweetly, “Help me get her to the changing table, Sabrina. I guess we’ll have to put her back in diapers.”
“No, p-please,” I said, feeling tears begin to roll down my cheeks as the two girls closed in on me, “please, it was just an accident.”
“Oh, sweetie, I know,” Madison grabbed me under my armpits and pulled me up to my feet. My knees were shaking, and I felt like I might fall again if Madison let go of me. “That’s why we’re going to put you back in diapers, so this doesn’t happen again!”
I tried again but Sabrina popped a pacifier into my mouth, effectively cutting me off, “Don’t worry baby,” She said smiling, “we’ll take really good care of you.”
Sabrina grabbed one of my arms and her and Madison began dragging me into the room towards a changing table sized for an adult. I tried to resist, but the two girls carried me easily; I tried to protest, but I couldn’t get the pacifier out of my mouth. Madison lifted me effortlessly on to the table while Sabrina produced the thickest diaper I had ever seen. It was a soft pink with a floral design. I practically felt the resistance draining from me as I saw the diaper; somehow it made me realize that struggling was futile and, instead, I resigned myself to my fate. Madison started undoing my pants while I just laid there sniffling, a few last tears dribbling from my eyes.
“It’s okay sweetheart,” Sabrina said soothingly as she moved to the head of the changing table and began stroking my hair while Madison slid the diaper under me. “It’s okay now you can just relax and not worry about anything and I promise your going to just love being our little baby girl.”
Something about Sabrina’s voice was powerfully soothing and I my sniffling began to slow. I looked down at Madison as she finished taping the diaper on me, soothing myself further my sucking on the pacifier still in my mouth. I couldn’t explain why, but it was lulling me into a calm state. I hugged the stuffed bear in my arms to my chest and weakly returned the smile Madison gave me as she patted my diaper and declared my change all done.
Wait, where had the teddy bear come from?
“There we go, my sweet little girl,” Madison murmured gently as she pulled me into a sitting position, my diaper crinkling underneath me and pushing my legs apart. She used her hand to wipe the leftover tears from my face; what had I been crying about anyway? “All nice and clean now, no need to be upset.”
That’s right, I had been upset because I had wet my diaper and needed a change, but Mommy was right and that was a silly thing to be upset about. Wait, that wasn’t right, I hadn’t wet my diaper, had I? No, I had peed my pants, I was sure of it, but that didn’t make sense either. I wore diapers, like a good little girl, not panties like a big girl. I wore diapers because I was still a little girl and there was no need to get upset about wetting them because mommy would always be there to change me, right?
Except, wait, no. Mommy? Madison wasn’t my mommy. I wasn’t a little girl, I was…I was certain…something wasn’t right…my diaper felt warm and squishy, when had that happened?
“Uh oh Madison,” Sabrina said in a mocking tone, “looks like someone already wet their diaper.”
No, no, this wasn’t right, I wasn’t a little girl and I didn’t wear diapers, I…I…
…woke up with a gasp, sitting straight up and breathing heavily. I was drenched with cold sweat.
“That,” I muttered to the empty room that was slowly filling with early morning light filtering through the blinds, “was fucked up. Very fucked up.”
I scooted out of bed and froze as I stood up, the thickness and subsequent rustling of my pull-up momentarily making me think I was still in the dream. But no, no, it was just my pull-up and not the thick diaper I had worn like a badge of shame, thank god. The pull-up sagged heavily between my legs and was significantly thicker than it had been the night before; it was soaked, of course. The bed, at least, was dry. I felt a strange sort of resignation over the realization that I had wet the bed again, not to mention a weird sense of satisfaction that at least I had not gone through the embarrassment of buying pull-ups for no reason.
It didn’t matter, I told myself, I wasn’t going to get worked up over this. It wasn’t like I had never wet the bed before. Maybe I’d worry about it when my vacation was over, but not now. A part of me knew that wasn’t the most reasonable response to the situation, especially since I had also wet my pants the day before, yet I felt weirdly calm about the whole thing.
Very weirdly calm.
That tugged at something in my brain, but it was fuzzy and I couldn’t quite bring it to the front of my thoughts, like a word just on the tip of the tongue. What could it have been? It felt very important, and yet…
Suddenly, I realize I was just standing in the middle of my room in a pajama shirt and a wet pull-up and couldn’t help but giggle at myself. Whatever it was, it must not have been important. I took the wet pull-up off and deposited in the trash can in the bathroom off the bedroom before moving to the dresser to get some clothes out. I got another pull-up from the bag, this one pastel yellow with butterflies, and-
Wait, what? Why had I gotten a pull-up? Sure, I’d had an accident the day before, but that didn’t mean…
I took a deep breath and put the pull-up back. That dream must have gotten to me really badly. I put on a pair of panties and retrieved my discarded pajama pants from the night before, realizing there was no point in getting dressed before I took a shower.
With that taken care of, I headed downstairs to the kitchen. Some breakfast and a glass of that tea would set me straight and rid me of the last lingering vestiges of that dream.
I put a bagel in the toaster, grabbed a sippy cup from the cupboard, and pulled the pitched of cold brewed tea out, then stopped staring blankly at the vessel in my hand I was about to pour tea into. A sippy cup? Where had this come from? It must have been left by a previous renter, or perhaps Madison and Sabrina made sure they were on hand for families, but I hadn’t noticed it before. And why did I grab it? It had been in front of the other glasses, I told myself, I just grabbed the first thing my hand reached.
This is a very weird morning , I thought as I put the sippy cup back and grabbed a regular glass. By the time I had my glass of tea ready, my bagel was done. Before long, my glass was empty, my plate was clean, and I was, as predicted, feeling a little steadier, more relaxed, and more my normal self.
I grabbed my book from where I had left it the night before and took it and another glass of tea to the back patio to spend the morning reading. A few hours later, as the morning sun turned to early afternoon sun and the heat was becoming a little too much, I headed back inside and took a shower before getting dressed in a pair of denim shorts and a black tank top.
Maybe , I thought, I’ll go see what Sabrina and Madison are up to . They had, after all, encouraged me to come see them if I got bored of being in the house all by myself, and, hot as it was, a walk by the lake sounded pleasant.
There were two paths I could take to get their house, they had told me. The first, the one they had come by the day before, meandered through the trees and had the benefit of being shaded. The second went along the shore of the lake and so had the benefit of a nice view of the lake, not to mention the fact that it was shorter. I set off along the latter.
The lake itself was beautiful, a crystalline blue as far as the eye could see. Once over the course of my walk, which took about fifteen minutes, I saw and heard a speed boat zip across the lake a ways out, but otherwise it was nothing but peace and calm. Despite how much time I had spent lounging in front of the lake over the past couple days, my nose had been buried too deep in a book to really appreciate it. Briefly, I contemplated sitting on the shore and taking it in for a few minutes, but just as I seriously considering it, I suddenly became aware of a pressure in my bladder that warned me hesitation might not be a great idea.
With thoughts of yesterday’s incident floating in the back of my mind, I picked up my pace and tried not to think too hard about how hard that pressure was and what the consequences of delay would be.
When a house came into view through the tree lines, I breathed a sigh of relief and restrained myself from running the last little bit of distance to the house. Although it was substantially larger than the house I was renting, Madison and Sabrina’s house was done in much the same Victorian style. As I walked up to the house, I noticed there was only one car in the gravel driveway and wondered if one of them was out. Or maybe they just only had one car, they probably didn’t need two in this town if neither had a regular job. I rang the doorbell and waited, keenly aware of distant alarm bells in my head.
“Claire!” Sabrina exclaimed as she swung the door wide open. “It’s so good to see you I was hoping you’d come by how is everything out your way? Are you having a good vacation?”
“Everything’s great, Sabrina,” I smiled and held my arms rigidly at my sides to keep myself from doing a potty dance. “I just thought I’d come by and maybe chat a little?” I laughed, partly out of nervousness over my need to pee and partly over realizing I sounded a little silly. “I guess maybe I’m getting a little lonely by myself over there after all!”
“Oh well of course of course come on in,” she moved out of the doorway and gestured for me to enter, “we’re always up for visitors! I was just doing some crafts you know keeping myself busy but I’d love to spend some time with you can I make you a glass of tea maybe iced this time you certainly look like you could use a cold drink sweetheart.”
“That would be lovely,” I said, grinning perhaps a little to rigidly, “but, uh, could I use your restroom really quick?”
“Oh of course it’s just down that hallway,” she pointed one way as she began to walk in a different direction, presumably headed toward the kitchen, “it’s the first door-”
I thought there was more, but it was lost as was already dashing down the hallway as quickly as I could manage while still maintaining any dignity. My body was warning me that soon there wouldn’t be a measure of dignity left in my body if I didn’t get to the bathroom.
Quickly, however, I came to a dilemma. There were two doors directly across from each other and I cursed myself for not waiting to hear the rest of Sabrina’s sentence. It didn’t matter, I threw open the door on the left and…
It was a nursery. That was certainly weird. Did they have an adopted child? They hadn’t mentioned it, but maybe it had just never come up. There was something familiar about the nursery though, but I wasn’t entirely sure what. It was right there somewhere in my mind just out of reach and if I just tried hard enough I could dredge it up, I was sure. It was…yes, of course, it was-
Thought fled my mind, replaced by sheer panic as a dribble of pee hit my panties and I leapt across the hall, throwing the door open to discover, much to my joy, a bathroom. I all but slammed the door shut behind me, barely making it to the toilet before the flood gates shattered.
Another close call. Too close.
Fortunately, the damage was contained to just a little bit of dampness in my panties. Still, too close.
When I found my way to the kitchen, Sabrina was there with too big, plastic cups of ice tea, beads of condensation already forming on the outside of the glass. I thanked her as I sat down and took a big gulp, I was rather parched from the heat and the walk here.
“I hope you don’t think I’m being rude or nosey,” I started to say as I put my glass down, “but I got the wrong door and couldn’t help but notice you have a nursery. Do you had Madison have a kid?”
I couldn’t help but notice Sabrina’s usually cheerful smile falter a little bit at the question and I immediately felt bad for asking, realizing I must have been digging at a sore spot.
“Well,” she said with hesitance that was, so far as I knew her, very out of character, “well no…not exactly…we’ve been hoping to adopt but so far…”
“Oh,” I said, my heart breaking for the poor woman, “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.” Of course that was the answer, and of course I knew it could be hard for two women to adopt. I felt like an insensitive ass.
“That’s okay,” Sabrina gave me a reassuring smile and immediately seemed more herself, “that’s quite okay I can understand your curiosity and we haven’t had much luck yet, but you know I really think our luck is turning around and I’m very hopeful that we’ll have that new addition to our family very soon.”
“I’m sure you will,” I lightly touched Sabrina’s arm in a way that I hoped was reassuring. “Where is Madison anyway?” I asked, trying to change the subject.
“Oh she’s out puttering around in her garden,” she laughed and took a drink of her tea, seeming to have forgotten the momentary sadness that had taken her, “I told her it’s too hot out there today for that but she insisted she can be very stubborn like that sometimes but her garden means a lot to her and she’ll keep it maintained even if it’s a thousand degrees!”
It was late afternoon by the time I left their house. Sabrina and I had spent hours talking about books and TV shows we both loved and a thousand other things. She sent me home with another tin of tea once I told her how much I had been enjoying it, which I thought was very nice of her. As I was leaving, I noticed the garden I had been too preoccupied with my need to pee to notice on my way in and, sure enough, there was Madison, trimming a plant. I raised my hand to wave and she waved back.
Deciding to take advantage of the shade of the forest path, I headed back to my house.
Madison watched Claire disappear into the trees before she set her pruning sheers down and headed into the house. She had seen their tenant arrive but decided to let Sabrina host her all by herself.
“Sweetheart?” Madison called as she was blasted by the air conditioning.
Madison followed the sound of Sabrina’s voice to find her in the living room with the TV on and a coloring book on the floor in front of her. When she entered the room, Sabrina jumped up and ran over to Madison to hug her.
“How’s our little tenant doing?” Madison asked, hugging Sabrina back.
“She’s doing really good and I really like her!” Sabrina pulled back from the hug and gave Madison a huge grin. “I really want her to be my new little sister.”
“Then that’s exactly what my little girl will get,” Madison replied, kissing Sabrina on the forehead. “You just have to be patient, these things take time, thought not too much more, I promise. Just a few more days, okay? Did you give her the stronger batch of tea?”
“Yes Mommy! I even gave her a few glasses while she was here!”
“Good girl,” Madison said, kissing Sabrina’s forehead again. “And what about you? How are you doing?”
“I’m good Mommy! Just watching TV and coloring.”
“Mmhmm, that’s not quite what I meant sweetheart,” Madison said drily as she lifted the front of Sabrina’s sundress up, producing a whine and a blush from the girl and exposing a bright pink pull-up. Madison could tell it was soaked just by looking at it, but she checked with her hand anyway, pressing the sodden garment against Sabrina’s skin, just to drive home the humiliation. “You’re soaked,” she declared simply.
“I’m sorry,” Sabrina mumbled, “I had too much tea and was too busy talking to Claire and forgot to go.”
“Mmhmm,” Madison repeated, “maybe you need to be put back in diapers for the day. Maybe that will help you remember to use the potty from now on.”
“Yes Mommy,” Sabrina muttered again, her head hanging down in shame.
“Come along then,” Madison took the other girl’s hand and led her off to the nursery.
There was a lot of shade on the path through the trees, but it was no where near complete. Sunlight streamed through holes in the canopy and dappled everything with light. There was an almost magical quality to it and I found myself skipping lightly along the well-worn path. I was, I realized, in an incredibly good mood.
And there was no reason I shouldn’t be! I was on vacation, I was more relaxed than I had been in a very long time, and I had had a great time with Sabrina. Our conversation had somehow trailed off into our favorite childhood movies and Sabrina had told me there was a stash of children’s movies DVDs in the entertainment center at the rental home that I could not wait to raid when I got home. I had every reason to be in a great mood. If I had started wetting the bed again, what did it matter? I had dealt with bedwetting most of my life, I could do it again. And if I was having a few daytime accidents? Well, I could deal with that too.
Despite the shade, I was still quite thirsty from the heat and the walk when I arrived back at the house and I went straight to the fridge to get a glass of tea, only to find the pitcher empty. Once again, I went through the process of making a pitcher of cold brew and boiling water for a pitcher I could drink immediately. I thought about using the tin of tea leaves I already had opened, but the tea Sabrina had served me tasted so much better, probably, I assumed, because it was fresher. So, I skipped that and the new batches with the tea leaves she had sent me home with. When it was ready, I poured some tea in my sippy cup and headed into the living.
Wait. I stopped in the doorway to the living room, looking at the sippy cup in my hand. It was pink plastic and had cartoon characters on it. Something seemed out of place, but I couldn’t figure it out. I was definitely missing something though. I went back to the kitchen to see if I could figure it out. As I walked in, my eyes fell on the clock above the stove and it hit me: it was getting rather late and I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast!
I started the oven, pulled out a bag of frozen chicken nuggets I had bought the other day, and popped then in the oven on a baking sheet before setting a timer and wandering back to the living room to pick a movie.
I spent the rest of the evening spread out on the living room couch watching movies with a sippy cup full of iced tea and a plate of chicken nuggets. This is exactly what a vacation should be , I thought to myself contentedly.
At some point, I must have drifted off, because I suddenly realized the DVD had returned to the menu and I couldn’t remember seeing the ending. I glanced at the clock on the DVD player to see it flashing 12:37AM. I had definitely drifted off.
I sat up, yawning and rubbing my eyes, my soggy pull-up squishing underneath of me as I did.
Wait, pull-up? When had I put that on? I couldn’t remember for the life of me, but I must have wandered upstairs at some point knowing I was getting tired and might fall asleep on the couch. However it had happened, I was glad it had; I would not have been happy to spend the night scrubbing the couch.
Promising myself I would clean up my plate and sippy cup in the morning, I shuffled upstairs and into the bedroom, barely remembering to put on a dry pull-up before I collapsed into bed.
I dashed down the hallway that stretched ahead of me for what seemed like forever. There were doors lining each side all along the infinite corridor, bars of light showing at the bottom of every one of them. I knew that behind one of them was a bathroom, but which one? Finding it was important for some reason, but I was having trouble remembering why.
I tore open the first door I came to and found myself looking into a giant nursery. There was a changing table, a crib, and the kind of bed a toddler would sleep in with small sideguards, all oversized and big enough for an adult. There were also two separate dressers, boxes full of toys, a shelf full of children’s storybooks, a small table littered with crayons and construction paper and coloring books, and a stack of children’s board games. The room was familiar, I knew I had been here before, but I couldn’t remember when.
Regardless, it wasn’t the bathroom.
I returned to the hall and sprinted to the next doorway. Behind that door was another nursery, exactly the same as the last. As with the next three doors.
As I stood standing in the doorway of the fifth nursery, I began wondering why I was panicking. Why was it so important that I find the bathroom? The table full of coloring supplies seemed tempting and it would be just as easy to abandon my search.
I started to take a step into the nursery but willed myself to stop. Somehow, I knew that if I stepped in, something would happen…something bad? I…I wasn’t sure. No, no, I couldn’t go in, I needed to find the bathroom first, I was sure I’d remember why once I did.
Forcing myself to turn away from the nursery, I ran to the next door. And the next. And the next. More nurseries. I looked back down the hallway; I could still see all the open doors leading to infinite iterations of the same nursery. I looked down the other way, the way I was heading, but there were only more open doors and more nurseries. But there, all the way at the end, past all the nurseries, there was the bathroom. A sense of despair washed over me, knowing I could never make it in time, knowing…what? What did I know?
I knew I had to try to get there in time. My footsteps echoed through the corridor as I began running as fast as I could. Empty nurseries zipped past me on either side and my hair was whipped about in the wind. Faster, faster, faster than I thought I could run, until the rooms passed by in a blur, but still the bathroom came no nearer. Still there were an infinite number of nurseries to pass until I reached the bathroom and the gleaming white toilet that seemed perfectly framed in the doorway.
That was it! The realization of why I had to make it to the bathroom crashed into me and only then did I realize how incredibly full my bladder was. It made me stop dead in my tracks, doubling over, but I knew it was already too late and there was no point fighting it. I just stood there, trying not to whimper as warm pee filled my pull-up so swiftly that it couldn’t be absorbed fast enough. It pooled inside the pull-up before finding its way out through the leg guards, running in rivulets down the inside of my thighs.
From off to my right I heard a high pitched giggled, followed by a mocking voice proclaiming, “Claire peed herself again!”
“Oh, sweetheart, another accident?” A second voice asked.
I looked over to see Sabrina and Madison standing in the door way of the nursery. “Aww, is the baby gonna cry because she wet herself?” Sabrina taunted.
“Now, now,” Madison said, laying a hand on Sabrina’s shoulder, “be nice, just because Claire isn’t a big girl like you and still has accidents sometimes doesn’t mean you should make fun of her.”
Sabrina huffed and crossed her arms, “but she’s such a baby,” Sabrina almost whispered, “you should put her back in diapers.”
“Sabrina,” Madison said in a tone of voice that made the implicit warning clear, “Why don’t you go back and play?” Sabrina pouted, but obeyed. Madison watched her go back to the plastic table and pick up a crayon before turning back to me and holding out her hand, “come on my sweet little girl,” she said to me, “let’s get you out of the wet pull-up. I’m afraid Sabrina’s right though, it looks like you’re still too little to try potty training.”
“Yes, Madison,” I said weakly, taking her hand with one of mine while I used the other to scrub away a stray tear that had found its way down my cheek. I followed her in to the nursery and allowed her to lift me up on the changing table. Madison produced a pacifier and stuck it in my mouth before gently pushing me back onto my back. A sense of contentment filled me as I sucked on the pacifier and stared up at the floating shapes above me.
It seemed like both a brief instant and an eternity had passed when Madison proclaimed, “All done!” And helped me up into a sitting position before lifting me up and setting me on my feet on the ground. “What don’t you go play with Madison now?”
I smiled at Madison and mumbled a thank you around the pacifier before I ran off to join Madison. The diaper Madison and put on me was so think that I couldn’t touch my knees together and I had to waddle to the little table.
Sabrina smiled at me as I sat down and slid the carton of crayons towards me. Before long, I was completely immersed in coloring without a single care in the world.
One of the first things I noticed when I woke up was how bright my bedroom was, which made a lot of sense when I looked at the clock and realized I had slept in until almost 11am. I sat up in bed and stretched, my joints popping as I did. My body may have felt stiff from its extended repose, but I felt refreshed and ready to leap out of bed. So I did.
I made my way downstairs and headed into the kitchen at the behest of my rumbling stomach. I poured myself a bowl of cereal and a sippy cup full of iced tea and made my way into the living room, pushing my dishes from the night before aside to place my new dishes in their place. Before long, I was shoveling cereal into my mouth while I watched the end of the movie I had drifted off to sleep watching the night before.
The credits had barely begun to roll when the doorbell rang, causing me to leap up from the couch, suddenly incredibly aware of the fact that I was still wearing my pull-up from the night before: soaked, of course. I stood there for a moment, trying to decide if I should just answer the door or if I should try to ditch my pull-up in the bathroom first, but when the doorbell rang a second time, I dashed over to the door and pulled it open without even checking the peephole. Sabrina stood on the other side of the screen door in a white, floral print sundress with a large purse slung over one shoulder. She waved shyly.
“Sabrina!” I exclaimed, open the screen door and beckoning her inside, “What’s brought you this way?”
“Madison is out working on some of the rental properties,” she began explaining as she stepped inside, “and well I guess I got bored and was hoping you wanted some company.”
“I’d love some!” I said, realizing only after the fact how true it was. “I’ve just been watching a movie this morning; do you want to pick something to watch together?”
Sabrina nodded vigorously, “I’d love that!” She began to move towards the living room couch and I followed her…then stopped, suddenly conscious of how loud the rustling of my pull-up under my pajama pants seemed. “What’s wrong? Everything okay?” Sabrina asked when she noticed I wasn’t following.
“Yeah, yeah, sorry, I just…let me know go change out of my pajamas, okay?” I barely finished my sentence before I was running up the stairs. Closing the bedroom door behind me, I leaned against it and took a deep breath to steady myself. I honestly wasn’t sure whether I was more mortified by the fact that Sabrina may have noticed that I was wearing a very sodden pull-up or the fact that I had been wearing it all morning without giving it a single thought. What was wrong with me lately? It was bad enough that I had started wetting the bed again and having accidents during the day, but I felt like I was becoming increasingly scatterbrained.
Wait, started wetting the bed? That didn’t seem to make sense. I had always wet the bed, hadn’t I? Yes, I was quite certain that I had always been a bedwetter, as embarrassing as that sometimes was. The daytime accidents were new though, right? I couldn’t remember ever having accidents as an adult, but…no, I was fairly certain that I had always had bladder controls problems, so why couldn’t I think of a single accident I had before this week? Something was wrong, my head was starting to hurt, a growing ache starting at the center of my forehead and radiating outward. My mind started to get fuzzy; I couldn’t keep a train of thought going through the pain. What had I been thinking about?
A knock at the door suddenly cleared my head and cast the pain away.
“Claire?” Sabrina’s voice came through the door tentatively, “you okay?”
“Y-yeah,” I stuttered shakily. What had I come in here to do? “I’ll be out in just a minute!” I remembered coming upstairs, but not why. Sabrina had arrived and then I came upstairs to…change! Right, to change out of pajamas!
I heard Sabrina’s steps receding down the hallway towards the stairs and I went into the bathroom adjoined to the bedroom where I discarded my pajamas on the floor and my wet pull-up in the trash. I looked around for a box of baby wipes but couldn’t find them. Had I run out? It didn’t matter; I used a warm wash cloth instead and then headed back to the bedroom to find some clothes. I put on a loose, black shirt, a pink skirt that came halfway down her thighs, and a clean pair of panties, pastel yellow with butterflies all over them.
When I returned to the living room, my cheeks immediately flushed with embarrassment when I realized I saw I still had two sippy cups sitting on the coffee table. There were also some dirty dishes, but those were nowhere near as embarrassing as the sippy cups. Why was I using sippy cups anyway? I ran over to the table, almost tripping over my feet, and grabbed the sippy cups, putting them behind my back as if keeping Sabrina from looking at them would somehow erase the fact that she had already seen them. “Sorry, I, uh…” I stammered, trying to think of an explanation for why I had been drinking from sippy cups.
“Let me help you clean up!” She interjected, jumping off the couch and grabbing the plate and bowl still left behind. I stood there slight bewildered as she quickly walked out of the room. I followed her into the kitchen to see she had already deposited the dishes in the sink and was pulling another sippy cup out of the cupboard. “Do you have any of that tea made?” She asked as she moved to the fridge. “I’d absolutely love some of—oh! There it is do you mind if I help myself I can pour you a glass while I’m at if you’d like it’s such a hot day out some iced tea is perfect don’t you think?” She made good on her offer and reached back in the cupboard to produce another sippy cup (somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered if there had always been that many sippy cups in there) and I placed my used ones in the sink as she poured.
“I know some people think using sippy cups is kind of silly,” Sabrina rambled on while she was pouring, “but I think they are a great idea because like you can drink in any position and don’t have to worry about spilling and just try to do that with a regular cup while laying down to watch a movie!” She held out the other cup to me as she took a big drink from her own. “Don’t you think?”
“Y-yeah,” I said with a weak smile, taking the cup from her.
“Come on!” She grabbed my free hand and pulled me into the living room, “Let’s go watch the movie!”
Before long we were sitting side-by-side on the couch watching the movie Sabrina had picked up, giggling and drinking from our sippy cups.
“I get to pick the next one!” Claire practically shouted as the movie ended. She leapt off the couch and practically dove head first to shove her face into the shelves of DVDs below the TV. Positioned as she was with her butt in the air, Sabrina had a perfect view of the pastel yellow pull-up under Claire’s skirt. Still dry, from the looks of it, but Sabrina knew there were ways to change that, even if some were easier than other. The easier ways were quicker, but they didn’t produce the long-term effects the harder ways did. Sabrina was overjoyed with how quickly her soon-to-be little sister was heading towards full regression, but she was also getting a little impatient and an extra nudge in the right direction couldn’t hurt.
With Claire distracted, Sabrina leaned over and pulled a small vial out of her diaper bag. The one she had brought with her today was plain and looked like an over-sized purse. It wasn’t her favorite, exactly because it was so plain, but she wasn’t sure Claire had been ready to see her carrying her real diaper bag. Although, based on what she had seen so far today (the wet pull-up Claire had been wearing when Sabrina arrived, the sippy cups, the way Claire didn’t seem to even notice she was wagging her padded butt in the air), maybe she would have been just fine with it.
“I’ll get us some more tea!” Sabrina announced, grabbing the sippy cups and taking them to the kitchen. Claire hardly seemed to notice as focused as she was on picking a movie.
In the kitchen, Sabrina poured two cups of iced tea and then pulled the stopper off the vial, adding just a few drops of the clear liquid to Claire’s drink. Madison had warned against using too much of this stuff…in fact, she had said using it at all might not be a great idea.
“ If you regress her too quickly, ” Madison’s voice rang in her head, “ then she’ll realize something is wrong and it will break the trance .”
Still, a little couldn’t hurt, and Sabrina was becoming impatient. Debating with herself for a moment, she added another two drops, then put the vial away and carried the sippy cups back to the living room. Having finally chosen a movie, Claire was sitting on the couch awaiting her returned. She was sitting with her knees up to her chest, her pull-up on full display.
We were almost an hour into the movie when I began feeling a familiar pressure in my lower stomach. As familiar was it was, I couldn’t immediately place what the sensation meant. After a moment of thought, I finally remembered: I had to pee! The movie was coming to my favorite part though and I didn’t want to miss it. I tried to ignore the need and focus on the movie.
The need kept getting stronger though and it was quickly becoming impossible to ignore. Still, I didn’t want to miss any of the movie. I thought about just letting go and allowing my bladder to empty itself, but I knew I wasn’t allowed to do that; I knew I’d be in trouble if I peed my panties. Instead, I fidgeted and shifted and pressed my thighs together trying to hold off my need.
“You okay?” Sabrina asked, apparently noticing how I was fidgeting.
“Yeah,” I replied softly, a little embarrassed about the possibility that Sabrina knew I had to pee badly but more so annoyed at having to divide my attention from the movie even further.
“Yeah, I just—” I gasped and dropped my sippy cup as I felt a dribble of pee escape. The movie was completely forgotten about as I immediately became focused on a desperate need to not let Sabrina see me have an accident. I jumped up from the couch, but it was too late; a dribble turned into a spurt turned into full-force peeing. I tried clenching my muscles to cut off the flow, but there was nothing I could do. My hands flew to my crotch in an attempt to stem the tide and maybe hide what was happening, but I knew both things were in vain. I expected to feel wet cloth under my fingers, but instead all I felt was a warm, rapidly expanding pull-up.
I had a split-second of relief when I discovered that I was wearing a pull-up, but it was swiftly replaced by confusion. When had I put on a pull-up? I distinctly remembered putting on panties when I changed my clothes. They had been yellow panties with butterflies all over them and…had they been a little thicker than normal panties? Had they rustled a little more than regular panties? No, they had definitely been panties, why would I have put on a pull-up? I still wore big girl panties during the day…didn’t I? When was the last time I wore big girl panties?
“Claire?” Sabrina touched my shoulder gently and my thoughts fell away, returning me to the moment. I was standing there, the last of my bladder draining into my pull-ups, my hands shoved into my crotch, and Sabrina looking at me with a mix of confusion and sympathy. She had to know what had just happened.
“I-I’m so sorry S-Sabrina,” I stammered, my cheeks hots and my eyes watering, “I just c-couldn’t h-hold it and—”
“Aww Claire it’s okay,” she made shushing sounds and pulled me into a hug, slowly rubbing my back as I tried not to start crying out of shame. “That’s okay sweetheart it’s okay accidents happen and that’s why you’re wearing pull-ups right? It’s okay Claire don’t cry.”
“Y-yeah?” I choked out, not evening thinking to wonder how Sabrina knew I was wearing a pull-up. “You’re not gonna make fun of me?”
“Oh sweetie,” Sabrina said softly, pulling away from our hug and wiping my cheek dry, “sweetie no I would never make fun of you you’re just a little girl and can’t help it right?”
“Y-yeah,” I nodded, sniffling a little. That didn’t sound completely correct but…but it made sense.
“Yeah sweetie” Sabrina said, smoothing my hair back. “Besides I’ll tell you a secret if you promise not to tell okay?” I nodded again, and Sabrina looked around as if she expected someone to have randomly appeared in the room. Her cheeks flushed a little bit as she lifted the front of her dress, exposing a light blue pull-up, “I have accidents too sometimes.”
I smiled at her, then giggled. “That does make me feel a little better,” I said softly.
“Good!” She flashed me a broad grin and took my hand, “Should we—”
I never learned what she was about to suggest as she was cut off by a knock at the door.
“That must be Madison!” She exclaimed, dropping my hand and running to the door. Sure enough, Madison was standing on the other side of the door and Sabrina threw her arms around the other girl.
“I thought I would find you here,” Madison said as she stepped inside. “Claire, how’re you?”
“Good,” I replied shyly, uncertain of how embarrassed to be about the wet pull-up under my skirt considering Sabrina’s revelation.
Sabrina, I noticed, was giving me a thoughtful look. Her face broke out into another grin and she turned back to Madison, standing up on her tip-toes to whisper something in Madison’s ears. I felt my cheeks heat up, certain she was telling Madison about my accident. Appropriately, Madison’s eyes widen a little bit, then smiled.
“Have you girls been having fun?” She asked innocuously.
“Yeah,” we both replied, Sabrina with much more enthusiasm.
“Had have you been behaving?” Madison asked.
I nodded my head, but Sabrina looked down and clasped her hands in front of her.
“Sabrina?” Madison’s tone of voice contained a bit of a warning. “Do you have something to say?”
“I had an accident,” Sabrina whispered, barely audibly.
“What was that?” Madison prompted, forcing Sabrina to make her admission again. “Is that so?” Madison replied matter-of-factly, flipping Sabrina’s dress up and pressing her pull-up as if she didn’t trust Sabrina to be correct about the state of her pull-up. “Soaked,” Madison confirmed with a sigh, “I thought you were going to try to use the potty today?”
“I’m sorry Mommy,” Sabrina murmured repentantly.
“Well, you know the rules sweetheart, go grab your diaper bag and let’s get you cleaned up and in a fresh diaper.”
Sabrina gave one short, quick nod, then ran over to the large bag she had brought with her. With her bag across her shoulder, Madison took Sabrina’s hand and led her away and up the stairs. I stood there in the living room for a moment, feeling awkward and uncertain of what to do, before finally following them.
I found them in one of the bedrooms that I hadn’t been using. Sabrina was lying on a pink mat that was spread out on the floor with her dress around her waist. Madison was kneeling between her legs apply baby oil. I stood silently in the doorway and watched Madison finished diapered Sabrina.
“There we go, all done,” Madison said at last, helping Sabrina up to her feet. “If you’re a good girl, maybe we can try pull-ups again in a couple days.”
“Yes Mommy thank you,” it must have been my imagination, but Sabrina’s dress seemed shorter than it had been and it rode up in the back to expose the bottom of her diaper.
“What about you, Claire?” Madison asked as she turned to look at me. I froze, unable to move or respond, uncertain of what I would say if I could say anything. “Claire? What about you? Have you kept your pull-up dry?”
My body seemed to move on its own and I gave my head a small shake, lowering my head to look at the feet as I did, unwilling to look at the disappointment on Madison’s face. Or perhaps the mockery.
“That’s what I thought,” Madison said more than a little smugly. “Well?” She said when I didn’t move or reply, “get your little butt over here and lay down so I can get your cleaned up and in a diaper.”
Taking slow, shuffling steps, I made way over to Madison and, with a little more prompting, laid down. I expected Madison to pull my pull-up down my legs, but instead she ripped the sides apart and discarded it. She clicked her down when she was down and started pulling off my skirt, “Looks like you leaked a little on your skirt, sweetheart,” she explained as she took it off. “I think it might be a while before we can trust you to try pull-ups again, huh?” She said a little teasingly as she used a baby wipe to clean me and then slid a diaper under me. When was the last time I had been diapered? It must have been recently, but I couldn’t quite remember.
Sabrina was standing right off to the side, smiling down at me reassuringly. Her presence was a comfort to me as Madison began spreading baby oil on my skin and then taping up the diaper. “All done!” Madison helped me to my feet and then began packing away the changing supplies.
I took a few tentative steps, testing out how the diaper felt. It was very thick, and I couldn’t help but waddle as I walked. I couldn’t figure out why I was slightly surprised by any of this, I wore diapers all the time.
“Come on girls,” Madison said, shouldering the bag and motioning us to follow her out of the room, “let’s go finish watching that movie.”
Following Sabrina and Madison out of the room and towards the stairs, I hesitated in front of my bedroom door. “What’s wrong honey?” Madison asked when she noticed I wasn’t right behind her.
Looking into the bedroom, I tugged on the hem of my shirt, trying to use it to cover my diaper. “Can I put on a new skirt?”
Madison laughed and walked back to me, kissing me on the forehead, “Are you embarrassed that everyone can see your diaper?” I nodded in response. “Don’t worry sweetheart,” Madison placed a hand on my shoulder and gently led me towards the stairs, “there’s no need to be embarrassed and it’s easier for me to know when you need to be changed if I can see your diaper.”
Madison took both Sabrina and I downstairs and got us settled on the couch with the movie playing before she disappeared into the kitchen. A few moments later, she came back with a sippy cup for Sabrina and bottle for me. I took it from her hesitantly.
I didn’t drink from bottles; I hadn’t since I was a baby. Except, hadn’t I been drinking from a bottle earlier? Or maybe it had been a sippy cup. Bottles were just for babies. Except…except I was wearing diapers, and only babies wore diapers…right? Sabrina was wearing a diaper though and she got to use a sippy cup. Earlier, Sabrina and I had both been using sippy cups and wearing pull-ups. No, no, that didn’t make sense. Sabrina got to wear pull-ups sometimes because she was working on potty training, but I was still too little for that, right? Yes, that all made sense. I was still too little for potty training, which meant I wore diapers, which meant I was a baby, which meant I drank from a bottle. Yes, all made sense.
I slipped the bottle into my mouth and cuddled into Mommy, who now sat between Sabrina and I, and focused my eyes on the TV screen.
It wasn’t too long before I felt that familiar pressure in my lower stomach, but I couldn’t remember what it meant. It didn’t matter though, the sensation disappeared quickly as I felt my body relax and my diaper grow warm.
A crack of thunder boomed, shaking the house and startling me out of sleep. I shot up in bed, looking around the dark room frantically. Rain beat the windows and caused them to rattle in their panes.
“It’s just a storm,” I murmured to myself, but my heart kept racing and I flinched and let out a scared squeak as another peel of thunder shook the house. Nervously, I got out of bed and made my way to the light switch, my diaper sagging heavily between my legs. I flipped the switch up and down a few times, but nothing happened. The power was out.
“Sabrina?” I called out tentatively as I stepped into the hall. “Madison? Are you here?” I listened for a reply but could only hear the rain pelting the house. I ventured down the hall and down the stairs, thinking to make for the phone in the living room and trying to call Madison. The stairwell was dark, and I could barely see the steps. I didn’t know where to even begin looking for a flashlight in this house, so instead I gripped the bannister tightly with one hand and carefully felt for each step with my foot. I sucked steadily on the thumb of my free hand to keep myself calm, but still I flinched at every stray sound in the house.
There was more light on the bottom floor, thankfully, but I still had to move slowly and gently to navigate across the living room. Halfway to the phone, the room was suddenly brilliantly lit up and, just a mere moment later, the house shook from another, monstrous clap of thunder. I let out a low whimper, but it was the loud banging on the front door following quickly on the heels of the thunder that turned the whimper to a shriek. I felt warmth flood into my already soaked diaper.
“Claire?” I heard a voice call from the other side of the door, “Claire, it’s Madison and Sabrina!”
Still shaky from fright, I almost tripped over my own feet getting to the door. I practically threw myself at Madison, wrapping my arms around her.
“Aww, it looks like someone is a little scared of the storm,” Madison said with a hint of laughter, “it’s okay, sweetheart, we’re here now.” She was wearing a raincoat that was dripping with rainwater and holding a folded umbrella that was equally soaked. “Come on,” she said, gently disengaging from the hug, “let’s get inside before you get all wet.”
Madison led me inside and sat me down on the couch, making soothing noises the whole way. Sabrina say next to me and laid a hand on my shoulder, “It’s okay Claire there’s no need to be scared of the storm,” she said, sounding not entirely convinced of her words.
“Is the power out, Claire?” Madison asked me, kneeling in front of me. I nodded in response. “Thought so. Sabrina, keep Claire company while I go see if I can get the power on. Don’t worry my brave girls, I’ll be back soon.” She kissed us both on the forehead and left the room, carrying the toolbox she had brought with her.
I couldn’t be sure how long Madison was gone, but it couldn’t have been too long. Sabrina and I huddled together on the couch waiting for her and listening to the rain. A few claps of thunder made us jump and whimper, but the worst of the storm seemed to have passed. It was still raining hard though.
Eventually, Madison came back, but the power was still out. “It looks like we’ll have to get a new fuse,” she announced. “How are my girls doing?”
“Good,” Sabrina said shakily, I nodded in agreement.
“I’m sure you are, and I’m so proud of you for being so brave. Since we can’t cook, why don’t we go out for pancakes as a reward for being so brave?”
I found myself grinning at the prospect of pancakes dripping with syrup despite the lingering tension and fear. Sabrina exclaimed in agreement and nodded her head.
“Looks like we need to get Claire dressed first,” Madison said as she crossed the room and helped me to my feet. “Not to mention in a fresh diaper,” she added as she checked to see how wet I was. “What about you, Sabrina? Still dry?”
“Yes Mommy!” Sabrina declared proudly, lifting the dress she was wearing to show her dry pull-up.
“Good girl, but why don’t you try to use the potty while I get Claire ready?”
Sabrina nodded in agreement and headed off to the bathroom while Madison led me upstairs by the hand. Once in my room, she slid the changing mat out from under my bed and laid me down before going to my dresser and pulling out a fresh diaper and changing supplies. Almost as an afterthought, she grabbed the pacifier from on top of the dresser. Madison knelt on the floor, setting everything down, and then pulled my thumb out of my mouth and replacing it with the pacifier. Finally, she set to working changing my diaper. With that done, Madison went into my closet and found a sundress not unlike the ones Sabrina usually wore and slipped it over my head.
I opened my mouth to protest that the dress didn’t fully cover my diaper, but Madison laid her finger across my mouth and gently hushed me. “No one is going to care that your diaper is showing; it won’t be the first time they’ve seen a little baby in a diaper.”
Something about what she was saying didn’t make sense, but…no, no, she was definitely right. Who cares if my diaper showed? Babies wore diapers, everyone knew that.
Sabrina was eagerly waiting by the door when we finally came back downstairs. The rain was beginning to slow, but Madison still held the umbrella over her and me to keep us from getting soaked on our way to the car. Once there, Madison buckled me in and we were off.
Between the motion of the car and the soothing sound the much gentler rain, I must have been lulled into a doze, because the next thing I knew, Madison was unbuckling me and shaking me awake. Getting out of the car, I realized I recognized the diner Madison had brought us to. I must have seen it a few days before when I was in town.
Wait, when was that? I know I couldn’t have come by myself, but I didn’t remember Madison or Sabrina being with me. Before I could think about it too long, Sabrina was tugging my hand and urging me inside. I smiled and followed her inside, where we were greeted by a cheerful looking woman with dark, curly hair.
She looked at Sabrina and me and her face split into a smile as she waved at us, “Hi there, girls,” she said “Sabrina, who’s your friend?”
“This is my new friend, Claire!” Sabrina announced.
I was momentarily confused, until I remembered Sabrina and Madison must come here frequently. Still, I suddenly felt very self-conscious as the young woman turned her eyes to me. I let go of Sabrina’s hand and tugged at the hem of my dress, hoping my diaper wasn’t showing.
“Hi Claire, I’m Julia!” She held out her hand to me and, after a moment of hesitation, I let go of the hem of my dress long enough to shake her hand, but I couldn’t quite make myself respond vocally.
“Aw, I guess she’s a little shy,” Julia said with a smile, turning towards Madison. “Hey Madison, usual table?”
“Yes, please,” Madison agreed and the three of us followed Julia to a booth towards the back of the restaurant. I slid into the booth and Sabrina sat next to me, Madison sat across from us.
Julia began to set down menus, but Madison waved them away, “No thanks, Julia. Sabrina and I will just take the usual and Claire will take the same as Sabrina.”
“Sounds great! I’ll be right back with drinks!”
Before departing, however, she did set coloring pages and crayons in front of Sabrina and me. Both of us eagerly tore into the packages of crayons and started coloring and talking about our favorite parts of the movies we had watched the day before. I barely noticed Julia setting a plastic cup with a lid and straw in front of me a few moments later.
By the time the pancakes arrived, we had moved on to what movies we wanted to watch today, although over the course of stuffing out mouths we moved from that, to pestering Madison to read to us when we got back home to debating on what board games we wanted to play. Perhaps only because that’s what we were stilling discussing with Madison announced that it was time to go, board games seemed to be out decided activity for the day. At least for now.
“Come on girls,” Madison said as she stood up from the table, “let’s get going. Do you need to use the potty first, Sabrina?”
Sabrina seemed to consider for a moment, then nodded her head. Madison took her by the hand and led her away. Not sure what else to do, I followed closely behind. Once there, Sabrina disappeared into a stall, reassuring Madison that she could go potty by herself. Meanwhile, Madison turned to me, lifted my skirt, and patted the outside of my diaper.
“Mmm, wet,” Madison announced, “but only a little. I think we can hold of on a change for a while.”
Wet? Really? When had that happened? I felt certain I would have noticed if I had wet my diapers, except…would I have? Wasn’t the whole reason I wore diapers because I couldn’t keep myself from having accidents? But I had always known when I had accidents in the past. I had known when I had to pee in the past, didn’t I? But that was all before I wore diapers, before I was a baby. Before? That’s didn’t make sense, but…it dug at the back of my mind…
“Claire?” Madison’s voice jarred me back to the present and I lost my train of thought. “Ready to go, sweetie?” I smiled and ran after them.
By the time we got back to Madison and Sabrina’s house, Sabrina and I had almost decided what board game to play, but the problem was quickly resolved as we ran into the nursery and picked up the board game on the very top of the pile. Madison followed us into the nursery shortly after with a bottle for me and a sippy cup for Sabrina.
After a few games, we switched to a new board game, and then a third. We began to switch to a fourth, but Madison announced that it was time for lunch and ushered us into the dining room, where she served us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with apple slices. As we got up from the table, Madison subjected us both to diaper checks. After checking mine, Madison announced that I was soaked and would need a new diaper. Sabrina’s checked resulted in a similar announcement from Madison, eliciting a whining protestation from Sabrina claiming she was too big for diapers. Her protests did not convince Madison, however, and soon we were both being put down for naps in our fresh diapers.
I dreamt of a series of vignettes in which I spent time with Madison and Sabrina.
I dreamt that we played board games, watched movies, made arts and crafts, played video games, played outside and in the lake, and even had Madison read to Sabrina and me. Madison was always taking care of us, make sure we ate, getting us dressed, tucking us in at night, supervised us while we swam, and, of course, changed our diapers when we needed it and reminded Sabrina to use the potty when she could. Sometimes we played at Madison and Sabrina’s house, sometimes we played at the house I was renting, a phrase that continued to make less and less sense to me. Sometimes I slept in the crib in the nursery with Sabrina in the bed nearby, sometimes I went to sleep in the big girl bed in the other house. Occasionally, Madison and Sabrina left me alone in that house, which was always scary. In my dreams, days passed like this and I started to stop thinking of it as Madison and Sabrina’s house and started thinking of it as our house: the house I shared with my big sister and mommy.
I dreamt of Mommy asking me if I wanted to come live with her and Sabrina forever and be her little girl. I laughed, thinking the question was funny because I already was her little girl. Mommy laughed with me and tussled me hair. I dreamt that we began packing up all the things I had in that house and moving them to our house. Even in my dream, I was confused by how many big girl things had gotten mixed in with my stuff.
I dreamt that Mommy told me I had to spend one more night at that other house, and then put all the suitcases with my stuff in the back of the car that had been sitting in the driveway for days. I wasn’t sure whose car it was, but I knew it wasn’t Mommy’s. I watched her go and then went back upstairs and crawled into that big girl bed, nervous about staying there all by myself but comforted by knowing Mommy had promised it was the last time.
I was awoken in the middle of the night by a familiar melody of chirps and bells. Out of instinct more than anything, I scrambled to find the source. At some point it stopped, and I just sat on the edge of my bed trying to unravel the thread that melody and tugged loose. When the melody started again, I quickly found the culprit: a cellphone that had fallen in between the nightstand and the bed. My cellphone. Did I own a cellphone? I answered it.
“Claire?” A voice on the other, distorted by static. “Are…okay? You…supposed…back to work…”
“What?” I spoke loudly trying to overcome the static, but I wasn’t sure they could hear me.
There as a loud beep in my ear and I jerked the phone away from my head. The battery had died.
I set the phone on the nightstand and tried to work out what the person had been saying. Back to work? Yes…yes, that sounded familiar. I had a job. Didn’t I? No, babies didn’t have jobs except…yes, I distinctly remembered it now. I worked in a law firm. I worked in a law firm, had an apartment, a life, somewhere far away from here. I was having trouble remembering who I was. Or maybe I was remembering too much, feeling like I had too many conflicting memories.
I had to call someone. I had to call the person on the phone back, maybe they could help me figure out who I was. I got up from the bed and started to leave the room, hoping I could find a phone somewhere in this house. Halfway across the room, I was stopped by the familiar pressure in my lower stomach that told me I needed to pee. It seemed to me like I was supposed to do something about that, but what? Wasn’t I supposed to just let it go? Wasn’t that why I was wearing a diaper? With that in mind, however, the better question was why was I wearing a diaper in the first place? Yes, that’s right, because babies wore diapers and that’s what I was; I was still too little to be potty trained, so I wore diapers. Except, no, I had a job, a life, I was a big girl—I mean, an adult, I was potty trained and wore panties. That sounded right, but I couldn’t deny that I was wearing a diaper.
My train of thought was derailed as the pressure suddenly intensified and then disappeared as my diaper filled with warm pee. Well, that settled that. Except it still didn’t make sense. I forced myself to push it from my mind, however, knowing I couldn’t figure it out myself. I needed help. I needed someone to tell me who I was.
I found my way downstairs and, after some looking, found a phone hanging on the wall in the kitchen. Holding it to my ear, I listen to the drone of the dial tone on the other end: who was I supposed to call? I had meant to call back the person who had called me…but…what was their number? Some numbers floated to the surface of my mind, but not enough to make a phone number. That was when I noticed a piece of paper hanging on a corkboard next to the phone. There were multiple names and numbers written on the paper. At the top of the list was a person named Madison—that sounded familiar. I started dialing the number but slammed the phone down on the receiver after the fourth number.
No, I didn’t want to call Madison. I wasn’t sure why, but I know I didn’t want to call her.
At the bottom of the paper were directions to get into town. I wasn’t entirely certain what that meant, but maybe if I went there someone could help me.
I searched the house for my car keys but couldn’t find them. I did have a car, right? Yes, I had a vivid memory of arriving at this place in a car. Or had someone else been driving? There was no car in the driveway, so I must have been misremembering. That was fine, just fine. I could walk. I found my shoes by the couch and headed out into the night.
My head was pounding and I was having trouble holding on to a thought for more than a few minutes.
Luckily, the moon was full, so I had more than enough light to see by as I made my way up the gravel driveway and into the trees. Normally, I might have been afraid to walk through the woods, even on a path, in the middle of the night, but I was far too afraid of how confused and fuzzy my brain was to even think of being afraid of the dark. I was afraid I might never figure out who I was and what was going on. Terrified that something terrible might happen to me if I couldn’t figure it out.
It was a long walk and I kept expecting to see headlights approaching me from behind, but they never did. I had no idea how long it took, but eventually I saw buildings and lights up ahead. The dirt shoulder of the road turned to sidewalk and I was walking under the harsh glow of the streetlights instead of the soft ambience of moonlight. At first, it seemed like all the buildings were empty and dark and I began to fear that I had walked all the way out here for nothing.
Just when I was beginning to wonder what I could do now, I turned a corner and saw a small diner up ahead, still lit up with a sign in front promising 24-hour service. I had to force myself not to run to the building.
A bell rang as I pushed the door open. Despite being a 24-hour diner, the only person I saw was a young woman with dark, curly hair standing at the host’s station.
“Hey,” she began to say before even beginning to look up from the book she was reading, “How can I—honey, you okay? Do you need help?
The concern on her face told me I must have looked as disheveled as my brain felt.
I did need help, but I suddenly wasn’t sure how to ask for it. I still didn’t know who I could call, and how could this woman help me? How was I supposed to articulate to this woman that I couldn’t remember if I had a job, if I was an adult, if I was potty trained? How was I supposed to ask her which set of memories were the correct ones?
“Hey, you look familiar,” she said, leading me to a stool against the counter. “I’ll get you a glass of water, okay? Did something happen? Should I call someone? The police?”
“You…you know me?” I asked, ignoring everything else she said.
“I don’t think so…you look familiar but…” She set a glass of water in front of me. “Do you know who you are?”
“I…I’m not sure.”
“Maybe I should call the police, honey, or an ambulance. Are you hurt? Where did you come from?” Her tone of voice was dripping with concern and she began moving towards the phone hanging on the wall.
“No, please, no police, no ambulance, I’m not hurt.”
“Okay…okay, sweetie. Where did you come from? I know you aren’t from around here.”
“A house,” I said, “over that way.”
“Over by the lake? Are you staying in one of those houses?” I nodded, pretty sure that sounded right. “Alright, alright, why don’t we call Madison? She rents all those houses out. If you’re staying there, she’ll know who you are.”
“Madison?” I recognized the name from the list by my phone and was still certain I didn’t want to call her, but I otherwise had no idea who that was.
“Yeah, Madison, you probably met her if you’re staying in one of those houses. Nice lady lives up there with her little girl?” Suddenly the girl’s face lit up and she snapped her fingers. “That’s who you remind me of! Madison and her little girl, Sabrina, came in just a few days ago with another little girl, couldn’t have been more than two or three. I think her name was Claire? You look just like her. Do you have a little sister?”
“Madison and her…her little girl?” Something about that tug at my brain hard .
“Yeah! Here,” she said, pulling her phone from an apron pocket, “I’m sure I’ve got a picture, maybe that will jar your memory.”
She set the phone on the counter and pushed it towards me. On the screen was a picture of two people in a booth towards the back of the restaurant, both with stacks of pancakes in front of them. One of them was a woman who looked to be in her thirties, the other a grinning little girl of three or four. The name Mommy floated through my head looking at the older woman. She was Mommy, not Madison. The other was Sabrina. But Sabrina was an adult. No, she wasn’t either; she was like me, something that was not quite adult and not quite a little girl.
Suddenly it all came crashing back on me. Everything that had happened over the past few days. Everything Mommy…no, Madison had done to me. Playing with Sabrina. It all came back to me crystal clear, although I couldn’t understand why I had let it all happen. I had been like a passenger in my own body. More importantly, everything from before came back to me. I was an adult, but Mom—Madison had tried to steal that from me.
“I have to get out of here,” I muttered, half out of my mind with panic, with what might happen if Madison found me before I could get out of town. I heard the stool hit the ground as I ran as hard as I could out of the diner, Julia yelling for me to wait.
I ran as hard and as long as I could, until my lungs were ready to burst. I had to get back to the house, find my stuff, my car, my phone, and get out of town before Madison came looking for me in the morning.
But what about Sabrina? Was Sabrina trapped like I had been? Could I, in good conscience, leave her behind if she was? No, no, I couldn’t save her. Once I was gone, I would send police to help her. But could they? Would they even believe me? Or would they just see Sabrina as a little girl like Julia had? Just like Julia had apparently seen me as a two-year-old. No wonder she hadn’t batted an eyelash to see me walking into her restaurant with my diapers showing.
How had she done it?
By the time I got back to the house I had been renting, my throat was ragged and burning, my lungs felt ready to burst. I needed something cold to drink.
I went straight for the fridge and opened it, my eyes landing on the pitcher of iced tea. The cold liquid was just touching my lips when it all suddenly dawned on me and dropped the pitcher, tea splashing everywhere.
It was the tea. I didn’t understand how, but that had to be it. That had to be it. Then that was how I could save Sabrina. And myself. I had to destroy the plants Madison made the tea from, then hopefully Madison wouldn’t be able to drug Sabrina and she could escape on her own. That was all I could do for her. But first, I pulled the tins of tea out of the cupboard and poured them down the sink, flushing all the bits of leaves and flowers down with water.
Next, I had to get dressed. I was still wearing pajamas and sagging diaper. That realization made me blush…surely Julia had noticed my diaper…but I didn’t have time to be embarrassed. I ran outside and around to the side of the house where the trashcans here, throwing back the lids and dragging out the black trash bag I remember Madison dumping most of my stuff in. I carried the bag into the house and tore into, dumping the contents onto the living room floor and digging through until I found a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and some underwear. I changed right there in the middle of the living room, leaving my diaper…no, not my diaper…on the living room floor. I also found my phone charger and ran upstairs to retrieve my phone.
I still didn’t know where my car was, but that was less important. I’d sneak over to Madison’s house and destroy those plants, then come back to this house. By then, my phone would be charged enough that I just needed to get to someplace with reliable service, then I could call for help.
I still needed something to destroy the plants though. After a search of the house, I found a book of matches in a kitchen drawer and a cannister of gasoline in the small shed off the side of the house. It was, I had to assume, for the lawn mower right next to it. Yes, this would do nicely.
Armed with gasoline and matches, I set off on the path through the trees to Madison’s house. That path seemed safer to me—more places to hide if I heard anyone coming. But the night was eerily still and quiet. It took effort not to run down the path and get this done as quickly as possible, but I couldn’t risk being caught now.
Finally, I could make out the house in the moonlight, and the rows of plants next to it. It was almost done.
Standing just beyond the tree line, I spent a while examining the house, looking for any sign of movement, any sign that Sabrina or Madison might be awake. Even if Sabrina was under Madison’s spell, I had to assume that she was so under Madison’s control that she wouldn’t see me as a rescuer. When I was satisfied that everyone was asleep, I snuck across the open yard and over to the garden.
The garden was larger than I remembered it being, although I guess I never got a really good look at it, so I knew I’d have to be sparing with gasoline to make sure I could burn the whole thing down. I walked up and down the rows of plants, lightly sprinkling gasoline as I went. Just when I thought I was almost done, I walked out of one aisle, ready to turn down the last one, and almost walked right into Madison.
“Claire,” she said, her voice flat. “What do you think you are doing?”
“Fuck you, Madison!” I took a step back and threw the canister of gas at Madison, but completely missed in my panic. My heart was suddenly trying to claw its way up my throat. I fumbled the matches of my pocket. “You’re sick. You’re fucking sick.”
“Claire,” she repeated, an edge of anger seeping into her voice, “stop this nonsense right now, little girl, or I will put you over my knee and—”
“I’m not a little girl, Madison!” I screamed. “I’m a fucking adult!” My hands were fumbling with the matches, I was too panicked to get my fingers to work properly. “And I’m going to burn all your fucking plants down and you can’t use them to drug people anymore!”
“Oh, sweetheart,” the anger left Madison’s voice and was replaced with laughter. “You really think that’s going to stop me? You think I can’t control you without that? The tea just makes you more…susceptible.”
“Shut up!” I screamed, finally getting one of the matches loose. I dragged it across the strike strip on the back of the matchbook, but it fizzled, managing only to singe my thumb a little.
“Let me show you,” Madison said, her voice all anger again. “Let me show you what a helpless little girl I can turn you into.”
Madison began making weird hand motions, a faint glow emanating from her finger tips. A moment of sheer terror took ahold of my mind, a moment to realize I should have escaped when I had a chance, but it was too late. The matchbook fell from my hand and tears welled in my eyes as I felt that all too familiar sensation of warm pee filling the crotch of my jeans, spreading across my ass, running down my legs.
“Uh oh,” a mocking voice came from behind me, “it looks like the wittle-bitty baby peed herself.” Sabrina’s voice was different, she had a more mature cadence instead of her rapid-fire, child-like speech patterns. “That’s what happens when babies sneak around causing trouble and pretending to be big girls.”
“Speaking of,” Madison said, turning her attention to Sabrina, “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”
“Oh, but Mommy,” Sabrina giggled, batting her eyes at Madison, “I really want to see you punish her. You should spank her.”
“Yes,” Madison agreed, “I think a spanking is a good place to start.”
I tried to speak, to protest, to scream for help, but all that came out was gurgling sounds. My tongue felt too think to form words.
“Aww, she’s so cute when she babbles,” Sabrina said, grabbing my hand and pulling me towards the house. “Don’t regress her too much just yet, Mommy, I want to see the humiliation of her face. I want her to remember who she is…at least for a little bit.”
“Oh, me too, sweetheart, me too.”
I stood at the window and stared out over the lake. I had wanted to go swimming today, but Mommy said it was too cold. She said we probably couldn’t go swimming again until next Spring, but I wasn’t sure what that meant. Maybe she’d take me tomorrow or next week. I thought I’d heard Mommy say it might snow next week though, and we were never allowed to swim when it snowed. That was okay though; snow meant building snowmen and making snow angels with Sabrina.
Hopefully Sabrina would be home from daycare soon. That was another thing I wanted to do, but Mommy kept saying I wasn’t big enough. Mommy said when I was big enough to wear pull-ups, then I could go to daycare occasionally, but I had no idea how long it would be before I was big enough for that. Mommy said daycare wasn’t for babies that still needed to be kept in diapers. Besides, it was hardly fair. Sabrina wore pull-ups sometimes, but it seemed like she always ended up peeing in them anyway, and then Mommy put her back in diapers too. Then there was the time Sabrina through a temper tantrum because she didn’t want to wear a diaper—Mommy spanked her and she ended up wearing diapers like me for a week.
Sabrina wasn’t that much bigger than me, why did she get to go to daycare while I stayed home bored?
Sometimes I thought I remembered a time when I got to wear big girl panties, but I knew that was silly. Those were probably just dreams I had. There was no way Mommy would let me wear big girl panties, I would just make a mess out of my clothes. Not even Sabrina ever got to wear those. It was like how I sometimes remember that I used to live in a house a little further along the lake shore, even though I knew I had always lived in this nursery. Sometimes I remember other things too, like driving a car or having a job, but I knew I was just a baby and babies didn’t do those things.
I turned away from the window and waddled back to where I had left my coloring book open in the middle of the floor. I plopped down in front of the coloring book, my diaper squishing as I did, and picked up the crayon I had been using. Hopefully Sabrina would be home soon, then she would play with me.
Vaguely, I was aware that my diaper badly needed changing. Vaguely, I was aware of fresh warmth spreading through it. I was even vaguely aware of a certain tactile pleasure I took in the sensation. But only vaguely. I no longer had to be more than vaguely aware of these things—in truth, I didn’t even have to be that aware. That was because, above all, I knew Mommy would take care of those things for me.
The door to the nursery opened and I looked up, a big grin spreading out behind my pacifier. Sabrina and Mommy were here.