Clarissa Reynolds was quite honestly one of the most ordinary people you could ever come across, in no uncertain way there was absolutely nothing remarkable about her whatsoever. She was 18 years old, still lived with her very boring parents, was about to ship off to a very ordinary university, and was currently having yet another boring summer. She had finished her A-Levels a little over a month ago and was a fair bit into the extended summer break before she began her degree in History come September. Thus far, her time had been spent seeing her one best friend, Freya, and helping her mother with errands around the house. Far from the summers packed with romance, drama and drinking which Hollywood had promised her, and that her peers were likely enjoying at that very moment.
Today was yet another uneventful day, starting like most others, with Clarissa lounging around in bed till some leisurely hour around midday. Being able to wake up at a normal time in the morning and then doze off back to sleep for most of the day was a pleasure that Clarissa was immensely grateful for, not just because it reminded her that for the next two months, she was free from the mind-prison that was school, but because of what she had grown out of. Until just a few months ago, Clarissa was just a little bit less ordinary, at least when compared to most kids her age. Ever since she started high school, she was a bedwetter. Her doctor told her it was something she would grow out of, and that it was probably being caused by her particularly nasty anxiety about everything in life, and yes, she did grow out of it, it’s just that she had hoped it would be before the ripe old age of eighteen. But now, Clarissa was free, she could sleep in until whenever she wanted, rather than being rudely awakened at the crack of dawn by a wet pull-up, or if it was a particularly rough night, soaked sheets.
But now wasn’t the time for nostalgia over past pee related victories, as she had a day to get on with. Hauling herself out of bed, she quickly threw on a favourite hoodie and well-worn jeans and headed through to the bathroom, then having finished there, downstairs to meet her mother.
“Clarissa, how nice of you to finally grace the world with you presence on this fine… afternoon ” said her mum, who was sat on the couch reading a magazine. Clarissa’s mum had always been nothing but loving to her daughter, but that didn’t stop almost every sentence that came out her mouth being gentle ribbing or a sarcastic remark.
“I didn’t realise your whole day was held up by what time I get out of bed, mum” Clarissa, never one to be afraid to jab back, muttered.
“It is when I have to pick your brother up from school at 3, but we need to do the food shopping first, so hurry up and grab something to eat so we can go. I’ll wait for you at the car”
Clarissa sighed and quickly grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl, and followed her mum out to the car, she hopped into the passenger seat, and they headed off.
“So… are you nervous about starting uni?” Clarissa’s mum asked, a few minutes into the journey, breaking a silence that was starting to get awkward.
“I mean… a little bit. It’s gonna be different to everything I’ve had happen to me up until this point in my life, and I’m gonna be so independent but like… I think I’m ready for that” Clarissa replied, mostly believing what she said.
“Do you think you’ll find it easy making new friends?”
“I’m me. Of course it wont be easy making new friends, it was hard enough making the one I have, and thank God she’s coming with me” Clarissa laughed, but deep down she was probably more grateful for the fact Freya would be studying at the same university as her than anything else lately.
“You know you could have more friends than just Freya someday… I don’t mean to make this awkward but I feel like I should ask, are you worried that the accidents might come back with all the change that’s going on?”
Truthfully, Clarissa was deathly afraid of just that. The last time she went through a major change like this, she was starting high school, and all she got to show for that was just shy of seven years of pull-ups and shame. She wasn’t going to let her mum know this though, because as much as her mum loved her, she would be more than happy to ship her off to uni with a suitcase full of Drynites.
“Mum. I’ve been dry for almost five months now, I really don’t think it’s going to be a problem anymore. I think with everything that will be happening, I think my brain will be too distracted to even think about making me have night-time accidents”
“That… isn’t how the brain works…” her mum laughed warmly.
“I’m not a brain scientist!” she giggled.
“Not yet !”
“My degree is in history!” both women now heartily laughing with each other in the newly parked car.
“I know sweetie. I’m just saying! The world is your oyster. But right now, the supermarket is our oyster, lets go” she tussled Clarissa’s short hair and winked. The pair both got out of the car and headed into the little local supermarket.
A trip to the supermarket should have been a typically uneventful part of Clarissa’s day, but this trip ended up being just one small part of a series of events that would lead to today being in no uncertain terms, awful. Most of the shop went as expected, with her mum grabbing all the basic essentials, and Clarissa sneaking in a few treats for herself along the way. Her mum usually did let her grab a few things for herself, saying that it was her way of paying her for the help around the house. Clarissa was particularly happy when her mum allowed her to grab a box of her favourite cereal, although knowing her sleep schedule it would be more of a lunchtime meal than the typical breakfast food.
It wasn’t until a few aisles into the store that things started to go very very wrong for Clarissa, and in typical fashion it was a joke from her mum that caused it all. They had just gone down the aisle where the baby stuff was, something that always brought up less than pleasant memories for Clarissa, for obvious reasons. Today her mum decided she would do everything other than alleviate those bad memories
“Do you still have any pull-ups left over by the way? I was meaning to ask” her mum asked, in a tone way too loud for Clarissa’s comfort.
“No, of course not! I threw the damn things out as soon as I didn’t need them!” she growled in response.
“Jeez Louise, sorry! I was only thinking it might be smart for you to bring just a pack with you to uni, just in case” She seemed taken aback by her daughters’ angry response.
“I won’t need them. And even if I did, which I wont, they have supermarkets at uni, I’m sure I’d be able to buy some there, which again, I wont need to” she said firmly. Conversations like these, which happened all too often, upset Clarissa a lot, as they made her feel like her accomplishments were being knocked by her mum. That she just saw her as one bad day away from soaked sheets and needing protection.
“Well… I’m going to buy a pack anyway, if you don’t need them then maybe one of the other mums at your brother’s school might have a girl who could use them” She grabbed a pack of pull-ups off the shelf, the glaring pink packaging like a beacon to anyone wanting to judge her, and low and behold, someone had just turned the corner to do just that.
“Are those nappies Clarissa?!?” screeched a voice from behind the pair. One that sent shivers down both of their spines. It belonged to the girl who single handedly tried her best to make every day Clarissa spent at school a living hell. The girl who mocked Clarissa for every tiny little thing she ever did. The girl who when she was reported to the school for bullying her peer, called up her mum’s work and claimed that she was a racist, just to try and make Clarissa’s life worse. Megan Price. The bane of both of their lives.
“Does wittle Clairey still need her nappies?” She said in a sing song voice before letting out a nasty little cackle of a laugh.
“Don’t you have somewhere better to be Megan?” her mum said, with the condescension in her voice turned up to the max.
“Nowhere better than taking the piss out of your idiot daughter, although it seems like she’s pretty good at taking the piss out of herself”
“Shut up! They’re my brother’s!” Clarissa spat, her mother giving her a look that was both one of understanding and telling her to be quiet.
“Oooh I didn’t realise your brother was a girl, and needed 15-18 year old size nappies, actually I only know one baby girl who’s that big. And it’s you, bitch ” Clarissa knew from the moment the brother excuse left her mouth that she was opening herself up to that one, she cursed herself under her breath.
“Listen Megan, I’m going to tell you one time and one time only, stop harassing my daughter or I will call security” Clarissa knew her mum wasn’t joking, by the look on her face so did Megan, that didn’t stop the girl from pulling out her phone and starting filming.
“Listen to this guys, this is funny as shit . I just stumbled upon that lass from… what was it Miss Trevor’s form? And she’s here buying nappies with her mummy! Not like baby nappies cause that’s whatever, but like the kind for kids who still piss the bed… fuckin pathetic…” Clarissa’s mum reached to slap the phone out of Megan’s hand but she moved away before she got the chance. Megan hurried off out of the shop giggling like an idiot, and the tears started streaming down Clarissa’s face, her mum wrapped her arms tightly around her daughter. Clarissa’s tears soaked her mum’s cardigan sleeves, she was so upset she didn’t even stop to care about the fact that people were staring, she could cry about that later.
“I want to go home” Clarissa sobbed.
Clarissa flopped down on her bed, tears already staining her pillow. Her mum had sat with her as she sobbed for over an hour, before having to leave to go and pick her brother up from school, she was still crying. Her life was over, the video that Megan filmed would probably be already out there in the world, all the people she knew would soon think, thanks to that bitch Megan, that she wore nappies. She had decided to spend the entire rest of her summer in her room, then she could disappear off to uni and never see these people again for the rest of her life, hopefully. In the corner of her room sat that damned pink pack of pull-ups, taunting her. She stuck her middle finger up at them, like that would do anything to undo what had happened.
She pondered what to do, whether to take the plunge and check her socials, check to see if her life had been ruined yet by Megan. She unlocked her phone, there were no notifications. She wasn’t exactly popular normally, but this time, it was a good sign. Checking through her various social media pages there wasn’t any mention of her at all, let alone in conjunction with the awkward incident at the shops. She breathed half a sigh of relief, things were okay(ish) for now. She needed to talk to someone though, someone who actually knew of her… situation, other than her mum. She texted Freya, her best friend since childhood, the girl who knew her since they were both in pre-school. The only person aside from her mum and brother, and her dad when he was around, who actually knew her secret.
“Hey are you free to call?” she messaged, really hoping Freya would respond quickly.
“Hey, yeah I’m free! Let’s chat!” The girl responded almost instantly, and sure enough Clarissa’s phone began buzzing as Freya video called her.
“Hey girl! How have you been, feels like we haven’t spoken in ages!” Freya said, grinning from ear to ear.
“Kinda shitty, honestly. Well, really shitty”
“Oh God, what happened? Is everyone okay in your family?” The former glee in her voice quickly replaced with worry.
“No its just… I saw Megan at the shop today and mum insisted on us buying pull-ups and…”
“You don’t need them again do you Clar? You know its totally chill if you do” Freya inturrpted.
“No, but my mum seems to have it in her head that as soon as I go to uni I will again, so bought some just in case. Which that bitch Megan decided to take a video of, which I assume she’s going to send to everyone we know”
“People who you won’t need to give a shit about after September though?” Freya said, raising a fair point.
“That isn’t the point, its June right now, that’s three whole months of everyone knowing that, however technically untrue it is, in Megan’s words, I wear nappies. You know I can’t deal with that” Clarissa was starting to panic, her chest had gotten tight and her vision began to tunnel.
“Clar, calm down, listen, she hasn’t posted it yet, and maybe she won’t even do that”
“What motive does she have to not post it, of course she’s going to post it!”
“Clarissa, remember in year 9 when we went to Beth’s birthday sleepover, and you were so stoked to be invited, but almost didn’t go because you had to bring your pull-ups? You remember how you had soaked them that first night we were there and what did I do? I made myself literally throw up as a distraction so you could get to the bathroom and change out of it privately. I will protect you however I can Clar, you’re my best friend, I love you hun” There was genuine warmth in Freya’s voice, a feeling that spread to Clarissa and did genuinely calm her, Freya could always do that for her, she was special.
“Thanks. You’re a really good friend, Freya. Can you stay and chat with me for a while?”
“I’d do literally anything for you” there was an odd tone to Freya’s speech, like her voice had betrayed an emotion she didn’t want to come out. Clarissa thought she knew what it was, but now wasn’t the time to deal with complicated things like that, now was the time to spend a hours just having a good time with her best friend, trying not to think about how her life might get ruined soon.
Clarissa and Freya chatted for hours on end, about everything from movies, to games, to who the funniest teacher was, to boys they liked… and the occasional girl. Eventually though, both girls drifted off to sleep, however one woke up in a worse predicament than the other, in multiple ways.
“Clarissa…” came a voice from the darkness, gently nudging Clarissa awake.
“Huh?” she mubled, still not fully conscious.
“Clarissa honey, wake up, you’ve uhh… had an accident” her mum said, softly coming into focus as Clarissa opened her eyes.
“Don’t say that… no I haven’t” Clarissa slurred. Although the cold feeling around her crotch started to give her the sneaking suspicion that might not be entirely true.
“I’m afraid you have sweetie, but don’t worry, hop in the shower and I’ll sort everything out here with your sheets” Clarissa was humiliated, her face flushed beet red, her body started shaking. This wasn’t her, she was better than this, she hadn’t been like this in months. It was all Megan’s fault, she messed with her head, made this happen.
“I’m so so sorry mum” Clarissa said weakly, small teardrops forming in the corners of her eyes.
“It’s fine sweetie, I promise, I really don’t mind, you’re still growing and you had a really shitty day yesterday, I understand” her voice deeply reassuring Clarissa.
“I guess you’re gonna make me wear the pull-ups tonight aren’t you?” she sobbed.
“No honey not tonight, I’m sure this was just a one off, you don’t have to wear a pull-up. Now go get cleaned up!”
“Thanks mummy, I really love you” Clarissa hugged her mum, both a little surprised that she had called her mummy, something she’d not called her in a long time.
Clarissa hurried through to the shower, and washed up, still flush with embarrassment over what happened. This wasn’t her, she thought. She dried off and headed back to her room, her phone was lit up on her bedside table, reading three new voicemails. Panic started to set in, she grabbed her phone and played them one by one.
“Hey Clarissa you little baby, it’s Megan, I’ve got that little video of you here with you little baby nappies, call me back and maybe we can see what you can do to stop me sending it to everyone you know” her voice grated inside Clarissa’s head, she hated her with every part of her being. She pressed play on the second message.
“I bet you peed the bed last night too didn’t you, wet your little bedwetter nappies, absolutely pathetic” Tears started to form in Clarissa’s eyes once again. She played the third and final message.
“Listen, Clarissa. Maybe we can sort something out about not releasing that video, I know this probably seems really weird coming from me but… it’s complicated and… maybe there’s some things you can do for me that might make me… I don’t know, change my mind I guess. Come meet me later today in the town park, I promise this isn’t me trying to fuck with you or anything…” the message ended, and Clarissa was left standing there in her room confused out of her mind as to what could be going on. She was going to see Megan, if only to slap her for what she caused, but also because she was curious, in ways she wasn’t sure about, as to what Megan could want from her.