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"Come on, this is ridiculous!" Sarah whined. She knew that only made her sound more childish - she told herself that was part of her plan, to show her mother how silly she was being, but at least part of her knew it was just because she was upset.
"The way you've been acting lately, you're lucky I haven't gotten you a babysitter," her mother told her sternly. "Now show me, young lady." When Sarah made no move to do any such thing, her mother put her hands on her hips and gave her the look, the one that told Sarah she wasn't playing around. "Would you like me to look myself?"
"Fine," Sarah huffed, hand brushing against the hem of her yellow babydoll tank top to unbutton the front of her pink shorts, sliding them down just far enough to show off the front of her training pants. They were white, trimmed in pink, decorated with pictures of cupcakes, and were Sarah's least favorite piece of clothing, despite the fact that she had packages of Goodnites and diapers, both of which she had been wearing on a regular basis lately. What made these worse was the fact that they were cloth - thus, not disposable - and unique. "I don't need these, you know."
"If I did know that, you wouldn't be wearing them," her mother informed her. "Believe me, nobody will be happier than me if I come home and find them dry. But I'm not about to risk it, especially not with it raining outside all day. I know hearing that sound all day could make it a little more difficult for you to hold it in."
Sarah rolled her eyes. "God, mom, I'm almost twenty, not two!" She'd just turned nineteen, actually, but that was still close to twenty, right? Certainly closer to that than to any age where the way she was being treated would be appropriate. Though, in all fairness, she should have expected it, after her birthday.
She preferred not to remember her birthday, as that had been when her mother had given her the training panties currently mocking her from beneath her shorts. Even though her mom had given it to her in private, it had still been humiliating to open a box, on the birthday after the one that was supposed to signify her becoming an adult, and find those sitting inside, in a package with two others. The others were more plain, pink and purple, but they were both waiting to be washed now.
"I'm sure they're much softer than those Goodnites," her mother had told her, as she'd stared blankly into the box, feeling a little ill. "And they're reusable! They should be much more economical for you than buying a whole package of Goodnites if you just need them every now and then."
Sarah had decided not to point out that there was no way she'd be caught dead washing those at college, instead forcing as sincere a, "Thank you," as she could muster before setting the box aside. Feeling a little bitter, she'd wondered why her mom hadn't just gotten her diapers. A few days later, she did, though she didn't bother wrapping them. She'd just left them on the top of Sarah's dresser.
When Sarah, annoyed but mostly embarrassed had asked about them, her mother had simply told her, "You're wearing those to bed from now on. Those little Goodnites of yours are clearly not absorbant enough, and I won't have you ruining your mattress."
"Can't I just wear my training pants?" Sarah had asked. "They're thicker than my Goodnites and..."
"I'd rather not have to do the laundry every three days," her mother had said.
"It doesn't happen every night!"
"Then why have I been washing your sheets every day?" That had shut Sarah up.
At college, she'd never had this much trouble, either with volume or frequency. She did tend to drink less water there, since doing so meant walking all the way down the hall to a water fountain to fill a cup. She didn't drink it as late, either, since the last thing she wanted to do once she was in her Goodnite and pajamas was leave her room. And, since she had to get changed when her roommate wasn't around, to keep her from finding out, she was often dressed like that for quite a while. When her roomie would bring friends over, it was hard not to feel like a little sister, trying to hang out with her big sister and her friends, but all dressed up in her jammies already in case she fell asleep from staying up too late. Her diminutive stature and lackluster development compared to most other girls her age didn't help much in that department, either.
She knew she should at least try to stop drinking after a certain time of the day now that she was home for the summer. That might help, and if not, no real harm was done, other than going to bed thirsty a night or two. But the thought of doing that just made her feel like a toddler with a bedwetting problem, and she resisted it because of that, even though part of her knew that was probably making her problem worse. She was being stubborn, and silly, but sometimes that felt like the only thing she had control of anymore. At least for now. She had no doubt that her mother would get around to that soon enough, and make her come toddling up to her in the evening, after getting diapered up for bed, and ask for a glass of water like some little kid. And she'd probably say no, then demand to see Sarah's diaper, as if the waddle it added to her step wasn't enough proof that she had it on.
She had no doubt that last part would happen, since it already did. And if she didn't venture out from her room in time to be seen by her mom, her mother would come to her. And, since her mother went to bed before she did, she'd find herself having to get changed into at least her nighttime underthings much earlier than she normally would. Sometimes, as she stood there, holding her nightshirt up, cheeks burning, she'd find herself thinking about her roommate, Nora.
It wasn't entirely fair to blame her bedwetting for making her feel like a kid around Nora, because that had started the moment she'd met her. Nora was tall, beautiful, confident, everything Sarah didn't consider herself. When she'd first met her, she'd been sure she had to be a senior, not a freshman, but, sure enough, they were the same age, less than a month apart - and Sarah was actually the older of the two. That had blown her mind a little when she'd first found out. And made her feel all the worse about their first meeting, when she'd been sitting on her bed, crying, afraid she'd made a big mistake in deciding to go to college right away, without taking a year off, as Nora breezed in with her first box of stuff.
While she was gorgeous, it wasn't her looks that intimidated Sarah as much as her attitude. She just seemed so grown up and sophisticated compared to her. Nora didn't seem the least bit nervous about moving away from home, she wasn't shy to meet new people, she didn't let upcoming tests freak her out, she didn't seem to mind the idea of changing clothes in front of someone else at all. Sarah, on the other hand, was glad to be away from her mother, sure, but everything felt so overwhelming.
And they'd only gotten worse as the school year had worn on. She'd wound up dropping a class so she wouldn't fail it, but even with that extra time, she found herself getting closer and closer to failing her other classes, too. At home, her mother had always set aside certain times where she wasn't allowed to do anything else but study, but at college, she didn't have that - she'd much rather spend her time hanging out, or playing on the Internet, or whatever. Even when she knew she should buckle down, she found herself resisting the idea of setting aside a study time, just because she knew it was what her mom would do.
It was really little wonder that, after midterms, she'd started wetting the bed. She was sure they'd been a disaster, that she had flunked out of everything and was about to be sent home, back to her disappointed mother. The stress of it all had just been too much for her. That first morning, she, of course, hadn't been expecting it, so she hadn't made an effort to get up earlier than Nora, like she got used to doing after that, and her roommate had seen.
Sarah was mortified. "I-I-I... I must have drank too much," she stammered, trying to think of some explanation. In truth, she'd never had alcohol in her life, but Nora had, quite frequently. For the first few weeks, she'd done her best to get Sarah to join her in the parties she went to every weekend, but she'd eventually given up. Nora never seemed to suffer any ill effects from her drinking, but Sarah had heard of other girls wetting their bed after a wild night, so it sounded plausible. "We were celebrating midterms being over, and I guess I got carried away."
Nora, it turned out, didn't really seem to care one way or the other. She'd shrugged and said, "It happens. You really have to pay attention to how much you drink. Especially a little thing like you," and never brought it up again. Still, Sarah had spent the next week or so terrified that she'd hear Nora had been spreading the rumor around campus that she was a bedwetter, and she'd resolved to make sure it never happened again.
And then it had. And again. And, finally, she got tired of having to wake up super early to make sure it hadn't, to hide the evidence before Nora woke up, then hurry her stuff down to the laundry room, and, late one night, after Nora was already asleep, she drove to Wal-Mart and bought herself her first package of Goodnites. Sometimes she wondered if she was making things worse, adding "finding a way to change in and out of Goodnites in secret in a shared room" to her list of things to worry about, but what choice did she have? And, as far as she knew, all the sneaking around had paid off, since Nora hadn't found out, or at least hadn't said anything.
She had hoped that her bedwetting would stop once she got home for the summer, and was done with classes, but obviously that hadn't happened. And, unlike Nora, her mother had found out almost right away. Sarah wasn't sure if that had been because she'd gotten lazy, just throwing her Goodnites away in her bathroom, assuming she'd be the one to take it out, like she had before she went to college, or if her mother had known to look for it. After all, she'd worn her Goodnites over Christmas and spring breaks. She'd thought she'd hidden them, and her mom hadn't mentioned it, but she also hadn't seemed to surprised when she'd confronted Sarah about finding her wet things in the trash.
"Well, you're certainly pouting like a two year old," her mother told her, looking down at her grumpy daughter, sulking as she thought about her plight. "Just be good, and stay dry." She kissed the top of Sarah's head, signaling that she was done with the conversation, whether Sarah liked it or not, and picked up her purse. "Text me if you need anything."
"I'll be fine," Sarah said, rolling her eyes. "It's one afternoon." She followed her mother over to the door, then went over to the window, watching her put her stuff down and get settled. "Come on, get out of here," Sarah hissed under her breath, as if there was any chance her mom could hear her all the way out there. She began to squirm in anticipation, hardly able to wait until her mother left before she ran to her room, tore off her silly training pants, and put on some normal underwear.
She wasn't sure if, when her mom got back and she'd made it the whole day without an accident, even without her training pants "just in case", she'd brag about it. There was certainly a part of her that wanted to do just that. That would hardly help her claims of being an adult, however, not to mention that, accident-less or not, her mother might get mad that she'd changed. Still, it was nice to think about how good that would feel.
"Gooo!" she begged, practically bouncing now. It was a sad comment on her life how excited she was to get out of these things, though a big part of it was also the prospect of a day all on her own, to do whatever she wanted. She groaned as she saw her mother stop moving for a moment, then pick up her phone. Why was someone calling her now?! Knowing her mom, there was no way she'd start to drive while she was on the phone, which meant her change was going to be delayed even further. She could always go change now, of course, but, until the car was gone, there was always a chance her mom could come back inside. She didn't know for sure that her mom would be able to tell she wasn't in her training pants any more just from looking at her, but she didn't want to risk it.
She jumped as her phone chirped at her, pulling it out of her pocket to find a text from her mom. "If you need to go potty that bad, GO. I hope you didn't have an accident already."
Her cheeks flushed as she wrote back a curt, "I'm fine," forcing herself to stay still afterward. It wasn't too hard, since the text had killed her enthusiasm somewhat - she hoped it was just because it had less letters, but her mother's use of "potty" instead of "bathroom" was especially mood-killing. She wasn't about to explain that she hadn't been doing a potty dance, though.
Instead of leaving it at that, her mom replied, "I hope so. If you do, I want you to change into a diaper, not your Goodnites, okay?"
Sarah tapped out a very frustrated "NO!" before thinking better of it and not replying at all. A minute or two passed as she stared out into the rain, and, just as she realized her mom wasn't going to leave until she answered, her phone chirped again. This time, the message was a simple, "Sarah...", but she could practically hear the tone her mother would have said it in, if she weren't out in the car. It was the tone that told her she was acting like the little kid she claimed not to be, that she was trying her mother's patience, that she had better straighten up, or she would regret it.
Going back to sulking, Sarah replied, "Fine," then stuck her phone back in her pocket. Her shorts only had one, in the back. Like most of the clothes she had to wear, they were meant for a younger kid than her, presumably one without a nice cell phone, as hers didn't fit all the way in, but it was better than nothing. She heard it chime again, but ignored it defiantly, crossing her arms and waiting. For a moment or two, she worried she was going to have to break down and look at the message after all, that her mother would require an answer again, but, finally, the car began to move, rolling gently down the driveway and out onto the road before vanishing into the rain.
Sarah felt a smile cross her face as she continued to watch, making absolutely sure the car wasn't returning. "Good riddance!" she exclaimed, sticking her tongue out before turning and heading to her room, determined to make the most of her day. She could already see herself, ripping off her training pants, tossing them into the garbage can in her room - purely symbolic, of course, since she'd have to grab them back out when her mom came back so she could put them back on, but it would still make her feel good - and slipping on some nice, thin, regular panties.
She wasn't even out of the living room before the doorbell rang. She jumped at the sound, then froze. Was her mom back after all? She hadn't even heard the car approaching! But why would she ring the doorbell? Sarah supposed her hands could be full, and she couldn't turn the knob, but all she'd taken was her purse and umbrella, and she'd gotten out easily enough.
The doorbell rang again. Sarah wasn't expecting any visitors, and surely if her mother was, she'd have let Sarah know. It was probably just a delivery, Sarah told herself. Maybe her mom had ordered something, and the postman didn't want to leave the box on the front porch. She didn't really want anyone to see her like this, but after a hasty glance downward, she decided the bulge wasn't too bad. Besides, it would only take a second to grab the package and give a quick, "Thanks!" before closing the door.
So she walked back across the living room and to the front door. She started to look out the peephole, but the doorbell rang again, and she decided not to make him wait anymore. But when she opened the door, it wasn't the postman standing there. It was a girl, taller than her, in a pair of tight jeans and a short sleeved shirt hoodie, a pair of stuffed cat ears adorning the top. She didn't stay outside long, either, pushing past Sarah and onto the welcome mat.
"Were you going to leave me out there all day?" the girl asked, sounding slightly agitated. "I don't know if you noticed, but it's raining!"
"I'm sorry," Sarah apologized automatically, before even she even thought that she should ask who this was who had just barged into her house. The girl rolled her eyes, then pushed the hood back, letting it fall away from her face. For a split second, Sarah was confused, trying to place the face, and then it hit her.
"Melody?" she said hesitantly, hardly able to believe it. Melody and her parents had moved next door about a year and a half ago, and Sarah had babysat Melody quite often her senior year of high school. Then, Melody had been a scrawny little tween, and not particularly happy about having to have a babysitter - not, Sarah thought with a blush, too dissimilar to how she'd felt as she'd spoken to her mother just a few minutes earlier.
Sarah's mom had told her that Melody had grown up quite a bit since she'd been away at college, but she hadn't seen her since coming home for the summer. It was hard to believe it could be the same girl, but, looking at her face, she was sure it had to be her. Just like with Nora, Sarah would have had a hard time believing she was the same age as this girl, but this time, she wasn't. She was older than this girl, too, and by significantly more than a month.
Melody paused for a moment, looking down at her, then smiled. "Hi, Sarah," she said. "I was hoping I'd catch you here. I saw your mom's car leave, but I didn't think you were in it. I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"
"Oh, no," Sarah shrugged. "Just sitting around, you know. Not a whole lot else to do with it raining like this, you know?"
"I don't know about that," she grinned. "I'm sure we can think of something fun."