The Pains of Travel
The Pains of Travel
Mackenzie Leanbh (pronounced Lanuv) was a 16 year old. There was nothing special about him, but there was nothing bland about him either. He had fiery red hair and pale skin with a few freckles on his cheeks. He had high cheek bones, a small nose, big green eyes, and full lips. He was a little under average height at 5'5" (1.6 meters), and he never got very thick (maxing out his weight at 130 lbs) but that doesn't mean that he wasn't athletic. Mac was the star of his high school's tennis team, which won at the state level just a month before the last day of his sophomore year. That last day of school was supposed to be filled with no class work, an afternoon filled with tennis, and a night of drunken craziness, but fate had another idea.
He drove his black Jeep home after the three o'clock bell finally rang to give him three months of unadulterated freedom. Although, when he got home he noticed that something was definitely wrong. The garage door was open revealing his dad's Porsche inside. This may seem normal enough, but not if you were to know that for the past eight years Mac's father has never been home from work before 7pm, and often not until 10. Mac's father moved him to New York after his mother died. He had always wanted a corporate level management job in his firm, but she wanted to stay in Ocean City, California. When she passed, Mr. Leanbh took the first opportunity to get the huge pay raise that came with a move to the corporate headquarters in New York City, but the position often required him to work long hours, often over 12 hours/day. This meant that with his hour long commute into and out of Manhattan, Mac almost never got to see his father. This only served to add to the lonely state that he'd sunk into when his mother passed.
As Mac got out of his Jeep and approached the house, he could already hear his dad shouting. "I don't care what the global economy is like! Our job is to serve our clients and cushion them from exactly this type of thing!" he was screaming. Mac entered to see that he was yelling angrily at his cell phone. "Just a sec, my son just got in." He said addressing whoever was on the other end of the conversation. He turned to Mac "Get upstairs and pack up. I need to fly to Montenegro, and you're staying here by yourself. You're taking a weeklong vacation in beautiful Ocean City, California starting tonight. Do you remember Kathy and Alexis? They offered to take you in while I'm out of the country."
"But Dad..." Mac started to argue. The furious demeanor that then appeared on his father's face instantly made him change his mind. He was slightly indignant, because as a 16 year old he would be able to take care of himself for a week. Hell, if he lived in some places in the world, he'd be well on his way to starting a family. It wouldn't be that bad in all reality. He remembered his old neighbors Kathy and Lexi, very well. Kathy had always been very friendly and warm to him, letting him steal freshly baked cookies and the like. Her daughter Lexi, however, was not such a treat. She was six months his senior and always used that seniority to push him around and put him in awkward situations. He never cared for how manipulative and pushy she was, but he put up with her to snag some of Kathy's home baked goods. "What time am I leaving?" He asked.
"Your flight leaves in 3 hours. So we need to head out in 20 minutes at the latest. Now go get packing." His father said before he turned around and continued hollering insults at the poor fellow on the other end of the conversation.
Mac headed upstairs and changed into jeans and a blue t-shirt and started throwing clothes and shoes and other essentials into his suitcase. When he had all of that packed up he grabbed his backpack from school, dumped everything out of it and threw in a couple of books that he'd been meaning to read, along with his handheld video game system. He was about ready to go when his father came in and looked at his suitcase. "Did you pack your diapers?" He asked with a short tone in his voice.
"No, I haven't wet the bed in almost two months now. Besides, my suitcase is all full." replied Mac as he struggled to zip up his belongings.
His dad walked across the room to his dresser and opened the top drawer. He pulled out a huge handful of Goodnites disposable undergarments (way more than he needed for a weeklong trip) and he stuffed them in Mac's carry-on luggage. "Kathy is being very generous putting you up while I'm out of town. She doesn't have a lot of money as it is. I don't want to hear about you ruining her sheets or her mattress, just because you're too cool to wear your diapers. You will wear one every night, and so help me if you don't."
"Fine. I got it. Sorry." Mac said as he rolled his eyes, quite embarrassed about the whole situation. You see, he had been wetting his bed off and on ever since his mother died and the only way that they've found to deal with it is by wearing protection. He did realize that when he slept in new places it was more likely to happen, so his dad was probably right.
His dad grabbed the suitcase on the bed, and he grabbed the backpack, which was also stuffed full at this point, and they headed down the stairs to the car and took off for the airport. It was a quiet ride there, and when his dad dropped Mac off at departures (because his dad had a much later flight out) he got a sturdy handshake.
The line at the ticketing counter was long and Mac barely got through security in time to catch his flight. He walked down the aisle as the last one to board, and saw his seat near the back of the plane and he was suddenly filled with joy. He had ridden on many planes in his life, but never until now had he been seated next to a good looking girl about his age (plus he got a window seat *yay*). "Excuse me, that's my seat. Do you mind if I squeeze through?" he asked, addressing the petite yet busty blonde bombshell beside whom he was to sit.
"Of course not," she smiled at him. "My name is Lauren. What's yours?" She asked in a surprisingly friendly manner.
"I'm Mac," he said, a little thrown back by her demeanor.
"Hello, Mac. Are you going to see family or just taking a vacation?" She asked.
"Well, it's a family friend, but I wouldn't really call it a vacation. My dad just wanted to get rid of me for a week. So I guess I'd have to say neither. What about you?" he asked.
"My parents are divorced, so I spend the school year with my mom and the summers with my dad. And I just love spending my summer vacations with him in sunny California. So I guess I'd have to say both." she replied clearly mocking him in a teasing manner.
"How old are you?" he asked.
"I'm seventeen, gonna be a senior next year," she said. "What about you?"
"I'm sixteen, gonna be a junior next year," he mimicked.
"Awww, he's just a baby. Cute." She laughed as she mocked him right back.
He got slightly flustered, but kept chatting with her right through the flight attendant's pre-departure safety brief. They chatted about the weather, and their schools, and their hobbies, and so on until the conversation eventually died off. After a few minutes of silence, Mac decided to pull out his hand held video game. He picked his backpack up and set it on his lap unzipping it quickly. Suddenly the bag burst open and his Goodnites fell everywhere; on the floor, on his lap, on the seat, and there was even one on Lauren's lap next to him.
"Awww," she whined again. "He really is just a little baby. Does the little baby need some diapers?" She laughed. He was mortified, however. He didn't find it funny. He found it to be one of the worst experiences of his life in fact. His cheeks turned bright red and he even looked like he might cry as he tried to think of a way to explain this away.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Lauren said as she laid her hand on his arm. "I didn't want to embarrass you too badly. I was just teasing a little. Anyway, I don't think it's bad, I actually kind of think it's cute. You're not wearing one now, are you?" She asked him.
"No," he said shortly as he finally started to pile the diapers back into his bag. He then pulled out his video game and plugged his headphones in and hoped that he wouldn't have to talk to her or look at her ever again. Eventually he dozed off and fell asleep.
He awoke with a need to relieve his bladder. He squeezed past Lauren trying to avoid extended eye contact and walked back to the lavatories. The line, however, was quite long. Finally after waiting 15 minutes and holding back his increasingly urgent needs, he was next in line. Just then the airplane hit a horrible patch of turbulence. Everyone screamed as the plane shook violently and Mac was literally lifted off of the floor and dropped on his butt. The captain then announced that they were going through turbulence (thank you captain obvious) and that all passengers should return to their seats and fasten their seat belts.
"Excuse me, sir," Said one of the flight attendants to him. "You'll have to return to your seat now."
"But I'm next to use the lavatory, and I really have to go." He said.
"Well hopefully you'll be able to make it through the turbulence with a full bladder, now please return to your seat."
Mac wobbled back to his seat on the shaky plane and sat down with a cringe. He knew that he wouldn't be able to put up with this for very long, but hoped that the turbulence would stop before his bladder let go. He crossed his legs, and fidgeted, and tried to think of anything but running water, but the bouncing turbulence was definitely not helping.
"Is something wrong, Mac?" Asked Lauren with genuine concern. "We'll get through this, don't worry about it." She said, mistaking his discomfort for fear of the air conditions.
"No, it's not that." He said as he felt a little dribble escape. "I just want to get through this so I can finally use the bathroom."
"You still haven't gotten to use the bathroom?!" She asked. "Well, you do have all those diapers right there, maybe one of those can help." She giggled.
He rolled his eyes, and continued focusing on his bladder, but then the plane dropped an astounding amount causing Mac's seatbelt to dig into his lower abdomen and causing him to thoroughly soak his pants. He looked down in terror as he watched the dark spot spread across his lap and even dribble over the seat and drip to the floor.
"You did it?" asked Lauren as she grabbed his hand. "You poor baby. I wish I could just take you to the back and get you into a nice clean diaper." As embarrassing as that was for Mac, Lauren did seem genuine about it, so at least he knew she wasn't making fun of him. "Do you have any clean pants in your carry-on?" she asked him.
"No, just some books and those diapers you saw." He said, as he tried to think of what he would do to get through the rest of the day. Lauren pulled out the duffle bag that she carried on and pulled out some pink sweat pants that said CHEER on the butt.
"I know it's not ideal, but at least they're dry." She said. "When we get out of this turbulence you can change. I do expect you to mail them back to me though, so no going commando."
"Well what do you expect me to wear under them?" He asked.
"You have all those diapers right there. Plus, it looks like they may come in handy for you anyway." She said with a wink.
Eventually the turbulence did calm down and the captain told them that they were free to move about the cabin. Mac reluctantly grabbed a diaper and the pink sweatpants from Lauren and made the walk of shame back to the lavatories while everyone stared at him. He changed in the cramped bathroom and checked himself out. Goodnites are about as discreet as you can get, but when you're wearing tight sweatpants, you're not going to hide much. There was definitely a slight puffiness evident in the seat of his pants, right where they said CHEER. He walked back to his seat and saw that it was covered with plastic.
"I borrowed some trash bags from one of the flight attendants," said Lauren handing him the one that wasn't on his seat. "You can put your pants in here, and I used the other one for your seat. I thought you might like a dry place to sit. By the way, you look really cute in those. I think your butt fills out the back better than mine does, but I'm sure the diaper helps that."
"Thanks?" He said, half way asking if it was actually a compliment. He took his dirty pants and underwear, put them in the trash bag, and stuffed them into the bottom of his carry-on.
"Here's my address. When you wash the sweatpants, just send them here." She said as she handed him a slip of paper.
He tried to get comfortable, but the noisy, slippery plastic under his butt made for an awkward ride. Eventually they arrived at their destination in California, and he was glad to get off of the plane and get out of there. Hopefully the rest of his California vacation will be better...
...TO BE CONTINUED...