“How excited are you for Ruthie’s birthday?!” squealed Bea, who was always excited about something. “Do you think her brother’s gonna be there? He’s, like, so cute…”
Edith shrugged. She didn’t give a ton of thought to boys like Chuck Colborne; he was much too athletic for her liking. Edith was barely paying attention anyway; she was very much regretting not using the bathrooms at school before their walk home.
Auburn-haired Pearl rolled her eyes. “Well, probably. I mean, he lives there. Jeez, Bea, use your brain,” she abrasively replied.
“I was just kidding,” Bea sheepishly muttered, backpedaling on her comments.
Pearl grinned. “We all know that Chuck’s way more into me anyway. I mean, we both play soccer…”
Edith smiled but said nothing. She was trying not to laugh at all, fearing that she would open the flood gates. Neither of her friends were likely to win over Ruthie’s sixteen-year-old brother, which really leveled the playing field for all three girls. If any of them were likely to win over someone in junior year, it would be Ruthie. She had already dated a boy from her brother’s class earlier in the year and it was Ruthie who had broken up with him. Edith squeezed her thighs together and scuffed her feet along the pavement, feeling her full bladder bouncing around like a water balloon with each step.
As they approached Edith’s house, she began to feel a bit nervous. She didn’t much care for
sleepovers; sleeping on the floor of someone else’s living room always made it hard for her to fall asleep and she usually felt terrible the next morning, like the world was unstable. Not to mention, last time she went to a sleepover with Ruthie, she had wet the bed. She called her mom in the middle of the night to come get her so nobody would see what had happened. Edith knew she was too old for that to happen again; she hadn’t woken up to wet sheets in over a year, but still she was nervous about potential humiliation. While Bea and Pearl weren’t looking, she pressed hard on her crotch through the blue pleated skirt of her school uniform. She was nearly home; she would make it. A little trickle of urine dribbled into her panties; Edith squeezed tighter.
“See you tonight!” Bea and Pearl called in unison as they came to her lot.
Edith waved a temporary goodbye and headed carefully into her empty house. Mom and Dad were still at work, Elias was playing Halo at his friend Willis’s house, Esther was at dance until after dinner, and Ezra had a physiotherapy appointment that their aunt took him to after school.
Edith was relieved that Elias had left the door open for her. She wasn’t even sure if she had a house key in her backpack and searching for it would certainly lead to a dire situation. She held herself tightly and made her way upstairs to the bathroom. Another spurt of urine rushed into her panties. She held tighter, pulling her panties up between the slit, hoping it would help her hold on for a few more moments. She burst through the bathroom door and pulled down her wet panties just in time. The hot rush of pee felt amazing. Edith sighed with relief. She took off her panties and threw them into the laundry basket.
She then went to her room that she shared with her little sister and started packing her bag. She opened the backpack that Mom had set out for her and found her things were already packed. There was a toothbrush, a travel tube of toothpaste, her pink plaid pajamas, some clothes for tomorrow, and… something else? “Here if you need them” read a yellow sticky note attached to a pair of GoodNites. Edith immediately turned red. She hoped Esther hadn’t seen what Mom had left in the backpack. Esther, to Edith’s knowledge, had never wet the bed. She rarely had an accident, even as a little kid. It was hard having a little sister who was seemingly more mature and extroverted. Edith packed an extra pair of underwear in her backpack and changed out of her school uniform and into jeans and an Avril Lavigne shirt that Ruthie had bought for her.
Edith was the last guest to arrive at Ruthie’s house. She set down her backpack and handed Ruthie a small gift box. Ruthie shook it. “Oh my gosh, I hope it’s jewelry!” she excitedly squeaked. She leaned in for a hug, “Thank you!”
Edith smiled. She felt awkward whenever anyone hugged her; even her family.
“Come downstairs! We’re having pizza!” Ruthie beckoned, opening the door to the wood paneled basement. Ruthie’s family owned a classic 1960’s era house complete with an old rec room. It was much funkier than the house Edith lived in, and much more spacious, as Ruthie only had one sibling.
“Ruthie, where are your mom and dad?” Edith inquired.
“Oh, yeah, they’re out tonight. My dad’s office party? They rented a hotel in the fancy part of downtown and they’re, like, not coming home until tomorrow morning or whatever. But Chuck is upstairs in case we set anything on fire or anyone, like, dies? Also Mom left us, like, a hundred bucks to spend on the party, so…”
“Wow,” Edith was amazed at the level of trust in Ruthie’s family.
“Also, you have to promise not to tell anyone, but…” Ruthie grinned a dopey, but menacing grin and held up a half empty bottle of vodka, “I found this in one of the cabinets down here. I think it’s Chuck’s, but if he tells Mom and Dad I’ve been drinking his booze, then we’re both in trouble, so…” she trailed off again.
Pearl thrust a cup full of god knows what into Edith’s hand. “Drink it! It’s so good!” she shouted, almost stumbling over her own two feet.
Edith took the drink, feeling mostly unsure. She took a little sip. It just tasted like root beer mixed with coke. Pearl was probably just messing with her. Drinking was Ruthie’s game anyway.
Bea was standing on the other side of the room, trying to shoot pool alone and failing miserably. “Ruthie, how do you play this game?” She tried again, weakly scratching the green felt of the board.
“I have no idea. That’s my dad’s from, like, a million years ago!”
Pearl took another swig of her drink. “I don’t wanna play some lame old dad game anyway. Can’t we just watch a horror movie?”
“Oh my gosh, we should play truth or dare!” Bea exclaimed, her eyes widening.
All was quiet for a moment before Ruthie giddily accepted Bea’s offer.
Pearl rolled her eyes. “Jesus, that’s so juvenile.”
Bea dug her hands into her hips and angrily retorted with, “What’s your suggestion then?”
Pearl said nothing. She would let Bea have this one.
Edith finished her soda and sat down in the center of the room next to Bea and Ruthie. Before she could say anything, Pearl had mixed her another drink and set it down. Edith set it behind her, trying to ignore it.
“Drink it,” Pearl threatened.
“Yeah, we’ve all had, like, five. You need to keep up!” Ruthie encouraged.
Edith did as her friends requested, downing her second drink.
Pearl came at her with a third drink. “See, now you’re caught up!”
Edith was starting to feel a little light headed and strange. She had never been drunk before and it felt kind of nice. The only downside was she knew she would need to pee soon. She could’ve gone right then and there, but she figured she could hold it until they finished truth or dare.
Ruthie looked directly at Bea and posed the question.
“Um, truth?” Bea answered.
“Who do you have a crush on?” Ruthie smiled.
“That’s easy. Peter Sommers,” said Bea.
“That’s a lie! She has a giant crush on Chuck!” Pearl interrupted.
Bea turned an incriminating colour of red.
“Gross! That’s my brother, Bea!” Ruthie pretended to vomit on the floor.
Edith adjusted herself, digging one of her heels into her crotch to help with the hold. She hoped nobody could tell she was getting desperate.
“It’s your turn to ask the question, brother-lover,” Ruthie said to Bea.
Bea looked at each of her friends. She turned to Pearl. “Your turn.”
“Dare,” Pearl smiled.
“I dare you to drink that vodka with no soda.”
“Ew! It smells like nail polish remover!” Pearl exclaimed.
Bea stared her down, “You totally have to do it. It’s like, the law or something.” She handed the bottle to Pearl and waited.
Pearl stared at the bottle for a minute before taking a gulp directly from the bottle. She coughed. “Ugh gross it burns!” she shouted, shuddering.
Bea laughed at Pearl’s discomfort.
It took Pearl no time at all to pick on Edith, who hadn’t had a turn yet. “Truth or dare, Edie?”
Edith uncrossed her legs and knelt instead, allowing her to keep holding. “Truth…”
“Why did you leave the party in the middle of the night last year?” Pearl asked.
Edith shrugged. She wanted to lie, but Ruthie already knew why. The anxiety she felt from the situation made her more desperate for the bathroom. She had to go now. “I, um, I have to go to the bathroom,” Edith said, slowly getting up, trying not to disturb her bladder too much.
“Answer the question,” Pearl demanded.
“I will, but I really-”
“Come on! Answer the question and then you can pee,” Bea begged.
Edith started potty dancing on the spot. She could feel herself losing the battle and tried to slink away, but Pearl grabbed her hand. Edith sprung a tiny leak, but plugged it with her hand. “Please let me go…” she whimpered.
“Not until you tell us the truth,” Pearl demanded.
Tears were welling up in Edith’s eyes, “Fine! I wet the bed, okay?”
The other girls were silent in shock and Edith ran upstairs to the toilet, desperately holding on. She unbuttoned her jeans and tried to pull down her pants. She tried to loosen her legs, but she was afraid she would lose the battle. She leaked more into her underwear, shoving her hand down her panties to plug her urethra. With the other hand, she yanked down her jeans and underwear, barely making it to the toilet before another warm, refreshing stream of pee rushed out of her. Edith wanted to cry. Why was Pearl so mean? She finished peeing and pulled her wet panties and mostly dry jeans back up. As she washed her hands, she considered just walking back home. But what would Ruthie think? What if nobody else would want to be friends with her? She looked at herself in the mirror and splashed water onto her hot, embarrassed face. She could do this. Ruthie for sure had already known about the situation last year and had never made fun of her. Maybe the other girls would be forgiving as well.
“Oh, my sister Frankie says that pads are like diapers and only babies and really old ladies use them,” Bea explained as Edith walked back into the room.
“Did you pee your pants, Edie?” Pearl snickered.
Edith shook her head.
“Good. Maybe you won’t need a diaper tonight,” Pearl replied.
“If you do need one, Edie, you can have one of the pads my mom packed for me,” Bea told her. “I won’t need them ‘cause Frankie gave me a tampon.”
“Do you even know how to use a tampon?” Ruthie raised an eyebrow at Bea.
Bea shrugged, “You just, I don’t know, put it in.”
Ruthie and Pearl giggled amongst themselves.
“Oh my gosh, Bea, you totally don’t even have your period yet!” Ruthie snickered.
Bea said nothing and looked away.
“I… I don’t have mine either,” Edith stuttered, making a very weak attempt to make Bea feel normal. She had had the talk with Mom a few months ago and was incredibly anxious about the changes she was about to go through. Edith didn’t feel ready, even though she knew Ruthie and Pearl had both started and neither one had changed much.
“No wonder; you still pee the bed!” Pearl jabbed.
Edith felt like crying, but took another sip of her drink instead. Pearl went over to the almost empty bottle of vodka and poured four more drinks, finishing it off.
“Finish your drinks and I have another game for us to play. My cousin Jacob told me about this game at Passover last year,” Pearl handed the other girls their drinks and finished the last few gulps of what she had left. “Basically whoever finishes first wins. I’ll count us in.”
Edith looked to Bea who was struggling with the last few gulps of her remaining drink, but managed to gulp it all down.
“You don’t have to drink it if you don’t like it,” Edith whispered.
“D-don’t tell me what to d-do,” Bea hiccuped, swaying slightly, side to side.
The girls all grabbed their new cups and looked to Pearl for instruction.
“On three we all chug our drinks. First person to finish gets a date with Chuck!” Pearl powered back her drink; it was obvious she was a pro at this game.
Edith tried to drink quickly, but was the first to tap out, coughing.
Ruthie was the second to stop drinking. “Like I want to go on a date with my brother,” she said. “I’m done with this.” Her cup was still half full.
Bea and Pearl were still trying to finish their drinks. Pearl threw her cup on the ground, being the first to finish. “Yeah!” she shouted.
Bea took the last gulp and stumbled back in defeat. She burped and then began coughing.
“That date is mine!” she shouted, “In your face, Bea!”
Bea grimaced. “I don’t feel very good,” she admitted.
“Oh whatever! You’re just being a sore loser,” Pearl shut her friend down.
Edith was worried about Bea. She looked really sick, like she was already trying to hold back a stream of vomit.
“Let’s go upstairs and have some water,” Ruthie said, taking Bea’s hand. “You’ll be fine, trust me.”
Bea slunk up the stairs as her friend dragged her along, stopping at the landing. She clutched her stomach and vomited on the stairs.
“Gross!” Ruthie exclaimed, letting go of Bea and running upstairs to tell her brother.
Bea lay there on the landing, continuing to empty her stomach onto the gray shag carpeting.
Pearl sighed, “What a baby.” She looked to Edith for agreement, but Edith just shrugged, feeling incredibly uncomfortable at the whole situation.
“What the hell, Ruth?!” a booming voice came. “You drank that whole bottle of vodka and puked it all back up?! Dad’s gonna be so pissed…”
“Dad?!” Ruthie squeaked.
“Yeah, idiot! That’s what he drinks when he comes home from work! I know he just bought it too… how did you babies drink a full bottle?! Jesus!” Chuck yelled. He then laid eyes on Bea. He let out a few curse words. “Ruth, go get the goddamn cleaning supplies. I’m putting your friend to sleep in your room.
Bea slowly opened her eyes, but fell back unconscious as Chuck carried her up the stairs.
Ruthie groaned, stomping up the stairs after them to grab cleaning supplies.
“I’m going to bed,” Pearl announced, “I’m not cleaning up any puke.” She grabbed her bag and went to the bathroom to get ready.
Edith didn’t want to clean up after Bea either. Now that nobody was downstairs, it was the perfect time to change into her pajamas and steal the couch for herself. She was feeling incredibly tired all of a sudden. Her body felt heavy as she pulled on her pink silk pajamas. When she was finished changing she looked into her bag again, realizing she had forgotten the GoodNites. It was too late. Edith yawned, convincing herself she would be fine. She hadn’t had an accident in so long. As she lay down, the room felt a bit like it was spinning, but Edith just closed her eyes and fell asleep.
A few hours later, Edith awoke in Ruthie’s basement. She was warm and cozy and wanted to fall back to sleep, but she knew if she didn’t go pee now, she would wake up to another wet sleeping bag. She got up slowly, the movement deeply disturbing her very full bladder. Edith squeezed her thighs together; she was about to burst. She looked in the direction of the stairs, realizing it was a long way up. She figured if she ran for it, there would be minimal leakage. She slunk silently over her unconscious friends, pressing on her urethra through her silk pants. She took a deep breath and started to run up the stairs, wadding up the crotch of her pants to help with the hold as she ran. She felt a spurt burst out, dampening the inseam of her right leg. Edith stopped at the landing, readjusting herself. She was losing the battle. She crossed one leg over the other and squeezed, trying to keep herself from another spurt. Edith winced and wished she had worn the GoodNites her mom had packed for her. She squeezed one more time and then held herself with both hands and ran up the remaining ten stairs, tripping on the lip of the final stair. Edith fell hard on the floor, losing control from shock. She felt a hard stream of pee gushing out from between her legs. She was shaking as the wetness spread through her pink silk pants, turning them crimson.
Then Edith awoke in a puddle of her own urine, hands dug into her crotch still. Pee was still leaking through her fingertips. Her pants were soaked through, as was most of her sleeping bag. She began to whimper. What could she do? Ruthie’s parents were out. She couldn’t tell Chuck. When she finished emptying her bladder, she got up and grabbed her backpack, waking the other girls.
Ruthie opened her eyes, confused.
“What’s happening?” Pearl groggily muttered, turning on the lights to reveal a very wet Edith.
Ruthie said nothing there, sitting there in shock.
“Oh. My. God. You peed the bed again?!” Pearl accused, “That’s so disgusting!”
Edith shamefully hid behind her backpack, trying not to cry.
“Edith,” Ruthie said, “I… You can’t do this every time. You can’t sleep over if you’re just going to wet the bed every time! My mom didn’t even want you to come this year…”
Edith shed a few tears. “I can’t help it,” she whispered, “I’m so sorry…” She wiped the tears from her face, but they just kept coming. Her eyes were as damp as her pajamas.