Going for a Walk

I didn’t want to stay in the house all the time. I’d just lost the habit of leaving it. Days could pass without going outside, everywhere shut due to some pandemic meant there was nowhere to go anyway, being out of work left me unable to afford it even if options did exist.

A knock on my door. I wasn’t expecting any deliveries, probably someone raising funds for charity or selling their personal brand of religion. I answered it anyway, hid behind the door, peeked out and saw two friends.

They lived locally, we had contact numbers, one of them even had the key to my house. She looked after my cats sometimes, but this time they wanted to look after me.

“How are you? Are you still going for walks?”

We’d bumped into each other when I was out for a walk but that was a few months ago. I admitted that I wasn’t getting out as much as I wanted. They were on their way for a walk then, local restrictions allowing that. “Would you like to join us on a walk later in the week?”

I thought fast. One of them was demanding, a self-made business woman, dance teacher and landlady; she’d make me feel inadequate and inferior, entirely by accident, her confidence and success shining beside my current struggles.

The other, with the key to my house, was a single mother, kids now left home. Highly educated she was also a bit batty, had mental conditions, couldn’t disengage her mouth from her brain, applied few filters to what she said. She was kind but that constant stream of consciousness combined with the self awareness that this wasn’t societally accepted behaviour made her a conversational nightmare, a social challenge most people sought to avoid.

I could handle it, just let her ramble on, fed the appropriate prompts to keep her going. We’d spent time together, long car journeys with me driving, treating her much as I would the radio, background noise to pass the time and help me focus on the road.

But I needed to get out of the house, needed the physical exercise, needed the social contact. Of course I said yes.

“Cool! We’re off now but expect a message.”

I closed the door, leaned against the wall, sighed. They meant well, it would help me, but emotionally it was going to be exhausting.

That night a text message. “Fancy a walk tomorrow afternoon?”

I didn’t fancy it but knew I should, so sent a positive reply, asked time was good for her.

“Excellent. I’ll pick you up at 12.30, take you for a walk around the village.”

At this I smiled. She knew the whole village, had grown up here, could probably show me new areas. A walk around the outer edges could easily take an hour, much more if less direct routes were followed.

I was up well before lunchtime and ready before 12.30. Proper hiking shoes to keep my feet comfortable, even if we did stay on pavements, short socks leaving bare ankles below my sweatpants which themselves were loose enough to hide my diaper. My friends didn’t know about those, didn’t need to find out, probably wouldn’t care.

I did decide to throw something fun into the mix though, slipped on a thin rain jacket and over it pulled my backpack, the one with waist and shoulder straps that buckled securely to prevent easy removal. Opening the door I found my batty friend stood there, and she immediately laughed.

“That looks like a baby harness,” she said, “I had one just like that for my two when they were tiny.”

I blushed, kept quiet. It was a baby harness; I’d just resewn the buckles and clasps to longer straps. I stepped out of the door and asked where she was taking me.

At this point she laughed again, reached behind me and took a wristband attached to a nylon strap to the backpack. “Oh wow it is a baby harness!” she exclaimed, giving it a quick tug as she walked off, “Come on, I’ll take you…”

Mortified I followed, listening to her explaining the route, wondering how I’d been so stupid to leave the rein attached. Wondering why she’d so easily taken hold of it, was using it to keep me close to her, had fastened the wrist band just above her hand and seemed to have entirely forgotten it.

I thought to complain but didn’t know how. I didn’t want to make her feel awkward, didn’t want to draw attention to the situation, didn’t know how to explain the rein and backpack harness anyway. Part of me just enjoyed being controlled, having someone take charge of the situation, be responsible for me having a safe walk.

So I just followed her, trying to keep up. We were about the same height so her legs weren’t longer, she just moved them faster, didn’t allow for my slower natural walking speed. If I did fall behind the rein would go taut, she’d notice and tug a little with her arm, a non-verbal encouragement to catch and keep up.

I shook my head and tried to stay alongside but still let her choose the route. She took us out of the village onto a bridle path, one I knew looped back to another part of the village, a long walk through farm fields and by a stream. It was a route I’d choose for myself, if I wasn’t in a diaper, wasn’t attached to the wrist of a woman that had been talking non-stop throughout, giving me details on her children’s time at university, the new housing developments we were passing, scandal and gossip from the village.

The walk was proving good for me, despite the weirdness of the situation. I’d almost forgotten she had me on a baby rein, was sure that she had. I hadn’t forgotten I had a diaper on, and I hadn’t expected such a long walk. We’d emerged from the fields and were now following the stream back to the village, its gentle tinkling a constant reminder that I’d had a full bladder for some time, the discomfort becoming and my body demanding relief.

I asked her to stop, quickly crouched and as she turned I was fiddling with my shoelace.

“What’s the… oh. Shoelace,” she said, quite redundantly.

I took advantage of my crouched position to relieve my bladder, trusting that she wouldn’t hear it, keeping my expression neutral as I kept my fingers busy with the lace.

She laughed anyway. “Sorry,” she said, “you just look like my two when they were toddlers. They’d tug on their reins, stop and crouch just like that to wet themselves.”

I blushed profusely, stood up too fast in embarrassment. The onesie holding my diaper securely in place did its job, tugged the diaper back close to my skin but it hadn’t had time to wick, wasn’t designed to just accept a full bladder in one go. The ones I wore at night could, but this was thin so that I could walk comfortably in it.

It leaked.

Mothers always notice. She noticed. “Oh my goodness! You were wetting yourself!”

I stood there, unable to deny it. Unable to even walk away, tethered as I was to her wrist. We stood there, looked at each other. I was blushing and silent, she had, for the first time since we’d met, nothing to say. Eventually I shrugged, made light of it. “It doesn’t normally leak.”

Her brain registered the implications of that sentence, the material of my sweatpants dark and wet in a pattern that showed ‘it’ was something worn beneath, that I’d clearly expected something like this, that my planning had just fallen short.

Her motherly instincts kicked in. “It’s ok, leaks happen,” she said pragmatically, “Let’s get you home before it gets worse.”

I toddled after her as she moved off, little choice without struggling free from the harness, the rein still giving her control over me. My gait was less smooth now, swollen disposable not forcing a visible waddle but certainly feeling that it did. A few hundred yards later she resumed her general rambling, discussing her holiday plans for next year, entirely disregarding the strange situation we were in.

Back at my house I opened my door, started to step in and felt at tug from the harness.

“Oh!” she said, “I think you’ll be safe now.” She took the wrist band off, passed it to me, stepped back smiling. “It’s been a lovely walk and we should do it again.”

I looked at her in confusion. I’d been wondering how to ask for my key back, wondering if I’d have to move house, unsure if I’d dare go out in the village ever again. I started to apologise but she cut me off.

“Don’t worry, I had fun. You couldn’t help it, I took you far too far for your first walk. But look, if you’re not comfortable then you don’t have to come with me again.”

She mentioned our other friend, that she could take me for a walk isntead, that they just wanted to be sure I was ok and getting out of the house from time to time. So I thanked her, made no commitments, went inside and mechanically went about getting undressed, having a shower, finding a clean diaper.

That night I was good, sent her a text message thanking her for the walk and thanking her for her understanding. Her reply was simple, a yellow smiling face, no words.

It was the next day that I had the shock. A text message from our other friend; she’d heard I’d been out the day before, was going out tomorrow herself, would I like her to take me with her?

Had they spoken? Did she know? Her message offered no hints, a neutral suggestion of companionship and fresh air. If I said no it could be received as an insult, but could I say yes? I said yes, agreed a time.

This time I made sure I had a clean diaper on, didn’t have an immediate need to use it. I left the harness hung by my coats, pulled a raincoat on over my yoga top, opened the door to her knock and stepped out.

“Wait.” she said, “Where’s your backpack? Make sure the rein’s attached, I can’t be having you wandering off by yourself.”

Shocked I didn’t even think to question her, instincts responding to her commanding tone, managerial experience giving her vocal control. I returned to my door with my backpack in my hands, only for her to take it from me, slide my arms through the straps, fasten the waist buckles to secure it to me.

Even as I wondered where this was going she spoke again, a question this time. “Do you have a spare diaper in there?”

My surprise at the question stopped me even answering so she took my shoulder, spun me around and looked for herself. I knew the answer of course but it was confirmed by a firm swat to my bottom, entirely painless due to the obvious padding it caught.

“Go and get one,” she told me, “We’re stopping for coffee and I don’t want you to leak.”

I protested; I didn’t like changing myself in public, didn’t know if I could. It didn’t help, another swat absorbed by my padding, this one propelling me into my house.

“I said get a spare diaper,” she said, “I’m taking you for a walk, I’m buying you coffee and if you need it, I’ll change your diaper for you. Now, scoot, before I come in and find a spare one for you.”

I scooted. I didn’t know if I could survive the whole walk and coffee with a dry diaper, but I’d conceded too much ground, couldn’t reassert my independence. My friends had been worried I was vulnerable due to the isolation, wanted to care for me, had clearly discussed the walk two days before and this was the strong successful friend. I wouldn’t convince her to back off now, would have to just accept her help. Maybe enjoy it.

I turned, smiled at her and drew her into a quick hug before running off to find a spare diaper. I could enjoy this.

“Good girl,” I heard from the door way, “You wait, this will be fun!”

I guess she was planning to enjoy it too.

5 Likes

Nice small story !

Could I try and ask for some more on this one ?

Any chance for you to write more on this one ?
I like the perspectives the end gives.

Thanks for your work.
Cheers.

That was pretty good. I wouldn’t mind reading more.

I’m glad you both liked it and feel bad that I wasn’t planning to take this one any further.

It’s more of a tease than a story I guess, a brief escalation into an uncertain future with all possibilities open.

Ahh dang! Enjoyed it and was really hoping for more. Guess that is a sign of a good story!