DISCLAIMER: This story contains periods of strong language to set the scene. This story was written by Rocky (Saywhat1147) and may only be distributed with his permission. This story is completely fiction. Some characters were inspired by real people, but ALL characters’ names have been changed to protect their identity.
I was engulfed in a cloud of music. Everything was together, the drums, the bass, the vocals, the rhythm guitar, and of course, the lead guitar. Chills raced down my spine as the song was winding down. My fingers raced between strings, bending them every few notes and throwing in a few vibrato harmonics to liven up the outro solo. It felt like magic. And with a few cymbal crashes and a couple power chords, it was over. I heard the echo of the last note ring through my basement, and it only added to my pleasure. A smile shot across my face as I turned to face the others, who had similar looks on their faces.
“That was AWESOME!” I shouted. Band practices were a major factor in my half-deafness. “I loved those drum fills during the bridge, Joe!”
“Thanks, Steve. I liked your solo there at the end,” he returned, “It really adds to the intensity.”
“And Alex,” I continued, “Way to go on those lyrics. Not bad for writing them thirty minutes ago! We are going to rock that Battle of the Bands competition in two weeks!”
“No kidding! Now we just need to come up with a band name.” Corey, the bassist, said while chuckling. All five of us had debated countless hours on the subject, but could never pick a name. We had been practicing for a few weeks and made a lot of progress. We had written about seven solid songs, all with powerful guitar riffs, good beats, and deep lyrics, but none of us could come up with a good name that hadn’t been taken. Sensing the conversation coming up again, Zack, the rhythm guitarist, spoke up.
“Oh boy. Here we go again. I gotta leave before we start off on another hour-long argument. I work in twenty minutes. You guys can practice without me if you want”
“Nah, I think four hours of practice is enough.” Alex said. “My throat’s burning anyways.” Everyone started their daily routine of turning off all the power, unplugging everything, and putting the gear away. Since practices were always in my basement, they usually just stored the instruments in the back corner. While I was rolling up some guitar cords, I heard my phone vibrating on top of my amp. I rushed over to it and grabbed it just before it bounced off the edge. My heart skipped a beat as I realized that I just got a text from Tori. I usually don’t get caught up on one girl for too long, but I’ve had a giant crush on Tori for as long as I had known her. We didn’t talk much at all, though. She was pretty much the most popular girl in the school, and I was just the metal-head nobody. Playing in a band doesn’t have the same effect on popularity as it used to, ever since Auto-Tuned voices with computerized instruments took over the popular “music” genre. She wouldn’t even know who I was if I hadn’t sold her my old acoustic guitar. That being said, I never got the opportunity to really make a move on her before, so I was always looking for a way in. Excitedly, I opened the text message and read it.
“hey steve. i was jw if u wanna hang out w/ a bunch of people at the mall. we’re meeting at the food court in an hour. u in???”
This was awesome! I finally got a chance to talk to her outside of school, and the fact that the invite came from her really made elated me. I couldn’t help wondering if she liked me too. I quickly brushed off the thought, though. Through years of experience, I learned that taking things in the best possible way usually leads to disaster. It works a lot better to expect a minimal amount of personal benefit from a single experience.
However, I was not going to miss this opportunity. I replied to her text as fast as I could, telling her that I’d be there. I then helped the others pick everything up before hopping in my car and speeding to the mall.
As I walked into the food court, I felt my stomach churning. I suddenly became aware of how stupid I looked, with my “punk” shorts, Metallica t-shirt, and short spiked hair. I had half a mind to turn around and just go home, but then I saw Tori on the other side of the room. I absentmindedly stopped walking and just stared at her, transfixed upon her beauty. She sat there, innocently laughing at something Kelly, her best friend, had just said. I never really liked her friends. They were your standard “plastic” popular girls. Overly-done fake tans, heavy make-up, snobby attitudes, and egos that are bigger than their stuffed bras. I never understood why Tori even hung out with them. She was completely different. She may have been short, but had the biggest, most lovable personality a person could have. Then, on top of that, she had the cutest face a young lady like her could have. Her round blue eyes would always sparkled and her dark hair was always perfect, no matter how much of a “bad hair day” she was having. She wore very little make-up, and it just showed how naturally beautiful she really was. She also was one of the nicest people at our school. Despite her popularity, she never was too cool to talk to anyone. She was as perfect as you could get. I guess that’s why every guy in our class liked her.
After what seemed to be an hour, I finally snapped out of it and made my way to her, all while telling myself to not say anything stupid.
“Oh, hey Stephen! What a coincidence meeting you here!” she responded. I laughed and decided to play along.
“Yeah, it’s almost like you texted me to meet you here!”
“Yeah… Pretty much…” It was then that I realized that she was being serious. At first I was confused by the matter since she was the one that texted me, but then I realized that I was just made a victim of a prank. It didn’t take me long to figure out who the jokers were when I noticed that Tori’s friends were trying their hardest to not laugh, but were failing miserably. I was so embarrassed.
“Hey Tori!” Kelly said between fits of laughter. “Here’s your phone by the way. Thanks for letting me use it since I forgot mine at home.”
“No problem. What’s so funny by the way?” Tori asked. However, it didn’t take too long for her to figure it out. I do not know what the bigger clue was: the fact that my face was redder than a tomato, or that Kelly and the other girls were pointing at me and gasping the word “phone” between breaths as they continued to giggle uncontrollably. “Wait. Did you guys text Stephen with my phone?” The only answer that she received was a renewed chorus of laughter. She turned and looked at me sympathetically. “Oh. I’m sorry, Steve. If you want, you can hang out with us. We’re about to go to a movie. Wanna tag along?”
“Sure. That sounds good.” I responded, maybe a little too quickly. Tori’s friends stopped laughing immediately and glared at Tori.
“Sweet. We’re going to stop by the gas station right next to the theater to buy some candy for the movie. The concessions are way too expensive.”
“OK I’ll follow you there. Which car do you drive?”
“It’s a red Toyota something or other.”
“Yeah. That definitely helps a lot.” We continued to make a little small talk as we made our way to our cars. I then followed the girls to the gas station. As we entered the store, we naturally migrated to the candy stand and started looking over our choices.
“Man! Can you believe we’re Seniors now?” I said, trying to strike up conversation again. “A year from now, we’ll already be graduated!”
“Speak for yourself.” Kelly piped up snottily. “I’m not graduating at the rate I’m going. I’m taking two summer-school classes right now to catch up!”
“Well if you actually paid attention in class instead of trying to text me, you might know a thing or two.” Tori said, smiling broadly.
“What? You don’t like me texting you?”
“It’s not the fact that you’re texting me that annoys me. It’s just that I’m trying-” Tori was cut of by a masked man holding a gun and a bag bursting through the door.
“EVERYBODY PUT YOUR HANDS UP UNLESS YOU WANT A BULLET IN THE HEAD! I’M NOT AFRAID OF FUCKING ANYONE UP!” I didn’t believe it at first. I lived in a fairly small suburban town of about 70,000 people. Crime was pretty much non-existent. “Hey! You!” The robber pointed at the cashier. “Open the drawer and give me all the money in there. And don’t try to do anything funny, or no one will leave here alive! You understand?” The cashier nodded and started to give him the money in the register. I was just hoping this would be over soon. This really was terrible timing for me. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tori and her friends slowly make their way towards the door while the robber had his back turned to us. I didn’t want to abandon the cashier, but if the girls were leaving, both him and I were dead meat anyways. I started to follow them, trying to be as quiet as possible. I looked at Tori, who was about five feet in front of me. She was staring intently at the robber, watching his every move. Suddenly, she bumped into the newspaper stand and knocked it over.
“What the hell?” The robber said, turning around. Without thinking, I turned towards Tori and sprinted towards her. I raised my arms and shoved her out of the way. With a loud bang and a bright flash, I instantly experienced the worse pain in my life as the bullet penetrated my gut. I screamed in agony as my vision blurred. I could hear voices around me, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. All I can remember before blacking out is hoping that Tori was alright.
I opened my eyes and was blinded by a sea of white. I could hear a symphony of machines working nearby. As my eyes adjusted to the lights, I realized that I was in a hospital room. Stiff and sore, I tried to sit up and stretch, but my attempt was shortly halted. I had various tubes and wires connected to me, and the throbbing pain by my abdomens did not help matters. I struggled to remember what had happened. My mind was blurry, and I had a difficult time even thinking. As I sat there, searching my memory, it hit me. I suddenly remembered the whole thing: the mall, the gas station, everything up until I blacked out. A chill of fear accompanied my revelation. I became worried about Tori. What if the robber shot her after I took the first bullet? I knew I had done everything possible to protect her, but I still wouldn’t have forgiven myself if she got hurt. However, unable to do anything, I just tried to think about other things. This proved to be next to impossible to accomplish. Thankfully, it was only a few minutes when a nurse came in to check on me.
“Oh good. You’re awake.” She said. “Are you feeling alright?”
“I’m dandy. Is everyone else OK?”
“Yes they are. The clerk at the gas station was able to apprehend the robber after you were shot. That was very brave of you to push that girl out of the way. You’re quite the hero.”
“Thanks” I said, relieved that everyone was alright. “But I’m no hero. I’m sure everyone would do the same thing if they were in my shoes.”
“I’m not quite sure you’re right about that, and neither is the press. It’s been all over the news the last couple days.”
“Last couple days? How long have I been out?”
“Well, today’s Sunday, and you were shot on Friday. So, it’s been two days. You’ve been in and out of surgery twice, too! They were worried you might not make it out.”
“Really? What all happened? Am I gonna be OK?”
“You’ll be fine, but you’re going to have to wait until Doctor Morrison can talk to you. Why don’t you rest a bit while I call your parents and tell them your awake?”
“OK.” I said as the nurse left the room. Not being tired, I grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. There was nothing on, so I settled for an afternoon baseball game on ESPN. I never really was a fan of the sport, but I gladly chose that over some stupid soap opera on the next channel.
After only two innings, forty minutes had past. Man, was this a slow sport! I was about to renew my adventure of channel surfing when the door opened, revealing my parents, accompanied by the nurse from before.
“Oh thank God you’re alright!” My mom said, rushing in to give me a hug.
“OUCH! If you keep that up, I won’t be!” I said as my abdomens screamed in pain. She apologized and backed off, sitting down on a chair next to the bed.
“I’ll leave you guys alone,” said the nurse. “Doctor Morrison will be in shortly to talk to you.”
“How are you holding up, sport?” My dad asked once the nurse left the room. “We were worried about you for a second. You almost gave your mother a heart attack”
“I’m not surprised. She freaks out every time I even trip.” I replied, causing my dad to laugh as my mom gave us a dirty look.
“Don’t act like it’s a crime!” she said. “I just don’t want my baby to get hurt!”
“Mom. Is that really necessary?” I whined. I always hated it when she called me her “baby.” I knew I was her only child but I liked to think of myself as a man. Besides, how many baby rock stars have you ever seen? It didn’t really complement my image very much. I decided to try to change the subject. “So what else has happened while I’ve been out” We continued in some small talk for a few minutes. However, since the main thing on the local news was the whole gas station event, there wasn’t much to talk about. Thankfully, not too long after we exhausted topics to talk about, Doctor Morrison entered the room.
“So here’s the hero.” He said with a cheesy grin. “How are you feeling?”
“OK, I guess. I’ve been better.”
“Do you have any pain in the abdominal region?”
“Yeah. It’s really sore and it hurts when I move too much.”
“OK. I’ll have Nurse Jennings bring you more pain pills in a bit. I bet you want to know what’s going on, don’t you?”
“Yeah. That would be nice.” I said. I was trying to be polite, but I was starting to lose my patience with this whole ordeal.
"Well, as you probably already know, you were shot. The bullet penetrated your bladder in the front and was lodged in the back. We were able to remove the bullet quickly and stitch your bladder up, but it’s been damaged very badly. We were able to operate on it during the second surgery and were able to make some progress.
“Wait. Do I have any control over it?” I inquired, slightly embarrassed about the topic.
"Well, yes and no. With the successful operation, everything should be fine, but it’ll take a month or two to heal. In the time being, I am prescribing a pill for you that relaxes the organ, allowing it to heal faster and easier. It’s very important that you take the pill. If you don’t you’re bladder may never heal completely. Unfortunately, your bladder won’t hold too much urine at once though. You won’t have much control over it at all. However, I think you’d rather have temporary incontinence than permanent. Am I correct?
“I guess.” My spirits dropped quite a bit. I was happy to hear that everything was going to be alright, but the fact that I wouldn’t be able to control my bladder made me feel helpless and dependent. I turned to my parents was glad to see that they were relieved quite a bit, but still had concerning looks on their faces.
“So, does he need any… er, protection?” My mom asked.
“Well, that is up to you, but I strongly recommend it, as it would be much less of a mess. Right now, he has a catheter hooked up to him, so he doesn’t need it, but when he leaves, he’ll need some incontinence products.” My heart sunk lower as I realized what they were talking about. Call me stupid, but I didn’t really think about this point. Their use of euphemisms weren’t helping either.
“You mean I have to wear diapers?” I asked bluntly.
“I’m afraid so.” the doctor responded. I looked to my mom for some support.
“There’s got to be another way, isn’t there?”
“I’m sorry, honey.” She said, rubbing my back. “But this seems to be the only one.”
“Don’t worry, kiddo. It’s only temporary and nobody will know. You’ll be back to normal by the time school starts. Think of it as a good way to start your Senior year!” My dad said, intending the words to be comforting, but they only demoralized me more. What if it wasn’t completely healed by the start of school? The thought of going to school in diapers frightened me to death. It would be impossible to hide them since I had to take Phy Ed both semesters and we’re required to change for it. But I knew that worrying wouldn’t help matters.
“Yeah.” I said. “I guess it’s only a small sacrifice. Tori could be dead otherwise.”
“That’s the attitude.” My dad replied. “Speaking of Tori. She’s been wanting to talk to you for days. I imagine it’s to thank you for saving her. She even waited with us during your first surgery. She was almost as bad as your mother.” The thought of Tori wanting to talk to me brightened me up a bit. She was really that worried about me? Is it possible that she likes me too? My hopes were shot down pretty quickly, however, when it dawned on me that it was probably just pity or guilt driving it. But you never know. I could be lucky.
“You better get some rest.” Doctor Morrison said, breaking my thoughts. “You should be able to leave tomorrow. I’ll check up on you before you leave to make sure you’re ready. If you have any concerns, you can have the nurses contact me.” He shook my hand and left the room.
“I guess we’d better leave you alone.” My mom said. “We brought your iPod for you. I knew you’d want it.”
“Thanks” I said as I took it from her. “You do know me pretty well.” My parents bid their farewells and left me to listen to my music. As always, it made me feel better, but it also reminded me of the battle of the bands coming up. I hoped that I would still be able to play, but then again, it would mean performing in diapers. “That must be a first.” I thought. For some reason, I had a hard time seeing Metallica playing with “protection.”
I awoke to a tugging sensation. iPod still blaring, I opened my eyes. Various objects blurred across my vision, slowly going into focus. As the images began to clear up, I felt stinging pain in my lower region as the nurse pulled out the catheter. I let out an audible grunt.
“Oh. Sorry.” the nurse apologized. “You’re leaving today, so we needed to take out the catheter. I know it hurts a bit, so I tried to do it while you were asleep.”
“That’s OK. It just startled… wait… It’s Monday already? I must’ve fallen asleep at four o’clock yesterday.” I responded as the nurse put various things away. For some reason, I wasn’t too annoyed that someone was pulling that tube out of me while I was sleeping.
“Yup. You were out like a rock. You’re body needs all that rest to heal. The medication you’re on doesn’t help much either. Doctor Morrison was already in and checked on you and said that you could go home today, unless you’d feel safer staying another day.”
“No. That’s fine. I really want to go home, actually. No offense.”
“None taken. You just have to promise me that you’ll rest and take it easy. No leaving the house for the next few days unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
“Good. Now that that’s settled, let’s get you ready to leave.” She then moved to a cart on the other side of the room. There was a diaper and some changing supplies laying on top of it. I then remembered the conversation I had with Dr. Morrison yesterday. A chill went down my spine when I realized it was actually reality. For the first time since I was two, I needed to wear diapers. I felt humiliated, like I was less of a man. (Thinking back on it now, I realize how ironic that is since diapers were the effect of taking a bullet. I think most people would say that’s pretty manly.) The nurse grabbed the supplies and brought them over to my bed. It wasn’t until she was moving my hospital gown out of the way that I realized that she was going to put it on for me. This was more than I could take.
“Oh. That’s OK.” I quickly inserted, reaching down to my gown. “I can put it on myself.”
“Actually” she said sternly, catching me off guard. “This time, I’ll be doing it. I want to make sure you know how to do it correctly. You’ll get a rash if you don’t do it right. Don’t worry. I’ve done this to many people your age.” She then moved the hospital gown up and out of the way. She then grabbed the baby powder and proceeded to powder me up, all while she explained what she was doing. My face burned with a fury of embarrassment as the smell reached my nose. Next, she lifted my butt up and slid the diaper underneath as I closed my eyes. This was too much for me. I’m a leader. I like being in control of things and now, I felt completely helpless. It seemed like ages until she finished pulling the diaper between my legs and taping all four tabs down.
“There. All done.” She stated with a friendly smile on her face. “See? That wasn’t too bad. Was it?” I just kind of blankly stared at her. I wanted to correct her, but I couldn’t really speak. I had way too many emotions going through me. I was never so embarrassed in my life. I felt so little. I hated it, but yet… it was pretty comfortable. It was snug and well-padded. It almost brought this sense of comfort and security, but no… That couldn’t be right.
I don’t know how long I stared at her until she recognized that I was not going to respond and left the room. An hour or so later my parents checked me out and took me home. As soon as I walked through the door, I headed to the basement to play my guitar. My dad had to help me get down the stairs because I was so weak, but I finally was reunited to Leslie. That’s what I called my main guitar since it was a Les Paul. I had a knack of naming things I was attached to, and it didn’t seem right giving it a guy’s name.
At first, I was having a ball, rocking out to some of the songs I usually warmed up with, but after a little bit I lost any ambition to play. This was really odd. I hadn’t felt that way since eighth grade. Now that I was pretty good, I really enjoyed playing. For some reason, I just had no motivation. I was really glad to be home, but something just didn’t seem right. I tried blaming it on the diaper, but it wasn’t that. I felt cold inside, like something was missing. As I just sat there, idly holding my guitar, my thoughts shifted to Tori. I really wanted to see her. Granted there wasn’t much time for her to visit me, I was surprised she didn’t. You would think that you would visit someone in the hospital if they just saved your life. But that was it. It would almost be better if she just forgot the incident. Any visit or conversation she would have with me would just be obligatory to her. It would only be pity.
The next morning was like any ordinary day. And by ordinary, I mean awkward, uncomfortable, and completely abnormal. Something about waking up with a cold, soggy lump between my legs just didn’t seem right. Groggily, I proceeded to change myself. It was very awkward. I hadn’t even changed a baby before.
After the morning changing process, the day went fairly well though. I had an excuse to be lazy and play video games for hours without moving from my chair. Time flew by as I mindlessly killed virtual bad guy after virtual bad guy. Finally, a little after two o’clock, my phone started singing it’s favorite ringtone. I quickly picked it up and saw that Tori was calling me. My heart skipped a beat. Suddenly, my tongue became dry as if I just took a three-hour hike in the desert without any water. Do girls like her know what they put guys through with just the simplest of actions? I even felt ashamed of myself for how much she was getting to me. I just stood there, gazing at my phone for a few seconds until I realized what I was doing. I quickly pulled myself back together and answered the.
“Hey Steve. It’s Tori.”
“Hey! Anything new?” I asked nervously.
“Eh. not much. Just had a friend save my life the other day.” she joked.
“Really? Is that so?” I played along.
"Yeah. I heard he just got out of the hospital yesterday. I was pretty bummed that I didn’t get a chance to visit him, though. Do you think he’d like it if I came over and talked to him?
“I think he’d love it.”
“I’d better head on over then. Do you by chance know his address?”
“You know, I’m pretty sure it’s 942 Mapleview lane.”
“Really? I thought Chris lived on the other side of town.” Tori said bluntly. I could tell she was joking, but I was still at a loss for words. I never was charismatic. “I’m just kidding, Steve. I’ll be right over.”
“OK Tori. See ya soon!” I said before hanging up. It was a very odd conversation, but that’s just one of the many things I loved about Tori. She could make anything awkward seem like it’s the coolest thing in the world. Sadly, I doubted that she could help me with my problem.
And that’s when it hit me. What if she found out that I was wearing a diaper? Should I avoid the awkward question of why I was wearing one, or should I just flat out tell her right away. Of all people, she’d have the right to know. She was directly connected in the chain of events that imprisoned me in them. Maybe she’d have some sympathy for me. But, then it popped up again. The single word that was haunting me even more so than the D-word: “Pity.”
If I told her everything, I would know that any time we’d spend together would be completely out of pity. I know this coming visit was already at least partially a guilt-trip, but wanting to repay someone for a single action eventually wears off. If she found out that this deed I did for her had lingering consequences, she’d surely feel obligated to spend more time with me. Sure, I just wanted to spend time with her, but I wanted to move our time together from obligatory to voluntary as quickly as possible. I decided I would tell her that there weren’t any repercussion from my heroics. I just hoped that she wouldn’t notice the diaper and not mention it, assuming I’ve always had bladder issues. Either way, I knew this was not going to be easy.
About five minutes later, I heard the doorbell. I hobbled over to the door (I was still in a bunch of pain) and opened it to reveal Tori. She looked more angelic than ever. The sun was shining just right upon her face and a gentle breeze waved her hair a little. I couldn’t help but return her smile.
“Hey Stephen. Feeling alright?”
“Eh, I’ve been better, but I’m doin’ OK. Why don’t you come in? We can talk in my room if you’d like.”
“Sounds like a plan.” she said as she entered and quickly slid off her shoes. I slowly led her up the stairs and turned to the right, towards my room. Tori was obviously impressed with the house. She was looking this way and that, looking at all the pictures and getting a feel where everything is.
“You have a really nice house, Steve. Very homey.”
“Thanks. I really like it.” I replied as I walked in my room. I was then horrified to see that there was a package of diapers just laying on the ground in front of my closet. I must’ve forgotten to put them back. I rushed to kick the plastic case into my closet as I tried to discreetly close the door to it. Why didn’t I quickly check to see if my room was OK while I was waiting for her? I was convinced that she had seen the package, but when I turned around, she was still looking at a picture of my family on the wall opposite to my room.
“I really like this picture. Where was this taken.”
“In the Rockies.” I answered, relieved to see that she didn’t notice my blunder. “My family’s camped there like four or five times. We really like the mountains.” Tori finally dragged herself away from the picture and came into my room. She jumped into my bean bag chair as I hopped onto my bed. we made a bunch of small talk for a few minutes. It was nice catching up with what all happened socially the past few days. Then, it shifted to the topic I was trying to avoid.
“You know, Stephen. It was really brave of you to take that bullet for me… Thank you so much. If it would’ve hit me, I’d probably dead.”
“Oh. No problem.” I was starting to blush. “I would do it any day. And I’m not just saying that.”
“That’s what I like about you, Stephen. You’re always so nice to me. You’re always thinking of others before yourself.”
“That’s not true. I can be pretty selfish at times.”
“You’re also very honest. then,”
“Well you know me, Tori. I can’t really lie to save my life.”
“Yes, but you can push me out of the way to save mine.” she said, making me laugh. I did not really know what to say. Finally, Tori broke the silence again. “Can I ask you something kinda personal? You don’t have to answer if you don’t feel comfortable with it.”
“Yeah, sure. Shoot away.”
“Did the bullet leave any permanent injuries?” I was blown away by this question. She asked it, almost like she already knew the answer. Maybe she did know it already and just wanted to test how much I trusted her. Or maybe she really didn’t know and was just curious. I thought about not answering the question, but I figured that would be as good as saying yes. I decided to stick to my guns and deny it.
“Nope. Doctor’s patched me right up! I’ll be fine in no time!” It wasn’t completely a lie. My condition wasn’t permanent…
“That’s good. I’d feel really bad if it did.” she replied, confirming my hypothesis from before. “Mind telling me where exactly you got shot?”
“Nope. Not at all. It was right here, about two inches below my belly button.” I pointed to where the wound was. “Wanna see the mark?”
“Eww. That must be nasty.” She scowled at the thought, but then she got excited. “I’d love to!” I immediately got equally excited. I reached for my shirt and started to pull it up. Now, you may think that I’m really stupid, completely revealing my padded undies to her. The thought just didn’t occur to me. I was so entrance in Tori. She was giving me all this attention, and she seemed so interested on the topic. I wanted to do anything to make her think I was cool and tough.
It was only when I started pulling the front of my athletic shorts down far enough to show her the wound that I realized that the diaper covered it up. Just before I revealed my new secret, I pulled the shirt back down and the shorts back up. Tori looked back up at me with a questioning look.
“Oh. uh, Sorry Tori.” I said, trying to come up with a good excuse. “I wasn’t really, er, thinking. I’d be, um, exposing myself , uh, a little bit too… much.” It was rough, but it came out.
“Oh. that’s OK. I understand.” she said. She smiled, but I could tell she was pretty disappointed.
We talked for another thirty minutes about this and that. We mainly talked about music, seeing as we both loved it so much. She was an amazing singer. She just had this beautiful voice. Between her passion for singing and my obsession for guitar, it made a pretty good conversation despite the fact that we had completely different tastes of music. Time just flew by as we discussed the topic. Eventually, at about three, Tori said she had to get going. I escorted her to the door and opened it as she put her shoes back on. Then it hit me. Should I ask her out on a date right now? It may seem a bit over the edge, but we just had this great conversation. I finally decided that I had to man up somehow in order to counter the infantile influence of the diaper. Just as she was walking through the door way I started to speak.
“Hey Tori.” I started.
“Yeah?” she replied, turning around.
“I was wondering. We never did get to see that movie. Would you possibly want to go watch it with me this weekend.”
“Yeah.” she answered, smiling. “I’d love to!”
“Sweet! I’ll call or text you later then! See ya!”
“See ya, Stephen.” She walked to her car and drove away. It took me a little while to realize that she just said that she’d go to a movie with me. My heart burned with joy. I was so happy, I didn’t even care if it was a pity date or not. It was progress. Thinking unnaturally positive, I headed back down to my guitar. I never wrote a song about a girl before, but that was about to change.
The rest of the week went by pretty uneventfully. I followed doctor’s orders and hung low and stayed home. I had a few visits from friends, wishing me a quick recovery. I also had some massive conversations with Tori via text messaging. Thank God for unlimited texts! It’s funny how long you can talk about the smallest things in life. The only really important conversation we had was revolving around when exactly we’d go to the theater. After debating movies and times for a while, we finally agreed on some comedy at seven o’clock Friday night. Boy did the week go slowly once I had that to look forward to.
Another big issue was my band. The battle of the bands was a week from that Saturday. Fortunately, the band had been practicing without me, but I really needed to get to rehearsal with them. After arguing with my mom about its being “too intense for my condition,” she finally gave in and said that I could go to the Saturday practice if I hung low for the rest of the week, excluding the movie with Tori.
Finally, Friday night came and I was on my way to Tori’s house to pick her up. The closer I got to her house, the more nervous I became. I just tried to be calm. There were a lot of things that could go wrong, but I knew that the best thing I could do is to ignore those risks and just be myself.
I could barely keep my hands steady enough to ring the doorbell as I stood on Tori’s porch. I never was so nervous before in my life. Playing in front of huge crowds doesn’t bother me, but for some reason, my nerves were getting the best of me that night. Usually, I’d be scared that I’d wet my pants, but I already knew that was going to happen.
It didn’t take long for Tori to answer the door. Once again, she looked stunning. Her long, curly, brown hair gracefully rested upon her white blouse, which went perfectly with her pink skirt. As usual, she had her cheery smile; that alone would be enough to make a dying man forget the pain that he was experiencing. A smile darted across my own face as she greeted me.
“Hey Tori. You look beautiful tonight.”
“Why thank you. Not looking too bad yourself.”
“Thanks. Do you want to head out right now?”
“I see no point in wasting anymore time.”
The drive over to the theater was very pleasant. We had a great conversation about which teachers we would like to see getting ran over by a Smart Car. The fact that I was driving really helped me get comfortable to talk to her. I always feel better when I’m driving; it’s like I’m one with my car. That’s one reason why I never drank. I would mean that I couldn’t drive then, or at least safely. I’d never drive drunk. Also, I’d rather just wait until I’m twenty-one so that it’s more of a privilege.
When we got to the theater, I tried to pay for the tickets, but she refuse. She told me that I saved her life, and it was the least that she could do. I knew that the comment wasn’t supposed to be hurtful, but it burned deep in me. Once again, the thought started to eek into my head: “It’s just pity. She wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that bullet.” By the time I was able to shake the thought off, she was already paying. I thanked her for the tickets. I hate it when the girl buys the tickets. I feel that it’s my responsibility. However, I knew it was very rude to be ungrateful.
On our way to Theater 9, I stopped at the concessions and spent way too much money on popcorn and soda. We had already decided that it would be better to do that then stop by the gas station.
The first part of the movie went by great. The movie was a hilarious romantic comedy. It didn’t take too long until I found our hands locking together. I glanced over at her and grinned. The night was going perfectly. But, as things usually go, it started to go downhill.
About three-fourths of the way through the movie, I started to regret drinking so much caffeinated soda. I could feel that my diaper was getting pretty full. I usually didn’t notice when I was going, but it was also the most soda I had drunk since the injury. The fact that I couldn’t hold it was terrible. Having not packed a second diaper, all that I could do is hope that I wouldn’t leak. My short period of comfort was gone. For the rest of the movie, I was just worrying about my little - OK, big - secret. I could feel my hands were starting to sweat. I just hoped that Tori wouldn’t notice.
About thirty minutes passed and things were still under control. Then, a wave of horror struck me. I could smell it. All I could do was pray that Tori didn’t notice it. I thought it was obvious, but then again, I also knew my condition. Then, a few minutes later, my fears came true. Tori leaned over to me and started to whisper.
“Is it just me, or does it smell like pee?” She asked giggling a little. I froze in place. I didn’t know how I should respond. I had to decide if I should just say that I couldn’t smell it, or agree with her. If told her I couldn’t, it might make her think that it was me. I decided to play the innocent role.
“Yeah.” I whispered, “I wonder where it’s coming from.” And just like that, the topic was dropped. Shortly, the movie ended and we made our way to the lobby. Before we left the theater, however, Tori stopped me.
“Hey. Mind if I use the bathroom quick?” She asked.
“Of course not. All that soda must be going through your system, huh?”
“No kidding! And you drank most of it too! You’re bladder must be bursting by now!”
“Nah. I’ve got a bladder of steel.” I said, grinning at my ironic comment.
After waiting for a couple minutes, Tori came out and we drove back to her house. I kept my window down, trying to keep the smell of urine out of the car. It would be obvious if she smelt it in the car too. Thankfully, it was only city streets on the way to her house, so there wasn’t too much wind noise to hinder any conversation. We reviewed all the funny scenes from the movie, making us laugh even harder than when we were actually watching it. Once again, I felt better while I was driving. It was obvious that Tori was getting comfortable around me too.
“Hey, do you want to come inside and hang out for a bit?” She asked as we pulled into her driveway. The invitation split me in two. I really wanted to go with her, but I knew that I’d be risking it too much.
“I’d love to.” I started, trying to make it clear that I wasn’t just blowing her off. “But I really need to rest tonight. I have a big band practice tomorrow, and my mom won’t let me go if I get back too late. I’m supposed to be taking it easy. Sorry”
“Oh, that’s fine!” she said with a hint of disappointment in her voice. “I completely understand. I don’t want to keep you from recovering faster.”
“Yeah, thanks for offering though.” I said as I turned of the engine. “Let me at least walk you to your door though”
We got out of the car and started walking to the door. I knew that I had to say something to show that I really did enjoy spending time with her that night, and I knew that I had to think of what to say quickly. Finally, as we reached the door, I started to speak.
“Thank you so much for going to the movie with me tonight. I really enjoyed it.”
“Oh, no problem. I did too. It was the most fun that I had for a while, actually.” She replied, making me start to wonder. Was she serious, or was she just saying that to make me feel better? “What if she really did like me?” I thought. My optimism started to take over again. I decided I needed to ask her on a second date.
“We should really hang out some time soon, though.” I blurted. I was getting a little too excited.
“Yeah, definitely. I always have a good time with you.” she started, “Well, unless someone shows up with a gun.”
“Yeah, that’s always a problem.” I replied laughing. “And I love spending time with you. You’re very special.”
“What do you mean by that?” she asked.
“Well there’s nobody like you.” I was out of control. “You’re so fun. You’re nice, you’re smart, and you’re just absolutely gorgeous.”
“Aw. Thanks. You’re so sweet to me.” she said. This would usually be the point where I’d stop, but I just couldn’t help it that night. Too many emotions were going through me at that moment.
“I mean, everybody knows that you’re the prettiest girl in the school, but you’re even prettier on the inside.”
“Wait, Stephen. What are you saying?”
“Tori.” I sighed, realizing that I was beyond the point of no return. “I know that you’re out of my league, but I really like you. I try to just forget about you and move on, but I can’t. Every girl I meet is nothing in comparison to you.”
Tori just stood there looking at me with a grin on her face. At first, I thought it was a good sign, but when she didn’t respond, I remembered that there rarely was a time that she wasn’t smiling.
“Sorry.” I said. “I’ve gone too far. I should’ve kept my mouth shut. I’ll let you go now.” I turned and started towards my car.
“Wait Stephen!” Tori cried, running after me. She grabbed my hand and turned me around. “Look. I’m sorry that I didn’t respond at first, but I just didn’t know what to say! This is all going so quickly! Don’t think that I’m too good for you. You’re the sweetest boy I know! Not too many people would take a bullet for me, either! Ever since last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about you either. At first it was just because you saved my life, but then it was more than that. The whole event kind of woke me up to you. I don’t know if it’s because we’re in two different social circles or what, but I didn’t really give you much thought before. I just thought you were another heart-broken guy chasing after me. But after that night in the gas station, I started to realize how great of a guy you really are. Most guys don’t really care about what I think or what I like. They just want me because they think I look ‘hott.’ Those guys wouldn’t jump in front of a bullet for me. From what I’ve seen, Stephen, you care more about me than all my ex-boyfriends put together, and that’s the most attractive thing that you can do.”
“Tori. Are you saying that you like me too?”
“Yes. I think I am.” A lump was starting to grow in my throat.
“Well, maybe I’m taking this a little too quickly, but would you like to be my girlfriend?”
“It is happening really quickly.” she started, making me a little nervous. “But I just can’t say no. I’d love to be your girlfriend!”
I was ecstatic. I had never felt that way before. It was beyond happy. It was beyond joy. Words really cannot describe how I felt at that moment. I just looked into her eyes, sparkling in the moonlight. She must have been feeling the same way as she giggled in her own cute little way. A voice in the back of my head said “kiss her” and that’s just what I did. I bent down, put my hand behind her head, and approached her lips. It was the best kiss I’ve ever had to this day. When we finished, we justed stared at each other, smiling. Finally, Tori broke the silence.
“Well, you better get going. I don’t want you to stay up too late on my account. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“You’re right. It is getting a little late. Good night, Tori.”
“Good night, Stephen.”
So many thoughts were going through my head as I drove home. I couldn’t believe that that just happened. I just kissed the girl of my dreams… in a soaked diaper. How many people can say they’ve done that before? I felt unstoppable- like I could accomplish anything I wanted at that moment. A week ago, I thought it would be impossible to go out with Tori, but that was just proven wrong. “If I could do that,” I thought, “Then I should have no problems winning the battle of the bands next weekend.”
The next week flew by. Everything was just going right. Tori and I hung out almost every day and it wasn’t awkward at all. In fact, we just seemed natural together. I had never felt so happy in my life before. It was like the missing piece of me was filled with a warm, glowing light. We talked about many topics, growing closer with every conversation. I had even contemplated telling her about my condition, but I figured that it wouldn’t do any good to the situation. I was pretty sure that she’d be accepting, but the only good that would come of telling her would be that I wouldn’t have to be so careful to hide it in front of her. I feared that it would eventually tear us apart for some unknown reason. I decided that telling her was the last thing I needed to do.
In addition to my progress with Tori, my band was playing better than ever. The other guys had decided to name the band Bite the Bullet in my honor, and I didn’t object. I thought that it sounded more like an album than a band, but I was just glad we finally had a name. As every day’s practice ended, I felt more and more confident in the band. I had no doubt that we would win the competition, which really made me excited to perform on Saturday.
Finally, Saturday came and I found myself driving over to Timberland Park, where the battle took place every year. It was a really nice outdoor venue that was built for multiple musical performances by various organizations in the community. Nearly every concert was well attended, but the Battle of the Bands was always the most popular. People of all ages flocked to the park to witness the event. Bands of every genre could be found there: everything from country to hip-hop to metal. In the spring, bands had to submit a demo CD to a panel of judges that selected the fifteen best bands to perform. It was enough of an accomplishment to be picked to play, and winning the battle usually gave the band some amazing local publicity. All that being said, I was once again extremely nervous.
The worst part was waiting for my band’s time slot to come, though. It was fun listening to all the different bands, but I just wanted to go. The battle started at three in the afternoon, but my band was assigned the nine o’clock slot. Everyone got 10 minutes to set up and 20 minutes to play. Since there was a professional sound crew there, things went very smoothly.
Throughout the time waiting, Tori kept me company backstage. It was nice to have someone to talk to that wasn’t nervous like me. It really calmed me down. But when the band before us took the stage, it was time for her to go into the crowd and let me focus. For those thirty minutes, Alex, Joe, Zack, Corey, and I just sat next to the backstage stairs and stared at each other. We knew that we were able to win the competition, but we needed to execute. Missing one beat or messing up one riff would be enough to take us off the top.
After what seemed like ages, the band before us finished. They were good and the crowd was roaring. They were a tough act to follow, but they also fired up the audience for us. Energy was high at that moment, and that was just what we needed. Our music was based on energy.
We were quick to set up. I hooked up all my guitar effects to the amps with the help of the sound crew and grabbed my guitar just as Joe finished putting his set together on the platform at the back of the stage. I then turned to face the crowd for the first time. An icy chill crept up my back as I realized how many people were there. I couldn’t see the end of the mass of people due to the blinding lights in my eyes. That was probably a good thing. This was my time to shine.
With four clicks of Joe’s drumsticks, we were off. Our first song was an energetic one at about 180 beats-per-minute. Everything was together. Both guitars, bass, drums, and vocals were right where they needed to be. The audience was really getting into it as well. Through the lights, I could see a fairly large mosh pit in progress. It was a great four minutes and the crowd cheered as we finished the song. It was an amazing feeling. I forgot all about every bad thing that happened in the last year as I stood there. I was having the time of my life.
The next song started with a light guitar riff by me. It was a much happier piece that focused much more on the rhythm and vocals. That song was really received well. Many people were jumping in sync with the beat and girls could be heard screaming for Alex as he sang. Being a much easier song for me, I took the chance to really move around the stage. I even went and jumped on an amp next to the drums and started to interact with Joe as he drummed. It was pure rock’n’roll. But then, everything went wrong.
As I turned around to jump off the three-foot-tall amp, my foot got tangled in my guitar chord and I started to trip. I tried to prevent the disaster by leaning, but I only spun and started to fall backwards, head first. As I descended, my pants got caught on the corner of the amp, causing them to rip and slide down to my ankles. I arched my back a little bit right before I landed, protecting my head from the impact. The amplifiers issued a giant boom followed by major feedback as my guitar crashed into the ground. It wasn’t until I rolled over and got to my feet that I noticed that my pants had fallen, exposing my diaper to the entire audience. The crowd was louder than ever, but this time they weren’t cheering. They were laughing at me. Unplugging my guitar, I ran off stage. I had never been so embarrassed in my life. At one moment, I was living my dream, and then the next, I was living my nightmare. I revealed my secret to the entire town.
Without stopping, I ran to my car and started to leave. Unfortunately, there were a lot of traffic in the parking lot. It took forever to get out. People were walking past my car and staring at me as they recognized who I was. I felt so vulnerable as people just pointed and laughed at me. I wanted to leave that place as fast as I could. I only wish I could have left my problems there as well. Finally, I got out of the park and took off. I usually didn’t speed much, but that night I was peeling rubber at every corner. As I pulled into my driveway, I noticed there was another car parked there as well. It was a red Toyota. It was Tori’s.