The Girl Who Was Made of China (Audio of ch 3 1/5/21)

I winced as the moving truck hit a pothole. There had been a lot of potholes since we had turned down this road that seemed to have been forgotten by time, and it seemed the state of Texas Maintenance Division.

I could see my dad periodically glancing up in the rear view mirror to check on me every time we hit a bump. I groaned in pain as my metal leg braces rattled up against the seat. My legs, still healing from the last break thanks to an old bat of a lady who found the potato chip aisle more interesting than watching where she was pushing her cart, were beginning to ache.

“It barely touched her, she’s fine!” The old lady had insisted. My incessant wails of pain and the shards of bones nearly protruding from the skin said otherwise. Four more surgeries, and five months of physical therapy later and I was somewhat back on my feet. Kind of.

I looked down at my legs and grimaced, now painfully swollen in the confines of the braces. Without the braces supporting my weight and keeping them straight, my legs were almost useless. They had been broken so many times they bent this way and that. There was next to no muscle mass, despite everyone telling me there was still a chance of gaining some use out of them if I just kept working on strengthening the muscles. To this, I always responded with, “What muscles?”

My legs stopped where normal people my age’s knees should be. Between that and my curved spine, I was a whopping 3 ft and 4 in, or a little over 102 centimeters tall. At school, I was by far, the shortest kid in my junior high. I usually hid my midget legs under a long skirt, or had a light blanket on my lap, mostly relying on my powered wheelchair to get from class to class as an aid from the disability department trailed behind me.

To be fair though, it wasn’t really that old lady’s fault for breaking my legs. She really had only tapped me with her cart as she said. It would have been so much worse if I hadn’t been in my wheelchair; the fall could have killed me.

When I was around one and half, my mom lifted me by the legs while changing my diaper and heard, what she thought at the time, was the cat batting something around on the floor nearby. I began screaming bloody murder for the rest of the day. After changing me and realizing no amount of bottles, food, cuddling, or sleep would console me, she reluctantly took me to the emergency room. After all, all she had done was change me, there was no way I was hurt.

Turns out, the sound she heard wasn’t the cat. It was my hip breaking. It opened up a whole CPS investigation after reading the results of my x-rays. Not only was my hip broken with no possible explanation other than a diaper change, but after another set of x-rays just to see if I had sustained other injuries in their care, they saw improperly healed breaks in my right leg, right arm, three broken toes, two fingers, and a rib. My parents almost lost custody of me right then and there. Hospital staff were in the middle of filling out a child abuse report when a doctor noticed a strange phenomena in my eyes. Where the white should have been, there were instead streaks of blue. After running more tests, I was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, more commonly known as brittle bones syndrome.

“You doing okay back there, Forest?” my dad asked.

“Are you trying to hit every bump in the road?” I replied. “You’re gonna break my neck before we even get there!” The last thing I wanted was to be in a neck brace again. I’ve learned to live with being confined to a chair, all I ask in return is free range of my neck. It was awful only seeing what was directly in front of me.

I could hear my mom playfully chastise him about the nickname, but he just laughed. We had a bit of a twisted sense of humor in our family. My real name was Jasmine, but my dad either called me Wade or Forest, depending on if my braces were on or off. Both of them horrified the general public, and I got just as much of a kick out of it as my parents did. My parents, my dad especially, were not very politically correct about my condition, and I liked it that way. Dealing with people was awkward, I didn’t need that kind of tension at home. I’ve been told I hide my insecurities behind a self-deprecating sense of humor.

During my physical therapy sessions, as I held onto the staff’s hands and inched my way up and down the hallways my father could often be heard shouting, “Run, Forest, Run!” Seeing the horrified looks on the staff and fellow patients faces was priceless. It wasn’t until he explained why he sometimes called me “Wade” that almost got him kicked off the visitor list. Some jokes were meant to stay amongst family.

Two years ago, for my 13th birthday, my dad had taken me to the movies to see DeadPool 2. When the scene came on where Wade sat on the couch with a normal top half and baby legs, my dad leaned over and whispered, “See, you could be a movie star if you wanted to.”

“Oh, Forest, listen!” My dad said suddenly before turning up the radio. Oh no. I let out a groan. “Our song is on!” A soft guitar melody played before Ed Sheeran, accompanied by my dad, began to belt, “When your legs don’t work they used to before!”

“Stop it!” I groaned and shook my head.

“And I can’t sweep you off of your feet!”

“I’m taking my hearing aids out!” I said yanking out the small brown devices from my ears. I could still hear him, but he was muffled and sounded further away, almost as if underwater.

I hadn’t realized how much I had begun to rely on reading lips until the pandemic hit. The hearing aids helped, but only so much. With everyone wearing masks, understanding people had almost become impossible without saying, “Can you repeat that?” at least ten times. I had at some point broken a handful of small bones in both my ears and now sound didn’t travel as well into the inner canals. In other words, my ears were deformed because I kept sticking my fingers in them as a kid digging for wax. Thank god I wasn’t a nose picker or I’d have suffocated during this pandemic.

When I was sure the singing was over, I put my hearing aids back in. No need damaging my ears any more than they already were by listening to my dad try to hit the high notes.

“Honey, is the other van still following us? I haven’t seen it in quite a while.”

“They probably just took the main road further down. It’s fine, I’ll call them when we stop.”

“Are we stopping soon?” I ask hopefully. I had never been in a car this long and my joints were beginning to ache. I fought against the 5 point harness that had me buckled in straight and tried my best to get comfortable. I stared at my little brother, Evan, enviously. He was sacked out in his car seat completely dead to the world.

“There’s a gas station about 40 miles.” My dad said.

“40 miles.” My mom grimaced. “Is there anywhere closer to stop? I really have to go to the bathroom.”

“There’s plenty of cactus to choose from.” my dad said.

“Very funny.” My mom said. “No, seriously.”

My dad chuckled. “How about a Gatorade bottle?” My mom let out a snort. “What about you, Forest?” I rolled my eyes. “Jeez, you women are so picky. Why did I think a road trip with girls would be a good idea? If we have to stop at every gas station so you can pee we’ll never get there.”

“Just because you have no problem going on the side of the road doesn’t mean we all have to. Right, Jaz? Jaz?”

“My life would be so much less painful if I was a guy. I would so pee on the side of the road if I was a dude.” I admitted.

“Forest, no, you can’t be a boy.” My dad said suddenly, before breaking out in a grin. “That would have been the first thing you’d break.”

“That would be an awkward trip to the emergency room.” My mom admitted.

“Hi, 911? Yes, my son, James, broke his penis touching himself again, should we just glue it back on or- oh ok, I guess it’s Jasmine from now on.”

I laughed. “There’s no bones in a penis… I already googled that before.”

“Why are you googling penises, Jaz?” my mom asked, turning around to look at me.

“To know if I would have broken it by now.” I admitted. “But you can’t so…”

“What would you do if you had a penis for a day?” My dad asked. I laughed as my mom smacked him.

“What kind of question is that to ask of our 15 year old daughter?”

“I would have definitely taken you up on that Gatorade bottle, and then I would helicopter dick myself to Austin already.”

“Enough about penises, both of you.” My mom said, shaking her head. We rode in silence for a few seconds until my mom added, “I’d take you up on the Gatorade bottle too.”

……………………………………………………….

When we finally pulled up into the gas station, I watched as my mother nearly bowled over a group of children on her way to get inside.

“Uh, I can wait, thanks.” I said, still strapped into the seat.

My dad chuckled. “I’ll get your chair, sit tight. She’ll be back to help you.”

I could hear my dad rummaging in the back. There was lots of crashing, and swearing, before finally the back door shut again. My mom still hadn’t come back yet, and I was starting to fidget. It wasn’t good for me to wait this long. My bladder wasn’t very strong, and getting in and out of the car, into the chair, then into a bathroom and on the toilet was a whole production that took time. I craned my neck and looked for either sign of them. Finally, my dad came back, but without my wheelchair.

“Small problem.” He said. “It’s in the other truck.” I looked at him horror struck. I could walk five, maybe ten steps max with assistance. Someone, most likely my dad, was going to have to carry me. As much as we tried to avoid it for both our sakes, sometimes it was the unavoidable cost of needing constant care that he occasionally had to help me with personal needs. My mom couldn’t be everywhere, and sometimes I had to be picked up. Since I couldn’t afford to be dropped even a single time, my dad had to do it. Even grabbing me wrong could break bones.

I sighed in defeat. He’d have to be the one to take me to the toilet.

“Let’s get this over with.” I unbuckled myself and scooted to the far edge as I could and slowly inched myself down the makeshift ramp on my butt until my legs were dangling outside the van.

“Sorry, Forest. We can’t leave Evan in the car. We’ll have to wait for your mom to come back and we’ll all go together.”

“Yay,” I said sarcastically. We waited a few more minutes. I was getting more desperate. We tried to make small talk, but I interrupted his speech on how great the children’s hospital here was. “Dad, I can’t wait much longer.” I admitted.

“Can you watch, Evan? Will you be okay by yourself for a minute? I’ll see what’s going on.”

I shrugged and hung out on my perch for a few minutes. My dad came back with a large grin on his face. He ignored my many questions before digging in the back and coming out with a pair of my mom’s pants. He chuckled and shook his head. He said something, but I couldn’t read his lips behind the mask. He gave me a thumbs up, but I gave him a thumbs down.

“Stupid legs.” I mumbled. I looked left and right. The place was deserted. I was more and more tempted to just hike up my skirt, pull down my underwear and go on the ledge and be done with it, but the problem was my braces. They would have to be taken off. The plastic floor could be rinsed off with a water bottle, but the leg braces cost at least $5,000 each. They were in the way and they kept my legs from going sideways. They ran all the way up from my feet to my hips. “C’mon guys, hurry up.”

I sighed in relief when I saw both my parents rushing forward. My mom was holding a bag in her hand and looking uncomfortable. Without a word she threw the bag in the back with the boxes and closed the door before coming to join us.

“I’m so sorry, Jaz,” she said. “I thought the chair was in the back and your dad would have you loaded and waiting. Mike, help me get the braces off her.” They worked as fast as they could, but I was running out of time. My mom’s hand kept fumbling with the straps. I was biting my lip and clenching my fist and beginning to rock back and forth.

“Hurry up!” I moaned at them. My dad got the left brace off first and set it aside. The air felt so good on my bare, sweaty leg. He looked up and around. Only one other car was in the parking lot and there was no one by it.

“I’m going to pull off your clothes, okay?” I nodded and readied my hands to cover myself. I winced in pain as the fabric, as gentle as he was, slid down my legs. It didn’t take much to irritate the nerve endings.

“Got it.” My mom said, freeing my other leg. I was finally naked from the waist down. Going inside wasn’t an option. My dad had already turned around and was standing at the other end of the van to give me privacy with however this ended. “I guess you can just go there.” my mom said. I frowned. I had already leaked several times, and it was clear it would go down a leg if not both. The thought of my legs getting wiped down right now made me hesitate, despite wanting nothing more than to just get this over with.

“Clean up will hurt.” I said.

“Do you see any way she can go without getting it on her legs?”

“Uhh, maybe.” My dad said. “I don’t think she’ll like it though.”

“Will it hurt?” I asked.

“I’ll have to pick you up, but I don’t think it will get down your legs.”

“Do it.” I said reaching out my arms to be picked up. I didn’t care who saw what at this point.

“Please don’t pee on me though.” He said. I winced as he slowly picked me up.

“But I love you.” I said through clenched teeth. My eyes were shut tight. I didn’t want to know his plan, I only wanted relief. “I’d only be marking my territory.”

“Don’t you dare.” He said. I felt myself get lowered onto something hard and plastic. “There you go. Don’t worry, I’ve got you.” His arms were wrapped around my chest keeping me steady. “Go on.”

“Mike! Seriously!” I heard my mom call out. It was too late to change plans though. It was sweet relief. I didn’t care where I was. What mattered was my braces, and it wasn’t going down my legs at all.

I didn’t give my dad enough credit. He saved me. He was my hero, my savior. He was- I opened my eyes- He was SO DEAD!

“So anyway, yeah.” I emailed my friend on the phone. “That’s how I got my butt stuck in a trash can lid in front of a 7/11 for twenty minutes today. My dad had to pour vegetable oil on me in order to get me out. The clerk even came out and offered to call the fire department for us. Luckily, I kind of look like a little kid with a mask on. Oh yeah, so my dad told me my mom got traveler’s diarrhea, only she forgot her phone in the cab and couldn’t text for help. So I guess I wasn’t the only one in an awkward position.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………

I was exhausted when we finally arrived at the motel. My hips, legs and back hurt. My three year old brother, Evan was screaming his head off and no one could get a hold of the driver in our other U-haul. It wasn’t just my wheelchair, it was all of my medical gear, my records, my clothes. It was a good thing I didn’t pee myself earlier because until we find the truck, all I have is the clothes on my back.

I crawled on the floor, dragging my near limp legs behind me into the bedding my mom made me on the floor. I wasn’t happy about not getting to sleep in a bed, but there was nothing to prevent me from rolling off. I was even less happy about the other arrangement.

“But I’m not even a bed wetter!” I protested.

“I know you’re not, sweetie, but we don’t want you crawling around and getting hurt in the night. I know this isn’t ideal, but we weren’t planning on not having any of your things with us.”

I had a special mat I could put on the floor that absorbed my weight and put less stress on my wrists, but that was in the other truck. When I wasn’t in my chair, I was dragging myself along the floor.

“I’m not wearing Evan’s bedwetting shorts. I’m 15!”

“Jazz, you had to pee in a trashcan today.”

“At least I made it to one.” I mumbled under my breath.

“Look, it’s just in case for whatever reason. Maybe you wake up in the night and you’re just in too much pain, or you can’t wake us. No one’s making you use them, but if you do it’s no big deal, here’s some wipes, and a spare. There’s a trashcan by your head. Just slip it off and throw it away and no one will know.”

“Mom! That’s-”

“Just wear it, Jasmine.” My dad said into his pillow. “We want to go to sleep.”

“Fine.” I grumbled. “What?” I asked when my mom knelt down next to me.

“I want to see what it looks like.” She slid my skirt and underwear down and winced. “Oh, Jaz. That looks so painful. It’s all swollen.”

“Yeah.” I mumbled into the pillow. “It hurts.” I winced when she started rubbing ointment into my skin.

“I’ll get you something for the pain in a minute, this is just for the swelling.”

I nodded, before pulling out my hearing aids, and laying my head down on the pillow. I let out a yelp when she got to my hip as I let her guide the shorts up my waist.

“I changed my mind. You’re staying put tonight.” She handed me a pill and a sip of water.

I wish I would have listened.

A few hours later I woke up with a nagging bladder. I didn’t want to use the shorts, but I couldn’t fall back asleep no matter how much I tried. In my half conscious mind, still heavy with sleep and oxy, I began to crawl to the bathroom. I made it two feet away from my blanket pile.

I heard the snap before I felt it. In the blink of an eye, I was on the ground. My mind was filled with hot searing pain that radiated from my left wrist to my elbow. I was vaguely aware of dull muted voices around me as I rolled on the ground clutching my arm and screaming in pain.

Hands picked me up and carried me out into the night.

We had no way of knowing this trip to the emergency room wouldn’t be like all the rest.

My dad eased me into a chair in the E.R. waiting room. This was different from the one back home. Instead of the cushioned green armchairs, the seats were a cheap plastic that made me wince as I was set into it. Every other chair was taped off, and the walls were covered in Covid-19 “Know Your Symptoms” and, “Have You Had Your Flu Shot?” posters. The flickering fluorescent lighting against the white walls gave the place a ominous feel. There were no aquariums to look at, or magazines to read.

I examined my wrist, which was now turning a shade of purple and grey, and tried to move it. A sharp pain raced up my arm. It was obvious it was broken. I let it rest awkwardly in my lap, not looking forward to the resetting process. I wondered how much more pain I’d be in if my mom hadn’t given me a pain pill a few hours ago.

Now that my dominant wrist would be in a cast, I tried to imagine writing with my right hand. I traced words in the air with an imaginary pencil, but it felt so awkward and unnatural.

I shivered involuntarily, grimacing at the pain in my hip and lower back as I did so. It was cold in here, and as I looked down at myself I realized why. Now that I had calmed down enough to let other senses in besides pain, I saw the state of myself. I had no clothes, only the short sleeve shirt I had worn yesterday and a half used and still damp pull-up. The waiting room was chilly compared to the Texas night air outside.
I searched for my dad hoping he would lend me a jacket to cover up with and saw him waving animatedly at the front window. I frowned, unable to hear anything that was being said. I touched my ear and realized why. My hearing aids were still at the motel. My dad had scooped me up off the floor and taken me here.

I hated not being able to follow what was going on. My dad had never looked this stressed checking me in. I was such a frequent flyer at the emergency room back in Topeka they saw me coming through the door and would get the ice packs ready with no explanation needed.

I watched him intently as he dug through his wallet again and again searching for something. Another animated exchange followed. I wish I could hear what he was saying. I could tell by his body language he was growing more frustrated. I strained to listen, but it was like trying to hear a television playing with the volume set to three.

He stepped to the side and pulled out his cellphone. I saw him put it to his ear when the nurse took her fist and pounded on the window. She pointed to a sign. That at least I could read. No Cellphones Allowed. He shook his head clearly frustrated, and without making eye-contact with me, stepped outside.

I sat there alone, staring at the nurse hoping someone would come fill me in. She stared at me and I stared back. If she was saying something to me I couldn’t tell. A mask was over her face and mine as well. I felt as if I had no way to communicate.

My writing hand was dead weight, I had no cellphone, I couldn’t walk or hear, and my dad often told me I sounded like I had food in my mouth when I tried to talk without my hearing aids in. If there was one thing I had a complex about, it was my voice. How do I sign, “I’d kill for a blanket right now” with one arm? I know they have them, this isn’t the first time I’ve hurt myself in the middle of the night and been whisked away without pants.

It’s definitely the first time in my little brother’s Ninjamas. Evan had been angry to learn there had been no ninjas, and as I sat looking down at them, I felt that. The cold spot was annoying, but I bet the chair would be hurting me more if I wasn’t wearing them. I thought back to last night. Why was I wearing them anyway? It wasn’t like my mom. She was always pushing me to be as independent and self sufficient as possible.

She’d make me crawl through Death Valley before she ever put me in a diaper and let me be lazy. My waist was even small enough to sit on Evan’s plastic potty. Even that would have saved me a few broken bones in the night. Back in Topeka, before we started the move to be closer to a special orthopedic surgeon, I had a system of foam ramps, gymnastic padding, and handrails, leaving trails for me to get around.

I was walking okay as long as I gripped the rails and stayed on the pads, but the last break to my legs did some serious damage. I scoot around on my butt a lot now, or crawl to get to where I need to go. I scoot backward on a ramp and push with what little leg muscles I have to get on and off the toilet, the couch, and the kitchen table. My bed is pretty much just a mattress on the floor.

Using the bathroom in public was a little trickier, and it usually involves me stripping from the waist down, although I had gotten in the habit of going commando under a skirt. There’s a setting on my chair that tips me forward, and then I just push myself onto the toilet and use it backwards, and then pull myself back into the chair when I’m done. I learned the hard way this only works if I have to pee. I’ll leave it at that.

My mom was horrified when she learned I had been doing this. Apparently that’s just to help people stand up, which is what I had been supposed to do and to sit on the toilet like a normal person. I failed to see the problem in this. I thought it was pretty smart, but she just took it upon herself to ask me every morning if I was wearing underwear.

“That’s unlady like.” says the woman who crapped her pants at the gas station.

Now that I can’t spread my legs with the braces on, I can’t use this little life hack anymore. Now someone has to be there with me so I don’t fall and it’s awkward. I prefer stalls, that way they can just set me down and step out, and I’ll bang on the wall when I’m done.

Family bathrooms are the worst. For the love of god, don’t lecture me about my algebra grades when I’m trying to take a dump, mom!

I wonder what she thought of me yesterday. Surely I was the epitome of beauty and grace, with my ass stuck in the lid of a trash can as I shouted swear words at my dad while he poured crisco oil down my back. She must have been so proud.

That’s probably what it meant when she put this on me, I thought, looking down at my waist. This was her way of telling me, “I give up.”

Damn it if I didn’t still have to pee too. I inwardly groaned. Not this again. I had only lost partial control when I broke my wrist. Now that I had calmed down and was still, my body reminded me of the situation that had gotten me into this mess.

My dad still wasn’t back, and even if he was, he seemed to be in a bad mood. He was probably mad at me, and I didn’t want to tell him I still had to go. I was still mad at him for dropping me in the trash can, and he seemed pissed I did exactly what I wasn’t supposed to do, and now he was here in the middle of the night after driving all day.

“Excuse me.” I said through the mask. “Is anyone there?” I couldn’t see anyone behind the glass. I turned around, and looked outside. No dad either. Great. The minutes slowly tickled past. I called for help a few more times, but still no one appeared.

I groaned. This just wasn’t my day. I looked down at the shorts. Nope, I wouldn’t do it. There was no way. I shifted uncomfortably and sharp pain began to radiate from my hip. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. Did I really have no choice? I sighed, resigned to my fate.

“This is for not having ninja’s” I whispered.

I relaxed and let the warm liquid encompass me. I tried to look as inconspicuous as possible, while tugging down the hem of my shirt. I had no way of knowing if it was making noise or not, all I could do was sit there and stare at the wall ahead.

That was when the door swung open. A woman wearing green scrubs holding a clipboard stepped out and stared at me. Was she talking? I couldn’t tell. Was I ever going to stop peeing? She continued to stare at me before searching around the room. After finding no one else, her gaze went back to me. She gave a “come here.” motion with her finger. I shook my head. WHY WAS I STILL PEEING?!

I could feel moisture now on the backs of my thighs and trickling down my legs. Oh no. Oh no. I could see the woman’s gaze slowly falling from my face, to my legs, and then resting on the floor. I didn’t want to look, but I couldn’t help it. I watched in morbid fascination as urine trickled off the plastic chair and onto a puddle on the floor. I could see her approaching in my peripheral vision. It wasn’t until I was finally done that I could bring myself to look her in the eyes.

I could hear the sound of distant words, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. I pointed to each of my ears and shook my head, then I pointed at my deformed legs. It’s not like I could have gotten up and used the bathroom. I was cold, wet, and in tremendous pain.

I could just hear my mother in my head, “You could have held it longer.” I was surprised when a hand gently stroked my head. I stared at her. Was this lady trying to comfort me? Suddenly her eyes, which a second ago were gentle and full of sympathy, took on a sharper stare. She must have realized it wasn’t an accident. I felt a stab of guilt. I could have held it for another ten minutes if I really tried.

“I’m sorry,” I said, but I noticed her eyes were no longer looking at me, but to the side of me. I looked and found not just my dad, but my mom, and Evan as well. Now I was in trouble. There was no hiding the mess I had made. My mom would see me still in the shorts and know I had done this on purpose.

My mom was looking at the lady, then at me, then back at the lady. She didn’t look angry to me. She looked almost…surprised?

Part of me wished I could hear their conversation, and part of me didn’t. I felt a tap on my shoulder and my dad was handing me something. I snatched them up and put them in my ears.

“…Leave her alone.” I heard, catching the tail end of the nurse’s sentence.
“I had to call my wife and bring my daughter’s insurance card. The receptionist made me go outside. I didn’t have a choice.” my dad said. “She wouldn’t even let me check her in without it.”

She looked to the reception window, but there was no one there.

“Mom, I’m sorry. I tried to ask for help, but the lady up front couldn’t hear me, and my hip was really hurting and-” I began, but was cut off.

“It’s fine, Jaz, don’t worry about it.” My mom said.

“Your hip? What’s wrong with your hip? I thought it was her arm.”

“It’s complicated.” My mom said. “There was an incident earlier today. She’s very delicate.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………

“So what happened here?” the nurse from before asked. I was lying naked, turned onto my side, on a bed being wiped down with wet washcloths.

“I slipped down a hole.” I said, omitting the part that the hole was in the lid of a trash can. I sucked in air as another pair of hands poked at the area.

When the nurse ripped the soaked undergarment off to help me clean up she was greeted with the sight of my discolored hip. Now a doctor was here examining me.

“Honey, you can tell us the truth.” the doctor said. Her voice was gentle, I only wish her fingers were as well.

“I am.” I groaned as she tried to move me again.

“You can’t walk, but you somehow slipped down a hole?”

Well when she said it like that it sounded ridiculous.

“Sort of.”

“I think it’s broken. Have them x-ray her hip as well when they x-ray her arm. I’m not liking what I’m seeing.”

I was helped into a hospital gown, before the gurney was pushed towards the radiology lab. They took a lot of x-rays, they always do with my condition just to make sure nothing else was broken that I wasn’t aware of. After the x-rays, they took me back to the room. I frowned. My parents still weren’t there. We had been split up an hour ago and they hadn’t come back.

I was waiting alone for quite a while, I had almost fallen asleep when the nurse had come back with something. Someone had already come and set up an I.v. Another had drawn blood. I wondered how long I had been here for.

“Just came to help you finish getting ready for the night. Do you need anything? An extra blanket?” I nodded, another blanket would be nice. My eyelids were so heavy. The pain medication was kicking in. She pulled the one I had off, and lifted my hospital gown up to my chest. “After I finish up here, someone’s going to wheel you up to your room.” She began to unfold something white and, after gently lifting my legs, slid it under me.

“Not going home?” I mumbled.

“Afraid not. You’ll be spending the night here, and tomorrow you’ll be released into state custody until they figure out what’s going on.”

“Huh?” I was going under fast.

“How did you break your hip, Jasmine?”

“It was an accident.” The room was fading out. “He didn’t mean to.”

“And how do you explain the other 38 previous fractures we found? Were those ‘accidents’ too?” I tried to answer but nothing would come out. I felt a hand begin to stroke and brush my hair back. The last thing I remember was her saying. “It’s okay, Jasmine. You’re safe now. He can’t hurt you anymore.”

1 Like

And it goes from funny to serious in two scenes. Well done
:pineapple:

I stared at the nurse and CPS worker dumbstruck. I thought last night’s conversation was a drug induced dream. Even now, I questioned my reality. They had given me what my dad always referred to as, “the good stuff.” I was flying high and feeling no pain.

“When are my parents picking me up?” I asked, as if what they had just told me went in one ear and out the other. I was alternating between sucking on a juice box, and trying to scoop green Jello into my mouth with my non dominant hand. One look at the tray in front of me showed that the Jello was clearly winning.

“We’ve had this conversation already, remember? Mr. Davies will be taking you to a temporary home nearby.”

“Why can’t I go home with my parents?”

Mr. Davies came and sat on the corner of my bed.

“We need to make sure you’re in a safe environment, and from what we’ve seen so far, we think it’s in your best interest if you stay with someone else while we check on your background.”

What was it that my mom always called me? I couldn’t recall the name of the actual condition. I couldn’t recall much of anything in my drugged state. What was it? I sat in silence until it finally clicked. I was the Girl Made of China! She said it sounded prettier than the Girl Made of Glass, and my dad liked to peel off the “Made in China” stickers off stuff and stick them on my forehead.

“I’m chinese!” I blurted out. They stared at my white skin, freckles, and blue eyes dumbfounded. It went right with telling them I was from Tapioca, Kansas. These really were the best drugs.

I shook my head to try and clear it. “No, my mom says I’m made of China!” I manage to get out. “Like I break really easily.”

“We understand that, Jasmine. We do. It’s clear from the x-rays and interviewing your parents that you have some kind of health issues going on. We need to make absolutely sure though before we can release you back to them. The problem is your medical records are missing. There’s no proof what they’re telling us is true. We legally need documentation from your doctors. Even when we get that, CPS will still need to investigate.”

“Why?” I asked. I was getting kind of frustrated. If they knew I had this condition why were they separating me?

“There’s just some things we need to look into.”

“What things?”

“How about you focus on getting better and leave that to us.”

“No!” I was mad now. “Why won’t anyone tell me what’s going on?”

Mr. Davies sighed and stood up.

“We’re investigating possible neglect. Staff has witnessed some events that raise some concerns, such as the incident in the waiting room, raising their voices at you to an unreasonable volume, not having your wheelchair with you, as well as the matter of you not being completely honest about how you hurt your hip.”

“None of those were their fault!” I insisted. I pointed at my ears. “I’m almost completely deaf without my hearing aids. They have to raise their voices, and my hip was…well…” I said and began to mumble. “It’s just embarrassing.”

“I have a statement from one of the nurses saying you said quote ‘It was an accident. He didn’t mean to.’ end quote.”

“If I tell you what happened can I go home once you get my records?”

“I can’t make any promises, but it would help to know the truth.”

“Well, I…” My mouth had gone dry. I paused to take a sip of my juice. “My dad set me down over the hole of a trash can lid and I fell in and got stuck.”

“Why were you on a trash can lid?”

“Because I couldn’t hold it.” I mumbled.

“Hold what?”

I stared at him. Did I really have to spell this out?

“I had to pee really bad and I couldn’t make it. There was a line.”

“Why didn’t he just have you use your diaper if you couldn’t make it?”

“I don’t wear diapers; I don’t need them.”

“The notes from last night said you were brought in wearing one.”

“Those were my brother’s training underwear. It was a one time thing, I wasn’t supposed to get up in the night, but I did anyway and…” I held up my plastered arm. “I thought they would be more absorbent than they were. I probably could have held it until my dad got back or something, but I was in pain and was being lazy.”

“Jasmine, that’s not being lazy. You broke your hip in three places and were left alone. Even if you were wearing nothing, no one would have blamed you or thought you were just being lazy.” the nurse cut in.

“Back to yesterday,” He said. “If you knew you couldn’t make it, why not squat behind the car? Or find a bush. Or even going in your pants would have been the safer choice. Why, knowing how delicate you are, purposefully lift you up and put you in harm’s way just to avoid the mild inconvenience of a young child having an accident?”

“My legs. They’re still healing from getting rods in them. They can’t support me like that yet, and sometimes, like yesterday, the nerve endings get really sensitive and hurt to the touch. It would have caused a lot of pain if I had had an accident.”

“So his actions were not just to save the interior of the car, or the hassle of dealing with soiled clothes? You feel his actions were in your best interest as to not cause you pain?”

Well, I wouldn’t go that far. I know why he did it. He thought it would be funny, but it’s not like he meant for me to get hurt.

“Yes

They kept asking more and more questions. What was my home life like? What did my parents do for a living? Where were we going? Did I ever feel my parents put me in danger? Did anyone else in my family have this condition?

I felt like I was answering questions for hours, and the pain meds were wearing off. They had woken me up at the crack of dawn and I hadn’t had a moment to myself to process anything. Most of all, I wanted him to leave. I was in a spica hip brace with my legs splayed out under a blanket.

“Can I have a break please?” I asked cutting off one of his questions.

“We need to get through this and get on the road.” he said. “It won’t be much longer. 30 minutes maybe.”

“Do you need something?” the nurse asked. Of course I needed something! He had been here from the moment I woke up. I gave her a pleading look. “What is it? If you need something you need to speak up.” I scowled at her.

“Can I have some privacy first?” She stepped forward and pulled the curtain around my bed.

“Are you wet? Do you need a change?” she asked loudly. I cringed. Surely she did not understand what privacy meant. She reached for the blanket and pulled it back revealing my sprawled out legs bent at the knees, and feet in the air resting in stirrups. “You’re dry.” she declared.

“I need to use the restroom.” I whispered. The last time I was in the hospital they brought me a commode.

“You need to stay in bed. Unless you need to go number two, It will be easier on you if you use the diaper. I could bring you a bedpan, but I’d have to move and reposition you.” I cringed. I didn’t want either option, but the thought of being moved around was the least appealing. “What do you want to do?”

I pointed to my waist with a scowl. I was in a very odd position, and judging by the mess I had made last night, I would probably need a bath after. A part of me was afraid I was about to give myself a golden shower so I covered my face up to my nose with the blanket just in case and relaxed.

I always feel anxious when I have to pee. It’s always such an ordeal trying to get me onto the toilet, bedpan or commode ( or trash can) and my body responds with adrenaline and dread. Every transfer from here to there is a chance I could break something. It means pain and frustration and a little bit of resentment that I was not born a boy.

I do not consider myself transgender in any way. I don’t feel like a boy trapped in a woman’s body, although I may act it sometimes. My frustration lies in the waiting in long queues with my mother, while my dad walks Evan over to pee along a fence or in a planter. Every time my mother cannot get me up fast enough, it is always my fault for not speaking up sooner. It doesn’t matter that the line took 30 minutes, or that she couldn’t get me on the toilet for 20 because it was too high.

I remember one day a few months ago, as I sat on the toilet in front of my mom in Target, tears streaming down my face from pain and wet leggings around my knees . “If I had to be born like this, why did I have to be a girl?”

She sighed. “It wouldn’t be any easier if you were a boy.”

“This wouldn’t happen if I was.”

“You’re assuming it would be normal and healthy.” She pulled her phone out of her pocket.

“Even if it wasn’t it would still be better than- MOM!? WHAT THE HELL?” I hid my eyes from the picture on her phone with my arms.

“There’s worse things than wet pants.”

“Then stop acting like there isn’t! You nag me when I go too much, then you nag me when I go too little!”

“What do you want me to do then?! Put you back in diapers so you can piss yourself at your leisure!?” she snapped back.

Now as I laid there in bed watching the diaper expand between my legs and knowing how easy it and pain free it could all be, I hated myself all that much more for liking it.

“Please,” I begged, tears now rolling down my face. “Please don’t tell my mom I chose this.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I rode in the backseat of Conrad Davies’ car in silence. I was positioned oddly in a car seat, half leaning back with my legs forced apart. If I put my hands in front of me it looked as if I was about to play leap frog. It was an uncomfortable and awkward position to be in, especially without any pants on.

The further we drove the more anxiety I felt. He had said the place was local, but we had been on the road for over an hour and a half and the further away from my parents I got the more real my situation became. I was getting scared now. What if I never got to see them again? This was entirely my fault!

By the time we pulled up to a large building, I was in tears, utterly convinced this was now my life forever. I was shaking like my neighbors chihuahua, and blubbering to take me back to the hospital.

Before I could prepare myself or pull myself together, the back door opened and a grey haired woman appeared. She said something, but I couldn’t hear her behind the mask. She began to reach for me and I did the only thing I could think of. I took a swing at her head.

“Uh-oh, we got ourselves a fighter.” a man said appearing next to her. He was huge!

I hadn’t even come close to making contact. If I had, I would have said good-bye to my last working limb.

“Hush, honey, we don’t bite. It’s okay.” She reached back in slower and began to un-do the harness.

“I’m sorry, there’s been some confusion unfortunately.” Mr. Davies said. “Without her records, they had to guess at her age, they filled out the paperwork by sight without asking and they were a little off. She’s older than you’re used to dealing with. Oh- Be careful!”

The giant had swiftly picked me up as if I weighed nothing and supported me under my butt with a single hand. Terrified of falling, I clung to his shirt with my good hand, my heart racing in terror as I began to cry. This man was going to break me, I was sure of it.

“They say she has a genetic bone disease. She’s very fragile. Please be careful. X-ray showed almost 40 previous fractures. There’s metal rods in both her legs, her hip is broken and so is her left arm. It’s probably best not to pick her up unless you absolutely have to.” Mr. Davies said. “Here’s an updated case report. Please disregard the one we sent to you last night.” He handed her the manila folder.

“Abuse isn’t likely, but we can’t release her back to her parents until we get her medical records verified. We made contact with them this morning. They’re on their way to Oklahoma right now.”

“What?” I whimpered, snapping my head around to look at him. “Why?”

“The driver for the delivery company that was driving the other truck got in a fight with his boss and quit. He drove the truck with all their stuff to the nearest U-haul center and left. They didn’t find out until this morning. It had all her medical supplies, wheelchair etc. and as a result she broke her hip in the afternoon and her arm in the night. So says her parents anyway.”

“That’s terrible!” The woman said. “It’s okay, honey. We’ll take good care of you until you can go home.” I felt her pat my head. Why was everyone rubbing my head lately? Was I a dog? “We have lots of kids your age to play with during the day.”

“Not exactly.” Mr. Davies said. “Anyway she’ll need to be pushed in a wheelchair to get around. I hope that won’t be a problem. Please read the updated file. I need to take off. I’ll call you as soon as we hear anything. Thanks Elaine.”

“We’ll make due with what we have. Don’t worry. C’mon, let’s go inside and find you something to wear. You must be freezing.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I clung to the giant man as if my life depended on it as we walked inside and I buried my tear and snot streaked face into his t-shirt. I was terrified of heights. Elaine was talking to me, but I didn’t understand a thing she said. I could hear the giant’s booming voice just fine, but Elaine was too soft spoken. Understanding her would mean having to read her lips, and there was no way I was opening my eyes until they set me down. She’d have to come closer.

“I don’t think she can hear you.” The giant said. “There’s something in her ears. I think she might be deaf.”

“Yes.” I mumbled into his shirt.

“Ca* u h ** n** ** *?” I probably could have heard her if I really tried, but I didn’t feel like it while I was 50 feet in the air.

“Can you put me down soon?”

“Where should I put her? She wants down. No, I think she’s still dry, but I’m not sure. Okay.”

After a few more seconds, I felt myself get lowered onto a table. I finally opened my eyes, turned to my side and quickly shut them again. I was still too high!

“I really don’t like heights.” I said.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t change you on the floor. I have a bad back.” Elaine said, standing over me. She had taken her mask off and now I could hear her much better. “My husband Edger here will be doing all the heavy lifting for me. He’s much stronger than I am.” I gave him a weak smile as he flexed his arms. He towered over her. I wondered if he could pick her up as easily as he did me. I bet he could.

“That’s quite the brace you have on.” She lifted up my shirt to examine it. It went from my knees up to my belly button, and down the other leg, leaving enough space in between to use the bathroom, or in my case, tuck in a diaper. “I don’t like the fit of this.” She poked and prodded at the diaper. “It’s thin and doesn’t fit you very well. I’m sorry you’re stuck in this position, but it sure makes this easier.” She undid the tapes and pulled down the diaper.

“Hey, don’t!” I shouted. My hands shot in front of me. She quickly did the tapes back up and stared at me. She saw what I was trying to hide.

“What? What is it?” Edger said coming over.

“How old did the file say she was?”

“5-7.”

“No, the one we just got.”

“Oh, I haven’t seen it yet.” I watched as he opened the file and scanned down the paperwork. His eyebrows shot up. He looked at me, then back at the paper. “This can’t be right.”

“What?”

“I’m not 5-7.” I said.

“I uh…noticed.” Elaine said. While I had never officially hit “puberty” and by this point I was starting to lose hope that I ever would, there were small signs I was older than I looked. I certainly wasn’t my age down there, but it was still enough to signal an adult male probably shouldn’t be here for this.

“I’m 15.” I said.

“A little off, huh?” Edgar said.

“Lots of kids my age to play with?” I asked, already knowing the answer. I could tell what kind of place I was in just by the bathroom.

“Not exactly.” Elaine said. “My husband and I run a daycare center. Our oldest enrollment is seven. We do temporary care for the state on occasion, although we only take in children under 10. We never know who we’re taking in, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix an older teenager with the young ones.”

“Oh,” I said. “Are you going to call Mr. Davies and have him pick me up?”

“Of course not.” Edgar said before Elaine could answer. “You’ll have everything you need right here. I think this is a perfect fit for you. Everything’s made for your size, we’re able to accommodate your, umm, special needs.” He looked over at Elaine whose lips were pursed tight. “Elaine, look at her. She can’t even walk. It won’t happen again.”

“What won’t happen?” I asked. They both stared at me.

“How about I get you dressed in private this time?” Elaine said with a clap, breaking the tension in the room.

“Please.” I asked.

When Edger left, Elaine dropped the smile. “Listen here. If you’re going to be staying here, I have rules for you.”

“Okay.”

“Don’t you dare, under any circumstances, tell anyone you’re real age.”

I was taken aback. I hadn’t expected this.

“Why?”

“We strive very very hard to make this place safe for children. My husband and I both grew up in the foster care system, we know what it’s like. We don’t want parents getting nervous knowing an older child is here again.”

It didn’t make sense to me, but I agreed anyway.

“If you make any and I mean ANY sexual reference, you will be out of here. I don’t care if you’re in a full body cast or not. You will be waiting on the curb until CPS or your parents come pick you up. I don’t care who.”

This startled me, but I was starting to understand.

“Did something happen?” She ignored me and went on.

“No swearing, no referencing movies past PG, no…” The list seemed to go on. My head was spinning. “When the children leave, and we go upstairs to the apartment you’re free to act your own age.

I wasn’t sure what to say. This was strange. I didn’t want to be here! I could feel the panic begin to claw at my chest.

“I’m sorry.” She said suddenly. The fight seemed to leave her all at once. “You’re just as scared and confused as all the other children we take in.” She pulled up a chair and sat down next to the table.

I could feel tears well in my eyes. “I am.” I admitted. I was scared I would never see my parents again. I was scared of being out of my routine. I was scared of this lady and her strange rules that I couldn’t remember.

“Two years ago, we took in an older boy for a week. I think he was 15 or 16. Terrible home life. He seemed good with the kids. Rumors began to spread. It crushed Edgar. This is what we are trying to save the children from, so to have it happen under our own roof.”

I remained silent.

“The younger boy admitted he had meant to tell his mom about how he got hit in the butt in the ball pit, but it came out he was ‘touched’ in the butt in the ball pit. The mom told her friends, who told their friends. Of course we were all very relieved to learn nothing had happened, but the damage was already done. The older boy was never even part of the story, but once the rumors spread suddenly he was made out to be a child predator, and we were negligent with the kids. One rumor even said Edgar himself had been the one to do it.”

“Oh.” I said. “I wouldn’t hurt the kids.”

“Of course you wouldn’t, we don’t think you would. We just don’t want parents thinking we’re taking in older foster children again. Our reputation has never been the same, so I’d really appreciate it, since we obviously can’t leave you upstairs by yourself in your condition, if anyone asks how old you are, you say…?”

I shrugged. “Six?”

“Six could work I suppose. I’ll have to make sure any diaper changes are in private.”

“I don’t need diapers. I wasn’t allowed out of bed in the hospital is all. If you could put me on the floor actually, I’d like to use the bathroom now. I can pull myself up with my. . . “ I trailed off looking at my broken arm. I would need both hands to be able to pull myself up.

“Your legs are in a bit of an awkward position to use the toilet.” She had a point there. It would take some maneuvering.

“Umm, I’m sure if you just took it off.”

“We’d never be able to get it on you again.” She picked up my file. “It says not to take the brace off in your care instructions. Also that you’re prone to accidents.”

“Well, no, not really. I mean, sometimes, if I can’t get anyone to help me in time.”

“Tell you what, how about we just keep this on just in case.” Elaine said. She bent down in a drawer. “Now how to get some pants on you with your legs in the air.”

I bit my lip. “Umm, I…” I started to say. She looked up at me and read my pained expression.

“I know that look.” She looked at me, examined my brace, traced the plastic bar connecting my knees with her fingers, then glanced at the toilet.

“Please hurry. It’s a little hard to hold in this position.”

“Jasmine, If you need to go that badly, why don’t you just use the diaper? I’m not going to make you sit in it. I wanted to put a different diaper on you anyway.”

“But,” I glanced at the toilet.

“I don’t think I can help you on and off by myself. I might hurt you. Edgar would have to help you.”

“That’s fine, I don’t care.”

“If you’re really sure that’s what you want.”

It took quite a while for her to find him. I was to the point of leaking by the time he entered.

“Whatcha need, kiddo?” he asked as he stood in the doorway.

“The toilet.” I said. I fought against the brace, but it held me in place.

“Oh, uh, I thought Elaine would be helping you with that sort of thing.” he said.

“I can’t pick her up, and she says she doesn’t need diapers, but I can’t think of a way she could fit on a toilet in that contraption, even if I could.”

“I think she could, but it will take practice.” He went to scoop me up, but I let out a moan of pain as soon as he touched me. The meds they had given me were out of my system now. He tried again, but it was impossible to change my position without hurting me. Eventually, he laid me back down on the table.

I felt a cool hand brush my hair back. I wouldn’t be the one to choose this this time. There had to be a way!

“Why are you making this so difficult on yourself?” Elaine asked. “Moving you like that is obviously very painful to you. You’ve got to be miserable.” I nodded. I was. “I don’t understand.”

“It means i’m not trying. I have to keep trying! I can’t just wet myself whenever I feel like it!” I was crying now.

“Well… why not?” She asked. I stared at her. “You have an option in front of you that doesn’t cause you pain? Why would anyone expect anything else of you?”

“Because it’s the easy way out. That’s what my mom says.”

“You’re in a nearly full body cast, hun. Why shouldn’t you take the easy way out?”

“But…”

“Why don’t you take this weekend as a sort of break. Don’t worry about anything, don’t worry about what she says or thinks. Take it easy. She doesn’t have to know.”

“Promise?” I ask.

“Promise,”

With a sigh of relief and contentment, I closed my eyes and took the easy way out… and it felt wonderful.

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How could I have let this happen? I sat as still as a statue, eyes wide and full of terror. How could I have taken it this far?

“What have I done?” I whispered. My eyes were stinging. All ten little faces were turned toward me, eyes wide and utterly transfixed.

“Jasmine, there’s no turning back now.” Edgar said solemnly behind me. This went against everything in my book of self preservation. I felt hands give my back a push.

“Goodbye cruel world.” I muttered, before letting out a terrified scream.

Down the giant inflatable slide I went, every inch of me wrapped in makeshift padding. The pillows under my legs and butt made me pick up speed. I saw my life flash before my eyes before being launched off the bottom and landing in a foam pit. I didn’t move. My heart was pounding out of my chest. Was I dead?

“You okay?” Edger called from the top. He slid down after me when I didn’t respond. I felt him lift the helmet off my head and appraise me.

“I…I…” I tried to say. He helped me sit up in my makeshift suit made of packing material and bubble wrap. Finally, when I was no longer in shock, I spat out the pacifier I had been using as a mouth guard and grinned from ear to ear. “Can I go again?”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I had at first spent my afternoon sprawled out in a red wagon on top of some pillows. They had tried to put me in a stroller but I had refused, not because it was childish, but because trying to pretzel me in looked incredibly painful. It wasn’t my wheelchair, but I could make due.

They had given me an older baby monitor in case I needed anything that Elaine kept next to her as she sat at a table doing arts and crafts with some kids. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be hearing everything coming from her end, but I found it amusing.

“That’s very good Alice, but let’s try to keep more paint on the paper and less on your face.” “Kevin, don’t eat the paste.” “Jenny, that’s very interesting, but I think you should leave mommy’s special underwear stickers at home.” “Kevin, stop eating the paste!” “No, your brother does not need a haircut, put the scissors down.” Kevin! I’m not going to tell you again! Stop. Eating. The. Paste!”

Elaine clearly had her hands full.

It was Edgars group I was most amused by. It was an even mix of boys and girls in a massive ball pit. It appeared to be a free for all against Edgar in an attempt to tackle him to the ground. They were not making much progress.
One of the boys had managed to climb up his back, but Edgar grabbed a leg with one hand and hung him upside down by it while using him as a human shield. Once the boy had taken several chucked balls to the face and stomach, he cried “Uncle! Uncle!” and Edgar let go. I watched as he dropped unceremoniously, head first into the plastic balls with a “plop” I could hear all the way over here. I worried he might be hurt, but he jumped back up sporting a large grin and back into the fray he went while planning his next attack.

I had been parked over by a table by myself, unsure of whether it was to keep me from getting hurt, or to keep me away from the other kids. No one seemed to pay any attention to me until a small girl toddled over.

After a few exchanges of “huh?” and “what?” I managed to piece out what she was trying to say.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Just sitting here.” I answered. I peeked over at Elaine, unsure if I was allowed to talk to any of the kids or not.

“Why?”

“Because I’m in time out?” I lied.

“Why?”

“Umm. . . Because I was…bad?”

“Why?”

I sighed. I was getting nowhere. “I had an accident and fell. See.” I pulled up the blanket that was draped over my lap and showed her the bottom part of the brace by my knees. “It goes all the way up to my stomach.”

“Why?”

“Because my hips broken.”

“Why?”

“. . . Because I fell.”

“Why?”
Will someone please come get this child, I thought. I pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration.

“Just because.” I mumbled.

“Oh. Ok.” she said brightly. Oh, so that she understood!

“Uh…?” I said. She was leaning over the wagon now staring into my face.

“Why yer eyes look like that?” She was uncomfortably close and I had nowhere to go. “There’s no, uhh, umm, no other part.”

My eye’s wouldn’t look normal to a child I supposed. Instead of black, surrounded by a ring of color and then white, they were just black and blue. It was one of the few things I liked about my appearance.

“Cool, huh?”

“You look like…uh…uhh…” I cocked my head to the side and waited. “A monster.” I was a little taken aback.

“A monster, huh?” I flashed her my teeth, which were chipped and broken in so many places they looked more like jagged points. She jumped back and stared at me a moment with a scrunched up face. Oh no. Her face began to turn red. Please don’t. A loud horrific shriek began to fill the room. She backed up and fell on her butt.

“No, I’m sorry, see, I’ll hide them.” I picked up my face mask and put it back on. “See no more monster.”

“MONSTER!” The girl screamed, before getting up and running toward the table where Elaine was.

That went well.

Elaine was soon on her feet along with half the group of kids. It took a little bit of explaining. I thought I was in trouble. I was scrambling to come up with a suitable apology when Elaine got the girl and brought her back.

“Now what do you have to say?”

“I’m sorry!” the girl and I said at the same time. The others laughed. Was I not in trouble?

“Jenny, go on. What are you sorry for?”
“Sorry for calling you a monster.” she mumbled at the floor.

“It’s not nice to call people names just because they look different than us.” Elaine said.

“And I’m sorry I scared you. “ I said. “I don’t bite. I just have pointy teeth cause they break easy.”

“I wanna see!” A boy who looked to be about seven said. I pulled down the mask and flashed him a grin. “Woah! Cool! You look like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland!”

“Disney version or Tim Burton?” I asked already knowing the answer.

“The one with the lady with the really big head.” Figures.

I supposed the Cheshire Cat was better than what my dad always said.

“You’d have better teeth if you stopped smoking so much crack!” To which I’d reply,

‘I wouldn’t smoke so much of it if you’d stop buying it and leaving it around the house!”

“”Who says I bought it? The nice lady on the corner with the red dress and mouth sores gave that to me.”

“What did you do, fill up your Parking Lot Hooker Punch Card and turn it in for a prize?” And back and forth we’d go laughing and raising my mothers blood pressure.

My face fell at the thought. Would I ever get to joke around like that with him again? Suddenly I felt like crying.

“You can haf this.” The girl from before said. I took it and examined it.

“Is this a…?” I began to ask, and Elaine nodded and put her finger to her lips. That answered my earlier question about, “mommies special underwear stickers” meant. “Well thank you, I’ll put it here.” I took the pad covered in paint and stickers and stuck it around the pole of the wagon. “Every ship needs a flag.”

“Can she come out of time out now and color with us?” Jenny asked. Elaine looked at me and I shrugged. I had to tell her something that wasn’t, “your babysitter thinks I’m an evil teenager out to corrupt you.”

“If she wants to, but be careful not to touch her. What you might think of as a small tap could hurt her.” It was true. A toddler once grabbed my fingers and pulled to get me to play with them and broke two of the bones.

Elaine pulled the wagon and positioned me so I was facing the small fold up card table. I stared at the freckled boy next to me who had his fingers in his mouth and was doing a poor job of hiding a jar of something under the table.

“You must be Kevin.”

I didn’t have to worry about not fitting in with the other kids it seemed. If a parent was to poke their head in, they’d find me at the same height, and drawing just as poorly and awkwardly as the others. Kevin was fairly decent at staying in the lines even, when he kept his fingers out of his mouth anyway.

When it was time to work on school work, I was handed an identical sheet as Alice, the girl with paint covering her hair and face. It was an exercise on tracing letters of the alphabet. I think Elaine had meant for me to help Alice, but I was so horrible at using my left hand, Alice kept stopping hers and helping me. I thought it was cute until she said,

“Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it when you’re as old and big as me!” Uh-huh.

“What makes you say you’re older than me?”

“I’m better at drawing and writing than you.” she said proudly.

“That doesn’t make you older.” I said, going along with her. She was kind of ador-

“And I’m not the one wearing diapers.” she blurted out to the table.

That little brat. If I can ever get the paste jar away from Kevin before he eats it all, I’m sticking one of her pig tails in it. I collected myself and laughed.

“It’s not a diaper, it’s a pillow. You try sitting in a metal wagon.” I lied. It had gotten hot. I thought I was hidden underneath the table, so I had pulled the blanket off. She must have seen when she bent over to pick up a pencil off the floor. With my legs stuck in this position, and the bar running between my knees we hadn’t been able to fit any kind clothes over my legs.

“Nuh-uh. It’s not a pillow, it’s a diaper. I saw it! It has bears on it like Jenny’s and it’s all yellow.”

I could feel my face turning red. This little bitch was gonna get it. Forget the paste. I needed chewing gum and a pair of scissors. They wanted me to be six, I was gonna be six all right.

“That’s enough, Alice.” Elaine said, interrupting us. “Jasmine can’t walk right now, how do you expect her to use the potty? You know how we bring in kids sometimes who are having a hard time? Well Jasmine is one of them and she’s here with us for the weekend to take a break from her big girl responsibilities while the grown ups figure things out. She is being a good girl and doing what I asked her to do so she can be as comfortable as possible. ”

I cringed harder. I was sure my face was a mixture between scarlet and purple.

“You can bring the potty to her like you do Jenny.” Alice suggested.

“Yes, but we can get Jenny on the potty without hurting her. We might hurt Jasmine, and I don’t think Jasmine’s mommy and daddy would be very happy if we sent her back in more casts than she came in with. We all agreed making it to the potty isn’t as important as our new friends’ safety, so I’d like all of you to understand and not make a big deal out of it. So if you happen to notice she’s wet or messy I’m sure she’d appreciate it if you didn’t announce it. You just come get me, ok?”

“Okay.” They chimed in.

“And don’t check her. This isn’t like Jenny or Paul, or Aaron. She doesn’t need everyone keeping an eye on her. That is my job and my job only. Please respect her privacy because of her situation, we can’t get her fully dressed. Now this is the last word on the subject, am I understood?”

“Yes, Mrs. El.”

I was horrified. My face was burning. If I hadn’t been sure I had just been publicly humiliated by a five year old and a grandma, I would have swore I was running a fever and had the covid everybody had been talking about.

“It’s okay, Jasmine, c’mon, let’s get you taken care of, It’s okay.” Elaine said. I choked out a sob and buried my face in my cast. Why had she just done that to me?

“Jenny, how about you? How are you doing? Do you need to go potty?” Elaine asked.

“I pee peed!” the girl said confidently. Elaine sighed.

“You’re not supposed to go pee pee, remember? You’re supposed to come get me, so I can take you to the potty and then you can go pee pee. Come with us. Maybe we moved your potty to the bathroom too soon. Out of sight out of mind.”

My eyes were still blurred with tears when we reached the bathroom.

“Go sit on your potty and see if anything else will come out while I talk to Jasmine.” Jenny skipped around us before pulling down her shorts and sat on the blue plastic seat. Elaine praised her when we heard the sound of trickling liquid. “Try and go more.” I looked away when Jenny began scrunching up her face. Getting burned by a five year old and watching a toddler take a dump didn’t make my top ten list of go-to activities.

“It’s okay, Jaz. I’m sorry, but I had to do it.” She brushed back my hair as I tried not to break down in complete sobs. “You don’t need to be embarrassed. You did good. I didn’t even need to talk you into it this time. See, isn’t this so much easier than being moved around?”

I had thought so at first too. I had been irritated by the urge to pee, as we sat their tracing letters and coloring pictures. It meant having to stop everything I was doing, and everything Elaine was doing, until I had remembered. No…it didn’t. It was such a strange concept to me. I didn’t have to stop a thing. I didn’t have to be moved. I didn’t have to get hurt. All I had to do was relax.

So I did.

I could feel the stress melting off of me as I went. It was odd. I had gone from anxious and uncomfortable to a feeling of absolute tranquility in seconds…until that little brat went and called me out.

“I guess.” I admitted. “But why’d you tell everyone? You could have just said Alice was mistaken.”

“Children are blunt, and you have to be blunt right back. By acknowledging it right then and there it stops all talk on the matter. They will accept it as fact and move on. It is no longer interesting. Grass is green, the sky is blue, their new playmate is in diapers. It just is what it is. If I had lied, Alice would have taken it personally. She would have made it her mission to prove to everyone she was right. I think you may have appreciated it less if Alice had taken to publicly removing your blanket to show everyone.”

I couldn’t argue with her logic there. If she had done that I would have gone full Trunchbull and swung her around by her pigtails with my good arm. Special Olympics here I come.

“So is using diapers as bad as you thought it was going to be? Scene out there aside.”

“I…I don’t know how to feel.” I answered.

“I’m done!” Jenny chirped. “I went poopy!”

A foul smell began to reach my nose and I used my shirt to cover my face.

“Let me take care of the little one first and send her on her way.” Elaine said. “Wow, you sure did! Good job! Stand up and let’s get you all nice and clean.”

I made the mistake of opening my eyes. I began to immediately gag. I was never having kids.

“In through your mouth, out through your nose, Jazz. You’re not going to be sick are you?” I shook my head, but she handed me the trash can anyway.

“No more group trips.” I said through a fit of coughs.

“You get used to it fairly quickly.” I heard her banging the plastic against the porcelain followed by the toilet flushing. “There, poopy all gone.” She said after rinsing the bowl in the sink. “Go run along and play, Jenny. We’ll be out in a minute.” She obediently took off without looking back. Elaine closed the door behind her before turning to me.

“Your turn.” She said. She changed her gloves and stood over me. I looked up to the table and frowned. What was the point of all this if I still had to be picked up? She followed my eyes. “Not to worry. You’re perfect where you are.” She sat on the closed toilet lid. “The brace makes it kind of easy actually.” She positioned the wagon with my bottom half as close as she could to her and threw the blanket on the floor. I was facing the bathtub and running parallel with her legs. She seemed to have no trouble working sideways.

“So what were you saying earlier? You don’t know how to feel about it?”

“Yeah,” I said staring up at the ceiling as the tapes were removed. “I’m not going to lie, it’s way more convenient. It just still feels like I’m doing something I’m not supposed to.”

“That’s normal I think. You’re told your whole life not to pee your pants after all. You’re going against one of the earliest things you’re taught in life.”

“When I broke my legs, I would have done just about anything to be a boy.”

“Why’s that?” she asked, pulling out the diaper and balling it up.

“So I wouldn’t be in pain every time I have to pee. It was awful! It’s no fair they can just whip it out and go wherever.”

Elaine laughed. “That would make things easier for you for sure… Not so much running a daycare. Every once in a while we’ll get a little boy who doesn’t want to stop playing and thinks no one will notice if he takes a leak in the corner.” Elaine sighed and shook her head. “Yeah I see you buddy standing there with your pants to your knees facing the wall. Don’t tell me your doing “nuttin” with your butt hanging out.”

“Eww.” I said.

“Yeah, well, turns out an uncle was abusing him. Kids have weird ways of asking for help. It takes practice to not get mad and learn how to listen.”

“Huh,” I said. “How’d you find out?”
“About the third time he pulled that stunt, after I made him clean it up, I had Edger take him out for ice cream just the two of them and have a chat. Turns out on Friday nights, when his parents would drop him off at his uncles, instead of hanging out with him, he’d make him stand for hours in a corner in the garage and not move until he heard the van come back. He’d stand there so long until he had to pee in his corner.”

“That’s horrible.” I said.

“After the truth came out, and the uncle was out of their lives, we never had an issue with him again. See, the answer isn’t always the kid was just lazy. Sometimes there’s a deeper meaning and kids don’t know how to reach out. And other times…the damn kids are just lazy.”

“How can you tell the difference?”

“Well bathroom troubles are a red flag. Whether it’s peeing on the wall, spreading poop on the wall, having a lot of accidents, wetting the bed during nap time, holding it too long, having pain while going, that sort of thing. Then we look for other signs. Do they get upset easily? Are they blowing up over little things? Unexplained injuries.”

“How do you know all this?”

“Well, I’ve been a children’s psychologist for 30 years. Running this place was just what we decided to do during retirement.”

“Hey, umm, I have a question.”

“What?”

“So, uh, well … peeing wasn’t so bad, I think I can deal with that for the time being…but.” I scrunched up my face. “I really really don’t want to do anything else.” I bit my lip. I think she knew what I meant without spelling it out.

“Ah, well…when that time comes- that would be now, isn’t it?” I nodded. “Well… you’re already here, let’s see what we can do about this.” She stood up and looked around. “I’m sorry to say, I still can’t get you up on the toilet.”

I groaned. Please not a diaper. The thought of it getting all squished made me want to gag. I rubbed my belly as she searched around the bathroom. The brace was putting pressure down on me now. “Please hurry.” I could just imagine my dad quoting Rat Race.

“You know, where the prairie dog sticks its head in and out of the hole.”

I could see him suggesting I stick my butt out a window too.

“I have an idea!” She said triumphantly. I looked over. My face fell. I had to be in the Twilight Zone because there, in her hands, was a trash can.

“You’ve got to be kidding me! Not again!”

………………………………………………………………………………….

I laid out in my wagon covered in a blanket, now content. The pressure in my belly was gone, with a dry diaper underneath me. The room was quiet now. All the kids were down for naps on the floor. We all had sippy cups of water, with the youngest with bottles. I had at first protested the sippy cup, but by the fifth time I dropped it I was resigned to it.

I was growing more frustrated as time went on. I was thirsty, but with only one hand I kept dropping it. When I let out a yowl of pain after having dropped it on my chest, I found Elaine above me.

“Need a hand?” she whispered.

“What?” I asked. She put a finger to her lips and pulled up a chair by my head.

“Close your eyes.” She said in my ear. “Just relax.” I did. I felt a hand begin to gently stroke my head. It felt nice. I felt something go in my mouth. I opened my eyes, but she put a palm over them. “Shh. Relax. Relax. Close your eyes. It’s okay. No one’s watching us. Let me help you.” She put whatever it was back in my mouth. “Drink. It’s okay, that’s it.”

Whoever this lady was, she had some weird ideas. Weird, but they all seemed to work out in the end, like turning the trash can on its side, and placing it under my thighs to prop my butt up more. Then she had simply held a plastic grocery store bag under me while I did my business. Awkward, but pain free. We both seemed pleased how it had worked out. I didn’t have poop smeared all over my ass and she didn’t have to clean it up. It was wipe, tie, toss.

“This is your weekend to relax.” she whispered. I kept sucking on the water while she played with my hair. This was nice, I thought again. “And while you relax, I want you to know you’re safe here and nothing you say or do will leave this room.”

“If you could do anything this weekend, what would you want to do? Don’t think about it, just answer.” she asked. I spit out whatever was in my mouth, and said the first thing I could think of.

“I wanna go down the slide.”

1 Like

Not how i figured that would go but good nonetheless

I had gone down the slide again and again. Even Edgar was getting breathless from hauling me up the inflated stairs. By the fourth time down I could hardly breathe, now content to just lay motionless in the pile of foam. The children had laughed at my terrified shrieks, and cheered with me as I raised my arms in triumph from among the foam.

Every inch of me was covered in sweat as the bubble wrap and packaging foam clung to my body. My lower half felt drenched, but from what I had no idea. After the slide I asked if I could go to one more place. He agreed, but only if I stayed put in the far corner and out of the fray. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face as he set me down in the ball pit. It wasn’t nearly as deep as I had thought, but it was enough to sink down to my chest from my seated position. I lightly kicked my feet and used my arms to move the balls around me.

I had never gotten to do these things as a child. I had always been stuck on the sidelines for my own good. Even now at nearly 16, a part of me felt bitter watching Evan diving in and out of the balls and crawling through the tunnels in our local Play Palace in Kansas. We had taken him for his 3rd birthday and he had looked as if he had been having the time of his life, only mildly irritated I would not, “get up and play with him.”

My parents had adopted him shortly after birth from a local young couple not ready to have a family. They claimed they hadn’t thought of having another child until they had learned of the family looking for someone to take him in, but I knew it was bull shit. It was no, “chance encounter at the grocery store.” They had been looking into adoption for years. They just wanted to make sure they didn’t get another me.

I was a defective model. I had come broken, so they had ordered a replacement. It’s what anyone would have done when the thing you had wanted comes not as described. If my brother was an Apple product, I would be the cheap knock off that breaks before you even get it out of the box. “Made of China” I scoffed. More like, “Made in China.”

I tried my best to distract myself. It didn’t matter. What mattered was the here and now, and the here and now was calling my name and asking for backup! I grinned, and joined in on the fun the only way I could- by pelting the enemy forces with brightly colored balls.

“Jasmine! How could you!” Edgar said in mock indignation after taking one to the gut from me. It had lightly made contact, and bounced off harmlessly, but he pretended to go down all the same. That’s when the children attacked. I watched as one after another began to dog pile him.

The giant was down.

“Snack time!” Elaine called. “Everyone out of the ball pit!”

“Oh boy! Snacks!” Edgar said, lifting his face out of the balls. The pile of children began to shake. It wasn’t possible! And yet, it was happening. One by one children began falling off as Edgar began to sit up. How strong was this guy!? Once all the kids had either climbed down, or been flung off, they made their way out of the ball pit. Edger then picked me up and brought me back to my wagon.

“Having fun?” He asked me.

“Yeah, thanks.” I said with a smile.

“Glad to hear, we try to make it not so scary for the kids transitioning to foster care for the first time.”

“Are all these foster kids?”

“No, these are just our regular day care, and after school club. You’re the only foster at the moment. They usually only stay for a couple days. This is only meant as a temporary place for young children while Cps investigates the family, while Elaine talks with the kids one on one. Then they compare notes and determine if the child will need to be placed with a foster family or be returned to their parents.”

“So she’s my ticket back home.” I said.

“Yep, but lying will do you no good. She always knows how to get the truth out of young children.”

I frowned.

“But I’m not a young child, I’m… “ I said, letting my thought trail off.

“No, but her methods seem to be working on you all the same.”

I scowled. What had she been doing to me short of putting me in a diaper and making me poop in a bag?

“What methods?” I asked, feeling suspicious.

“You’re having fun, aren’t you? You seemed pretty happy back there despite what’s going on.”

“I’d be just as happy taking my bag of excrement, lighting it on fire and leaving it on my principal’s porch for giving me a detention for being late to class after lunch, despite you know, being in a wheel chair.”

“Such lady-like behavior.” He said feigning shock.

“Because pooping in a trash bag is so classy, right?”

“The Queen of England is classy, and she’s so old she probably took the throne when chamber pots were still a thing.”

“What’s a chamber pot?” I asked, as he pushed me to join the others.

“Well, you know those big cooking pots”

“Yeah.”

“It’s like that, but for poop.” I wrinkled my nose. “Don’t give me that look, you started this conversation.”

“And I’m ending it right now,” Elaine said handing out Capri Suns and Dixie cups full of pretzels. “That’s an inappropriate conversation while we’re eating. And get her out of that, she looks like she’s about to overheat.

It took about ten minutes to free my upper half. Each time he tore a strip of bubble wrap off, he’d hand it off to the nearest child, who’d gleefully begin popping away. It was when he began to unravel my bottom half that he realized there was a problem.

“How about I hand out snacks and you take care of that one?” Edger suggested. I hadn’t been paying attention, I was focused with trying to get the straw in the hole. It wasn’t until Elaine stood over me that I realized there was a problem. I was soaked. Not just the diaper, and not just from sweat. I could see yellow liquid inside the still sealed bubble wrap. It couldn’t be! I lifted it an inch and the ammonia stench nearly made me gag. It was.

“Jaz, why didn’t you tell us you needed a change?” She asked while pulling me toward the bathroom.

The truth was it hadn’t even crossed my mind. I had been having fun and… I could feel my cheeks flush. What an unbelievably immature thing to do. I couldn’t believe it.

“I thought it was just sweat.” I admitted. It hadn’t crossed my mind that while yes, I could go when I needed to, it was really only borrowing time so I could get to a bathroom.

She closed and locked the door behind us, put on gloves and began the tedious job of unwrapping me. Worst present ever, I thought as she peeled off layers of dripping plastic and tossed them in the garbage.

“Well on the bright side, these made for the most unusual plastic panties i’ve ever seen.” she said before “tsk”-ing as she examined the red rash all over my legs. “How many times did you pee in this?”

“Umm, well…I wasn’t really keeping track.” I was. It was four. And each one had been easier than the last.

“These are single use diapers, they aren’t meant to use all day.” She balled up the soaked diaper and threw it in the trash. “Honestly, I thought I would be having the opposite problem with you. I figured you’d be running to me at the first sign of moisture and I would have to somehow convince you to stay that way a bit longer.”

“I didn’t want to bother you, and then before I knew it, I’d have to go again, and then I was ba-” I was about to say “balls deep” but stopped myself. “I was in the ball pit and Edgar was a little preoccupied.”

“Jazz, this is what I do. While I appreciate you thinking of me, it’s your well being we need to be focusing on. Tell me the truth. Taking into account how upset you were earlier today when you were outed, and now that i’ve discovered you’ve chosen to sit in your own waste for hours rather than come get me, what is it you’re so afraid of? Is it having to be cleaned up? Because I can’t imagine this being much more invasive than you’re used to. I can see this being difficult for someone your age who is used to having privacy, but you said yourself you’ve needed care all your life.”

“No, it’s not the clean up. It is what it is.” I said, leaning back so she could do damage control. “I don’t think I can explain it.”

“Well, while I’m working, how about you try?”

“I’m not afraid.”

Elaine sighed and stopped wiping me down. “Look at your legs and tell me what you see.” I looked. They were red, irritated, swollen and now that I noticed, they began to hurt and itch. “This right here tells me all I need to know. You can deny it all you want, and you can lie and tell me you thought it was sweat. I know i’ve only known you for one day, but you’re smarter than that, Jasmine.”

I said nothing. Who did this lady think she was?

“I read how you hurt your hip.”

“My dad was trying to be funny and dropped me in a trashcan.” I said. “Doesn’t mean he abuses me.”

“I never said he did. What I’m trying to figure out is how yesterday, you were willing to go to such great lengths to avoid getting urine on your legs because you knew it might set off your neuropathy pain. Only today, you seem content to practically bathe yourself in it despite knowing what consequences might lie in store.”

“You know I’ve heard rumors urine wraps are great for the skin, takes ten years right off.” I joked.

“Jasmine, I’m asking you a serious question right now. Look at me. Are you telling me the truth? Were you really not afraid to come get me?”

“Yes!” I said, raising my voice a little. I was getting annoyed. I didn’t like repeating myself, and I loathed being called a liar.

“Okay Jasmine, I can see you’re not ready to open up about this, but when you are, just know i’m here when you’re ready to talk.”

She finished changing me in silence while I sat and seethed. I didn’t even know why I was so angry.

When I returned, most of the kids had scattered from the snack table already and were off either playing in the section with the blow up slide, jolly jumper and ball pit, or on the obstacle course side, with the plastic tunnels and cargo nets. Only Kevin remained, asking for more pretzels. I gave him my share, surprised that he hadn’t already filled up on paste.

“Don’t you want a snack?” Edgar asked me. I did. My stomach was rumbling from hunger. All I had had today was Jello at the hospital, and half of that hadn’t even made it into my mouth.

“I’m not supposed to have hard or chewy food because of my teeth.” I said. “They’ll break.”

“Would you like me to check if I have something soft? I think there’s some yogurt or string cheese.” Ohh, string cheese I thought.

“No thanks, I’m fine.” I said. They had already done enough for me. I didn’t need them thinking I was being difficult and making special trips. Instead, I focused my attention on the pouch of juice I hadn’t managed to get open. It took a few minutes, but I had finally managed to steady it in the crook of my cast, and despite the awkwardness of my right hand, pierce the hole on the fourth try. I triumphantly took a sip. It wasn’t Wild Cherry, but it was still good.

I had downed it in a quarter of the time it had taken me to open it, even with blowing air into the straw to re-inflate it in order to suck the last drops out. I crumpled it up feeling disappointed. It had only made me thirsty. Were they ever going to make these things bigger? I eyed an abandoned pouch next to me, sitting open and in arms reach.

That’s nasty Jaz, I told myself. I didn’t know where that kid’s mouth had been. What if it was Kevin’s? That meant his tongue had probably been on the inside of some glue bottle, licking the sides to get the last bits out. I’ll just ask for another one. I looked for Edgar but he was across the room now talking to a parent that had come to collect their offspring. Elaine was only a few feet away, but I didn’t feel like asking her for any favors. They weren’t worth the effort of getting it open with one hand anyway. Besides, it’s not like it was- I stared at the abandoned pouch. Wild Cherry.

No one would miss it. Kid probably forgot about it anyway. It was just going to get thrown away. Why let it go to waste? I took my empty and crumbled up pouch, blew it full of air and made the switch. Ahh, much better. I was just sucking the last bit out when Alice ran up to the table and frowned. She picked up the empty pouch I had blown air into then looked at me.

“Hey that’s mine!” She said with a scowl. “I was saving that! Mrs. Elaine. MRS. ELAINE!” Alice screamed.

“You don’t need to yell, I’m right here. Now what is it?” Elaine said coming over.

“Jasmine stole my juice! I set it right here so I could go down the slide with Olivia and she drank it all!” She pointed a finger at me accusingly.

“We don’t point fingers, Alice. Now are you sure that was yours? There’s another pouch right here where you said yours was.”

“I asked for a cherry, remember! That’s Kiwi, I’m allergic.” Well, shit.

“Alice, we talked about this. I asked your mommy before if you’re allergic to kiwi and she said no. She said you just don’t like kiwi; there’s a difference.” Elaine explained. I breathed a sigh of relief. “Jasmine, did you take her juice?” They both stared at me. Why was I getting so nervous over this?

“Yeah, sorry about that. I didn’t think anyone was coming back for it.” I admitted. No point in lying when the evidence was clearly in my hand.

“You know you shouldn’t take things that don’t belong to you, don’t you?” Elaine chastised. I furrowed my eyebrows.

“It’s just juice.”

“It was mine!” Alice growled.

“It still didn’t belong to you, and we don’t take things without asking.” Elaine said. I blinked in disbelief. What did she want from me?

“O…kay… sorry?” I said. “I was thirsty and…” I motioned with my hands to the wagon. “Kind of stuck here.”

“If you were thirsty then why didn’t you ask me for another one? I’ve been in earshot the entire time and never heard a peep out of you.”

I sunk deeper into my wagon. I couldn’t believe I was being treated like a disobedient toddler over a stupid juice.

“She can just reach into the box and get another one.” I said. “I can’t.”

“No, because she knows she isn’t allowed to just take whatever she wants, when she wants. She needs to ask first.”

“Fine! Then she can just ask for another one!” I said throwing my good hand in the air. “It’s a stupid juice box!”

“I hear nothing wrong with your voice? Why didn’t you just ask for another stupid juice box if its no big deal?”

“Because she can open it!” I blurted out. “It was there and it was open so I took it! I’m left handed!” I held up my useless arm. My vision had become blurry. Was I seriously tearing up over this?

“So, you’re telling me you took it because you had trouble getting the first one open?” Elaine asked. Alice’s head was going back and forth like she was watching a tennis match. I sighed and pinched my nose in frustration.

“Yes, okay? It wasn’t worth trying to get another one open.”

“So not only did you not want to ask me for another juice, but you also didn’t want to ask me to open it for you. Interesting.” She stared at me. I stared back. “Are you ready to tell me what you’re afraid of?”

“Spiders!” I said with a roll of my eyes. “I hate spiders, and clowns, and heights.”

“Well, I’m sorry about this, but I have to do it.”

“Do what?” I asked sarcastically. “Put me in time out?”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

That bitch! She actually stuck me in a corner! I haven’t been in time out since I was like eight!

“If all you’re going to do is give me attitude, then you might as well not speak.” she had said before she had stuck something in my mouth. “If I see it out of your mouth I’m doubling your time.”

After a moment of curious probing with my tongue I could tell it was the pacifier I had been using as a makeshift mouth guard. I could see parents coming to collect their kids, and my odd appearance was not lost on me every time one of them stared at me. My legs were in the air with the diaper on full display. The blanket I had been using for privacy was discarded somewhere, and I had a fucking pacifier in my mouth.

Today had been a wild roller coaster of emotions, and I was at my breaking point. I was tired, cold, hungry and just wanted to go home. I closed my eyes, but tears still began to fall. Not wanting to give “big bitch” and “baby bitch” the satisfaction of having upset me, I peeled the decorated pad off the wagons handle and stuck it over my eyes like a face mask used for sleeping. I pulled my hearing aids out and let my surroundings disappear. Eventually I felt someone throw a blanket over me. I wrapped it around myself and before I knew it, I was gone.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I was awoken by hands gently shaking me awake. I jumped, and opened my eyes, startled to find I was no longer in the wagon, but sprawled out on a couch in a completely different room. My head spun wildly around trying to make sense of my new surroundings. Edgar was standing over me offering me a bowl of something, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying.

I sat up and began searching for my hearing aids. After finding them on a coffee table by my head, I hastily put them in.

“Rise and Shine sleepy head. Time to wake up, or you won’t be able to sleep tonight.” Edgar said. He dragged a tray over to the couch and set a bowl of something on it. "You must be hungry by now.” I was starving. He swiveled the tray in front of me. I sat up and examined the contents. Macaroni and Cheese. I could feel my mouth watering. I dove in with reckless abandon. “Slow down girl, when was the last time you ate?”

“Tif ‘ornin’” I said through a mouth full of food. I swallowed and repeated my answer. “I had some Jello this morning. Sort of. What time is it? Where am I?”

“It’s six in the evening and you’re upstairs in our apartment. Elaine tried to wake you when your time was up, but you were out cold. The parents had a good laugh at your eye mask though. That was very, uh, resourceful of you.”

“You do realize I’m not actually upset at you over the juice?” Elaine said, coming into the room. I eyed her skeptically.

“You’re not?”

“Of course not. It’s like you said. It’s just juice. That’s just a show for the kids.” she said. I narrowed my eyes.

“So you were making an example out of me?”

“I can’t show a group of kindergartners the rules don’t apply to you. Although we could have done without the backtalk. I had to show Alice no one gets to talk to me that way.”

“Sorry,” I mumbled.

“Rough day?” Edgar asked. I nodded and squirmed in my seat. Since the last diaper had leaked so bad I didn’t feel comfortable just letting go on their couch.

“There is something we need to talk about.” Elaine said. “We’ve noticed some concerning behavior.” I scowled. “Jasmine, we want you to feel comfortable coming to us if you need something, and it’s clear after today that you’re not. You didn’t tell me you needed a change despite knowing it could have caused you pain, you told Edgar you weren’t hungry when you just admitted you haven’t eaten all day, you didn’t tell us you wanted something else to drink, and you didn’t ask for help with the straw.”

“Okay.” I mumbled. Elaine sat down in an armchair across from me.

“How about this. I get the feeling you either don’t feel comfortable coming right out and telling me what’s going on, or you want to tell us, but you don’t know how.” I shrugged.

“Both I guess.”

“How about we try something else? Instead of you trying to tell me, I make random statements and you tell me if I’m getting warmer or colder. I’ll start with an easy one. Your name is Stephen.”

“Cold.”

“How cold?”

“Ice cold.” I said. I squirmed again and shifted my toes.

“You feel your parents physically hurt you on purpose.”

“Ice cold.”

“You feel your parents are neglectful of you.”

“Ice cold.”

“You’re afraid of being a burden to me and Edgar.”

“Cold.”

“Alright, you’re embarrassed to ask for help.”

“Cold.”

“Hmm, you’re too proud to ask for help.”

“Cold.”

“You’re scared to ask for help.”

“Warmer.”

“You’re scared of what we will think of you if you ask for help.”

“Colder.”

“You didn’t ask for a change when you were wet because…let’s see, you were scared you were in trouble because it leaked.”

“Cold.” She raised her eyebrows in surprise.

“You didn’t ask for a change because…it didn’t leak?”

“Warmer.” Elaine looked even more confused.

“You didn’t ask for a change because it wasn’t wet enough.”

“Hot.” I admitted.

“You didn’t ask for a change because you were afraid I’d say no.”

“Colder.” She stared ahead in silence for a few minutes lost in thought as she searched my face for a clue.

“You have to pee.”

I blushed. “I don’t want to leak on your couch.”

“It won’t unless you use it more than once with a full bla-…” She stared at me a moment. “You didn’t ask for a change because you didn’t want me to see you used it when you didn’t have a full bladder.”

I felt my face turn redder. “Hot”

“You’re afraid of what I’d think.”

“Warmer”

“You’re afraid of what I’d tell your parents.”

“Warmer.”

“You prefer wearing diapers over being moved on and off the toilet.”

“Hot.”

“You’re afraid because you prefer diapers.”

“Hot.”

“You’re afraid of your parents finding out you prefer diapers.”

“Hot.”

“You still haven’t gone; You’re still squirming.”

I bit my lip and looked away as I relaxed, while keeping a hand under me for the first sign of moisture. When none came I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Better?” I nodded. “I’ll get you cleaned up when we’re done, let‘s see. You’re afraid of your parents thinking it’s gross.”

“Warmer.”

“You’re afraid your parents will think it’s too much work.”

“Hot.” I mumbled. She was getting too close to home now.

“You’re afraid your parents will think you’re too much work.”

“Hot.” My eyes were beginning to sting.

“You’re afraid your parents will send you away to some kind of care facility if you were in diapers.” I could feel a single tear slide down my cheek.

“Burning.” I whispered. She smiled sympathetically.

“Now we’re getting somewhere.”

2 Likes

Now we’re cooking with gas

It’s not like I consciously thought my parents would just get rid of me. I hadn’t even realized the fear was there, but once Elaine had given it a name I was overcome with emotion. It had been there all along in the back of my mind, silently growing like a cancerous tumor. It was like my eyes had been opened for the first time and I saw the hideous mass wrapping its tentacles around me. I had been bottling my fears and emotions for years without even being aware of it, and this thing had been the cork holding it all in place.

It was like Elaine had poured drain cleaner inside me. Now that the main clog was out, it was like all my other problems and insecurities couldn’t get out fast enough. It was one thing after another after another. I was choking and sobbing as, “What ifs” and “But…” began nearly every sentence. There were things coming out of my mouth I had never told anyone and I couldn’t stop.

Elaine had since moved over to where I was sitting and had her arms around me, squatting down next to me by the couch.

“Let it all out, it’s okay.” she whispered. I had my head resting on her chest. I was vaguely aware of fingers lightly stroking my hair. I could feel a wave of utter exhaustion beginning to wash over me by the time she stood up.

“Sorry,” I mumbled, wiping my eyes and nose.

“No more, ‘sorry’s’” she said. “We made a lot of progress tonight.”

“Then why do I feel worse?” I was beginning to grow ashamed of myself for the way I had acted. Why had I spouted out all this nonsense to a woman I didn’t know, only to have an absolute fit in front of her?

She handed me a box of tissue so I could blow my nose.

“Imagine you had a bad cut and it hurt really bad. Time goes by and the wound starts to look better, only underneath the skin where no one can see, an infection has begun to spread. You start having symptoms in other parts of your body that you didn’t imagine had been caused by that old injury. Sometimes we need to open old wounds in order to treat them because they didn’t heal properly the first time. That emotional rawness you’re feeling right now is a normal and healthy part of the healing process.”

“It hurts.” I whimpered.

“I know it does, but now you can face it head on and-”

“No, I mean. . . “ I motioned with my eyes downward.

“Oh! Right, the rash. Let’s see about getting Edgar to help you in the bath.” She undressed me where I was, wrapped a towel around me for privacy and had Edgar set me down in the bathtub. My hip brace was 3D printed plastic, so at least I didn’t have to worry about getting it wet. I winced a little as water began to fill the tub, but quickly relaxed. The water felt so good on my burning and irritated skin.

I had almost fallen asleep when Elaine began washing my hair. Her fingers massaged my scalp in small circles. By the time she had gotten to my body I was so relaxed I was putty in her hands.

Once the bath was done, she wrapped me back in a towel and called for Edgar.

“Do you sleep in a bed at home?” she asked me as he came in.

“Mhm.” I mumbled half asleep. “with bars.”

“The bed doesn’t have bars.” Elaine said. “Where should we put her? She seemed okay on the couch, but that was while we were keeping an eye on her.”

“Yeah, but if she rolls off in the night.” Edgar said trailing off. “She’d probably fit in the…”

“Edgar! We can’t put her there! She’s a teenager.”

“It’s not like she’d need out for anything. Even if she was in a bed she’d still have to call for help, at least we wouldn’t have to worry about her rolling out, and the monitors already all plugged in.”

“Yeah, but…” Elaine said. “Jasmine, I know I said you would get to act your age here, but would you be offended if we had you sleep in the nursery?”

“I don’t care.” I mumbled. A bed was a bed, no matter what room it was in. My eyes were burning now. My eyelids felt like they weighed several pounds each.

“Can you put her on the table first?” Elaine asked. I felt myself get lifted into the air. I grabbed onto Edgar, holding on for dear life despite my exhaustion. Once I was lying on my back, Edgar stepped out into the hallway as Elaine finished getting me ready for bed. I felt several ointments and creams being rubbed into my inner thighs and underwear line. Once a thicker diaper than before was wrapped around me, she helped me into a large shirt that went past my knees. My eyes were shut by the time I was set down on the mattress, and a blanket placed over me.

“If you need anything just call. The monitors on.”

I vaguely heard something slide and click into place, but I was out before I found the willpower to investigate.

I awoke feeling better rested than I had the previous morning. No intruders had come into my hospital room demanding to know my life story. With my eyes still closed, I stretched my arms out and felt the bars around me. I blindly reached for the remote that would lift up my hospital bed, but came up with nothing but something fluffy. I slowly opened my eyes and examined a stuffed wolf. A closer inspection revealed it was more likely a husky, but I thought a wolf would be cooler.

I tossed Balto aside when I noticed the black bars looming overhead. What. The. Hell. This wasn’t the hospital. I tried to sit up, but couldn’t. I pulled the blanket off and the events of the previous day came rushing back. A wave of sadness hit me. I wasn’t home, or in the hospital. I was in some weird ass defunct Chuck E Cheese foster care halfway house while my family was in another state.

I picked Balto back up and held him to my chest.

“I want to go home.” I moaned.

After a few minutes I lifted myself up with my good arm a couple inches off the mattress and looked around. Why was I in a crib? While I didn’t touch any of the bars lying out, I was beginning to feel a tad bit claustrophobic. I told myself they put me here to keep me safe, but the fit reminded me more of a coffin. I laid back down and tried to imagine I was at home in bed instead. It almost worked, if it wasn’t for needing to pee.

You need to wait, my inner dialogue said. But why? I asked myself. I had no problem going in a diaper yesterday. It had even felt kind of… good. That’s why.

If I wanted things to go back to the way things were and forget this ever happened, I couldn’t get used to this. This wasn’t normal. I wasn’t supposed to enjoy this, I was supposed to be disgusted! Outraged, even.

I could feel moisture fill my eyes. I was miserable, the brace was pushing back against my ever growing bladder. Just pee already, you idiot. What are you waiting for, permission? I moaned again. My talk with Elaine had done nothing but drag all my insecurities front and center. Now the thought of using a diaper seemed more repulsive than ever. I felt more repulsive than ever.

I heard the monitor crackle to life above me.

“Are you okay, Jasmine?” Elaine asked.

I wanted to say I was fine, but all that came out was unintelligible groans.

“I’m coming.” I heard bed springs creak followed by shuffling footsteps. “Good morning, are you okay?” I glanced up at her face with a mixture of shame and relief. I knew what I was supposed to do, but I just…couldn’t. She tried to search my face for the problem, but I quickly hung my head. I heard the lock of the bars unclick and begin to slide down, and a pressure on the mattress as she sat down next to me. “C’mon, let’s sit you up. It will help.” I shook my head, and hid it underneath my arms. My breathing was getting more raspy and shallow.

With both armpits exposed, she hoisted me up with a strength I didn’t know she was capable of. My upper body was now leaning against her, with one of her arms still wrapped around me.

“It’s alright to be scared.” She said softly, rubbing my arm. “Just take a deep breath in. That’s it, now let it out.” She walked me through a few more deep breathing exercises. “Now tell me, what’s five things in this room you can touch?”

“You, the stuffed animal, the blanket, the bed, the bars.”

“Good, almost there. Now what are five things you can touch that are out of reach?”

I looked around the room. “The table, the lightswitch, the window, the doorknob, the baby monitor.”

“There you go.” she said. “Do you know what that’s called?” I shook my head. “It’s called ‘grounding’, and it helps when things start to feel too overwhelming. I want you to do that next time you feel your situation is too out of control.” I said nothing as she adjusted me back into a lying position. “Let’s get you ready for the day.” She stood up and started going through drawers before coming back to me. She lifted up my shirt, getting ready to tear away the old diaper but stopped when she noticed it was still dry, and pulled the shirt back down. “I’ll give you a minute. I’ll come back after I’ve brushed my teeth.”

I knew what she was telling me to do.

“I can’t.” I mumbled. She frowned.

“What’s the matter? What can’t you do?”

“Pee.” I shrugged.

“What do you mean you can’t pee?” She sat back on the edge of the bed looking concerned. “Are we talking psychologically, or physically? This concerns me with your injuries, because if there’s something wrong with your kidneys this isn’t good.”

“Probably not that.” I admitted. She seemed to relax, but still kept an eye on me.

“You didn’t have a problem yesterday.” She bit her lip. “I’d like you to try now, just in case.” She lifted my shirt back up and lightly traced the skin at the top of the brace. “Does this hurt?”

“No.” She lightly pressed down on my belly.” I shook my head. “Well, that’s good. I think it’s just anxiety from our talk last night. I’m going to go brush my teeth and give you a minute to calm down. That will probably help.”

I let out a frustrated moan when she left. I did this like ten fricken times yesterday! Why did I feel absolutely horrified about it now? C’mon! This is so much better than the alternative! I’ve already admitted that!

I tried thinking about that place I was in yesterday. Relax! Stop thinking about it and just go! Get it over with! The pressure was becoming unbearable. I tried thinking about going down the slide, sitting in the ball pen, sitting on the toilet, hell I even tried imagining myself sitting on Jenny’s potty. Nothing. As a last resort I even tried pushing, but all I had managed to do is make myself worry something else would come out.

“Alright, I’m back, now let’s see about…” She trailed off. “Jasmine, you’re still dry.” I groaned back in response. “Jasmine, I need you to stop holding it and go. Mornings are very busy for us and I might not have time right away to change you until later. I don’t think you’ll be very comfortable with that rash if you have to sit in it.”

I shrugged. For whatever reason I just couldn’t. She had opened the Pandora’s Box of anxiety. After another twenty minutes and everyone was ready to head downstairs, I still hadn’t gone. They had no choice but to take me down as I was.

They put me in the wagon and demanded I drink a bottle of water. At least this one had a sports cap I could open and close with one hand.

Kids began joining me at the table one by one. Kevin looked bummed, but I think it was because Elaine hid the jar of paste after he left yesterday. I was kind of bummed too, since I still had a score to settle with Alice. Her bratty attitude had rubbed me the wrong way.

Things seemed to pick up when Jenny arrived beaming ear to ear. It wasn’t until her mom was out the door that she revealed why. She had not left “Mommy’s Special Underwear Stickers” at home like she was supposed to. My taking her offering and decorating my wagon with it had only encouraged her. She dug into her pockets and began producing green wrapped pads from every crevice in her clothing possible. If I wasn’t so uncomfortable I would be breathless from laughing so hard. Elaine was powerless to stop us all from grabbing one and decorating it with paint, markers, and stickers. Before I knew it, the wagon was covered in them.

By the time snack time rolled around I was miserable. I sat staring off into space, shaking my head when the kids tried to get me to go down the slide with them. I had even resorted to straight up bearing down and pushing at Elaine’s insistence, but all it had resulted in was a loud fart that sent the kids into a fit of giggles. Even Elaine could tell this wasn’t psychological like we had originally thought. I didn’t care where I peed as long as I was able to. My dad could drop me in another trash can for all I cared.
Elaine tried several home remedies, from having the kids tickle me, to Edgar carrying me and walking in circles. Nothing seemed to work, not sitting up, not lying back, not leaning forward, not with the diaper on or off. They even had me soak in a warm bath, which I was told I was free to try and pee in. None of us seemed to care where I was or what I was wearing as long as something came out, but any trick we tried only amounted to a drop or two.

I was sniffing a cotton ball of peppermint oil by the time she made the call. I watched nervously as she paced around the room as she talked on the phone.

“The good news is they don’t want you to go to the hospital. The covid count is too high and they feel it’s not worth exposing you to it. Once I told them about your injury to your hip, they decided to send someone here to take a look at you.” I could tell by the look on her face she was hiding something. “You’re going to feel better soon.” She squeezed my hand reassuringly, but something wasn’t sitting right.

Edgar had taken me back up to the apartment and laid me back down in the crib before rushing back downstairs. Elaine sat with me, rocking back and forth in the rocking chair. A part of me wanted to sit in her lap and be rocked. I hugged Balto for reassurance instead.

Thirty minutes later a man with short black hair wearing blue scrubs walked in. He introduced himself and talked details with Elaine. I wasn’t paying attention, all my focus was on my aching insides. Before I knew it he was over me, pressing around on my stomach just above the brace. He tossed around medical jargon I didn’t understand before going back to pressing around.

“It’s most likely a result of her injury. Her brain’s not communicating with her bladder properly due to the trauma to the pelvic region. We’d need to schedule her for more tests later, it’s most likely temporary, but in the meantime we’ll have to relieve the pressure.”

Suddenly, Elaine was there holding my hand. The diaper was getting ripped off. What was going on? I was being wiped down with something cold. I looked to Elaine.

“It’ll be over in a minute.” she said.

What was going to be over in a min- HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!

Suddenly, I could feel a slight burning before the pressure inside of me began to slowly dissipate. It was almost like my insides were deflating. I was finally peeing! I let out a relieved sigh. The sensation seemed to go on and on.

“Poor thing.” Elaine said, giving my hand another squeeze. “You really had to go.”

“Good thing you called.” he said, disconnecting the bag. “Someone her size wouldn’t normally be able to hold this much urine. The bladder would have voided on its own whether she wanted it to or not, but this much might mean its backing up towards the kidneys. I didn’t feel anything protruding, which is a good sign, but we won’t know for sure until she gets an ultrasound. For the time being we’re just going to leave this in for the rest of the day. Have her drink plenty of water and try and flush her system. Her body might be in shock from the injury. Are you familiar with catheter care?”

“Yes,” Elaine said.

“Good, you can take it out tomorrow and see how she does. If she’s still retaining urine like this, call us and we’ll expedite the referral.”

A diaper was taped back up to soak up any leaks from the tubing and I was taken back downstairs and put in the wagon. I wasn’t up to playing with any of the kids yet, so I laid back and took a nap. I was exhausted from the day’s events.

I woke up to a gentle tap on my shoulder. When I opened my eyes, a man was standing there smiling grimly.

“Hey, Forest. How ya doing?”

“Dad!” I flung my arms around his waist.

“Heard you had a rough day.” He rubbed my head. “We missed you.”

“I missed you too!” I looked around. “Where’s mom?”

“She’s having a chat with what’s-her-name. She pulled her aside and said there were some things they needed to discuss before we could bring you home.”

“Oh,” I said, feeling heat rise into my face.

“That’s new.” He lifted the blanket off me to expose the hip brace. “They got you all bandaged up.”

“Six weeks!” I complained.

“Love what you’ve done with the decorations though.” He said with a laugh. He pointed out all the pads stuck to it.

“Don’t ask.”

“Here, I brought you something, I think you’ll want back.” I watched as he disappeared out the front door returning after a few minutes pushing something. My wheelchair! It was a bit of an odd angle, but between my dad and Edgar, they managed to get me sitting up in it. I did a few victory laps ecstatic I could regain some kind of control.
By the time my mom and Elaine appeared, the kids had set me up an obstacle course of toys, trash, stuffed animals, and art supplies for me to go through. I was on my fastest lap when I heard my name being called.

I drove over where my mom stood and she threw her arms around me and gave me a big hug.

“I missed you so much!”

“I was only gone a day.” I said playing it cool and leaving out the part where I had cried myself to sleep thinking I’d never get to see them again.

“We have good news for you!”

After I said good-bye to all of the kids, Elaine had handed me a bag.

“In case you need another option.” I thanked her and she walked next to me as I wheeled out the front door. “I had a good talk with your mother. She’s more open minded about the diapers than you gave her credit for. It was never about how much work it would be, it was about how it would affect your self esteem. Your mother loves you very much, and I think it’s safe to say they aren’t about to leave you in some home. I don’t think you have anything to worry about there.”

When I was all loaded in and we had barely made it a block down the street. My mother burst out with excitement, “You’ve been accepted into the medical trial! The one where you needed to be a Texas resident for!”

“Huh? Really!?” I said with excitement. “If it actually worked…”

“It would be life changing.” My mother said, finishing my thought.

My mind wandered with the possibilities. Could they really strengthen my bones? It seemed like the thing of science fiction novels.

“I’d no longer be the Girl Made in China.”

“Oh, stop calling yourself that!” my mom chastised. “You’re the Girl Made of China! OF not in!”

“Why do you call me that?” I asked.

“Because you’re precious and irreplaceable.”

I had nearly fallen asleep when my hand touched the bag Elaine had given me. I had forgotten all about it. What was it she had said? In case I needed another option? I reached my hand in and pulled out a small white sealed bag. On the cover it depicted several female stick figures with a line of black dots leading from to the ground. One image in particular caught my attention. A woman sitting in a wheelchair with the black line leading from her into a toilet ( or a bush, bottle, etc.) I grinned. I guess I didn’t need to be a boy after all.

And a wholesome ending with good feels… Well done indeed. as a point of concrit i feel the ending was a bit rushed although i understand exactly why that might be from your end, and i don’t fault you for it. It just your pacing just abruptly speed up for no apperent plot reason. It’s a small flaw in an otherwise excellent piece.
Thanks for it
:pineapple:
Side Techdorky note I’m so amazed now when i type an emoji by codepoint and it just works.

I had to come up with some kind of end or it would have just kept going and going … @_@ My inability to stop means you got a commission at 80% off normal rates xD I really need to learn how to write shorter stories.

I also wanted to leave it up to the readers imagination. Did the injury cause serious damage to her bladder? Did she choose to wear diapers or would she choose to use the STP etc.

See that’s my plan, get you hooked on a premise, and Bob’s your Uncle. Wiling Author enslavement Muwhahahahahahaha, ehrem I mesn I’m glad you had fun with this. We should do it again sometime :angel:

Lmao xD :rofl: sneaky little owl xD

Hello there !

Another great piece of your writting here. Your style is flawless as usual and particularly to express feelings (maybe the ending needs touch up sometime …).

I found the way Elen try to understand Jasmine touching and the dark humour brings light touch that made me smile.

Nice story again.

Thank you for your work.

Cheers!

Thanks ^^

Wouldn’t be the first time I need to change an ending. Starting a story is easy, finishing it…not so much xD

Don’t worry to much here with your ending. It give a closure for your story wich is far better than mot finishing at all.

I will plead guilty this time and admit I wanted more of your writting so found the end coming a bit too fast. :slight_smile::sweat_smile:

Cheers.

So I am “attempting” to record myself reading this. It’s harder than I thought xD

1 Like

It took a few hours to figure out how to edit it. Damn am I a mouth breather :dizzy_face:

This is my first attempt at any of this, but here it goes.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W88lZTRg6I7nnVNLtvOGVrIv1LuW2LDn/view?usp=drive_web

image

Just saying…

try again, I changed the permission