(Note: might be some formatting issues, I used italics to indicate thought, but I think it is fairly obvious where it has been used, so it shouldn’t cause too much of an issue.)
It was the beginning of January, the first day coming back from our 2 week Christmas break and it was safe to say no-one was particularly excited. I was in Year 10, which meant that the students were slowly coming to the realisation that their days of being carefree would soon be replaced by studying for the GSCEs they had been told repeatedly to be worried about. However, for that moment, things were calm; teachers from the start of the year knew our names and nothing particularly interesting happened at all, especially to me.
As I was having my morning breakfast, I saw a girl outside with my school’s uniform on. She sported a skirt that rested just above her knee, her blazer was buttoned up and her tie looked like it was done carefully. Her socks came up half way up her calves, and my eyes followed them to her shiny black shoes. I didn’t know that a girl from my school lived nearby, and I assumed she was perhaps from a Year below me and that I had just never previously seen her before.
After eating my breakfast and brushing my teeth, I shoved my backpack onto my back and headed to school. I arrived just on time for Tutor - I didn’t like being too early for school, as I wanted to spend the smallest amount of time there. Not that I particularly hated school, my grades were just fine, just that I much preferred my free time where I got to play games and enjoy films.
Anyhow, I sat down at the back of the classroom, the row I was sitting on was empty apart from me - and I liked it like that. It wasn’t like I was a loner, I had plenty of friends, just that I was unfortunate enough for none of them to be in Tutor with me. And I hated trying to attempt small talk with people who I was not interested in, as I am sure, they would hate trying to attempt small talk with me. My point is, all the rows in the classroom were filled except for mine.
As everyone was trickling into the classroom, I sat there on my phone playing some dumb game. I didn’t really enjoy the game at all, especially in a public setting, but I had to keep myself preoccupied or else look like a wally. The teacher eventually arrived and with them was the girl who I saw walking past my house that same morning. Mr Isherwood stood at the front of the room, whilst the girl opted to stay at the back.
“Good morning to you all, this is Paige, who is a new student starting today.”
No-one really cared that much for her arrival, though glanced at her out of curiosity. Also guilty of being curious, I intended to get a decent look at her. She wasn’t anything too special, she had obviously dressed neatly to give off a good impression. Her hair dropped down to the shoulder, with her bangs clipped out of the way. She bore a soft face that made her look youthful, with a button nose to boot. I never cared much for people’s eyes, but hers was a beautiful light brown that matched the colour of her hair.
“You may sit now, though there aren’t any seats next to the girls left. Do you want me to move some tables around so you can have a seat next to them?”
Thank you Mr Isherwood, I thought, I would hate to have her sit next t-
“No thanks, I am fine!.”
Shit. Of course, due to social conventions, Paige didn’t want to cause any fuss over her arrival. That didn’t necessarily mean she had to sit next to me of course, the row I was on had three seats, she could have sat at the other side of the table. As she made her way over, it was clear she was aiming for the seat next to mine, and all hopes of a perfect Tutor Time was off. From that day forth, it was cursed to be forever awkward.
She took her place next to mine and both of us waited in silence for sir to take the register. I tried my best to look bored, but the truth is that her presence made me uncomfortable. Worse yet, I quickly looked at her and she looked back and we held eye contact for about 3 seconds. My face burned with embarrassment but tried my best to hide my face in a way that looked natural.
“Hey, what’s your name?” It sounded as though it took her a lot of effort to ask me the question, as it was barely audible. I felt relieved that she might have been as nervous as I was. Maybe me and her could be friends, I thought
“My name is James, I uhhh saw you walk past my house this morning actually.”
“Then I suppose we must live close by.”
“I suppose we do”
I never said conversation was my strong suit, but I still struggled a bit more than usual talking to Paige. Reason being the fact that she was way too cute for me not to get lost in it.
“Have you got your timetable yet?” I asked.
“Uhhh - I guess I haven’t” She said, “Sir said I was meant to kinda… follow someone around for the day until they have sorted it out.”
“You have someone in mind?”
“Then I guess you can be stuck with me for the day, I won’t mind”
Fuck. What had I gotten myself into?
Despite thinking that the day was going to be awkward, it wasn’t all too bad. She sat next to me in all the lessons bar one, and that was only because I was already sat next to one of my mates. We didn’t chat for too long during lessons, due to being too preoccupied with the work we had to do; when we did chat in class, it was usually because she needed help with something she hadn’t come across before in her old school. During the first break, she needed to talk to some staff about sorting out her timetable, so I decided to go with her so that afterwards she could continue following me into lessons.
It was the last lesson before lunch and me and Paige had become semi-comfortable being in each other’s presence at this point. It was History, and the teacher had set us some work that just filled the purpose of filling the time of the lesson. I used this to get to know Paige a bit better. I found out where she lived (apparently in the same street as me) and about her general interests, whilst telling her a bit about me when appropriate. However, around 10 minutes to lunch, she shifted in her chair and looked a bit uncomfortable.
“Are you ok? I asked, with concern in my voice.
“No, no I am fine!” She looked visibly embarrassed, and I assumed at first that it was just ‘a girl problem’ and shrugged it off. However, I started to notice a faint smell of pee shortly after and got curious. I would have noticed if she had peed herself, I thought. I decided to wait until the lesson had ended to ask her about it.
When the bell rang, I told Paige I had somewhere we could hang out at, and led her into an empty classroom I frequented when I wanted to be alone. I sat down on a desk, and she followed suit.
“So Paige?” I made sure to attempt to put on my nicest voice possible, just in case the topic that I was going to bring up was going to offend her.
“Is it just me or does it smell like piss in here?”
Worst wording in the history of man. If there was a world record for the shortest time to make a girl cry, I would have won.
“I am so sorry, I thought it wouldn’t be noticeable. I thought. I thought I would get away with it.” She was panicky and struggled to get her words out because of her sobbing. I was so confounded with her reaction, but I still tried comforting her.
“What are you crying about? I promise I won’t judge, not one bit.”
To be honest, I had a strong feeling I knew what it was, no one would have had that strong a reaction otherwise.
“Right now I… I am wearing a nappy.”
There it was, I had already pieced together that she was wearing some kind of underwear used for incontinence. Now, I am not a judgemental guy, my philosophy is one of apathy, if something doesn’t affect me directly, it is rare I would care about. So the fact that Paige wore a nappy was not going to dissuade me, especially considering the fact she looked so gorgeous.
“It is fine,” I said softly, “I am not going to judge if you need to wear a nappy for your needs”
“But,” she hesitated to interpret me, “you see, I don’t wear them because I need to necessarily, it is out of choice.”
Now, I am not a judgmental guy, but surprise is hard to hide, especially when confronted with a girl who just told you that she wore a nappy, an item which is rarely worn by anyone over 4 or below 60. Evidently, she saw my shock and misinterpreted it as disgust.
“You find me gross don’t you?” Her voice was pitiful, and I couldn’t help but find it arousing. She held her hand to her mouth to try to comfort herself, I have to say the right thing here or else.
“Listen Paige, we have known each other for just today, but I can tell that you are a nice, and more importantly an interesting person, you are certainly not gross.” I was gesticulating with every word, and tried to make my voice sound as clear as possible, “If anything, you telling me that you wear nappies? You telling me that you wear them for comfort? All these things make me want to know more about you. And I do love to know stuff about all kinds of things. The stranger the better, even!”
In my whole life before then, I had never been so true to myself and to someone else. At that instant, I knew that Paige was someone I wanted to be mates with, someone who seemed worthy of my interest.
“Thanks,” she said as she sniffled her nose. The air in that room became lighter, and I regained my composure so that I would be able to once again talk with Paige. After all, I still had a few more questions to ask her…