Long-time lurker, first-time donor and contributor! I love this site, and am proud to support something I have enjoyed for quite some time. And I thought it was high time to submit something; ready for critique, of course, so I can learn from y’all.
This is a story I wrote as a collaboration with my friend Bbabybbear, whose voice I absolutely love and who agreed to voice it in the first person for her Patreon. (It turned out awesome). My hope is that it translates as well via text, but of course that’s up to you. (The one potential hang-up is that I used ellipses to indicate a vocal pause, so their excess may be a bit grammatically… terrible)
It was a four-parter, with one recording released each week for four weeks, so I will post it here the same way, as each week was intended to leave a cliffhanger.
I had been looking forward to our trip for months.
Honestly, it was exactly the kind of first meet-up I had dreamed of since Zak and I met: three days to explore real intimacy if we really hit things off, but in a major city so we could go our separate ways and still have a great time if we didn’t. He was cute, but I didn’t really know him. I had a feeling all would go well; we had spent the last couple of months chatting online, exchanging messages, then texts, and eventually Skyping nearly every night for the last two weeks. But, I needed an escape plan if it didn’t. What if it got super awkward, or we didn’t hit it off? What if he was some sex-obsessed jerk?
Not that I minded sex. I mean… I love sex. It’s how we met; on a site for… people with… certain interests. OK, I’m just going to say it: a fetish site. I’m not going to tell you what the fetish is… but let’s just say we bonded over it. But real actual sex, like with Zack… that was something I wanted to work my way into. I wanted to get to know him first, spend a few days together at least. I’m not a prude, god knows I have enjoyed my share of hookups. But he was different. We had depth from day one, we connected over so much more than sex. When we talk, he does this thing… this thing where he quietly owns the conversation… where he runs things not by being louder or trying to sound smarter… but by somehow being silent at exactly the right times. By being observant… calm… almost incisive with the way he creates space. He has this “look” he does, it cuts through even over Skype… this pause and this gentle, knowing look that seems to see right through to center of me. And it… well, it gets me… it puts me in another place. Some mix of embarrassment, and quiet, and, it sounds weird to say, but… submission. It’s like, this instant demuring comes over me, and I can’t keep my eyes on his for long. I blush, I look away…and if I’m being honest, I’m so turned on.
So we had this plan; we live about five hours away from each other, and we were going to meet in Nashville, which is like a perfect triangle between us, far enough away that neither of us had to “host” the other in our home town. I was flying, he was driving. I try to avoid long drives if I can, especially through the mountains. I’m not scared of driving or heights or anything. I just… I have this problem. It’s super embarrassing to talk about… but… the rest of the story won’t make sense without it. I have a problem with… well, it’s called overactive bladder. That’s what they have been calling it in the last few years anyway. When I was growing up it was just called “Jess pees her pants a lot.” When I was a kid, coming up in school and even in high school, we didn’t have commercials and special products at the drugstore and prescriptions with long names. We didn’t even have a name for it; my doctor just told my mom that my bladder was “immature” and “unreliable.” That’s a nice way of saying it. The kids in my grade school went with “wetsy Jessy,” which isn’t clever and doesn’t even rhyme, and in junior high it was just “that girl.” By high school I had it mostly under control during the day. I didn’t have to wear my… my pull-ups… anymore to school, as I had a schedule down. Every class, between bells, I would make myself go. I would race to the bathroom and even if it was just a little, I’d force it out. I had learned not to drink anything before the bus, to avoid coffee altogether, and to keep an extra pair of panties and a pair of shorts in my locker. I had to borrow enough pants from the lost and found to know: you don’t want whatever they’ve got… bring your own, and make ‘em black so they match anything. It only takes a couple of walks-of-shame in the school nurse’s leftover puppy scrubs before the other kids figure out what’s going on.
Night-time; well, that’s a different story. Honestly, everybody thought I would grow out of wetting the bed, including me. I kept waiting for it. “Your bladder will get bigger,” they told me, “it will stop on its own.” Well, it didn’t. I mean, it hasn’t. If anything, it’s worse now because I’m bigger and so I pee even more. I used to be able to get away with Goodnites… you know, the “nighttime underwear” for kids they advertise on TV? I didn’t outgrow them, they fit great… I just, I outwet them. I had to switch back to… diapers. God, it sounds so weird to say out loud… the package says “absorbent undergarments,” but let’s call them what they are. They are plastic, they are white, they are crinkly, and they puff out under my PJs… these are diapers. But I always found a way to stay up long enough and sneak away before it became an issue. And it felt so weird to pack five of them in my bag for my trip with Zack, shoved all the way to the bottom beneath my evening wear and wrapped in a Kroger bag. I never do sleepovers with anybody but my best friends, so I wasn’t used to packing multiples, and certainly not next to my cutest, sexiest adult clothes. But I was going to be there three nights, and I needed extras in case of a sneaky midnight change.
It’s not that I wasn’t going to tell him. I’m sure I was… if all went well; like, really well, we would be cuddled up next to each other at night and he would eventually figure it out. But I wasn’t ready yet. It’s not the kind of thing you spring on someone. “Hey, can’t wait to meet you, by the way I pee my pants a lot and have to wear diapers to bed.” I don’t know… I just didn’t want to ruin it over this. I wanted him to meet the real me first, to see me in person. I don’t want to sound conceited or anything (I think we’re long past that now), but I have a really beautiful face and I work really hard on my body and I love my curly red hair… I want him to see all of that first… not walk up to me holding my bag and wonder if I’m carrying diapers or if I’m going to smell like pee in the morning.
So, I had my plan. But of course, plans change. Nobody could have predicted that the virus would spread like it did… we all thought it was going to stay overseas, maybe get to the ports at worst. But just one day before the trip, I got the email: my flight was canceled. The meetup I had been hoping for for two months wasn’t going to happen.
As I tried to wrap my brain around the disappointment, my Skype app pinged. I did a quick camera check, wiped the tears off of my face and opened it up.
“Hey Zack,” I chimed with all the effort I could muster to sound cheery.
“Hey Jess… how… how are you?” His voice was soft and purposeful… somehow, he could already tell I had been crying.
“I’m good… how are you doing?” Even I wasn’t buying it.
“Jess… baby… it’s me. You don’t have to pretend… something has got you upset.”
It was all I needed. I burst out with a string of words so laden with childlike sadness I must have sounded like a kindergartner who dropped her ice cream on the hot pavement. “Zack, they canceled my flight and I can’t drive that far and we’re not even supposed to go to the cities and I have been looking forward to this so much and I just don’t know what I’m going to do because I already took tomorrow and Monday off and I told my roommate I was leaving and I’m already packed—”
“JESS,” he cut in, stern enough to stop me but filled with the same warm kindness he always had with me. I stopped short. He softened. “Jessie-bear,” he cooed… I loved it when he called me that… I had never had a real nickname, at least one that wasn’t mean, and when he used it it went straight to my heart. “I know. I got a cancellation from the hotel this afternoon.”
“Noooooo, I could have found a way to get there!” I pitched back up again, my voice dragging along the same shattered hopes and anxious peals of moments ago.
“JESS–” this time more stern, slightly less warm, but it pulled me back. “Baby,” he intoned warmly again, “it’s OK.”
“It’s NOT OK, I don’t want to wait weeks, or even months until this thing blows over!”
“I know, baby, and you won’t have to. I have a plan for us.” Of course he did. He always does. I still wasn’t sure what he did for a living… something vague about mergers and prospecting and stocks or something…but he always seemed to approach everything with a plan, a backup plan, and unshakeable calm. “I got us a place in the mountains. Far away from the city, far away from the crowds. I got us a cabin in the mountains, about an hour outside of Nashville. And I’m on my way to pick you up.”
“You… you are?” I sniffled into the phone. God, I must have sounded pathetic… I went from full-grown woman trying her best to hold it together to petulant toddler just hoping her ice cream can be saved.
“Yes… I’m about three hours out. Jess, I’m not about to let our amazing weekend together get spoiled by this. Neither of us have been anywhere near this virus, and we’re going to go somewhere nowhere near anybody else. We’re going to take a road trip; I went and bought the groceries and supplies we need just before I left. I’m going to text you the location so you can text it to your friends or whoever you want to be able to check in and follow you. You are completely safe with me… but I understand if you don’t want to go. I know we don’t know each other in person yet. So, think about it. I’m headed towards your town, but I don’t know where you live. When you get my text, think about it. If you feel OK about going, text me your address. If not, just let me know, and I’ll go on to the cabin and have a killer solo-weekend in the woods. No problem either way; but I would love to spend this weekend with you. Do you understand?”
I didn’t speak. He gave me the look. God, that look. I’m a teenager again. My heart beat heavy in my chest, my breath quickened. I could feel myself getting… getting wet. My body knew what it wanted… but it was time for brain to weigh in.
“Yes,” I replied with hardly more than a squeak. “I’ll text you back. Thank you, Zack.”
“It’s my pleasure, Jess.” He smiled the sure smile of a man who had only said things he truly believed. He hung up. I exhaled… it seems I must have been holding that one for a while. I slumped, I shivered. The goosebumps rose. My phone buzzed. It was an address on a road I don’t know in a ZIP code that mostly looked like mine two counties over. “Burned Branch Cabin,” the link read. I opened it. It was gorgeous. Secluded, a rustic cabin at the end of a well-maintained dirt drive. Small, but impeccably kept up. What I noticed most was the lack of any structure anywhere near it. Trees and hills, a view of the valley, morning fog snaking around the verdant pines. The porch swing, the hot tub, the sunset-chairs… everything was built for two. This had turned from a meetup into a romantic getaway.
I was snapped from my daydream of the rustic cabin retreat by the sight of my half-packed suitcase sitting on the bed. In it, I saw my going-out black dress, my flats for dancing, my cardigan for the short walks from the Uber into the bar. If I was going, I was going to have to repack. I picked up my dress when the second dose of reality hit: underneath was the Kroger bag. I knew what was inside. The white plastic, the blue wetness indicators strung between yellow lines, the crinkle as they shifted… it all reminded me why I wasn’t going to drive. I couldn’t drive with him for five hours. There was no way I could drive with him for five hours. I would have to stop every hour at least to make it there dry, and if we were going through the mountains, that would mean no stops for dozens of miles in-between. I held the dress up to my chest, still folded, and glared at the closet. I squinted to see the pink package of pull-ups on the top shelf; those I only reserved for situations where I would absolutely not have easy access to a bathroom. I looked down at the pretty panties stacked in my suitcase. Those were the ones I wanted him to see; those were the ones I wanted to be in when we met. But I was Jessie Wetsy… I was the girl with the puppy scrubs. There was no way I was getting in his car without protection.
I took a deep breath, exhaled a deep sigh. I picked up my phone, and I texted him back.