The Last Mile (COMPLETE)

Hi Everybody,

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. :slight_smile: (The one potential hang-up is that I used ellipses to indicate a vocal pause, so their excess may be a bit grammatically… terrible) :sweat_smile:

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.

——

PART ONE

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.

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Great Start!

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It’s interesting that you added that note. I’m glad that you’re aware of this, and that it’s a conscious choice to adopt use ellipses in this manner.

It didn’t work for me. Rather than add drama it broke the flow of the text, made it less readable and put me off what is otherwise an interesting and well written premise.

Great feedback, thank you! OK; for the next chapter I will be sure to replace them with the proper punctuation.

They worked really well as a cue to Bbabybbear on how to read the story out loud, but it sounds like they make for crummy reading!

I think the cadence of the spoken word is different (and needs to differ) from written prose.

Even poetry, split across lines by its author, can be interpreted and read many ways. Denying that freedom to the reader is a dangerous risk that can compromise a work.

But your story has started well, so please, don’t let minor issues like grammar put you off :slight_smile:

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-PART TWO-

My fingers trembled as typed in the address to my apartment complex. I hesitated before hitting send, but I knew I was going to press it. I just wanted one last moment before I all but ensured this blend of passion and potential humiliation. But in for a penny, I guess. I sent it.

“Text me when you’re close, I’ll come down and meet you at the front gate,” I wrote him. I knew I would only have the one bag. I pack light, and I didn’t want him to come up to my apartment. I don’t let a lot of people come over. I’m always nervous about the smell. I’m really clean, and I always take out my bathroom trash quickly, and if I have a leak, I always change the sheets. But you can’t get it all out, and I don’t like people getting too close to my bed.

Or my closet. I had had a couple of old sorority friends open the closet door one night while I was showering. They were looking for accessories for our night out, I think. I don’t know, I didn’t even know they were in there. I was drying off in the bathroom when I heard my closet door shut. I heard muted whispers. My heart was racing, I hadn’t even thought to tell them not to go in there. Sure, the pull-ups are on the top shelf because I don’t use them unless I know I’m going to be away from a bathroom. But the diapers, like, the big white ones I use at night, those are in an open bag right on the floor of the closet. I mean, I have to get to them every single night, I’m not going to hide them out of reach! I came out in just my towel, and they were in the living room again, watching TV. They barely turned to look at me. We never spoke about it, but there is no way they missed it. I wasn’t going to take that chance with Zack. I needed him to find out on my terms, if he found out at all.

Speaking of which, I needed to bite the bullet. I pulled a desk chair over to my closet (at 5’2” I can’t reach the top shelf on my own), and reached up for the pink package. I pulled it down as I had so many times before and heaved a heavy sigh as I pulled out a pull-up. I went to put it back, but remembered the trip back. I pulled another one. I put the package back up and went to my suitcase to wedge the extra pull-up under my diaper stash. God, my life. Adult clothes, sexy panties, even a little bit of naughty lingerie in case things got really hot, and then, a stack of five folded diapers and a cloth-like pull-up. This was life as Wetsy Jessie, all grown up. I stood in front of the suitcase and pulled down my low-rise jeans to get changed. “Low-rise,” I thought, “those will have to go.” I folded them and put them away, grabbing a pair of high-rise jeans instead. So much for showing off the slender waist I worked so hard to get; it wouldn’t look that good to him with the ribbed edges of what was obviously an adult pull-up on top of it, poking out of the top of my jeans. I looked at my panties. Beautiful lacey black, a perfect match for my bra. I slid those off, too, and folded them and put them in the suitcase. Those would have to wait until we got there. I needed protection. I slid the pull-up on over my feet and pulled it up to my waist. God, that feeling again; that bulk between my legs, that padding on my butt. It was like being in Junior High all over again. Blegggh… I would do anything not to relive those days. But here I am, big-girl clothes over little girl undies. Story of my life, and it shows no signs of letting up.

I glanced down at the clock. I had two-and-a-half hours left. I cleaned my apartment in case he might come up when he drops me off at the end. I checked my fridge to make sure I didn’t have anything ready to spoil. I thought about trying to get something to eat, but then I knew I would want liquid with it, and from here on out I wasn’t going to touch the stuff. I’d rather die of dehydration than have an accident with Zack in the car. With thirty minutes left, I ran out of things to do, but the anxious energy had only built. I hid my diaper bag in the far corner of the closet, with clothes thrown on it. I febrezed the room. I’m not sure who I thought would be coming. If Zack and I made it that far, then he certainly already knew. Maybe I was worried that maintenance might have to get in, I don’t know. 20 minutes. My phone buzzed prematurely.

“I’m two minutes out, made great time. I might have sped a little to get to you. See you out at the gate!”

“Yes, I’ll be there!” I wrote back. Oh god, I hadn’t done makeup. I ran into the bathroom to check. He said he loved the natural look, which is good, because that’s what he was getting. I was about to run out when I glanced over at the toilet. Yes, I needed to try to go. I didn’t feel like I had to go, but I had to try. This was my last chance for a while; things get rural about fifteen minutes from place, and turn to mountains quickly after that. I pulled down my jeans and pull-up and sat down on the toilet. A few drops, not much, but it made me feel better that I was empty. I pulled my pull-up back up (there’s that feeling again) and my jeans, washed my hands and grabbed my bag and bolted out of the front door.

I ran out front with my bag in one hand and coat not even on yet. I wondered how I would know which car was his. It wasn’t hard. There, just on the other side of the swing-arm gate, was a bright blue Mustang with the top down, and leaning on the passenger side door was one of the most beautiful men I had ever seen. I mean, I knew what Zack looked like from our Skype sessions and his pictures online, but I didn’t really get it. He was so much taller than I thought. He couldn’t have been a hair short of six-two. And his build was perfect. He wasn’t all muscles, nor was he lean, he was just solid. I like that in a man… I want to feel like I could lean against him and he wouldn’t move an inch. This man wouldn’t move if I drop-kicked him. His smile when he saw me was the most beautiful kind of awkward. The kind of pure joy that doesn’t come symmetrically, but spreads from corner to corner and up through the eyes.

“Jess?” He said, his arms and palms out ready to receive me. This man wasn’t going to try an awkward handshake or side-arm, this man was going full-on hug. One less decision I had to worry about, and it felt good.

“Zack!” I responded, more enthusiastic than I meant to. I got the sense he didn’t try to moderate his expression much, that he was exactly as he appeared. Me, if I didn’t control for it, I’d look like a grinning doofus for the next four days. But it didn’t work, I looked every bit the fawn as I dropped my bag and coat by his side and hugged him. My head snuggled into his fleece-clad chest and my curly dark hair wasn’t enough to make up the gap to his chin, it felt like hugging a polar bear. I was about to release when I felt him squeeze tighter and lower his chin to the top of my head. Second decision I didn’t have to worry about: I would hold on until he was done, and I would delight in every second. He smelled like some mixture of bright wood and flowers, a cologne I would never have picked out for such a masculine-looking man. It made me admire him even more; he was not any other man’s man, he was his own.

When he finally released he did so gently, and in stages. “It’s good to be with you, Jess,” he said without a hint of rote conversation.

“It’s good to be with you too, Zack.” I had given up on hiding it, I was full on beaming.

“Let’s get you all set up,” he said as he clicked to open the trunk. He grabbed my coat and bag and dropped them in. I opened my own door, he wasn’t going to be that guy. He was taking chivalry slow with me, and I appreciated it. I got a sense he did little out of pretense.

“Why are you riding with the windows down? It’s like 50 degrees out here?” I asked him playfully.

“To be sure you’d see me!” He answered, with an equal spring in his voice. “But man, I wish I would have waited until after I parked to put them down… I got it in my head that I needed to do it, so I did it at a rest stop 20 miles ago. I’m freezing!”

We both exploded into laughter. First sight had been done. First contact had been made. We were on the road, now was the time for us to let our hair down and just enjoy the ride. “This might be the first road trip,” I thought to myself, “that I actually enjoy.”

The drop-top and windows rolled up to seal us in for the long ride. Looking back on it, I can’t help but wonder: if I had known back then what I now know, what would I have done differently in that moment?

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Hi everybody! I decided to go ahead and post parts 3-4 together a bit early below, as there wasn’t a ton of activity so I thought I would round it out. So, here ‘tis, and please do share critiques and comments!

-PART THREE-

Hindsight is 20/20. At least, that’s the saying. But as I sit here today, telling you this story, I have to tell you, I’m still not sure what I would have done differently. It just all seemed so perfect. Zack had cranked up the tunes as soon as we pulled out. A custom mix for our trip, he told me; specially-selected music to correspond to each stage of the drive: the city, then the fringes, then the countryside, and eventually the mountains. It was meant to last exactly the five hours and fourteen minutes that Waze had predicted from my hometown to Burned Branch Cabin. Zack was a planner. Not the anal-retentive kind that had to have everything in his control… just the kind that liked to be prepared, and then welcomed the deviations as they came. He had told me in one of our first conversations that he believed life was like jazz: you practice to get it perfect, that’s what gives you have the freedom to riff. Boy was he in for a riff.

As we talked, I heard the progress of the music beneath our conversation. We made it through the city songs, a pulsing mix of electronica and pop. The Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk, 21 Pilots. Almost on cue, as we crossed under the beltway and into the ‘burbs came the mod-rock: the Small Faces, the Kinks, Nicky James. This guy had range. And so, it seems, did we: we had moved past the awkward pauses and talking over each other and had found smooth, easy conversation: our jobs, our family updates, the quarantine. By the time the overpasses gave way to fields and Bèla Fleck had picked up our score, we had moved on to more personal things: faith, politics, belief systems. It’s all stuff we had touched on before, but now we were going deep like we had known each other for years. It was like a flow…I barely noticed time passing. After two hours, nearly halfway there, all I could feel was the earnest ease of the beginnings of sweet puppy love.

Well, that and the other thing. I was pulled out of my timeless banter by a warning signal from my bladder. “It’s time,” my bladder told me, “you need to find a place to pull over.” Of course it doesn’t come in plain English like that. I’m translating from years of experience. It actually shows up like a slight pain, and little quiver; a way for my bladder to signal that it’s starting to get full, and that it isn’t keen on waiting much longer. When you have OAB like I do, there are no taps on the shoulder, there are only warning shots: when your bladder says it’s time, you pay attention. I could feel my heart quicken; my breath go shallow. I can’t be certain if my eyes widened or not, but Zack must have noticed something. He stopped almost mid-sentence.

“What’s wrong, Jess?” he asked with genuine concern. “You OK?”

“Yeah,” I replied, back to the fake-casual air. “Just realized… well, it would be great to stop for a bathroom break pretty soon.”

“Oh, is that it?” he replied with a smile. “Sorry, you just looked so worried. Don’t worry, I know girls use the bathroom too.” His smile widened, and for the first time since we met, he had guessed me wrong. I think he thought my stomach was upset or something. “I’ll slow down and take the curves a little easier, and we’ll stop at the next rest area, how’s that?”

“Sounds great, thanks.” My stomach was not the problem here. I was anything but calm. I put my hands in my lap and leaned back into the seat and did the almost imperceptible slow-breathing technique my mom had taught me when I get anxious. If I closed my eyes, he would notice and this would become a thing, so I just looked ahead and barely pursed my lips and took long slow-breaths. ‘You don’t have to go that bad,’ I told myself in my head. ‘You’ll be fine, you still have some time. Don’t freak out.’

In situations like this, anxiety is not your friend. It only aggravates the situation. I remember having a small panic attack in my Brit Lit class sophomore year of college. We were fifteen minutes from the end of the class, and in the middle of a mid-term, and my bladder notified me. My professor was hard-core about not getting up; we weren’t even allowed to stretch or look left and right, it was either head-down at the paper or straight up at the ceiling to think. God knows I wasn’t about to raise my hand to leave. I might have made it, but I started panicking. I got anxious, then sweaty, then I think my bladder reacted to all of that and started doing the little quaking thing it does right before it lets go. With five minutes left in the class, it all crescendoed and cascaded, as it were, right down my legs, down to the sloped floor of my survey hall. To this day, I thank god for that carpet and the sweatshirt I was sitting on, or every student in the rows in front of me would have been cleaning their shoes after class. I wasn’t about to have a repeat.

So job #1 now was to keep calm. ‘You don’t have to go that bad,’ I repeated in my mind, ‘you’ll make it.’ I unconsciously began to bounce my leg up and down.

“Hey Jess,” he spoke with reassurance as he drummed lightly on the steering wheel, “you’ll be fine. We’re only about twelve miles away from the next exit, and I’m sure they have a place you can go. I was planning on stopping for a fill-up and to pee soon anyway. Shouldn’t be any more than fifteen minutes.” He was being sweet; we still had well over half a tank, and he had bragged on the phone that he had an iron bladder.

“Great, it’s really no problem,” I said with a smile, trying to sound convincing. Fifteen minutes. God, why did it have to be fifteen minutes?

Bèla Fleck gave way to Doc Watson; we were in the proper Bluegrass now. As the banjo picked its way through the first chorus, I found my leg bouncing again. This time, I wasn’t about to stop it. How long had it been?? Ten minutes? Twelve?? We had to be close now. A quiver again, and a sharp pain. I let out a whine. “How much further, do you think?” I asked. I tried to sound cheery. I suspect I sounded desperate.

“Baby, it’s only been three miles. Still about twelve minutes to go. Just hang on, we’ll get you there.” He upped his calm voice, and his tone went from sweet romance to paternal. He saw me struggling, and he wanted to make it better.

Another quiver, the sharp pain again, this time with a warm radiant pain behind it. Oh god, I know that pain, that’s the last one before the spasms start. It’s my body deciding it had enough of the warnings, and it was shifting to palliation: it was getting ready to take care of things on its own. I had five minutes tops before this dam was going to break.

I shifted in my seat, hands in a prayer position and shoved between my legs. I looked out the window. I couldn’t look at him, because he would see the fear, the desperation. He must have gotten the picture anyway, because I heard the engine rev as he put us up over 80. “I can make twelve miles in ten minutes, don’t you worry about it.”

As the car surged forward, I felt the first wetness enter my underwear. I inhaled sharply, surprised by the feeling. It was just a spurt, just for a moment, a shot across the bow. It had been almost four months since the last time I had an accident during the day, and that had been on an airplane, so I had come prepared. I never boarded an airplane without a pull-up on.

My pull-up! Yes; I had totally forgotten! How could I forget; it was the reason I wore it. That little spurt wasn’t going to make it to my pants! In fact…

I could… I could relieve the pressure a bit. Beat nature to it, as it were. Maybe if I just wet a little in my pull-up, I could save my jeans. I would just have to barely let up on my clenching.

But before I could, another warm pain, another warm spurt, this one strong enough to feel on my skin. I clenched down harder. I moaned. God, I actually moaned out loud. Zack heard me.

“We’re almost there, you’re going to make it Jess!” He looked at me, and then for a moment he actually looked down at my pants. He looked down at my pants. I must have looked and sounded so bad off that he was actually checking to see if I had shit my pants in his car.

“Zack, I have to pee soooo bad,” I whined, finally getting the truth out, and sounding every bit as desperate as I was. “Pleeeease hurry!”

Zack’s tone switched from urgent paternal concern to a more lighthearted relief. “OH, you have to pee? OK, baby, don’t worry, we’ll get there.” I could hear the grin in his voice. Apparently he trusted the leather on his seats. “Here, let me fast forward a couple of songs.”

He hit the radio button a couple of times and the bluegrass gave way to a soft shaker and a country twang guitar. This song sounded familiar. “Here, this will help with our last five minutes.” His ornery tone was not lost on me.

You know a dream is like a River / Ever changing as it flows

Goddamnit. He was playing The River.

And the dreamer’s just a vessel, that must follow where it goes.

I hated this guy all of a sudden. Not because he was making fun, but because he was good at it. I started, of all things, to giggle.

“You- gotta- Stop.” I tried to speak between giggles while fighting for my life to stop from wetting myself. Giggling is war. I felt several hot spurts between my legs. It was starting to trickle to my bottom. I squeezed harder as I shook with giggles.

Zack took my laughing as a sign that he was cheering me up. “AND I WILL SAIL MY VESSEL,” he sang loudly as he turned the volume up, “TILL THE RIVER RUNS DRY! LIKE A BIRD UPON THE WIND–”

“PULL OVER!” I yelled, somewhere between a laugh and a scream. He looked shocked. He thought he was helping, but it was clear that, laughing or not, I meant it. He stepped on the brake and we went from 85 to the side of the road in seconds. I opened the car door and stepped out. He immediately killed the radio and jumped out of the car.

“Jess, I–”

“Don’t watch!” I said at him across the car. Standing up was all it had taken. As I reached down to unbutton my pants to, I don’t know, I guess squat by the side of the car? Nature took its course for me. My bladder began to empty, fully unbidden, into my pull-up. I was having a full-on piss-your-pants accident right here by the side of the road.

Instinctually, I squatted. I didn’t want him to see this. My pull-up got warm in the middle, then in the back, and then all the way to the front. There were no other cars, and I could hear myself peeing into my pull-up. My bladder spasmed and contracted; it was well out of my hands now, all I could do was wait to finish. I felt warmth on my legs, I heard a drip on the asphalt. Jesus, it was leaking. Of course it was leaking… it was never meant for an all-at-once flood. Both sides, now fully pouring into my jeans and onto the ground. At least my squatting had saved my socks and shoes. As I felt the last quakes of my bladder and heard the drip from my jeans to the ground, I reached my hand between my legs. It was the most bizarre feeling. Totally dry in the middle, wet on both sides, my pull-up heavy in the center and on my bottom. It must look like a reverse pants-wetting to somebody who had never seen an adult in a diaper.

“Zack?” I said meekly across the hood of the car.

“Yeah, Jessie-bear?” That name again. He had moved into full-on soothing mode. He knew I didn’t make it.

“Could you, ummm… Could you bring me some new jeans and some underwear please? And my camping towel from my bag?”

“Of course, baby, no problem.” He was practically cooing at this point. God, he was sweet, but god, how humiliating. I wanted to be his pretty, sexy lover; his sub, but not his toddler. I heard the trunk pop and Zack walk around to the front of the car and drop my bag. He must be using the headlights to spot my jeans, towel and undies. I was too busy skulking away from the car into the darkness. With any luck, he would throw me my clothes and turn his back and never have to see anything wet. He was probably grossed out enough as it was just by thinking about pee, much less having to see it. Thank god I had told him it was just pee; I can’t imagine what he would be picturing right now. As I blindly worked my way back toward the darkened berm, Zack called out.

“Hey, Jessie bear?”

“Yeah baby?” He must be struggling to find my towel. I’ll let him know it’s probably in the side pock—

“What are these?” His tone had gone from sweet to incredulous. I looked up in the blinding light of the headlights. And all I saw was my sweet, strong boyfriend, with my bag on the ground and in each hand one bright plastic white rectangle.

-PART FOUR- (CONCLUSION)

I had nothing to say. Nothing I could think of. In the span of a couple of minutes I had gone from happily riding with my newly-IRL boyfriend toward a romantic getaway to peeing my pants on the side of the road while he discovers my deepest secret. What could I say? I’m still squatting next to the car, pee still dripping from my soaked jeans onto the berm while he stands ten feet away in the headlights, my bag at his feet, holding two adult diapers. My adult diapers. This isn’t a social situation you practice for.

“Jess,” he repeats with the same dumbfounded voice, “Baby, what are these?” He called me baby. God, he had called me that a hundred times in the last couple of months… but this time it stung. I could hear the kids on the school bus chanting it as I skulked off the bus with darkened khaki school pants. I could hear my cousins whispering it when they got stuck on the sofa bed with me at the holidays. And now my 28-year-old boyfriend was saying it to me. He didn’t sound mean like the kids, or angry like my cousins. He sounded concerned. He deserved an answer.

I couldn’t look up at him anymore. “I…” I started, staring at the wet asphalt beneath me. “I- I’m just-- I’m so sorrrrrryyyyyy.” I gave in, collapsing into a heap of sobs, full-on sitting on the asphalt. My pants weren’t getting any wetter, and I just need to cry. “I’m sorrrrryyyyy, oh god, this isn’t how I wanted this to go.” I started to hyperventilate a little. He could hear my heavy breaths, see my head in my hands, he could see everything. I heard him place something on the hood of the car and his footsteps towards me. His warm hands were on my shoulders. I still couldn’t look up, but I could feel him right in front of me. He had squatted down to my level, his warm kiss right on my head, his soft voice right in my ear.

“Sssssh, Jessiebear. Sssshhhh……” he rubbed up and down my arms, comforting me, keeping me warm. I continued to sob. Let’s face it, I was ugly-crying, hoping he couldn’t see me. “It’s OK,” he said. “It’s OK, everything is going to be OK.”

“NO IT’S NOT,” I said through my runny nose and clogged voice, “IT’S NOT GOING BE OK. WE WERE GOING TO HAVE THIS AMAZING WEEKEND, AND I RUINED IT WITH MY STUPID PEE THING.”

“Jess, no, baby.” This time the word didn’t bother me as much. He had his hands on me, comforting me. He wasn’t teasing or mad or looking down on me, he was right at my level, looking out for me. “No, baby, nothing is ruined. We’re still going to have an amazing weekend. Just with more laundry.”

I managed to laugh one of those weird one-off laughs you can only get when you’re in the middle of crying. My hyperventilating had stopped. Now I was just breathing deeply, sniffling a lot. “You still want to go with me?”

“Of course I do, Jess. I have waited a long time to be with you, and I drove a long way to get you, I’m not letting a little accident get in the way. I mean, stuff like this happens.”

“It does?”

“Yeah! I mean, I guess it does. Like, not to me… or anybody I know… but I’m sure it happens to someone somewhere!” It was clear he hadn’t thought that one through, but his scramble to make it work was deeply endearing. He was really trying to help me feel normal, and I loved him so much for that in that moment. I cry-laughed again. God, I needed a tissue. I was glad it was dark. I looked out of the corner of my eye towards the only real light source: the headlights. Oh god, my bag… it was still sitting there. For one moment I had forgotten about the diapers. He only mentioned the wetting, but he knows about my diapers. Or at least he knows there were some in there. How was I going to handle this?

“Zack, I know you found… in my bag…” I started to anxiously explain. I was stammering and I could feel it. I had practiced “the talk” as if we were going to have it in a warm cabin right before bed, not in freezing wet jeans on the side of the highway after he watched me pee myself.

“Jess, shhhh. Don’t worry about that yet. As I said, we have all weekend to talk. And at your pace, you tell me whatever you want. But first, and most importantly, let’s get you off the side of the road, and out of those wet clothes.”

I looked up at him with a wry half-smile. “So soon? Zack, you could at least spring for dinner first.”

He looked confused, then a huge grin spread across his face. “Aaaah, yes, I hear it now. Right. What I mean is, let’s find somewhere you can change.” He jumped up and grabbed the bag again. I heard him pause at the hood to grab the two diapers and shove them back in the bag. He then pulled out the towel, opened the passenger door and spread the towel out on the seat. He even tucked it in the back of the seat cushion and smoothed it out. It was so cute, it was like he was prepping a bed for me. He reached out with both hands. “C’mon up, we’re just a few minutes away from a place to change.”

He helped me up. He wasn’t a particularly large man, but god he felt strong to me in that moment. And he wasn’t pointing or laughing or even keeping his distance. He was touching me, like he wasn’t even afraid or grossed out. I was too sniffly to tell, but I must have smelled like pee… I had been intentionally dehydrating myself from the moment he called. But he very gently led me over the car, patted the towel, and said, “I’ll get you there in a jif.”

“Zack, your seats–” I protested

He looked me dead in the eyes and put his hands on my shoulders. “Jess, I don’t care about that. Seats can be cleaned. I need you to know you are welcome in my car the same way you were ten minutes ago, wet pants or not. OK?” He was speaking the way my dad used to when he made me promise not to drink and drive before I went out: loving, but stern and clear.

I nodded. I sat down on the towel. He closed the door gently and dropped my bag into the backseat. The dome light showed everything on my jeans: two long dark patches that went from my crotch down my legs. I crossed them. He got in on his side and started the car. He didn’t even leave room for awkward silence; he turned up the radio.

The song picked up right where it had left off:
Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides.

He quickly hit the “next” button and stared at me like a cat that got caught with his paw in the fishtank. We exploded into laughter as he pulled away from the shoulder. Just as the laughter subsided and he wiped the tears from his eyes, he said “It could have been worse… my original pick was Waterfalls.” We exploded again, and were still giggling as we pulled into the gas station. Honestly, for a short period I had completely forgotten that I was Jessie Wetsy again, sitting here in pee-soaked jeans on a towel. I was just Jess. And Zack’s girlfriend, I think. It all came flooding back when we parked and he reached to the back to grab my bag.

“OK, why don’t you go get changed and I’ll hit the bathroom,” he said, handing the bag across to me. “Everything you need should be in there, I saw your jeans in there and I put back your… uhhh… supplies.”

My eyes went wide, my cheeks an instant crimson. He thought the diapers were for me for during the day. “Oh, Zack, no–” I started to correct him. He saw my panic, my embarrassment, and he switched immediately back to comforting mode.

“It’s OK, Jess. Again, you don’t have to explain anything. We have plenty of time to talk after you are dry and changed. I’m actually just really glad we’re past it already. I can’t imagine how long you held onto this secret. I can’t believe you tried to go without what you needed just for me. It’s really sweet, actually. But you don’t have to. Jess, I think you’re amazing, and I would think that if you had a club foot or a missing hand or if you had rolled out to meet me in a wheelchair. I’m not going to let a little pee get between us, and I’m not going to sacrifice your comfort just over your underwear.”

“Zack, I don’t need… those… during the day. I can wear regular panties.”

He looked down at my jeans, and raised one quizzical eyebrow at me, the wry smile belonged to him this time.
“I mean,” I said with an embarrassed smile, “I usually don’t need those during the day. But this was a long drive, and my pull-up leaked–” I stopped suddenly. My eyes went wide again, his did too. “I can’t believe I said that. OK, I can usually wear regular panties, but if I’m going to be somewhere where bathrooms are hard to get to, like a car, I wear… well, I wear pull-ups.”

“Like, the ones on TV?” He asked, with genuine interest. I could tell this was novel to him. “The ones with the song?”

“Yes. Well, almost. I actually use the ones made for nighttime.”

“The bedwetter ones?” He asked. He seemed to instantly regret the term, but for reasons he wasn’t clear on.

“Yes,” I smiled, letting him off the hook. “Absolutely the bedwetter ones. You don’t want me to feel like a baby, do you?” He looked at me with disbelief, the kind of quarter-smile and raised eyebrows that are asking if it’s OK to laugh. I broke, and he followed suit in a big way. ‘If we keep this up, I’m going to need a towel for the driver’s side, too,’ I thought to myself.

“I’m going to go change,” I told him. I opened the door to get out and threw my duffel bag strap over my shoulder, slinging the bag tactically over my butt to hide what I could en route to the bathroom. “Need anything?”

“Nah, I’m going to go in too,” he replied as he stepped out of the car and stretched. “I gotta pee, and I want to get us both some water and snack. We’ve been on this trip for more than two hours, we’ve got more than two to go, and neither of us has had a drop to drink.”

I paused. Do I tell him not to buy me one? No, he would never go for it. Do I let him buy it and simply not drink it? Do I take the risk that there will be more frequent gas stations to come? No, not in the mountains, everything slows down on those kind of slopes and curves.

I smiled at him. “Sounds great.” We walked in together and I deftly made my way to the ladies room. I ducked into a stall, hung my bag on the door hook, and sat down on the toilet. I tried as hard as I could, but nothing came out. It made sense, really… I could see in front of me where it had all gone. I slipped my shoes off and stood up right on top of them. This was far from my first gas-station pants change, you learn early how to avoid your bare feet touching the floor. I turned and opened my bag.

“Damnit,” I hoarsely whispered out loud to no one at all. I had only packed one extra pull-up, and that was for the trip back. Even if I did use it now, if I have another full-scale bladder freak-out like I did here, it wasn’t going to do any good… I may as well have been wearing panties. Aaah, yes, my beautiful panties, all pristine and pretty and sitting untouched right there in my bag. Under the two big folded diapers. This was my choice, wasn’t it? Grab the lacey black panties and my tightest black nylon pants and hope that if I leak it doesn’t show, while praying for gas stations and rest areas along the way? Or pull out a sundress and a diaper and give up on the hopes of keeping my grown-up dignity intact in favor of actually enjoying my road trip?


Two hours and eleven minutes later, and the Waze ETA has dwindled down to three minutes. One mile to Burned Branch Cabin. Charley Pride is crooning on the stereo, “All I Have to Offer You Is Me.” We are deep in country territory now, so we’re in the classics.

It’s warmer down here than it was back home, so we have had the top down as we climbed the mountain. The fringes of my sundress flap happily with every gust. I am relaxed, carefree for the first time in ages, I don’t feel a bit self-conscious. Zack and I are almost there, and he already accepts me right where I am. We take a final turn onto the well-maintained driveway I had seen in the photos. I unbuckle and sit up on my heels to see the tree-lined approach to the magnificent little cabin. I feel my night-diaper… well, my diaper… squish underneath me. It’s not a bit uncomfortable, I’m very used to wearing it. I’m just not used to being out in it. But I haven’t thought about my bladder in two hours. I just went when I needed to, and Zack knew it was there. He didn’t even ask me if we needed to stop. He knew I wouldn’t, and he didn’t want to make me feel weird about it.

Charlie finishes his final strum just as we pull up in front of the cabin. Zack shuts the engine off. It’s almost totally silent, save for the birds in the pines around us. He looks at me, beaming with pride. My face hurts from smiling and my stomach aches from laughing together.

“You ready to go in and check it out?” He asks.

I lean over, hold his face in my hands, and kiss him sweetly on the lips. Our first kiss. He returns it with a beautiful tenderness; he wasn’t rushing and neither was I. I sit back on my heels again, and the silence is met with a clear and audible crinkle. Neither he nor I flinch. “I’m so ready, Zack. You lead the way.”

1 Like

Thank you. It’s a sweet little story.