It is going to be a good night.
That’s what I’ve been trying to tell myself for a while now. I am convinced, maybe even deluded, that this is going to be a good vacation. It’s what we all need. After what happened… after the “incident”… yes, that’s what we need. A good natured vacation where we can have fun and relax and forget everything that has burdened everyone for the last couple of months. It was my idea, so I have to believe deep in my heart that this is going to help everyone. This is how we help Tommy. It’s the only thing I can think of.
“Brian?” I hear Becca say my name as she snaps her fingers in front of my face, getting me out of my thoughtful demeanor. “You’re okay?”
I shrug. “Yeah, of course. Sorry for zoning out.”
“We have to keep our head in the game,” says Becca softly, and nods towards the backseat where Tommy is texting with his smartphone, not really minding us. “For him.”
I nodded. I knew that.
It’s been a couple of months since those traumatic events happened to Tommy. It’s been hell. His parents are losing their minds. They are terribly worried about him, we all are. After everything he’s been through, he needs people to be there for him. But sometimes, his parents are not enough. They are human too, and they are on the verge of emotional breakdown. His mother is always crying, and his father is silent. Because they love him very much and they don’t know how to help him.
It’s my duty as his best friend to take care of him too. Tommy and I have been best mates for ten years now, and I know how sensitive he is. After what happened to him, I know he needs me. And Becca too. Even if taking him for a weekend at an all-inclusive is the only thing I can think of to make him feel better. His parents need a break, and I am gladly going to take over for them.
So the three of us get off the car and check in at the hotel. It is really nice. Just like it was promised. I really think it will be fun. Massages, pool, and games. Yeah, it’s everything we need to have a great time. If only Tommy would smile about it.
After we checked in at the hotel, Becca looked at us. “So, what do you guys wanna do first?”
“Maybe we should go to the restaurant and have dinner, then hit the dancing club!” I say with a smile as I nudge at Tommy. “Doesn’t it sound good, dude?”
Tommy looks at us. His eyes are sad. They used to be full of color and cheerfulness. Not anymore. It breaks our hearts. “You guys go. I’m going to get some sleep. It’s pretty late and I’m not really in the mood…”
Becca and I exchange glances.
“Actually, Tommy is right, it is quite late,” she says with as shrug. “Maybe we should all head to bed and start the fun tomorrow.”
“No, guys, don’t,” says Tommy in a rush. “Don’t spoil your fun because of me. Seriously.”
“You’re not spoiling anything,” I say and put a hand on his shoulder. He shudders a little at the contact. “Let’s just go to bed, we’ll figure out something tomorrow…”
Tommy timidly nods and we head to our room.
Becca, Tommy and I reach our room. It is actually a two bedroom suite. Becca is going to sleep on her own on one. Tommy and I are sharing the other one, we have two beds.
As soon as we get there, we put out luggage on the corners and start getting our pajamas out. Becca excuses herself to take off her makeup and then she will come to say goodnight. I swear girls and makeup are a whole subject to explore.
I chuckle at that until I see that Tommy is looking bashful, not opening his trunk. I raise my eyebrow and look at him. “Everything okay?”
“No,” says Tommy with a sigh. “I… Brian, can you… shit, I don’t know…”
I look at him with a confused look. “Tommy, what’s wrong?”
“I can’t tell you,” says Tommy and I see his eyes glistening a little. “You’re going to think I’m lame and weak… you’ll laugh…”
I shake my head and walk to him. “Bud, listen to me. You are my absolute best friend. I will never laugh at you or think of you anything other than awesome. Trust me. You can tell me anything.”
Tommy looks unsure, but takes a deep breath and nods. “I… ever since… what happened… I’ve been wetting the bed. And I’ve been… wearing diapers to deal with that…”
So yeah, my twenty three year old best friend admitted that. I guess he must be very embarrassed. But it’s my best friend duty to calm him and reassure him. “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. You went through a traumatic ordeal. It’s normal. It’s okay…”
Tommy’s lips begin to quiver. “But…”
“Not “buts”, you’re still an amazing person and I still love you,” I say and then pull him into a hug. “I’m here for you, Tommy. Always.”
I feel him shake in my arms, but he nods.
After pulling apart, he looks down again as he opens his trunk and reveals his clothes, but also a pack of adult diapers. He keeps eying me, but I just give him reassuring nods. His hands are shaking again, it looks like a freaking Parkinson case.
I take a deep breath. “Tommy… do you… need help?”
Tommy looks up to me and blushes scarlet. I guess he wasn’t expecting that. I certainly wasn’t, to be honest.
He nods slowly and shamefully.
I nod. “Take off your pants, and lay on the bed. I’ll take it from here buddy.”
He sighs, his eyes glistening with tears. I know he’s pretty emotional these days, he needs us more than he’s willing to admit. But I am glad he’s letting me take care of him for once.
I take out a diaper and open it and put it on the bed. He removes his pants and underwear, and then he’s stark naked on the bed. I’ve seen him naked before, when we took showers together at the sports club and whatever.
I try to keep him relaxed as I put the diaper on him. I suddenly notice a bottle of baby powder on his trunk and take it out and open the cap. I sprinkle some on his private parts.
He’s crying at this point.
“Hey, hey, it’s okay…” I soothe him. “No need to be embarrassed buddy, okay? I’ve got you. I’ve always got you.”
He nods, and as I diaper him, I notice something odd. He put his left thumb in his mouth and started sucking on it. As if he was a baby. It was so odd.
But I’ve taken psychology classes to know that regressive behavior is to be expected after traumatic events. And he did have a very big one.
I make sure the diaper is snug against his legs as I finish taping it.
Once he’s diapered, he keeps sucking his thumb and looking at me. I don’t think he’s realizing what he’s doing at all.
That’s when I realize I can’t take it anymore. I lay in the bed next to him and wrap my arms around him in a tender embrace, rubbing his hair lovingly. I start crying. “Oh God, I’m so sorry Tommy… I should have been there… I should have protected you. I failed you.”
Tommy just rests against my chest and snuggles me, wrapping his legs against my hip and latching on me. I start hushing him, even though I’m the one who is crying.
How could I let something like this happen to my best friend?
Suddenly Becca enters the room and stares at us. Tommy, wearing just a diaper and sucking his thumb within my hold.
She just sits by the bed and starts rubbing his arm. Tommy keeps sucking his thumb, tears falling down his face.
“We love you Tommy,” says Becca slowly as she places a kiss on his cheek. “We’ll take care of you, we promise…”
Tommy nods and closes his eyes and falls asleep in my arms.
I hold on to him, and he starts drooling on me but I don’t care. He deserves his comfort.
I look at Becca. “Did you know? About the bedwetting and the thumbsucking?”
Becca nods. “Yeah, his parents told me. They say he’s been pretty shaken. Brian… we need to be there for him. Every step of the way.”
I nod and as I look at the sleeping guy on my arms, I nod. I whisper to his ear. “You’re safe here, buddy. With us. With me.”
And then I kiss him softly on the temple.
No one will ever hurt my best friend again. Not if I can help it.