Innards
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Innards

The Choir Accident

A Number 2 for my Number 1 Friend

Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

As a kid, I regularly peed and pooped my pants for years after being potty trained. My bathroom accidents happened when I was awake, so they felt like a choice on my part, unlike those of my bedwetter friends.

Sometimes, I’d overestimate how long I could hold it in. When I was really into a task, I’d wait too long before taking action. And then it was too late. Like this one time, when I was playing hide and seek in my cousin’s apartment, hiding inside a closet: while hesitating if I should call time out and use the bathroom, I shat myself, and then sat in my stink until the time was up (because at this point, I might as well win the game).

Other times, my shyness got the best of me. Once, in 1st grade, I raised my hand to ask to go to the bathroom, but the teacher didn’t see it for several minutes. And instead of saying something to get her attention, I quietly opened the floodgates.

My family and teachers knew about the situation, but not my friends and classmates. To them, I was just a regular kid who sometimes liked to hold her hands in front of her butt and walk a bit funny. And when I was 8, there was only one person whose opinion I cared about: my classmate Cristina.

Cristina was funny, always in a good mood, lived in a huge house with a swimming pool, and all the girls in my class wanted to be besties with her. I was her best friend, and I felt so proud that she’d chosen little old me for such an important position: the shy, quiet, middle-class, average-looking girl. Our difference in status made me continuously worry I’d lose her to another best-friend candidate — especially as Rosarinho, an Angelina Jolie lookalike whose mom threw the best parties.

So when Cristina invited me to go with her and her parents to a children’s choir concert, my response was, “YES! YES! YES!”

It would be in the evening, so I’d stay over at their place for the night. It was my first sleepover at Cristina’s, and her invitation was a clear sign that she wanted our friendship to last. I was freaking excited.

When the day of the concert arrived, Cristina’s parents picked us up together from school. We had dinner at McDonald’s and then drove to the concert hall.

As soon as we entered the concert hall, I felt like a rich, fancy person — as I imagined Cristina and her parents always did. It was massive, especially for an 8-year-old, with rows of dark mahogany chairs fading into the stage where the choir would perform.

“Girls, do you need to use the bathroom?” Cristina’s mom asked.

“No,” Cristina answered.

“Of course not,” I followed suit.

We were seated in the middle of the row, and the concert started. The music engaged neither Cristina nor me, so we started dozing off.

And then, I felt it. The Mcdonald’s burger had been through my system and was now knocking on my asshole’s door, demanding to leave. Children in oversized navy blue robes sang their little hearts out on the mahogany stage just five meters in front of me. Yet, I could barely hear them — my brain was focused on more pressing matters.

I squeezed the playdough monster growing inside of me as long as I could, hoping that the end of the performance was near. It felt like trying to hold in an explosion.

Eventually, I realized I couldn’t keep it in anymore. My eyes widened, and I let go as discreetly as I could, dispensing the hot soft-serve little by little. The all too recognizable stink filled my nostrils.

With my heart pounding, I looked around. Cristina was asleep, and her parents were entranced by the children’s angelical voices. Phew, I could relax. Once we got home, I’d clean myself up, and nobody would ever know.

I drifted off to the sound of boredom, and I remember briefly waking up as Cristina’s dad was carrying me to the car after the concert. But the next thing I know, I’m waking up, and it’s the morning already.

Oh no, I thought. Cristina’s parents carried me in their arms. They’ve probably smelled my accident by now.

I sped to the bathroom to assess the damage. Dry poop covered half of my panties. I scraped as much of it off of the panties as I could and wiped myself. My butt was burning, and everything still stank, but this was the best I could do with the limited products at the disposal of an 8-year-old in an unknown home.

I went back to Cristina’s bedroom as if nothing happened. Shortly after, her mom came in.

“It’s time for your shower, Cristina,” she said. “Lara, would you also like to take a shower? I know you didn’t bring extra clothes, but you can have some of Cristina’s, and I’ll wash yours.”

“No,” I quickly answered.

“But why?”

“I had a shower yesterday at home,” I lied.

“But you could have a shower today as well.”

“I’ll have one when I get home then.”

“But why not now? I can help you.”

“No, I really don’t want to.”

She eventually stopped insisting. I was almost sure that she knew about the accident, and she would probably try to help me hide it from Cristina. But in the slight chance that she didn’t know, I wasn’t about to admit it. I couldn’t bear it.

I spent the entire day playing at a distance from Cristina. Luckily, she never found out, but it was a close call.

I’d love to say that, after this event, I learned my lesson. That I started going to the bathroom when the opportunity arose, or that I spoke up when I desperately needed to go. I should have. But I didn’t. I continued to push my luck and to pee and shit on myself.

My family never considered taking me to a therapist or specialist of some sort. I guess they trusted I’d eventually grow out of it. The accidents became less frequent as I got older. I admit that they still happen once in a while. I’ll be too much into a video game and ignore the warning signs. But as an adult, I never leave the house without extra underwear and baby wipes. Always be prepared.

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Lara da Rocha

Lara da Rocha

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Writer | MWC Semi-finalist | Improviser | Data Analyst | She/Her. I convert my bad luck into stories (to convince myself there is a point to any of this).