The most embarrassing part was how normal Elena was treating this.
Cassidy was coloring with crayons at the kitchen table; her bare boobs were on display and she was uncomfortably sitting there in dirty diapers. And there Elena was, humming to herself and doing the dishes like this was just her run of the mill babysitting job. No taunting, no teasing. Nothing.
It’s not like Cassidy knew Audrey’s friends very well, although she still had expected more of a reaction. Or maybe she had just grown accustomed to expecting the worst after Quinn’s cruel games and Audrey’s relentless continuation of all everything. The contrast of Elena’s casually professional personality, as well as the quietness of her house outside the sound of running water from the sink, was quite the adjustment for Cassidy.
There wasn’t really anything to do but color. Until Audrey returned, Cassidy had to accept the reality that she was stuck with a babysitter. And if she wanted more to wear beyond the bulky diapers, behaving was the only option. Continuously exposing herself as well, apparently. As badly as Cassidy wanted to use her free arm to protect her modesty, the only way to get a more permanent fix for her topless state was to do as Elena said.
For a good ten minutes, the two girls settled into their respective roles. Cassidy worked on the sunflower, often needing to pause to sift through the dozens of crayons that were strewn about the table to find the color she was looking for. While it felt both immature and embarrassing to actually make an effort towards the childish task, it would almost be worse if she did a poor job at something that should be so simple for a girl her age. In the meantime, Elena chipped away at the pile of dishes filling half the sink. Every now and then, she glanced over towards Cassidy to make sure that she was still where she was supposed to be. Again, as if Elena was actually a babysitter who needed to keep tabs on the girl she was charged with watching.
When Cassidy was finally done filling in all the blank spaces, ending up with a drawing that looked rather plain and uninteresting due to the fact that there hadn’t been a lot of creative or advanced options for the simple coloring job, she set her last crayon down and awkwardly sat there for a minute or two. She wasn’t sure whether it was better to get Elena’s attention, or to merely wait until her ‘babysitter’ saw that she was done.
Finally noticing before Cassidy could decide either way, Elena rinsed her hands and turned off the water when she saw that the diapered girl was no longer drawing. “Are you done, Cassie?” she asked. After taking a moment to dry her hands, Elena walked over and gave a look to the sunflower on the page. “Pretty! Although you know you don’t have to be so literal when you draw, right?” Elena picked up a purple crayon near the edge of the table and offered it to her. “Don’t forget to sign your masterpiece!”
“Umm . . . ” Cassidy hesitated. She didn’t love the idea of claiming written ownership to something that admittedly did look like a much younger girl would draw, yet she couldn’t think of anything good to say that might get her out of it. Not when she was still trying her best to behave to Elena’s standards for the sake of getting dressed sooner rather than later. Reluctantly taking the crayon, she was about to put her name on the page when Elena stopped her.
“Here, try it with your other hand. Good practice for the brain,” she said. Plucking the childish writing utensil out of Cassidy’s right hand and placing it in her left, Elena continued, “It’s easy. Just six little letters. C-A-S-S-I-E. You can manage that, right?”
Cassidy found a reluctant grip with her non-dominant hand, knowing full well that trying to write in such a way was going to result in some abysmal handwriting. She was not ambidextrous in the slightest. Still, she went for it to avoid being patronized any further. Pressing the purple tip to the paper, Cassidy started with a slightly imperfect C. Despite how slow and careful she tried to write the rest of the nickname, the crayon-signed ‘Cassie’ looked like it was done by a grade school girl at best.
Elena couldn’t help but chuckle at the finished product. “That’s perfect! I’ve got just the spot for it, too.” She picked up the coloring book and neatly tore out the page Cassidy had colored. Heading right for the fridge, Elena found a free magnet and placed the drawing in an easily noticeable spot right in the middle. “Hmm, do you want to color another one? I still have a few more dishes to take care of.”
With the way Elena was acting, it was tough to figure out how to talk to her. Although Cassidy was being treated like both a tween and a little girl all at the same time thanks to the combination of her size and the diapers, she was still ultimately a young adult. Just one that was more on the petite side. The problem was, Elena had already rudely yet casually dismissed Cassidy’s bare chest, which meant the half naked girl needed to find a way to ask about borrowing clothes in a way that didn’t lead to a repeat of that conversation.
Cringing internally at the ‘solution’ that came to her, Cassidy asked, “We could play dress-up?” It sounded even worse out loud than it did in her head. Since she had been put on the spot, however, she had gone with the first reasonable idea that came to mind. And that was to lean into the babysitter thing while also moving the focus towards getting dressed.
Elena certainly didn’t seem opposed. “Sure!” she exclaimed, “That sounds fun.” Gesturing to the messy table, she said, “Why don’t you clean up your crayons while I finish up here?”
Cassidy didn’t love that she was being tasked with cleaning up the mess Elena unnecessarily made, but she also wasn’t about to complain. At some level, this was progress. Or at least, it was better than the current state of things. She would still have to deal with the fact that no matter what Elena’s interpretation of ‘dress-up’ was, it probably would end up being more than a single outfit.
By the time Elena was drying the dishes and starting to put them away, Cassidy had only managed to put about half the crayons back in the box. She had been instructed to make sure that they were all organized properly. That was quite the job when there were 120 different crayons; each main color had at least a dozen hues to line up in correct order before committing them back to the container.
Elena signaled the completion of her own chore with a small huff of judgment. “You’re not done yet, Cassie? Most girls your age would know their colors by now.”
“You didn’t have to dump them all out,” Cassidy muttered. She couldn’t help herself. It was so unfair that yet another girl was treating her like this.
“You could have told me you only wanted to color one page,” Elena shrugged, “Although I should’ve guessed you’d be more into dress up, based on Audrey’s post.”
Wait, what was that supposed to mean? “Umm, what post?” Cassidy nervously asked.