Once they had made it through the checkout process, during which Cassidy realized just how expensive diapers could be even when on sale, Elena took her hand and led her out to the parking lot. According to Elena, changing Cassidy in the pharmacy bathroom wouldn’t be as hygienic. As if continually sitting in used diapers was any better. Cassidy knew better than to argue, when every minute spent doing anything but the errand they were on was another minute she had to remain in what she was wearing.
Sitting in the back seat like before, this time with the two large packs of diapers in the seat across from her as a constant reminder as to why they left Elena’s house in the first place, Cassidy did her best to stay still while she counted down the minutes it would take to get back.
Though she wasn’t that familiar with where Audrey’s friend lived, Cassidy at least knew the general way to her neighborhood from where they were. It didn’t take her long to realize they were taking a completely different route, one that couldn’t possibly be a shortcut. Cassidy briefly assumed they were taking a detour and hitting some other store while they were out. Normally she wouldn’t mind such an efficient approach, though it obviously made a difference for her current circumstances. The more they drove, however, the more familiar things started to look.
“Elena!” Cassidy exclaimed. Was Elena taking her home?! As in, to Cassidy’s home? “Where are we going?” Maybe there was another explanation, though that’s not what it felt like now that Cassidy recognized each turn they were taking.
“Back to Audrey,” Elena affirmed. By contrast, her voice was far more calm, “I told her we were out, and she said it didn’t make much sense for both of us to drive to my place at the same time just for her to pick you up. She’s done with all her stuff, so the timing is perfect. Oh, and you’re supposed to be calling me ‘Ms. Elena,’ remember?”
That rule was long forgotten amidst everything else. Only because she had just been reminded, Cassidy said, “But- but, Ms. Elena . . . ” This couldn’t be happening, not when her diapers were still- “Please, can we call Audrey first?” Was her sister home yet, or on the way? Because it was late enough in the afternoon that one or both of their parents could be home at this point. Surely Audrey wouldn’t extend this beyond a sisterly prank that had gone way, way too far. But if someone else was there, and Cassidy was walked to the door by her ‘babysitter’ with two big packs of diapers, how would she explain any of that? Especially if Elena stuck around and undermined Cassidy’s attempts to conjure some excuse for the bangs and the clothes that were so unlike her usual outfits.
“Don’t be silly, Cassie,” Elena replied, “You can talk to your sister as much as you want in a few minutes. There’s no need to bother her right now.”
To drive home the patronizing ‘suggestion,’ Elena turned up the radio a little bit. And that was that. Cassidy still wasn’t in a great position to argue, and there wasn’t a lot she could do while buckled up in the back seat while Elena was driving. All she could do was cross her fingers that none of the worst case scenarios she was imagining came to pass. There was at least the silver lining that Cassidy wouldn’t have to put up with being babysat for much longer, though that didn’t come close to outweighing everything else.
When they pulled into the neighborhood, and subsequently onto Cassidy’s street, the diapered girl was being as vigilant as possible. She didn’t want any neighbors seeing her get out of the car looking like she did, especially anyone on the younger side who might gossip. More importantly, she needed to know if it was just Audrey waiting for her. As for the latter, it didn’t take long for her to see that one of her fears upon initially realizing where they were headed–her mother’s minivan was parked in the driveway.
“Elena! Ms. Elena!” Heart pounding and throat suddenly feeling a bit dry, Cassidy broke the brief quiet streak that had been recently compelled of her. “Wait, hold on. Pull over here. Please! Call Audrey. Just-”
“CASSIE.” Cutting her off loudly and firmly, Elena gave a quick glare in the mirror before returning her eyes to the road. “Stop being a brat. One more outburst, and you can knock on the door in just your diapers. You know, like when your sister dropped you off.”
Cassidy remembered. And she also didn’t doubt Elena’s ability to follow through on such a threat. Being brought home in her current state was already bad enough. For the time being, however, the diapers were concealed. Being outside in nothing but the thick padding this time around would be much worse, as anyone could recognize her on the way to the front door.
With that in mind, Cassidy fell silent again. In a matter of seconds, Elena had reframed things to make it sound like getting inside as quickly as possible while still dressed was preferable.
Ignoring Cassidy’s whining, Elena drove right up to the house and parked by the curb. Before getting out, she told Cassidy to grab one of the packs of diapers. The logical part of Cassidy’s brain told her that anyone walking by wouldn’t be close enough or be paying attention enough to see what was in her arms. And yet, she was still paranoid about it from the second she stepped out of the car. Initially scurrying towards the side door like she’d normally take, purely on instinct, Cassidy had to change course when Elena beckoned her towards the front of the house instead. To make matters worse, Elena didn’t merely let herself in like plenty of Audrey’s friends had done over the years. Instead, she rang the doorbell.
Immediately stiffening, Cassidy had to fight the impulse to run. As she had learned earlier, it wasn’t easy or comfortable to do in sagging diapers, plus now there was a girl around who could easily catch her. Regardless of who opened the door, it wouldn’t look good if Cassidy was being chastised and dragged back towards the porch. And she wouldn’t put it past Elena to do exactly that if given the opportunity.
Every second was agonizing. Shifting her weight from foot to foot, still drawing a blank in terms of how she would explain any of this from her point of view, Cassidy hugged the large pack of diapers to her chest and practically held her breath as she waited to see if it was her mother or her sister that would be coming to the door.
After what felt like forever, though it easily could have just been ten seconds, she heard footsteps on the other side. Then someone started opening the door.
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