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Curiosity Kills the Brat

Author: Anonymous

Mitch

I had never done anything like this before. In fact, I felt completely detached from the experience—as if it were someone else experimenting with this diaper. My fingers worked clumsily as I re-taped it for the third time. I didn’t know why I had stolen three of my cousin Larry’s diapers (especially considering the hell I always put him through for needing them) nor why I had been curious about what it felt like to wear them. I finally got it closed correctly and moved about the room. I was conscious of the massive amount of material between my legs… but not in an uncomfortable way. The crinkling noises it made were louder than I had expected. Luckily, I was alone in the house with nobody around to hear.

I made my way to the bathroom but the mirror was too high for me to get a good look at myself. I descended to the living room and stood in front of the big mirror. I was taken aback by how much I looked like Larry. People had been saying that for as long as I could remember but this was the first time I had really seen it. We were born just a couple of months apart and I had always assumed that our relatives were reacting to the fact that we were of the same general build and tended to dress more or less alike (except for the diapers, of course!). The longer I looked at myself, the creepier it felt.

I was just about to head back upstairs when I heard a key being inserted into the front door. I knew that it was my mother coming home from the grocery store. I saw the door begin to open and realized that I couldn’t reach the stairs without being seen. My only other option was to scoot into the kitchen… where I knew my mom was heading next! I quickly and quietly exited into the garage. I was momentarily surprised to find it wide open. I remembered that I was supposed to be cleaning it. I dismissed the idea of lowering the door because I was sure that the sound of the motor would draw my mom’s attention.

“Mitch!” I heard her call. “Mitch! Where are you? Didn’t I tell you to clean the garage before doing anything else?”

I heard her put bags on the counter.

“Mitch!” she called again. “Mitch! Answer me!”

Her voice was getting farther away. My heart skipped several beats. She was probably heading up to my room… where she would find my shirt, pants, underpants, and the other two diapers on the bed. I did what I normally did when I was in a panic: I froze. I heard my mom coming back downstairs.

“Mitch! Come here this instant! I know what you’re up to! Don’t make me come looking for you!”

I regained some of my composure and decided that my best bet was to run around the house and enter through the front while my mom was looking for me in the back. I ran out the back door of the garage just as my mom opened the kitchen door. I ran the length of the back of the house and turned the corner. I didn’t have much time, so I took a deep breath and ran around to the front. I trembled at the thought of anyone seeing me. Hopefully, I was moving so fast that they would think that I was wearing a bathing suit… or even my underwear… anything but a diaper! I didn’t bother with the front door since my mother had closed it behind her. I turned the last corner and headed for the open garage. I yelped when I saw her standing there, waiting for me. I vainly tried to scrunch down so that she couldn’t see the diaper.

“Isn’t this a cute picture!” she said sarcastically. “And, just how long have you been wearing Larry’s diapers?”

“Never!” I replied without thinking.

“Never? Then what’s that? Or are you wearing a diaper you went out and bought for yourself?” she asked, waving the other two in the air.

“No!” I screeched. “I’ve never bought diapers!”

“Well, what’s the truth then? Where do these diapers come from?”

“Larry,” I admitted.

“Does he know that you have them?”

“No,” I admitted again.

“Then you stole them,” she said.

I remained silent, unwilling to voice the truth of the matter.

“Why?”

“I was curious,” I answered,

“Curious about what?” How they feel when they’re wet?”

“No!” I protested.

“Then why did you wet it?” she persisted.

I looked down at the wetness indicator and noticed that it had changed color. My mother read the shock in my expression.

“You didn’t know?”

I was totally embarrassed.

“It was an accident!” I explained.

“Really? And how many times have you mocked your cousin over his accidents? Should I treat you the same way now and announce to whoever might come by that you’ve just wet your diaper?”

I was stunned that she should suggest such a thing.

“We’ll finish this discussion later. Help me take in the rest of the groceries.”

I turned around and saw the car parked halfway down the driveway.

“Somebody might see me!”

“If you had finished cleaning the garage like you were supposed to I could have parked the car right here. Come on, stop wasting time.”

She grabbed my upper arm and pulled me toward the front of the garage.

“Ow!” I complained. “You’re hurting me.”

“Your little fanny is going to be the next thing to hurt if you don’t get a move on.”

She was very red in the face, a sure sign that she wasn’t going to back down. I walked out with her and she handed me four bags from the open trunk.

“I can take more,” I said.

“That’s enough for now,” she answered.

It took four more trips to bring all the stuff in. I think my mother was disappointed that no one came by to see me in my diaper. She had me help her put the groceries away. As I was doing so I wet the diaper again. This was a big mistake. It wasn’t fastened as well as I had thought and I had to continually tug at it to bring it back up.

“I’ll take care of that as soon as we’re done here,” my mom said.

“I can take it off by myself!” I answered sharply.

“I know that,” she answered. “And watch your tone! I meant that I’ll take care of putting the next one on you.”

“I don’t want to wear another diaper!” I insisted loudly.

“This is the last time I’m going to warn you about your tone! You decided to put yourself into diapers, I’ll decide when it ends.”

My mom’s face was bright red again. I backed down and tried pleading.

“Please,” I said as contritely as I could. “Don’t make me wear another diaper!”

My mom looked at me for what seemed a long time.

“How come you took three diapers?”

“I don’t know,” I answered lamely.

“You must know,” she countered. “People don’t do things without reasons.”

I wished that I could have said that she knew very well that I did lots of stuff for no particular reason but that would have landed me in even more trouble. I remained silent. She sighed.

“Come with me,” she said grabbing my hand.

I tried to resist but she would have none of it. She finally let go when we got into my room.

“Wait here while I prepare things,” she ordered.

I heard the linen closet open and close and then the medicine cabinet. Lastly, the water ran for a few seconds. She returned and spread a towel on he bed.

“Lie down and I’ll take off your diaper.”

I stared at her coldly, refusing to budge.

“One last time… on the bed.”

I caved in and began sobbing.

“Please… no,” I sniffled.

“On… the… bed,” she repeated in a determined tone.

The diaper came off and she began to wipe my diaper area with a warm cloth.

“Of course, we won’t always have the luxury of a warm cloth,” she explained. “I’ll have to get some disposable wipes when I get you more diapers.”

“No…” I whimpered. “Please don’t do that.”

“Stoop crying,” she suddenly ordered. “Now lift up.”

The fresh diaper was slid under me. My mom spread baby powder on my front and then, lifting me behind the knees, powdered my bottom. I felt completely humiliated. She taped up the diaper snugly. I got up and she took away the towel, my shirt, and my underpants.

“You are to stay here until dad and I call for you. And hang your pants in the closet.”

As soon as she had left I threw the pants across the room in frustration. The belt buckle clunked loudly against the wall.

“I said to hang those pants up!” she called from the hallway.

I picked them up and did as I was told. It took a while for me to calm down. As I did, I began thinking of answers I should have given earlier. For instance, why I hadn’t I said that the other two diapers were merely backups in case I ruined the first one trying to get it on? The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to kick myself. It seemed clear that I might have gotten away scot-free if there hadn’t been two other diapers for her to discover. Why had I taken three???

My mind wandered to thinking about my dad. He hated coming home to problems… and this was going to be a big one. I already knew most of his speeches by heart. He would undoubtedly remind me that I was “twelve years old and that it was high time that I started acting responsibly.” Beyond that, I also knew that he would support whatever my mom wanted. I hoped that her threat to buy me more diapers was exactly that… just a threat. There didn’t seem to be any point to sitting in my room worrying. I wondered if my mom would let me finish cleaning the garage. (It would be one less thing for my dad to get mad about.)

“Mom!” I called from the doorway.

There was no answer.

“Mom!” I called again… still no answer.

I left my room and called again from the foot of the stairs.

“I thought I told you to stay in your room,” she reminded me as she walked into the living room.

“Can I finish cleaning the garage?”

“Too late,” she answered. “I already did.”

“Oh… thanks,” I said.

“You’re welcome… but you owe me.”

“I know,” I answered glumly.

She looked at me for a few seconds and sighed.

“Tell me again. Why did you take three diapers?”

My prepared answer about wanting backups no longer seemed very strong. I didn’t say anything. She sighed again.

“I could understand taking one if you were curious. Taking three seems like you had some kind of plan. What was it?”

“I didn’t have a plan!” I whined.

She sighed for a third time and sent me back to my room. It was an agonizing two hours before I was called down to the den. My dad delivered his stock speech and I was sent back upstairs.

*****

Larry

I overheard a phone conversation between my mom and my aunt Brenda. Apparently, my cousin Mitch had done something to land himself in trouble again. Whatever it was must have been pretty bad because even my mom seemed upset by it. I hoped that whatever it was would get him sent to boarding school or, even better, to jail.

“Larry!” my mom called a little while after getting off the phone. “Aunt Brenda, uncle Bill, and Mitch are coming to dinner.”

My mom saw my obvious distaste over the announcement.

“Honey, I know that Mitch has acted terribly towards you but I think things have just evened out. He’s coming over to apologize to you.”

“Apologize? What for?”

“For having stolen some diapers from you.”

“Diapers?” I asked in amazement. “Why did he take diapers from me?”

“Apparently he wanted to wear them. Aunt Brenda caught him in the act. He tried to get away by running outside in nothing but a diaper.”

I was dumbfounded. Mitch wanted to wear diapers? That couldn’t be. He had made my life miserable because I had to wear them all the time.

“Unbelievable, huh?” my mom asked.

“Yeah,” I agreed. “He went outside in nothing but a diaper?” I asked in disbelief.

“Yes. Aunt Brenda says he ran out of the backyard, across the front yard and into the garage.”

This made me giggle. I hoped that someone from school had seen him.

*****

Mitch

My dad came to my room to tell me that we were going over to aunt Loretta and uncle Ron’s for dinner.

“The first thing that you’ll do is apologize to Larry for stealing his diapers. Get off the bed. We’re leaving right away.”

I walked over to my bureau to get pants and a shirt.

“No,” my dad said. “You’ll go dressed exactly as you are.”

“No!” I protested loudly. “They’ll laugh at me!”

“Maybe,” he conceded, “but it won’t come close to making up for what you’ve done to Larry over the years.”

I looked down at myself through tear-filled eyes.

“Instead of crying, you should begin preparing your apology,” he said, leading me roughly by the hand.

We arrived at my aunt and uncle’s in a matter of minutes. My dad parked on the street and I looked the neighborhood over. Things were pretty quiet at this end of the street. I got out and ran to the side door where my aunt greeted me coldly. My mom and dad followed a few seconds later.

“Ron and Larry are in the den,” she announced.

*****

Larry

I could hardly believe what I saw after my uncle parked his car: Mitch ran to the side door wearing nothing but his shoes, socks and a diaper! This was going to be great! He came into the den with my mom and his parents. Everybody was staring at him. His eyes were red and his hands were shaking. His voice came out sounding all squeaky.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I know that it’s bad to steal.”

There was a pause of several seconds and I wondered if that was going to be it. I didn’t care if he said any more: just seeing him standing there like a scared little baby in a diaper was great revenge fall by itself.

“Is that all?” my uncle Bill asked. “What about the rest?”

“The rest of what?” Mitch asked.

“All the things you’ve done to Larry over the years. Apologize for those, too.”

This was obviously a surprise to him. It sure didn’t look like he wanted to do it but I guess he felt that it was in his best interest to apologize some more.

“I’m sorry about all that stuff, too,” he added.

I put my hand out and we shook. I couldn’t help smirking at him in exactly the same way he smirks at me when I have to ask for a diaper change. My mom and aunt Brenda went to finish getting supper ready.

“Dad,” I asked, “is Mitch going to be allowed to sit at the table without a shirt and without plastic pants?”

*****

Mitch

I snapped my head up and looked at my uncle. What did Larry’s question mean?

“It’s not for us to interfere in the punishment that uncle Bill and aunt Brenda have given Mitch,” my uncle answered.

“No,” my dad interrupted. “You made those rules for good reason. Would you mind lending Mitch a shirt and plastic pants?” my dad asked Larry.

“Sure!” Larry answered quickly. Then, turning to his dad, he added, “Can I dress like I normally do on hot days?”

His dad gave his permission and Larry smirked at me on his way out. I didn’t mind getting a shirt to wear… but his stupid plastic pants were something altogether different. I had teased him mercilessly about wearing them, never missing an opportunity to call them his baby pants. Larry returned quickly. He had taken off his pants and had exchanged his shirt for a black t-shirt. (I never knew that he dressed this way around the house and I would have liked to say that he looked like a baby, except that I was going to be dressed exactly like him in a few seconds.) He handed me an identical t-shirt and plastic pants. I put the shirt on before unfolding the pants. I was momentarily confused about which way was the front.

“The tag goes in the back,” Larry said helpfully (but with a really smarmy expression on his face).

My aunt called us to the table.

“Look, mom,” Larry said, “Mitch and me look exactly alike.”

No one missed his point: if he looked like a baby then so did I. A few minutes after we started eating my mom asked aunt Brenda where she bought Larry’s diapers and plastic pants. I nearly choked on my fried chicken.

“Langer Pharmacy,” she answered. “They have the best prices and keep a good stock on hand. Even if they have to special order something, it usually arrives in two to three days.”

“What size do you get for Larry?”

“Just a second,” my aunt answered cryptically. Turning to Larry, she asked, “Honey, have you noticed that you need more frequent changes than you used to?”

Larry looked uncomfortable about the question.

“I guess so,” he answered.

“Well, I think it’s time you moved up to a new size. Don’t you?”

Larry agreed reluctantly. His plastic pants squeaked as he squirmed in his chair. I was very happy that the tables had turned and it was his diapers that were the center of attention.

“In that case,” aunt Brenda said in answer to my mom, “I’m going to start buying him ‘youth large’ diapers and plastic pants.”

“Is Langer pharmacy open tonight?” my mom asked.

“Yes, until nine o’clock. We can go after dinner if you’d like.”

Larry had that smarmy look on his face again. I felt like throwing up.

“Mom, do I have finish my dinner?” I asked.

“If you’re not feeling well, I can pack it up for you to eat tomorrow,” my aunt volunteered.

I thanked her and asked if I could be excused. The answer was no.

“How about nighttime cloth diapers?” my mom continued.

“They usually have them in stock. I’ll need to get Larry new ones, too. We can share what they have on hand if they’re short.”

“Mom,” Larry interrupted, “are my new diapers going to be thicker? I’m kinda sick of them leaking all the time.”

“You’re right, honey. Don’t worry. I’ll look into it.”

I felt the room spinning. I didn’t dare ask if my mom planned on buying me thicker diapers, too. Larry’s daytime diapers were already pretty obvious, especially after he wet; his nighttime ones were huge.

“Aunt Brenda,” Larry said to my mom, “if Mitch is going to wear cloth diapers at night, he’ll need special pajamas, won’t he?”

“Yes, he will.”

“They take a couple of weeks to come after you order them. He can borrow a pair of mine until then.”

“Isn’t that nice of Larry?” my mother asked me. “Thank your cousin.”

Thank him! I ought to punch him in the nose! His special pajamas were baby-looking one-piece pajamas. I looked in disbelief at my mother.

“Well?” she asked impatiently.

I opened my mouth but no words came out. Instead, I threw up all over my shirt… that is, Larry’s shirt. I wasn’t the least bit sorry.

*****

Larry

My mom and aunt Brenda went shopping right after dinner. I asked my mom again if she would get me thicker, more absorbent diapers. I sort of knew that I needed better ones but I wanted especially wanted to make sure that my aunt bought really thick ones for Mitch, too. I watched TV until my dad and uncle Ron asked me to check on Mitch (who had been sent to lie down in my room). Before tonight, I would have dreaded having to speak to him but not any more. He was lying on the bed with his arm over his eyes.

“Is the baby feeling OK?” I asked.

“I’m not a baby,” he answered.

“Let’s see…” I said mockingly, “baby diaper and baby pants… you sure look like a baby.”

These were the exact words he used on me all the time. I struck a nerve, causing him to jump off the bed and grab me by the shirt. I didn’t flinch as he raised his fist over his head.

“Go ahead!” I said. “Make sure that you leave a nice big mark. I can’t wait to see what your parents do to you next.”

He pushed me away in frustration.

“Leave me alone,” he said.

“Your dad wants me to check if you need your diaper changed.”

Actually, he asked me to ask if he need a diaper change but I wanted to make him feel what it was like to be treated like a baby all the time. I walked over and put my hand on the front of his plastic pants. He jumped back and told me to stay away. I guess that this was a good example of the main difference between him and me: he was pushy and antagonistic while I preferred being friendly and cooperative.

“OK,” I smiled, “I’ll tell your dad that you wouldn’t tell me and he can deal with you himself.”

“No, wait!” he pleaded, changing his tone completely. “I don’t want my dad to change my diaper. Would you help me?”

This was a surprise. I considered his request for a few seconds. I saw this as a great chance to get him up onto my changing table and humiliating him more.

“Alright,” I agreed. “Has your mom shown you how to do it right?”

“No,” he added.

“Then, I’ll have to do everything. Take off your shirt and shoes and lie down on the changing table.”

Mitch looked at me skeptically.

“Why do I have to take those off?”

“Because your shoes might get caught in the plastic pants and rip them, and your shirt’s going to be in the way.”

He hesitated.

“Ok, I’ll get your dad if you don’t trust me.”

“No, wait!” he said.

He meekly took off his shirt (actually, it was another of my t-shirts) and shoes.

“Get on the table.”

For a second I thought that he was going to complain again but he didn’t. I had him lift up so that I could remove his plastic pants. The leg bands were slightly damp and the odor of pee was very strong.

“You’d better be careful in school. Another wetting and your plastic pants would have leaked,” I advised.

The look of horror that crossed his face was priceless. I decided to lay it on even thicker.

“Yeah, what would your friends think if you started wetting your pants like a baby?”

I guess I hit a nerve again, except that this time his eyes watered and he looked away toward the wall. I un-taped his diaper and had him lift up again. I rolled it into a ball and threw it into the pail with my own wet diapers. He jumped when I started cleaning his diaper area.

“I can do that,” he complained.

“I can do it better,” I responded. “Now, turn over so that I can clean your behind.”

When I had him turn over again he was red with embarrassment over his aroused state. I actually felt sorry for him and didn’t make any comments. I got out a new diaper and taped him up. After pulling his plastic pants over the diaper, I had him stand up so that I could check him.

“What are you doing?” he exclaimed as I ran my fingers around the leg openings.

“Your diaper is sticking out. That could cause you to leak,” I answered nonchalantly.

His whole body shuddered. I had struck another nerve. I hope he had really scary nightmares about leaky diapers and being laughed at in school.

*****

Mitch

Our moms came back loaded down with all kinds of stuff. They had bought us each a case of 96 disposable diapers, ten nighttime diapers, and loads of plastic pants.

“After discussing your situation with the saleslady at the store, we decided to get you ‘adult small’ diapers and plastic pants,” my aunt Loretta announced.

Larry looked puzzled but not appalled like me.

“How come?” he asked.

“Well, it turns out that ‘youth large’ and ‘adult small’ are almost exactly the same size; however, the adult size is more absorbent—by 30% ” she answered.

I felt sick again. Larry’s diapers had always been noticeable under his school clothes. Therefore, the new ones would be even worse. A mental picture of me wearing puffy pants at school made my stomach turn. I became aware that Larry was staring at me. I didn’t want him to think that the diapers had upset me so I smiled at him. This seemed to confuse him.

“You like the new diapers?” he asked in a surprised tone.

“Why not?” I responded defiantly.

My mom and aunt exchanged a knowing glance. Only then did it occur to me that I had sounded happy about getting all these baby things.

“I mean, you’re not complaining so I guess they must be OK,” I backtracked.

He snorted derisively at my lame attempt. My mom didn’t look convinced either.

*****

Larry

I helped my mom carry a load of our new cloth diapers to the laundry room to pre-wash them. After this was done she asked me to put away my new plastic pants and disposables.

“I still have an unopened bag of my old ones,” I pointed out.

“Bring them down here,” she answered. “I’ll donate them to the handicapped center. They’re really too small for you to wear.”

I opened a package to see what I was getting. They were a lot bigger than my old ones. I guessed that they were almost twice as thick and that they would rise at least three inches higher. I wasn’t bothered by this in the least. In fact, I was happy that my mom had bought thicker and bigger ones than I had asked for. It was going to be impossible for Mitch to hide his diapered state. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. Monday was going to be sweet revenge! I went downstairs and watched TV with the others. Whenever Mitch looked at me I smiled broadly. It really unnerved him but he couldn’t complain without making himself seem whiney.

Normally, I thought that time crawled by when Mitch visited. Tonight, however, I was surprised when my mom announced that it was time for me to get ready for bed.

“You, too,” Mitch’s mom added.

“I’m sleeping here?” he asked in surprise.

“No, but it’s been such a long time since I’ve diapered you for bed that I want aunt Loretta to help me.”

I thought that Mitch was going to throw up again.

“I don’t want everybody to see me!” he complained loudly.

“Too late for that,” my uncle Bill answered. “You’ve been going around in diapers all night. Now, get moving,” he warned.

I was sent off to shower in my parents’ room and Mitch went with his mom to my room. When I got out I heard Mitch and his mom in the bathroom. He didn’t sound at all happy.

*****

Mitch

“I can wash my own hair,” I complained as I sat in the tub with my eyes closed.

“Of course you can,” she answered condescendingly.

The water came on again and she rinsed my hair I opened my eyes just as she lathered up a washcloth. She started on my face, neck, and ears.

“Good grief, Mitch,” she said. “When was the last time you gave your ears a good cleaning. No wonder you don’t hear what dad and I say.”

If she thought she would get me to jump on that bait, she was wrong. I continued sitting there passively. She lathered my upper body and I was genuinely shocked when she brought the cloth down to my private area.

“No!” I gasped. “Not there!”

“Be quiet!” she said sharply. “Or do you want to deal with daddy?”

Two things made me hesitate. First, she had used the word daddy for the first time in years. Second, when I was little, dealing with my dad meant getting a spanking. These had always been more symbolic that painful but I didn’t want my cousin to find out about them. She was finally satisfied and I was told to stand up to get rinsed. The ultimate humiliation occurred after she dried me off: she led me back completely naked to my cousin’s room. He was laying on his changing table being pinned into his new cloth diaper. I was shocked: it was so huge that it made him look like a little kid.

“How does it feel?” my aunt Loretta asked.

“OK, I guess. It feels really different,” he replied tentatively.

“It’ll take a few days to get used to them,” she agreed. “But you won’t have to worry about leaks any more—your old diapers had six layers down the middle, these have twelve.”

“Yeah,” he replied brightly, “it’ll be nice not to have leaks.”

I snapped out of my stupor and turned to my mother.

“Please don’t make me wear those… I’ll give mine to Larry and you can take the money out of my allowance… Please!”

“Oh, no, honey,” my mom answered sweetly. “Larry has all the diapers he needs.”

I guess that Larry didn’t know that we were there. He started sitting up so that he could see us.

“Wait, honey. Let’s get your plastic pants on first,” his mom said.

She unfolded the pants and pulled them up his legs. My sense of despair grew when he stood up and faced me.

*****

Larry

I got off the table and nearly fell down! These diapers were really thick! Instead of being embarrassed, though, I was glad. Mitch was going to feel like a real baby. I decided to rub it in.

“Don’t worry. Mitch, These are going to work even better than the ones you stole from me—there’s a lot more diaper to them.”

*****

Mitch

I completely lost it again.

“Please don’t make me wear those,” I begged, tears pooling in my eyes.

“Up on the table,” my mother responded.

“Please!” I begged again.

Seemingly out of nowhere, I received two sharp slaps on my bare bottom.

“Up there, now! Or do you want me to call daddy?”

I began crying in earnest as I got up onto the table. I don’t remember much about the diapering except that I received one or two slaps on the hand for trying to stop my mom from putting the plastic pants on me. The next thing I remember was sitting on the bed next to Larry. Our moms had already left. I wasn’t sobbing anymore.

“I’m sorry I made you cry,” Larry said.

“You didn’t make me cry… these did,” I answered, tugging fiercely on my plastic pants.

“You’d better not rip those or your mom will be really mad,” he advised.

I wanted to tell him to mind his own business but I knew that he was right. I hated this feeling of being trapped.

“What am I going to do? My friends will kill me if they find out that I’m wearing diapers.”

“Do you really think you can hide it?” he asked reasonably.

He was right again. My diapers were going to be obvious. Everybody would know right away. I shuddered. A few seconds went by.

“We’re supposed to put on our pajamas and socks, then go downstairs,” Larry said.

He handed me the pajamas. At least my punishment was taking place during warm weather and not during the winter when he wore footed sleepers. I suppose these weren’t all that bad: they were made of ‘normal’ summer pajama material with short legs and short sleeves. From a distance one could have supposed that they were regular boy’s pajamas… except that they were one-piece and that the wearer sported a very prominent diaper bulge. We put them on simultaneously and I think that even Larry was surprised at how obvious our diapers were. We pulled on our socks and headed to the den to where our dads were watching a ball game.

“Come here a second,” my dad said. Pulling me close to him, he whispered into my ear, “Is it true that you gave mom a hard time after your bath?”

“Yes,” I answered nervously. “I’m sorry.”

“OK. I’m sure it won’t happen again, will it?”

“No,” I agreed.

He surprised me by hugging me and pulling me up onto the couch with him. He put his arm around my shoulder and we watched the game together. I was confused. Wasn’t he supposed to be mad at me, too?

*****

Larry

At first, I was mad that uncle Bill didn’t yell at Mitch for the way he acted. After a while, though, I became jealous of how uncle Bill and Mitch were sitting close together watching the game. Every once in a while uncle Bill would give him a little poke to make him giggle. I wished that my dad would pay attention to me like that. Anyway, my aunt, uncle, and Mitch went home after the game. Mitch looked kind of scared before he walked out to the car. He was lucky that it was dark and no one from school saw him. I smiled to myself knowing that he wasn’t going to be so lucky on Monday.

*****

Mitch

I couldn’t get to sleep. And it wasn’t only the physical presence of the diaper and plastic pants that kept me awake: I couldn’t stop thinking about school on Monday. I was going to get killed. I spent the night alternating between shaking with fear and crying into my pillow in frustration. Finally, just around daybreak I fell asleep for a couple of hours. I had a headache when my mom woke me.

“Do I have to get up?” I asked.

“Don’t you feel well?”

After I told her what was wrong, she felt my head and cheeks.

“You don’t have a fever. I’ll get you some aspirin and you can come down to breakfast. After that, I’ll get you out of your wet diaper and into a daytime diaper. You can take a nap then if you want to.”

Her talk of changing me made my headache worse. The realization that I had wet my nighttime diaper made me feel dizzy. I struggled to remember if I had wet it deliberately or not. The fact that I wasn’t sure scared me.

“Good morning, sport,” my dad greeted me cheerily.

“Hi,” I answered somewhat confused.

My dad was acting as if everything was normal… as if I normally came down to breakfast in baby pajamas and a wet diaper. Thinking about it, it also occurred to me that my mom had also acted as if everything was normal. This made my headache even worse. Were they subtly suggesting that this was how things were going to be from now on?

“Feeling OK?”

“I have a headache.”

“That’s too bad... come here.”

My dad turned me around and sat me on his knee. He started to massage my neck and, to my amazement, the headache vanished. I closed my eyes and luxuriated in the sense of relief. I heard my mom come into the kitchen and put the bottle of aspirin on the table. My dad kept up the massage— going up and down my neck, across my shoulders, and down my back. I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep. After five minutes or so he stopped.

“How’s that?” he asked.

“Awesome!” I answered.

My mom had gotten my cereal ready and I sat down and ate heartily. I wondered if my dad had felt me pee my diaper while I sat on his lap. It was such a babyish thing to do but I couldn’t help it. My after-breakfast diaper change brought my headache back, not that mom did anything deliberately. She let me use the bathroom to do number two before she cleaned and powdered. My alarm came from the fact that the disposable was almost as big and thick as my nighttime diaper.

“These are too big!” I exclaimed in a panic.

“Calm down!” my mom said. “Let me check.”

She had me turn around as she examined how the diaper fit.

“No, they fit like they’re supposed to,” she said matter-of-factly.

“No they don’t!” I whined. “My pants will never fit!”

“Calm down!” she repeated. “Don’t get excited. Let’s get you into your plastic pants and then we’ll see how your pants fit.”

We went through my closet and bureau. My mom was wrong in thinking that this would calm me down. It was true that over half of my pants and shorts fit comfortably at the waist, but none of them did anything to hide my diaper bulge. And, as I changed from one pair of pants to another, I became fully aware of how much crinkling and rustling was emanating from my diaper and plastic pants.

“Everyone will see and hear!” I whined again.

“As I recall,” she said coldly, “you were the only one to ever point those things out about Larry. Without you as the ringleader maybe no one will say anything.”

I stared at her open-mouthed.

“Well,” she continued, “name one time when someone made fun of Larry without you starting it.”

“But this is different!” I shouted.

“Calm down!” she said for a third time. “How is it different?”

The answer was something that I couldn’t say to her. My friends at school were merciless whenever they discovered somebody’s weakness. Once they figured out that l was wearing diapers, they would treat me ten times worse than I ever treated Larry.

*****

Larry

I stood in my room for a long time wondering how I should dress for the barbecue at my uncle and aunt’s. Now that Mitch knew that I only wore my diapers and plastic pants on hot days should I bother wearing my pants? I wasn’t worried about being seen going from the car to his house because I don’t know anyone in his neighborhood. Even if he did wear pants, I figured that it would make him uncomfortable to see me in my diapers… and, I hoped, remind him that he was going to school in diapers the next day. My mom said that I could do what I wanted as long as I packed a shirt and pants in my diaper bag for when it got cooler later on.

Mitch didn’t seem surprised that I arrived in just a diaper, plastic pants, and shoes. Maybe it was because that was exactly how he was dressed. I had to be careful not to bait or taunt him while any our parents were around. I guess he sensed this because he stuck close to his dad all day. Once again, I felt jealous that his dad was paying such close attention to him.

*****

Mitch

I outsmarted Larry today. I knew that he was hoping to make me nervous about going to school in diapers. Well, it didn’t work… at least, not the part about his making me nervous. I was already nearly in a panic and I didn’t need him to remind me. Anyway, he never got the chance because I stuck to my dad all day. He was really cool about it. I wonder if he knew what I was up to. Whatever.

I’ve decided that tomorrow I’m going to leave early for school. I want to get there first so I can talk to my friends about what is happening to me. Not the truth, though… that would never do. I would die if they found out that I put on a diaper by myself just to see what it felt like. No, I’m going to tell them that the same medical problem that afflicts Larry is starting to affect me. They know that I was rotten to him because of it but I hope that I can be convincing enough so that they won’t turn on me. Hopefully, my parents will ease up on me and I can be ‘cured’ quickly, at least before the end of summer.

I slept a lot better than Saturday night. When my mom came in to change me I was already awake and eager to get off to school. I felt that it was really important that I get there first to break the news to my friends as they arrived one or two at a time. My mom was talking to me as she changed me out of my nighttime diaper but I was too busy to pay attention. It was much more important that I rehearse what I going to say to my friends. She was very surprised to see me leave twenty minutes earlier than normal.

“And don’t forget what I told you,” she said as I went out the door.

“I won’t,” I answered, clueless as to what she was talking about.

I lived too close to school to qualify for busing. As I walked down my street I became aware of how noisy my diapers were, even wearing plastic pants and normal pants over them. Now, if only I could explain myself before somebody noticed the bulge in my pants. The yard was practically empty when I arrived. I sat down on one of the outside benches to wait. Almost immediately I noticed that Les, a classmate (one of Larry’s friends, actually), was staring at me. I got very nervous as he approached.

“Hi,” he said eyeing me oddly.

“Hey,” I answered back.

“Um, can I ask you something? I probably shouldn’t but…”

I was really, really getting nervous. Had he seen my diaper bulge? What would I say if he asked me about it?

“You see,” he continued, “my parents made my visit my grandparents yesterday and I didn’t exactly finish my math homework…”

I let out a sigh of relief. All he wanted was to copy my homework. I knew that I shouldn’t let him but I figured it couldn’t hurt anything… and I might soon need all the friends I could get.

“Sure… but be careful,” I answered. “And be especially sure that that snitch Cynthia doesn’t see you.”

I was referring to one of the girls in our class who was always doing things like reminding the teacher that he hadn’t given us homework or turning in kids for breaking the rules. Everybody hated her. We were still laughing when I bent down to open my backpack. I was horrified by how loudly my diaper crinkled but Les didn’t seem to hear it. I unzipped the compartment where I kept my binder and let out a yelp as a disposable diaper fell out. I scooped it up and shoved it back in, only to have two more diapers and a pair of plastic pants fall out the other side. Les got to the plastic pants before I could. He was looking at me bug-eyed.

“You, too?” he asked.

“Please don’t tell anyone, I begged. Let me explain to the others first. Please!!!”

“Yeah, OK” he agreed as I shoved the items back inside. “Can I still borrow your homework?”

I looked around before carefully pulling out my binder. I gave him the homework and he wandered off to copy it. I looked around again and managed to get the diapers and plastic pants to the bottom. As my embarrassment ebbed, my anger at my mother grew. Why didn’t she tell me she had put diapers in with my books? I remembered that I hadn’t listened to her, but I wasn’t ready to admit it was my fault. She should have told me better. It was almost time for my friends to start arriving so I began reviewing my speech in my mind. Just as two entered the schoolyard, my teacher, Mr. Parker, came up to me.

“Mitch, come with me right now.”

I looked over to my friends who had stopped a few feet away. I shrugged my shoulders in a show of bravado and got up. I pulled my t-shirt as far down as possible and followed him into the building. We headed straight for Mrs. Pitton’s office where Les was already seated in one of the guest chairs. I knew that we had been busted. We were both going to get zeros on our homework and would have to bring notes home to our parents to sign.

“Mitch, are you going to make me drag it out of you or will you tell me the truth?” Mrs. Pitton asked.

I looked over to Les for a sign. Had he already confessed or had he made up some story to explain why he had my homework? Les shrugged his shoulders listlessly, which I took to be a sign of defeat.

“I guess I sort of lent him my homework…” I said tentatively.

“Mitch, either you did or didn’t give him your homework. Which is it?”

Les let out a loud sigh. I guessed that he had already confessed.

“I gave it to him,” I said.

“Why?”

Les was really squirming in his seat. I really didn’t know what to say now.

“I don’t know,” I answered.

“Of course you know!” she said impatiently.

“His parents made him spend all day visiting his grandparents. It wasn’t fair that he didn’t have time to finish his homework.”

“OK,” she replied. “I guess I get the picture. Les asked you to give him your homework and you did, even though both of you knew that it was wrong to ask someone for homework or to supply it.”

“Yes, ma’am,” we answered unison, hoping to forestall a long and boring lecture.

“Very well. You know the penalties. Mr. Parker will give no credit and you will receive a note from me to take home this afternoon. Make sure I get it back with your parent’s signature tomorrow.”

“Yes, ma’am,” we agreed.

She dismissed Les and asked me to stay. Even before she said anything else I knew that she knew about my diapers.

“Have you seen Mrs. Keller yet?”

Mrs. Keller was the school nurse. I guess she knew, too. I should have seen this coming. Larry went to the nurse’s office for his diaper changes. Now I vaguely remembered my mom mentioning something about the nurse when she was changing my diaper this morning.

“Not yet,” I answered. “I just got here.”

She looked at me skeptically. Obviously I hadn’t just gotten here if Les had already had time get my homework and start copying it.

“Well, get down there right away and give here your supply of diapers and plastic pants. Mr. Parker already knows that you may have to leave class to have your diapers attended to.”

As she was speaking I heard someone snickering outside the open office door. Mrs. Pitton looked embarrassed. She realized (as I did) that she had just informed someone about my diapers, albeit accidentally.

“Whoever is out there will please step into the office,” she called.

My stomach dropped and my eyes filled with tears as Cynthia walked in. She had her hand over her mouth as she tried not to snicker.

“Cynthia, behave yourself,” Mrs. Pitton said.

I couldn’t take it. I ran out and headed for the nurse’s office, barely holding back the tears. Everybody was going to know! Cynthia would blab it all over the place even before the first bell rang. I walked into Mrs. Keller’s office and lost it. Mrs. Keller led me to the back room where there were two beds. She sat me down on one and knelt in front of me, trying to console me.

“There, there,” she cooed. “I know it’s very upsetting but there’s nothing to be done about it. Crying won’t help. You have to be strong and accept things as they are.”

She gently stroked my hair and I started calming down. I was vaguely aware that the bells had rung and that kids were filing into their rooms. She had me lie down, saying that she would call my mother.

“No, please don’t. I don’t want my mom to come.”

That would have been fatal. Things were bad enough as is. I could already hear the taunts of kids saying that not only did I need diapers but I needed my mommy, too.

“OK,” she agreed. “But you’ll have to go class in a few minutes. I think your diaper is pretty wet. You’ll need a change before you leave.”

It was true but how did she know that? I must have looked startled.

“I’m a nurse,” she said cryptically.

I remembered that I left my backpack in Mrs. Pitton’s office. She volunteered to get it. I used the opportunity to splash water on my face and to look at myself in the mirror. Maybe I could stall for more time. If I went to class right away, everybody would be able to tell that I had been crying.

“OK,” Mrs. Keller said cheerfully, “let’s get your things organized into this bin.”

I opened my backpack and discovered that I had a dozen diapers, eight pairs of plastic pants, a tube of diaper rash cream (which made me blush crimson), and baby powder.

“You mom will send you with another big supply of diapers tomorrow. Then, you won’t have to bring them in every day. All you’ll have to do daily is take your used plastic pants home. This is what your cousin does… Now, your mom tells me that you haven’t learned to change yourself yet…”

Mrs. Keller asked me to undress down to my diaper and socks. I lied down on the bed and she removed the diaper. I was a lot calmer than I thought I would be. She efficiently cleaned my diaper area and then asked me to roll over. By the time she slid the fresh diaper under me, I was beginning to get excited but I don’t think she noticed. She taped me up and handed me my plastic pants.

“I think that these are still OK for the rest of the morning. Make sure you come back here at lunchtime, if not sooner,” she said.

I picked up my backpack and headed for class. My knees felt weaker and weaker as I continued on. I got to the door and hesitated for several seconds. Finally, I got the courage to walk in. It was obvious that everybody knew. The snickering started immediately and grew as I made my way to my desk. The only good thing was that the snickering had become so loud that only a few kids heard my diaper crinkle as I sat down. Mr. Parker tried to come to my defense by giving the class a talk about respect. I knew that he meant well but that his talk would have exactly the opposite effect: it would emphasize how weak a target I was since I needed an adult to protect me.

*****

Larry

I was disappointed that Mitch was absent when I arrived in the schoolyard. However, my friend Les told me that he and Mitch were in trouble with Mrs. Pitton. She had dismissed him from the office but kept Mitch behind. Suddenly, the best news of all started spreading! People knew about Mitch’s diapers. People were laughing about it and making jokes. I guess I should have been offended by what they said because it related to me, too. However, this was my day of revenge… a day to see Mitch get back all the cruel stuff he had done to me… so I didn’t care. He still hadn’t shown up when class started. I began to worry that he might have been sent home. That would have ruined everything. Then, just before 8:30, Mitch came into the room. The snickering and comments started immediately. His pants looked even puffier than mine. This was the start of a great day!

*****

Mitch

Mr. Parker went back to answering questions about our math homework. Since I didn’t have my paper any more, I looked around the room. Whenever I made eye contact with someone they either looked away or snickered. Larry was red in the face and looked really mad. I wondered if he blamed me for the thicker diapers he was now wearing. For the next activity, Mr. Parker said we could group into pairs to study for the vocabulary and spelling test he was giving us in fifteen minutes. I didn’t expect anyone to want to sit with me so I was surprised when Les asked. We actually didn’t use much of the time to study.

“Did Mrs. Pitton keep you in her office the whole time?”

I hesitated for a second before deciding to tell him most of the truth about Cynthia and going to Mrs. Keller’s office. Naturally, I didn’t tell him that I had cried or that Mrs. Keller had changed my diaper.

“So that’s how everyone found out so fast,” he said.

“I told you she was a blabbermouth,” I said ruefully.

“Yeah,” he agreed.

I think he wanted to ask me something else but changed his mind. We quizzed each other on our vocabulary words for the remaining few minutes. The test ended just as the recess bell rang. I hesitated about what to do. The glares I got from my friends clearly signaled that they didn’t want me around them. There didn’t seem to be any point in going out to the yard (where most of the kids went) so I decided to go to the lunchroom where there was juice and milk for sale (and not a lot kids). I was drinking an orange juice when all of a sudden someone slapped me on the behind, causing my diaper and plastic pants to make a loud noise. I turned around quickly but there were several kids running away and I couldn’t tell who had done it. Everybody else was shrieking with laughter.

“I’ll get you for this!” I screeched.

This brought more laughter from everyone.

*****

Larry

I went home happy that Mitch had finally gotten his own back. Not even his so-called friends would have anything to do with him. We met up in the hallway once when he was coming back from Mrs. Keller’s office. I pretended not to see him just like he pretends not to see me. The only thing that annoyed me all day was that Les was nice to Mitch in class. I guess it was a payback for letting him copy his homework.

Things continued the same way for Mitch over the next couple of days. He was constantly teased and nobody wanted to be seen with him. I noticed that Les was still being nice to Mitch in subtle unobvious kinds of ways. I have to think of a way to make him stop. Mitch doesn’t deserve anybody’s sympathy. In fact, I think I’ve got a plan to make things even worse for him outside of school.

*****

Mitch

Things are terrible. The teasing at school has gotten worse. On Monday, everybody tried to get into the act after somebody slapped me on the butt during recess. There was no way I could stop them. It was always the same thing. A bunch of kids would surround me. If I put my hands behind me, someone would lift the front of my t-shirt to see the top of my plastic pants. When I tried to get my shirt back down, someone would slap me on the butt and lift up my shirt in back. One time they even got the whole shirt off me and I had to chase two kids around to get it back. Of course, this was done while there were no teachers around. I’m really afraid that one of these times they’re going to take my pants.

I’ve continued getting to school really early. That way I can stake out a place where I know teachers will be. I hate it, though. It makes me feel like such a baby.

*****

Larry

My plan is all finished. People at school don’t know why he’s in diapers so I’m going to let everyone know that it’s a punishment for stealing from me and not for a medical reason. Here’s how I’m going to do it. Everybody has always said that Mitch and I look alike. I experimented with combing my hair down over my forehead like he does and I found out that I do look like him more than I thought. There is a little store a couple of blocks from his house where his mom sometimes sends him to buy stuff like milk and bread. I’m going to make myself look like Mitch and walk in wearing just a diaper and plastic pants when I know that one of our classmates is inside. I’m going to act really embarrassed and confess that I’m in diapers because I stole some from ‘my cousin.’ Then, I’ll run out crying. This is really going to humiliate him! He’ll never be able to deny what happened.

I talked to my friend Les about it, hoping that he would give me a hand.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” he asked.

“What?”

“It won’t really be Mitch without his pants on, it’ll be you. What if you get recognized? Your voices aren’t exactly alike, you know.”

“I know that!” I answered irritably. “But ‘Mitch’ is going to be in a panic and whoever sees him is going to be so surprised they won’t notice. I can imitate him pretty good.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “Mitch is going to know that it was you. Aren’t you afraid of what he’ll do to get even? I’m still in trouble at home for copying his math homework. I don’t want to get involved in this.”

I gave up on him and asked my friend Aaron. Aaron has hated Mitch ever since the first grade when Mitch made fun of him for still wearing training pants.

“Yeah, sure! I’ll do it,” he agreed instantly. “When do we start?”

We met early Saturday afternoon near the store. I led us to some bushes by the roadside.

“We can hide here and scout out things. As soon as we see our chance I’ll go inside.”

I took off my shirt. Aaron helped me comb my hair to look like Mitch’s. It took about a half hour before we spotted one of our classmates. It was a guy named Peter. Unfortunately, he kept on walking past the store. About twenty minutes later we spotted Kevin. He had been a friend of Mitch’s for a while but something must have happened because they stopped talking to each other even before Mitch got put into diapers. As soon as he went into the store, I took off my pants and handed them to Aaron. He looked at me really funny.

“Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t know that your diapers were so thick.”

I got really embarrassed but figured that my red face would help me be convincing. I stepped out from the bushes and nearly turned back To keep my courage up, I repeated in my head ‘Mitch is walking up the road in his diapers’ until I got in front of the store when I changed it to ‘Mitch is walking into Hallin’s Store in his diapers.’ I walked down the aisle where Kevin was looking at magazines and pretended to be discovered.

“Aaak!” I yelped, trying to cover my plastic pants with my hands.

“Mitch!” he exclaimed.

“It’s not what you think,” I croaked. “My mom is making me do this. It’s my punishment for stealing diapers from Larry and then wearing them.”

“You stole diapers and wore them!” he exclaimed again.

“No! I mean, yes! I mean…”

At this point I covered my face as if I was crying and ran out of the store. I ran back to the bushes congratulating myself all the way. Mitch was never going to live this down! I got to the bushes and pushed my way through. Aaron had scratches on his face and his clothes were all dusty.

“What happened to you?” I asked.

“Mitch!” he answered breathlessly. “Right after you left I heard someone coming back through the bushes. I thought it was you… that maybe something had gone wrong or that you’d changed your mind. Anyway, before I could do anything, Mitch jumped me and threw me to the ground. He grabbed your clothes and was gone before I could get up. I went out to chase him but he had disappeared. I looked up and down the road but he was gone.”

“Gone!” I said. “How could he have been gone?”

“I don’t know,” Aaron said in frustration. “All I know is he was gone! I’m getting out of here. Mitch is vicious. I don’t anything to do with him.”

“Wait! You can’t go! My clothes! What am I going to do to get home?”

I stuck my head out from the bushes. Aaron was already a half a block away, running up the road as fast as he could. My heart was beating so fast I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I was shaking like a leaf. What was I going to do? I tried breaking off branches from the bushes to make camouflage. That was stupid. I had no way to hold the branches together and it was obvious that I was practically naked underneath. I sat on the ground trying to think. My house was almost a mile away. It was the middle of a beautiful Saturday afternoon. People were everywhere. I’d have to wait until dark and try to sneak into the house to get some clothes. My mom and dad would really be mad about my being gone so long. I settled in for a long wait (at least six hours, I thought). There was a grassy area nearby so I moved there and sat down. In a little while, I felt tired and laid down. I was awoken by a loud radio. I think it came from someone stopped in front of the store.

“We are repeating this bulletin every fifteen minutes in cooperation with the police who are searching for the missing twelve year old boy. His name is Lawrence Michael Angeliou.”

I jumped up to listen.

“He was reported missing three hours ago. He is of slightly below average height and weight—measuring 4 feet 10 inches and weighing 92 pounds. He was last seen near Andover Road and Willow Hills Avenue, wearing a blue t-shirt with a soccer logo, tan-colored pants, and dark gray cross trainers. An extensive search is underway. If you have seen this boy or observed any suspicious activity this afternoon, please call…”

Holy crap! Was I ever in big trouble! My parents were going to kill me for this. I sat back down. Suddenly, I saw my way out. I could say that some guy grabbed me and threw me in the back of a van. He made me take off my shirt and pants and threw them out the window so that I couldn’t escape. He forced me into the basement of a house where he locked me up. I heard him drive away and that’s when I managed to break a cellar window and crawl out. I started walking and that’s when I noticed that I was near uncle Bill and aunt Brenda’s—the place I ran to. I started smearing dirt all over me to make my story seem good. I also took some of the branches I had broken off earlier and scratched up my arms and legs with them.

“Uncle Bill! Aunt Brenda!” I screamed frantically as I banged on their front door.

It opened up and I literally fell into my aunt Brenda’s arms. It didn’t take much for me to start crying because I was genuinely afraid of what my parents would do if they found out what I had really been up to.

“Larry!” she exclaimed. “Thank God! Your mom and dad are so worried! Bill call Loretta and Ron right away.”

My uncle Bill and Mitch had come running into the living room. Mitch had a completely incredulous look on his face. My uncle Bill got on the phone and my parents and the police arrived in minutes. My aunt Brenda had wanted to clean me off but my uncle Bill thought that the police should see exactly how I looked when I arrived. My mom and dad hugged and kissed me. They and my uncle and aunt had tears in their eyes. Mitch continued looking at me suspiciously. The police started to question me right away. They wanted a lot more detail than I was prepared for. I got confused and started to say contradictory things about how the man looked. I needed time to think so I said that my diaper was really beginning to bother me and could I go change. My mom came with me. She also washed my scratches and put cream on them. The police started questioning me again and I got all confused again. Eventually, the police asked to speak to my parents alone. When my mom and dad came back they looked kind of confused, and maybe even unhappy.

“Are you sure that you’re telling us exactly what happened today?” my dad asked.

“Yes!” I insisted.

“OK,” he agreed. “Let me tell you what the problem is. The police have gone over every square inch of the road where you say the man forced you into the van. There are no tire marks anywhere and your shirt and pants are nowhere to be found. Also, the police have done a house-to-house search all along the road where you say the man took you. They can’t find a single broken cellar window anywhere. Are you sure that’s where he took you?”

“I don’t know,” I backtracked. “I was scared. Maybe it was somewhere else.”

“There’s something else,” my mom said. “Your description of the man. You’ve changed it three times. At first you said he had long blond hair, then you said he had short blond hair, and, the last time you were asked, you said his hair was dark.”

“You’re going to be really mad,” I said, finally cracking.

“Tell us what happened,” my dad said.

I told them everything, except Aaron’s name. Mitch had gone up to him sometime earlier and he was called down. He corroborated everything I had said. He also refused to name Aaron.

“We are so sorry, officers,” my parents and Mitch’s parents said for about the tenth time.

“Yes, I understand,” the lead officer replied. “At least things didn’t go too far. Let’s just say that your boys were responsible for giving us a good workout on missing children procedures. However, they may have to appear before the county prosecutor to answer for falsely reporting a crime.”

I didn’t know if he was serious or not, but it worked. I was scared silly at the idea of going to jail.

*****

Mitch

I should have told my mom and dad about Larry hiding in the bushes by the store as soon as I found out that aunt Loretta and uncle Bill were going to report him missing. But, I didn’t want anyone to know that I had beaten up on Aaron and stolen Larry’s clothes. I guess it was stupid to think that I could keep it a secret. As soon as the police left, Larry and I were sent up to my room. We didn’t say anything at first.

“Les told you, didn’t he?” Larry asked.

I had promised Les that I wouldn’t tell, so I didn’t say anything.

“It had to be him,” Larry insisted.

“If you’re so sure then why ask me?”

This ended our conversation for a half hour.

“What do you think our parents are talking about?” Larry asked.

I almost answered something sarcastic but I figured our parents would be all over us if we stared fighting.

“I don’t know. Us, I guess.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I bet we’re going to be grounded all summer, and vacation hasn’t even started yet!”

I sighed in agreement. That’s what I thought would happen, too.

“Why did you try to make people think that I walked around in public in just diapers?” I asked.

“Because the teasing you’re getting at school isn’t enough!” he answered hotly. “You made fun of me publicly for years. I was just trying to pay you back!” he said, tears pooling in his eyes.

“ I guess you’re right,” I said, obviously surprising him.

“You do?” he gasped.

“Yeah, all this week I’ve been miserable. I hate these diapers and I hate the way people treat me. I guess I understand now.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, really,” I said.

In a way it felt good and in another way it felt funny when he came over and gave me a big hug. Whatever. It felt good enough for me to hug him back.

*****

Larry

By Sunday morning our parents had figured everything out, including Les and Aaron’s involvement. I didn’t understand how they had done it. Mitch and I swore to each other that we hadn’t breathed a word to anybody. My parents and I were at Mitch’s house when Aaron, Les, and their parents showed up. The first order of business was for Aaron and Les to apologize to me. We then were told to stay in the den while the adults went out to the patio. In very short order we understood how they had pieced everything together. Aaron’s mom knew that he and I had gone out together. She didn’t hear the report of my being missing until later that night when the radio reported that I had been found. She grilled Aaron about the time we had spent together until he confessed that he had abandoned me in the bushes. Les was reluctant to say how his parents found out about his involvement. Eventually, he admitted shamefacedly that he had messed up—without thinking, he had blurted out that Mitch and I both had tried to get him to help us outfox the other one.

“They’ve been out there a whole hour,” Aaron observed. “Isn’t there some way to find out what they’re talking about?”

“Not a chance,” Mitch answered. “I took a peek a little while ago and my dad and my uncle Ron are sitting facing the patio door. They’ll see us for sure if we move even an inch out of this room.”

“Have you guys found out what you’re getting as a punishment,” Les wondered.

“We think we’re going to be grounded all summer,” I answered for both of us.

“Bummer,” Les commiserated.

“How about you guys?” Mitch asked in turn.

“I don’t know. Grounding, too, I guess,” Les answered.

“At least that much for me,” Aaron added sadly. “My mom and dad are really mad.”

There wasn’t much else to say as we waited.

“Boys,” my uncle Bill said, “we’ve talked everything through pretty carefully. It certainly seems like you guys have become quite the schemers… plotting against one another, disrespecting one another, and God knows what else.”

By this time, we were all looking guiltily at the ground.

“Yes,” Aaron’s mom agreed. “Abandoning a friend in trouble is awful.”

“Just as awful as abusing a friendship by asking someone to do something unethical,” Les’s mom added. (I guess she was referring to his asking to copy my math homework.)

“So, considering all these things, we think that you boys need is a common experience,” Aaron’s dad said.

“A common experience?” Aaron asked nervously. “What does that mean?”

“Well,” his dad continued, “it seems to us that your rivalries and jealousies stem from not understanding each other. So, it seems obvious that it would be beneficial if you knew each other better, and to do that you need to spend time together—like all summer, for example.”

“What does that mean?” Aaron asked again.

“That you’re going to be grounded as a group, so to speak. We’ll figure out the details later but it means that you will spend every day of the summer together.”

“And that’s not all,” Les’s dad said.

“Listen to this, Aaron. It applies to you, too.” Aaron’s dad interrupted.

“You will be put into diapers, too, as punishment for your involvement in tricking Larry.”

“What?” Les and Aaron exclaimed together.

“That’s right,” Aaron’s mom agreed. “And you should complain the least about it… leaving Larry stranded in the bushes in nothing but his diaper… really!” she added indignantly.

It happened very fast. They were hauled away and returned diapered in under fifteen minutes. They were obviously upset and trying to hold back tears.

“What about school?” Aaron asked.

“What about it?” his dad answered.

They didn’t sob out loud but they couldn’t stop tears from rolling down their cheeks, either.

*****

Epilogue

The last couple of weeks of school were quite eventful. Mitch was given an even harder time once the real reason for his wearing diapers was known. Aaron and Les were sent to school in diapers and received just about the same treatment as Mitch. Even Larry came in for a fair amount of teasing over his plan that backfired. Kevin happily added to the teasing by describing in great detail the diapers and plastic pants Larry wore into the store.

Summer vacation has started and the boys are beginning to enjoy each other’s company. Mitch is turning into a good and loyal friend. Larry is enjoying life without the constant worry of what his cousin might do to him next. Aaron and Les have gotten used to going around in just diapers and plastic pants. They have recovered from their initial shock over the nighttime cloth diapers and the special pajamas, and they feel confident that they can put up with things as they are until the end of the summer. Lastly, Mitch and Larry are wondering if they should tell Les and Aaron about having overheard all their mothers discussing their fall wardrobes, including which footed sleepers would be best for the colder months.

 

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