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The clock wasn’t moving very fast.

Eric didn’t know what time their afternoon bathroom break was scheduled to be, but he knew it wasn’t soon enough. He was supposed to be coloring a picture of a bird, but all he could think about was the milk he drank that morning.

And the water at lunch.

And the juice just a few minutes ago.

He squirmed in his chair, looked at the other students in his block of desks — head-down, going to town on their coloring.

“Sit still, Eric,” Mrs. Foster called from the front of the room.

Eric stopped moving. Why didn’t he just ask if he could go to the the restroom?

No. He didn’t want to cause trouble. They’d all be going soon. But when?

Eric shifted his weight again and then … warmth on the front of his jeans, down the leg. His face flushed, and he was sure everyone knew what he’d done. His eyes bulged with tears and darted around the room.

No one was looking at him, except Ralph, whose desk nosed into the side of Eric’s.

“What’s wrong?” Ralph whispered.

Eric’s face burned red hot, but he managed to speak, softly. “I wet my pants.”

Ralph studied his classmate for a second, nodded. He stood and walked toward Mrs. Foster’s desk. Eric hung his head, terrified by what was about happen.

Whispers, first between Ralph and the teacher, then spreading through the class like fire.

Next, footsteps crossing the hardwood, stopping at his desk.

Ralph slid back into his seat, glancing at Eric.

Mrs. Foster knelt next to Eric.

“Eric,” she began, “Ralph told me he spilled his apple juice on your pants. What do you say we go get you changed?”

Eric gasped and looked at Ralph.

“I’m sorry, Eric,” his friend smiled.

Published inFlash Fiction

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