My name is Scott Harris. I am in my mid-teens. It would be too embarrassing to tell you my exact age for reasons I’m sure will quickly become all too apparent. If I were to tell you how old I was, I don’t think you would believe me, especially when you find out what I’ve had put up with over this last year. Your first instinct would probably be to wonder why I didn’t rebel, like any other normal teenager. But the truth is that it’s too late for that now… far too late. I let myself get into this mess, so I’ve no one to blame but myself…
Where to start? Well, I suppose I’d better get it over with and tell you that I have a baby-sitter. Does that shock you… that a boy of my age should have a baby-sitter? That’s the reason I don’t want to tell you my exact age. She… yes, she… is three years younger than I am and a year older than my sister Rosie.
It gets worse. Despite being the oldest by far, I am treated as if it were me who was the youngest! You can’t imagine what’s it’s like. I was told by mum that I have to do exactly what Emily, that's my baby-sitter, tells me to do and being told what to do by a girl three years my junior is no joke.
Okay, having told you that, I’ll describe a typical evening when my baby-sitter is ‘on duty’…
I finish school at 3.30 and I have to head straight home. I don’t know why, as I’m always back first (Emily and Rosie go to different schools). I’m not allowed a front-door key, so I can’t let myself into the house. Emily’s been given a key and she normally collects my sister from her school. More often than not they stop off at Take-A-Shake for a smoothie on their way home and occasionally meet some of their friends there, so sometimes I have to wait for maybe an hour before they turn up. I daren’t bunk off as I never know what time to expect them. It’s not too bad having to wait, just boring when I could be inside doing something useful… if I was allowed a door-key. But what makes it worse, much worse, is if it’s raining.
There’s nowhere to shelter from the rain and I daren’t move away from the front door in case Emily gets back with my sisters. They have umbrellas, but needless to say I’m not allowed one as my school (it’s an all-boys school) doesn’t let boys bring them to school as ‘they are too dangerous’. But if it’s dangerous for boys to have umbrellas, surely they’re dangerous for girls as well… it doesn’t make sense. But then a lot of things don’t make sense to me…
By the time Emily gets to the house I’m usually soaked to the skin... I’m sure that when it’s raining she takes longer to get back on purpose … But even being soaked to the skin doesn’t compare to when it rains and there’s a gale blowing in the middle of the winter. Then it’s really bad… I’m freezing cold and my school uniform is wet through, but there’s also something else which makes winter a particularly awful time for me… you see… I’m not allowed to wear ‘longs’… long trousers, that is.
This is so embarrassing, but I guess I ought to tell why…
It was Emily’s idea… what a surprise… yes, my baby-sitter (what’s it got to do with her what I wear to school… it’s bad enough to have to wear a school uniform). Well, one day Emily convinced mum that it would be far better for me to wear short trousers to school (and as it quickly turned out, short trousers for the rest of the time too, because when I came home one day I found that all my longs had gone).
Mum had bought me my first pair of longs a few years ago and I’d been allowed to wear them to school ever since… until Emily decided that it would be much healthier, as well as smarter, for me to wear short trousers to school again.
I can tell you that being put back into short trousers after wearing longs has to be one of the worse things that’s happened to me since Emily became my baby-sitter… and that’s saying something! You can’t imagine what it was like for me to walk to school that first day back in short trousers… I thought I’d die from shame when I walked into the classroom.
Then, when I sat down at my desk, the thigh-baringly short trousers that Emily selected for me to wear actually rode up so far that I could feel the cold wooden bench as it touched the bare lower curves of my bottom!
As you may have gathered Emily takes me to the Boys’ Outfitters and because mum doesn’t trust me to buy my own clothes, Emily decides what I’m allowed to wear. Mum gives her the money to buy all my clothes now.
Forgive me if I get a bit side-tracked, but it’s taken a lot of will-power for me to finally sit down and write this… and I’m still not sure how much to tell.
I started to relate what happened when it rained and I was stuck outside the house waiting for Emily and my younger sister to arrive…
It was a bitterly cold day just over a week ago and the rain had been lashing down all afternoon and there I was getting wetter and wetter and colder and colder, until I was soaked to the skin and still Emily and Rosie hadn’t returned.
I’d begged mum for a spare key now it was getting colder and the nights were drawing in, but mum said that I’d only lose the key somewhere and she didn’t want to have to change the locks ‘all over again’… but that was ages ago! (I’d been entrusted with a key to the back door so I could let myself in one Saturday afternoon after football. The key had dropped out of a hole in my trouser pocket and mum was convinced a burglar would find it and rob us, so she had all the locks changed. Although I couldn’t understand how the burglar would know where we lived as there was nothing attached to the key to tell anyone our address).
Anyway, there I was standing outside the house, freezing cold and soaking wet, looking through the windows. It was beginning to get dark and the inside of the house looked so warm and cosy. Even the unheated front porch looked welcoming… at least it was dry. The porch, which was glazed with clear glass from the top down to a low wall which was maybe a foot high, looked a bit like a very small conservatory. We had a short drive up from the reasonably quite road in which we lived. The porch could be seen from the road as mum refused to have a hedge or a fence, in case burglars (she had a thing about burglars) tried to break into the house. She said she didn’t want to give them something to hide behind while they got into the house through the front door.
Eventually Emily and Rosie, my sister, arrived. I swear I’d been standing there in the freezing cold for over an hour. My legs were blue with the cold and my school uniform was wet through. Rosie gleefully told me how Emily and she had stopped for a shake on the way home and had met some friends. I was furious, but I bit my tongue because I just wanted to get into the warm house and dry off. Then Emily said:
“… and it was raining so hard and we were having such a nice time talking to our friends, that I treated Rosie to another shake…”
The water was streaming down my face and it spluttered off my lips as I very nearly said something I would’ve regretted… so I had to satisfy myself with puffing my cheeks in frustration as more water splashed off my face.
Anyway, Emily got her key out of her bag and opened the porch-door. She let Rosie in and then turned to me just as I was about to put my foot on the threshold.
“Wait there Scottie, while I get something to put your wet clothes into…” Emily must have seen the exasperated expression on my face, because she added as she was about to close the door, “You can’t come inside like that, you’re far too wet… I won’t be long…” And with that the door clicked shut, leaving me outside in the rain. I watched through the glass of the porch as Emily unlocked the inner front-door and she and Rosie went into the house. I caught a fleeting glimpse of the cosy, carpeted hall before the front door was shut again
I looked up to the heavens and screamed to myself, “Of course I’m wet!! What do you expect!! I’ve been waiting here for over an hour!!!”
Needless to say I was kept waiting for a further fifteen minutes outside in the bitter cold, lashing rain. It was starting to get gloomy and it wouldn’t be long before it was dark. I was wet. I was freezing cold. And I was hungry.
While I was waiting outside Mrs Evans from Number 23 walked past and saw me standing in front of the porch looking like a drowned rat.
“Are you alright there Scott?” she asked as she adjusted her umbrella, “Have you locked yourself out, or something?”
I assured her that I was just waiting for a ‘friend’ (how could I possibly say ‘my baby-sitter’?) to let me in as I was a bit wet having got caught in the rain.
“You should have taken your mackintosh to school this morning,” She looked at my bare legs which had turned blue with the cold, “Aren’t you a bit cold in just those short trousers? You should ask your mum for some longs… you’re old enough to wear long trousers now, aren’t you Scott?”
“It wasn’t raining when I went to school this morning, Mrs Evans,” I replied, then dreading having to explain why I wasn’t allowed to wear longs, when I heard the inner door open. I turned, relived to see Emily as she stepped into the porch holding a laundry basket. She waved to Mrs Evans, closed the inner door and opened the outer door. My heart sank. Would Mrs Evans find out about Emily’s true role in the household?
“Are you helping out, dear?” she asked Emily.
Emily stood blocking the door, making no move to let me in out of the cold, while she replied to Mrs Evans: “Oh, I’m always looking after Scottie and his sister for Mrs Harris… if I wasn’t around I’ve no doubt Scottie would have come straight into the house still wearing those wet clothes and dripped water all over the place …”
“I know exactly what you mean, dear… boys!” Mrs Evans replied.
It was then that the awful truth hit me… What did Emily just say? I’ve no doubt Scottie would have come straight into the house still wearing those wet clothes and dripped water all over the place … Did she mean what I thought she meant?!
Thankfully Mrs Evans decided she needed to get home and walked off, leaving me still stuck outside in the rain, which seemed to getting heavier all the time, and Emily on the threshold of the outer-door.
“Right…” Emily said, “You’d better get those wet clothes off…”
“Can’t I come inside… pleeeez, Emily… Pleeeez… It’s freezing out here…”
“You’ll get water everywhere, Scottie,” she looked me up-and-down, “You’re soaking wet… the sooner we get those wet clothes off the sooner you can come indoors…”
“Pleeeez, Emily…” I felt ashamed to be pleading with Emily like this… for heavens sake she was three years younger than I was! “Pleeeez, Emily, I’m freezing… besides it’s only the porch. I won’t come into the house… promise… just let me in, I’m so cold…”
Emily looked at me suspiciously, “… okay, but promise you won’t try and get in the house ‘til I’ve got you dried?”
“Yes… yes… of course… just let me into the porch and I’ll stay there, honest…”
I think I was actually in tears at this point… but with all the water running down my face, no-one would have known.
Emily stood to one side and let me past.
The porch was unheated and felt just as cold as it was outside, but at least it was dry. Before I had chance to say anything Emily had unbuttoned my wet blazer and taken off my school cap.
“We’ll have to dry those off in the laundry-room…” she said before quickly removing my school tie, “Right… off with those shoes. You’d better leave those in here for the time being… and while you’re about it we’ll have those socks off as well…”
I did as I was told and bent over to take off my shoes. The laces were so wet that it took me a while and I managed to get them all tangled up. I could see that Emily was annoyed, but I got my shoes off and set about pulling my long grey school socks off. They were soaking. I held them up and water poured from them. Emily made me go outside and squeeze some of the water out before putting them in the laundry-basket.
As I said the rain was coming down harder, so when I went outside without my blazer on, my grey school shirt got even wetter!
Back inside the porch again and Emily started to unbutton my school shirt. She pulled it out of my short trousers and then peeled it off me. It was dripping wet. My stomach turned as Emily decided that the shirt too needed to be squeezed out outside like the socks.
“… but, Emily pleeeez…” but it was no good arguing and I went outside again and this time got my school vest, which had been almost dry, soaked as well.
Into the porch once more and it was time for Emily to take off my short school trousers…
In no time Emily had my trousers off and into the laundry-basket. She stood in front of me and looked pointedly at my school vest and underpants… all I had left on.
“… oh… Emily… pleeeez… no, not my… pleeeez!”
But it was no use my pleading. Emily was exceptionally single-minded. My soaking wet school uniform had to come off… and that meant vest and underpants as well!
“Don’t be silly Scottie… you can’t stand there in wet underwear, you’ll catch your death… and besides, I’ve seen everything there is to see about you…”
Emily was certainly right about that last bit, but it wasn’t her seeing me with no clothes on I was worried about… it was anyone else!
“Come on, Scottie… the sooner we get this done, the sooner we can get you properly dry…”
Oh well, I thought… I’ll only be bare out here for a few seconds while Emily takes off my wet vest and underpants… and besides it’s nearly dark now, so even if anybody did walk past, I doubt they’d see into the porch.
I bent forwards so that Emily could reach up and grab my school vest. The vest was wet and I was wet, so Emily pulled as I twisted and together we eventually got the white cotton vest off. I gulped… there was nothing left but my underpants. Emily turned me round to face the glass outer-door and I felt her fingers push into the waistband of the underpants…
I felt horribly vulnerable as I felt my school underpants being tugged down. I told myself that it was almost dark in the porch… that no-one could possibly see me… that I’d soon be inside…
Emily had pulled my underpants right down to my ankles. I bent over and unhooked them from my feet. Emily took them from me and placed them in the laundry-basket, along with the rest of my clothes…
“Now stay there until I get some towels…”
“What!... But Emily… I thought… but… Emily… Pleeeez!... It’s freezing out here… Pleeeez… don’t leave me out here with nothing on!”
I simply couldn’t believe it…
“Don’t be silly Scottie, you can’t come in the house until you’re dry… I’ll just get your clothes down to the laundry-room, then I’ll get some towels and we’ll get you nice and dry… I shouldn’t be more than five minutes…”
With that Emily picked up the laundry-basket, turned, opened the inner front-door, stepped through and closed the door behind her. I was too stunned to speak…
There I was soaking wet, standing bare-nude in the unheated freezing cold porch, prevented from entering my own house by my babysitter, Emily, who was three years my junior. Things could hardly get worse. The only possible crumb of comfort was that it was now so dark that thankfully there was no possibility of anyone seeing my plight…
Above my wet, matted hair, the bright porch-light flicked on…
Now I did swear… Shit!!
My heart thumped and my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets…
I looked at the glass outside windows… they were like a mirror now. I saw myself reflected… I was standing looking horrified… nude, completely bare-nude and terrified because I knew that although I couldn’t see out… anyone passing by our house could now see me standing bare-nude in the brightly lit porch!!
I’ve never felt more vulnerable and exposed in my life as it dawned on me that I wouldn’t even know if someone had seen me… but if someone had… who?
My stomach turned somersaults…
… it was going to be the longest five minutes of my life…