I’m not sure what’s worse – being on your period or the fear that someone might realize you’re on your period. Seriously, I may have to start tossing pennies in the wishing well. As far as I’m concerned, periods rank at the top of the gross factor chart. There’s cramping and bleeding and all sorts of moodiness. If that’s not enough to worry about, you have to think about your clothing. There’s a lot to consider, like whether or not your pants dark enough? Because really, accidents can happen and no one wants a freaking neon sign announcing the arrival of that dreaded event.
Usually, my mom takes care of purchasing the necessary items. She’s good that way. It doesn’t seem to bother her but then again, maybe that’s what happens when you get to be as old as she is. Unfortunately, she was out of town on a business trip when my period arrived. I searched through my bathroom cabinet and my purse. Nothing. Fingers crossed, I headed to my parents’ bathroom. After searching through three drawers and a couple of cabinets, I found a maxi-pad.
My relief was short-lived. One maxi-pad just wasn’t going to do it. Glancing at the clock on the bathroom counter, I realized my father would be arriving home anytime. I hurriedly took care of my female situation and was waiting for him when he pulled into the drive.
“You’ve got to carry me to the store,” I said as I opened the passenger door and slid into the front seat.
“It can’t wait till after dinner?”
I shook my head. “It’s that time.”
My father turned to look at me, his eyebrows drawn. “Time for what?”
Sometimes, I wonder how my dad can be so successful at his job, because he’s incredibly dense. I rolled my eyes. “You know,” I insisted. “That time of the month.”
“Oh.” He backed out of the driveway and drove me to the nearest drugstore.
I selected what I needed from the female hygiene section and promptly handed them to my father. “Okay, this should do it. I’m going to go to the car while you pay for these.”
He nodded his head and I quickly walked away, trying to put some very real distance between us. My father should probably get an award. Not every dad is willing to carry tampons and panty liners to the cash register.
I thought I had made it, that I was home free. The exit was in sight. Making a beeline towards the door, I didn’t see him until I nearly ran him over. “Sorry!” I apologized as I stepped back. I looked up and my heart sank. It couldn’t be but it was… Brandon.
He reached out and lightly touched my arm. “Are you okay?”
“Uh-huh,” I mumbled. “Wasn’t looking…” I needed to go. I knew this and yet, I couldn’t make my feet move. “You’re alright?”
Brandon laughed. “It’ll take a little more than a bump from you…”
I smiled. “Alright. If you’re sure…”
At this point, my father walked past us carrying my female things. Bless his heart, he totally ignored me. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Brandon motioned at my father, as he lowered his voice, “Wasn’t that your dad?”
“Yeah,” I muttered, afraid that he had seen the evidence of my condition.
At this point, a normal girl would have taken advantage of the situation, maybe flirting a little bit. Not me. All I could do was obsess over whether or not he had figured out I’d started my period. “I gotta go.” That’s exactly what I said and then I hurried away. Some days, I think I’d sink my own ship.
Hormones—that explained my reaction. It’s not like I usually got all teary-eyed—especially not where Brandon was concerned. I tried to catch his attention, but he walked by me without so much as a glance. When I realized he was focused on Caitlyn, my heart sank. Opening my locker, I wondered if I could climb in and hide forever or at least until my eyes stopped watering.
“Max? Are you alright?”
Great. Just what I don’t need—a witness to my heartbreak. I blinked a couple of times hoping to clear away the tears before turning. “I’m good,” I lie.
Kelsey teetered from foot to foot, clearly not convinced. “I know when you’re upset.”
She’s got a point. Kelsey is the third member of our group. Until this year, she’s always had the same class schedule as April and me. I offer a weak smile. “Just worrying over a test.”
She pulled me in for a quick hug. “Call me if you need to talk.”
There’s no need to pretend any longer. I shrug my shoulder and nod my head. “Thanks.”
As Kelsey hurries away, my eyes scan the hallway, stopping on Brandon and Caitlyn. He’s laughing…
The funny thing is, I like Caitlyn. She’s a sweet person and as much as I hate to admit it, I can see why Brandon likes her. She’s always smiling and she’s smart—smarter than me. For real. How else can you explain it? She recognized what a great guy Brandon was before I did. I mean, I guess I took him for granted. I knew he liked me… He just wasn’t as cool as Jake and I wanted cool. At least, that’s what I thought… The thing is, once I took off my Jake glasses, I realized my mistake.