Updated: Apr 24
'You will feel bubbles when you start.' is what I had been told.
Bubbles began. Double science. Mrs Barrett.
Oh no, I forgot to bring the pad in my school bag.
Hannah to my right.
'I think I've started.' I said to Hannah.
'Tell Mrs Barrett.' Hannah said.
'I don't want to.' I said.
Hannah put her hand up.
'Miss we need you here.'
Mrs Barrett, approached the desk; 'Yes girls?'
'Sophie thinks she has started her period.' Hannah whispered.
'I will get you some towels.' Mrs Barrett replied indiscreetly.
My cheeks stung with shame. I don't want to be here. I was excused to go to the toilet.
BLOOD. KNICKERS COVERED. BLOOD. OH!
Excitement, fear, shame, tears, excitement, fear, shame, tears. PAIN. SMILE THROUGH IT SOPH! Come on. Smile through it.
Medical room. Tights removed, put in a bag. Dirty.
'Here you go Sophie, we have only got panty liners. Have a few and change them regularly.'
The panty liners held sweet FUCK all. All day I felt conscious. It is only now, as I write this, that I can't believe not one female teacher had the thought or compassion to share with me a spare pad. How could a High School in the mid 1990's not be prepared for girls starting their periods.
Can you feel it? Can you feel how alone at 13 a girl would feel? What an inconvenience she is for bleeding. Disrupting a lesson. The shame felt with the indiscretion of the teacher. Sophie getting her PERIOD was the topic of conversation that day amongst a group of people I hardly knew.
Smile Sophie. Smile. So that's what I did. I smiled. What a good girl I was.