Red Letter Day
It was a warm Friday in June (June 1, 2012), and, coincidentally, for the River School 6th graders, it was also the day of "the talk". I was sitting quietly at my desk, exchanging looks with one of my BFF's (we'll call her Tina) and fighting giggles. That is, until the instructor (we'll call her Mrs. Pepper) began describing the most common symptoms of a period. As she said each one, I realized that I was kind of getting them. Well, not kind of. I totally knew that I had just gotten my period, and I was completely mortified because: it was about 9 a.m. and NOT a short day, I had no pads, pantyliners, or tampons, attendance to my next class (the HIV/AIDS lecture) was mandatory, and I REALLY didn't want to go around begging girls for pads. Luckily (or is it sadly?), no one noticed this strange sequence of emotions playing out across my face. Well, if they did, they didn't say anything. Which is why I was SUPER happy when Tina told me and my other 2 BFF's at my school (we'll call them Nikki and Lola) that she had some pads and tampons in her backpack. After the class was over, we had a 20-minute break, and, unlike most girls, I didn't run straight to the bathroom. No, I stuck around my friends and was trying to get the guts to ask Tina for a pad (it's a REALLY awkward subject), when she asked me if she could borrow 50 cents. I seized my chance and replied, "Sure, if you give me something in return." She had no idea what I meant, so I kept repeating myself. She didn't get the hint until we were at Harvest. When she finally got it, she said, "Sure. Why, did you start?" And because I hadn't been to the bathroom yet, I said, "I don't know. Maybe." Luckily, we were walking just out of earshot of Nikki and Lola, so they didn't know what we were talking about. When we got back to River, Tina and I went to our backpacks and she slipped me a pad. I got the pouch I'd put it in closed just as Nikki and Lola walked in. They asked what that had been about, but I brushed it off by saying it was nothing. Being as dumb and uninformed as I was, I thought you could only keep a pad on for 3 to 4 hours, so I waited until the HIV/AIDS lecture was over at 11:17 to put on the pad (Tina had given me her last one). By then, I had a small square of blood across my bright orange underwear. I guess I was just lucky it hadn't bled through. I put on the pad and ran to my next class (Art). After that, we had lunch, and I didn't think about my period at all. At least, not until S.S.R. Being the little devils that we were (and including the fact that the school was almost over), we decided to ditch the class. So we told the teacher that we had a Diga and ran off to the bathroom to hide, 2 to a stall (there were 4 of us, 3 stalls, and we had to leave one open). When we were the only ones inside, we began playing Truth or Dare. I asked Nikki if she'd gotten her period, and she replied, "No, have you?" I said, "Yeah, today. That's what Tina and I were talking about." She and Lola weren't surprised at all. We hadn't heard the bell, so we were all about half an hour late for 6th period. I cleaned out my locker and carried my stuff to the track. Luckily, nobody noticed me or the fact that I had missed about half the class. I went over to my friends and we lounged around all class (it was the last P.E. class of the year). When I got home, I printed a letter to my mom off of beinggirl.com, wrote in a personal note, put it in an envelope with her name on it, and left it in plain sight. I'd been hoping to be able to talk to her in person, but, unfortunately, she wasn't home until after my dad had picked me up for the weekend (my parents are divorced and I spend the weekends at my dad's). When she found the letter, she texted me, confirming that I'd gotten my first period, and, before I knew it, she was outside his house with some pads and candy. We talked for a bit, then I went back inside and hung out in my room for a while. When my dad went to bed, I felt it was safe to go watch T.V. I did so, making sure to check my pad every 3 hours. The next day, my dad and his girlfriend wanted to take my sister and I to a lighthouse really far away, so I locked myself in my room until they had left. When they'd done so, I left my room and watched T.V. all day. At some point, my period finished, and that's my story.