Author Topic: Story: Plain Jane  (Read 20735 times)

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #15 on: 10. November 2021, 21:13:01 PM »
Chapter 3

Friday evening:

Jane's phone rang, and she answered it. "Hey Jane, you doing anything on Sunday afternoon?" asked Sarah from work, "It's just that a group of us are going on a bike ride, and wondered if you wanted to....". She went silent for a moment, realising what she had just said. "Ummm... don't worry, we're not going to be riding on any roads, it's pretty much all going to be on country paths, and in the woods, so yeah, ummm.... would you like to join us?"

Jane wasn't really looking forward to Monday, and that would also mean that her mum probably wouldn't be great company over the weekend either... not that's she'd been particularly great company much since.... yeah, since this weekend last year. The problem was that Jane had not actually been on her bike since..... but she thought that maybe it was time to give it a go again.

"Yeah, ok, that would be nice. I have one problem, I'm not sure if my bike is actually ready to use, it's been a while...."

"Oh, ok... yes, I understand. Um, we have a spare bike, you can use it if you like."

"Oh, thanks, that would be good!"

"So, if you can be ready for, say, just before 2? It's only a 10 minute drive to where we'll be starting. Don't forget to bring a drink, although we are planning to stop at a nice tea-shop for tea and cakes about halfway around."

"That sounds nice... Oh, do you have a bottle holder on your spare bike? If so I can use my bike bottle"

"Yeah, it does. Ok see you on Sunday then!"

Jane felt a bit nervous about the idea of riding a bike again, after what happened last year, but she felt that she needed to try and get some sort or normality back in her life.

She went up to her room, and watched TV for the rest of the evening. Jane needed to try to get out a bit more, she needed to rebuild her life... not that she had much of life before: she used to spend a lot of time with Peter, but that definitely wasn't an option now. The programme she was watching ended, and it was almost 11pm, so she decided it was probably time to go to bed.

She took her clothes off, and had a quick wash, then grabbed an incontinence pad, and put it into her panties, then grabbed her plastic panties, and pulled them up on top. She wondered if tonight she'd be dry or wet. She first wet the bed *THAT* night. She'd woken in the middle of the night after a pretty horrible dream, to find that she was lying on a damp bed, so she had got up and changed the bedding, then went back to sleep. The same thing happened the following night: a bad dream, and damp sheets. Given what had happened, Jane had a feeling this would keep happening, so she had bought a pack of adult nappies, which worked well, but were a bit expensive. So then she tried using simpler incontinence pads, and they were ok-ish (and a lot cheaper), but sometimes leaked a bit, depending on how she had been lying, so she had bought herself a couple of pairs of plastic panties, and the combination seemed to work pretty ok. Not particularly flattering, but effective.

Things seemed to go in cycles: she'd not have the bad dreams and she'd be dry for a week, then the dreams would return, and she would wake up wet. It always seemed to be a version of the same dream: she was cycling down the road, and she was being chased by a huge lorry. And when I say huge, I mean nightmare-dreams huge! And it was slowly catching her up.... luckily she always managed to wake up just before it caught her.

Yeah, she had been to trauma counselling, and it helped her a tiny bit. But not really that much. She knew WHY she was having the dreams, that wasn't the issue, it was how to get past it....

Jane got into bed, pulled her lightweight duvet over herself, closed her eyes, and sent her love to Peter, which brought a tear or two to her eyes. Then she opened her mouth, put her left forearm in between her teeth, and bit down gently, giving herself a bit of pain. It was a nice pain, and helped to comfort her. She fell asleep surprisingly quickly.

When she woke the Saturday morning, not only did she feel pleasantly refreshed, she hadn't had any nasty dreams, and she was dry. She turned on the radio quietly, and listened to it for a bit, as she continued to just lie in bed. She decided that she would go into town in the morning, and do a little bit of shopping, then in the afternoon she could take a short bus journey to a nice place she had read up about online, and try doing some more drawing. Jane used to do pencil drawing at school, and whilst she wasn't especially amazing at it, she enjoyed it. So about 9 months ago, she had decided to try drawing again, hoping it might help her. If nothing else, it was nice way to pass the time. It gave her an excuse to go somewhere, and just sit there enjoying the view, and have a go at drawing it. Sometimes she would walk out into the countryside, other times she'd actually sit in town, or in the park, or wherever. She'd definitely improved, but she still didn't feel she was especially good: anyway, they weren't for anyone else to look at, they were for Jane to do for herself, spending some time doing them, and occasionally taking a look at them later on.

Before going out she'd done a bit of research: she had looked on the online maps, then looked at the bus route. So today, after doing her shopping, Jane caught a bus going to the far side of town, a place she didn't normally go, getting off at a park she'd never been to before. She had a bit of a walk, then stopped by the pond. Or was it a lake? We're not talking about one of those ornate ponds, this one felt pleasantly natural. There were a couple of benches near the pond, so she sat down for a while, just absorbing the view. Then she got her sketchpad and pencils out, and started to draw. The first one was a fairly normal, realistic drawing, looking across the pond. Then she tried something similar, but in a different style, one that she'd been reading about online. The first drawing was more of her getting used to draw in that new style, so she started another picture but in the same style. The more she drew, the more this new way of drawing made sense to her, and she started to quite enjoy doing it.

She looked at the time on her phone: it was almost 6pm. She checked online (luckily mobile coverage was pretty good here), and worked out that, if she got going straight away, she could catch the next bus (if she waited, then it would be another 30 minutes till the next one). So she packed up her stuff, and started walking. Her timing was spot on: she had only been at the bus stop for about a minute when the bus arrived. So back into town, then wait for her bus back home... luckily they were every 15 minutes, so she didn't have to wait long.

Out of simple courtesy, she'd texted mum, to let her know she would be a bit late, so she just leave her dinner on the side, and she'd reheat it, which she often did. Jane's relationship with her mum has been rather strained this last year, since... yeah, since then. Her dad was less of a problem, he was just dad, and wasn't one for sharing his feelings.

Yes, Jane still lived at home, with her mum and dad. She's thought about moving out a few times, once she even got as far as looking to see where she could live.... getting a small place for just herself would be quite expensive, so she'd probably end up in a shared house.... which would probably do her a lot of good, having some company more of her own age.

Mum was a bit quieter than normal tonight, which didn't really surprise Jane, given what this weekend was. Jane heated up her dinner, which she then ate, then sat down and watched TV for a bit.

She went to bed sort-of looking forward to tomorrow, to going out on that bike ride. She seemed to be a bit reticent about actually falling asleep, knowing that she would probably have that nightmare again, and probably wet herself. However, she fell asleep quickly, slept really well, no nightmares, and was completely dry when she woke up.

She went down to the kitchen, and put the kettle on, to make herself a coffee, and mum came in.

"By the way, I'm going out just before 2, so need to make sure we have an early lunch. Tell you what, why don't I make it?" suggested Jane.

"Yes, ok..? I was planning on having the pork chops and veg..."

"I can do that!" said Jane. Jane actually quite enjoyed cooking, and was reasonably good at it, so she was very happy to make the lunch today.

Lunch was cooked and eaten, and it was about 20 to 2, so Jane needed to get herself ready. Up in the bedroom, she brushed her hair, then she went to the bathroom, where she brushed her teeth, then took a look at herself in the mirror, smiling a little so she could see her teeth.

To be honest, her teeth were a mess! Jane thought of her mouth as being a bit of a war zone!

Looking back, Jane realised that she really should have got braces as a teen, but the way she got so badly teased when she first got her glasses completely removed any possibility of her ever wanting braces, as she knew she would be teased even more if she got them. Instead she just put up with her horrible teeth - at least the level of teasing for having bad teeth and glasses was a lot less than for having a mouth full of braces on terrible teeth and glasses. She had several fights with her parents about her not wanting braces, and eventually Jane won!

So here she was: she's 26 years old, she's been out on a few dates and had a few 'one night stands', but she's never had a proper boyfriend. She knew for a fact that a couple of guys have been put off by her teeth. They had told Peter! B*st*rds!

So maybe now that she could see and hear clearly (wow, those hearing aids were really amazing! They are so much better, and so much more comfortable, than she ever thought they would be!), she had been thinking that maybe it was time to see about getting her teeth fixed.

They had got one of those adverts through the door last week, for 'Smile Club' - I guess that by calling it a 'club' they think you'll more likely to go to them. Nice try guys, but I think Jane's teeth are going to need rather a lot more treatment than your nice aligners can provide!

So what's actually wrong with her teeth? I'm not really sure where to start. Her teeth themselves are in pretty good condition: Jane brushes them carefully at least twice a day (although that isn't entirely easy), and she only has one filling. Her dentist is very happy with their condition, but has told her, many times now, that she should seriously consider having orthodontic treatment to sort out her teeth, otherwise she would end up with badly worn teeth, and even jaw pain, neither of which sounded good.

So, her top molar teeth are a bit close together, from one side to the other, and tip inwards a bit. So are her bottom ones, but not so bad. None of her teeth actually line up... her molars aren't in any sort of straight line, although only a couple of her small molars are crooked / rotated.

All four of her canine teeth are up (or down) in her gums. None of her bottom front teeth line up, they are all twisted and staggered, and at the top, her front two teeth stick inwards (inside her lower teeth), and the next ones are at about 45 degrees.

It also seems that she has 4 lovely and pristine wisdom teeth fully erupted at the back of her mouth, apparently causing part of her problems.

Her dentist used the phrase 'severely crowded and malocclused' to describe her teeth. I don't think Jane would have felt quite so bad if he hadn't included that word 'severely'. Jane would have 'bitten a bullet' and go see an ortho, but she was scared that biting a bullet would only make her teeth worse! Besides, where would she find a bullet anyway?

All of this means that Jane tries to keep her mouth closed as much as she can, to hide her 'war zone', and when she speaks, she's got into a habit of trying to make sure her lips covered her teeth as much as possible.

She looked at her face in the mirror once more. She tried to imagine how she would look with nice straight teeth. As she looked at herself, she realised that she really needed to learn how to do makeup properly: her makeup tended to be very simple, and was probably almost the same as she used to wear in her late teens, despite now being in her mid 20s. 'Maybe I'll just have to start watching makeup videos rather than cat videos!' she thought. That was a bit of a joke, because, if she were honest, she'd much rather watch a good techie video than either cat videos or makeup videos!

It wasn't just her teeth and face that she disliked, it was all the rest of her body. To be honest, her body wasn't THAT bad, but Jane put herself down a lot. Jane's hair was a strange colour, neither red nor brown, but something between. She's had long hair for as long as she could remember, and it currently almost reaches her waist. It actually looks quite nice, but it's a right pain in the a$$ to look after.

She's 5ft 5ins tall, and luckily she's able to stay pretty slim without trying - unlike Peter who used too be a bit chubby as a teen. She's not especially happy with the shape of her nose, she feels that it's too big for her face, and there's a bump in it about a third of the way down. She's not too happy with her boobs either, they are only 34B's, I think she'd like something a little bigger, but she can't see that happening, so she just wears a padded bra. 'Maybe I can get onto "Botched" somehow, and get Dr Nassif to do my nose, and Dr Dubrow to fix my boobs, all in one go?' she thought. She'd love to have more of an 'hour-glass' body, but it's far from that, it's pretty much like a tube, the same sort of size all the way down.
'I really need to do something about my fingernails too' she thought: Jane bites her nails, and they are much too short. She's not really sure why she bites them, but she does. She even tried wearing gloves... yeah, right! She sometimes uses those stick-on fingernails, but even if she trims them so they're not quite so long, they feel strange to her, so she doesn't wear them that often.

And then there's her eyebrows, her bushy, and strangely shaped eyebrows. I guess it could be worse: she could have a mono-brow!. In the past she's tried plucking them, but they just ended up being a bit of a mess, so they are their natural bushy shape again - and horrible. Yeah, more videos for Jane to watch, I guess.

Jane's mouth is pretty non-descript... it's not narrow, nor is it wide, and to be honest, it's not an interesting shape. She's tried things with lipstick and lip gloss, but it comes back to not really understanding how to use makeup to make the best of a bad job... she definitely need to watch those videos. 'I wonder if anyone around here does makeup courses of some sort? Something like 'Makeup 101' or 'Makeup for Dummies' ' she thought.

There must be SOMETHING that Jane likes about herself? Well, her ears are pretty normal, not too close to her head, and not sticking out too far, and they even have a nice shape. But Jane thinks that her nicest feature is her eyes. Her blue eyes. And when I say blue, I don't mean grey, they really are a lovely blue colour.

So, as long as she can make a guy look at her eyes, she reckons she'll be ok. Not an inch above (her eye brows), or an inch or two below (her nose and mouth), but just at her eyes!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #16 on: 11. November 2021, 19:35:55 PM »
Chapter 4

Jane heard the doorbell: it was of course Sarah, collecting her for the bike ride. Jane was still a bit apprehensive, remembering what happened last year. A year ago tomorrow.

Jane picked up her drink bottle and went out to the car with Sarah. There were 3 bikes on a rack on the back of the car.

"Hi Simon" said Jane as she got into Sarah's car. Simon was Sarah's older brother: Sarah was 24, Simon was 26. Sarah drove them the 10 minutes to the car park, where others were also arriving, and getting their bikes ready. I should make it clear, we are not taking about the 'lycra brigade' here, these were all people who simply liked to get together for a gentle social bike ride in the country.

Sarah helped Jane to adjust the saddle and handlebars of the bike, so they were the right height for her, and Jane put her drinks bottle into the holder. On her back, she wore one of those backpack-handbags, mush smaller than a normal 'day bag', but plenty big enough to hold her phone, keys, money and so on.

In total there was 9 of them, and they started off their ride by following the track from the carpark into the woods. It was dry, so any mud there might have been was now quite dry, making the ride quite easy. The path went gently upwards, making the cycling a little harder, but still not that difficult. They weren't rushing, it was more about getting out and enjoying nature, rather than trying to set a speed record.

After about 40 minutes, they came out of the woods, and followed a path along the edge of some fields. As they went over the brow of the hill, they all stopped. Partly to just have a bit of a rest, but more because the view was rather nice, looking out across the countryside from almost the top of the hill.

Jane, Sarah and Simon got off their bikes, and sat down to enjoy the view, and took the opportunity to have a quick drink.

As Jane looked out at the view, tears started to come to her eyes. She had realised that she recognised the view - she had been here with Peter a couple of times. She put her head into her hands, and quietly sobbed.

Simon spotted Jane, and went and sat down next to her.

"You ok?" he asked her.

"Not really, just give me a few minutes.....". By now, the others were starting to get back on their bikes.

"We'll catch you guys up" said Sarah to one of them. "We'll stay with Jane and meet you at the tea shop, if not before...."

Sarah and Simon sat quietly with Jane, not actually saying anything, but just being there. A few minutes later, Jane opened her small bag, took out some tissues and wiped her eyes, and blew her nose. "I should be ok now, I think.... thanks for staying with me!" she said to both Sarah & Simon.

They all got onto their bikes, and continued their ride. The next bit of the ride was downhill, then it flattened off, and went into some more woods. Finally, about 20 minutes after restarting, they got to the tea shop: it was actually part of the park facilities, next to a big carpark... so whilst others would have parked there, and cycled to where Jane and the others had just been, they had done it in reverse. Inside, the others had commandeered a couple of tables, and there were 3 seats ready for them.

The others had already ordered tea and scones for everyone, knowing that they would only be a few minutes behind. Of course, because of their bike ride, it all tasted so much better than had they just driven there! And with her new hearing aids, Jane found that, although things weren't perfect, she was able to join in the conversations a lot better.

Having had a break, they now needed to ride back to their cars. They went a different route, not quite as much uphill, but still riding through some lovely countryside.

"Thank guys, I actually had a really nice time this afternoon" said Jane a bit later, as Sarah dropped her off at home.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #17 on: 13. November 2021, 20:05:23 PM »
Chapter 5

It was the the early hours of Monday morning. After watching TV for a couple of hours, Jane had gone to bed at about 10:30, as she felt a bit tired from the bike ride, and needed to be at work tomorrow morning. She started by taking off her glasses, then removed her hearing aids, and put them into the small 'drying box' she'd bought on eBay. Next, just like she did normally, she grabbed a fresh incontinence pad which she put into her panties, and pulled on her plastic pants. Then she put on her pyjamas, and got in to bed, pulling the duvet over herself.

Of course, she then put her arm into her mouth and gently bit on it: she found the pain to be strangely and pleasantly soothing. In the early days, she'd tried biting her fingers, and whilst that gave her some comforting pain, it didn't help her fingers. She tried biting her wrists a few times, but realised that that could leave visible bruises, so now she bit further along her arms, where a long sleeved shirt would cover any marks or bruises.

Despite being a little apprehensive about what tomorrow actually was, she managed to get to sleep fairly quickly.

Suddenly Jane woke up screaming.

She had had another nightmare, but this one was different, a lot nastier than her normal nightmare: normally she was being chased by a massively big truck, which was getting closer and closer to her, and Jane would normally wake up just before it had caught up with her. Today, the truck had chased her for ages, getting closer and closer. She had looked around, and seen what looked like hate in the driver's eyes. She tried cycling faster, but that didn't help, the truck was slowly catching up with her... then finally it actually caught up with her, knocking her from her bike.... and she was flying through the air..... screaming.

And that's when she woke up, shaking and screaming.

Her screaming was so loud that it woke her dad, who came in to her room to check she was ok. He stayed with her for a few minutes while she fully woke up, and had calmed herself down.

Jane was very shaken: she'd never had this nightmare before, and she worried that it might start repeating, like the other one. The other nightmare was bad enough, but this one was an order of magnitude scarier, and the thought that she might have it again worried her.

Of course, Jane also felt wet, so she went and changed herself.

It took Jane quite a while to get back to sleep again - the intense nightmare had clearly affected her, and she lay there thinking about it. And of Peter.

Offline braces37

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #18 on: 14. November 2021, 21:20:28 PM »
This story is really something special. Jane is the best developed character I've seen on this site. I'm looking forward to more exploration of her psychological condition.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #19 on: 15. November 2021, 18:55:24 PM »
Chapter 6

Jane had left school at 16. She didn't feel that she would be able to cope with full-time further education, so she went on what's called a 'traineeship program', which in her case meant starting in a sales office / call centre as a junior. Luckily, the place where she went was actually pretty good, they did actually give her some useful training, and she started to see how things like the maths she did at school got used out in the real world.

She was also trained to properly use a computer, which she enjoyed, and was actually good at, and after 9 months, they moved her into their IT department. Ok, she was still a junior, but she really enjoyed the work there, and whilst most of the IT team was guys, she never had any problems with anyone - Jane guessed that sort of thing comes down to attitudes, doesn't it? At first, she was the junior person who answered the phone calls when someone had a problem, logged the call, and was sometimes actually able to fix their problem. There was one guy who was really great at explaining stuff to her, and he helped her a lot, and Jane got really good at sorting many of the mundane problems... like 'I've forgotten my password', 'the printer isn't working' and that sort of thing. Quite soon, Jane was sent out into the offices and call centre to fix the simple problems, but she was learning all the time.

That lead onto her being shown how to do some simple tasks on the servers... at first the servers were in the company's computer room, but over time they started using computers and services out in the cloud... the whole idea of doing stuff in the cloud sort of clicked with Jane, and 10 years after she first started there, she's still working at the same place, but now works in the 'Cloud Services Delivery Team', as a 'Senior Engineer'. They have been really good at training her, especially in the last 4 years, as they have all needed to learn more about using the various cloud providers, and the many service that are available out there. Jane still loves learning, and new technologies don't scare her at all. She also loves sharing what she learns with the other guys in the team.

So, it's Monday, the day after the bike ride. Specifically Monday afternoon. It's been a very difficult day for Jane today, not so much the work, more emotionally. But so far she's just about managed to 'keep it together', mainly by keeping herself busy.

Jane was working on a python script, something to help automate some of the processes that happened in their cloud setup. She glanced up at the clock: 4 pm. Suddenly Jane's emotions welled up, and overcame her. Memories were flooding back, and she started to cry. Quite noticeably. The room went a bit quieter. Various eyes - male eyes - turned to look at her, but most of them had no idea what had happened to make Jane suddenly start crying, and - being guys - had absolutely no idea what they should do.

Sarah was at her own desk, busy working remotely on a new server, and noticed that things had gone a bit quiet, so looked around to see what was going on. At the other end of the room, she could hear crying. So she got up, and walked over, to find Jane sitting at her desk, face in her hands, and sobbing. Sarah suddenly realised what had caused it, and knew that Jane would not be cheering up any time soon.

"Hey, Jane, let's go somewhere a bit quieter, somewhere a bit more private" she said, putting an arm around her to comfort her. She led Jane out of the office, to a meeting room just along the corridor, and sat her down. "Fancy a coffee?" she asked Jane. Jane nodded.

"Ok, you stay here, no one will disturb you, I'll get us both a coffee....". As Sarah left the meeting room, she moved the indicater flap outside the room to the 'occupied' position. As Sarah was walking to the kitchen area, Brian, their boss came over to her.

"She ok?" asked Brian.

"No, not really, but I'll look after her. I'm actually a bit surprised she came in today" replied Sarah.

"Yeah. Look, if you want, why don't you take her home early? I'm sure we owe both of you more than a few hours!" Clearly Brian also understood, at least in principle, what the issue was.

"I might just do that. Let me get her a drink, then I'll go save whatever she was working on". Sarah made the coffees, and took a couple of biscuits from the 'visitors biscuits' box, as well as some tissues, and returned to the meeting room.

"After you've had your coffee, I'll take you home" Sarah said to Jane. "I'm just gonna go and save whatever you were working on, and close down your PC, mine too.... I'll be back in a moment." She made sure Jane would be ok by herself, then went and saved the editting Jane had been doing, closed the many windows that were open (she recognised pretty much everything Jane had open, so felt quite confident in closing them all), then did the same on her own PC.

Sarah popped into Brian's office as she walked back to see Jane. "I've closed both our computers down, I'm going to go sit with Jane, then take her home.... so see you tomorrow!". She went back to the meeting room, and sat with Jane. She didn't bother asking her 'how she was', because she KNEW she felt like sh*t. So she just sat there next to Jane quietly, keeping her company, while they silently drank their coffees.

Having a warm drink seemed to help Jane to calm down a bit. She wiped her eyes with the tissues.

"Ready to go home?" Sarah asked. "I saved that script you were working on, and shut your PC down..."

"Thanks, Sarah... yeah, let's go. And thanks...." replied Jane softly.

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #20 on: 17. November 2021, 18:01:26 PM »
You might be happy to hear that in the NEXT chapter (so not the one below) you will finally learn a bit about Jane's back-story, so hold on in there!


Chapter 7

Unsurprisingly, mum was in a bit of a mood when Jane got home, not wanting to talk about anything. To be honest, Jane felt that her mum was still a bit in denial. To pre-empt any of the sort of 'you never do anything' arguments, which Jane felt could happen today, Jane decided to make the dinner. The main ingredient was mince beef, so the obvious thing to make was spaghetti bolognaise, or similar, but Jane decided that might not be the best thing to make today. Instead, she got out some onions, which she chopped finely, and mixed it with the beef, along with some garlic and seasoning, and quickly cooked it. While it cooled, she made up some pastry - that was something she was good at - and made a beef and onion pie. Mum heard what Jane was doing, came out to check, then left without saying anything.

With the pie cooking in the oven, Jane got out some vegetables: she prepared a few new potatoes, some carrots and some leeks. While she was preparing the veg, her dad came home, and came out to the kitchen.

"Oh, hi Jane!" he said. "I guess your mother is in the lounge then?"

"Hi dad" said Jane. Her dad looked a bit tired after his day at work. "Yes, she's in the lounge. Dinner should be ready in about 10 minutes....". Jane actually liked cooking, she found that it relaxed her, and removed her stresses, which she definitely needed today.

With the pie cooking, and the veg simmering, Jane made some gravy to go with it all, then went into the dining area, and put out the mats and some cutlery, plus the salt & pepper. Back in the kitchen, she put 3 plates into the oven to heat up for a couple of minutes: the pie was looking good.

Three minutes later, she got the plates out of the oven with the oven gloves, drained the vegetables, and started to serve up the food onto the 3 plates, which she then took through to the dining area.

"Dinner's ready" announced Jane. Her mum looked a little less stressed as she sat down. It was a strange dinnertime: everyone was eerily quiet, hardly any conversation.

For desert, Jane opened a tin of fruit, and added a scoop of ice-cream.

"Thank you, Jane, that was nice" said her dad, as he took the dirty dishes out to the kitchen, and put them into the dishwasher.

Jane had just finished washing up the couple of bits that wouldn't go into the dishwasher, when her phone rang. "Hi Simon!" said Jane

"Hi Jane... hey, how are you? Sarah told me things got a bit difficult at work....". Luckily Jane knew Simon well enough, and the way Simon had asked was actually in a very caring voice.

"Yeah, I'm feeling quite a bit better, I just cooked dinner, that helps me cope better..."

"Ok, well, I was thinking... there's a park down the road from where you live, isn't there? How about I meet you there, with some beers, and we can sit and chat... or even just sit... whatever. It's a nice evening...."

"Yes, I'd like that a lot... I don't think I can stay here this evening, you can almost cut the atmosphere with a knife... What time?"

"As soon as you like: I'll leave straight away, and get the beers on the way"

"Ok, see you there soon!"

Offline agarionoob

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #21 on: 17. November 2021, 20:01:49 PM »
Great story with really interesting character development! Looking forward to seeing what happens with Jane next!

Offline kelly-Marie

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #22 on: 18. November 2021, 09:36:51 AM »
This is a really great story Jane has an air of mystery about her like we know something really awful happened to her but no idea what although I've got a few ideas in my head what mite have gone on serioseley if I'm right it's scarily close to something that happened in real life to my own family years ago but enough about that keep up the good work looking forward to the next chapter

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #23 on: 19. November 2021, 20:58:08 PM »
Chapter 8

Jane was already at the park when Simon arrived, she was sat up against the trunk of a big tree. Simon sat down next to her, close, but not too close, and opened his bag, took out a 4-pack of beers, passing one to Jane, and taking one for himself.

"There's another pack in the bag, if we need them!" said Simon.

Jane took the can, and opened it, and before taking a drink from it, held it up in the air. "To my darling Peter" she said, making a toast, then taking a swig.

"Yes, to Peter!" added Simon. They sat there silently for several minutes.

"It was a year ago today" said Jane. "Of course, last year it was a Sunday" she added, taking another swig from the can. "I thought I was managing ok at work today, until I looked up at the clock, and saw it was 4 o'clock."

Whilst Simon knew that Jane's brother, Peter, had been killed in an accident a year ago, he actually knew very little of what actually happened. 'Knocked down by a truck' was all he had heard.

"So what happened at 4 o'clock then?" asked Simon innocently

"That's when the police came around and told us. Peter had gone around to see a friend, and stay for Sunday Lunch... as ever, he cycled there. You know, he was a really good careful cyclist. He taught me that I needed to cycle very defensively - it's all very well being right, but that doesn't help when you're in hospital with a broken leg - cars are a lot bigger than bodies!"

"Yeah, I know what you mean...." said Simon.

"So I'm sure he was riding amazingly carefully... unlike the lorry driver...."

Jane seemed to be willing to talk about what had happened last year, so Simon asked her "so what exactly happened, do you know?"

"Well, from what the reports said, Peter was riding along the road quite carefully - a couple of drivers who saw what happened specifically commented on that. Anyway, it seems the truck driver wasn't paying enough attention: he was coming along a side road, and pulled into the main road that Peter was on. He'd not seen any cars, but hadn't thought to look for bikes, and turned out from the side road without stopping.". Simon got the definite feeling that Jane wanted to tell him the story. Maybe even needed to.

"They said he probably didn't even know what happened, which I must admit I'm glad of. Of course, we were at home: I was waiting for Peter to get back. I even tried calling him on his mobile, but it appeared to be off. The first thing we knew was when there was a knock at the front door, at just after 4". Jane finished off the remains of the can of beer, and Simon passed her another.

"I went to the door: there was a uniformed guy and a plain-clothed guy, they asked if I was Ms Smith - I guess they realised I was too young to be Peter's mum! - then asked to come inside. I introduced mum and dad, then they said they were very sorry, but Peter had been killed in a road accident. Looking back, I think I was in shock, but felt strangely calm. Mum was the opposite, and started to cry. Dad was dad, holding in his emotions like he always did, and tried to comfort mum."

Jane paused a moment, taking another swig from the can of beer. Simon sat there, remaining silent, letting Jane tell her story.

"They said they would need someone to formally identify him at some point, so I offered to go back with them and do it straight away. I mean, there was no way mum would be able to do it, and she needed dad there with her, so it seemed the obvious thing to do. Maybe I shouldn't have done it, but hindsight is a great thing. So about an hour later, I was in the morgue, about to identify him. They told me that I might be a bit shocked, he was in a bit of a mess... but just then, I happened to look down at his hand. 'Do I actually need to see his face?' I asked. 'I can identify him from his hand....'. 'What do you mean?' asked the police guy. I took Peter's hand in mine: 'These are his two rings, I know them very well, it's definitely him'. He went and had a word with someone, and when he came back, he said that would be fine - after all they already had his wallet with ID in it. 'I don't suppose I could have the rings, could I?' I asked, still holding Peter's hand, 'it would mean a lot to me'. Well, I don't know whether he was supposed to, but he took me away and sat and had a coffee with me, and a few minutes later, the ME brought the rings through, and I put them on my fingers". Jane held her hand up, and showed Simon the two rings on her fingers. "And that's where they've been ever since, so I can have a bit of him with me all the time...."

Jane and Simon sat quietly for a minute, sipping their beers.

"So he was what... 2 or 3 years older than you?"

"He was only 18 months older than me, I guess that's why we were so close. Ever since I was born, he was always there for me... I get the feeling you and Sarah are a bit like that?"

"Yeah, we're just over 2 years apart, and yeah, that small age gap does make you close. I don't know what I would do without Sarah...". Simon realised that last bit was probably not the best thing to have said, but it was too late now.

"God, I miss him so much......." said Jane, starting to cry a little. Simon took her hand in his, holding it gently to try and comfort her. "I still have nightmares you know... I'm riding my bike, and I'm being chased by a massive lorry. They started the night Peter died, and they seem to go in cycles, I'll have it every night for a few days, then I'll be ok for a few days."

"So, does the truck actually catch you up?"

"Not normally. I normally wake up just before it catches up with me. Until this morning, that is"

"Oh... so what happened this morning?"

"It caught up with me! It knocked me from my bike, sending me flying through the air, screaming. I screamed so loud it woke up dad, who came through to check I was ok." Jane had already decided that Simon didn't need to know about the incontinence pads or plastic panties, nor that she peed herself whenever she had a nightmare.

Simon had no idea how to respond, so just sat there quietly with Jane.

"It's often hard for me to get to sleep" continued Jane. She pulled up the sleeve of her top. "I find a bit of pain can be quite comforting..."

"Oh, Jane, that's not good....."

"Yeah, I know, but it does help for some strange reason..."

They sat quietly for a few minutes, gently drinking their beers.

"Did you ever get any form of counselling?" asked Simon

"Yeah, I went to a few 'Trauma Counselling' sessions, but they didn't really help me... not really sure why.... maybe it was the counsellor, or maybe I just wasn't ready for it". Another drink of beer. "Hey, I think we're gonna need the second pack of beer..." added Jane, finishing off the can.

"You ever talk with your mum and dad about it?"

"No, I haven't"

"Why not?"

"Well, dad's not one for sharing his feelings, he tends to keep them to himself. Mum... well, we've not had the best of relationships this last year"

"Maybe now is a good time to have a try, it's a year on...." suggested Simon.

Jane took a deep breath. "Well....."

"Go on, I'm sure it would help you, and your mum and dad...."

"I'm not quite sure what to say to them..."

"You've been managing fine talking with me tonight ....". Another pause.

"I'll tell you what... talking with you tonight has probably been the best bit of therapy I've had so far" said Jane. ".. although I'm sure the beer has helped too!"

"Well, I'm here if you need me - I try to be a good listener.... And getting beer is even easier!"

"Thank you Simon....."

"But I really think you should talk to your mum and dad, and from what you've said, I don't imagine either of them are likely to start the ball rolling. Tell me you'll give it a go..."

"Ok, yeah, I'll try"

"Tonight, when you get home. It's not that late...." insisted Simon

They sat for a bit longer, sometimes silent, sometimes chatting. As a result of the beer and the chatting, Jane actually felt a bit better about life.

"Simon, thank you so much for tonight... it has been amazingly good to share things with you...."

"That's fine, as I said, I'm here if you need me...". Simon walked Jane back to her house (it wasn't far away) then went back to his car and drove off. Jane went into the house. She had been thinking about what Simon had said, and decided that he was quite right, she needed to talk with her mum and dad, and she was going to have to be the one to start things.


Mum and dad were sitting on the settee with a bit of a gap between them, watching something on the TV. Jane grabbed the TV remote, then forced her way in between them, then used the remote to turn off the TV. Before either of them could complain, she said to them both. "Mum, dad, we need to talk..."

"Talk? What about?" asked her dad.

"Well, about you, and mum, and me... and Peter! It's been a year now, dad, and I've never seen you shed a tear.. you keep everything bottled up inside you, and I know that can't be good for you..... Ok, let me start.....".

Jane spent a few minutes trying to express how she had been feeling... about losing Peter, about the way that she felt that the three of them were no longer as close as they used to be. Very slowly, both her parents started talking too. An hour later, Jane made them all a drink. An hour after that, her mum got out some old pictures of all of them, taken a few years ago, on one of those old things called a 'camera' that used 'rolls of film'! Tears were shed - even her dad finally managed to cry a bit, which Jane considered to be a big step. A lot of things were talked about. There was even hugging.

The most important thing as far as Jane was concerned was that, finally, a year on, they were actually talking together about the love of Jane's life: her darling brother Peter.

"I think you'd better just tell them you're not going into work today, dad, that's what I'm going to do" said Jane, when they all finally decided that it REALLY was time for bed - was nearly 4 in the morning.

Jane went upstairs. She took off her glasses, removed her hearing aids - which she put into the small dryer - then went into the bathroom and brushed her teeth. Back in her room she took off her clothes, except her panties, into which she put a clean and dry incontinence pad, then put on her plastic pants, followed by her pyjamas. She got into bed, and before putting her phone on charge, she disabled the alarm for later, then sent 3 texts. To Brian, her boss, she sent 'Sorry, Brian, but I won't be in to work today, but if you need me, call me... but please wait till after lunch!!". She sent a similar one to Sarah, but adding her thanks for being so nice to her at work. Finally she sent a simple one to Simon 'Been talking with mum & dad - Thanks.  xx'

Offline kelly-Marie

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #24 on: 20. November 2021, 16:08:37 PM »
Poor Jane she's really had a terrible year I'm glad we now know what happened a year ago its also good that none of it was Jane's fault  I hope now her life improves keep up the good work

Offline braces37

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #25 on: 21. November 2021, 05:38:21 AM »
The backstory reveal was well done, and it had good foreshadowing beforehand. It's good to see Jane and her family start mending their relationship. Can't wait until the next chapter!

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #26 on: 21. November 2021, 16:04:17 PM »
Chapter 9

Jane slept well - she had no nightmares, which also meant that she was dry, which was nice. She was very pleased to find, when she finally woke up and went downstairs - some time after midday - that her dad had indeed taken the day off work. She went over to him, and hugged him, and he hugged her back.

"Thank you for doing what you did last night - you were right, we do need to talk a bit more! And yes, I miss Peter too!" said her dad.

"How's mum?"

"She's still asleep in bed. This last year has been hard for her, and I think talking about things will help her. I dont think she fully realised how you felt, so be gentle to her when you see her"

"Don't worry, I will. Want another coffee?"

Mum came down a bit later, and later in the afternoon, they all talked a bit more.

Also in the afternoon Jane went into town: her mission today was to try and find out if anywhere did any sort of make-up courses, or some form of 1:1 coaching. She had some success on that - in one of the places that sold lots of make-up, one of the assistants actually did make-up tutorials online, and offered to do something with Jane out of hours They didn't discuss too much in the way of details, but she indicated that if she was willing to let her video Jane, then the cost could be pretty minimal.

Back at home, while Jane's mum made dinner, Jane called Simon.

"Hi Simon!"

"Hi Jane! I see from your text that you were up late last night, plus Sarah tells me you weren't at work today"

"Yeah, although it was more early this morning. Mum and dad and me had a long talk... and again this afternoon."

"Oh, that's good, did it help?"

"I think so. At least we're starting to talk about things. Anyway, what you doing tonight?"

"Nothing as yet..."

"How would you like to meet up in the park again? I really enjoyed last night. You could ask Sarah if she'd like to come - don't force her, only if she wants to. And I'll get some beer this time"

"Ok, what sort of time you thinking?"

"Seven thirty?"

"Ok, I'll be there... and I'll see if Sarah wants to come along"

Offline Sparky

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #27 on: 23. November 2021, 23:45:06 PM »
Chapter 10

So, at 7:10, Jane left home and walked down to the local shop, and bought some cans of beer, then walked to the park. Once again it was a pleasant evening, and she didn't have to wait long before both Simon and Sarah arrived.

"Simon, thanks for last night" said Jane giving him a big hug. "And thank you too, Sarah, for what you did yesterday" she added, hugging Sarah too.

Jane passed around the beers, and they started chatting.

"You sound to be a lot more relaxed today" said Simon. "Any nightmares last night? Or should I say this morning.."

"No, I had one of my best sleeps for ages....". They kept talking about various almost random things.

"Hey, did anyone comment about me not being in at work today?"

"A couple of people were wondering, so I explained you were having a personal day at short notice."

"Brian say anything?"

"No, he had got your text too, and seemed fine"

"Oh, good....". They continued talking about other things.

Things had gone quiet for a moment, and then Jane asked: "I have a question for both of you...". She paused.

"Yeah, go on...."

"Umm.... did either of you.... have braces as a kid?"

"Yeah, we both did" replied Sarah

"Yeah, I got mine first, and Sarah got hers soon after"

"What were they like?"

"Do I guess you might be thinking of getting braces yourself?" asked Simon

"Yeah, maybe.... I've thought about it a few times.... so how were they? What braces did you have?"

"Well, I just had those metal train-tracks, along with a screw thing in the top of my mouth for a bit." started Simon. "What were they like? Wow, that was a few years ago... I seem to remember they hurt a bit to start with, both my teeth and my cheeks, which got caught by the braces. Oh, and I had a lisp because of the screw thing for a while. Mind you, my lisp wasn't half as bad as Sarah's!" added Simon, smiling. Jane could see that his teeth were still in good shape.

"Oh why, what did she have that gave her a lisp?" asked Jane

"Poor Sarah, when I was taken to the orthodontist, of course Sarah came along too, and a few months after I got my braces, she got this huge removable appliance"

"Yeah, I hated you for having to go to the orthodontist, that was a horrible thing I had to wear. Plastic top and bottom, all over my teeth, that kept my jaws apart. Wires to clip it in, and wire around the front too. And a screw thing in the top one. I had that thing for nearly 9 months, and it was so hard to talk with it in. I used to often take it out at school, so I could talk to my mates. Then I got train-tracks too after that!" said Sarah

"How long did you have them?"

"So, I had the removable for 9 months, then about another year in the train-tracks." replied Sarah.

"I had my screw thing for just over 6 months, and I had them for about a year and a half in total"

"But I'm guessing you managed to cope?"

"I didn't really have an option, but luckily neither of us were the only ones in our classes with braces. But, to be honest, once I got the train-tracks, they weren't all that bad. Yeah, like Simon, sore to start with, but I almost forgot I had them... except for when I had to brush them. That was the only GOOD thing about the removables: brushing was so easy!"

"Oh, yeah, the brushing!" said Simon. "It always took so long, trying to get behind the braces. We both had to show mum we'd done it properly afterwards!"

"I don't think you were quite as good at it as I was, I remember you used to often get told off!" commented Sarah.

"What about the other kids? How did they treat you?"

"Oh, anyone that wasn't 'normal' got picked on in one way of another... so that was about half the class! Glasses. Strange haircuts. Being a swot. Braces, of course. But it was really just a matter of giving back as much as you got, some kids were better at that than others. And Sarah and I used to help each other, giving each other ideas for comebacks and so on. So you never had braces as a kid - how come?"

"I was one of those 'anyone who wasn't normal' kids: I had a terrible pair of glasses that mum chose for me. I hated them, they were ugly, and I couldn't persuade her to let me have something nicer until I needed new ones - and I made sure she had no say for my next pair! But it left a mark. I was still a girl in glasses, a 'four-eyes' and so on, it was just that the new glasses weren't quite as naff as my original ones. So when it came to braces, I just dug my heels in: I already got enough sh*t at school from having glasses, there was no way I would have ever coped with glasses AND braces! So I just had to suffer from having glasses and crooked teeth. Peter tried his best to help me, but I don't think I was as strong-willed as you two"

"So how bad ARE your teeth? I've seen them from the front, and can see some obvious issues, but something tells me it might be a bit more than that" commented Simon.

Jane smiled widely, letting both Simon and Sarah see her front teeth, then opened her mouth to let them see the war-zone inside. It said something for the trust that Jane had for both of them, as I don't think she would have shown them to anyone else, not even her parents.

Sarah visibly winced as she saw how bad Jane's teeth actually were.

"Yes, I don't think there's any doubt that you have an issue there" said Simon. "Have you been to see an orthodontist yet?"

"No, I haven't. I must admit, I'm actually a bit scared to...."

"Why are you scared? Are you ok going to see your dentist?"

"I'm fine with my dentist"

"Well, from what I remember, orthodontic visits can be a bit long - like when you get your braces on - and a bit boring, but I never remember any real pain when visiting. I guess the worst when he was pushing those bands onto my back teeth, that held my screw thing in place." said Simon

"No, I don't remember a lot of real pain, more soreness that happens for a bit after, when you get home, and painkillers seemed to help a lot with that" added Sarah.

"How many orthodontists did you have to visit, to decide which one to go to?" asked Jane

"Oh, just the one, but we were getting NHS treatment, so didn't get the option. I guess as an adult, you're paying for it privately, so like buying a car, you want to have a look around.".

Jane said nothing for a moment, then said "Umm, if I went to visit a couple of orthodontists, I don't suppose one of you would come with me, would you?"

"Sure" said Simon.

"Yeah, of course I would" added Sarah.

Offline annasun251

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #28 on: 24. November 2021, 09:13:52 AM »
Interesting and well thought out story, thanks for sharing!

Offline bracessd

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Re: Story: Plain Jane
« Reply #29 on: 24. November 2021, 17:36:54 PM »
Good job. Looking forward to seeing what treatment Jane will get!