It'll probably be the next big thing, Laura found herself thinking.
‘Oh my god oh my god oh my god yuuuuck!’ Yasmina hissed. ‘Laura! What am I gonna do?’
‘What …? What happened?’ asked Laura quietly. The big, wet wee patch on her friend’s jeans was making the hairs on her neck stand up.
‘That stupid sumo guy was making me laugh too much and when I landed on you really hard it just happened.’ She squirmed and plucked at her waistband. ‘Oh, it’s so disgusting! I’m so embarrassed!’
‘Um, do you have any other pants?’
‘No.’ Yasmina glumly tried to pull the wet denim away from her skin.
‘Do you want me to go get one of the teachers?’
‘No!’ Yasmina’s face filled with shock, and then calmed. ‘Hey … I can wear your pants!’ she beamed.
‘What?’ Laura touched the tight thighs of her Kmart yellow-labels.
‘Let me wear yours! They'll fit me easy!’
‘Come on,’ she keened. ‘Your t-shirt’s heaps long. No one will be able to see anything, it looks like a dress anyway!’
‘Come on Laura, You’re not even getting a phone! It’s the least you could do as my friend.’
Laura bit her lip and rolled her bracelets up and down.
‘I’d do the same for you!’
Laura looked at Yasmina’s caramel coloured mid-riff and shook her head.
Yasmina swore and it echoed like an angry ghost around the basins and cubicles. ‘Some friend you turned out to be. You won’t lend me your clothes, you’re not getting a phone and now you’re just leaving me like this!’ She turned away dramatically. 'I don't know how we're even going to stay friends when term starts.'
‘I am getting a phone!’ trembled Laura. ‘I promise I will!’
Yasmina whipped her head back to face Laura, her hair swirling glamorously across her face. ‘All right, but you owe me. You have to think of something or I won’t let you be in the phone club, even if you do get one.’
Laura gasped and Yasmina peered into the mirror, scowling at her stain and shifting from foot to foot.
‘I know,’ chirped Laura excitedly. ‘I’ll go and say that you tore your pants really badly and you need some more. They’ll get you some from lost property or something.’
Yasmina sneered. ‘Mmm ... all right. But don’t get me anything gross.’
‘Okay!’ Laura hurried out of the toilet.
‘And get me a couple of pairs so I can choose!’ called Yasmina after her.
Terry rolled his eyes when Laura told him about Yasmina ripping her jeans.
‘Yes, well. I'm not surprised with pants that tight. Come on.’ He marched off to the vacation care centre with Laura in tow.
The lost-property box had the same lonely mustiness as Laura’s grandpa’s cupboards. Terry took out a pair of pants and handed them to Laura. A light smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. They were faded yellow tracksuit bottoms, the same colour as Laura’s first friendship bracelet.
‘These should be about the right size if she does up the drawstring. And hurry up, please. I want both of you back to the gym in five minutes.’
Laura paused. Yasmina would kill her if she brought back custard yellow trackies. Then she imagined Yasmina walking around in her own Kmart yellow labels, bragging about how cool she looked in such baggy jeans. She tucked the pants under her arm.
Yasmina was not impressed.
‘Are these seriously the only ones there?’ She jammed an indignant hand on her hip. She still smelled strongly of salty wee.
Laura nodded quickly. ‘Terry said there weren’t any others.’
Yasmina snatched the pants and flounced into one of the cubicles. The sound of metres of toilet paper being un-rolled was accompanied by moans of ‘So disgusting …’
Yasmina flung the door open. Laura stifled a smile. The pants were too loose to be cool and too short to be pants. She looked as though she were wearing an enormous, used teabag. She held the jeans at arm’s length in a tight little ball.
‘What are you laughing about?’ she growled.
‘Nothing! They look fine.’
‘Yeah right, Laura. Thanks a lot. See if I ever waste any phone credit on you.’
‘Oh, but Yasmina, I can still …’
Yasmina marched out of the toilets. ‘Whatever. I look like a retard.’
Laura tripped along sadly behind her, wondering how she could get Yasmina better pants and herself a mobile phone. She could still get Yasmina’s number and call her from her home phone, that would …
‘Yasmina! What happened to your phone?’
Yasmina looked down at the ball of denim in her hand and swore again. She unrolled her pants on the sunny ground and reached delicately inside the damp pocket. She pulled out a shard of pink plastic, then another. Then came the rubbery key pad. Then the metal body and the naked circuit boards, clinging to each other by thin, colourful wires.
‘Oh my god,’ whispered Yasmina.
Laura could only stare, open-mouthed at Yasmina cradling the pieces of her new phone. Suddenly Yasmina was up and screeching at her.
‘This is all your fault! You pulled me down! You made me land on you! You made it break in my pocket! You owe me a new phone!’
Laura looked at Yasmina’s red face and her teabag pants. With her skinny legs and her baggy trousers and her broken phone, she was just like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Laura tried to cover her smile with her hand.
‘Don't laugh at me!’ hissed Yasmina.
‘You’re just a baby, Yasmina. You wet your pants and you broke your new toy and now you’re crying about it.’
Yasmina’s howls followed Laura all the way back to the gym.