THE GIFT

Fiction by

Claudette St. Onge  2000, all rights reserved


PART TWO

Terri, seemingly relaxed as she drove the big car, tightened her hands on the steering wheel, but smiled when she heard Susan speak to Billy. She was keeping something to herself, something which she had kept from everyone that knew her.

Ever since her divorce she had been alone in her private life. If only she had had a child when she was married. Boy or girl, it made no difference to her. Either way she would have had someone else in her life. Someone to relieve the loneliness and be there to receive the motherly love she so desperately wanted to bestow on a child. She had tried to push it out of her mind, but it was such an elemental part of her nature that it was always there, no matter how hard she tried to keep herself occupied.

She loved little Billy, almost as much as Susan did. But it might have been a bit unseemly to reveal it. Still, she would give him little presents now and then for no particular reason at all. "Don’t make such a fuss about it, Susan," she would say. "Who else do I have to spend my money on? Besides, it wasn’t all that expensive." But she would feel so good when she later saw Billy wearing a shirt or sweater that she had given him. It was almost as if he was partly her child, too.

She drove on, a smile stretching her lips a little as she thought how cute they had made him look. Slowly, an idea began to form in her mind. But it would be a little while longer before she could put it into action; a little less than a month.

The streets weren’t very busy downtown. There had been a parade in the morning, but the spectators had long since gone their ways to cook-outs, visiting relatives or simply to relax at home for the holiday. But they still had to park almost a block away from the theater. Susan turned to Billy before they got out of the car.

"Now, sweetheart, I suppose you’re nervous about having to walk a little way to the theater. But remember, dear, the best way to make everyone think you’re really a nice little girl is to walk the way Mommy and Aunt Terri have been telling you. And try to keep a nice expression on your face. A little smile is all you need, Nancy, and you’ll fool everyone. Understand, darling?"

"Yes, Mommy," replied Billy, but he still felt nervous about walking down the street dressed as a girl.

When they got out of the car the two women gave their dresses a ruffling shake to fluff them back up after sitting so crowded together.

"Shake your skirts and then smooth them out like Mommy’s doing, honey," said his mother. He began to shake the skirt of his dress like she had done.

"That’s right, darling. That’s the way ladies keep their dresses looking nice and pretty." Susan touched his cheek as he smoothed out his skirts. Then she took her daughter’s hand and the three of them began walking down the sidewalk towards the theater. The few people they encountered barely gave Billy a second glance, and he began to feel a little relaxed.

I guess Mommy is right, he thought, and smiled a little more. His dress pressed up against his Mommy’s as they walked close together, making a nice whispering, rustling sound. He liked feeling so girly! His dress and pretty slip felt nice on him, and his pretty dress looked just like Mommy’s, too!

Auntie stepped up to the ticket lady in the little iron grilled booth and said, "Two adults and one for my little niece, please."

The older woman selling the tickets smiled pleasantly down at Billy and gave auntie the tickets. "Enjoy the show," she said.

Only a quarter of the seats were filled, so they had no trouble finding themselves some seats with plenty of empty ones around them.

"Now remember to smooth your dress behind you when you sit down, honey," said Mommy in a soft voice as she leaned towards him.

He did as she reminded him to, and even in the dim light he could see Mommy smile at him.

"That’s a good girl," she said, beaming at him.

Once again he found himself in the middle between his Mommy and auntie. He made a big smile and felt really nice, but sort of squirmy in his panties; his lace panties, he thought. This was fun!

Mommy put her arm around his shoulders and bent her head to whisper in his ear. "Sweetheart, we kind of fibbed a little bit to you. The first movie isn’t really a story about a haunted cottage. ‘Enchanted’ means the cottage is sort of magical, or maybe has a special spell on it. It’s not a scary movie, honey. But the second movie is about Indians. You’ll like that one. But I’m sorry we fibbed about the first one, Nancy."

"That’s okay, Mommy," he replied. "I’ll watch it anyway." Susan leaned closer and gave him a little kiss on the cheek.

"What a good girl you are for Mommy," she said. He looked up at her with a big smile on his face.

The first movie came on and he tried to watch it and follow it. But it was a ‘big people’ type of movie about love, and after a while he didn’t pay much attention to it, but looked at his dress in the darkened theater. It was such a surprise to find out that wearing a dress and slip felt so nice. He wondered if this would be the only time he’d wear one. It sure wasn’t something he’d wear when he went fishing!

Then he began to wonder what dad would think about him wearing a dress. He hoped Mommy wouldn’t tell him.

He thought of the ‘other Nancy’, the one he knew in school. She always wore really pretty dresses and had a nice long ponytail. Did her dresses make her feel like he did now? No wonder she was always smiling and happy! He never knew before that girls could be so happy just because of their pretty clothes. It was as if someone had been keeping a big secret from him.

After a while he tapped Mommy’s arm.

She looked down him and said, "What is it, honey?"

"Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom," he whispered to her.

She smiled a little and said, "That’s okay, sweetheart. Mommy will go with you to the ladies’ room." He was glad she was going with him. He knew he wouldn’t be able to walk into a men’s room looking like a girl. But he had never been in a ladies’ room before, and he would have been a little scared going to one for the first time by himself.

Mommy held his hand as they walked up the aisle.

As they approached the entrance to the ladies’ room she bent down and whispered into his ear, "Don’t forget what Mommy told you about not standing up to pee, Nancy. Just pull your panties down and lift up the back of your dress and slip, dear, and sit down. When you finish just pull you panties back up and straighten out your slip and dress."

"Yes, Mommy," he replied. He felt excited about going into the ladies’ room.

Once they were inside the rest room, he went to an empty stall and entered it, closing the door behind him. He did as Mommy had told him to do and soon he was leaving the stall and Mommy stood there waiting for him with a smile on her face.

"Let’s wash our hands, dear," she said.

Another girl about his age was at the vanity washing her hands at one of the sinks. She looked at him in the mirror, but only for a second or two. Then she dried her hands and left. She thought I was a girl, he thought to himself. It was as if he had passed a little test, and it made him feel nice to know a real girl thought he was one, too.

Back in their seats again, he began to wonder what other things they might be doing after the movies. Probably they would just go back home, and maybe auntie would take more pictures. But he knew Mommy wanted him to be her little girl for the rest of the day, so maybe they had something else in mind, too. He wondered why he liked being dressed as a girl. It puzzled him, but he couldn’t think of any reason. It just made him feel so nice to look like a girl…Mommy’s girl.

The first movie ended, and both women dabbed at their eyes with handkerchiefs.

"Oh that was such a beautiful story," said Terri. "But so sad in parts."

"Yes," said Susan. "And Robert Young is so considerate and handsome."

She looked down at Nancy.

"Well, sweetheart, in a few minutes after the intermission is over, the Indian picture will be starting. I hope you’ll like it, dear."

"Mommy, could I go get some candy before it starts," he asked.

"Of course, sweetheart," she replied. "Open you purse, dear, and Mommy will give you some money for it. Do you want Mommy to go with you?"

"No," he answered, "I think I can do it alone, Mommy." She smiled down at her little girl. Little girls were all the same, she thought. They can’t wait to grow up and be young ladies.

There were a lot of kids at the candy and popcorn counter. If he hadn’t become Mommy’s nice girl for the day, he would have pushed his way through ahead of some of the smaller kids. But to day he just stood quietly waiting his turn like a nice girl. Eventually, he bought a Hershey bar and a small box of Ju-Ju chews and went back down the aisle to his seat, his little ‘secret’ making him smile.

"Everything okay, darling," said Mommy, smiling at him.

"Yes, Mommy. Everyone thinks I’m a girl now, Mommy," he replied.

"You are, sweetheart. You’re Mommy’s precious little girl today. Isn’t it nice, honey?" She put her arm around his shoulders.

"Oh, yes, Mommy! I never knew being a girl could be so nice and so much fun, too."

Then Mommy leaned down towards him and said some words that were pure magic to him: "If you want to, sweetheart, maybe we can do it again sometime."

"Oh, yes, Mommy!" he said. "I really like being your little girl. It makes me feel so nice, and I know it makes you happy, too."

Susan looked into his eyes, her own eyes beginning to tear up a little.

"Oh, yes, dear!" she said softly. "You’ll never know how happy it makes me." She kissed his cheek and then the top of his head and pulled him as close to her as the armrest would allow. Then the lights dimmed and the second movie began.

After the movie was over and they were walking back to auntie’s car, he skipped a couple of times on the sidewalk as he held Mommy’s hand. His mother looked own at him with a smile. "Mommy’s little princess seems very happy," she said. "Did you like the movie that much?"

"The movie? Oh…yes, it was alright, Mommy. I just feel happy."

Auntie had been watching the two of them all afternoon. It was obvious how overjoyed Susan was with her little girl. But equally obvious was how much Billy enjoyed being Nancy. In June, she thought. In June. She smiled to herself.

After they were settled in the front seat of the car again, Mommy looked at him and said, "Sweetheart, while you were getting your candy at the movies, auntie and I decided we’re not going to go home right away."

"Where are we going now, then, Mommy?" he asked.

"Well, honey, Mommy is so proud of her pretty little girl she wants to show you off to one of her friends. It’ll be alright, dear. Mrs. Morin is a nice lady, but she’s getting old and doesn’t get out of her house very much. The only time she sees anyone is when someone visits her. We’ll only stop for a few minutes, honey, but it will make her feel so nice to have us pay her a little visit."

"Will she be able to tell that I’m really not a girl, Mommy?" he asked.

"Oh, sweetheart, Mommy wants to tell her that anyway. She’ll be so surprised. And thrilled, too. She loves little girls. And she’ll think it’s sweet that we dressed you up and that you look so pretty. Alright, darling?"

"Yes, Mommy," he replied. Since she lived alone and never went anywhere he thought it would be alright.

Mrs. Morin lived out at the edge of town and her house sat back a little way from the road. When auntie drove into her driveway they noticed a couple of other cars parked in the back of the house.

"Does Mrs. Morin have two cars, Mommy?" asked Nancy.

"No, sweetheart. She doesn’t drive anymore," said Mommy. "Some other people must be visiting her, too. But that’s alright, honey. No one’s going to laugh at you, darling."

"Are you sure, Mommy?"

"Yes, sweetheart," she replied. "Mommy won’t let them. But you look so nice and pretty, honey, that no one would want to laugh at you anyway."

They got out of the car and, after shaking and smoothing their dresses, walked to the front door. Auntie rang the bell and soon the front door was opened by a pretty lady about Mommy’s age. Nancy knew that couldn’t be Mrs. Morin.

"Irene!" said auntie. "Did you buy a new car?"

"Hi, Terri," said the other woman as they leaned towards each other with a little hug. "Yes, I just picked it up the other day."

Then Mommy and Irene said ‘hello’ and hugged each other, and the air was filled with a variety of perfumes and feminine chatter. As they slowly went inside Irene noticed Nancy for the first time.

"Well now! Who’s this pretty girl?" she asked. "Mother and daughter dresses?"

"This is Nancy," said Mommy. "I’ll tell you about her inside. Who else is here? I saw two cars in back."

"Oh, Karen and Stella and Lois are here also," she replied. "And Stella’s little girl, Josie, is with her, too. They brought Harriet some things from town she wanted. Her arthritis makes walking around shopping pretty painful for her now. It’s a shame. She’s such a dear."

They went into the front parlor and a new round of ‘hello’s’ and hugs took place with the other women. Nancy noticed an older lady sitting in a chair. She didn’t get up, but auntie and Mommy leaned down and kissed her cheek, and Mommy told everyone Nancy’s name. He remembered to smile nice.

Then a little girl about his own age came into the room. She had on a pretty blue dress and her long blond hair was tied in a ponytail with a pretty blue bow.

She walked over to Nancy who was standing next to Mommy and holding her hand.

"Hi. I’m Josie," she said. "What’s your name?"

"Nancy," he replied.

"I’m doing a puzzle out on the kitchen table," said Josie. "Want to see it? You can help me, too."

"Okay," said Nancy. He let go of Mommy’s hand and Josie took his other hand and led him out to the kitchen. A large wooden drawing board was on the kitchen table and the puzzle was on it, almost finished except for a part in the middle of it.

"It’s a picture of a lady sitting in a park a long time ago," said Josie. "The cover on the box shows that she has a beautiful big dress on like ladies wore back then. And a pretty bonnet, too."

Nancy looked at the puzzle. He thought they could probably finish it soon. But what he was thinking about most was that Josie seemed to think he was a real girl. He was thrilled! She told him to pull another chair over along side of hers and they could work on it together. He did and they both sat down, smoothing their dresses behind them. But meanwhile he could hear the ladies talking and laughing in the parlor, though he couldn’t see them. After a while he heard Mommy’s voice.

"Well, it was really Terri’s idea," said Mommy. "But I’m so glad she thought of it. I just love the way he looks. And he likes it, too!"

"Oh, Sue, I think it’s wonderful how cute he looks!" said Irene. "He looks like a real girl. Not a boy in a dress." The other ladies made similar comments as the conversation was punctuated with giggles and laughter.

Then it grew a little quiet and he heard his Mommy calling him, and he began to feel very nervous.

"My Mommy wants me for something," he said to Josie and got up from his chair.

"That’s okay," said the blond haired girl. "I’ll go with you."

The two of them walked into the parlor and Nancy walked quickly over to Mommy. He tried to keep a little smile on his face, but wished he was back out in the kitchen. The other ladies were all smiling at him though, so maybe it was going to be alright.

"Sweetheart, turn around slowly and show the nice ladies your pretty dress," said Mommy. "They all think you look very pretty, dear."

He did as she told him to, feeling a little relieved that that was all she wanted. As he turned around the ladies all made comments to each other about how nice he looked.

Then one lady said, "He looks so cute he should wear dresses all the time."

They all laughed a little, some of them agreeing with her. But Nancy had noticed that the lady had said ‘he’ when she referred to him. She knew. They all knew! But they all seemed to think it was alright for him to be a girl.

"Honey, go over to Mrs. Morin and show her your pretty slip, dear," said Mommy. He obediently went over to the older lady and asked, "Would you like to see my slip, Mrs. Morin?"

"Yes, dear," said Harriet Morin, she reached over and caressed the side of his face. "My! you make such a pretty girl, dear. Do you like looking pretty?"

He blushed when she said that and nodded his head with a big smile on his face.

"Mommy says maybe I can be her little girl again sometime. I like it a lot."

"Oh, it’s so nice to hear a boy say that now and then. Let me see your slip, darling," said the older woman, and he lifted the hem of his dress up to his waist.

"Oh, my! Isn’t that a gorgeous petticoat!" said Mrs. Morin. "Such pretty ribbons and a lovely bow, and all that nice lace! I bet you like it very much."

"Yes, I do," he answered. "It makes me feel pretty wearing it. So do my lacy panties."

"A long time ago, dear, I had a little boy that liked to look pretty, too," she said.

"Really, Mrs. Morin?" he asked surprised to find out he wasn’t the only boy that liked looking pretty.

"Yes, dear," she replied. "He’s all grown up and has a family of his own now.

But sometimes he visits me for a few days, and he still likes dressing up and looking pretty when we’re together."

"I like being pretty with my Mommy, too," he said.

She gave his face another caress. "What a sweet child you are. You can go back to your puzzle now, dear."

"Thank you for letting me visit you, Mrs. Morin. Mommy said you were a very nice lady."

"You’re welcome, dear." She had a wistful look about her eyes as she smiled at him, remembering her son that sometimes had been her little girl.

Josie came over and took his hand again and said, "Come on, Nancy. We’re almost finished with the puzzle." They walked back into the kitchen, leaving behind the chatter of the ladies as they all watched the pair of them walk out of the room.

He wondered if Josie was going to say anything about him not being a real girl. They sat down side by side again at the table.

"I wish my Mommy would let me wear red nail polish like yours," said Josie.

"She always makes me wear pink because she says it goes nice with my blond hair."

"Well, it does look very pretty, Josie," he said.

"Do you like being a girl?" she asked.

"Yes…I do. You’re not mad at me for being a boy are you?"

"Oh, no," she answered. "I can’t see why anyone would want to be a boy. Being a girl must be a lot nicer than being a boy. Boys get so dirty and do all sorts of ‘ucky’ things. And they’re so loud and clumsy, too. I think it’s nice you want to be a girl. Now let’s finish our puzzle."

He felt wonderful!

Later as they were driving home his auntie looked over at him.

"Did you have a good time at Mrs. Morin’s house, sweetheart?" she asked.

"Oh, yes, auntie," he answered. "She was very nice to me. And Josie and I are friends now, too."

His mother and aunt both smiled and looked at each other. It was as if they had discovered gold that afternoon. Well, perhaps not gold; but definitely something precious!

On the way home they stopped at a drug store and Mommy bought a girl’s coloring book and a box of crayons for her little daughter. But she kept them out of sight til they got home.

For the rest of the day, he colored in the pictures at the kitchen table while his Mommy and auntie talked and had coffee. It had nice pictures of little girls dressed up in different costumes and pictures of little kitties and butterflies in it, too.

He colored them carefully and then would show Mommy and auntie when he finished each one.

Finally after they had a little supper, auntie said she had to be going. She put her gloves back on and picked up her purse. Then she walked over to Nancy.

"I’m glad you enjoyed yourself today, honey. And you made your Mommy very happy being her little girl. Wasn’t it a nice day?"

"Oh, yes, auntie," he said. "It’s been so much fun being Mommy’s girl."

She leaned down and kissed his cheek. "Maybe we’ll see Nancy again, sweetheart."

"I hope so, auntie."

She smiled and then hugged her sister ‘goodbye’. Nancy watched through the window as she drove her car out of the driveway, Mommy leaning over his shoulder as they both waved.

Afterwards Mommy told him to come into the parlor with her and sit down next to her on the couch. They both smoothed their dresses as they sat down. He looked up at Mommy. It seemed like she had been smiling at him all day.

"Sweetheart," she began, "daddy won’t be home from the mountains til tomorrow night. When it’s time for bed Mommy has a nice nightie for you to wear tonight. Would you like that, honey?"

"Oh, yes, Mommy! Can I see it now?"

"In a minute, dear. But first let Mommy hold her little girl." She reached across with both arms and hugged him to her. And then she looked down into his eyes and kissed the tip of his nose and gave him a little kiss on the lips, too.

"Mommy will never forget this day, sweetheart. It’s one of the happiest in my life."

He put his head against her breast and hugged her around the waist.

"It was for me too, Mommy. I hope I can be a girl again soon."

"Well, honey, we have to be careful that daddy doesn’t find out. He might not like it. But Mommy will dress you up nice and pretty again when she gets a chance. You’ll see. It won’t be long, darling."

That night he wore his pretty nightie to bed and when he woke up in the morning, Mommy was leaning over him with a smile on her face.

"Good morning, precious."

He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and smiled up at her.

"Can I be your little girl today too, Mommy?"

"I’m afraid it’s time to be Billy again dear," she answered. "Uncle Ed and aunt Rita are coming over sometime today. I don’t think we should let them see Nancy, honey. They’re kind of set in their ways. But I’ll dress you up again as soon as I can, sweetheart. Now let’s have some breakfast. You look so cute with that lace collar."

***

For the next few weeks Billy was Billy. He and Mac explored a new part of the woodlot, and his pals worked with him to make their camp better, too. When they were finished, some of the other boys wanted to put up a sign saying, ‘NO GIRLS ALLOWED’. Billy secretly wondered why they wanted to do that. He thought girls were nice now!

On the day after he got out of school for the summer, his aunt was visiting Susan again. They called him into the parlor. He went in to see what they wanted, hoping he wouldn’t miss much of the t.v program he was watching in the living room. "What do you want, mom?" he asked.

"Sweetheart," said his aunt, "how would you like to spend the summer out in the country at my house? There’s a nice brook there with lots of trout in it. And you can swim in my pool, too."

"Yes, dear," said his mother. "And that way Mommy and daddy can go on a trip they want to take, too. Of course we’ll take you with us if you want to come."

"Billy," said his aunt as she reached out and held his hand, "Maybe Nancy would like to stay with me." She gave him a little wink. "I seem to have a lot of new dresses and things that are just her size, dear."

Billy blushed and looked down at the floor, but his heart began beating fast.

"I bet Nancy would like staying with you, too….auntie," he said. "Is that alright…Mommy?"

 

For the next four years Billy spent his summers with auntie…as Nancy! He loved being Nancy all the time, and auntie taught him so many nice things about being a girl. Six months before his thirteenth birthday, Mommy started giving him pills to take with his orange juice in the morning. They told daddy they were vitamin pills. When his next vacation started auntie gave them to him, too. And that was the summer when she taught him to wear a garterbelt and nylon stockings. And a training bra, too!

"This is the summer you’ll start to become a young woman, dear," his auntie had said. "It’ll make Mommy so proud of you." He got to wear pretty pumps with two inch heels when they went to church on Sundays. He wished the summer would never end.

Just before he turned fourteen, his daddy came home unexpectedly early. His Mommy had let him dress up for the afternoon, and when his father saw him that way he went through the roof!

"My son dressed like a girl?" he yelled. "What in hell is going on here? No wonder he’s lost interest in fishing."

Nancy began to cry and ran into his room while his Mommy tried to calm down daddy. But it was no use. For the next week they argued over it constantly.

It became more and more heated, and one afternoon while they were arguing, daddy slapped Mommy across the face!

After the divorce that followed that incident, Susan sold the house and she and Nancy moved into Auntie’s big house out in the country and lived with her. He was hardly ever Billy anymore, and when he did have to dress like a boy he had to wear loose fitting shirts and sweaters to conceal his growing breasts. When his mother started giving him home schooling instead of sending him to school, he began letting his hair grow long. After a couple of years he had a pretty ponytail, just like the one a little girl named Josie had a long time ago. They were still good friends, but didn’t see each other very often.

One day, Susan and Terri were sitting outside having a cool drink. Nancy was picking gladiolas from the nearby flower garden, and looked very pretty in her new long sun dress, the breeze occasionally lifting the skirt of her dress to reveal an old Victorian petticoat under it with a pretty eyelet lace hem. Mommy had bought it for him at an antique clothing shop.

"Terri," said Susan, "remember one day a few years ago I told you I’d never get all the things I wanted in this life?"

"Oh, yes," replied Terri, smiling. "That was the day Billy first became Nancy. Why do you ask?"

"Well, it looks like I was wrong," said Susan as she watched her daughter picking flowers. "I have everything now, including a beautiful daughter."

Terri smiled at her sister. "Well, just in case you’re wondering, I have, too. It looks like happiness is here for all of us now…for you, for me, and for Nancy, too. Isn’t she turning into such a lovely graceful young woman!"

At that moment, Nancy, finished in the garden, was walking towards them, the long stemmed gladiolas cradled in her left arm, the summer breeze again lifting her dress and petticoat. She was smiling at them.

"Yes," said Susan. "Everything’s just the way it should be."

FINIS


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