Fiction by Cathy
© 2012 All rights reserved
It’s hard to believe it has been so long since I made that one little mistake!
It should have been a great day! I was out of school for a whole week for Spring break and Mom was leaving that Monday morning to do her weekly shopping. I was nearly ten, and was mature and well mannered enough in my parent’s eyes to stay home alone and not get into trouble. I loved having those brief times alone, and watched as she backed the car out of the garage. That afternoon, I was looking forward to trying on Mom’s black and white dress because it had a full skirt and crisp, full petticoats with it! I guess I should have asked her, but since I was her son that didn‘t seem the best option!
The little mistake was that I hadn’t made sure she was gone. She had backed out of the garage and to the street. I did exercise patience enough to wait long enough for that. If I had waited a few more seconds though, I would have seen she only made it as far as the neighbor’s house and stopped to chat. I learned later that before driving off she remembered something and came back to the house to get it. I was half way down the stairs wearing that wonderful black and white dress when she walked in the front door!
We just stared at each other, not knowing exactly what to do. I was frightened and suddenly so ashamed of myself! I remember looking at her with tears streaming down my cheeks and frozen in place! She slowly came up the stairs and sat on one of the steps next to me. All I remember after that was her hugging me as we both sat next to each other on the stairs. I’m sure that all happened in just a minute or two, but it seemed like forever. The next thing I remember was sitting on her bed while she began quietly asking if I was OK? She apologized for frightening me and explained how she came to be back so soon. All I could think was how I could possibly explain what I was doing!
that great day turned horrible! Because of that little mistake She had
found out about my secret…THE
secret I had guarded so tightly. I was a horrible boy who wanted to
dress in girls' clothes and a freak and crazy and…but She didn’t seem
angry? She calmly asked me all kinds of questions about how I felt while
wearing her clothes and what I liked so much about it and so on. That
evening I figured Dad would be told and then I would surely be in
trouble. Instead, nothing!
The next day after Dad left for work, Mom told me she was going shopping since she hadn’t made it the day before. She asked if I wanted to go along guessed - I would rather stay home. “Mom, I won’t…well you know. I promise. I just… I’ll just read or watch some television if that’s OK with you?” She smiled and said whatever I wanted to do was OK with her, just to be careful and stay out of trouble. After she left, I didn’t run upstairs! I had told myself over and over what I had been doing was stupid and wrong! I had vowed to myself not to ever think about it again!
I did try to watch a little television. Not much on in the mornings back in those days unless you liked soap operas or some guy named Liberace. I didn’t even want to look through the Sears and Penney’s Catalogs to gaze longingly at all the wonderful petticoats and dresses, a past-time I often undertook before…before my secret was discovered.
How I used to look at those catalog pages. All the clothes I dreamed of having in my own closet. If I was a girl, I would have dozens of petticoats and…but I wasn’t a girl…I was a stupid, gross, disgusting boy! But those catalogs…all the times I looked and dreamed and…so much for never thinking about it again!!
So instead I looked through a couple of my electronics magazines that had articles on building a radio. After studying those a bit more, I worked on the radio I was building from parts collected from surplus stores and an electronic parts supplier in the city. I loved working on electronic things. To me they were the most magical things in the world to explore and try to learn about. When Mom returned, she called out before coming upstairs.
That evening, I was still waiting for the bomb to explode. I knew she must have talked to Dad about what she found me doing the day before, but again… nothing! Mom and I had already talked a lot those two days. During one of those talks she told me she suspected I kind of liked girl’s clothes even before she saw me doing it. “I’ve seen that the catalogues all seem to open to the girls' clothing sections easily, like they’ve been opened there a lot. And with lots of little fingerprints all over the pages, well I think we know whose fingers made them? Honey, it’s alright…really! It’s not unusual to be curious about things like that.”
I told her I imagined doing things around the house …like she did…and doing things I knew were supposed to only be for girls, like sewing, and putting on fingernail polish, playing with her lipstick and perfume, and all sorts of things. I….I just told her I thought it would be wonderful being a girl. When I was done, she knew it all…every shameful bit of it. Why couldn’t the ground just swallow me up? Why was I so horribly strange? Wouldn’t they be better off without some freak like me around? Another restless night, waiting for whatever was going to happen to me.
The next morning she sat down with me and explained She and Dad had discussed everything I talked to her about. “Honey, your Father was a bit upset…but not for the reasons you might think! He and I both realized how difficult it must be for you to have kept it all to yourself. We’re sorry you didn’t feel you could talk to one of us…but we do understand.
She paused and smiled a little. “Your Father admitted he didn’t know why you would be interested in the things you are, and he certainly didn’t know what he would have done in your place…but he was proud of your courage to try and handle it all yourself ….He’s just worried about you, that’s all, both of us are! Now…I haven’t been blind. I know you haven’t been sleeping well the last couple of nights but we’re going to figure it all out…ok? Honey, it’s all out now, and see….the world didn’t end now did it? I‘ve got to meet with someone this morning who may have some suggestions. Your Dad and I thought we should ask someone who would know a lot more than we do. At least, maybe we’ll get some idea where to go to help you?”
I felt so terrible, and for what must have been the millionth time, apologized for being so much trouble. Mom reassured me I was the least troublesome child they could ever have imagined and said everything would be OK. I was somewhat relieved by her comment but still, I couldn’t help but imagine my life was over. Not only did Mom know, but Dad too, and now some stranger! I was sure it would soon be plastered all over the newspaper and on Television: “Local boy wears girls clothes!”
The morning dragged on and on, it seemed. I tried working on my radio, tried reading my magazines, and finally gave up and stared at the television…not even knowing what was on the screen! When She finally returned home, she sat me down and we talked again. She told me she talked a long time with a ‘doctor’ and just couldn’t wait for me to talk to her too!
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