In the first six parts, Kyle finds it difficult to keep a deal he made with his mother: That if he wears girls’ clothes for a month that she will buy him a moped (a motor scooter). He’s not quite sure how it happened, but in rapid succession he has lost his friends, convinced his mother that he’s gay and dating a boy named Steve, posed as a lesbian named Demi in order to charm the grandmother of his new girlfriend Joannie, who’d prefer that Kyle wore the panties in the family, and convinced his mother that he’s a transsexual. At the end of part 6, we saw Kyle head off for his first date with Joannie.
Anything for a Moped? -Part 7 by: Dawn De Winter
Chapter Eight: What Does Kyle Know About Dating Girls?
Deep inside the alley, deep within its darkest recess, Kyle paused to insert his breast forms. As he was loath to expose his bra, even for a moment, he tried inserting the forms without taking off his striped top. Though he did his best in the circumstances, he apparently didn’t get the forms fitted just right, for Joannie greeted his appearance at her door with hysterical giggles.
"You look so funny, Demi. Let’s hurry upstairs before my grandmother sees you. Even she’s not so blind that she wouldn’t notice that both of your tits are on the left side of your body. You look like an alien creature from some primeval swamp." Laughing all the while, she hustled Demi (as she insisted on calling Kyle within Virginia’s earshot) up to her room.
There she insisted he take off both his top and his bra so that they could get Demi looking less like a mutant. As Kyle disrobed, Joannie clapped her hands with glee: "Oh, you’re wearing the pink satin. That’s so cool. Pink satin is perfect for you. It’s the sexiest lingerie your mother bought for you."
"Are you wearing it too?" Kyle asked hopefully.
"Me? Why would I wear satin? I’ve got pink cotton panties on, just as we pledged each other. And I can assure you, Demi, that if we hadn’t made that deal, I’d be luxuriating right now in my boxer shorts, as in the good old days. You’re the one who wants to wear smooth satins and silks. Me, I prefer rough cotton."
"But I’m wearing the pink satin tonight, and so should you," protested Kyle. "That was our deal: You wear what I wear."
"You’re not being fair, Demi James, for a deal has to be made in advance. If you wanted me to wear pink satin panties tonight, you should have said, ‘I’ll wear satin if you do.’ If you had offered me that deal, I might have said yes, just to see how you looked in pink satin. And you do look darling, Demi, in that bra. It’s your first real bra, isn’t it? After all, those sports bras are little more than giant, elastic bandages."
Kyle was blushing as he replied: "Do you have to call me Demi all the time? Why can’t you use my real name when we’re alone together?"
"Because, silly, you don’t want me to call you Kyle in front of my grandmother. I might if I don’t get in the habit of always calling you Demi. If you’re ‘Kyle,’ you’re out of here as quickly as my grandmother can escort you to the door; but if you’re Demi, she’s got a great meal waiting for you."
Kyle liked the idea of dinner, but it still bothered him, for some reason, that the lingerie he’d be wearing to it would be more feminine than his girlfriend’s. So he tried another tack: "What would it take to convince you to wear your pink satin bra and panties tonight? I was hoping we’d be dressed exactly alike, shoes and all. If I gave you a big kiss, would you agree to dress exactly like me tonight?"
"You can’t bribe me with a kiss, Demi. You must know how much I dislike satin. It’s too feminine. I’d feel like a sissy girl if I wore it."
"Precisely!" thought Kyle. "That’s the whole idea." Then he fatefully asked, "With what can I bribe you? What would it take to get you into pink satin?"
"Two days," she quickly replied.
"Two days?" he repeated, before saying, "Are you telling me that you’ll wear the pink satin two days from now? You know I want you to do it tonight."
"What I’m saying, Demi, is that I’ll wear the pink satin lingerie tonight, just as you ask, but only if you agree to wear girls’ clothes for an extra two days -- you know, for two days more than your bet with your mother requires."
He thought for a moment. She was asking him to wear girls’ clothes until the twenty-third of October instead of the twenty-first. It seemed a minor concession, a promise that he might never have to keep. In exchange for a minor aggravation more than three weeks away, he’d get a chance this very night to see his girlfriend strip out of her underwear in order to change into a bra-and-panty combination that Joannie herself had called ‘sexy-looking.’
And so, Kyle agreed to wear girls’ clothes for two days more than his mother demanded. It didn’t dawn on him for some time that he had made an enormous concession that night. Only later did he appreciate that he was no longer dressing in girls’ clothes merely to win a moped. He would be dressed in feminine attire even after he’d won his speedy steed.
Indeed, unless he waited for two days -- which would be unlikely, given Kyle’s impulsiveness -- he’d be dressed as a girl the first time he rode his moped. Shades of Pocahontas!
Yet the prospect of seeing his girlfriend stripped down to her bra and panties so blinded him to the full implication of their new round of deal-making that he agreed to yet another two days of cross-dressing – this time until the twenty-fifth of October -- so that she’d agree to wear the same black shoes that he had on. Joannie then informed him that any time he wanted to get some favor from her that all he had to do was to add two or three more days to his cross-dressing experiment.
What’s more, as she made him sign a note promising to abide by the four-day extension, she announced that she was determined to go out with him as a boy-girl couple on Halloween.
"You’ll be the girl, of course," she asserted.
"Not likely," countered Kyle. "You know I’ll never allow anyone else to see me dressed like a girl. This is just between you, me, my mother, and your grandmother."
"We’ll see," whispered Joannie. Then, more loudly, she said, "Now, off with your bra. I’ve got something here that’ll ensure that your tits never slip again." She then produced some double-sided adhesive tape, which she stuck to Kyle’s chest wall.
"You’re very lucky, Demi, to have no chest hair. Otherwise, we’d have to shave it off, because the tape doesn’t work at well when there’s hair in the way. But you do have one or two hairs in your armpits. How gross! Let me shave them off for you."
"Wait a second," Kyle gasped. He was thinking, "One or two hairs won’t matter. None of the guys will notice their disappearance. But I can’t make any concession without getting something back. Otherwise, I’ll always be playing catch-up in my game with Joannie."
And so he pitched yet another deal to Joannie: "I won’t shave my armpits unless you do. That’s my final answer."
"That’s not fair, Demi James, for I’ve got a lot more hair under my underarms than you do. It’s important to my self-image to keep it. I don’t want people to think that I’m one of those prissy girls who shaves every hair off her body in a desperate attempt to look ‘ultra-femme’ for the boys."
But Kyle this time stood firm. And a new deal was struck, first with a handshake, and then more intimately, with a Lady Gillette razor, that neither would be the first to stop shaving his armpits.
Joannie tried to strike a similar deal for their legs, but Kyle had more hair there (even if it was too light-colored and wispy to be seen from more than a foot away), and he asked for time to mull her offer over. However, at her insistence, he did promise to use the bottle she gave him at least once on his legs, hips and buttocks. It was an open-ended promise, with no set date, and so he didn’t think it much of a concession to agree to take the depilatory cream home with him. Joannie, however, expected him to lather up eventually out of curiosity.
Their deals struck, she finished the task of attaching Kyle’s breast to his tape. She then stood back to watch them move with convincing femininity. They were top of the line, and looked real even without a bra. Kyle, fascinated with his breasts, was playing with a fake nipple, trying to get it aroused. Then he cupped his right breast and pushed it upward and outward. As it sprang back into position, he exulted, "Hey, they’re like real breasts! They’re even warming up. I’d swear they were me if I didn’t know better."
Joannie beamed. Kyle’s reaction to the attachments couldn’t be more heartening. He wasn’t even asking how he could get the breasts off. If he didn’t remember to inquire before he left for home, Joannie was going to have some fun with him, for the tape container expressly said that the tape would hold for 10-14 days during which time no amount of water or body perspiration would cause the adhesive to fail.
"How much of a panic will he be when he phones me? I wonder?" she chortled to herself.
After Kyle had modestly covered his breasts with a bra and striped top, it was time for Joannie to get ready for their date. "Va-va-voom," thought Kyle. "It’s time for the striptease."
And Joannie did obligingly remove her striped top, exposing her pink cotton bra. However, she certainly was not going to remove it while Kyle was ogling her, and at her insistence he had to turn his back. For a brief instant, he knew, just knew, that a girl was standing behind him topless; but he was too much of a gentleman to sneak a glimpse.
His Lady Godiva didn’t have to worry about a Peeping Demi: "I wouldn’t peep," Kyle declared to himself, "even if I knew she was standing naked behind me. I’m sure I wouldn’t." Then, as he heard the belt on Joannie’s trousers clatter to the floor, he was sorely tempted to turn around to see if "she was all right. Maybe she has fallen and can’t get up." The thought of her sprawled helpless, topless, and bottomless on the floor disturbed him. He wondered if he should play the gallant and come to her rescue. He turned a quarter of the way to get a better sense of the situation.
"Demi, don’t you dare turn around. I’m practically naked, and you know it," Joannie declared. "Just stare at my poster of the Spice Girls. They should keep your nipples erect."
There came a knock on the door. "Girls, ten minutes to dinner," announced Virginia.
Had she heard Joannie’s last remarks? Definitely.
Virginia muttered under her breath: "My granddaughter is a sweet chick being hunted by a fox. That Demi is a vixen determined to pluck my granddaughter’s virtue. And Joannie knows and fears it -- that’s why she’s behaving as though she had a boy in the room."
Virginia was convinced that she had to break up this unhealthy relationship.
Soon after she had left, Joannie informed Kyle that he could finally look. She stood before him fully clothed. He had missed everything. When he demanded proof that she was wearing the pink satin outfit, she widened her vee to reveal a bra strap, and she pushed her pants down sufficiently for Kyle to catch a glimpse of pink satin at her waist. But that was it. He realized that she’d seen a lot more of him than he had of her.
"Jeez, I was the one giving the strip show," he wryly noted. "Why me? It was supposed to be her!"
But he didn’t have time to work through the implications of his repeated failure to impose his will on Joannie. Nor was there time for him to reflect on the fact that his love life seemed to be as accident-prone as his skateboarding and cycling. Instead, there was just enough time for the two girls to scurry downstairs so that they could make a timely entrance into the dining room dressed like twins.
Or they would have looked like twins, had Kyle had an opportunity to do something about Joannie's make-up. To his regret, she wasn’t even wearing lipstick. As for her hair, she obviously hadn’t brushed it since morning. Thus, even though the two girls wore the same top, pants and shoes, Joannie looked like the ‘butch,’ and Demi, the ‘femme’ in their lesbian relationship.
As Virginia entered, and as Joannie shoved his chair out so that he could sit down, Kyle was startled to realize that his hair, makeup and ample bosom made him the most feminine-looking person in the room.
"Why?" he wondered, "Do I keep making bad deals that feminize me twice as fast as Joannie?" He’d have to be cleverer, he decided. "From now on I won’t do anything that makes me look more like a girl unless Joannie not only does the same thing, but something extra."
"Jeez," he thought, "if I don’t start managing Joannie better, I’m going to be the one wearing the dress to our date at the junior prom."
As these speculations wandered through Kyle’s mind, Virginia was sizing up the situation in her dining room. Demi continued to amaze her, for the girl had become even more feminine-looking, yet no more feminine-acting. Her tread and gait were almost as exaggeratedly masculine as Joannie’s, and she had looked decidedly unladylike when she sprawled into her chair. Virginia realized then why Demi didn’t wear skirts – she’d be constantly rewarding teenaged beaver hunters.
Virginia lost herself in thought: "Maybe she doesn’t have to worry about boys looking below her waist, for they are likely to be transfixed by her bosom. That girl is certainly mature for her age. I wonder if its Demi’s breasts that Joannie finds attractive. It’s difficult otherwise to see the attraction. Gosh, Demi is homely for a girl. And that makeup! It’s much too mature for her age. I’m surprised that Barb permits it."
As Virginia had decided to chaperone the girls, she sat with them through their soup course, doing her best to channel the conversation to a discussion of Demi. Virginia had several ulterior motives. First, she hoped that Joannie, who liked to be the center of attention, would grow resentful of the attention given to the talkative lesbian. Second, Virginia hoped to gain information that she might be able to use against Demi – for example, proof of infidelity or amorality. And third, she was looking for evidence that this girl was in any way worthy of her granddaughter’s affections.
And so, Joannie fidgeted as Virginia pumped Demi for information and opinions. Much of what Demi had to say was eminently forgettable. After all, how many pearls of wisdom issue from the mouth of a fourteen-year-old boy?
Indeed, at first, it seemed that Demi could only talk about sports and the weather, and the discussion even of these sometimes reduced her to incoherence. For example, when asked why swimming, diving, track and gymnastics were her favorite women’s sports, Demi started to say, "Because of the bods," but then, catching herself, mumbled something about "the high level of competition." Similarly, she turned crimson red and tongue-tied after admitting that she subscribed to Sports Illustrated magazine for the special swimsuit Issue.
As far as Virginia was concerned, Demi was crass, her fascination with the female body excessive even for a lesbian. It suited her purposes, however, to encourage Demi to talk like a hormone-crazed teenaged boy, as such talk was clearly upsetting Joannie.
And so, Virginia asked Demi to name her favorite actresses. Joannie could scarcely hide her disgust when Demi named a bunch of starlets who had appeared briefly and scantily on "The Man Show."
"How does Kyle even know their names?" seethed Joannie. "And to think that he’s been watching such a sexist show! Doesn’t he know that he’s talking just like a boy – and a vulgar one at that! He’s ruining everything!"
Joannie would try to change the subject, but Virginia would steer it back to the topic of ‘hot babes’ that Demi had seen on television or on the streets of Des Moines. Each time she succeeded, Virginia would give Joannie a sympathetic look, as if to say, "I guess you didn’t know that Demi was a sex-starved slut, did you, my poor, sweet dear?"
Demi so enjoyed talking about babes, starlets and supermodels that he didn’t realize that Joannie was finding dinner less than savory. Indeed, he didn’t realize how peeved she was getting – even after she dumped the casserole of Stifado, a tomato-rich beef stew, into his lap.
Joannie had acted intemperately, and expected to be bawled out. But Demi and Virginia had been so engrossed in their discussion of "the best looking girls in the sitcoms" that neither saw her make the toss. Demi didn’t suspect that he had been ‘stiff-adoed’ on purpose, and while Virginia had her suspicions, she didn’t have time to voice them, for she had to leap into action to save her chair, floor and above all – Demi’s black pants. Virginia knew they were brand new. They’d have to be cleaned immediately, she calculated, or they might be ruined forever.
"It’s true," she thought, "that black can handle a lot of stains, but stewed tomato is a killer." And so, she barked at Demi, "Dear, you’ve got to take those pants off. Immediately. We must get them into the wash immediately before that stain sets."
Stunned, his mouth stupidly agape, Kyle sat immobile, the stew oozing down his legs towards the floor. He couldn’t believe his ears. He was thinking: "Cripes, I barely know Mrs. Smith. She can’t really be insisting that I take off my clothes in front of her? Could she? What kind of dirty old lady is she that she wants to see a boy in his underwear?"
"Oh, but she doesn’t know I’m a boy, does she?"
"Demi!" – the word broke through his deliberations. "This is no time for modesty. We’re all girls here, aren’t we? Now, take off those pants so that we can save them and make a reasonable start on saving the chairs and floor. Now do it pronto! Tomato stains are a serious business!"
Then, seeing that Demi still sat dumbstruck, Victoria told Joannie to help Demi to undress. This order stirred Kyle to action. There was only one thing worse for an all-American boy, he figured, than having to drop his trousers in the middle of a dinner party to reveal his pretty panties, and that was for his girlfriend to strip him of trousers as her grandmother watched. And so, Kyle ‘dropped trou.’
Naturally, he hadn’t first kicked off his shoes. And, as he struggled to free himself of his pants, Virginia got an eyeful of his pink satin panties. Her first thought was: "My, what attractive lingerie you’re wearing – and more feminine than I would have predicted."
Her second thought was: "Oh, my gosh!" Her mind then went numb. Mechanically, she threw Demi’s pants into the washing machine. Mechanically, she mopped the hardwood dining-room floor. Mechanically, she used paper towels to clean Demi’s chair.
Finally, her mind defogged enough to ask, "Where’s Demi?" and Joannie answered, "I sent her upstairs to see if she can fit into any of my jeans so that we can continue dinner. We can’t really expect her to eat in her underwear."
"I definitely agree. We certainly don’t want Demi to be an exhibitionist. You go and help her to find something. I’ll warm up the stew – what’s left of it – while you’re doing that."
Upstairs, in Joannie’s room, Kyle was rummaging through her jeans and shorts trying to find something that would fit, but none did it. He was simply too big a boy. As Virginia was even smaller than Joannie, it was soon abundantly clear that he wouldn’t be able to find any pants for dinner.
And what were the alternatives? Joannie laid them out: He could wear a bath towel, a sheet, a blanket, or a skirt. The first three he immediately rejected, as he said, somewhat shyly, "I wanted to look sharp for you, Joannie. In any one of those I’d look like a super nerd." As for the skirt, it was clearly impractical. As he couldn’t fit into Joannie’s jeans, how could he possibly fit into one of her skirts?
Joannie, pleased that he hadn’t dismissed the skirt as too ‘nerdy’ to wear on their date, replied: "It wouldn’t be my skirt, Demi. It’s gran’s, and you could fit into it because it’s a wrap-around – you know, like, a hula skirt."
"I’m not going to wear grass!" objected Kyle. His scowl made it clear that this point was non-negotiable.
"Don’t be silly, Demi, the skirt’s not made of grass. It’s a cloth print, and its colors will go nicely with the top you’ve got on. She bought it in one of those import stores. I think it comes from Africa. Will you try it on? I’m sure it will fit you."
As Kyle couldn’t imagine that anything worn by Joannie’s grandmother could fit him, he believed he was making a meaningless concession when he nodded affirmatively. Joannie was thrilled. She hugged Kyle and gave him a quick kiss on his lips. She then rushed out to find the wrap-around skirt.
As she excitedly rummaged in the back recesses of Virginia’s closet, Joannie reflected on how dramatically the date had turned around. At first, it seemed to be going horribly, as Kyle, a male chauvinist, mostly interested, it seemed, in chatting crudely with her grandmother about ‘hot babes,’ had totally ignored her.
As Joannie stewed, she eventually got angry enough to ‘pot’ him one. She hadn’t realized at the time that she was creating an opportunity for sexist Kyle to be taken to the cleaners, and for lovable Demi to re-emerge in time to salvage the date. But now, she knew that some unseen hand – possibly of Rhea, the Earth goddess – had stripped Kyle of his trousers. The skirt would transform him genuinely into Demi, Joannie hoped, and salvage the evening.
The skirt fit. And it was long enough that Kyle could even imagine himself as one of those he-men he’d seen in skirts – like the King of Siam.
"Joannie is my ‘Anna’," he decided.
Kyle agreed, therefore, that it was ‘no big deal’ to wear the ‘mannish-looking’ skirt. To Joannie’s delight, he needed no coaxing to wear it to dinner. Indeed, he seemed eager to show it off to Virginia, its rightful owner.
Yet Joannie would not allow him to descend to dinner until they had talked about his manners. She started: "Demi, you’re my girlfriend, and so you cannot talk about either the bodies or the sex appeal of other girls in front of me – ever! When you do, you sound like a slut, and I come across as a fool. You know – as a girl who’s such a dip that she doesn’t know her girlfriend is openly cheating on her. You do understand, don’t you, that you can’t talk like a sex-starved teenage boy when you’re Demi?"
He grinned sheepishly. "I acted like a moron," he said, "Can you forgive me? I’ll never talk about other girls in front of you again. Okay?"
"I want more than that, Demi. I suppose you have to talk like a boy when you’re at school or other guys will start razzing you. But when we’re alone, or when we’re with my Gran, or when we’re out on a date, I want you to talk as much as you can like a girl. Do you agree?"
"I don’t know what you mean by talking like a girl. Do you want me to giggle a lot?"
"Certainly not! If you intend to become a silly sissy, you can go find yourself another girlfriend. I want you to act like a modern woman, a serious woman. For example, if we talk about Condoleezza Rice, we girls are going to be naturally excited to have a female National Security Adviser. That means she’s responsible for protecting the world. But I don’t want to talk about the way she dresses, and you are forbidden to talk about her breasts. Do you understand now?"
"Yeh, I’m supposed to be proud that ‘us girls’ are getting ahead, but I’m not supposed to talk about the way successful girls look."
"Precisely," she said with finality.
Kyle wondered if it was possible to talk about women without talking about their faces and bodies. However, always ready for a new challenge, he accepted this one in order to please Joannie. Nevertheless, he believed she had sent them both on a fool’s quest. Could a teenage boy really refrain from commenting on the looks of females? For that matter, could a teenage girl?
Both Joannie and Kyle had hoped to have Virginia for an audience for Demi’s first attempt to ‘talk like a modern girl," but, inexplicably, their host had changed her mind about eating with them. She said that the date would go better if they had some privacy. She’d even put the cherry pie on the sideboard so that she wouldn’t have to return to serve it. After saying they should feel free to raid the refrigerator for milk or soda pop, she went to watch television by herself.
As she hunted for the TV remote, Virginia mumbled, "I don’t want to think tonight. I don’t want to have another thought for the rest of the evening." And nor did she, for she found a cable channel that was broadcasting a "Gilligan’s Island" marathon.
Deprived of their audience, Kyle and Joannie struggled to find a subject where Demi could demonstrate her ‘girlish’ knowledge and sensibilities. Their first big score came in women’s tennis, about which both teens knew quite a bit. They also began to stare lovingly into each other’s eyes, as they realized they could both talk about Kournikova and the two Williams sisters for twenty minutes without once mentioning their sex appeal. When Kyle ventured that he if he had legs as muscular as Vanessa Williams that he too would be willing to wear a short skirt to show them off, Joannie positively beamed.
It was Kyle, or rather Demi, who initiated the next subject: skirts. Joannie owned two of them, said Demi. When would she start wearing them? "Am I the only one in this relationship willing to wear a skirt?"
"Yes. You look great in a skirt, Demi. It really suits you. It makes you look sexy."
With that word, Kyle’s ears perked up. He slowly asked, "Are you saying that you find me sexy-looking in this skirt?"
"Do I ever! Demi, you look hot in a skirt – a lot sexier than when you’re wearing pants, even velvet ones. I just wish your skirt were shorter – you know, that it showed more leg. Because if you were wearing a mini-skirt, well … things would happen."
"Really?" explored Kyle.
"Definitely," she answered.
"If you find skirts so sexy on me, why won’t you wear one yourself," he asked. "I bet I’d think it looked sexy on you."
"No, I would look like a ditz in a dress or skirt. I’m going to stick to pants, boys’ jeans if you let me."
"No way!" Kyle replied. "We have a deal. If I wore a skirt in public, would you? Wouldn’t you have to? Isn’t that our deal?"
"Not exactly, Demi. Each deal is one we negotiate. If you were to say to me, ‘I’ll wear a skirt to school tomorrow, if you do,’ then I’d probably agree. Or I might say, ‘If I see you wearing a skirt or dress too Hoover on a Monday, then I’ll wear the same outfit on Tuesday. But we’re always going to have to make the deal first."
"So I can’t expect you to wear a skirt just because I’ve got one on now? Kyle investigated.
"No way!" she averred. "You could have worn the sheet or towel. You preferred the skirt. And you made the right decision – for you, but not for me – because you look really sexy in it."
Kyle heard that ‘s’ word again. It was time to resume operation ‘S’. With his original goal – the goal of most teenage boys – in mind, he proposed a new deal: "I’ll wear one of the skirts my mother bought for me to our next date, if … you … wear your most feminine lingerie …"
"Agreed," she eagerly interrupted.
"And you model it for me," he continued. "You know, model it with nothing else on – not even socks and shoes."
Joannie thought about the proposed deal. It seemed all right, so she replied, "Okay, it’s a deal, provided you promise to dress and to act as much like a girl as possible when we’re on the date. After all, I’d feel comfortable letting Demi, a girl, watch me undress in my bedroom. I’d even let Demi hug me when I was wearing only my bra and panties. We might even exchange girlish kisses. But Kyle, a boy, leering at me in my underwear, in my own bedroom? I don’t think so. He’ll have to wait in the hallway, no matter how he’s dressed."
"Is my date going to be with Kyle, a boy in girls’ clothes, or with Demi, my special girlfriend?"
‘Demi’ would be allowed to kiss and hold a half-naked Joannie? Whereas ‘Kyle’ wouldn’t be allowed to? This was an easy decision for Kyle, especially as he was finding the conversation arousing. "And so he replied, "Your next date, Joannie, will definitely be with Demi. You won’t even know I’m a boy unless… well, you know …"
"Demi, if you’re wearing a skirt, I’ll never forget you’re a boy."
"How come?" asked Kyle.
"Because of your hairy legs," Joannie replied. "Will you use the hair-remover on your legs before the date?"
He paused to reflect. He didn’t have much body hair, nor did the guys expect Kyle, a blond, to have much on his legs. They’d never notice the loss of what little he had. He accordingly agreed to make his legs look as feminine as possible for the date.
The terms of their second date were set, but not its timing. As Joannie was going out to a restaurant with Virginia the following evening, and as Kyle had a ‘basketball date’ with Steve on Saturday, they agreed to see each other on Sunday. Virginia agreed, without once taking her eyes off the mindless sitcom she was watching, to invite Demi over for Sunday dinner. So wrapped up in the plot of Gilligan’s Island did Virginia become, as she wondered, apparently, whether Gilligan would mess up yet again, that she was unable to come to the door to see Demi depart.
When asked about Demi’s velvet pants, she mumbled something about forgetting to take them out of the washing machine. "They’re still wet, I guess. Joannie will have to bring them to you at school tomorrow. Sorry. Oh, you can keep the skirt. The style’s too young for me now."
Thus Kyle had no choice but to wear his newfound skirt home. Peeved, he said, "Your grandmother is sure acting strange."
"Yes, Gran’s behavior is odd," Joannie agreed. "But then she’s very old. And you never know what old people will do next. I do hope, however, that she won’t get hooked on Gilligan’s Island, for I don’t like the way the women are depicted in that show. And none of the guys wear clothes that I’d be caught dead in!"
The teens weren’t entirely unhappy that Virginia was too engrossed in her sitcom to witness Demi’s departure. It meant that they could have a private farewell kiss. Joannie, who’d immensely enjoyed the second half of their date, was anxious for Demi to return. In gratitude and pledge, she hugged Demi tightly, as they kissed amorously for a full five minutes.
As Kyle headed into the alley, his body was still tingling. He had never felt more alive, even during a dangerous BMX or skateboard stunt. He hailed his skirt: "If you can get me a kiss like that every time, then I promise to wear you every time. Wow! Double wow!" He was so excited he forgot to hide in the dark, and the occasional garage light illuminated his progress.
A wolf whistle brought him back to his senses. He couldn’t tell where it was coming from. But a second, much closer whistle alerted him to the fact that his admirer was fast approaching. Kyle ran home as fast as his two-inch heels permitted. Briefly he heard someone running behind him, but his pursuer apparently tired of the chase, for soon only the clop-clop of Kyle’s own shoes could be heard.
Even so, Kyle kept running, and he hit his own house at such high speed that there was no chance, as he had intended, to sneak into it so quietly that his mother wouldn’t know he had returned. That is, she wouldn’t know he was home until he had removed his breast forms and skirt. However, as he burst through their front door, Barb saw that he had affixed the breasts. No surprise there.
The skirt did surprise her, but only because she didn’t realize that he had acquired a wrap-around skirt with a black and red floral design. "I guess he’s now shopping on his own," she mused.
She stopped Kyle in his tracks and then shunted him into the living room for a chat, as she wanted to ensure that he would never again do his cross-dressing behind her back. After getting him seated and relaxed, they had a heart-to-heart. In it, Kyle explained that his girlfriend Demi had given him the breasts; they had belonged to a deceased relative. He acknowledged that he was expected to wear the forms on his dates with ‘Demi.’
He was surprised that his mother liked the way he looked with ‘breasts,’ but agreed to wear his forms around the house whenever he wore girls’ clothes – "so the clothes would hang right."
He reminded Barb, however, that he’d be giving up all things feminine ‘soon after’ he had his moped. Barb wondered at the indeterminacy of this vow – or threat – but did not challenge it.
Kyle was more resistant to the idea of wearing skirts around the house, as he said he preferred jeans, even girls’ jeans. Indeed, he claimed that the plaid jeans were now his favorite pants. He declared: "They could be boys’ pants, you know, and I’m going to wear them even after I win my moped."
When asked about the missing velvet pants, he explained how they’d ended up in the wash, while adding, "I really like the feel of the velvet and the way the pants look on me, especially in the back. I’m going to wear them on really special occasions," Kyle said. "You know, like when you and I go out to Red Lobster."
When Barb steered the conversation back to the subject of skirts, he agreed to wear them around the house on days on which he was dating Joannie. Beyond that, he made no promises. He killed off discussion of dresses with two words – ‘no way.’
They spent part of the evening discussing skirts – how to select and wear them, and most important, how to sit in them without exposing one’s privates. Mostly, however, they talked about dating, as Kyle wanted her advice on how to ‘woo Demi’, and Barb responded by telling him how to ‘be Demi’ on a date with a boy.
True, she pretended to believe he was dating a girl when he loudly objected to her first use of the male pronoun to describe Kyle’s special friend, but she remained convinced he was dating Steve, and that for some reason, Kyle could admit to cross-dressing but not to homosexuality. She couldn’t figure out why Kyle dreaded homosexualty more than he did transgenderism, but he self-evidently did; and Barb resigned herself to coping with her son’s sexual confusion – as confusing as it seemed to her.
Later that night, after she had retired, she heard her son run the shower. She heard some cursing. And then she heard him make a frantic phone call. She wasn’t quite sure what it was about at the time, but the next morning she figured out what had happened when Kyle sheepishly came to her, still wearing his breast forms, and begged for help in getting ready for school.
"How do I get them off?" he shouted. "I can’t go to school looking like this!" he wailed. He started crying: "They won’t come loose in hot or cold water, and … Demi told me that there’s no solvent for them. She told me that the tape can hold for two weeks. Does that mean I can’t go to school for two weeks?"
"Stop sniffling, Kyle. Did you ever try simply pulling on them? Did you determine whether they came off with a good yank?"
"No," he replied. "I didn’t want to damage them. Anyway there has to be a solvent. I figured water just had to be the solvent. Water dissolves almost everything! What if it’s super glue on these breast forms? I’ll look like a girl for the rest of my life!"
He started sobbing.
At her command, he came close enough for Barb to grab her son’s tits. As she did, she couldn’t help but wonder whether one of them would one day need to talk to a therapist about this mother-son moment. Well, any psychological damage was already done, she figured, and so she yanked on her son’s tits. He yowled. But the breasts came off, as they were supposed to. There was tape, she saw, on both the forms and Kyle’s chest that together provided enough grip to keep the breasts attached unless someone treated the breasts like a champagne cork to be popped.
Greatly relieved, Kyle went off to his last day of school that week in plaid jeans, a black sports bra and matching cotton panty, and – his only new gesture toward cross-dressing – his new burgundy, snakeskin sneakers. He was relieved when the sneakers only marginally changed the betting on whether it was boys’ clothes that he and Joannie were wearing, or girls’ clothes. Because of Joannie’s reputation for cross-dressing, the odds had started at 9 to 1 male. Kyle’s burgundy sneakers lowered them to 3 to 1. Once again, Joannie was the more masculine dresser of the two.
Kyle should have been bleary-eyed as he headed off to school, considering that he had been forced to sleep with ample breasts. It took him, however, surprisingly little time to find comfortable positions on his back and side, and he slept like a babe.
That night he dreamt about Hawaii: He was a mighty, fearsome warrior in ancient times. And to his satisfaction, he fought many winning battles in his eventful dream. But the part of the dream he remembered best the following morning was his victory dance.
The dance came after each battle, and always took the same shape: In it, Kyle, wearing nothing but a necklace of pearl-shaped shark’s teeth and a grass skirt, would whirl about in ever-increasing frenzy, as he ritually broke the spears of his captives. As his victory dance gained speed, the virgin daughter of the vanquished chief would join in it. They would then spin at the speed of light. Eventually – at the dream’s climax – he and the virgin would become one – not just metaphorically, but physically – as his tribe hailed the rebirth of their hermaphrodite god.
Joannie and Barb also slept soundly, their minds and hearts at ease. So too did Elvira Lancer and Melanie, due no doubt to their easy conscience.
Virginia, on the other hand, slept not a wink. Her insomnia was so bad that she quit her bed at three a.m. and spent the rest of the night sitting in front of the television, its light flickering, its sound off, as she contemplated Joannie’s relationship with Demi.
She had been genuinely shocked when Demi dropped her pants and revealed herself to be a BOY! In those tight pink panties, there could be no question of Demi’s true sex. That much she knew: Demi is a boy! But that is all she knew for certain.
What kept her awake was her inability to answer these questions: Does Joannie know that Demi is a male? Have the two ‘girls’ ever actually seen each other in the buff? Is Joannie pretending to believe that Demi is a girl simply to make it easier for her to sneak a boy into her bedroom?
Are the two ‘girls’ merely friends or is there a sexual and romantic tie between them? If the latter, is it of a heterosexual or lesbian nature? Is Demi dressing as a girl as a ruse to seduce Joannie and dupe her guardian? Or is Demi a transsexual?
Who is Demi? Is she, as claimed, the child of Barb James? If so, is Barb aware that her son is posing as a girl? Has she accepted her son as a transsexual?
These were just half of the questions that besieged Virginia. She couldn’t answer any of them. She didn’t know which were the ones she should even try to answer. Obviously, she would have to speak with Joannie. But how even to broach the topic? She couldn’t just say, "Do you know that Demi has testicles?" That wouldn’t do as a first line.
Virginia was in a quandary. She’d rather not talk to Joannie about Demi. She wished the ‘girl’ would simply disappear. And yet, Demi had been invited to Sunday dinner.
Something would have to be said to Joannie, but Virginia found that she could not say it on either Friday or Saturday, two days that dragged on endlessly. Nor did it help matters on Saturday that Joannie spent the entire evening fretting about Demi’s date with Steve.
Joannie’s obsession with Demi was disturbingly obvious. But instead of having a heart-to-heart with her granddaughter, Virginia was paralyzed by new questions about Demi’s true nature brought on by her – his – date with a homosexual youth. It really, really bothered Virginia that she couldn’t figure Demi out.
Is he a devious heterosexual male? Or is he a lesbian transsexual? Is Demi a bisexual attracted to anyone wearing pants, whatever their gender? Or is he a chameleon who wears panties and skirts to seduce girls and boxer shorts and blue jeans to seduce boys?
Just who is Demi? What is Demi? Virginia Smith had no answer after three sleepless nights. In fact, by the third night, she was asking herself whether Demi, this wolf in girl’s clothing, had something for everyone, including sheep – if they were in the mood.
Steve Lancer was not the sort to bedevil himself with so many unanswerable questions. There was just one question that interfered with his sleep on Thursday and Friday night: "Will Kyle agree to become my boyfriend?" For Steve, that was the same as asking, "When will I have sex with Kyle?" Steve hoped that their date on Saturday would provide an answer.
Chapter Nine: What Does Kyle Know About Dating Boys?
"Mother," he shouted, "You can’t expect me to go out in public looking like a girl! I’ll get creamed!"
Barb couldn’t fathom this response. This date was obviously an important one: Kyle was going out to dinner with Steve and then to a basketball game. From Barb’s perspective, this was a big night for her son. To be sure, it was not, technically speaking, his ‘first date,’ but it would be the first time that he was ‘going out on the town’ with a boyfriend, and Barb therefore urged Kyle to ‘dress to the hilt’ for the occasion.
"This is a night you’ll always remember – your first time on a ‘true date.’ You should dress for it. Please, honey, reconsider your decision. You’ll be a knockout in your black skirt. You won’t even have to shave your legs, for you can wear the black tights I got you."
"Mother, I refuse to dress like a girl in public. I’m going to wear my school clothes – you know, unisex, except for the bra and panties. I will not wear anything that makes me look like a female. My hair is going to be as masculine as I can comb it. My makeup will be too subtle to detect. Do you understand?"
"But Kyle," she retorted, "you wore a skirt home from a date this very week. That evening you couldn’t have tried to look more feminine. You’ve already dressed like a girl on the streets of Des Moines. Why won’t you tonight? I was so hoping to see what you’d look like in a short skirt." ("Or a dress," she thought, "but that would be hoping for too much too soon.")
Kyle didn’t dare explain that he had never walked the streets of Des Moines dressed like a girl, only one of its back alleys, and then for little more than a block. If he told the truth, his mother would figure out that he was dating the granddaughter of Virginia Smith. Inevitably, the two women would have a chat, and when they did, his mother would learn that Kyle was posing as a female when he visited the Smith household.
And then he would be in unbelievable trouble. His mother punished lying severely. She considered it a cardinal sin. She’d be furious if she discovered that he’d been duping Mrs. Smith. Probably she’d conclude, with some accuracy, that the masquerade had been concocted to sneak Kyle into Joannie’s bed.
If she believed that Kyle had been making a fool of Virginia Smith just so that he could violate her ground rules about teenage sex and dating, Barb was guaranteed to ground him for weeks and – needless to say – deny him his moped. She might not even let him date Joannie ever again. A future without his moped and girlfriend was too painful to contemplate.
Kyle had to lie. What choice did he have?
But which lie? The one that came first to mind made use of Barb’s fixed conviction that Steve was, regardless of what Kyle might claim, the only person her son was dating. This particular lie had two advantages: It easily explained why he had yet to go out in ‘public’ dressed as a girl; and, if believed, would throw his mother permanently off Joannie’s scent.
Did his mother have difficulty believing he was dating a girl? Well, let her believe that his willingness to wear a skirt depended on whether he was dating ‘in’ or ‘out’ with Steve. He plotted: "She’ll come to accept that on ‘indoor’ dates, Steve wants me to look as much like a girl as possible, but that on ‘outdoor’ dates, that Steve is worried about our safety if I dress like a sissy."
"Mom," his tale commenced, "I didn’t actually go out in public dressed like a girl on Thursday. I didn’t have to because Mrs. Lancer drove me to Steve’s house. They both like having me dress like a girl at Steve’s house, but they agree that I don’t make a convincing enough of a girl to pretend to be one in public. Tonight we’re going to a basketball game. So I’ve got to look as macho as possible. Surely you understand?"
"I suppose so. But you’re wrong, Kyle, about not making a convincing girl when you’re fully dressed up. If you wanted everyone tonight to think you were a girl, we could make that happen. But it’s definitely your choice to make."
He nodded vigorously: "And yes, I’m going to look as much like a boy tonight as I can, even if I do have to wear girl’s clothes to keep our deal."
"Whatever you want, honey…." She bit her tongue. There would be no further terms of endearment until he’d answered a searching question: "Kyle, are you finally admitting there is no girlfriend named Demi? There’s just been Steve all along?"
"I don’t have a girlfriend named Demi," Kyle admitted.
"Then who is Demi? Are you Demi? Is Demi the name you use when you’re with Steve? Tell me the truth, Kyle. You know how much I detest lies and liars."
Kyle contemplated his options. There were no good ones. He realized his mother would be more forgiving if he admitted that he had been Demi than if he now said there never had been a Demi. "She’d say that I had been at least half-truthful," he said ruefully to himself.
So he added to his lies: "Yeh, Steve calls me Demi when we’re alone."
"Another piece in the jigsaw puzzle put into place," thought Barb. "Demi’s his drag name." To Kyle she said, "Son, I don’t know why you find it so difficult to admit to being gay. It’s no disgrace for a boy to be dating a boy. It’s done all the time these days."
She overrode his efforts to interrupt with – "And if you like being called Demi, then we can all call you that – at least, when you’re trying your utmost to look like a girl. Do you want me to call you Demi whenever I see you in lipstick, your breast forms, or a skirt?"
Kyle didn’t know where to start first. "Mother, I’m not gay. Just because I’m going out with Steve doesn’t mean I want to have sex with him. You adults are sex-obsessed. Do you know what a Platinum relationship is? That’s what Steve and I have. Only you adults would try to make something dirty out of it."
Was his mother on the defensive now? That was the idea. His mother didn’t like being called ‘an adult.’ She knew it was an accusatory word that meant she was ‘un-cool’ and almost ready for the old folks home. As Kyle hoped, Barb now mumbled an apology for intimating that two gay boys would necessarily have to hop into bed with each other: ‘I’m sorry, Kyle. It was wrong of me to stereotype your relationship with Steve. I’m sure that gay people relate to each other in many different ways. Why shouldn’t you have a Platonic relationship with Steve? Why not indeed?"
"If only it were true!" Barb said to herself as she thought about all the diseases and disorders associated with precocious teen sexual activity. She then told Kyle, who didn’t want to hear it, "Kyle, since gay relationships aren’t always sexual, perhaps you should admit that there is a teeny-weeny possibility that you are indeed a homosexual, even though you’ve never touched another boy. It would be healthier to admit the possibility than to be so fervently in denial."
"Okay, you win. If you need to believe your son is gay, then your son is gay. But there is no way that your son is ever going to have sex with a guy, including Steve. Understood?"
Kyle hoped that this ‘admission’ would kill this topic of conversation. In his mind, it was just another lie to add to the whoppers that he’d been telling since she began badgering him to wear a skirt on his ‘second’ date with Steve.
Barb felt she had to ask one last time about Demi: "Honey, do you want me to call you Demi when you’re dressed as a girl? Would that please you?"
Kyle was fed up with the whole topic of his sexual identity. So he brusquely replied: "Call me whatever you want, mother. I’ve got to get dressed." He then ran upstairs to get dressed. As promised, there was no makeup other than that needed to hide his shiner. His hair he spray-canned into a semblance of masculinity. And he chose his most masculine looking tops. However, as he didn’t want to look entirely drab on his ‘date’ with Steve, he put on his plaid-trimmed jeans and burgundy sneakers.
And, just for the heck of it, he wore his pink satin bra-and-panty combination. He liked the way it looked and felt, even if the straps and underwiring made its bra slightly more noticeable than the gray sports bra he originally intended to wear.
"No one will see the bra under two layers of clothing," he said to himself, "and I do like the feel of satin on my butt."
It took Kyle quite a while to get ready as he had to touch up his makeup and brush his hair out several times before it looked right. Moreover, he had to shave his underarms, as he promised Joannie he’d do. He had started shaving on Friday, using his mother’s razor, but feeling guilty about sneaking into her bathroom, he had that very day bought his own safety razor.
Its purchase was an important milestone, for it was the first razor he had ever owned or needed. A boy’s first razor is an important rite of passage. As he didn’t know what other brand to buy, and as he was fearful that a regular man’s razor might be too rough on his underarm skin, Kyle had bought a Lady Gillette.
Its addition to his routine so slowed him down that Kyle was still getting ready for his date as the appointed hour chimed – "Late! Just like a girl," he would have said of any other boy who was still primping when his date pulled up in the car outside.
Meanwhile, the Lancers’ Mercedes was idling its engine in front of the James homestead. Elvira was giving her son one last pep talk before he rang the doorbell of his first ‘date’. She reminded him that Kyle was different from other boys – not only because he was gay but also because he liked to wear girls’ clothes.
"Those clothes are a signal, Steve, that you cannot ignore. They speak more loudly than words. They say, "I want to be treated like a girl." Do you understand what I’m saying? If you treat Kyle exactly as you would any girl you were dating, then the date will be a smashing success. And then he’ll be calling you, probably every evening, tying up our phone line for hours."
"But Mom! I get your point about a gay date being no different from a boy-girl date. I can see that it might follow the same rules. But the rules have changed since you dated. A lot’s changed since Kennedy got killed, you know. Cripes, I bet you didn’t even have CD’s or PC’s then. Everything’s different now. We’re much more casual, I think."
"Yes, a lot has happened since President Kennedy died in Dallas, including your mother’s own birth. I wish you’d stop implying that I walked among the dinosaurs."
"Sorry," he mumbled. "I was just saying that dates aren’t a big a deal these days. I don’t think anyone shows up with flowers and candy anymore," he moaned as he shook the box of Belgian truffles. He then put his nose in the pink carnations and, pretending to be allergic to them, noisily sneezed.
"I am certain that you’re right, Steve, that most boys these days are thoroughly lacking in manners and good sense. They do nothing to show a girl -- or a boy -- that they consider their date a big, important occasion. And since it’s treated as a minor event, it’s easy for the date to lead nowhere. Even in the 1980s -- in the distant, Jurassic past -- it was rare, I admit, for a boy to show up at his date’s house with a bouquet of flowers and a pound of chocolates."
"That’s what I was saying. So don’t you think?" interrupted Steve.
Elvira raised her voice to override his objection: "But your father brought me flowers and candy -- I think they were NECCO mints -- on our first date. And in doing so, he really impressed my parents, your gram and grampa. They were always on his side from then on. Every time I wondered whether he was the right boy for me, they’d say, ‘Elvie, he’s perfect for you. Where else are you going to find an athlete who is such a gentleman? Just imagine it,’ they’d continue, ‘He’s a first-round draft pick by the NBA, yet still considerate enough to woo you with flowers. You’d be crazy not to date a talented boy with such fine manners.’ That’s what they kept telling me about your father, Steve."
"You want Kyle’s mother to like you, don’t you? Well, she’s the one who’ll be admiring the flowers and eating the candy. She’ll be your ally from this night onward; and if the mother is won over, her child will soon follow. So, you’ll definitely give Kyle the candy and flowers, right?"
"Yeh, I guess so." Steve still wasn’t sure the gifts were a good idea, but he had to admit that his father hadn’t done badly. His mother was, he thought, a kick-ass parent. The divorce wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, as Steve saw it, because his father hadn’t any idea he was gay until he got to New York City. According to gossip, it had been Mick Jagger -- or was it David Bowie? -- who had taught Mike Lancer his true sexual orientation in a private room at a disco club.
Steve admired his superstar father, and had been eager to learn the secrets of his courting. Elvira had been very obliging: She led Steve to believe that his father had been the type to hold open every door, to pick up every check, and to pull back every chair. Had Mike Lancer really been that old-fashioned? Possibly, for he had been raised in Venice Beach, California before he won a basketball scholarship to Iowa State University. Steve had never left Iowa, and so didn’t know much about the Los Angeles suburb; but he speculated that it might have the manners as well as the gondolas of Europe’s most medieval city.
However, it was more likely that Elvira wanted -- for reasons best known to herself -- for her son to make Kyle feel as feminine as possible on their date.
What game was she playing? Steve couldn’t have told you, for he believed that his mother was doing her utmost to ensure that he and Kyle lived together happily ever after. And so, he set aside his own gut instinct that Kyle didn’t want to be treated like a girl, never mind like a lady, and accepted his mother’s advice. Tonight, Kyle would feel like a princess. That was the Lancer game plan.
Steve began to see the wisdom of the plan when Barb answered the doorbell. She was speechless -- was it with delight? -- when he bashfully pushed the candy and flowers toward her, and announced that they were Kyle’s. She seemed so surprised by his unexpected manners that she dropped the box of chocolates onto the floor, accidentally crushing two strawberry creams into the broadloom carpet before recovering her balance.
As she and Steve knelt by the front door to extract the pieces of dark chocolate from the carpet, Barb finally found her tongue: "The gifts were quite unnecessary, Steve, as I’m sure that Kyle is delighted just to be able to go to a basketball game. You are going to a game, right?"
"Oh sure. My mom’s waiting in the car outside. See." And then he pointed to Elvira, who, in fact was now standing halfway up the front walk. She had an enormous camera in her hand, with the longest telephoto lens Barb had ever seen. As Barb saw the camera, she realized, "Elvira’s been photographing us. I guess she wants a photo of Steve presenting his gifts to Kyle. Instead, she’s got a picture of Steve’s rump as he scrambled after a truffle."
Actually, Elvira had already taken several shots. She was determined to have a total photographic record of Steve’s first date. And when Barb made the mistake of looking in her direction, Elvira invited herself into the house where she, rebuffing all attempts at small talk, positioned herself to capture Kyle’s descent down the family’s stairway.
Kyle, startled by the camera and half-blinded by its repeated flash, fell down the stairs. He might have ended up in the hospital, or worse, had Steve not caught him before he hit the ground. A dramatic photo it made, for Kyle appeared to have swooned in Steve’s arms. Steve quite forgot himself with the unanticipated opportunity, and he squeezed Kyle tightly enough to get him swearing out loud – for the first, but certainly not for the last time in the evening.
While it was disturbing to Kyle to be hugged like a girl, what unnerved him most was Steve’s strength. As Kyle struggled to free himself from his date’s embrace, he appreciated that Steve was a lot stronger than he was. Until then, Kyle hadn’t realized he was going out on a ‘date’ with a guy who could impose his kisses and caresses, if he so chose.
Kyle thought, "Mrs. Lancer may be a fool with all that picture-taking, but I’m glad she’s coming along to make sure that Steve behaves like a gentleman."
As Kyle finally clambered to his feet, Elvira Lancer loudly complained: "Oh Kyle, I’m so disappointed in the way you’re dressed. Steve and I were so hoping that you’d be wearing something really special – you know, like a dress. We expected at least a skirt, didn’t we, Steve?"
Steve said nothing, but inside his head spun: "A skirt? A dress? Why did she go and say that? Kyle’s dressed exactly as I thought he’d be -- in his school duds. He’s not loco enough to go to a college basketball game looking like a girl. Someone would kill him."
Kyle was speechless with rage: "How could that woman suggest to my own mother that I want to wear a dress?"
He thought of hitting Elvira. No, that wouldn’t do. His mother would ground him for a year. Then how about clobbering her son? That would teach the witch not to challenge Kyle’s manhood.
No, if he hit Steve, he wouldn’t get to see his first college basketball game. Instead, the evening would dissolve in recriminations and tears. And they’d probably be his own tears, for Kyle was still fretting over Steve’s unexpected strength. How did the guy get so strong at fourteen? Unable to lash out, Kyle gave Mrs. Lancer the evil eye. He imagined burning her at the stake.
Barb felt she had to defend her son’s honor: "Elvira Lancer," she spluttered unconvincingly, "how dare you suggest that my son wants to wear a dress? Kyle may be gay, but he’s just as masculine as your son."
"I’m not gay!" Kyle roared. Everyone looked at him in amazement. In unison, the two mothers sighed.
Steve, taking their cue, gathered up the candy and flowers and presented them to Kyle, who then flung them onto the carpet -- to his mother’s outrage. She said just two words, "Kyle James," and made but one motion -- her right arm, hand and index finger pointed rigidly to the kitchen. Kyle understood and he followed there.
Alone in the kitchen he got his worst scolding in months. His freedom for many weekends to come was on the line, as Barb sternly informed him. He was to behave for the rest of the evening, and if she heard of any more rudeness, he could forget about the moped. Indeed, he’d be walking, so far as she was concerned, for the rest of his life. Kyle was furious in turn: "You have no right," he snarled, "to renege on the moped deal, as long as I wear girls’ clothes for a month. You have no right."
"Yes, you’re perfectly right, Kyle James. You’ll get the moped if you keep your side of the deal. But it may be a year or two before I let you actually ride it if you don’t stop acting like a spoiled child. You will not misbehave tonight. Is that understood?"
Barb then marched Kyle back to the entrance hallway where he abjectly apologized for "accidentally dropping Steve’s considerate gifts."
With a smile marred only by his clenched teeth and a twitching jaw, Kyle posed with Steve, the flowers, and the candy as Elvira Lancer took a half-dozen close-ups for ‘their family albums.’ It took another six snapshots before Elvira could get a photo of Kyle in which he did not grimace while Steve affixed a carnation onto the buttonhole of Kyle’s powder blue, girls’ jacket.
As he walked down the front walkway, Kyle surreptitiously lost the boutonniere. He soon regretted lagging behind, however, when he realized that he had given Steve enough time to open the rear door of the Lancer’s Mercedes and there to wait like a love-sick swain for his arrival.
When Kyle reluctantly got into the back seat (he’d have preferred the security of the bucket seat in front), he found half of it already occupied by an inverted armchair. It had been purchased that day, Mrs. Lancer truthfully told him when he complained about the lack of space in back; less truthfully she denied having had the time to move it into the house.
Steve didn’t seem to mind the cramped quarters; indeed, he sat as close as physically possible to Kyle. Every attempt by Kyle that evening to escape the incessant contact by escaping to the front seat was rebuffed, as Mrs. Lancer icily explained that it was customary for a young couple to sit together on a ‘date’. She and Steve merely exchanged supercilious looks when Kyle protested yet again that he’d never ‘dated’ a boy, and never would.
Kyle only calmed down when Mrs. Lancer told him that they’d be eating at the Café Stia Attento before going to the game. The thought of a pepperoni pizza did much to improve his spirits; indeed, he didn’t even grimace -- or not very much -- when Steve grandly announced that he’d be buying Kyle’s meal as part of their ‘date.’ Kyle was in such a good mood that he even forgave Steve for making a fuss out of ‘helping’ him to get out of car.
However, Kyle realized that dinner was going to be trial, pizza or not, when Steve’s mom told him that she was going to eat at another table: "I’ll just be a fifth wheel," she said, "I’m sure you two boys would rather sit alone together. That way you can talk privately. I know, Kyle, that there are things Steve wants to say to you that he’d be too embarrassed to say in front of his mother."
This said, she positioned herself at a table across the room, where she began using her telephoto lens to capture Steve’s smiles and Kyle’s glares. It wasn’t that Kyle was being rude to his ‘date,’ but he was far from pleased to be on ‘candid camera.’
Even more upseting was Steve’s peremptory approach to ordering dinner. Kyle never even got a chance to open his menu, as Steve told the waiter that they’d share a ‘Pizza l’inverno.’ It was cheaper, he noted, than a ‘Four Seasons’ pizza, and probably just as good. After all, winter was one of his favorite seasons as it meant non-stop basketball on television.
Kyle, however, was outraged by the high-handed order, especially when the plain cheese pizza arrived: "How could anyone order a pizza without pepperoni?" he asked incredulously. "Jeez, it doesn’t have any meat at all!" He lashed out at Steve: "How come," he demanded, "I didn’t get a say in what we eat? Don’t I count around here?"
"Of course, you do," Steve purred. "But it’s a big, complicated menu, and I was worried that it might confuse you. My mom told me that the guy paying for a date should do the ordering. That way his date doesn’t have to do anything but sit back, enjoy the scene, and look cute. And you do look really cute tonight, Kyle."
Kyle couldn’t decide what to object to most -- to being treated like a dumb blond, to being reminded yet again that Steve thought they were on a date, or to having another boy call him ‘cute,’ not just once, but twice in rapid succession. As Kyle weighed his best response, Steve outdid himself by sticking two straws into the single, jumbo-sized Coke he’d ordered and suggesting it would be ‘cool’ to sip it together.
Kyle contemplated throwing the Coke at Steve, but, remembering his mother’s warnings, he sullenly began slurping away instead. He had revenge in mind: "I’ll drink more than half, and then he’ll be sorry that he asked to share a drink."
Their heads occasionally touched as they drank, which made it easier for Elvira to convince Irving Shapiro, the ‘gypsy’ accordionist, that the two boys were in fact out on a date. She’d lassoed him the moment he arrived to do a musical tour of the restaurant.
When she told Irving that she wanted him to serenade the two boys, he vigorously refused: "I wasn’t even going to sing for them. It’s just not done in Des Moines. I sing only for couples -- you know for a man and his wife, or for a guy and his woman."
"But the boys are a couple," Elvira replied. "Whether you like it or not, gays do live in Iowa and they deserve the same treatment as any heterosexual couple. If you don’t sing for my son and his boyfriend, I’ll go to the Civil Rights Commission and accuse you of discrimination. I’ll sue the ass of you and your employer. Do you understand?"
"I don’t have an employer," Irving complained. "I free lance. I pay Mr. Corleone, the owner of this joint, twenty bucks for letting me sing for his customers."
"Then I guess you won’t be able to afford the lawsuit, and I guess it will be real easy for Mr. Corleone and every other restaurant owner in this city to say, ‘He now sleeps with the fish.’ Or," and her tone changed dramatically, her snarl being replaced with a purr, "you can sing love songs to the boys for $50." She then waved five tens enticingly.
For the ‘gypsy’ violinist the choice had suddenly become an easy one, or at least would have been, had there not been one last problem to surmount: In the Stia Attento, Irving sang Italian songs (as opposed to the polkas and jigs he played for Le Ris de Spermophile, the classiest French restaurant in town), and as he objected to Elvira, there had to be a ‘bella donna’ to whom he sang.
It made no sense, he said, to croon ‘Solo Senza Te’ or ‘Amore Mio’ to both of the two boys. "One of them," he pronounced, "will have to be the ‘amore,’ the beloved girl, to whom I sing. But which one? All I see are two boys. To whom do I sing? Your request makes no sense." Or so he maintained, as he eyed the $50 hungrily. He waited for what he hoped would be a persuasive reply.
Elvira did have an answer. She always had an answer. "Can’t you see that one of the boys is dressed like a girl? Are you blind? Look at the blond. Look at his sissy pants with the plaid trim. That’s girls’ wear, and I swear to you that he’s wearing a bra and panties at this very moment. His name is Kyla and he’s my son’s date. I’m not happy that my son’s gay, but at least he doesn’t call himself Kyla and wear girls’ clothes. If you need a girl to sing to, you’ve got Kyla. She wants to be a girl. You make her feel beautiful. You make her feel loved, and I’ll give you sixty dollars. Deal?"
It was a deal. And Kyle had seen none of the negotiations, for his head was either buried in the Coke or looking in every direction but towards the camera he assumed Mrs. Lancer was still pointing at him. Kyle was, therefore, floored when the ‘gypsy’ accordionist began singing to him in Italian.
At first, he couldn’t figure out what was going on, but gradually it dawned on him that -- and this was so bogus it was almost impossible to believe -- the guy was belting out love songs to two boys. To boys! Go figure! They had to be love songs, because it seemed that ‘amore’ was every second word; and wasn’t that Italian lingo for ‘love’? Having deciphered the general intent of the songs, Kyle was shocked to hear his own name. The guy seemed to be singing about him!
Or was it to him? The guy was singing to ‘Kyla’! That had to be a feminized version of Kyle!
It then struck Kyle that the guy was treating him like a girl! When the ‘gypsy’ finished his set with one song in English to "Kyla, the most beautiful girl in the world," Kyle slumped in his chair, hoping that no one could see him. Ironically, as he slumped, one bra strap came briefly into view.
Irving, greatly relieved that the woman had been giving him the straight goods about the gay boys, whispered into Kyle’s ear: "That’s a lovely bra, you’re wearing, Kyla honey. It’s pink satin, right? No matter, I wish you the best of luck. Oh, you should try some lipstick. It will make you even prettier, sweet cakes?" Then, before Kyle could respond, Irving went to the next table.
"Lord, that boy’s not pretty at all," Irving was thinking as he tuned his accordion for the next couple, "but Kyla will love the compliment, and I’ll love the extra ten bucks."
Who knows what Kyle would have said had Irving not indicated that his bra was showing? Instead of suspecting foul play on the part of one of the two Lancers, he blamed himself for his embarrassment and exposure.
As he looked around the room, and thought he saw everyone, just everyone, either staring at him or talking about him, he surrendered to self-contempt. "I blew it," he said to himself. "I allowed my bra strap to show, and the guy concluded I wanted to be a girl. It’s all my fault." He then sunk into despond.
The long-stemmed rose did not raise his spirits. Elvira had negotiated its arrival at their table, though it was Steve who ostentatiously bought it for his ‘date.’ Steve hoped the romantic gesture would impress Kyle and get him talking again. Instead it got the entire room gossiping, for while few had paid attention to Irving’s love songs or cared who ‘Kyla’ might be, the single rose sitting lovingly atop a table shared by two boys signaled to everyone that these teens were more than buddies.
One table could be overheard saying that they made a cute couple, but, as the Stia Attento was located in Des Moines rather than in one of the more socially tolerant American cities like Greenville, South Carolina or Port Arthur, Texas, most of the talk around them was distinctly hostile to the ‘little fags.’
The boys and Elvira beat a hasty retreat. The rose they left behind. Or rather, Kyle abandoned it. Steve later said that he’d have guarded the rose with his life, had he been given the chance.
Outside, Kyle sullenly didn’t deign to comment when Steve made a fuss over opening the car door for him, and he made no effort to remove the gay boy’s hand when it came to rest on his lower right thigh. Kyle was tuning out; he didn’t want to interact with either Steve or his mother, for he intended never to speak to either of them again.
"This is the worst night of my life," Kyle kept repeating to himself. "That creep is history, and if his hand moves any closer to my crotch, I’m going to pop him one. I don’t care what my mother will say."
Fortunately for peace in both the Mercedes and the James household, Steve removed rather than moved his hand. He had finally comprehended that Kyle was too angry for romancing. Steve wasn’t sure why Kyle was in such a foul mood, considering that he’d been treated like a princess all evening, but he figured Kyle was probably upset by the snide remarks at the restaurant. If true, Kyle had to toughen up, for as Steve saw it, "A gay boy who likes to wear women’s clothing had better get used to fielding an insult or two."
As the two boys sat wordless in the Mercedes, Steve had ample opportunity to reflect on Kyle’s cross-dressing. He had to admit that it bothered him, for Steve originally had been attracted to Kyle because the adventurous, accident-prone skateboarder had seemed so normal. He was a regular guy. Like so many gays, Steve was attracted to males who were straight acting. And Kyle seemed quintessentially straight, that is, until he started wearing girls’ clothes.
Steve had discussed the new, more feminine Kyle with his mother at length, and had asked her whether she believed that Kyle, or any boy, would wear a bra and panties for a month just to win a bet. Was it likely, he asked, that Kyle wanted a moped so desperately that he’d risk his reputation at school for being a masculine, regular guy?
Steve hadn’t liked Elvira’s answer but he had accepted it: Namely, that the moped was merely an excuse. "Kyle," she maintained, "is a transvestite. He may even be a transsexual. Whatever he is," she warned, "you’re going to have to accept that his cross-dressing is unlikely to stop at simply wearing girls’ jeans. You can be sure that he will soon be mincing about in a dress."
That word – mincing – stung like a slap in the face.
And then she asked, "Will you still be his friend when he’s in a halter top and skirt?"
After some thought, Steve affirmed that his passion for Kyle was more than cloth deep. "In fact, I want to spend the rest of my life with Kyle. He could grow boobs and I’d still love him, because he’d still be Kyle, my Kyle."
For Steve the conversation had been an eye-opener: It made him realize that he’d accept, almost welcome, Kyle’s feminization as a test of his love. Every adolescent wants to believe that he is attracted to the inner being, the soul, the quintessence of the beautiful people he dates (or lusts after), and in Steve’s case the more feminine Kyle looked or acted the more opportunity it gave Steve to prove that he was attracted to the inner being of the first male he had truly loved, rather than to his pecs, genitals or buttocks.
Elvira had advised Steve that his love was not strong enough to survive, as an example, a decision by Kyle to get breast implants. Well, she’d learn that her gay son was capable of true love. As he looked over at Kyle, Steve thought, "You’d look pretty pathetic in a dress, but if you put one on, I’ll prove how much I love the real you."
His hand then squeezed Kyle’s hand. Kyle reacted as if stung by a wasp.
That was the low point of the evening. From then on, the ‘date’ went a lot better, for Kyle had the time of his life at the basketball game. He had never been to either a college or pro game, despite his passion for hoops, And now he had courtside seats.
"This is super rad!" Kyle kept telling himself for two hours straight. Naturally, he didn’t want to take his eyes of the game for even a minute, and so he started to see Steve’s attentiveness as more virtue than vice.
"This is cool," Kyle thought to himself, as Steve hustled about to keep him supplied with candy, chips and soda pop. Kyle recognized that Steve was treating him like a girlfriend, but as he munched away on all the free goodies that were coming his way, he thought to himself, "There are a lot worse things than being treated like a girl." For the rest of the evening, he made no attempt to correct Steve when he talked about their dating in the future.
It was not that Kyle intended to accept a second date with Steve. That was out of the question, if for no other reason than his infuriating mother: Elvira from her seat across the arena had been constantly taking his picture, and he just knew that some of them would be embarrassing, for Steve did occasionally touch him or holler in his ear -- as even regular guys did.
Yet even Elvira could not ruin the evening for Kyle. During the game, he came to recognize that the hassles and embarrassment at the restaurant were minor irritations when compared to the thrill of watching big-time college basketball live, and the pleasure of having a boy at his beck and call. It had been a good evening, and not one that he regretted, all things considered.
Hence Kyle agreed, after some hesitation, to a second ‘date’ with Steve: One week later Iowa State would be playing another home game, and the two boys would once again have, thanks to Steve’s dad, courtside seats.
However, Kyle did impose two conditions: On the second date, Steve was neither to buy him a rose nor to treat him like a dumb blond when it came to, for example, ordering dinner.
There could have been a third condition: namely, that Steve not "treat him like a girl" when they went out together. Kyle could have insisted on his right to pay his own way and to run about doing favors for Steve. But Kyle had liked having a servant during the game, and for the first time he could see some advantage to being a girl. If Steve wanted to dote on him, why discourage him? Kyle wasn’t going to insist on being treated like a boy 100 percent of the time, not if it meant he’d have to risk being the one trapped in a line at the concession stand when the ball game was on the line.
By the end of the evening, it was apparent to Steve that Kyle was willing, to some degree, to be treated like a girl. Did that extend to kissing? A girl would be expected to thank a boy for such an expensive date with, at the very least, a peck on the lips. Was Kyle willing to kiss Steve? How much of a ‘girl’ was he willing to become?
Steve himself wondered how far Kyle was willing to go, as the two of them stood awkwardly under the porch light at front door of the James home. Steve shuffled his feet as Kyle awkwardly thanked him for a ‘super evening.’
There was a long silence. And then, Steve pounced. He went for the goodnight kiss. He went for Kyle’s lips. Kyle moved as quickly as he could to avoid being "kissed like a girl".
Did his evasive action succeed? According to Kyle, it did. He believed that Steve’s lips had done no more than graze his cheek. As for Steve, he was quite uncertain as to what had happened. He had been leading with his tongue. It had found some part of Kyle’s anatomy. But had it found its way into Kyle’s mouth?
Only Elvira claimed to know for sure. She had been clicking photos non-stop from the car, as she had been taking them all evening. She had about a dozen pictures of ‘the kiss,’ but only one of them did she show to either Steve or Kyle, or reprint to mail to Barb James the following day.
The photo had been taken at a distance, and at a strange angle. It was blurred. Yet it seemed to show two boys kissing each other on the lips. Moreover, Kyle seemed to be taking the initiative. According to the photo, it had been Kyle who had kissed Steve! Steve first swore that Kyle had made no effort to kiss him, but Elvira eventually convinced him otherwise.
"Photos don’t lie," she said, "and this picture proves that Kyle was pretending that he didn’t want a kiss. He was acting like a girl should on a first date – demurely. He wanted you, as the boy, to make the first move; but as soon your head moved towards his, he lunged to kiss you."
"Had it really been like that?" Steve wondered. "If mom says so, I guess it was. I just have to treat Kyle like a girl, and soon enough I’ll know what it’s like to make it with a boy."
Barb also came under Elvira’s spell. When she opened her letter and saw its photo enclosure, Barb concluded: "It’s true. Kyle is gay. And he is, as Elvira says here in the first line of her note, actively pursuing her son."
The letter hectored Barb for not facing up to facts, and therefore for failing her son: "You’re going to have to admit, Barb, that your son desperately wants to be a girl, and that he wants to be my son’s girlfriend, and not his boyfriend. Quite frankly, I think the relationship between our children would be much healthier if Kyle were permitted to liberate his inner woman."
"Barb, you do your son no favors when you allow your prejudice against transgendered people to get in the way of Kyle’s timely transformation into the girl of his dreams. You know, Barb, that Kyle is not far launched into puberty and if you act quickly, he could still make a passable female when he reaches adulthood."
The letter ended with a ringing declaration that Kyle had the "right to be all that he can be," and that Barb had "no right to let her old-fashioned prejudices" stunt her son’s life.
After Barb had finally stopped ranting about the interference of that ‘Lancer woman’ in her family’s life, she asked herself several questions to which she did not yet know the answers: "What game is Elvira Lancer playing? Does she really believe my Kyle is a transsexual? And if she doesn’t, why does she insist he is one?"
These were, of course, the easy questions. The toughest two had been tormenting her since she had found the breast forms: "Is my son a transsexual? Is he more Demi than Kyle? And if he is, what should I do about it?"
The answers to these questions would determine the future course of Kyle’s life. It never occurred to Barb James that she could get the answers wrong.
To be continued in Chapter 10 (Part 8), "Who Gave Kyle the Hormones?"
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