Thank God it's Friday.
The end of the week heralds a break from the routine of daily life. Perhaps more of a break for some than for others...
Paul closed the door behind him and leaned against it letting out a sigh of relief. Friday evening at last; the weekend beckoned.
He looked around his apartment; small but neat, although he did notice a slight patina of dust on the coffee table. Perhaps Genevieve would be able to spend some time cleaning around the place tomorrow. He smiled at the thought. Perhaps there was a time for her to give the place a once over before he went out? A glance at the clock told him otherwise. It was already half past five and he hoped to be out by seven. It would take that long to get ready.
Dropping his briefcase on the sofa, he made his way through to the bedroom. It had been designed to take a small double bed, but Paul had found better use for the space. A single bed ran along one wall, and opposite was a full size dressing table with three mirrors and bright neon lamps around the edges. At the opposite end of the room was a built in closet – originally a walk in, but with a little bit of work adapted to Paul’s particular needs.
He took off his jacket and tie and hung them up in the closet, all the time feeling a sense of growing anticipation. Soon the week's build-up of stress and tension would be gone.
He stepped into the en-suite bathroom and started to run a bath, pouring in a generous helping of bath salts and agitating the water to set the lather building. With the fresh, flowery scent filling his nostrils, he unbuttoned his shirt and dropped it into the washing hamper.
Walking back into the bedroom, he emptied his pockets of keys and change onto a small tray beside the bed, slipped the belt out of its loops and walked back into the bathroom unzipping his fly.
Trousers, underpants and socks followed the shirt into the hamper and he stood naked in front of the mirror. It was a disappointing sight in some ways. Pale podgy flesh, the colour and consistency of unbaked bread dough formed an ample paunch, above which were two nipples standing proud on their own mounds of flab. Man-boobs they were called disparagingly by those who saw them, but Paul didn’t mind in the least. It gave him the slightest of thrills to think he had a pair of boobs, however “manly”.
With the bath still running, he checked his body over and was gratified to see that, apart from his crotch, there was no sign of hair anywhere below his neck. He rubbed his face and, although it felt reasonably smooth, decided that a shave would be worthwhile. A little foam, a few practised motions with the razor and his chin was baby smooth.
By the time he was wiping the excess foam from his face, the bath had filled and he stepped gingerly into the scalding hot water. It was painful, but he gritted his teeth and stepped in all the way, immersing himself quickly, waiting for his tortured body to stop screaming like little girl. Before a minute had passed, the agony had subsided, and he relaxed into the familiar slippery pins and needles feel. He allowed himself 10 minutes to soak before washing his hair and soaping his body thoroughly.
When he finally stepped from the bath, his already soft flesh was softer and smoother still, with just a hint of redness from the overly hot water. He patted himself dry with a large luxuriant bath towel and then doused himself with talcum powder. The mixture of smells, all sweet and not the least bit masculine, was heady and he could feel the knots that had been tightening in his back and neck during the long week untying themselves as Paul retreated for the weekend.
There was a strangeness here he had never explored fully. For most of the time he was content to be a man, dress as a man, act as a man, but every so often he had to put manly things to one side. It had started when he was young, sneaking clothes out of the washing or out of his sister's room. He couldn't understand the attraction, the compulsion, not even when he had been caught and his parents insisted on an explanation. Sure there was a sensuous feel to the delicate fabrics, an arousal that came with the gentle caress of nylon and silk, but that wasn't all of it. Beyond the softness of the clothes, dressing helped him to feel softer too. On the inside. It was a part of who he was and it needed to be expressed.
He wrapped a towel around himself, tucking it underneath his armpits, and made his way to the closet in his bedroom. Reaching behind the row of suits and shirts, he pushed on two faint indentations in the wall behind the rack. With a soft click, the entire inside of the closet – rail, clothes and all, swung away to reveal the original walk in. A deep space with an altogether different array of clothing lining three walls.
Stepping into the room, Paul’s hand brushed lovingly over the black satin and lace that made up Genevieve’s maid outfit. It was cliché he knew, and a little bit kinky, but there were few things he enjoyed more than cleaning the apartment as Genevieve. That it turned a necessary chore into a pleasure was pure gravy. Resisting temptation with a firmness that would make the anticipation of Saturday's housework all the greater, he walked deeper into his Aladdin’s cave, allowing the towel to drop to the floor.
First things first, he took a roll of parcel tape and, tearing off two long strips, he stuck them to his chest, a little under his nipples and pulling the mounds of flab together. It wasn't particularly pleasant, but he got used to it after a short while, and it gave him a natural cleavage that made the discomfort worthwhile. He slipped his arms through the straps of a lacy white bra, and hooked it behind him with an easy, practised motion. He took what looked like two chicken fillets and slipped them into the empty cups, beneath his own inadequate bulges. The bra filled nicely showing his own protuberant flesh above and between the two cups. He twisted around a little to make sure the tape would remain secure and checked himself out briefly in the mirror.
So far so good. There had been a time when just a little thing like this would have been enough for him. Any slight concession to the feminine part of him and all his pent up frustration would evaporate in an instant. The more you do something though, the more you become desensitised to it. In time he had gone from being happy just to wear a camisole or a pair of tights under his clothes to needing to be fully dressed and made up and wanting to leave the house. I mean what's the point in making yourself look pretty if other people aren't going to admire you?
The girl emergent, taking over. He didn't mind. She was part of him and had as much right to live as he did. He reached for a pair of sheer stocking tights. The best of both worlds, no suspender belt with its taught elastic threatening his delicate parts, but at the same time all the appearance of stockings. Bunching the nylon together, he couldn’t help a sensuous shudder as the gossamer threads slid up first one hairless leg then the other.
Next came a large but frilly pair of panties. Passion killers perhaps, but one of the advantages of being his certain size was that he could usually get away without the discomfort of tucking certain parts of his anatomy away. The large panties covered him well enough and held everything gently but securely against his body. There was a slight risk of being discovered this way, but since there weren't that many men who wanted to get that close, he felt it to be acceptable.
A slip, deliciously cool against his nylon clad skin, went on next and he flounced a little in front of the full length mirror. He still had short hair and a masculine face, but below the neck a plump girl pirouetted in front of the mirror. Time to deal with the bit that looked wrong.
Grabbing a wig from its stand, Paul tiptoed into the bedroom. It wasn't that he was trying to be quiet, it was just that his stockinged feet were already anticipating the heels he would soon be wearing.
Smoothing the slip out underneath him, Paul sat down at the dressing table in front of the mirrors. Unlocking the central drawer, he slid out a tray containing a large selection of cosmetics and put them on the dresser in front of him. Next he flipped the switch that turned on the lights around the mirrors, before settling the wig on his head and sliding in a few hair clips to hold it in place. The style was shorter than he would have liked, but plump women rarely looked good with long hair. This one had a page boy style which fell to the level of his shoulders. With his own hair successfully hidden, he spent a few minutes brushing the style into place before turning to the cosmetics and applying a thin layer of foundation.
Less is more, less is more. The mantra sounded through his head as he added the slightest hint of blush to his cheeks, a little mascara, a hint of eye shadow and neutral gloss to his lips. He practised this as often as he could, even during the week sometimes, and now he was good enough with the war-paint, that within just ten minutes, Paul was gone and Pamela (she had toyed with Paula or Paulette, but didn’t want to risk anyone making the link. Pamela at least meant she could still use the same credit card) was looking back out of the mirror at him. She gave a quick pout and then smiled demurely as though unable to believe she had been so forward.
Back into the closet to fetch a cream dress off its hangar (the finest that e-bay could provide). She stepped into it and zipped up the back to just an inch above her bra. It was sleeveless with a plunging neckline and a full skirt with a great many folds, all helping to hide the man beneath the mask. She added a touch of perfume and some accessories. Earrings – clip-ons unfortunately, but Paul hadn't yet found the courage to have his ears pierced – necklace, bangles and a lady's watch. A faux fox fur stole, three inch black pumps and a matching black handbag completed the ensemble.
Pamela turned back and forth in front of the mirror, causing the full skirt to flare and swirl around her knees. Paul was gone for now and she was free. The sense of relief was almost orgasmic in its intensity. He'd be back again in a couple of days, wanting to take control once more, but by then she would be ready to recede again; ever the following partner in this dance through life.
She felt a strange sense of in-betweenness. She knew she was a man, but right now she also believed in the woman. This was where it was more than just playing dress-up and indulging in some pseudo-sexual act of self gratification. Even as a part-time girl she couldn't live all her life locked away from the world. There would be no knight in shining armour come to rescue her and carry her away to a happily ever after, she knew that. She wasn't sure she even wanted that, but she did want her freedom, at least some of the time.
She knew she wasn't pretty enough to interest most men, just as pudgy Paul wasn't going to win the hearts of too many women. He wasn't that confident either, so seemed equally unlikely to attracting anyone through the force of his personality. In short, Paul was a dead loss socially.
Both of them... actually that's not a great way of putting it. They weren't two different people, but rather different facets of the same person. Paul/Pamela had decided that he/she would be better off socialising in feminine guise. As Pamela she was far more outgoing, and friendly. It was strange. Being dressed like this she didn't feel physically attracted to women. Something that made it easier for her to strike up conversations and friendships with the sort of people Paul would like. The hope was that one day, she would meet a girl who would be open to the sort of person he/she was, who liked Pamela as a friend, and who was likely to have feelings for Paul. Come that day, she would be able to introduce her friend to Paul and who knew where it might end.
In the meantime there were friends to be made. Tonight she was going to a book and film club for young women that was starting down at the local social centre. Whatever else might happen, it would be wonderful to go out dressed, especially without the worry of being hit on by a guy. She slipped Paul’s keys and wallet into her purse and made her way out of the flat.
“You’re looking very nice tonight dear.”
It was Mrs Jameson from next door. At eighty-four, she was one of the younger residents of the block of flats. In truth, this had been Paul's main reason for choosing to live here. The predominantly old population of the block of flats didn’t tend to get many visitors – sad indictment on modern society – and if any of them retained enough, marbles to figure out that sometimes the young person living in number seventeen changed gender, they were either kind enough to play along like Mrs Jameson, or wise enough to realise that making a fuss about it would be the quickest way into more sheltered accommodation.
“Thank-you Mrs Jameson”, Pamela replied in her soft voice. “You look very pretty too.”
Mrs Jameson smile, “You be careful out there dear. A lot of men don’t know how to treat a lady these days.”
Pamela smiled to herself at the compliment and headed down the stairs to catch the bus.
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