Through the years: Tracy emerging part 21

“Yeah. He was in a funk, wasn't he.” William agreed. Vance only nodded. “How are you handling the whole Tracy thing?”

Vance smiled at his dad. “Well, her having cute girlfriends helps.”

William smiled and shook his head. “Figured you’d go with that first.”

“Well, Sage is hot and that Stacey is kinda cute too.”

--SEPARATOR--Thanks once again to Djkauf for the editing

Just another part to Tracy in Sacramento with her Mom and her brother and Father back home.

NOTE: I have raised the rating due to subject nature, but it's not too bad.

--SEPARATOR--

December 27th 1982

[Sacramento]

Maggie took Tracy into one last store and they went straight to the women’s section. They had been somewhat good throughout the shopping trip, having just a few bags each, but Maggie had a reason to bring her daughter to one last store. “Baby, there's one last thing we need to get here at the mall, and you get to pick it out.”

“What's that?” Tracy asked. She already had several tapes in her bag, along with some more shoes to go with a skirt she had at home. She had also picked up a few pieces of jewelry, things to go with the necklace she got from Peter. She wasn't aware of anything she had missed.

“A purse. I should have got you one sooner, but I forgot.” Maggie turned to face her daughter. While they had shopped, she had been thinking of ways that Tracy didn't fit the role of a little girl and she came up with the obvious answer. She wasn't a little girl, not on the outside at least. But the longer they had been in the mall, she noticed a trend with teen girls, and it reminded her of when she was younger. After she got her first period, her mother took her down and got her a purse, and Tracy was at that age herself. So to help hide her daughter's abnormality, she was going to give Tracy a well-needed prop. Plus, it would help with all the fun stuff like makeup and other essentials for a teen girl. “A purse is kinda like a rite of passage. I should have gone with you to get one in Livermore, but we were all a bit pressed for time. So we get to do it tonight.”

Tracy's face lit up as they went to the racks that held the different purses. The choices were staggering, and she began to wonder which one was right for her. “Just one?”

“Let's get two. One for that pretty pink dress of yours, so you can complete that outfit, and then a daily use purse.” Maggie suggested.

Neither of them saw the young lady, who was about twenty, come walking over. Her hair was pulled into a long pony tail and she had on the usual forced smile of a minimum wage employee, even though one could tell she was tired, from far too many hours of dealing with sale hounds through the holidays was peeking through. “Can I help you ladies today?” She asked in a forced friendly voice.

“Um, yes.” Maggie said. She decided to play up the age of her daughter. “We're here looking for a purse for my daughter, Tracy. She's reached the age that she kind of needs one now. Can't always be using mine, I won't always be with her when she needs stuff.”

The woman looked at Tracy and her smile seemed to turn more genuine. “Well, my name is Lucy, and I'll be happy to help you. Now, are you looking for any kind of purse? We have small purses, big purses, fancy ones and plain ones, plus we got ones over there that you could hide a seven course meal in.” She pointed to another rack that had large bags, bigger than her backpack she used for school. Tracy giggled at the thought of having a bag that big and she looked at the somewhat normal purses.

“Don't knock 'em. I got a girlfriend who has one and we take it when we go to the movies.” She bent down to whisper into Tracy's ear, but loud enough for Maggie to hear. “Beats paying the high prices for candy at the snack bar.”

“Really?” Tracy asked as she stood up. Then she looked at her mother who had a larger purse that she took to the movies. The more Tracy thought about it, the more she realized that each time she had gone with her mother, Maggie always seemed to have candy with her and she had never bought any at the concession stand.

Maggie nodded, giving her a smile as she patted at her purse. “Tracy, Why do you think I take mine. I always got some sort of snack food in my purse.”

“A purse is your life.” Lucy said. “So let's pick what type of purse you want.”

“We're thinking two purses. One for nice occasions and one for daily use.” Maggie stated.

“Like what type of nice occasions? Weddings and stuff?” Lucy asked.

“I got a pretty pink dress and I want a purse for that.” Tracy said, bouncing in place as she thought about the present her grandparents had given her.

“So a dressy purse? What about black?” She asked as she grabbed at a bag that wasn't too small, nor was it too big. It looked thinner then most bags and very shiny. She handed it to Tracy, who opened it up and looked inside. “It's got space for all the essentials. It is smaller then a few of the others, but this may be a good idea for a nice dress. You don't want to take away from the dress, do you?”

“I guess not.” Tracy replied.

“Do you like this one?” Maggie asked.

“Yeah.” Tracy nodded.

“That's one. What do you want for a daily use one?” Lucy turned back to the rack. “Maybe a bit bigger, so you can put all sorts of stuff in it?”

Tracy shrugged, then in typical kid fashion, she thought about it after the shrug and answered. “Sure.”

“Well, there is this one.” Maggie grabbed another bag, this one a bit bigger then the nice purse and with a longer strap.

“That one would be good for your everyday use.” Lucy said. “I have one of those, but in green.”

“Green?” Tracy perked up a bit. “Do you have blue?”

“Yeah.” She went to the other side of the rack and pulled one off and handed it to Tracy.

“This is so cool.” Tracy ran her fingers over the fabric and smiled at her mother. “Please?”

“That the one you want?”

Tracy nodded, then she saw the price tag. Her smile faded a bit and she looked up. “Wait....” She bit her lip. “Maybe I'll find a different one.”

“Why?” Maggie asked as Tracy went to put the bag back on the other side of the rack.

“It's kinda expensive.” Tracy stated.

Maggie Leaned over and looked at the price. “Baby, don't worry about price. Besides, if you treat them right, your purse can last for a long while.”

“She has a point.” Lucy smiled. “I have one that I got when I was bout eleven. I gave it to a younger cousin of mine.”

“Really? Cool.” Tracy smiled at her.

Maggie was quiet for a moment, thinking about the contents of her own purse, then she looked at Lucy. “Where are the ladies wallets?”

“Over this way.” She led them to a stand that had a large assortment of wallets.

Tracy looked at them, then at her mother. “I can't carry a wallet, I don't wear pants much.”

Maggie smiled, gestured to the wallets and said. “It goes in the purse. I keep mine in there.”

“Why do I need a wallet?” Tracy asked.

“Hold money? Hold ID's.” Maggie said.

Lucy grinned. “Hold the boyfriend’s credit cards, when you're older, of course.”

Maggie chuckled. “That too.” Tracy quickly look at the wallets, then pulled out one she liked. “You good with that?”

“Yeah.” Tracy nodded.

Lucy led them over to a free register and she put the bags on the shelf. “Anything else tonight, ladies?”

“No.” Maggie said. “I think we'll hit the rest of the stuff on the way home.”

“Stuff?” Tracy asked. “What stuff?”

“Well, you need things to put in a purse. We'll stop at a drugstore and get the essentials.” Maggie replied.

“Like what? Candy?” Tracy smiled at her.

“Well, not candy. But a lot of women carry pens, brushes, lip balm, lipstick and compacts.” Maggie counted each one on a finger. “Plus the feminine needs too.” She added. Tracy went a shade or two of red and looked at the floor. “Hey kiddo, it's a fact of life.” No point getting all red about it.” Her mother said.

“But what if I don't need it?” Tracy asked in a quiet voice, as she tried to remind her mother that it just wasn't possible.

“Tracy....” Lucy leaned over the counter and dropped her voice to a whisper. “Always carry some. You're friends may need one and be out of their own. Trust me, girlfriends can be such a lifesaver when you need one.”

Tracy looked at her, then at her mother who nodded. “It's true.”

“Tell you what. I know a good place to go to and it's close.” Lucy said.

“Well, we're headed to Mama Moretti's, the little restaurant up the road from here.” Maggie said. “But I don't recall where it was. I was going to ask before we left.”

“I can help with that. On your way out of here, head to the south, that will get you towards Mama Moretti's. You'll pass a drug store about a block from here, Carlson's drugs. It's on the same side of the road as the restaurant and in fact, you'll see the sign from the restaurant from the parking lot of the drug store.” Lucy said. “If a girl with black hair, about my height with the name of Patty is there, have her help you out. That's my sister.”

Maggie smiled at her as Lucy rang up the purses and wallet. “We will. Thank you very much.”

“It's not a problem.”

~o~O~o~

[Oroville]

Vance was in the passenger seat of his father's car as they headed into town. It had been a good day so far. He had managed to help his grandfather with more work on the shed. He had worked up a large thirst and a bigger hunger. So he been surprised to see that his mother and sister had never come home. The typical male side of him began to grumble about food, and who should be cooking, till his father had shown up and offered to take him out to eat.

He had been faced with the biggest of choices of the day. Where to eat. His choices were simple. A buffet, or a place with good steaks. He had to think about it, for several moments. Usually the steak place was never an option. But they also rarely ate out. In the end, the buffet won out, mostly for the large number of choices on desserts. Vance watched the scenery pass by, while the sun was slowly setting in the western sky.

William reached over and tapped his son's shoulder to get his attention. “Hey, just thought you'd want to know, Tracy got some of her restriction lifted, so she may be able to start cooking and cleaning again.”

Vance slowly looked at his father and raised one eyebrow. “How did you know that? Mom and Tracy never came home.”

“Your mother called me. They went to Sacramento after the appointment. Your mother wanted to check out some of the clothes specials.” William replied. “Plus she's going to um...well her and Tracy got to have a little girl talk.”

“Girl talk?” Vance looked at his Dad for a moment.

“Trust me boy, you really don't want to know. Like major girly things.” William stated.

“Okay.” Vance nodded slightly. “But Tracy can take over the cleaning again.”

“Up to a point. She still has a limit, but we can work around that.”

“Darn it.” Vance grumbled.

“Hey kiddo, give it time. If it had happened to you, I doubt you would be wanting to jump up and work.” His father said.

“I guess.”

William was quiet for a moment, then glanced at his son and back to the road. “Son, what are your thoughts about Tracy?”

“It's cool I guess.” Vance replied. “I mean when she's able to cook, she's getting good. Plus Troy was boring. I mean he just got so....” Vance was quiet for a moment, trying to figure out the right word. “Grumpy I guess.”

“Yeah. He was in a funk, wasn't he.” William agreed. Vance only nodded. “How are you handling the whole Tracy thing?”

Vance smiled at his dad. “Well, her having cute girlfriends helps.”

William smiled and shook his head. “Figured you’d go with that first.”

“Well, Sage is hot and that Stacey is kinda cute too.”

“True, but remember, they are your sister’s friends.” William stated. “It's often hard with siblings if they date a friend of the other sibling.”

“How so?” Vance asked.

“Well, say you and one of those girls date, then you have a bad breakup. Well now that girl won't want to come over to the house because you're there. And Tracy may get mad at you if you hurt them.”

“Hadn't thought about that.”

William nodded. “It's hard with siblings involved. Almost as bad as when you have a group of friends and you date one of them. The chance of your group falling about if you break up is really high.”

“Oh. So it's bad to date friends of mine and friends of Tracy's?” Vance asked.

“I'm not saying to not do it, but just know that when it's friends, or Tracy's friends, the stakes are higher. If it falls apart, you can lose several friends in the fallout” William said. “Now, how else do you feel about her?”

“Okay I guess.” Vance replied. “It did seem that she had the easier jobs, till I had to take over for her.”

“Well, you work the fields, twice a week and she's cleaning daily. Sure it may seem like she has it easy, but her life is tough.” William pulled into the restaurant parking lot.

“Yeah. I just don't understand it though.” Vance gave his shoulders a slight shrug and shook his head. “I know I'm a guy and I know I like girls. But I know Troy is a guy, but I can't understand why he'd want to be a girl.”

“Me either, but you can't deny that he's happier.” William shut the car off and looked at his son. “In the end, it's all about her being happy. She's not doing this to confuse us. She's finding herself somewhere under that boy's body.” William opened up his door. “Come on, lets get a bite to eat. Maybe we can get home in time to catch the game. It's Buffalo at Miami.”

~o~O~o~

[Sacramento]

Maggie held the door for her daughter and then followed her inside. She had never heard of the place before. It was a tiny, family owned place, the kind that seemed to thrive on word of mouth. It was listed in dining magazines for the town as a hidden treasure, and Maggie had only heard about it from Shelly. There were only about ten or so tables inside and Tracy was relieved to see that there were a couple of open tables. She was also glad that it wasn't one of the fancy places, where she would to have worn her nicest dress to get in.

A man in a nice dress pants, white shirt and a black tie came walking over. “Good evening, ladies.” He flashed them a huge smile. “Just the two of you tonight?”

“Yes.” Maggie said.

“Right this way.” He turned and led them to an empty booth. He left the menus as they took their seats.

A few moments later, an older woman walked up and smiled at them. “What would you like to drink. We have wines, beer, soda, tea and milk.”

“I'll have milk.” Tracy replied.

“Tea, unsweetened.” Maggie stated.

Tracy waited as the woman walked off and she leaned across the table and whispered. “Mom, why did I have to get that stuff?” She touched her purse. “I can't ever use it.”

“Consider it as precautionary tactic.” Maggie whispered back.

“What do you mean?”

Maggie reached across the table and grabbed Tracy's hand. “Say we get you living as a girl full time. If you’re around girls who don't know, it may seem odd if you miss certain things they have to deal with. So this can help throw anyone off the track that you may not be what you seem.”

“So if they look in my purse....” Tracy started to reply, then her lips pulled back in a smile and she chuckled. “It's going to keep Vance out of it too.”

Maggie nodded slowly. “See, another great reason.” She smiled brightly. “I still recall the first time he got into my purse. Man, he screamed like a baby.”

Tracy snickered. “Yeah. I remember.”

“So, other than the occasional blush, has it been a good day?”

“Yeah.” Tracy nodded back. “I've had fun. Thanks for bringing me.”

“No problem. Every daughter should go shopping for sales with her mother. It's good practice for when your older and on your own.”

~o~O~o~

The drive back seemed to drag on. They had already stopped for dinner, so all that was left was the trip home. He couldn't wait to get home. He knew what he wanted to do, but it would have to wait till tomorrow. He knew she would be in bed by time he got home. Or at least it would be too late to show up.

Peter wanted to see Tracy, even though he had just seen her a couple of days earlier. But in all fairness, he wanted to spend more time with her than just a few minutes. He had missed her while she had gone to see her new friends. He was a bit jealous of the girls, whom he had never met, all because they seemed to be all Tracy could talk about.

He wondered if she talked about him when she was with the girls. He often told himself that she had bigger things to talk about then just him. A part of him also wondered if he appeared in any of her dreams, like she did for his. No one knew about those. He kept those dreams to himself, and the resulting problems the following mornings.

Peter wanted to tell her how he felt. He wanted to, but he lacked the words to tell her about the floating feeling he felt when she walked into a room. Or the feeling of total happiness when she'd rest her head against his arm as they watched a movie. Then there were her eyes. Green, like a forest. He wanted to spend hours getting lost in her gaze.

But he had screwed it up. At least that's how he felt. The one chance he had to show her how he felt and he screwed it up. He had been there, in her living room and all he did was hug her. He knew he should have kissed her. He had wanted to kiss her, but he held back, mostly because Tracy's mother was in the next room.

He knew if he asked his mother what she'd say. He had made that mistake on the way down there. She had called it puppy love. He was young, he could admit that. Twelve, going on thirteen. He had been held back in school because they thought he was lazy. It had taken a while to find his learning disability. But now he was glad they had held him back for the year. He met Troy that way. With out Troy, he would have never met Tracy. As he thought about her, his heart sped up again.

~Next time.~ He thought to himself. ~Next time I am so kissing her.~

--SEPARATOR--
I just had to throw Peter in at the end. Soon the rumor mill will kick into full gear when school starts again. But first, New Years eve!



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