It was a rainy day in 1982. : 2
By Dawn Smith - Continued by Barbara Lynn Terry
(Author's Note: I am continuing this story for Dawn Smith who is the original author with her permission. I will be sending this to her for her final approval so she can post it. I hope you like this continuation.)
With a heavy heart, being forced to dress like a girl, I got my book bag and went out to meet the bus. As I got near the bus, I could hear laughter from quite a few of the guys from my gym class. But, I figured, okay, you want me to dress this way, then it is you who has the problem.
A few of the girls could see I wasn't letting the boys bother me, not outwardly, and then Patti Sanger came to my defense.
"Listen guys, Terry is showing you that your making fun of him is not bothering him. Leave him alone, or you will see just how much of an April's Fool joke I can play. Terry, you sit with me. We get off at the same stop anyway. If you need help telling your parents why you are dressed this way, I can be there to help."
"Thank you, Patti. I will be all right. When I tell my mother what happened, she may see it as a joke and tell me to go to my room and change. I will see what my dad says, too. I bet he is going to do a double take."
As they got on the bus, one of the boys called him a sissy. Patti made sure that Terry sat on the inside and a few of her friends sat behind them.
"By the way, guys, whose idea was this to switch his clothes? I know none of you are smart enough to do this kind of thing by yourselves. Who helped you?"
"We ain't sayin'."
"We ain't? Mrs. Stewart must really love your use of the English language."
"Yeah, well, I bet we will see Terry in dresses from now on," Said Duane Hartley. Then he whispered so that Patti and Terry could hear him. "You will dress like this from now on, or we will be kicking your ass all over the school." Apparently he didn't whisper soft enough.
"Mr. Hartley, why are you threatening this student?" Asked the driver, standing over him.
Duane didn't even notice the bus had stopped at didn't pay much attention to the driver.
"I can do what I want. Leave me alone or I will tell my dad you threatened me."
"Is that so, young ... erm ... man."
The driver went back to his seat and wrote Duane's name on an incident report. He then picked up his microphone and called his base. He reported the incident, and the driver was told to date and sign the incident report.
When the bus stopped two blocks away, Terry and Patti walked toward their houses. They only lived a few houses apart and had known each other since kindergarten.
They came to Terry's house, and Patti reminded Terry that she could go in with him. Terry said no, he would be all right.
When Terry walked in the house, his mother was in the living room. Terry stopped dead in his tracks.
"Hello, dear. How was school?" His mother always asked him that.
"It was good."
"Sweetie, why are you dressed like that?"
"A few of the boys took my clothes out of my gym locker and left these for me. I had no choice but to wear these clothes home. Is dad home?"
"Not yet, sweetie. Come and sit down."
"Mom, I was going to go up to my room and change in to my regular clothes."
"Well, I need a little help in the kitchen, dear. You're father will be home in time for dinner."
"Mom, if he sees me, he will yell at me."
"No he won't, dear."
"How do you know? I mean, I have never even thought about wearing these kinds of clothes."
"It will be all right for tonight, dear. You do look very cute, though."
"Mom, please don't say that. I'm not supposed to be cute; I'm a boy."
"Honey, there are cute boys your age. You are only ten years old. You have time to grow."
"Mom, will I ever be tall enough to be a handsome man?"
"Who knows, dear. Nobody can tell how much we will grow, or at what rate. Nobody can tell."
"But, what about the bullies at school that keep telling me to 'grow up'?"
"Honey, they don't know anything about growth spurts, or lack of them. You have my features and my slim body. You keep your hair clean, and it has those natural highlights every girl would just love to have."
"Mom!" Terry dragged out the word mom.
"Okay, okay. But you can change later, dear. Come and help me in the kitchen.
Terry followed his mother to the kitchen, hearing the click of the sandal heels on the hardwood floor. His mother who was a natural blonde and was only five foot, five inches, couldn't help but wonder about her son dressed the way he was.
"Terry, have you thought about a good girl's name when you dress that way?"
"MOM! Please, I have never dressed this way, ever,"
"Alright, alright. I was just asking." The doorbell rang and Terry went to answer it.
"Hi Nicole," Terry said, greeting Patti's sister. "Please come in."
"Those are my clothes. What are you doing wearing them and how did you get them?"
Terry explained to Nicole Sanger about finding them in his gym locker after class, and that his clothes were nowhere to be found. He explained he had no choice but to wear these clothes home.
"Duane Hartley was making fun of me getting on the bus, on the bus, and he even told me that from now on, I had better be dressed like this or he was going to beat me up."
"Do you mind telling my dad this?"
"No, as long as he doesn't yell at me."
"May I use your phone?"
"Yes, it's right there.”
Nicole called her dad and explained where her missing clothes went. Then something popped in to Terry’s head.
“Nicole, how did you know that your clothes were here?”
“Patti told me when she got home. She told me the same thing you did. I didn’t tell my dad yet, I wanted to see this for myself. You do look cute, though.”
“Nicole, please don’t say that. I’m not supposed to be cute, I’m a boy.”
“Okay, I promise not to say that, again.”
Nicole talked to her dad on the phone, and a few minutes later, her parents showed up with Patti in tow.
“Now, tell my dad what you told me.”
Terry recounted the events from the time he found the clothes in his gym locker to the ride home on the bus.
“Do you know where this Duane lives?”
“No sir, he doesn’t get off at my stop.”
Terry’s mother came in the living room, and said that she was going to have a long talk with the school in the morning. If Duane doesn’t live in Nicole and Patti’s house, how did he get these clothes? Terry started to smell a rat.
“There is something bothering me, sir.”
“If Duane doesn’t live in your house, how did he get these clothes?”
“That is a very good question, young la...uhm...man.”
Terry may be only ten years old, but his mind was quick. He let his thoughts stay in his head. He would speak up tomorrow. Terry was told to go and change, and give Nicole back her clothes. He did as he was asked.
Terry’s dad came in the house, just as Terry was giving Nicole back her clothes. Nicole being just a bit bigger than Terry, she didn’t have to worry about her clothes being stretched out.
“Thank you, Terry. We will take care of Duane Hartley, tomorrow.”
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