The Pink Painting Smock
Milo couldn’t understand how it had happened, all of the boys in the class knew that when it was time for art class you either brought your own apron or made sure that you got to the art cupboard first, yet here he was at the end of the line and the only thing left was the pink painting smock.
‘Why didn’t one of the girls take it?’ he thought. ‘After all, girls like pink.’
He tried to persuade a couple of his female classmates to swap with him but one had already put her apron on and the other said she didn’t care for pink.
He also tried to sneak back to his table without an apron and start painting, unfortunately that was when he heard Miss Brown’s voice.
“Milo Taylor, aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Where is your apron?”
“I couldn’t find one Miss.”
“I see, then what is that one over there?”
She pointed at the offending article.
“I must have missed it Miss.”
“So it has nothing to do with the colour.”
“Bring it over here then.”
He trudged back to the cupboard, grabbed the smock and walked over to his teacher like a condemned man.
She took it from him and held it open in front of him so that he could slip his arm into the pink sleeves, reluctantly he did and pushed his hands through the elastic at the wrists.
“Turn around please,” his teacher asked.
Oh no, as if it wasn’t humiliating enough just having to wear the pink smock she was actually going to fasten it onto him. Milo wished for something to happen, the fire-bell to ring, the headmistress to appear, Batman to swing through the window but nothing did. He just stood there as his teacher tied the ties at his neck and made sure that the velcro was fastened all the way down the back.
His cheeks must have been as red as the bottle of poster paint that waited for him as he made his way back to the table.
Someone said “cute” as he passed them but he did his best to blank them out.
The other boy on his table didn’t even acknowledge his presence next to him so Milo just grabbed the red bottle and squeezed a tiny bit into his palette, that would be for the sail. He needed plenty of blue for the sea so he got a big blob of that, then some white for the waves, oh white and a little bit of blue for the sky, a little bit of green for the cliff top and some black for the edges of things.
Before he knew it he was completely absorbed by what he was doing and had forgotten about the colour of apron he was wearing. He also took no notice of the changes that were happening beneath it, to his clothes and to him.
The next thing he remembered was his teacher looking over his shoulder, admiring his work.
“That is outstanding Milly,” she said.
‘Milly! Who is Milly? Oh, that’s my name now,’ thought Milo as his mind caught up with the rest of him. ‘What a fuss I made about wearing a pink painting smock, it really doesn’t matter and actually I kind of like it now.’
“Look class, look at this painting and see how the sea isn’t just blue, the tops of the waves are picked out in white, the sky is a different blue and there’s a little red sailing boat.”
Milly heard one of the boys call her the teacher’s pet but she didn’t care about that either. She looked at the clock, it was almost home time and she had finished her picture.
“Miss, can you unfasten my smock for me please?”
“Of course I can... there you go.”
As she took the smock off she became fully aware of the changes that had happened to her clothing while she had been painting. Milo’s socks had spread all the way up her legs and joined at the top to become her tights. His shorts which hung above his knees had become a pleated skirt of precisely the same length. His sweater had split down the front as it turned into Milly’s cardigan and even though she couldn’t see it all she knew that Milo’s shirt had transformed into her blouse.
She hung the pink smock up in the art cupboard and walked back to her desk, she looked down and saw Milo’s lace-up shoes on her feet.
‘Ugggh,’ she thought. ‘I shall have to ask mummy for some new shoes, these just aren’t me anymore.’
The bell rang for the end of school and everyone rushed to get their things. Milly went to get her bag, Milo’s choice of navy blue and silver was quite smart but now it was something else that needed to be changed.
“Oh Milly, I almost forgot to give you this,” said Emma as she handed over a brightly coloured piece of card.
It was an invitation to Emma’s birthday party at the end of the week.
“Thank you Emma, I would love to come, I’ll check that it’s okay with my mummy though.”
“Great, see you tomorrow.”
Emma disappeared outside and Milly followed, when she got out into the spring sunshine she saw her mother waiting for her at the school gate.
“Mummeee,” she said and ran up to her.
“Hello darling, I couldn’t find your games kit and you’ve got netball tomorrow so I decided to go and buy you a new one, then I thought if we’re going shopping we might as well do it properly and get you some things for summer.”
“Oh mummy, I just got invited to Emma’s birthday party, can I go?”
“Of course you can sweetie, lets see if we can find you something pretty to wear for it.”
Milly smiled, her mother was totally prepared for what had happened and was about to take things further. She skipped along the road to the car, hopped up into the back seat and was driven off to get some new clothes to go with her new life.
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