Not everyone wants to look like a Barbie doll...
The girls were chasing me and I knew why. So I shouted at them, told them that they were creepy and should get real.
Not everyone wants to look like a Barbie doll.
Not everyone wants to go all gooey over a senseless top, skirt or dress.
Shoes are for putting on your feet, be comfortable and functional, not as some sort of sick fashion statement.
Not everyone wants to play netball and wear ridiculously brief skirts.
Some people like football and cricket.
Some of us don’t mind a bit of mud, rough and tumble.
It was obvious to me that God had made a boo-boo. I was a boy trapped in a girl’s body. Weird I know, but who said I should be normal. I hated the clothes that I was forced to wear at school. Why couldn’t I wear trousers liker the other boys?
Looking back I could see that they were gaining on me. I absolutely hated the fact that my regulation school skirt was billowing out, showing the native wildlife the colour of my panties (blue, if you are sicko enough to want to know). I hated my long hair that my Mum and Nan insisted that I should have.
‘Girls should look like girls. Tomboys look silly.’
That was the mantra that my Mum and Nan were always banging on about.
It was a good job that it was a nice day. I would have hated to be out here on the common in nasty weather.
Luckily, I was a good runner and able to keep well ahead of the hyenas. That was one of the reasons why they wanted me to play in the netball team; I was quick, agile and could turn on a sixpence.
Why had it come to this?
As I weaved between bushes, trying to evade The Evil Ones, I fleetingly looked back over the eleven years that constituted my life. For those who are bored with flashbacks, tough, it’s my story, so there!
Ever since I started to notice the differences between boys and girls, I thought, naturally, that I was a boy.
My Mum and Dad, aided and abetted by my Nan, continually told me that I was, in fact, a girl. They dressed me up from an early age as some sort of frilly, feminine Cindy or Barbie type. My hair was encouraged to grow and at one stage, I actually had ringlets (shudder).
I won’t mention anything about ribbons.
Of course, I rebelled against this senseless femininity and made sure that as soon as I was forced, kicking and screaming into a dress, I promptly got it dirty.
They never, ever got the message. I hated girls’ clothes and wanted to be treated as a boy.
When I went to play school, I was drummed out as I only wanted to do boyish things and that meant playing with boys and doing all sorts of things that boys do, up to and including the messy, dirty bits
I saw absolutely nothing wrong with my not wanting to wash or brush my teeth other than when I really had to; or being able wear clothes that were used and maybe slightly grubby for more than two days. After my expulsion from playschool over an incident involving custard over the head of one of the warders, and a teensie, weensie bit of scratching punching and biting, I found myself in the nursery, where they were made of sterner stuff.
But this boy was not for turning and they bit off more than they could chew with me.
I was classed as a troublemaker and pretty well ignored by the girls, which suited me down to the ground. The boys were made of sterner stuff and I soon found myself as one of the gang. The teachers soon realised that they were going to get nowhere with me in the brainwashing department, so in the end they let me stay with the boys and enter into activities that boys liked.
Of course my parents weren’t happy with that and made sure that I always arrived at nursery in some God Awful dress, skirt, top or whatever. As soon as I waved them goodbye with a sweet smile, I was over to the dress up box to change into a cowboy, Indian, or whatever manly clothes I could find.
I think in the end they gave up trying to feminise me too much and accepted that I wasn’t quite the sweet little girl that they thought and hoped I should be.
Things went on the same way even into infants and junior school with me fighting being seen as a girl and not the boy I really was and alienating just about everyone except my parents and Nan. The girls shunned me because I didn’t act like one of them and the boys did too by then, as they couldn’t get over the fact that I was a girl who behaved like a boy.
I do remember vividly one conversation that Mum and Dad had with me when I had just gone up to junior school and at the height of my rebel type behaviour.
They sat me down in the living room and then tried to tell me where I was going wrong.
‘It’s like this Tanya. You are a girl and girls just don’t behave like you do.’
‘That makes me a boy then.’ I said brightly.
‘No it doesn’t. Look, just because you like erm, Mars Bars, does that make you want to be one?’
‘I don’t want to be a Mars Bar. Mind you they are my fav sweet.’
‘Let me try Donald,’ said Mum with a sigh, ‘Look Tannie.’
‘Don’t call me Tannie, Mum, you know I hate that.’
‘I’m not a dear either, that's an animal, I am a boy having to pretend to be a yuckie girl. Soon you’ll ask me to call you Mummy and Daddy, yuck.’
‘I said dear not deer.’
“Never mind Tanya,’ said Mum, sighing for some reason, ‘we are trying to understand you. Look you are very pretty…’
‘No I’m not and even if I was, I don’t want to be. I want to be a boy and grow big and strong like Dad, have lots of hair everywhere – not in my ears and nose like Dad, cos that’s gross- but still, everywhere else is okay with me. Do you know that some of the girls are growing tiny titties already and that is so gross…’
‘Never mind tit…I mean breasts. Tanya, whether you like it or not, you are going to start seeing changes in your body that only girls have…’
‘Why? Because you are a girl and girls bodies change over time as they get older.’
‘So do boys.’
‘Yes, but their changes are different.’
‘I want to have boy changes, not girls. Can’t I take a pill or something?’
‘No you can’t.’
‘Because you are too young.’
‘Does that mean I can take pills and change when I get older.’
‘It’s not as simple as that.’
‘It never is!’ I said huffily.
‘Don’t be cheeky.’
With that the conversation sort of degenerated and it didn’t help when I stormed up to my room, slammed the door and threw a vase at the wall.
Well I never said that I was an angel.
Mind you, we were a loving family, despite my being a disappointment to my parents. They always showed me love and affection and we had many happy times when I wasn’t being the pest of the century.
Then, just after my tenth birthday, my Dad died.
He had an accident at work, where a forklift truck had been overloaded and without warning, it toppled over onto him, just as he was passing. He was killed instantly.
It was terrible time for Mum, Nan and me. I was especially upset because the last time I saw Dad we had an argument about me not wanting to wear a skirt to school the following day.
I couldn’t understand for a while where my Dad had gone, but slowly but surely it dawned on me that he was never coming back and that he would never come home and give me that lovely smile that he reserved just for me.
Time passed and we muddled through. Financially we were okay because of a pay-out from the insurance, but money isn’t everything and we all just missed him terribly.
As I grew up, he faded slightly from my memory but there were always the photos and videos showing his happy smiling face.
So I went to senior school and felt even more of a fish out of the water, and that brought me back to the present.
I was blowing slightly as I reached the top of a hill. Behind me, the pack were still following and if I had been a fox, I might have started to worry a bit, as I wasn’t in as good a condition as I thought I was.
Ahead of me was the moor. Over to the left was the deep blue sea. To the right, in the distance was an isolated cottage that I had seen on the occasional walks that Mum and I had taken in this direction.
There were no other buildings about, so without much thought, I headed towards the lonely cottage and hoped that the natives that lived there were friendly.
My hair, as usual, had a mind of it’s own and the only scrunchie that I had with me was in my school bag and I didn’t have enough time to dig around for it and get my hair out of my face.
I would just have to suffer, as usual.
I was contemplating just stopping and confronting the girls, but one or two were bigger than me and had netball playing arms and legs, so I thought it wise not to try and take on, or was that bite, more than I could chew.
The cottage was getting closer now and I hoped and prayed that I could summon assistance, pretend to be a girlie-girl in distress and ask for sanctuary from those nasty, brutal girls pursuing me.
Once again, I was angry at not being a boy. Those girls wouldn’t be chasing me if they thought that I was a boy. No, they considered me to be one of them even though I never acted like one and as such, I was fair game for their perverted persecution of me.
I reached the garden gate and didn’t stop there. I went up the path and pounded on the door.
Behind me I could hear them coming, like a pack of wolves on the scent.
I knocked again – no answer.
‘Tanya, stop,’ shouted one of the girls rather breathlessly.
I looked back as they came through the gate and rushed towards me.
With desperation, I pushed hard on the door.
And the door gave way.
I found myself falling forward.
As I went over the doorway, I shivered and could have sworn that I saw someone in front of me; a vague form that seemed to go right through me as I lurched forward.
Suddenly it was dark. It felt damp. There was a terrific banging going on as thunder and lightning seemed to rip through the place where I now was.
I felt strange and not quite right.
It took a moment for my eyes to get used to the gloom, but I realised quickly enough that the noises were coming from outside. It was obvious that somehow, there was a terrific storm going on.
How could that be? It was mid summer and it was hot and the skies had been clear.
‘Tommy, we are going to kill you!’ said a boy who just appeared in front of me.
‘Tommy? I’m Tanya.’
‘That’s crap and you know it.’ said the other boy.
There was a flash of lightning and I looked down at myself.
I was wearing trousers.
Forgetting the boys for a moment, I put my hand up to my head. My hair was short!
I nearly fainted there and then.
I put my hand between my legs and felt – something.
‘Stop playing with yourself, you bloody pervert.’
‘What?’ I asked looking up at him.
‘You know what we would do if you didn’t do our homework,’ said Boy A.
‘Are you thick or something?’ asked Boy B.
‘What do you mean, I don’t understand?’
‘Don’t go all weird on us Tommy, we know what you are like. Pretending to be a girl and being all poufy. It’s about time someone sorts you out and me and Tony here are the ones to do it.’
There was yet another bright flash from outside and an immediate clap of thunder.
The boys advanced on me and I knew that if I didn’t stop thinking about what had happened to me and do something about this, I wouldn’t have any sort of future to look forward to.
I kneed one of the boys in the groin and then raked the heel of my shoe down the shin of the other one.
Then I ran for it.
I was outside before I knew it and I could hear the bellowing of the stricken boys from behind me.
Here was something funny. As I left the cottage, the rain stopped.
Over the sea, in the distance, I could still hear the thunder and see the occasional flash of lightning, but the clouds were rolling away from me and up above there appeared to be blue sky replacing the clouds almost as if a curtain was being drawn aside.
Heat was returning and the ground starting to steam in places. Then the sun came out and it was getting warmer by the minute.
I ran as fast as my legs could take me, as I didn’t know how long it would take for those strange, aggressive boys to come after me.
I found myself on a lane by the side of the moor and I soon recognised where I was. I sat behind a wall and got my breath back as I tried to make sense of what had happened to me.
Looking down, I was wearing the boys’ uniform. I checked my hair and between my legs and unbelievably it confirmed what I had realised in the cottage.
I had somehow changed into a boy!
Maybe my whole life up to that point had been a dream or maybe a nightmare. Now I had woken up and I was the real me; not some girl who was a boy inside, but didn’t have the correct equipment.
I remembered the chase on the Common and the girls coming after me. Then I recalled pushing the front door of the cottage open and near enough falling through. Then there was the strange sensation of someone going through me as if it, he or she was a ghost!
On this side of the door there had been a wild raging storm, but it had been hot and sunny just moments before?
I stood up and looked around me. Everything looked normal, but there were still puddles from the rain. In the distance, the last of the clouds were disappearing in the distance.
By the side of the lane was a stream. The stream had been dry for at least a month, but now it was deep, with fast flowing water!
This was impossible. We had been in the middle of a drought and there had been hosepipe bans. The forecast had said wall-to-wall sunshine and dry weather for at least a couple of weeks more.
I was into science fiction and mystery stuff. It didn’t take much of a leap of imagination to realise that somehow I had been transported to some alternative time and space where I was, in fact the boy I should have been at birth.
This was no dream; it was reality – my new reality
Then it got me thinking about where I was in all this new reality of mine.
The boys obviously knew me as Tommy.
I took my jacket off and looked at the nametag.
So, I was now Thomas or Tommy rather than Tanya Tucker.
But what about other people in this changed reality?
Did I still have my Mum and Nan?
Did I still live in the same cottage?
I had to know. I tried to put aside the impossibility of what was happening and do something to find out if all of my past had changed and not just me.
There was no sign of the boys who had tried to maim me and I took comfort in that as I continued down the lane that led across the common, away from the sea and towards the village of Treusva, where I lived.
Pretty soon I was in the outskirts of the village and all looked much the same as before. A few people nodded to me as if they knew me and I nodded back, not knowing who they were.
Eventually my home came into view. My heart started pounding, as I got closer. I was dreading what I might find. I didn’t think that I could take any more in the shocks department.
I stood at the gate and looked at the cottage. It all looked a bit shabbier to be honest and the garden wasn’t as well kept. Behind the windows were some rather drab looking deep red velvet curtains. The windows looked like they could do with a bit of paint too.
It was my home and yet it wasn’t.
I opened the gate and it squeaked.
Our gate was always well oiled, I knew that because it was my job to keep it squeak free.
Walking up the path, I dreaded what was going to happen. Would mum recognise me? Would she ask who I was? Would Nan be there and reject me?
I hadn’t seen my face. Maybe I looked different. I might not look anything like the boy they knew, even though my nametag said that I was Thomas Tucker.
Another thought struck me.
Perhaps they didn’t even live there.
I swallowed and then hesitantly knocked on the door.
I knocked again a bit louder.
I heard footsteps coming towards me and I thought about the possibility of running away. But I was a boy and girls run away, boys don’t.
I stood there and waited.
The door opened and…
Please leave comments and kudo thingies...thanks! ~Sue
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