Which one is a good fit?
By Jennifer Sue
Halloween: Fourth Grade: Helpless as a Turtle on It’s Back
It was his first year going out without a chaperone. Jimmy had his doubts about the costume. After all, it had been his father’s from when he’d been Jimmy’s age like 30 some years before! How creepy was that? His dad, Don, simply went on and on about how much fun he and his buddies had when they’d worn the costume trick or treating. Naturally his mom, Jenny, took dozens of pictures. His jock buddies laughed at him when they saw his costume. Jimmy was humiliated. As he went door to door with his classmates, many of the homeowners chuckled and just had to reminisce with the boys about the time they had dressed as the mutant turtles. Jimmy usually got more goodies than the others at those homes which angered his buds. By the fifth time that happened, they jumped him, pushing him into bushes, cracking the turtle shell and stealing his goodies. They ran off leaving him scratched and bleeding in a broken costume.
Slowly the forlorn boy trudged home. Needless to say his dad was pissed! The costume was ruined, a part of his childhood destroyed! Not only that, but Jimmy had allowed the boys to attack him and steal his goodies. That he hadn’t even stood up for himself further irked his dad. Pissed off, Don stormed out of the house heading for his favorite bar leaving Jimmy to Jenny as she cleaned and bandaged his numerous small wounds.
Halloween: Fifth Grade: Pirate Shipwreck
At first Jimmy wasn’t sure if he wanted to trick or treating. The guys who’d betrayed him the previous Halloween and he were no longer friends. Since that night they even went out of their way to pick on Jimmy. As time passed, Jimmy became friends with the class proto-geeks: version elementary school. They decided to go out as a group using Pirates of the Carribean as their theme. The problem was that all of them wanted to be Captain Jack Sparrow. Since none would yield they decided to select the characters they wanted in their group, wrote those names on pieces of paper, then put them in a box. Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann were the four selected even though none of them wanted to play the girl. Still, they acknowledged she was an integral part of the group and thus was included. Since none of them wanted that role, they played rock, paper, scissors. Whenever only one of the group was the winner, that person reached in to pick a character. Will Turner was the first drawn, then Barbossa. Jimmy won the third round gingerly reaching into the box hoping against hope to get Jack. Of course, such was his luck that he drew Elizabeth. The remaining boy breathed a sigh of relief while Jimmy’s shoulders slumped in defeat. The other guys barely withheld guffaws.
That evening he told his parents about the groups decision to go with a Pirates of the Carribean theme and how they selected the four characters and played rock paper scissors to determine the draw. From his sullen attitude they knew he’d gotten the female role.
Don just shook his head and headed for a beer. Jenny was excited at the prospect of dolling her son up as a pretty wench. Like most women, she had dreamed of having a daughter, not that she loved Jimmy any less, but there remained an empty spot in her heart. As a result she leapt into the spirit of Halloween, specifically pulling a suitable costume together for Jimmy.
Jimmy had little input into his costume as his mom forged ahead. She took him to a Salvation Army used clothing store to get the basic parts. The entire time Jenny kept up a one sided animated conversation with her mute blushing son. The store wasn’t packed but it was far from empty. Since they were in the girl’s department only females were near by. Many of the women smiled as they could tell from Jenny’s words she was selecting a Halloween costume for her reticent son. The girls present with their moms smiled and giggled at Jimmy’s obvious discomfort. Jimmy wanted to crawl under the displays as his mom pulled skirts or blouses from the racks and held them against him to judge how they’d fit. When she accumulated several selections, she led him to a changing room. Once more his embarrassment was tremendous as he meekly followed her inside. Despite his protests he obediently stripped to his jockeys and tried on the selected garments. It was with great relief when he finally climbed back into his boy clothes. However his humiliation was not over as she made him carry the chosen pieces to the check-out. The cashier smiled at his crimson face knowing the girl’s clothes were for him. The chosen items were a dark tan swirling mid calf length skirt of thick cotton fabric, an off white muslin peasant blouse with a wide gathered fabric neck and billowy full length sleeves and lastly a pair of leather ankle boots with one inch heels completed the basic outfit.
On Halloween, after a light supper, Jimmy sullenly followed his mom to her bedroom where she had his costume. As soon as they left the kitchen, Don grabbed a beer and headed to the den to watch whatever was on ESPN.
Once in the room Jimmy was horrified as his mom picked up a three pack pink of cotton panties.
“Strip down and put these on,” Jenny ordered not even noticing his face.
“B... but mom,” Jimmy whined. “Those are panties!”
Jenny frowned and looked at her son, noticing his dismay. “I know that, I bought them for you!”
“But I’m a boy!”
“Not for tonight,” she chuckled as she tore open the package. “Tonight you’re a girl!”
“But mom, no one will see under my costume,” Jimmy pleaded. “Why can’t I just wear my jockeys?”
“Because if you wear your jockeys you won’t feel like a girl,” Jenny explained. “If you feel like a boy wearing a dress, you’ll behave like a boy wearing a dress and turn the effort of your friend’s idea to portray Pirates of the Carribean into a farce. By dressing completely as a girl, you’ll feel like a girl. That way you’ll be able to behave like a girl and compliment the costumes of your friends. Now strip!”
Jimmy knew he had no choice. Reluctantly he turned his back and stripped. Hesitantly and with quite a bit of fear he gingerly stepped into the panties. As he slowly pulled them up his legs he frowned. The lace edging around the openings sort of tickled in a nice sort of way. That confused him because he’d half expected they would somehow bite him. All too soon he had the soft panties snugged in place about his hips. They really felt different from his jockeys yet they were both made of cotton. Why, he wondered, were the panties so much softer?
“Sit on the chair,” Jenny ordered once she saw the panties were in place.
Jimmy sat and forlornly looked at his mom. Then his mouth dropped open in surprise. “Mom, no way!”
“Yes way,” Jenny declared as she knelt in front of her son. “It’s chilly outside and while your friends will be wearing pants, you’ll be in a skirt. A pair of tights will keep your legs from getting cold. Now lift a foot.”
Jimmy fought back tears as he raised first one foot then the other so his mom could slip the black nylon tights over his feet and up to his knees. Once she had him standing she pulled them the rest of the way up covering the panties. The nylon fabric felt like a second skin as it gently caressed his legs. As he moved, the sensation of one nylon clad leg rubbing against the other created new and very pleasant sensations that he knew boys should not feel.
“Now put on this,” Jenny ordered as she held out a matching pink camisole top she’d removed from another three-pack.
Jimmy just sighed heavily and took the girlish garment knowing it would do no good to protest. Soon it was in place about his torso. Just as with the panties the lace edging tickled and the fabric felt so much softer than his normal T-shirts as it hugged his flesh. A shiver passed through him as he realized he was fully dressing as a girl. That shook him more than simply wearing the girlish pirate outfit over his boy unders. Once more he wondered why there was such a difference between boy and girl undies.
“This goes on next,” Jenny smiled at her nervous son.
Jimmy’s eyes went wide as he saw a shimmery pink nylon half-slip in her hands. “Why do I have to wear that?”
“It will make your skirt flow better,” Jenny smiled. “You’ll love the way it feels as it rubs against your legs and butt!”
Once more he reluctantly did as he was told and stepped into the garment. Again he shivered in mixed shame, fear, dread, and pleasure as the nylon slip sensually whispered across and against the tights in response to his slightest movement.
Putting on the blouse and skirt was almost anti-climatic after what he’d already put on. But they did complete his costume and added another layer of cloth that pressed the silken undergarments against his boyish flesh in a most decidedly girlish manner.
“Now you understand why wearing the correct lingerie is so important,” Jenny smiled as she could see that despite his best efforts to hate what she’d forced him to wear he it was generating great pleasure. “Sit at my vanity while I put the ankle boots on your feet.”
In a near daze Jimmy did as he was told. The new girly sensations were strangely pleasant. Deriving enjoyment from wearing girl’s clothes just seemed so wrong, yet he couldn’t deny it felt good.
Once the boots were on she began applying make-up. Bright red lipstick, mascara and a hint of eyeshadow were all he needed to convert his prepubescent boyish face into that of a pretty girl. Not allowing him to turn to look in the mirror she brushed and styled his near shoulder length hair into a suitable girlish hairdo. Then she took a scarf and tied it in place about his head in pirate style. Only when she was done did she help him to his feet and guide him to the full length mirror attached to the closet door.
Jimmy knew from the smile on her face she liked what she’d accomplished. Still, he was stunned to see the pretty girl pirate looking back at him from the mirror. There was absolutely nothing to show the cute pirate girl was anything but a cute girl! For several seconds he surveyed his reflection knowing he did indeed look like a young Elizabeth. A shiver once more passed through him as he realized he FELT as girlish as he looked!
Jenny smiled in victory. “Now I think you can understand WHY the girl’s lingerie was necessary. You not only look like a very pretty girl, you also FEEL like a very pretty girl! Tonight, you ARE Miss Elizabeth. Your friends will be delighted to have you complete their costume idea! Now, let’s go down and show your father before your friends show up!”
As he followed his mother downstairs, Jimmy became quite aware of how the low heels effected his sense of balance as well as the way he walked. With each step he could feel the slip and skirt swirl creating delightful but illicit sensations. With a sigh he realized his mom was right. Dressed as he was, there was no way he could feel like a boy wearing a dress. He felt like a dainty, pretty girl.
All too soon they were in the den. Jimmy wanted to turn and run away rather than face his dad dressed so femininely. But his mother would have none of that!
When Don saw his girlified son he was speechless. He’d known Jimmy wasn’t the most macho guy, but this? This went way beyond a Halloween costume! The only saving grace was that Jimmy looked horribly embarrassed. “Christ, Jenny, did you HAVE to make him look so girly?”
“Yes I did,” Jenny fired back. “Aren’t you the one who keeps saying if you’re going to do something, do it right?”
Don had no come-back. “Okay, okay,” he sighed. “Jimmy, get me another beer!”
“Don’t you DARE move young lady,” Jenny immediately spoke up. “Our daughter’s name is Elizabeth, Beth for short. If you’d like HER to get you another beer, ask her!”
After a short stare-down Don knew he’d lose so he conceded. “Beth, can you please get your daddy another beer?”
Embarrassed, Jimmy looked to his mom for direction. Seeing her nod he shrugged his shoulders and went for the beer. “Here you go, daddy,” the feminine boy softly declared handing the beer to his father. Jimmy was puzzled by his response. It had been years since he’d called his father daddy. But dressed as he was it felt weirdly appropriate.
“Thank you, princess,” Don replied as he accepted the proffered beer. Instantly he frowned wondering why he’d called his son ‘princess’, even though he certainly looked the part!
Jimmy was just as confused by his dad’s response. Jenny just smiled happily.
Just then the doorbell rang. “Wait until I call you,” she admonished Jimmy as she headed to the door.
As expected, it was Jimmy’s friends in their costumes. It was clear they were anxious to get going but also curious about how Jimmy looked as a girl. Their mouths dropped open when Jenny called Beth to join her friends. In place of the caricature of a girl they’d expected they saw an honest to goodness girl!
“Oh goody,” Jenny giggled upon seeing their shocked faces. “I put a lot of effort into Jimmy’s costume and I’m glad to see you appreciate my effort! Now before you go I want a few pictures.”
The next five minutes were uncomfortable for the youths as Jenny posed and reposed them taking dozens of photos. Needless to say they were glad to get out the front door.
“Damn, Jimmy, you look like a real girl! Your mom really went all out for this!” was one of the nicer comments they made as they began to walk their route.
The reaction they received at each home was positive and their goody bags quickly filled. No one guessed Jimmy was a boy. That made him feel good since there were no derisive comments or harassment. At the same time it made him feel miserable that he was able to pull off the masquerade. The guys felt proud since they received praise for allowing a girl to join their group.
Two hours later they made it home. While the guys had enjoyed being praised for having a girl with them as an equal, they felt uneasy around Jimmy, almost as if his girlishness was contagious. They stayed just long enough to thank Jenny for helping Jimmy with the costume before they left carrying print-outs of the better photos taken earlier.
Jimmy was humiliated and happy. The praise they’d received had made him feel good about his costume. He’d also learned his mom was right, dressing completely as a girl had made him behave like a girl. That was most disconcerting but even worse was that he had to admit he’d enjoyed wearing the girly outfit. Fortunately, his dad had already drank himself to sleep so at least he avoided facing him.
By lunch the next day talk about Jimmy’s costume was all over the school. His buddies had brought the photos to share. The girls all gushed about how cute his costume had been and that he made a pretty girl. The boys, especially the one’s who had betrayed him the year before, were relentless in their teasing. It took everything Jimmy had not to break down. It wasn’t surprising he’d lost count of how many times he’d been called sissy, faggot, pansy, fruit of even worse.
The teasing continued day after day and while it never stopped it did slowly diminish. However, even the geeky guys he’d gone out with abandoned him. None of the guys wanted to be guilty by association.
If that wasn’t bad enough, his mom put the panties, camisoles, and tights in his dresser. “Mom, I can’t wear this stuff! The guys hassle me for wearing it on Halloween. They’ll crucify me if they find out I’m wearing it again!”
“If you go around letting people see your underwear you’re already in a lot of trouble,” Jenny fired back. “Underwear is underwear. No one will know what you’re wearing under you outer clothes. I paid good money for these and since they fit you I won’t let them go to waste! Just be glad I’m not making you wear the rest of the costume! I’d better see you wearing them at least once a week or I’ll send you to school in the entire outfit!” True to her word, she checked his underwear each morning.
The days he wore panties and a camisole he was a nervous wreck. On those days he managed to avoid going outside for recess, instead going to the library. Without the distraction of friends, his grades improved. But what really bothered him was that except for the fear of being discovered, he rather enjoyed wearing the panties and camisole. On cold winter days he wore the tights too, which made his mother happy. Several times he felt the urge to put the costume back on but successfully resisted. What really bothered him were the dreams. Since the guys had abandoned him his only peer contact was with girls. Since being a boy with the girls was sissy behavior, his dreams at times morphed him into being Beth so he could simply be one of the girls. Of course there was no way he wanted to be a girl, but loneliness does mess with your head.
The rest of the school year was lonely for Jimmy. The guys avoided him as if he had the plague. Only a few of the girls still talked to him because he’s been doing his best not to be seen as a sissy who spent a lot of time with them. For the most part, he was simply lonely.
In March new neighbors moved in next door. A young couple with two girls, Angie age six and Kim age five. Being neighborly, Jenny quickly made friends with them. It was clearly obvious she adored the girls. Without friends, Jimmy spent most of his time at home and thus was drawn into being neighborly. Soon he was taking the girls to the small nearby playground. Feeling awkward just standing around, he joined them on the swings, monkey bars, see-saws, and other equipment. The girls quickly became attached to the kind older boy.
At school the guys derided him for being a sissy babysitter while the girls found his actions admirable. It didn’t take long until he was actually being paid to babysit the girls for a few hours so the parents could go out. With Jenny right next door in case of an emergency the parents had no qualms utilizing Jimmy.
During the summer Jimmy took the girls to the local pool nearly every day, earning a few dollars in the process. This led to the guys picking on him more, but only verbally and when the little girls wouldn’t overhear. The girls in his class and older thought Jimmy’s actions to be quite commendable which only added more fuel to fires of dislike the guys had for him.
Don was nearly beside himself seeing his son demean himself as a wimpy babysitter. That he was willing to do so only added to his frustration. Of course, he was unable to stand up to Jenny so for the most part kept his disdain to himself. Wanting to avoid seeing his son interacting with the neighbor girls, Don steadfastly avoided the neighbors. Most of his time home was spent drinking beer while watching ESPN.
Jimmy knew his dad was disgusted with him and it hurt. But he also knew there was no way the guys would ever accept him back into their fold. Besides, he really liked being with girls. They were so happy and carefree. He lost track of how many times he watched the Disney Princess movies. Hours were spent with the girls working on Disney Princess coloring books or reading Disney Princess stories to them. Without conscious thought he lost himself in the princess world the girls loved.
Halloween: Sixth Grade: Disney Debacle
So it came as no surprise that as Halloween approached the girls insisted on being the Disney Princesses Belle and Cinderella. They also insisted that Jimmy be their chaperone since with him they could be big girls! Jimmy was flattered and agreed to do it, assuming he’d portray a handsome prince. Initially the girls were delighted but that quickly turned sour as they each demanded Jimmy be THEIR prince! Although the sisters rarely disagreed and seldom fought, this brought out the worst. Unable to sooth the rift, Jimmy finally announced he wouldn’t be a prince for either princess. While the girls were upset they realized their squabble had caused the situation. They apologized for their behavior.
So it was just two days before Halloween and Jimmy had no character or costume. Neither the mothers nor girls could come up with a costume idea that Jimmy liked. Finally Jenny announced she’d come up with a costume but refused to tell anyone what it would be. That made Jimmy quite nervous yet it took the pressure off his back and relieved him from responsibility.
After a light supper on Halloween Eve, Jenny led Jimmy to her bedroom. As soon as he entered he knew he’d been betrayed. Laid out on the bed was the Elizabeth Swift costume from the year before! “Mom, no! Not again!”
“Last year you were Elizabeth Swift. You know it was a good costume and you haven’t grown too much so it’ll still fit,” Jenny pleaded. “With a few changed accessories you’ll make a wonderful gypsy! We’ll also change your name slightly. This year you’ll be Beth instead of Elizabeth. Besides, it’s too late for anything else and you don’t want to disappoint the girls, do you?”
Jimmy was fuming but knew his mom was right. The costume would fit and he most certainly didn’t want to disappoint the girls. With a sigh of resignation he gave in to the inevitable. After all, he hadn’t selected the costume, it was simply presented to him and there was no time to get another. It took only a few moments to strip. When he took the proffered pink panties, he noted they were a silky nylon like the half slip he’d worn last year. Even in his hands he could feel the difference between the soft cotton and the silky nylon. Swallowing nervously he stepped into the silken delights, thrilling to the delightful sensations they created as they whispered up his legs. As the soft nylon surrounded his butt, his manhood stirred. It took a bit of effort to tuck his errant member between his legs. Next came a bra which really surprised him, especially when his mom stuffed a set of inexpensive falsies in the cups. The bra felt weird as she adjusted the straps and centered it on his chest. The matching cami quickly covered the bra.
Jenny was smiling happily as she dressed her son, oblivious to his embarrassed growing arousal.
While embarrassed, Jimmy simply went with the flow accepting the feminine delightful sensations rather than resisting them as he’d done last year. The girls and their parents wouldn’t belittle or tease him and since he was going out with the girls there was little chance anyone would see through his girly disguise. Even if they passed classmates, they’d never look close enough to identify him. With that rationalization, he yielded his reticence.
By the time Jenny led him next door, Jimmy not only looked like a girly gypsy, he was behaving the part. Jenny had even gotten a tambourine! The girls squealed with delight when they saw Jimmy and smothered him in hugs. The parents shook their heads in amazement at how real he looked. Naturally, Jenny brought the photos from last year to share.
By the time they headed out, the girls were calling him Beth. Jimmy just smiled and giggled with them, skipping down the sidewalks with them as they went door to door. Of course the cute trio was amply rewarded for their costumes in compliments as well as treats. Even when a group of guys from his class approached and passed they never looked at Jimmy’s face, only his bust. Jimmy learned how girls felt to be ogled. All in all it was a good experience and being with the girls made it doubly so.
Don was in the kitchen retrieving another beer when Jimmy arrived home. “Christ, what a fucking sissy! Two freaking years in a row!”
Jimmy hung his head in shame as the euphoria he felt dissipated.
Don grabbed a second beer and returned to the TV leaving Jimmy near tears.
Having heard the muttered derogatory statements, Jenny hurried into the kitchen to see Jimmy near tears. Without hesitation she engulfed him in a loving embrace as he began to cry while assuring him everything would be okay.
Once he cried himself out, they headed upstairs to remove the costume. After removing the bra Jenny put the camisole back on her forlorn son. Jimmy didn’t object nor did he hesitate to take the two unused panties and camisoles to his bedroom where he put them in his dresser alongside the worn sets from the previous year. Climbing into bed he fell asleep.
When he awoke in the morning, he was surprised by how refreshed he felt. It was only when he threw back the covers that he realized he’d slept in the panties and cami. Thinking back to going out with the girls brought a smile to his face. It was with a bit of reluctance he dressed in his boy clothes for school.
All day he watched the girls in his class, comparing how he’d felt dressed as Beth with how he assumed the girls felt. It didn’t take much thought to realize most girls enjoyed their clothes and took the time to coordinate their outfits. For the most part they were happy. Then he looked at the guys. They never looked like they enjoyed their clothes. If they put any thought into what they wore it was to make sure it made them look tough. For the first time, Jimmy wondered if he was on the wrong side of the gender divide. It would not be the last time that issue entered his mind.
As the weeks and months passed, Jimmy’s relationship with the neighbors grew stronger. The girls regularly asked when Beth was going to come over to play. Jimmy resisted until Christmas vacation. With the approval of the girls’ parents and his mother, it was Beth who came next door each day.
Angie and Kim liked Jimmy but they loved Beth. Beth would join them to play with dolls. She spent time brushing the girls’ hair and even polishing their nails. Jimmy realized he was more relaxed and happier as Beth. That made him feel guilty but at the same time he no longer had any guy friends. None of the guys in his class even talked to him. His school life was lonely and depressing, while the time he spent with Angie and Kim was pleasant and fulfilling. While he knew he was being a sissy, he needed the release from the guilt and pressure of his non-boyishness. So when he was with the girls, he simply put on Beth as a mask to conceal his failure as a boy. Jenny only saw how happy Jimmy was while being Beth. Deciding to encourage his roleplay, she took a very nervous Beth shopping at a mall several towns away to select a few more outfits as well as a couple of nighties.
Needless to say Don scowled a lot. Beth seldom saw him and Jimmy avoided his dad whenever he could. Jenny would brook no nonsense from her husband about Jimmy’s dual life. Needless to say Don’s drinking became more intense.
Jimmy knew that being Beth was wrong but it felt good, too good to be wrong. While he truly enjoyed being Beth, he didn’t want to abandon Jimmy. The dual existence was confusing but he found himself too deeply involved to give up one in favor of the other. Even though being Beth felt good and right, he knew he was really a boy. By the time the school year ended, with puberty knocking on his door, he decided to put Beth away. Getting several cardboard boxes, he carefully packed up Beth’s clothes and put them in the attic. After all, he couldn’t take the girls to the pool as Beth! His determination to drop Beth quickly faltered as he discovered he couldn’t fall asleep unless he wore a nightie. Meekly he retrieved them from storage. However, that was the only exception he made. The summer passed with Jimmy being a nanny for the girls.
Halloween: Seventh Grade: Football Fumble
Don was delighted with Jimmy’s decision to do his best to return to boyhood. As the summer passed, he began throwing the football with his son. As tryouts for the junior high football team approached, he insisted Jimmy man up and go out for the team.
While Jimmy wasn’t happy with the idea of slamming into other guys or worse getting mashed into the ground, he knew his dad was right. The other guys clearly were not concerned about getting hurt. Determined to prove himself, he forced himself to face his fears head on. He had let his life tip way too far across the gender divide. Football was virtually guaranteed to set him back on the side of rough and tumble.
Jimmy was still pumped up as he joined his teammates for trick or treating. He’d scored the winning touchdown during the football game before Halloween! Sure, it had been a fluke, but he’d saved the day! Jimmy knew that at his best he was a mediocre player. It wasn’t that he didn’t try, but he simply couldn’t get past the fear of being hurt. Most of the guys he faced were considerably bigger than him. In practices he could run patterns, catch awkward passes, and weave through the defense. But when it came to the actual games, he was simply too intimidated to get his act together. As a result, he was only on field for one possession per game as was the school policy. Anyone who went out for a sport in seventh grade made the team and played. After that, they had to earn a spot.
The Friday night game had been a tough one. There had been numerous minor injuries to both teams which only heightened Jimmy’s fears of being hurt. Jimmy had been sent in for his mandatory on field time. When the ball had been snapped, he went down one sideline to serve as a distraction while the intended receiver went down the other. The quarterback faked a pass to Jimmy but suddenly switched to hurl it to the other receiver. The pass had been knocked away then intercepted. The opposing player began to scramble trying to score. Even though he knew he could never catch him, Jimmy did his best to chase down the guy simply to look good and avoid being chewed out by his dad. By the time Jimmy reached center field, all the other players were downfield leaving him about 10 yards back.
Suddenly the kid carrying the ball got blind sided. The ball popped from his arms flying right to Jimmy who simply reacted and snagged the ball. The cheers from the sidelines and his team momentarily startled him. Then he saw everyone on the field bearing down on him. The look on the faces of the opposing team terrified him. Once more his instincts kicked in and he turned and fled from them as fast as he could. Hearing their pounding footsteps closing on him as he ran spurred him on. If they caught him they’d smear him all over the field! It wasn’t until he reached the goal posts that he realized he’d scored. Suddenly he went from a pimple on the bench to hero. It was heady!
As a result on Halloween he was trick or treating with some of his teammates, guys that had, at best, previously ignored him. They all proudly wore their football uniforms as their costumes while they went door to door. Of course the jocks quickly lost interest in the treating aspect and turned to the trick part. Eggs, corn and toilet paper appeared from nowhere. Jimmy was caught up in their frenzied vandalism but never actually took an active roll. Jimmy felt what they were doing to vehicles and porches was simply horrid! He simply didn’t know how to get out of the situation without returning to the pariah he’d been for the previous two years. Of course, when the cops spotted the vandals they swooped in. Yep, you guessed it! Jimmy was the only one to get caught.
Jimmy steadfastly refused to squeal on his teammates so the officers took him home.
Don was already three sheets to the wind when he opened the door only to see Jimmy with the cops. Don smirked, actually glad his son finally grew the balls to have real fun on Halloween! Of course he’d have to punish him for getting caught but that would teach the boy to be more cautious the next time.
Jenny quickly joined the impromptu to meeting. Once she learned of the vandalism she was outraged. “You KNOW better than do things like that,” she nearly screamed.
“But I didn’t do anything,” Jimmy whined. “We started out trick or treating but the guys got bored and decided to start raiding! I didn’t want to but I couldn’t get away from them without looking like a wimp!”
“Being a good person isn’t being a wimp,” Jenny scolded.
“But mom, you know I haven’t had any friends since that Pirates mess,” Jimmy sniffled. “It’s only been since I scored that touchdown the guys even talk to me! If I’d have left them, I’d be right back where I was!”
“I don’t see how that would be a loss,” Jenny chided. “You certainly don’t need friends like them! Now tell the officer who the boys were!”
“Mom, I can’t,” Jimmy moaned as he wiped away a tear. “That would make me a narc! I’d never be trusted again!”
“The boy’s right,” Don slurred finally sticking up for his son.
“Don, just shut up,” Jenny scowled. “None of this would have happened if YOU hadn’t insisted he go out for football! Why it’s a miracle he hasn’t been hurt! Just go get another beer and let me handle this!”
Don muttered several obscenities under his breath as he headed for the kitchen and another beer.
“Jimmy, tell the officers who was with you,” Jenny ordered
“Please mom, I can’t,” Jimmy begged as tears began flowing.
“Just go to your room,” Jenny ordered. “I’ll deal with you later!”
Forlornly Jimmy did as ordered.
Jenny had no reluctance as she gave the names of the boys with whom Jimmy had gone trick or treating. The next day saw Jimmy and the other boys sullenly cleaning up the messes they’d made. The guys took great delight in punching or tripping the presumed snitch. Jimmy did his best to tough it out but eventually the harassment moved from subtle to blatant. The officer overseeing the clean-up detail soon caught them in the act. Jimmy was released from the detail while they had to continue.
Don was working in the yard, doing what Jimmy should have been doing but since his son had finally manned up and did something boylike he didn’t mind picking up the slack. Seeing Jimmy arrive home a bit after noon, quite dirty and much earlier than expected, he followed him inside.
“What are you doing home?” Jenny asked. “From what the officer said I thought it’d be an all day clean-up.”
“It will be,” Jimmy answered. “The guys knew I’d been caught and figured I’d snitched. They pushed me into bushes, tripped me, or punched me every chance they got. Officer O’Reilly finally caught them in the act. He told them I’d refused to snitch but that you had told them who I’d been with. Then he said we’d all claimed not to have actually done any vandalism but after seeing how I was trying my best to clean up the mess and the way they were treating me he figured I was telling the truth and hadn’t done anything. Then he sent me home.”
“Well, I’m glad he believed you,” Jenny smiled. “I believe you too.”
“Fuck,” was all Don said as he opened the refrigerator for a beer.
“But mom, the guys will really get on me now,” Jimmy said with a great deal of concern.
“You deserve it, too,” Don scowled as he guzzled the beer and reached for another.
Jenny was clearly disgusted with Don as she turned to Jimmy. “Go get cleaned up.”
As he headed upstairs he heard his mom lay into his father. When he came down his dad was back doing the yardwork.
“Alright, let’s go,” Jenny ordered as she pointed to two big garbage bags holding his football uniform and gear.
“But Dad’ll be pissed if I don’t do the yard work,” Jimmy pleaded.
“He’s already pissed,” Jenny declared. “Maybe the work will sweat some of the alcohol out of him! Now pick up the bags and let’s go!”
“Where are we going,” Jimmy asked afraid of the answer.
“We’re going to the coaches house,” Jenny answered. “I’ll tell him what happened last night and today. Then you’ll tell him you’re quitting the team and turn your things over to him.”
Jimmy knew any attempt to argue would be useless and probably get his mom even more upset. Things were bad enough as it was, he didn’t want to make it worse. A half hour later they headed back home leaving behind a very upset coach. The man wasn’t upset about losing Jimmy from the team since he knew the touchdown had been an anomaly. What angered him was that some of the best players on his team had gotten in trouble for vandalism. The school’s code of conduct required those players to be suspended for the next game. With typical jock thinking, he was not upset about the vandalism, that was just something boys did at Halloween, it was the fact they’d been caught because Jimmy’s mom had reported them.
Don glared daggers at Jimmy when they arrived at home. As soon as he got out of the car Jimmy headed towards his dad to take over.
“James, let your father finish the yard work,” Jenny stated in an authoritative voice that would accept no arguments. “It’s attitudes like his that makes boys your age think they can get away with vandalism! Well, no more! Jimmy, from now on you are NOT to listen to your father!”
“That’s fucking nonsense,” Don shouted back as his face clouded.
“I did NOT ask your opinion on the matter,” Jenny shot back. “Considering you’re half drunk most of the time, you’re not fit to exercise any control over Jimmy.”
“I drink so much because you’re a nagging bitch!” Don angrily fired back.
“It’s your macho stubbornness and stupidity that have made me that way!” Jenny retorted. “If you don’t like it, pack up and leave! Jimmy,” she stated firmly as she marched into the house.
Jimmy stood helplessly as he looked between his enraged father and his righteous mother. Don just switched his glare of hatred between Jenny and Jimmy. Jimmy said nothing as he hung his head and meekly followed his mother.
The rest of the day was sheer hell. Don and Jenny continually glared at the other and barely spoke. Don totally ignored Jimmy drowning his anger with beer. When the yard work was done, he jumped in his pickup and headed to his favorite bar. Jimmy spent the day worrying about what the future held.
There was a persistent knocking on the door early Sunday morning. It finally woke both Jimmy and Jenny. Jimmy poked his head out of his bedroom in an attempt to hide the fact he was wearing a nightie as his mother headed down to answer the door. Both assumed Don had been arrested for DUI and was in jail. They only had the DUI part correct.
Don left the bar barely able to walk as the other patrons laughed at him. Angered at them as well as his wife, he jumped in the pickup and tore out of the parking lot. The police estimated he was doing 60 in a 25mph zone as he headed across the railroad tracks. Apparently he didn’t even notice there was a freight train crossing the road because he drove directly into the side of a boxcar rolling down the tracks at 50mph. There was no evidence he’d ever hit the brakes. The wreckage was strewn for half a mile down the tracks.
Needless to say Jimmy was devastated. He blamed himself for the death. If only he’d been the boy his dad wanted none of this would have happened. Determined to end his dilemma he packed up the nighties and placed them in the attic with Beth’s other clothes. Of course that left him feeling hollow and only made it even more difficult to fall asleep. But he had to learn to become a man so he persevered.
Jenny was quite upset too. While she was upset with the excessive drinking, she had loved him. After identifying the battered body she made arrangements for the funeral. The burial was scheduled for Thursday.
Jimmy didn’t go to school that week. Most of the time he stayed in his bedroom thinking about his miserable life. One of the first things he thought about was Halloween. He hated it! The last four years had been disastrous. While he had never been a really macho boy, up through fourth grade his dad’s influence had given him a reasonable facade of being one of the guys. That mask had been shattered by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle debacle. All the guys who thought he was one of them found out he was a cowardly fake. His reward for trying to wear the All-American boy mask was getting pushed about, bloodied, robbed of his goodies, and being ostracized by the junior jocks for being a fake.
As the dust from that mess settled he’d found himself amongst the junior geeks. Eager for friendship he did his best to mold himself into being one of them. For several months he’d pulled it off and was beginning to actually find a place for himself when Halloween hit again. Pirates of the Carribean broadsided that route when he’d ended up portraying Elizabeth Swift. There had been a chance he might have pulled it off if his costume had shown him to be a boy uncomfortably masquerading as a girl. Unfortunately his mom had other ideas, insisting that if he was going to do something, he should do it right. So instead of being a mere boyish caricature of Elizabeth he appeared to be a real girl playing the part. The reaction of his geeky friends was one of jealousy as they felt he stole the spotlight from them. His mom’s eager sharing of the all too girlishly realistic photos she’d taken with his compatriots doomed his last link to being buddies with the guys in his class. The mask of being a girl had proved to be a bit too natural and too good thus dooming him to being labeled, teased and tormented as a sissy. Naturally his dad had not liked his realistic portrayal of a girl one bit. The fact his mom made him wear the panties and camis she’d bought for the costume only served to aggravate the damage he’d suffered. Even more disturbing was that although feeling ashamed and guilty he sort of enjoyed his time as Elizabeth. That he enjoyed being forced to wear the panties and camis under his boy clothes only added to his issues of finding out who he really was.
Jimmy found himself squeezed out of being friends with any of the guys in his class. Yet at the same time the girls in his class offered friendship for the very reasons the guys cut him off! The guys hated and distrusted the apparent ease with which he portrayed a girl while that same thing led the girls to like and trust him. It was quite confusing!
Then Angie and Kim moved in next door. In his loneliness he found acceptance with them. They not only liked him for simply being himself, but they elicited a nurturing aspect from him. The emptiness in his life caused by lack of peer friendship was filled by looking after the younger girls. While with them there was no need for a false front. They accepted him as is without need for a mask. During the next few months his relationship with them grew closer and stronger. For the first time in his life he began to feel good about himself.
Then came the Disney Halloween. It had been the first Halloween he’d actually enjoyed going trick or treating. Once more his mom had set him up to realistically portray a genuine girl. While feeling guilty for appearing so girlish without trying, he once more enjoyed playing the role. Since his classmates never knew he’d been a girl, there were no repercussions from that arena. However, his dad had been clearly disgusted. Once more he found he’d enjoyed being Beth and wearing the girly clothes. After the event, he didn’t have to be told to place the new lingerie in his drawers nor to be sure to wear it.
Of course, once more his dad had been fed up with his all too accurate femininity leaving an uncomfortable sense of guilt. At the same time dressing and portraying a girl had felt comfortable and somehow right. That confused him quite a bit. Still out of the loop with the guys in his class he once more found he identified closer to the girls than the guys. For the first time he wondered if the girl mask he’d worn for the second year in a row had not been a mask? Halloween night left Jimmy on a roller coaster of confusion. The happiness and comfort he’d felt had been undeniably nice even though it was guilt inducing. Then came the crash of the brief unnerving interaction with his dad. The extreme mix of highs and lows left him exhausted so when he went to bed he forgot to remove the panties and cami. Much to his surprise he’d slept better than he could recall. That led to him using the panties and cami as sleepwear. In addition the desire to dress as and behave as Beth was quite strong and he managed to fight it until Christmas. With the neighbor girls begging for Beth he finally gave in. His mother had been so delighted she’d taken him shopping for nighties! Of course his dad had scowled.
By the end of the school year Jimmy realized he had quite a dilemma on his hands. The time he spent as Beth felt good but it also scared him. He knew boys were boys and girls were girls. Coupled with his dad’s disapproval of his girl time he resolved to put Beth away. That had been all his dad needed to grab hold and train the sissy out of him. Even though he did his best, it still felt awkward. He knew he was forcing himself to be a guy while as Beth being a girl just happened. Going out for football had been hard since the guys didn’t like his wimpy ways. As he thought about his time on the team he realized he’d been playing a role he didn’t feel. Being a pseudo-jock was most definitely a mask!
Then came his touchdown. The praise and comradeship from his teammates felt good. Yet in his heart he knew they were acclaiming a fake. The guys had even invited him to join them trick or treating in their uniforms. It had been awkward from the start as their lewd talk about wanting to bang the cheerleaders made him uneasy. He’d been horrified when they began raiding but had been unable to avoid being swept along. Being caught by the cop had actually been a bit of a relief. Then came the horror of his mom’s indignation which left him labeled as a snitch. The guys who had briefly befriended him turned against him with a vengeance. Then came the confrontation between his parents and his dad’s anger and drunken death.
Jimmy understood that as a boy he was an utter failure. Every time he tried to man-up he wound up crashing harder. He held no illusions about how he’d be treated when he returned to school. Thoughts of suicide began to filter into his anguish. So far his life had been one ill-fitting mask after another. Every attempt at masculinity had been a complete flop. The time spent as Beth had been comfortable yet wrong. He could see no way out.
Thursday night after the funeral he couldn’t sleep. The grief he felt and the fear of returning to school was simply too overwhelming. Finally at 3am he slipped from bed. This time he put on the stoic brave mask of a doomed Spartan warrior marching off to Thermopylae. Quietly he dressed and slipped downstairs. Retrieving his bike he hopped on and peddled to the railroad crossing where his dad died. Hiding in the bushes a quarter block from the tracks he waited for a train. As he waited a chilly light rain began to fall. The doomed boy thought the gloomy rain was appropriate. The determined boy was shivering violently and he was unable to stop his teeth from chattering. It was 5:30 when the blare of a locomotive horn snapped him out of his lethargy.
As the train rumbled into view, Jimmy launched himself from the bushes. Images of being a Japanese kamikaze in WWII flashed through his exhausted sleep deprived warped mind. There was car stopped at the crossing and part of his mind realized the railroad had belatedly repaired the flashing crossing warning lights. Picking up speed he shot past the startled driver doing about 20mph and bounced across the first set of tracks. The train was on the second set of tracks going in the opposite direction of the train his dad hit. It was only going at about 30mph. The bumpy track crossing combined with the rain and his chilled exhausted reflexes to bounce him from a 90 degree angle of impact to a thirty degree angle. The front wheel of the bike impacted one of the large deadly steel wheels of a flat car.
The crash was nasty. The bike was torn apart but Jimmy was thrown clear of the train. He bounced onto the first roadbed tumbling ass over tin cups along the asphalt to smash into the steel pole holding the flashing lights. His body wrapped about the steel pole about five feet up before dropping limply to the ground.
The horrified driver of the car couldn’t believe his eyes as he helplessly watched the crash. Even before Jimmy’s body stopped tumbling he was on his cell phone dialing 911. Putting on his flashers, he grabbed a blanket to throw over the still body as he exited the car. As he shook out the blanket he heard a soft moan. Surprised he knelt down and placed a finger on the throat of the battered body. There was a pulse!
“Hello! Hello!” The man bellowed into his phone as he pulled it from his shirt pocket. “The kid’s alive! I felt a pulse! The kid’s alive! Get help here ASAP!”
The police knocking on her front door at 6am Friday morning scared Jenny. When they said Jimmy was being airlifted to a trauma center she couldn’t believe it. He was in bed... wasn’t he? With a sudden panic she turned and ran to his bedroom to find it empty. She screamed and fainted.
Fortunately the neighbors had been keeping an eye on them since Don’s death and heard the terrified scream. Rushing in they assisted the policeman in reviving Jenny then assured him they would take care of her and get her to the hospital.
The crash would have been fatal, but in his dejected state coupled with his image of a Spartan warrior going off to face his death Jimmy had unthinkingly donned his armor... his knee and arm pads as well as his helmet. They were nearly torn from his body but had absorbed a great deal of the blunt force. Even so it had been touch and go to save his life. For fifteen long agonizing hours he was unconscious as Jenny helplessly kept vigil.
Jimmy slowly returned to consciousness. The world slowly went from a dreary white fog to stark white walls and an annoying beeping. As he tried to move pain seared through his body causing a low moan.
Jenny sat dozing by the bedside. It had been a hellacious day. The low moaned snapped her awake. “Jimmy, Jimmy, oh please God, Jimmy,” she said as she rushed to the bed.
Jimmy rolled his head a bit then slowly opened his eyes to see the haggard tear stained face of his mother. Briefly he wondered what had happened to her. Attempting to roll on his side to face her once more sent intense pain through him causing him to gasp.
“Don’t try to move, baby,” Jenny sniffled with relief as she squeezed his hand. “Thank God you’re finally awake! I thought I’d lost you too!” With that she pressed the call button to let the nurses know he’d awoken.
The next several hours were exhausting for Jimmy as he was probed and tested to determine if there was any permanent nerve damage. Thankfully there was none evident. A severe concussion, several broken ribs and some internal bleeding were the extent of his injuries. Naturally everyone wanted to know why he’d tried to kill himself, especially Dr. Brand, his new psychiatrist.
At first he merely closed his eyes and refused to respond but he finally realized they were not going to leave him be until he answered. “I did it for the same reason I failed,” he finally sniffled. “I can’t do anything right! Dad got drunk because I couldn’t be the son he wanted. I’m a failure as a boy! I’m nothing but a sissy! None of the guys want to be my friend because they’re afraid I’ll pass being a sissy to them! I was stupid to think the guys from the football team wanted to be my friend just because I scored a touchdown. Everyone knows that was really just an accident. Then they all got in trouble cause I got caught while they were raiding. I killed my dad, the jocks will be waiting for me when I get back to school. I just can’t handle being a boy and all I do is get people killed or in trouble. So I thought I’d do one last thing and die like dad did... but I failed at that! I’m just a loser.”
The utter sadness and hopelessness with which he spoke told them all he was speaking the painful truth, at least as he saw it. They were wise enough not to attempt to deny his belief but they did say ending his life was not the answer and that they would help him find a way to overcome his angst.
The next week went by as they slowly worked his battered body into functioning it as it should. Three daily sessions of physical therapy were followed by sessions with his psychiatrist. Jimmy was smart enough to know his suicide attempt had been an act of frustration due to desperation.
In talking to the doctor he explained about the masks he wore. The initial false mask that he was a normal boy was destroyed along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. The second mask of being a budding geek had been destroyed by The Pirates of the Carribean shipwreck which led him to being a pariah to his male classmates. How he’d found solace in looking out for Angie and Kim but how that had kicked back on him when he’d discovered he really was a sissy when he’d enjoyed masquerading as Beth with the girls. How he decided to try once more to man up to escape his hated sissy reality only to have his efforts to reclaim a place amongst the guys turned into a nightmare that led to his dad’s death while earning him the enmity of the football team. The only mask that seemed to fit him was that of a sissy and that was a mask he didn’t want.
It didn’t take much effort for Dr. Brand to check with the school guidance counselor to realize that Jimmy’s assessment of his sorry status amongst his male classmates was, if anything, too positive. The botched suicide was well known and seen as an effort by a hopeless sissy to avoid facing up to his shortcomings. In fact, the school recommended that for his own safety instead of returning to school when he was able that he be home schooled.
When he was finally released from the hospital he stayed home, hiding from the world. The school assisted in setting up a home school program. However it was clear to everyone that Jimmy was profoundly sad and depressed with little hope for the future.
The only bright spot was when Angie and Kim were allowed to visit. Now nine and eight, they knew Jimmy had been badly injured and were warned not to try to climb on him or hug him like they normally did. He’d been home two days when their mom brought them over. They each carried a well loved stuffed animal from their collection. When he saw their timid expressions of concern he felt his heart swell and for the first time in weeks he smiled. The girls promptly smiled back and rushed to where he was sitting to hug him as they usually did. It was only the hastily called out ‘Be careful’ that reminded them of the warning to be gentle. Instead of pouncing on him they gingerly crawled onto the arms of the chair and hugged him. Both girls said they were sorry he had been hurt and were sorry he was so sad but that they loved him. Then they gave him their stuffed animal explaining they would make him feel better. The girls insisted he sleep with them to keep him safe from bad dreams.
Jimmy was moved to tears but they were tears of happiness. At least they loved him for the person he was, not the person he tried to be. The stuffed animals were precious to him and he promised to take care of them until he was better when he’d give them back.
Jenny was delighted to see the smile. She knew Jimmy had a caring gentle soul that kept him from fitting in with the boys his age. If only he’d been born a girl! Memories of him dressing as Beth to play with the girls as he took care of them were pleasant. As she recalled those memories she realized that when he was being Beth for the girls, he was really being himself. All his efforts to be Jimmy had been ill fitting masks! The only time he’d ever come close to being relaxed and happy was when he was with the girls! There was no need to put on a false mask of boyhood with them! All his issues with being a failure as a boy and a hopeless sissy would never go away as long as he insisted he had to be the boy he felt he had to be! The problem was how to get him to see the truth without getting him all worked up?
After the girls left Jenny called his psychiatrist and explained her revelation. The good doctor had no problem seeing the possibility that her assessment could be correct. She agreed to set up some gender identity tests for Jimmy.
That evening as Jimmy made his way upstairs he clutched the two stuffed animals, one a fuzzy pink kitten and the other an equally fuzzy pink teddy bear. Before he climbed into bed he placed them on his nightstand by the clock. When the lights were off, the soft green glow of the clock readout gave the stuffed animals a weird but comforting appearance. As had been normal since his dad’s death, he was unable to fall asleep. As he tossed and turned, tormented by his personal demons, the sight of the stuffed animals whenever he turned towards them eased his anguish. However that relief added to his angst. Why would a boy find solace in cutesy stuffed animals? The answer was easy, a normal boy wouldn’t... however a sissy would! Once more his reality hit him in the face. Yet another piece of evidence proving he was unworthy!
Weary, frustrated, and exhausted, Jimmy knew he had to get some sleep. Knowing the stuffed animals helped a bit, he finally conceded that he really had not been able to sleep since he put the nighties in the attic. It was about 1am when he slipped from bed and quietly headed into the attic.
Jenny knew Jimmy was having a terrible time falling asleep so she kept an ear peeled for any movement. She was determined he wouldn’t have another opportunity to try to kill himself! Hearing him moving about she crept to her door and watched as he headed to the attic. Going to the bottom of the attic stairs she listened, relieved to hear he was fumbling with cardboard boxes. Her heart soared as she hoped he was getting a nightie to help him sleep. Silently she headed back to her bedroom and peeked out the door. A few minutes later she saw Jimmy come down hugging a nightie and return to his room.
The next morning Jenny stood by Jimmy’s bed and analyzed what she saw. At first glance she saw her son, but as she looked closer she noted the image, without actually changing, slowly morphed into that of a girl. She shook her head to clear the image but it persisted. The tough boy Don insisted Jimmy be was there, but the image didn’t fit the reality. She also saw Beth, the friendly, caring girl who adored the neighbor girls as much as they adored her. Reality seemed to be a mixture of both. As she watched him dreaming, the expressions flitting across his face switched from macho to feminine, tough to sweet, boy to girl. Her heart went out to her troubled child. While he’d tried to be the tough son Don wanted, that persona had never been a good fit. It had always been a mask covering the hidden child inside. Jimmy’s peers must have sensed that dichotomy since they seemed to always dump on him for not fitting in with them. The only time she really saw Jimmy happy and content was with Angie and Kim... especially when he put on the Beth mask. The fact he was wearing the nightgown didn’t seem out of place or unusual. It simply seemed appropriate. The question was whether or not Beth was a mask or reality. Gently she woke Jimmy.
Jimmy was slow to rouse. Even in his dreams he seemed to never truly be himself. Every role he took seemed somehow wrong. When he finally shook off the cobwebs, he smiled at his mother.
“Get cleaned up,” Jenny smiled. “I’ll make you a quick breakfast, then we’ve got to go. You have an appointment to see Dr. Brand at ten.”
“Okay,” Jimmy said as he threw back the sheets to sit up. As he did he realized he was wearing the nightie. A look of unease and guilt filled his face. “Ummm... I...”
“It’s okay,” Jenny assured him. “I know you had a rough time going to sleep and I also know wearing nighties helps you relax so you can fall asleep. I have no problem if you want to wear nighties to bed. I just want you to feel relaxed and safe. I’ll never condemn what works for you.”
“Thanks,” Jimmy forced a guilty smile.
Jimmy blushed when Dr. Brand questioned him about wearing nighties to sleep and the stuffed animals the girls had given him. The embarrassed boy was surprised when she didn’t condemn him for being a wimp or sissy. Instead she praised him for being smart enough to know what helped him cope with his issues. Then came the hard part. Written tests with multiple choice answers. The problem was that all five choices for each question were correct! The only saving grace was that the instructions were to select the answer that in his opinion seemed to be the best. It was a weird test!
As soon as they arrived home Angie and Kim insisted on seeing Jimmy. They were careful not to be too enthusiastic. Kim in particular gave him a lot to think about.
“I know you’re sad because your daddy went to heaven,” she said. “But you haven’t been happy since you stopped being Beth. Jimmy was nice for a boy, but you were never happy pretending to be him. I don’t understand why a girl would want to be a dumb dirty boy. To get better, you need to bring Beth back. That’s who you really are!”
The fact no one chided Kim was ample proof they all agreed with her sentiments. Even Jimmy could see the truth behind her words. No one knew what to say and an awkward silence prevailed.
The more he thought about his dilemma, the more Jimmy realized his whole life being Jimmy was just an ill-fitting mask. The only exception had been the time he spent with the girls being Beth. What had happened last night only added to the truth. As Jimmy he couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep. It hadn’t been until he’d retrieved a nightie that Beth had emerged and allowed him to sleep. With that he realized that Beth was not a mere mask as every incarnation of Jimmy had been. Beth was the real thing! The person he was inside!
“Thank you Kim,” the beleaguered youth whispered after a few awkward moments. “Even though my body says I’m a boy, I’ve never really fit in anywhere as a boy. It seemed the harder I tried to be a boy the worse things became. When I let myself be Beth, I didn’t have to try to be a girl. I simply let myself be who I really am and there was Beth. My entire life as Jimmy has been one failure after another, yet I stubbornly kept hitting my head against the same wall. I can’t remember ever being happy as Jimmy. But as Beth, with you and Angie, I’ve been happy! I’ve been so stupid! Jimmy was just a stupid mask I wore because I thought I was a boy! Well, no more!”
“I have an announcement to make,” the now determined, confident tween continued. “For all intents and purposes, Jimmy died at the railroad crossing. What I’ve been since then was a zombie, going through the motions of living without hope or a future! Thanks to Kim the zombie has been lobotomized! Every bit of boy inside my head has been removed! Mom, please, can I be Beth for the rest of my life?”
“Of course,” Jenny smiled as she swept her new daughter into a loving hug. “But we can’t just discard Jimmy. The tests you took today were designed to analyze how a person thinks as compared to males and females. The results will show if, in your heart, where you align on the male/female gender line. I have no doubt the results will show that you’re, with a doubt, firmly on the female side of the line. Once that is established, Dr. Brand can authorize medical treatments to shut down male puberty and start you down the road to female puberty and life. It’s important we follow the rules and guidelines as you transition. Beth, I love you just as much as I did Jimmy!”
The neighbors congratulated Beth. Then Angie and Kim accompanied Beth upstairs to move Beth’s attic stored clothes to her bedroom. Before they put the clothes away, Beth changed into a skirt and blouse, immediately feeling a sense of freedom that felt right.
Beth did score well on the female side of the gender scale. Testosterone blockers were immediately prescribed and the one year RTL began. Since Jimmy had been set up on home schooling, Beth simply replaced him.
Jenny filed two lawsuits over Don’s death. First was against the bar. Don was clearly under the influence when he arrived at the bar. By the time he left he was undeniably drunk. The bartender repeatedly served an intoxicated man and left him leave with no attempt to stop him. Second was against the railroad. The flashing lights had been reported as not functioning two weeks before the accident. The railroad had done nothing to warn the public of the danger.
The insurance companies representing the bar and the railroad wanted to avoid wasting time and money on trials they knew they’d lose. They negotiated a hefty out of court settlement.
They ended up with eight million dollars after all fees and taxes. When the spring semester of the school year began in mid-January, Beth headed off to school, but not back to the school she’d previously attended. She returned to school at the local K-8 parochial school Angie and Kim attended. When she first became Heather for Halloween, she told herself it was just a mask. The truth was it was not a mask but her true self. The mask had been her existence as Jimmy.
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