by Barbara Lynn Terry
I was never very tall. When I was in grade school, I was even with the smallest girl there. Yes, the boys made fun of me, and the girls protected me. Now I am in high school, and I am a whole five feet, two inches tall, I weigh in at one hundred and eighteen pounds, and my face is oval, my hair is down past my shoulders, and is a chestnut brown with natural highlights. I was never able to get on any of the boys teams because of my height. But who likes sports anyway?
My name is Leigh A. Smythe. The "A" doesn't stand for anything, at least not yet, but my mother thought it should be there, and I will find a name to go with it. Now as we have seen through our years growing up, boys kind of lumber along using their shoulders like bulldozers. Girls we have seen kind of glide along, and don't seem to be in a hurry like the guys do. I take after the girls. I walk with my hips, keeping my shoulders back and my head straight. I don't try to look over people taller than me, and I don't push past a crowd just to be able to get somewhere. I just take my time.
When I leave for school, I leave in plenty of time, so that when I get to the school, the first bell is just ringing. I go to my locker and get my morning books, and then go to homeroom. I have not been tardy once this whole semester. My grades are B honor roll, and I am liked by my teachers, which earns me a teachers pet tag from some of the more jealous kids in my classes. Well, anyway, it is now February 17, and it is a Friday. I have gotten through the morning, and decided to see what the over rated school cook made for us today. I never liked school food, and always brought my own lunch. But today, for some reason, I wanted to see what they were serving.
When I got to the cafeteria, I saw they were having cardboard pizza, so I got a yogurt and a thing of juice and went to sit by myself. As I was deep in my thoughts, Patty Langston decided to come over with the entire girls tennis team.
"Hey Leigh, may we sit here and talk to you for a bit?"
"Sit down if you want to. What do you want to talk to me about?"
"As you know, Janey Mitchell is out with a sprained elbow and won't be able to play in the tournament games. We were talking, and since you know the game inside and out, would you like to do us a favor?"
"Uhm, I have a feeling I'm not going to like this, but what is the favor?"
"Would you please fill in for Janey on our tournament tour?"
"You want me to play on your team as a substitute for a girl on a girls team."
"What about changing rooms, showering, what name would I use?"
"You would use your name silly, and don't worry about changing or showering. The way your first name is spelled is the girl's spelling for Lee. You once said that the A in your name doesn't stand for anything. So what if we were to call you Leigh Anne?"
"Alright but there is one more thing. What about tennis clothes. I don't have any. When my friends and I play at the neighborhood courts, we just wear our shorts and tees."
"We will get you a couple of tennis dresses. You will need a couple of gaffes too. That way when you lob those shots over the net, nobody will see anything but a cute female butt. Please say you will help us, Leigh. Please!!!"
"I will have to talk to my parents about this. I may have a problem with my father, but mom may just allow it. If you want me to help you, you have to help me. Come home with me tonight after school, and help me tell my parents that I am going to be a girl tennis player for the school. We also need to have your coach and the principal in on this too, so they know."
"Not a problem with our tennis coach, we already talked to her. Mr. Thompson we will see on the way out today. I have a scheduled talk with him right after school lets out. So then are you going to be our substitute girl?"
"I might as well, I can't play with the jocks because of my height."
"There is another reason you can't play with the jocks either."
"What is that?"
"You don't act like a boy. Everytime you walk, you sway your hips like we do, when you eat, you take small, dainty bites like a girl." She moved a little closer so only those at the table could hear. "When you use the restroom," she whispered, "do you sit or stand when you pee?"
I think I turned a thousand shades of red, pink, purple and back to red again before I answered her. "I sit, and yes, I even wipe myself before getting up."
"So you see Leigh, you can't play with the jocks because you're not a jock. You play tennis with your friends because you like the game, but you don't brag when you win, and you don't get angry when you lose. You play to have fun. That is what sports is supposed to be like anyway."
Patty Langston wasn't your cheerleader type, anymore than I was a jock. But she knew how to play tennis, and she knew how to play volley ball and badminton. I loved playing all three of these games. The bell rang for the start of the afternoon classes, so we all went to our lockers to get our books. All through the afternoon, I was thinking about what Patty had asked and what she had said. Maybe she was right. All I am good at is playing on the girls teams. At least it is a school sport.
After the last bell rang ending the last class for the day and the week, I went to my locker, and got the books I needed for homework. I clutched them to my chest, and went by the office. Patty and the girls were just coming from the other end. I waited for them before going in.
"That is another thing too, Leigh, you carry your books like a girl. But hey, being a girl isn't so bad. Not really. Lets go and talk to Mr. Thompson."
We went in the office and Patty told our secretary that we had an appointment to see Mr. Thompson. Reginald Daly Thompson was not exactly playing with all the cards in the deck and many times he has been out classed by a dim witted student even. If I knew Patty, this was going to work out well. After a few minutes, we were called into his office.
"I thought I was only going to talk to you, Patricia."
"Well Mr. Thompson, we have a small crisis on our hands with the girls tennis team. Janey Mitchell, one of our star players won't be allowed to play in our school tournament games at home and away, because she had a bad case of tennis elbow. She actually sprained her elbow badly. But we think we came up with a solution."
"What solution is that, Patricia?"
"We would like Leigh Smythe here to fill in for Janey for all of our tournament games. If we do this now, we can get her on the sub list and file it with the MHSAA before the deadline."
"Leigh, what do you say about this?"
"I say I should go for it, sir. I mean, I am a student here and I can't play with the jocks because of my height, and I do have the height necessary to play girls sports. My parents will approve and I will bring you a signed letter from them on Monday."
"Well, this is irregular, but I don't see any alternative. Patricia, you have tried to get other girls?"
"Yes, but they all said no."
"Very well, I will want that note on my desk first thing Monday morning. I also want a doctor's certificate saying you have had a complete physical and you are capable of playing sports. Those are my terms. Meet them, and you can play sports on the girls teams."
"Yes, sir, and thank you."
"You are quite welcome, young lady." When we got out in the hallway, we breathed a very heavy sigh of relief.
"Let's go to my house and break the news to my parents they now have a daughter."
We walked the six blocks to my house, and we all trumped up the stairs, and in to my apartment. We have a four bedroom apartment but there are only three of them being used for bedrooms. Mom is using the fourth one as a sewing room. We sat in the dining room, because it was the only room that had enough chairs. I went to get mom and dad. When we were all in the dining room, I sat down, and started talking.
"Mom, daddy, I want you to know that there does come a time in someone's life when they have to make a stand. Mother, you told me that I could use my middle initial for any name I wanted to go with it. Well mom, daddy, I want you to meet Leigh Anne Smythe, girl tennis player for our school girls tennis team."
"Leigh Anne, That sounds really pretty. I like that."
"Leigh Anne, hey. You can't play a boy's sport?"
"No daddy, I can't. My height is officially five feet, two inches. I miss the mark by four inches according to the school and the MHSAA. But I do meet the height requirements for girls sports. Janey Mitchell is out with tennis elbow for the rest of the season, and the girls need someone who knows how to play the game well, so we at least have a chance of winning the state tournament title. Daddy, you may not agree being all macho and things, but I am never going to be as tall as you. I may grow maybe another inch or two, but that is about it. Also daddy, didn't you notice that my voice isn't getting any lower. In fact, since puberty started, my voice seems to be getting higher. There is very little hair on my legs, no hair on my chest, back, face, and just a patch here under each arm and in the pubic area. No daddy, I need to play this tennis tournament as a girl, on the girls tennis team."
"You just wait, you will get your growth spurt, maybe even a couple of them."
"Mom, can you explain it to him? He doesn't seem to be getting it."
"Dear, you let me handle this one. You go and do your thing, whatever that is."
"Let you handle this, and allow him to go traipsing around in a dress, I suppose."
"Yes, daddy, a nice tennis dress. Maybe even a couple of them so I have a change of clothes."
"I don't believe I am hearing this. You are a boy, and boys should do boys things."
"Like what, daddy? What can a five foot, two inch boy do that would be considered boy things, daddy?"
"Well, you could ... well, you just could, that's all."
"Mom, we will let you talk to him. Mr. Thompson said he wants a signed letter by both of you on Monday and a doctor's certificate saying I had a complete physical and that I am able to play girls sports. I will also need at least three tennis dresses. A set of gaffes, and maybe even a packet of panties to put over the gaffes."
"What the hell is a gaffe?"
"It is an undergarment especially made to keep certain male bits hidden and the groin flat. Stage actors use them when they have to play female roles.
"Daddy, I don't care how macho you were in the Marines, but this isn't the Marines, and you are not the colonel. This is our family and it is about time you started seeing what is going on around you, even in your own home."
"But, I don't understand. Are you saying that there isn't one boy sport that you can play at school?"
"Mr. Smythe, my name is Patty and I am one of Leigh's best friends." Well that may have been a fib, but if it works then more power to her. "Our star player is out for the rest of the season with tennis elbow. This couldn't have come a worst time, because we have our local and state tournaments coming up. We would like Leigh to fill in for our injured player, because Leigh knows the game from every direction. But, because we are a girls team, we need Leigh to play with us as a girl. There is one sport that Leigh can play as a boy or a girl and that is chess. But we are tennis players, and we would like Leigh to join us as Leigh Anne."
"Well, what about the other kids at the school? I don't want Leigh to get beaten up because somebody doesn't like seeing him in a dress."
"Mr. Smythe, my name is Darlene, and I am one of Leigh's best friends too." That was news to me. "The other kids at school think Leigh is a girl anyway, a tomboy, but nevertheless a girl. If she were to be allowed to play with us on our team as a girl, then yes, she would have to go to school as Leigh Anne Smythe. But the way everybody sees her, there won't be a problem."
Darlene Haskins was as smart as she was pretty. Her sun golden hair just gleamed in the sunlight, and her smile was as bright as the sun. But even though she was a siren, well, I thought so anyway, she was not stuck up or prudish.
"Are you saying that everybody sees my son as a girl?"
"Yes, sir, we are."
"Dear, if you look at Leigh very closely, you will see that she doesn't even look like a boy, even dressed as she is right now. The only thing we can do, is let her take the path that is going to make her the happiest."
"Well, I guess I am out numbered, even by my own son. Since you have everybody's support, I will sign your consent letter, and your mother can make an appointment with our doctor to have your physical. You understand this though. From the first day you put on a dress in this house, is the day I will disown you. You are a boy and you need to act like one. But, I will sign the consent letter, because I don't need your mother making it hard on me."
"Oh Thank you so much, daddy!!! I exclaimed, giving him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.
I think it was at that moment when he saw that I may be a male, but I am not a boy.
"Uhm, you're uhm, yes, uhm, quite uhm, welcome."
We had him. His little threat of disowning me also went out the window, I think.
"Mom, we need to talk about this in my room so I can get set up with the clothes. I have my tennis racquet, but I will need new shoes that screams girl while I am playing."
We went to my room and I sat on the bed with Darlene while mom sat in the chair and Patty and the other girls just stood. I was the first to speak.
"Mom, if I play on the girls tennis team as a girl, and register with the MHSAA as a girl, I will have to attend school as a girl. The only thing that will need to be changed is that I am a female. I mean, mom, when you named me, you spelled my name Leigh. I don't think you intended to do that, but that is my official name. So since my first name is spelled like a girl's, I should be designated a female on my school records too. That means we need to go shopping for new clothes. Clothes the girls today are wearing."
"You know your father will not support you."
"Mother, he has to learn that the world does not revolve around him. He may be the man of the house, but I am no man. I'm not even a boy even though I have a male body. If my body is any indication, I may be what the doctors call intersexed. We can find out when I have my physical. I mean, my voice is getting higher, I am developing a figure, and even though I am not developing breasts, yet, I bet that is coming in the not too distant future. So you see, mom, I need to do this. I need to play on the girls tennis team because that means I am accepted by my peers."
"Honey, I have always known that you were different from the boys I see in the neighborhood. You have a more feminine way of doing and looking at, things. I will support you too, and I will stand for no abuse of you by your father. You are right about one thing, though. You definitely are not a boy.
"Now about this consent letter, is it already written?"
"Not yet, mother. I was going to write it tonight, with the girls help, and have you and dadd sign it tomorrow."
"Alright, and I am going downstairs right now and call Dr. Sam. I am sure I can get you in before Monday. Hopefully. I will be right back up.
Dr. Samantha Haggar, MD OB/GYN is a very nice lady. She has been mom's doctor even before mom was pregnant with me. If anybody could get me a physical excuse saying that I can play girls sports, it was her. Besides, she has always called me a young lady anyway. So we will see what mom says when she comes back up. Mom came back to my room after about fifteen minutes.
"Dr. Sam said she can see you tomorrow, and I also told her what you said too. She said that was entirely possible, and she will check you out from head to toe. She said she will also give you a prescription note for radilogy to have an MRI done too. That is where they put you in this tube thingy and take pictures of the inside of your body. But it is better than an ultra sound or even x-rays, because the MRI machine sees everything. The MRI will be done at the hospital after we are done seeing Dr. Sam. Then Dr. Sam will let us know how the MRI turned out on Monday or Tuesday. But you don't need that for the physical excuse. So, since it is early yet, let's go shopping to get my daughter her new wardrobe."
"Alright. Uhm Patty, do you have to go right home?"
"Not if I call my mom and let her know where I'm at. I will just tell her I am going to go shopping with my best friend and her mother."
"Me too, Leigh," Darlene added. "Mrs. Smythe, may we use your phone?"
"Yes, it is in the living room, next to the couch."
"Why don't you use your cells?"
"Because Leigh, I might say something I don't want others to accidentally hear."
That was an all too big possibility with cell phones. They were after all just walkie talkies on the phone frequencies that go out to a repeater we call a cell, and then it is retransmitted to the other caller. Even though it takes nanoseconds to retransmit, it seems instantaneous to the callers.
Patty and Darlene went to call their moms, and mom and I just talked.
"Leigh, if I support you, will you act like a lady at all times?"
"Yes, mother, I will."
"Then I will support your decision to be my daughter, and to be a girl tennis player for the school girls tennis team. You know, sweetie, that you take after your grandmother. She was short and angelic looking too. Do you know your weight, sweetie?"
"One hundred and eighteen pounds, mom."
"You weigh less than I do. I am one hundred and twenty two pounds. Well, let's get ready for shopping."
We went to the living room, where Patty was still on the phone with her mother. She hung up as she saw us coming.
"My mom said it was about time that tomboy you talked so much about is going to start being a lady. She said I can go shopping with you."
"My mom said I could go, too."
"You told your mom I was a tomboy, Patty? I thought you didn't like me."
"Whatever gave you that idea? Yes, I did tell my mom there was this girl in my class that dressed and acted like a tomboy. I was talking about you. Leigh, I have always liked you, and envied your free spirit. I knew you were a male, but I also knew that the way you acted, you weren't a boy."
"What's the difference? If he is a male, of course he is a boy."
"Mr. Smythe, Leigh may be a lot of things, but being a boy isn't one of them. You see, it is who you are inside that counts, and people need to learn how to get to know someone before they go and say anything about that person. You have lived with Leigh her whole life, and you don't know the first thing about her. How she thinks, does things, what she likes or doesn't like. Mr. Smythe, get to know her before you say anything."
"Well, my father taught me that males are boys that grow up to be men, and any boy or man who acts effeminate is a sissy."
"I can say one thing about Leigh, Mr. Smythe. She is definitely no sissy. Mr. Smythe do you know about people who are transgendered, or even intersexed? Leigh is one or the other. Have you listened to Leigh when she talks? Have you ever noticed the tone of her voice? Have you seen the figure she is starting to get?" Daddy's face had a look of surprise on it, and his mouth hung open. "I didn't think so. Just because Leigh has your genes that made her a physical male, does not mean that she is a boy."
"Well my father..." He didn't get to finish before mom cut him off.
"Dear, your father isn't here right now, and we have to look at the facts of this situation. Leigh is five foot, two inches tall and weighs one hundred and eighteen pounds. That is normal for a girl her age. It is not normal for a boy her age. I myself weigh one hundred and twenty two pounds. Like it or not, Leigh is our daughter, and she will be treated with respect as such in this household."
"I give the orders in this house."
"Dear, marriage is a two person partnership. I have as much say in this house as you do. I am going to support Leigh in her journey to be who she is. If Dr.Sam says she is intersexed, or just transgendered, then we will respect Leigh for who she is."
"I'm going to go and lay down for a while. This is too much for me."
"You are lucky today is Friday. I am taking Leigh shopping for new clothes, because her figure will soon make the clothes she has unwearable. If what I see keeps happening, Leigh will fill out in the hips and chest. That my dear husband, will make her intersexed. If Dr. Sam says she is intersexed, I am going to do everything I can to see she becomes the girl she is. If Dr. Sam says she is transgendered, I and going to see she becomes the girl she is. So, dear, you have a decision to make. Do we support Leigh for who she is, or is it just going to be me?"
Leigh Anne - Chapter 2
by Barbara Lynn Terry
Author's Note: Stories that are written from the imagination are called fiction. Stories based on an actual person and chain of events is called a biography. This story, I suppose, I could have titled, "The Replacement", but I chose Leigh Anne. How many of you have played tennis at the neighborhood tennis courts. I know I have. Leigh Anne has played tennis with her friends every weekend at Burnham Park. Where is this story going? Through the young life of a male tennis player substituting for a girl on the school's girls tennis team. Just follow Leigh Anne as she has the time of her young life and discovers things about herself she never knew existed. Thank you for reading and for your comments. Barbara.
Part I - Daddy doesn't get his way.
"You do what you think is best. I will have nothing to do with this perversion, except sign the letter of consent. Leigh, it was your mother's idea to spell your first name the way it is. When I went to the courthouse to try and get it changed, I was told I needed a doctor's statement on the doctor's letterhead. You start wearing dresses, or any girl's clothing in this house, I will disown you. I should just kick you out."
"No you don't, mister!" Mom yelled at daddy. "You want someone out of this house, you can leave."
"Don't tempt me."
"Then I will say it again. If you want someone out of this house, there's the door. Don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out."
"You're all crazy; you're all insane. It's not right for a boy to be traipsing around like a girl."
"The only 'boy' here, dear, is you. The rest of us are girls."
Daddy went over to the phone and dialed a number. When whoever he dialed, answered, daddy started to talk.
"Hello, may I have the police at 23226 Palisades Drive? My wife is letting my thirteen year old son, dress and act like a girl." He listened for a couple of minutes, then daddy started getting loud.
"What the hell do you mean, it's not against the law? Of course it is. It's downright perverse, and perversion is against the law." He was shouting into the phone. I could just picture the poor officer holding the receiver away from his or her ear. "I don't have to calm down, this is my son, and he is not going to be traipsing around town in a dress." He listened again. "What do you mean, you will arrest me? I haven't done anything." He listened, again. "Disorderly conduct! The only disorderly conduct here is my wife supporting my son to dress and act like a girl."
I heard the voice get loud on the other end, and daddy just listened. After a few minutes, daddy hung up the phone, and went to his room and slammed the door.
"I guess he didn't like what the police told him."
"I guess not, mom, but he has to learn. This world is for everybody, not just him."
"You are so right, dear." She kissed me on my forehead, and then said let's go shopping.
Part II - Shopping.
When we got to the mall, we didn't talk about daddy or his yelling at the police. We just had fun shopping. The first shop we went to was one that sold coats, jackets, sweaters, hoodies, and jumpsuits for hunting. This store was for everybody, and it was quite busy when we went in. We went to the ladies section, and looked at all the coats. There was this snow white one, with faux fur trim around the parka, and it even came with a matching pair of gloves.
I took the one in my size off of the rack and tried it on. It fit perfectly. Mom said I could have it, and she paid the lady, then we left. The next store sold dresses and skirts of every size, color, style, fabric and length. We looked through the racks and there were a lot of nice clothes.
I took one dress that was wine colored in the changing booth and tried it on. It fit like I was born in it. I stepped out for mom to see.
"Honey, you look very pretty in that dress. It is just adorable. I love the color and style. You know what we should do? You should change in to this one, just before we go home and let your father see what a beautiful girl you are. You know, dear, when you said you were going to play tennis on the school girls team, I had my doubts. But seeing you now, I know I have a daughter. You are very beautiful, dear."
"Thank you, mom," I said, feeling the heat in my face rise.
We looked around at more dresses, and I saw a white one that was just perfect for church. Apparently, whoever thought this up was thinking about the white dress Natalie Wood wore in West Side Story to the dance. Oh, yes, I have seen that movie, and I could never understand how they compared it to Romeo and Juliet. There was a red sash around the waist that closed in the back. It was actually sewn in. I tried it on, and mom said if I wanted this one, it was for church and special things like parties and public events. I didn't know what she meant by "public" events, but I guess I will learn.
We looked at more dresses. Oh! Before I forget, I have to tell you that I could spend all day in here, and have so much fun. The next dress was a powder blue and had sewn on flowers around the front of the neckline, in different colors. It was very beautiful. This was a keeper too. It fit perfectly. All three dresses came to just above my knees, and had scoop necklines.
Mother saw the look on my face, when I stepped out for her to see.
"Honey, I think you can wear that one today. You look so angelic."
"Thank you, mother."
After we had gotten these three dresses, we looked at skirts. There was a white skirt that had a red waistband that seemed to be a set with my white dress. I got that one, and told mom I needed to find a top for the skirt right away.
We looked at all the blouses, shirts, pullovers and selected a blouse that had red trim on the edge of the sleeves. This was a perfect match for the skirt. I wonder what mom would think about me having a red bra? No? Oh well, it was just a thought. We went back and looked at the skirts, again.
The racks were full of choices guys could only dream about. I took a chocolate skirt off of the rack and went to try it on. It was an A-line that swirled when I moved. I needed a chocloate colored blouse or shirt to go with it, so we went back to the tops section.
I didn't find an exact match, but did find one just a shade lighter. This would be a perfect match too. I now had two skirts I could wear and two tops. Going back to the skirts, we found one that was hot pink, but mother said no, not for a few more years, at least. The next one I found was pale blue, and I needed a top for that one. So, we went back to the tops. I giggled out loud.
"What's so funny,dear?"
"This running back and forth getting tops for the skirts. But when I find a skirt, I want to match it with a top right away."
"That is a good way to do it, though. This way you match your outfits the way you want. You have very good fashion sense, too."
"Thank you, mother."
The next skirt was one to actually die for. It had a satin inner lining, with around the hem, and it too was an A-line. This was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed shopping. Next, mom wanted to get me some slacks and jeans.
Girls jeans are a lighter denim with a stretch material. They bend every way we do. So, mom paid for the dresses, tops and skirts, and we left to go and find the pants.
We had only been to two stores, andit took us over four hours, so we stopped for a small bite at the food court. We got our food and sat down. I just looked around at the cute guys who were looking at me. I guess mom was right. I look like a girl even as I am dessed. I asked mother if I could go and change in to my powder blue dress after we were done here at the food court.
"Yes, dear, I think we should all make a quick stop before we do any more shopping. Did you have fun, so far Leigh?"
"Yes, mother, I have. Patty, what did you think about the clothes I tried on?"
"I'm jealous, girlfriend. I wish I had clothes like those."
Patty, of course, had really nice clothes. But I guess if you see them everyday, they lose their whatever you call it, and just become plain old clothes.
"Leigh, I think your dad is going to not only hit the roof, but I think he is actually going to shoot up to the moon. His temper is bad. Are you sure, Mrs. Smythe, that you and Leigh are safe around him?"
"Well, Darlene, I am going to have to keep a close eye on him. He is a sound sleeper, so when his alaram goes off in the morning, I'm going to get up too. Like with Leigh's dad, he was in the Marine Corps, and he wants Leigh to join the Marines too. Leigh has told me a few times that she wants to study law. The Marines would be perfect for her, if she enlisted, because she could take her ROTC in college, and join the JAG Corps after she graduates. But I am not going to force her. If she did this, she would graduate as a lieutenant jg and after a certain period of time could resign her commission.
"The only good paying employer in this country right now, is the federal government. But Leigh has a lot of time to make up her mind. Well, ladies, are we ready? Let's make a quick pit stop and Leigh can change in the ladies lounge."
We put our trash in the bin, and headed for the nearest ladies room. Once inside, I went right to a stall and did my business. Then mom handed me a slip I didn't see her buy, and the dress. I put them on, and zipped the dress as far as I could. I stepped out of the stall, and Darlene helped zip it up and fasten the clasp at the top. I looked myself in the mirror from all sides, and what I saw, I liked.
"Oh honey, you look so much like an angel," mom said, with tears starting to form. She gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Another lady who was in there too, told meI was lucky to be so beautiful at such a young age. I said thank you, and we left for the lingerie shop.
Guys you will never know what we see when we look at al those colors, fabrics, styles and lengths. Like in the Doris Day song where she sings, "I drool over dresses made of lace. ..." Well we do. We drool over anything made of lace or has lace on it. While pink shows that a girl is proud to be a girl, lace has that same effect. Oh, how do I know about Doris Day? Mom has a lot of her records and movies. When we watch them, daddy always has business everywhere else but at home. I think mom drives him crazy with her songs too. The funniest Doris Day song I ever heard mom play was "I Said My Pajamas and Put On My Pray'rs". That song is so funny. A part of the song goes like this; "I climbed up the door, and opened the stairs, said my pajamas and put on my prayers, turned off the bed and crawled in to the light, and all because you kissed me, good night." I laugh so hard when I hear this song. So now we were at the lingerie shop, and all the colors and aromas were intoxicating. Yes guys, even for girls and women, feminine scents can be intoxicating. We started looking around. A lady that was older than mom came over.
"Hello, I'm Stacy. May I help you?"
"Yes, Stacy. We're looking for lingerie to go with my daughter's new clothes."
She took the clothes out of the bags and showed them to Stacy.
"I have just what you need. Follow me, please."
She took us over to a part of the store that seemed deserted. We were told this is where all the good lingerie was, and only special customers get to come back this far. Mom asked her what she meant by "special" customers, and she said those that had lingerie needs better than what was in the public area. Stacy asked mom if she could have a private talk with her. They went a ways away where Darlene, Patty and I couldn't hear what they were saying. I saw mom get a shocked look on her face.
"Come, girls, apparently this woman has the wrong impression. Stacy, who is your supervisor?"
"We don't give out that information."
"Oh no! We will just see about that."
We went over to the cash register and mom asked the woman behind the counter if we could talk to the manager. She said just a minute and disappeared in the back. A young woman came out and asked us what we wanted. Mom told this lady about Stacy telling mom that she takes care of many she/boys, so there is no need to be embarassed. Mom assured the manager that I was all girl, and that this insult needs to be dealth with. The manager agreed.
"Stacy, what has gotten into you,lately? These are not the first customers you have purposely insulted. Apologize to this woman and her daughter right now."
"If she is a real girl, then let's go in the back and she can show us."
"Stacy! What is the matter with you?"
"Listen you little upstart. You're only the manager here because you have a business degree. I have worked here for fifteen years. I know a she/boy when I see one."
"Stacy, get your coat and purse and sign out. You're fired. If you want to complain to Mary when she is here on Friday, you go right ahead. I will have already filed my report to her before then."
"What is your name, young lady?" Mom asked the manager.
"Denise Richardson, ma'am. I'm the store manager."
"Well, thank you Denise."
"You're very welcome, ma'am. As a sort of consolation for your trouble, you can pick out anything in the store for free. Of course, it will be one item only, but it is something for your trouble."
Stacy came out of the back in a huff, and oh boy, if looks could kill. She looked worse than a bull with all those swords in its side. After she left the store, we continued shopping. Denise is going to love us. Too bad Stacy won't get this commission.
Mom let me get four bra and panty sets that were on hangers, several pair of panties, a few more bras, camis, three more full and half slips. We took everything to the counter and mom paid the young lady and we left to take our bags to the car. Never leave your bags in plain sight. Always put them in the trunk, especially if you are going back in the mall.
The next store we went to had what is called costume jewelry, you know everything is cheap. But some of the plastic earrings are really good and they have hypoallergenic posts. There were some necklaces too, that were hypoallergenic and only cost like thirty dollars. After I picked a few pairs of hoops, butterflies, barettes and hair clips, we decided our shopping for today was done. Besides, if you spend everything in one day, you can't come back the next weekend until you have more money. On the way out to the car, we stopped at the food court and got sodas to go and mom got something from Starbucks.
We put our bags in the trunk with the rest, and we got in the car and buckled in. It took us a little while to get out of this parking lane, because someone ahead of us was looking for "just the right parking spot". When we got on to the street, mom drove us home. All the while in the back we girls were talking endlessly about what I had gotten, and about that witch, Stacy. Before we knew it, we were home.
When they got in the house, and took everything to Leigh's room, her mother heard her father mumbling under his breath. Leigh's mom went to see what was going on.
"Dear, is there something wrong?"
"I should say there is. Here," he said, handing his wife a neatly folded paper. "This is Leigh's permission to play on the school's girls tennis team."
"But, dear, why are you packing?"
"Because, I can't stay here if Leigh is going to be dressing and acting as a girl. It goes against everything I was brought up to believe."
"Dear, you are carrying this a bit too far. These aren't the same days as when you and I grew up. These are different times, and societal thinking towards gays, lesbians, cross dressers, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersexed persons, is changing. You have to understand, dear, that even when we were teens, the whole thing about being who we are, was actually to be an individual.
"Leigh doesn't have the body mass you have, and she never will. Leigh loves to play tennis and I even played a few games with her myself. If being a girl makes her happy, then that is what she will be. Our job is to make sure she doesn't do anything wrong, like rob people, beat people up, steal, injure or kill, or go joy riding in someone else's car. Our job is make sure that she is brought up with a set of values that will make her a decent adult.
"We cannot go around and dictate who Leigh can be, because she is her own person. I can't think her thoughts for her and neither can you.To tell her she is doing wrong by being herself, lowers her self esteem and makes her think that she should never have been born. There are many children like Leigh who commit suicide because nobody accepts them for who they are. I read it in some of the literature on Leigh's computer.
"Dear, you have to look at it from Leighs point of view. This is who she is, and nothing we say or do will stop that."
"I have heard this all before. Is there anything new in what you just said?"
"Yes, all of what I said is new, as far as this discussion goes."
Leigh walked in to her parents room right at that time, wearing one of her new outfits.
"Daddy, do you like my new outfit?"
He grabbed both of his suitcases, and stormed out of the room and out of the house, mumbling about faggots and perversion and that this isn't the end of this.
"Don't worry, dear. Your father just needs time to come to his senses."
"But mom, what if he doesn't? Does that mean it's my fault that he left?"
"No, dear, it is not your fault. Let me ask you something. Did you have fun shopping today?"
"Yes, mother, I did. I didn't know shopping could so much fun."
"See. If a total stranger asked you if you want to be a girl, physically, what would you say?"
"Yes, right now if at all possible."
"So you see, dear, it is not your fault that your narrow minded, bigoted father left the house. He doesn't know what he is going to miss out on. Anyway, tomorow you see my doctor. Are you goiong to wear that?"
"Yes, mom, I am."
"Good choice." She hugged me and said she had to get dinner started, then caught herself. "What am I thinking? You know, Leigh, since it is only us girls now, we can actually put up the tv trays and have dinner in the living room while we watch tv. How does that sound?"
"Sound good, mom." Her mother gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.
by Barbara Lynn Terry
(Author's Note: Title IX USC (Title XX USC) §1681 (a), (8) states as follows:
"(a) Prohibition against discrimination; exceptions. No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance, except that:
(8) Father-son or mother-daughter activities at educational institutions
this section shall not preclude father-son or mother-daughter activities at an educational institution, but if such activities are provided for students of one sex, opportunities for reasonably comparable activities shall be provided for students of the other sex; and" Other sections not necessary have been omitted.
This is the law that the United States District Court uses to rule on civil action hearings for sex discrimination. Like it or not, the MHSAA must allow Leigh Anne to play as a girl on the girls tennins team; of course with the proper medical certificates. It is this title that permitted Canadian Tami Maida to play quarterback on an all boys football team in Oregon in 1981, while her father finished his doctorate degree.) ~ Barbara Lynn Terry ~
Chapter 3 - Leigh's physical.
It was a fitful night for Leigh as she kept dreaming that her father was coming to kidnap her, and make her be a boy whether she wanted to or not. Leigh tossed and turned so much that her blankets were on the floor and she was on top of them. Her mother came in to wake her up.
"Leigh! My goodness, what are you doing on the floor?"
"I...I don't...know. I had a terrible dream, but I can't remember what it was."
"It is all right, dear. Today you get your physical done. Get your bath in and get dressed. We need to be at Dr. Sam's at ten. You have time for a bubble bath, but a quick one."
Leigh got up and went to run her bath water. She put in a cap full of Violet Garden bubble bath, and went to get her clothes out. She put her dress on the bed, as well as her stockings, and she took her lingerie in to the bathroom with her. When she got back to the bath room, the tub had a mountain of suds. Leigh turned off the water, and got in the tub. She soaked for a few minutes, when her mother told her not to dally too long. So she made sure she cleaned all over and then rinsed off with the shower head. She patted herself dry and got in to her lingerie. It was just basic white, but the bra had lots of lace between the cups, the panties had a lace waistband and lace around the leg openings. The slip had lace on the front between the breasts. After getting her lingerie on, she went back to her room, making sure her father was no where to be seen.
She went in her bedroom, and sat at her computer desk she used as a makeshift vanity. She turned her mirror so she could see her face, and put mascara on her lashes and dual foundation/powder on her face. She put on a light pink lipstick, and then sat down to put the breast forms in the bra cups. She made sure they looked like the girls at school, and then put on her stockings. These were stay up, tan nylons, so she didn't need garters. Then she stepped in to the white dress with the red sash. She zipped up the dress and fastened the red sash. Even though it was sewn in to the dress, there was a button on the back that made if look like the red bow was actually tied. She sat down and put her shoes on. These were white Mary Jane's with modest one inch heels. She put her hair in a high pony tail, and pronounced herself to see Dr. Sam.
Leigh went downstairs and poured herself a glass of orange juice and milk. She toasted one slice of bread, and spread jelly on it. When she was done, she rinsed her glasses, and threw the paper plate she used in the trash. Her mother came in at that moment.
"Here's your purse, dear. You forgot it in your room. Leigh, a girl has her whole life in her purse, that is why we guard them so closely. Never leave the house without your purse. When you are at school, carry your purse with you to class, never leave it in your locker."
"Yes, mom, thank you."
"All right, dear. My you look so pretty. Are you ready to go and see Dr. Sam?"
"Yes, mom. Mom? I've been thinking. I am glad that Patty and the girls want me to play on their team. It will give me something to do for the school. I mean, the jocks just play because they want everybody to think they are something special. The girls play in competition, and they really get in to it, too. But when the game is over, it is over. Guys are always telling others even when there is no game, that they are losers and will get the manure kicked out of them."
"You never could say cuss or swear words. Could you? Honey, boys and men are notorious for doing that. I never could understand why they are like that though. Your grandmother says it is in their genes and they can't help being childish, no matter how old they get. It seems men seem to think talking nasty is cute, or something. That is why we have to look after them, because they are actually unable to look after themselves. If it weren't for us, Leigh, the men would have destroyed the world decades ago."
Leigh's mother backed the car out of the driveway, and headed for downtown. When we got to the medical arts building, mom found a parking spot that was quite a ways from the door. There were boys walking by that whistled, and I just smiled to myself. My back was facing the boys, so they couldn't see me smile. We went inside and took the elevator to the third floor where Dr. Samantha Haggar, MD OB/GYN had her office. We went in, and the receptionist told us to have a seat. We were told there was one patient ahead of us.
We waited for about fifteen minutes, before Dr. Sam's nurse called us in. Betty Anderson was a nice lady and has worked for Dr. Sam for three years. I watched how she walked, and how her sun yellow, blonde hair framed her face. When she talked, she had a husky high voice, and teeth that sparkled.
"Leigh, get undressed, except for your panties and bra, and put this gown on. It goes on backwards. Then sit up on this table." I did as she said, then she came back in and asked if I had the gown on.
"Yes, I do, Betty."
"I need to take your vitals, honey."
She listened to my heart, my lungs, looked in my ears, my throat, took my pulse and put a thing on my finger she called a pulseox.
"What is a pulseox?"
"It stands for pulse oximeter. It measures your oxygen saturation level and your pulse rate. The top number is your oxygen level and the bottom number is your pulse rate. The higher the top number, the better."
"I learned something new today," I said, with a beaming smile.
"That's good, Leigh," Dr. Sam said, coming in to the exam room. "I haven't seen you since you were three years old. What brings you in today?"
"I need a physical, and a statement from my doctor saying I can play tennis. I am substituting for one of the injured girls."
"Well, let's take a look at you. You look like and angel, Leigh. Let me take a listen." She did the same thing Betty did, but this time, she did it longer. She also listened to my belly, and then she said because of my physical nature, she had to check me for hernias. When she felt between my legs, she went ... "oh my".
"Leigh, I have scheduled a CAT scan and an MRI for you at the hospital as soon as you can get there. When you are done at the hospital, I want you to come right back here. I will also be at the hospital watching the MRI being done. I don't have any more patients to see today, so I can devote the rest of the day to you. I also want you to go to the lab at the hospital and have blood drawn. I can get the CAT scan and MRI reports right away. The lab will fax me the results of your blood draw. You may get dressed. Leigh when you are done, take this paper to the check out window, and she will give you something to give to the hospital. You are to go right to out patient check in. They will probably have you do the blood draw first, then the CAT scan and the MRI. These diagnostic tests will tell us a lot about what is going on inside of you. Geri, I felt something that boys should not have. I am going to watch this MRI very intently."
"Sam, Leigh and I have talked about this. Could she be intersexed, with the sex being female?"
"There is a strong possibility. Leigh, you are how old now?"
"I'm fourteen, Dr. Sam."
"Yes, and that is about the time late bloomers start to develop. I noticed breast buds on your chest, and felt a cavity being hidden by what looks like a penis. We will see what these tests show."
We took the check out slip Dr. Sam gave us, and the lady checking us out, took another sheet that had all kinds of little square boxes. She checked five of the boxes, and at the bottom of the slip, she wrote in capital letters...FULL MRI BODY SCAN. She handed the paper to mom, and we left to go to the hospital.
Chapter 4 - At the hospital.
Mom found a parking space not far from the main doors of the hospital. We went in and right to the desk that said outpatient registration. Mom gave the lady the slip of paper, and we were told to have a seat. It was about ten minutes later, that a man came out and called my name. He said he was from the lab, and he was going to draw some blood. I asked how was he going to draw it...in pencil, ink or charcoal. He laughed, and his teeth sparkled. He looked like maybe he in his late twenties, so I had to ask.
"Excuse me, but how old are you?"
"I'm 31, Leigh. How old are you?"
"I wish I could be 14 again. Have you ever had blood taken from you, before this?"
"Well, I have to draw six tubes of blood, and there is quite a lot here your doctors wants. He doesn't just want a hormone level, he wants a complete hormone panel done. Then wants a cbc, too."
"What is a cbc?
"Complete blood count. That will give us your heart enzyme levels, your corpuscle count, that is just to see if you are anemic, and a hormone balance level. Plus quite a few other things. But your doctor wants a complete hormone panel done. Does your doctor suspect that you are transgendered?"
"No, she just said she wants to find out what is going on."
"Oh. Well, the reason I asked, is because we have had a few in here for the same thing who are transgender. All right, here we are. Sit in that chair, and just relax, put your arm on that wide arm rest." I did as I was told, and he placed a small needle he called a butterfly in my arm. The blood just flowed through the attached rubber hose thing in to the glass tube.
"What is your name?"
"Eric and your name is Leigh. You are very pretty, Leigh, never let anybody tell you different."
"I won't," he was done and he put a folded gauze square on my arm, and put flesh colored tape to hold it over where the needle was.
"Be good, now. You can go back out in the waiting area where you registered, and someone from radiology will come and get you. It was nice meeting you, Leigh."
"It was nice meeting you, too, Eric."
I went back out by mom, and I told her about the hunk in the lab. She whispered to me, that we was too old for me, even if he was as handsome as Paul Newman. I giggled. I had seen many of mom's movies, so I knew about these actors that mom knew about and had seen their movies in the theater. Now she has dvd's with all of her favorite movies. One of my favorite movies is Flower Drum Song, with Benson Fong, James Shigeta, Nancy Kwan, Jack Soo, Juanita Hall and a famous actress from China, Miyoshi Umeki.
James Shigeta plays Benson Fong's son, and he tells Benson Fong that here a man thinks for himself. Benson Fong tells him, "when that day comes that you can think for yourself, I will let you know." When I heard that I laughed so hard, I thought I would never stop. It is a very funny movie, and the antics between Nancy Kwan and Jack Soo are hilarious. While I was thinking about these movies mom has at home, I heard my name.
"Will you please get in the wheelchair, please? It is hospital policy because radiology is a ways from here. May I see your wrist band, please?" I showed it to her. "Give me your name and birth date, please?" I did and we were on our way to radiology. "Have you ever had a CAT scan before?"
"No. What does CAT scan mean?"
"It means, computed axial tomography, or CAT it is also called a CT scan, but it is the same thing. We usually use the CAT scans for head trauma, and to see if you still have a brain." I giggled. "But it doesn't take long, about fifteen minutes at the most, unless we are looking for something specific. Then it can take up to twenty minutes.
"Do I have to lay down for this?"
"Yes. We put you on a movable exam table, and then we move your head just inside the arch. If you watch it, you will see different colors as it goes around."
"If this can see my brain, and the MRI I am going to have can see my brain; why does my doctor want me to have a CAT scan?"
"Because then she can compare the two. The MRI is better at scanning diagnostics than the CAT scan is, but I think she just wants to be able to compare them. In the CAT scan, too, we can isolate certain areas. The MRI just sees everything at once. It took almost ten minutes to get to the radiology department. I went in, and they said to lay on the table, with my head in the recess. I laid down, and I heard buttons being pushed, and the table started to move.
"Here we go, Leigh. This will take about ten or eleven minutes."
After a while I was told there were seven minutes left, then four minutes, then one minute, and the lady said we were done. The table moved again, and I had to have help getting up.
"See, that wasn't so bad. Was it?"
"No, not really."
"All right, young lady, back in the wheelchair and I will take to the MRI lab."
I sat down in the wheelchair, and she took me out in the hallway. She also brought a blanket with her. The MRI lab was four doors away from the CAT scan room. She stopped by the MRI lab, and went in to tell them I was here. She gave me the blanket, because she said some patients get cold sitting in the hallway. I was kind of chilly, so I covered up with the blanket. It seemed I waited forever, then Dr. Sam came by me.
"Hi Leigh. Are you ready to find out what makes you tick?"
"Yes, Dr. Sam," I smiled when I said that.
"All right, I will go in and see how much longer."
When she came back out, she said they were almost finished with the patient that was in there. Dr. Sam waited with me, to keep me company while I waited.
"Dr. Sam, why did you want me to have a CAT scan and an MRI?"
"Well, sometimes the CAT scan can see something in a certain area of the brain. What I want the MRI for is a full torso examination. I wants to see what is below your neck."
"Do you think what you said in your office is what is happening?"
"Honey, it is a very distinct possibility. The MRI, CAT scan and blood tests will tell me everything I need to know. The MRI is going to take a while, so if you feel like taking a nap while you are in the tube, you can. They will give you ear plugs, because it gets horrendously noisy in the tube. With the ear plugs the noise sounds far away. They will even pipe in music for you to listen to."
"Leigh Anne Smythe?" A lady asked me. I nodded. "Name and birth date, please." I said it, and she looked at my wrist band, and we went inside. She gave me a gown and told me to go in to the restroom and take off my dress and bra and put the gown on. It was a good thing I was wearing a half slip. I came out holding my dress and bra, and Dr. Sam said she would watch them.
"Lie down, put your head in the recess and fold your arms across your belly. Here are some ear plugs. Place one in each ear, and here is a bulb that if you feel at any time you cannot complete the exam, you just have to press this, and we will bring you out immediately. This MRI is going to be a lengthy one, and could take anywhere from forty five minutes to one hour. Are you ready?" I nodded, and she and Dr. Sam disappeared behind the glass. The table began to move in to the tube. "All Right, Leigh, we are going to start now. Just don't mind the air hammer noise. What kind of music do you like?" I told her, and she put it through.
As I laid there, being scanned, I was getting kind of drowsy. I drifted off to sleep, and the next thing I knew, I was being wakened by the radiology tech.
"It was a good scan, young lady. Joanne will take you back to registration, then you can leave."
Dr. Sam walked with me back to the outpatient registration, because she wanted to talk to my mom. As we were walking, Dr. Sam only said the word yes, and smiled at me. We got outpatient registration, and mom was surprised to see Dr. Sam.
"Sam, did everything go all right?"
"Yes, better than I suspected it would. Now all I need is the CAT scan and the blood results. Leigh, you can go home, but Geri, I want you to bring her back to my office Monday after school. We have some very big plans to make."
Leigh Anne - Chapter 4 - Shopping
by Barbara Lynn Terry
As they got home, mom told Leigh to go and change, because she wanted to take her out to go shopping. She changed into a powder blue, A-line skirt and a powder blue half slip. The only under garment she changed was her panties. She took off the ones she wore to see Dr. Sam, and got out a nice pair of powder blue panties, to match the dress. The ones she wore to see Dr. Sam, she put in the laundry hamper. Leigh also changed her shoes, too. Instead of the white heels she wore that morning, she put on a pair of black flats, with a one half inch heel. She undid her hair and put it back in to a pony tail. The pony tail she had when she saw Dr. Sam, was a little messed up because of lying down for the ultra sound and the MRI.
She went downstairs, and her mother approved of her outfit.
"Leigh Anne Smythe, I should wear you out. Go back upstairs and get your purse. Never go anywhere without it."
"Yes, mother." Leigh went to get her purse. When she came back down, her purse across her left shoulder, they were ready to head to the mall.
"We can get a little something for lunch, while we are shopping."
Mrs. Smythe drove around the mall parking lot looking for a space near the food court doors. She saw a car backing out, and immediately put her left blinker on. She pulled in to the space, but it was at the end of the parking lane. It was a good thing that Leigh had her flats on.
They got inside by the food court, and went up to the second level. They went in the little shop titled Everything For The Discriminating Woman. Leigh being fourteen, was already wearing misses junior sizes. Leigh's mother went directly to the dresses.
"Leigh, honey, look for a few dresses that you like. But, young lady, I get to have the final aproval."
Leigh giggled. "Yes, mom."
Leigh looked around, she didn't know what she was looking for, until she found it. Like most girls and women, Leigh didn't have a plan to buy a certain brand, or style, or length, or material. She just looked, and would know that she wanted that dress, when she found it.
Leigh took several, one at a time, and held them up to her. She rejected every one of them.
As she looked more at the dresses on the racks, she saw one that seemed to scream, "buy me, I'm the one for you". It was simple beige that came to just above her knees and had a scoop neck with a back zip. It had a hook and eye closure at the top of the zipper. This hook and eye closure prevents the dress from coming unzipped at the wrong time. Nylon zippers are famous for that.
Leigh went in the changing booth and tried the dress on. It fit, but a little loose, but not by much. It is nice, sometimes, to wear something loose fitting, because it makes boys and men guess if girls have a figure or not. If she used a belt tie with it, it would fit perfectly. She went to the accessory part of the store, and looked for a belt tie. She needed one either in beige or black. She found a black one, that had a button closure in the back, making the belt tie look like it was actually tied. Leigh put the belt tie around her, and buttoned it. The dress fit like a glove. She kept the belt tie.
Leigh then went back by the dresses.
"Honey, where were you?"
"I found this beige dress, and it fit kinda loose, so I went to look for a belt tie for it. I found this nice black one."
"Leigh Anne Smythe, where did you learn to accessorize like that?"
Leigh just shrugged. "I don't know, mom. Maybe from...you."
Leigh and mother hugged.
"My little girl isn't so little any more."
"No, she isn't," came a voice from behind them. "I was watching her, because she had the dress on, and when I saw she was looking for and accessory to go with it, I kept watching. If she were my daughter, I would definitely be a proud mother. It is amazing, isn't it, that a girl so young, can shop by herself."
"Yes, and I am very proud of this girl. She is going to be a model, I think."
Leigh blushed a crimson red.
"What is your name, young lady?"
"Do you know Patty Langston?"
"Yes, we are very good friends. We are even in the same classes, together."
"I'm Mrs. Langston, Patty's mother."
"OMG! It is so nice to meet you."
"I come to all the tennis games, because I drive Patty to them. I can pick you up, too. It wouldn't be a problem. I am really glad that Patty was able to find a girl to play on the team. She said you are very good at tennis."
"I don't know about being very good, but I play a decent game."
"Patty said you had manners, but she didn't tell me you were so modest, too. Patty said, if you were an adult, you could actually be a girls tennis coach for the school."
"Well, maybe. But, I like to play tennis, not only because I love the game, but because it is good exercise, too."
"Your figure is proof of that. So, Mrs. Smythe, may I pick her up and she can ride with Patty and Darlene? I swear, those two girls are joined at the hip. Darlene spends so much time at our house, a person would think she lives there." Mrs. Langston giggled.
"Well, I don't see any reason why she couldn't ride with her friends. Leigh, would you like that?"
"Yes, mom. Thank you, Mrs. Langston."
"You are quite welcome, young lady. Now, how about when we are done here, we go for a bite of lunch."
"Just a bite?" Leigh quipped. All three giggled.
"They have an Applebee's just off of the food court. I was going to go there, and have my lunch. So, why not we all go together? I can get to know you a little better, Leigh Anne."
"It is alright with me. Mom, what do you think?"
"Sounds like a plan to me."
"I found one dress, I need two or three more, and a couple of skirts and blouses, too."
"Leigh, you go and find the dresses and just a couple skirts and blouses, while I talk to Mrs. Langston."
Leigh went to look at more dresses, and saw a really pretty lilac, sleeveless, sheath dress, with matching jacket. The jacket didn't come quite to the waist, and was meant to be worn open, as the buttons on it were more for decoration. The purpose for that was, so everybody could see the dress. This could be worn to school, for hanging out, for official appointments, and even parties.
It wasn't a party dress, per se, but was the kind that could be worn anywhere. Leigh Anne found one in her size, and went to try it on. She was not aware that her mother and Mrs. Langston were watching her very closely. The dress came to about two inches above her knees, and her mother seemed to think that was high enough.
"She has a wonderful eye for fashion, and not just what the girls wear today, but for tasteful things. Like that sheath she just tried on. I'm glad that Patty had mentioned her, after they had a talk with the school principal."
Leigh's mother didn't tell Mrs. Langston of the row Leigh, Patty and Darlene caused, when they said Leigh was substituting for the injured girl, as a girl. Leigh's mother didn't think Mrs. Langston would understand.
"Yes, Leigh, Patty and Darlene came to the house right after school and asked us if Leigh could substitute for one of the girls who was out for the rest of the school year. Of course, we said yes, so, here we are."
"Well, from what Patty tells me, Leigh Anne could go professional after she graduates from high school, or, maybe even during summer break."
"Maybe, Mrs. Langston ..."
"Thank you, Maggie, I'm Geri. But I don't think Leigh would be interested in being a professional tennis player. I will mention it to her, though.
"Well, if Leigh is as good as Patty says she is, then maybe you should kind of talk her into it, without her knowing that is what you are doing. She is only 14 now, so there is a lot of time for her to think about it. All I am saying is, she could turn her talent in to some big money."
"We have never been too keen on a lot of money, Mrs. Langston," Leigh said, as she came around the corner. "I have considered whether or not I should play tennis professionally. Patty, Darlene and I talked about it. But, it is like you said, too, that I am only 14, so I have a lot of time to think about it. Who knows, I might even be a waitress, or maybe even a nurse, maybe I will just go to medical school and become a doctor. I have a lot of time to think about what I want to do when I graduate from high school.
"Mrs. Langston, there is one thing for sure that I am going to do, after I graduate from high school; I'm going to go to college. I can play tennis there, too. Who knows, I may even be 'discovered' by an agent. There are a lot of possibles involved, so I have to think about each of them."
"Didn't I tell you that Patty said you were smart? I am very happy that you have that attitude. It will serve you well in the coming years.
"Mom, I found two more skirts and tops, and I feel I have walked the Boston Marathon, today. I'm hungry."
"Yes, dear, we are going. Do you remember the last time I took you to Applebee's?"
"Yes, that was my ninth birthday. You said you were taking me out for a special dinner. Uhm, mom? We need to talk when we get home."
"Yes, dear, but for right now, let's enjoy our lunch."
All three headed towards Applebee's. They were almost there, when Patty and Darlene met them.
"Hey mom," Patty said, cheerfully.
"Hi Mrs. Langston," Darlene added.
"Where is everybody going? You aren't leaving. Are you?"
"No, Patty, we were just going to go to Applebee's for lunch. Want to come?"
It was no accident that Patty and Darlene met up with Leigh and company. They were actually looking for Leigh, anyway. They all went in to Applebee's, and amazingly, everybody fit in one booth.
"So, Leigh, did you get your tennis clothes, yet?" Patty inquired.
"No, not yet. We are going a little later and get them, or tomorrow evening after school. Our next game isn't until Wednesday, so, I can get them tomorrow. Besides, I kinda can't make up my mind if I want a skirt and top combo, or just a few tennis dresses."
"Well, for me," Patty said, thoughtfully, "I like the dresses. They are one piece and you don't have an extra top to mess with."
"Well, we will see. When I get home tonight, mom..."
"Yes, Leigh, what is it, dear?"
"It can wait until we get home. Let's order, I'm starving."
"Leigh, if you think this shopping trip has made you hungry, wait til you come with your friends. You will feel like you walked a dozen marathons. We can go and get your tennis clothes, after we are done here, if you wish."
"That would be great, mom." Patty and Darlene agreed.
It was decided however, that since the girls were close friends, they should sit in the next booth, and the mothers would sit in the one they were in. It would be the same waitress, so they told her the girls were going to sit in the next booth. The waitress, whose name was Emily, said that would be fine.
Geraldine Smythe ordered for all of them. The sizzling steak dinners at Applebee's are delicious, and piping hot when they are brought to the customer.
After the meals were passed out, Emily asked if both booths were going to be on one check. Geri assured her it was.
As they ate, Geri and Maggie talked about Leigh, and what her prospects were after high school. Not wanting to be rude and eaves drop, the girls talked about the upcoming games, and how much fun they were going to have. They kind of were a little awed, that Leigh was going to be playing on their team.
"Leigh," Patty said, matter of factly, "our next game is a home game against Gaynor High. They are very good, so we have to be just a tad better."
"I will give it all I have. Besides, maybe they won't be able to take my lobs."
"Maybe, Leigh, but we have to be quicker and better. We will be playing doubles first, then whoever wins the doubles, one girl from each team will play singles against another girl from the other team. By the time we are done on Wednesday, we are going to be ..."
"Tired," Leigh added.
"No, I think we will be beyond tired." All three girls giggled.
Of course, you have never seen an over weight tennis player. To chase the ball back and forth, you have to be very agile. You have to be able to know when to chase the ball and when not to. The whole idea is to keep an eye on the ball, to see where it is going to land on your side of the court.
This wasn't just a simple weekend, having fun kind of game. This was for winning against another school for the chance to go to state and the finals. So, Leigh had to get her tennis clothes today, so she had them.
"I heard Gaynor High has this girl who five foot, eight inches. I'm five foot, three inches. That would make her five inches taller than me. If I can get my lobs past her, then we will be okay. I'm going to do my best to keep that girl from playing against whoever from our team plays the singles."
"Leigh," Patty looked at her with a serious expression. "Don't be awed by this girl's height. I have heard that, yes, she is tall, but she is also clumsy. She can't play on the women's courts too well."
"Well, we will see what happens." Leigh turned to look at her mother. "Mom, may I have another soda, please?"
"Yes, dear, you may. Just order it and I will have Emily add it to the bill. Patty and Darlene may order another soda, too." The girls ordered their soda pops, and they sat there making their plans for defeating Gaynor High. It is good school spirit to be able to go to the trophy case and see the trophy. The more wins assured that Leigh and her team were going to go to the state finals. Maybe if they won at state, they would be going to the nationals. That would be something.
Chapter 2 - Leigh shops for tennis clothes.
Everybody was finished with their meal, and Geraldine Smythe left a generous tip at both booths. It was, after all, good manners. Since both booths were in Emily's station, she would get both tips.
As they went back in to the mall proper, they headed for Jim's Sporting Goods, on the second floor. As they walked through the mall, they saw a few Gaynor high girls go in the same store they were on their way to. Patty told Leigh to ignore anything they said, because they were just trying to get a reaction from her. Leigh assured Patty there was no problem.
They went in the store, and went right to the tennis racquets. Leigh only had one racquet at home, and wanted at least two more. Now, anybody who has ever bought sports equipment, especially for tournaments and finals, knows this equipment is not cheap. The cheaper the tennis racquet, the less quality. The saying 'you get what you pay for' is extremely true with tennis equipment. The best racquets are upwards of two hundred dollars, as are tennis dresses, skirts and tops. Tennis shoes with good grip and lightweight are also expensive.
Geraldine Watkins from Gaynor High saw them come in.
"Well, girls, you may as well give it up this year. We are the best team, unbeaten, and we intend to stay that way."
Ignoring her, Patty, Darlene and Leigh looked at the tennis dresses. There were several Leigh liked, and they cost a small fortune. There was one that caught Leigh's eye, but it also caught Geri Watkins eye, too. Leigh took it off of the rack, but Geri tried to pull it away from her.
"Excuse me," Leigh said, looking directly in to Geri's eyes. "I saw the dress first, and I have it in my hands. It is very impolite to think you have every right to take something away from someone. I can also tell by the way you brag about being unbeaten, that you are used to getting what you want. Well, only a spoiled child would have that way of thinking, and I am not your mother. So, either let go of the dress, or you will end up paying for it, if you rip it."
"Well, Patricia, who's your snotty friend?"
"Geri, meet Leigh Anne Smythe, our last minute replacement for Janie. There is something you need to know, too, Gerladine; we are also unbeaten. That is why we have the next game together. I am not going to say that we are better than you, but we will give you a run for your money."
"Yeah, whatever, girly girl. You can have the stupid dress, bitch, and I hope it doesn't fit."
Geri was to regret what she said, because Leigh stepped out of the changing booth, looking like a tennis pro. Geri Smythe said that she could keep the dress. Then she went looking for another dress, but found a skirt and top combo. She also ran in to Geri.
"Listen Geri, I am really good at this game, and when we have our next game, I just want to have fun. I don't need a whole lot of drama before the game. I'm here to get tennis clothes and a couple of racquets. I am not here to argue or boast about what I can or cannot do. If you have a problem with our school, then maybe you don't belong in the tournaments."
"Yeah, well, I can brag as much as I want to." Then Geri yelled through the store. "GAYNOR HIGH IS THE BEST!" All Leigh could do was laugh to herself and shake her head. "What did you just say?"
"Oh, nothing, nothing." Then Leigh let out a giggle and rejoined her mother, Patty and her mother and Darlene.
"What was that about, dear?"
"Oh, that girl was bragging her school is the best, and I just had to laugh. I mean, a girl that is that pathetic; omg, I swear."
"Yes, dear, there are many girls like that in high school sports. It just shows that they had better get it out of their system, or they won't be accepted in to the WTA, let alone the NCAA. You know, Billie Jean King organized the WTA in 1973 so that women would be a force to be reckoned with in professional tennis. She even beat tennis champion Bobby Riggs in three straight sets. From that time on, women were a reckoning force in professional tennis. That is why I said, dear, that you can be anybody you want. All you need is practice, practice, practice."
"Thanks, mom. I have one dress, and one skirt and top. I need at least two more dresses and maybe another skirt and top. I was looking at the Adidas, and this dress cost one hundred and eighty nine dollars."
"Honey, we have enough for you to get two more dresses and even two more skirts and tops. Then we need to get you at least two pairs of good tennis shoes. Tennis skirts and tops are just as much singly, as a tennis dress or racquet."
Leigh tried on a white skirt, a white top with pink piping, and redid her hair in to a higher pony tail. As she looked in the mirror in the changing booth, she saw the intended reflection. She actually looked like she was sixteen. She stepped out of the changing booth to show her mother.
"Excuse me, young lady, did you happen to see my daughter in there? I swear this is the booth she used. Oh well, you know what they say; moms are all scatter brained." Leigh couldn't help but giggle.
"No Miss, I was the only one in there."
"Oh darn, I think I lost my daughter at large somewhere in the store."
All five giggled. Patty's mother just had to make the remark. "You know, Geri, we could just take this girl home and leave Leigh here."
"That is a wonderful idea, Maggie. Dear, you look positively radiant. If you thought you looked older with makeup, think what that outfit and makeup on would do? You will not only look older, you will look ravishing."
As Geri and her friends passed by, she softly spoke a nasty word in Leigh's direction.
"Don't worry about her, Leigh. We will do our fighting on the court."
"Mom, I can't wear makeup on the court anyway. The MHSAA doesn't allow makeup during interscholastic sports events."
"Well, there is nothing saying that you can't wear makeup after the game."
"True. But, mom, I'm only thirteen and I am in no great hurry to grow up...yet."
"Good girl. Well, we had lunch three hours ago. That is how long we have been in this store."
"It does take a while when you are looking for something semi professional."
"Yes, Leigh, but these outfits are actually worn by women's professional tennis players. When the Australian Open comes up in January, you watch what outfits they wear, and how they handle themselves. There aren't any female John McEnroes in women's tennis." Everybody giggled. "So, are we ready to head home?"
"Mom, head home? Didn't we just get here?" Everybody giggled again.
Geri hugged her daughter, because she knew this girl was going to be a very good tennis player. She already had the qualifications to play professionally, but because of her age, she had to wait a few years. But, Geraldine Smythe thought, she can still play high school and college tennis.
Geri paid for the shoes, outfits and racquets, and they all headed towards the car with the bags.
"I only hope your father doesn't think we bought out the store, or broke the bank." There were more giggles. "Maggie? You and the girls are coming with us. Right?"
"Yes, thank you, Geri, it will save us a bus trip."
They put the bags in the trunk of the car, and when everybody was belted in, Geri drove home.
Leigh Anne - Chapter 5
by Barbara Lynn Terry
Geraldine Smythe pulled in to the drive way and everybody helped take the bags to Leigh's room. Leigh immediately opened her closet door, and was looking to see where she could hang her tennis outfits, without having to move a lot of clothes. She decided that the left side of the closet was for her tennis outfits, and the right side was for her dresses, skirts and blouses. Her jeans and tees she could put in her dresser.
After everything was hung up, Leigh had the dual, green colored tennis dress out in front, because she was going to wear that for Wednesday's game.
"Patty, what did Geri mean when she called me a 'hacker'?"
"It is a slang tennis term that many competitions and players don't use any more. It means you're a beginner."
"Oh, am I, now? Well, Miss Geri, we will just see about that."
"Remember Leigh, keep a cool head and don't let her intimidate you. She thinks she is the cat's meow on the court. Just play the game the way you always have, and everything will work out."
"Oh, I intend to. But, even though I can play good, doesn't mean I will win. It will take the effort of the entire squad to win the games. If we can win most of the games, we will go to state. But we are judged on behavior as well as game points, so don't worry. I will be a lady first, a tennis player second."
"Good girl. That is why we wanted you on the squad, Leigh. Don't worry about anybody else, including the rest of us. You just play the game the way you always have."
"Well, anyway, I am wearing this green dress for Wednesday's game."
"Oh, and that reminds me, sister Leigh. We, the squad that is, bought you something you can use."
"Like this," Patty said, handing Leigh a package."
Leigh opened it and found five pair of small nylon/spandex undergarments.
"What are these? Panties?"
"They are called gaffes. They will help hide those embarrassing male parts that you don't want showing. This way when you prepare for the ball from your opponent, everybody, especially the guys, will see a cute female butt." Leigh blushed when Patty said that.
"I don't think I know how to hide them that well."
"Would you like a little help, Leigh? I looked at the site where we got them from, and it said you have to push the testicles in to the hollow just above them, and push the penis up and as far back as you can. When it is done correctly, nobody will be able to tell that you're actually a male. There is something else I saw online too, that maybe in the future, like for next season, you might want to try. But, you can just use these for this season."
"Let's try it and see."
For the few hours, Patty, her mother, and Leigh's mother, helped Leigh with the gaffes. The first few times, was not a good result, but as they continued to practice with the gaffes, they finally got Leigh's appearance to that of a girl in the groin area.
"Leigh, you are going to knock the boys dead with those looks," Maggie said, as she helped Leigh with her dress.
"Thank you, Mrs. Langston." Maggie just smiled.
Nobody was embarrassed by helping Leigh, because Patty had already told her mother about Leigh. Maggie had told Patty that as long as the tennis squad was okay with it, so was she.
Leigh had not known that Patty had told her mother about her, but she thought that maybe that was good, too, because then there would be no misconceptions later. Leigh thought that since Patty's mother now knew about her, then maybe, just maybe, the other girls on the other teams would not be so belligerent when they found out that Leigh had a lot of support.
Geri actually knew about Leigh, but accepted her as a girl. Of course if you ever saw Leigh, you would see right away that being a girl was really right for her.
"Patty, what outfit are you wearing for Wednesday's game?"
"I have a dark green tennis skirt, with a light green top. I figure since you want to wear your green dress for the game, I will wear my green outfit, as well."
"Good. Maybe the whole squad could coordinate so our outfits look similar in color."
"I will talk to them, Leigh, I don't see anybody objecting. By the way, how long have you known how to shop like a girl?"
"Patty, shopping isn't a mysterious male or female function. You just look around until you find what you're looking for."
"Most guys just go in the store," Patty added, "grab a pair of jeans and maybe a shirt, and off they go the pay for them. How do you know that you have found what you're looking for?"
"Simple, silly, that is what the looking around is for. Most girls I know don't have a clue what they are looking for until they have found it. It is nothing mysterious, but it is like the song says, you 'gotta shop around'. That is true for clothes as well as guys."
"So, when we asked you to join the squad, you were secretly thinking, 'it's about time someone accepted me as a girl'. Weren't you?"
"Girlfriend, is that why you always sat by yourself in the cafeteria?"
"Mainly," Leigh answered Patty, looking at the floor.
"Leigh, when we asked you to join the squad, we were serious about you being one of the girls. I mean, look at this way. How many boys spell their name L E I G H? None that I know of, except for one, and she isn't even a boy."
"Thank you, Patty. I really appreciate that," Leigh responded, starting to cry.
"Leigh, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"
"I'm just so happy that I don't have to live two lives any more. I loved shopping for my clothes, today. I had dreamt about doing that for a few years, now. Even though shopping isn't necessarily male or female, there are subtle differences as to how each sex does shop though. While guys rush at it, we like to take our time, and make sure we have found everything that we were 'looking' for."
"Leigh, did you just hear yourself? You included yourself in the girl shopping part."
"Yes," Leigh said, with a smile. "I guess I did. Didn't I?"
"Leigh, do you know what a minx is?"
"Not really, even though mother has called me that a few times."
"Well, it is a girl who enjoys being a girl and uses a coy way of getting what she wants. She sometimes accidentally, on purpose, will use what we call feminine wiles. You seem to use them without thinking. Leigh, you may have a male body, but you are definitely no boy."
"Thank you, Mrs. Langston."
The experience of being accepted as a girl, and trying hard to show a strong front, Leigh was actually caught in a maelstrom of emotions. From happy, to sad, to strong, to weak, to adjusting, to confused. But today, these all hit her at one time. Leigh was reeling because she now was a part of something, with everybody's approval, that she had wished for since starting high school. Well, maybe wished for, before starting high school. She couldn't help but think this was all too good to be true.
Leigh went out on the front porch, and sat in the porch swing.
"Girl, get your ass back in the house, you'll freeze out here."
"Huh? Oh! How did I get out here?"
"Leigh, are you all right? You seem to be in a daze."
"Patty, let's go to my room, I need to talk to you and Darlene."
As they passed through the living room, Patty motioned for Darlene to follow.
"Mom, we are going up to my room, so we can talk."
"Are you all right, dear?"
"I'm not sure, mom. I feel like I got hit by a fast moving train." Geraldine Smythe moved to hug her daughter.
"Leigh, you just need to slow down a little, relax, and let things take their natural course. There was a reason I kept your name spelled the way it is, and I am looking at her. You are beautiful as a girl, Leigh. I am very proud of you."
"Thank you, mom. We will be in my room."When they got to Leigh's room, Patty and Darlene sat on the bed while Leigh sat on her vanity bench.
"Alright, girlfriend, spill. You look like something the cat dragged in but forget to take it back out."
"Well, you two have been in my corner with the rest of the squad. Tomorrow we play against Gaynor High. Geri, as I understand it, is their top player. But that isn't what is bothering me. It is her whole attitude. Are her parents rich?"
"Well, not in a millionaire or billionaire kind of way, but her father does own his own company. They make plastic clothes hangers.
"Look, Leigh, don't worry about Geri. She's just jealous that we couldn't find anybody that isn't so good at the game. She lives two and a half blocks from the school in that big white and brown house that looks like it was the model for a horror movie."
"Every time I go by that house," Darlene added, "I get the shivers down my spine. That house creeps me out. So Miss Watkins thinks she is going to win because she thinks she intimidated you. We will see what tomorrow brings. Just remember, this is only a game, so don't let her get the best of you. Is there something else bothering you, Leigh?"
"Yes, Patty. It's this whole thing. I mean, if you girls hadn't asked me to be on the tournaments, I don't think I would have gotten this far in the short time that I have. I was looking up transgender medical sites, and a lot of the doctors even said that it takes about two to three years from the first hormone pill to srs. I mean, that must have been Casey Jones in that train engine, it went by so fast."
"Settle down, Leigh. Take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this several times. It helps me when I feel the world on my shoulders."
"Darlene, I have never been in a situation like this. It seems to be ripping me from two ends like in a tug of war. Well, I have the rest of my life to get used to it, I guess. So, anyway, want to listen to CDs?" Everybody agreed.
As they were doing their dance steps, Leigh's mother came up to the room.
"Girls, there is someone here and she says she if from the MHSAA and wants to talk to Leigh."
They all went downstairs, and instead of the feared old lady with grey hair, they saw a woman younger than Leigh's mother, sitting in the living room.
"Which one is Leigh?"
"I am, ma'am."
"I am Debbie Constantine from the MHSAA. When we were requested to allow a transgendered male to female person to play on a girls tennis team, we became concerned. I was expecting to see a boy in a dress looking nothing like a girl should. I am very happy that is not the case. Anyway, Leigh, you have been approved to play for the Hampton Lady Tigers on their tennis team. I understand that you have a game against Gaynor High tomorrow. Good luck."
"Miss Constantine, do we have to wear tennis outfits in the school colors?"
"Yes, It is required by the rules of the MHSAA. Even, if you go to State, or National, you are required to wear tennis clothes in the school colors, because you will be representing your school. When you play away games, you must wear a white tennis ensemble."
"Thank you, Miss Constantine.
"Good luck tomorrow, ladies." Debbie Constantine left.
"What just happened?" Leigh asked, looking dazed.
"I'm not sure. I think it was Santa Claus who came a little early. Welcome to the squad, Leigh."
"Thank you, Patty. I think this calls for chocolate cake and and a Sierra Mist."
"Not before dinner, young lady. Which reminds me, we should get it started. Are you girls staying over for dinner?"
"I have to call my mom and ask."
"Patty, your mother is still here, so, Darlene, why don't you call your mother and tell them they are invited to dinner also. I think we should all talk about what just happened."
Pretty soon, after Darlene called her mother, the phone Rang at the Smythe house. When Leigh's mother answered it, she was informed that the entire squad would be coming, and the mothers are bringing a dish to share. She went to tell everybody else.
"I have created a monster!" Patty declared, throwing up her arms in mock indignation. Everybody giggled.
"Well, this will be good, because then the whole squad can talk about our tactics for tomorrow. Hmmm, I wonder if we could sneak in to the Gaynor locker room and put tar on their shoes." Everybody was in stitches when Leigh said that.
What they didn't know, is the block was being filled with cars from the girls parents. The first two arrived, and were let in. After hugs, and greetings, they all went in the living room, and found a place to sit. Leigh and Carol were in the kitchen getting the dinner sorted.
"Mom, we are going to have a lot of people here tonight. How are we going to do this so there is enough for everyone?"
"We will just have to make two pans of meatloaf, instead of just one. That way we should have enough for everybody to have one slice. Dear, get out the over large salad bowl, and make the salad, please."
Leigh got out their party salad bowl, and Leigh started rinsing the vegetables. Leigh then shredded the lettuce, cut three carrots, three celery lengths, three green peppers and then sprinkled some shredded cheddar cheese on the top. Leigh then took a picnic tongs and tossed the salad. She put it in the fridge, and went to help her mother make the meatloaf. While her mother did one pan, Leigh did the other.
I am sorry this is a short chapter, but it set up the plot for the next one.
Leigh Anne - Chapter 6
by Barbara Lynn Terry
It was still dark outside when Leigh's alarm went off. She got up an hour early so she could get ready for the tournament. She ran her bath and put in a capful of jojoba bubble bath. She brushed her teeth, and turned off the water in the tub. She sat down, and cascaded the water all over her. She took the Prell® shampoo and washed her hair. Then she washed and rinsed off with the shower head. After she was dry, Leigh wrapped the towel around her head turban style, and got in to her underthings, starting with the gaffe. She had a little problem at first, but soon over came it. Then she put on her panties, Then her under shorts (you need somwhere to place the extra ball), then the green and white tennis dress. She was going to wear her dual green one, but when Debbie Constantine had said they must wear school colors, she opted for her green and white tennis dress. The school colors for Hampton Senior High was green and white.
She went down to breakfast.
"Dear, is that what you're wearing to school?"
"Yes, mother. It is no different than the cheerleaders wearing their short outfits all day when they have practice before their game."
"Yes, I suppose. Did you have any problems with the gaffe?"
"At first, but I got it sorted."
"You know, Leigh, I was waiting for you to call me to help you."
"Mother, I had thought about it, but then decided I need to do this at sometime by myself, so why not start now."
"Good girl. Honey, what time is the game?"
"Immediately right after school on the tennis courts across the street from the school. The school has already reserved four courts for us."
"How many courts are there?"
"At that park, there are eight. This way we can have our tournament, and the others can be used for free playing."
"All right, then, I will be there. I want to see my little girl kick some serious butt." They both giggled, and Leigh thought that is exactly what she intended to do. Especially to a Gaynor high student named Geri Watkins. Leigh also got another thought, too. Her mother had never seen her play tennis. This would be a first for the both of them; Leigh with her mother watching, and her mother being there to watch Leigh play a varsity high school sport.
They heard a car horn outside, and Leigh got her book bag, hugged her mother and headed for the front door.
"Bye mom, see you at the game. I love you." Leigh went to get in the car.
"Girl, you're going to seriously cause a few poor guys some really embarrassing moments with that outfit."
"Thank you, Patty. Good morning, Darlene. Good morning, Mrs. Langston, thanks for the ride."
"Good morning, Leigh, and you are quite welcome."
"Leigh, do you remember what we talked about, last night?"
"Yes, and don't worry. I will be the epitome of femininity and my conduct will be very lady like. Geri is going to pee right on the court when she sees she can't get the best of me."
High school sports aren't like professional sports where manners are enforced. In high school sports, there is much rivalry, and backstabbing.
"I can't wait until Geri sees you in that outfit. She is going to go ballistic."
"Well, we will see. The game isn't until four o'clock, so she has all day to get steamed, thinking about how she can humiliate me."
"I forgot to tell you something else, too, Leigh. Geri has a bad habit of trying to distract her opponent. She will do something, then she will hit the ball when she knows you are unprepared for it. Don't let her do that. You keep your eye on the ball, and your mind on the game. Miss Geraldine Watkins is not going to know what hit her." The girls giggled, while Patty's mom just smiled.
They arrived at the school, and when they saw Patty, Darlene and Leigh together, the boys almost had an embarrassing moment right in front of the school. There were whistles, and one boy shouted out.
"It's about time you showed us you're a girl, Leigh, instead of wearing those boy clothes and acting like a tomboy."
Leigh smiled coyly at the the boy, and then she said.
"There comes a time when a girl must show everyone that she can be a lady."
"I like your tennis outfit, Leigh."
"Thank you, Roger Dobkins."
Roger Dobkins was one of the receivers on the Hampton high varsity football squad, and forward on the basketball squad. He was very popular as were all the jocks, but Roger never let it go to his head. That is, he never thought he was God's gift to anybody or anything. Roger had helped win games and helped lose a few, too. But, all in all, he always had fun. His California blond hair and sparkling white teeth helped him to make friends easily, even with the less popular students in the school. He would be in the girls corner tonight at the game.
As the girls went in to homeroom, the principal was there, and made an announcement about the game.
"Tonight, we have a tennis game against Gaynor high. I want you all on the tennis squad to know that we are all there for you. Go out there and beat some sense in to the Gaynor High Lady Cougars. I wish you all a lot of luck, so, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIGERS!"
After he was done, attendance was taken, then the first bell rang telling the students to go to their first class.
All Leigh could think about all day, was Geri and what she was told about her tactics. Leigh swore to herself that she would do like she always did, and that is, play the game. Nobody was going to get the better of her on the court.
At lunch time, the squad all got together to plot their course of action against the Gaynor High Lady Cougars. When they were discussing this, they went outside and stood looking at the courts across the street that had been roped off for the tournament. These were the same type of courts that Leigh had played on, on the weekends, with his friends.
"I know how to play on these kinds of courts. I'm going to have to really play when we meet Gaynor on their home ground, because they have clay courts. If we win tonight, the next game is at their courts."
"Don't worry, Leigh, we will get you through this. If we lose tonight, then we play Madison High.
"I hear Madison hasn't won a tournament in three years."
"That's right, Leigh. They don't seem to have the type of team now that they have had in the past."
"Darlene, what do you think?"
"I think you just need to be yourself. Don't let anything or anybody get under your skin."
"Thank you, Dar. I really appreciate what you have all done for me."
"What did we do? All we did was ask if you wanted to play on our squad. It was you who did everything else."
"I know, Patty, but still, if you hadn't asked me, I'd still be sitting alone with my yogurt and milk."
"That is why you have a natural figure, Leigh. You eat like a bird. You're body somehow knows that your are a female, and is trying to compensate for the male body, trying to force it out. It will be interesting to see what the doctor says about this."
"I will ask mom to call her and see when I am supposed to go. With this game on my mind, I kinda forgot."
"Don't worry about that now. Just concentrate on the game tonight, and you will be fifty per cent ready."
"Only fifty per cent, Patty?"
"Well, fifty five per cent, then." All three girls giggled. "But, you know what I mean. We have three more classes before we have to go to the courts. We can practice for a bit, because it will take the Gaynor High bus about a half an hour to get here. They will be in trouble, because they won't have time to practice a game or two. I think, though, that will just practice a few lobs, and see if you get a few aces, too."
"The first bell rang ending the luch period, and they went back in to get their books for the second half of their school day. Leigh, Patty and Darlene had the same classes, so they all went to home ec. They were making prom dresses, gowns, and semi formal dresses. These were to be worn to school functions, and since Leigh, Patty and Darlene were fresman, they could only go to a prom if the were invited. But the school held dances throughout the whole school year. These were social functions, and was for the purpose of showing the students how to interact with others.
Leigh knew how to sew pretty good, but she still needed instruction, somewhat, for a project this big. Leigh had selected a knee length, semi formal dress pattern, that included lace and silk. The cost for each student for this project was forty five dollars and that was for the patterns and material. as well as a sewing machine to use at the school. The first day of classes, each girl was assigned a sewing machine. The only desk in the whole classroom was for the teacher. Leigh already had the bodice of the dress sewn together, now, she just needed to sew the skirt together, then attach the two halves.
This dress that Leigh was making, also had an under slip made of satin, but, Leigh would still need a proper slip when she wore the dress. Leigh was able to sew one side of the skirt before the bell rang ending the class. Leigh folded her dress and put it in the locker assigned by the teacher.
"Class, I was watching, and you all are doing wonderful. Leigh, how far did you get with the skirt?"
"I got one side sewn together. I will do the other side on Friday, and stitch the body and the skirt together."
"Alright, well, class dismissed."
"Attention, attention please. Will the girls varsity tennis team plase report to the girls gym. Thank you."
Leigh looked at Darlene and Patty and all three shrugged. When they got to the girls gym, the girls varsity coach began.
"Girls, in a bit, we are going out to the courts to practice. This will give us an edge over Gaynor. Leigh, I want you to practice your lobs and aces. If we can enough of each to get our points, we will win the game. Remember though, if we win today, we play Gaynor on their clay courts and they will have home court advantage. Leigh, have you ever played on a clay court, before?"
"Yes, Mrs. Madison."
"Good. Now girls, if we are ready, let's go and practice a little before the games start."
They went out to the courts, and since this was a school event, this was considered a field trip, because it was off of school grounds. Mrs. Madison then told the girls the lineup.
"First, we will have doubles of four players each. I am going to try you all in different positons, to see where you are best at. So, Leigh and Cheryl Masters play at the base line, facing the sun, Patricia Langston will serve, and Collen Sanders will play just inside the serve line.
"Donna Sanchez and Dorothy Winston will play the base line, and Susan Winters and Mary Whithers, will play just inside the serve line. You four will be the opponents for Leigh and company. Please take your places, girls."
All eight girls took their places. Patty served the first ball, but it was called out. She served the seconf ball and it was hit back just inside the net. Leigh lobbed it over the net and it was 15-Love. Patty served again, but the return was called out. It was now 30-Love. Patty served again, and this time both teams volleyed the ball back and forth for a few minutes, before Leigh hit it out on the right side. It was now 30-15. Patty served again, trying very hard to keep the other side as low as possible. Patty hit the ball and it was volleyed back and forth for about five minutes.
"Good volley, girls, keep it up as long as you can," Mrs. Madison said, cheering her girls on.
The volley lasted seven minutes before Susan Winters hit it out. It was 40-15. Patty's team had the advantage now, and needed one more point to win this practice game. Patty hit the ball to Dorothy Wisnton, whose return hit their side of the net. It was now 41-15 and game.
"All right ladies, that was good. Now switch sides, and let us see how good both teams can do. Donna and Dorothy will play the serve line, with Donna serving, Susan and Mary will play the base line. Leigh and Colleen will play the serve line, while Cheryl and Patty play the base line. Are we ready, girls? Alright then, start."
Donna served the ball, and it was volleyed back and forth before Patty lobbed it out. It was now 15-Love. Donna served again, and the ball ended up on the side line and was called out. Donna challenged it, and when the saw where the ball had hit, it was called in. It was now 30-Love. The game continued with the next serve, and Donna lobbed it for an ace. It was now 40-Love. The next serve would determine the game. Donna served the ball and this volley last several minutes. Then Susan hit it in to the net, on their side. It was 40-15. Donna tried to lob the next serve for an ace, but ended up having it hit back. This volley also lasted several minutes, before Leigh hit it out. That was game with a score of 41-15.
"Alright, girls, that was good. Now, I want to see just two girls on each side, so I can determine the line up before the game with Gaynor starts. Mary and Cheryl on one team, facing the sun, and Patty and Darlene on the other team. Darlene, it is your serve.Darlene lobbe three aces, making the score 40-Love. It was the next serve that would decide the game, or earn the other team points. The game ended up 41-Love.
"Good. Girls, you are doing great. Now I want to see just singles. Patty against Darlene. Patty, you serve."
Patty served but Darlene hit it back and the volley lasted more than ten minutes. Finally, Darlene hit her ball in to the net, making it 15-Love. The next two serves were aces, making the score 40-Love. All the time Leigh was watching, she noted the strengths and weaknesses, and told them to coach Madison.
"Leigh that is very commendable that you are able to see that. I guess what I wa told about you, is true. You do know this game inside and out."
"Thank you, coach."
Patty served the next ball, and she hit her return to Darlene in to her side of the net. It was 40-15. Then the next serve was an ace, ending the game at 41-15.
"Alright girls, gather 'round. You all did just great. We don't have any super girls, but we have professional grade tennis players. That is a good thing. We are going to give the Gaynor Lady Cougars a run for their money."
The bleachers outside of the tennis courts, were beginning to fill up. Leigh saw her mother come with Patty's mom, and they both sat on the bottom center of the bleachers. This way they could get a good view of the game. It was while the bleachers were being filled up, that the Gaynor Lady Cougars arrived.
"Now girls, remember what I said. You have done great today in practice. Just keep up the good work, but now you have a reason to be just a bit better. You win these next two games, then we play Madison high anyway, and if they lose the first two sets, then we play the Hamilton Lady Cardinals. If we win most of our games, we are a shoe in for State. So, are we ready girls?"
Mrs. Madison placed her hand palm down, and the rest of the placed theirs on top and they all said: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIGERS. They split in a dramatic placing their hands downward then breaking the solidarity hands on.
"Watch the board, ladies, and you will see who you are playing against. Our line up will be Patty, Leigh, Darlene, Mary, Susan, Donna, Cheryl, Colleen and Dorothy. The lineup will change for the next set anyway.
The referee for the game was Mrs. Ogla Svenson from Sweden, originally, and a right decent tennis player in her own right. She has even played in a few Opens including the French Open, the Australia Open and the U.S. Open. She was selected from a list of names provided by MHSAA. There were also six line judges from another list provided by the Association. When the officials took their places, the referee sitting in the highest chair over looking the courts. Then the Hampton Lady Tigers got a real surprise.
"Will Leigh Anne Smythe take the court, facing the sun? You will play the first set against Geraldine Watkins of the Gaynor Lady Cougars."
"So much for our lineup. Alright, Leigh, take your side of the court."
"I requested you Leigh so I can get you out quickly."
"Good luck, Geri, you will definitely need it."
Leigh was told that when a player in any sport allows their emotions to show, they play a very poor game.
"Miss Watkins, it is your serve."
Geri hit the ball hoping to get an ace, but Leigh hit the ball back and got the first points. It was Love-15. The reason that Leigh won the first points in the game, was because Geri Watkins was not ready for Leigh's quick action in getting the ball returned.
"That was just luck, Leigh."
As Geri was talking she served the next ball. Leigh returned it so it bounced at Geri's left foot, and bounced back toward the net. It was now Love-30. There was an eerie silence in the crowd of spectators. The next served was hit right toward the inside of the base line, but Leigh returned it. They volleyed back and forth for about three minutes, when Geri thought she was being cute
"Look, up there. A blimp."
Thinking Leigh was distracted, Geri served the ball. Leigh returned it, and the volley lasted another three minutes. Leigh was quick during this game, because she wanted her team to go to State. Leigh also didn't know that Dr. Sam was also watching the games.
Geri was starting to show her anger towards Leigh, and served the ball. It was called out, so Geri served again. This time it was in, and the volley last about six minutes. Geri, getting angrier and angrier, went to return the ball, but hit it in to the net. it was now Love-40 and it was Leigh's advantage. Geri served the ball again, this time with 'kill' in her eyes, but she hit it in such a way as it dropped just over the net. Leigh was quick enough to return it, and hit it to the far left side of the court on Geri's side, making the game Love-41.
"Game, Smythe," Olga called out. Geraldine Watkins threw her racquet it down.
Leigh remembered what her mother had said about their not being any female John McEnroe's in tennis. Well, she thought, Geri Watkins sure could be a candidate for the part. Then Leigh giggled to herself.
As they cooled off and drank a sip of Gator Ade, Leigh saw Dr. Sam in the bleachers. Leigh smiled, knowing she had the best cheering section there is. Leigh and Geri switched sides, and it was Leigh's serve. Leigh was very good at playing tennis. She lobbed the first ball for an ace, making the score 15-Love. Leigh thought, 'stay angry, Geri, please stay angry'.
Lee served the second ball, but Geri though she was going to be cute, and hit the ball to the far right corner of Leigh's side. Leigh returned the ball, much to Geri Watkins chagrin, making Geri hit the ball in to the net. It was now 30-Love, and Leigh served again. 'the angrier you get, Geri, the worse you will be able to play'.
"You're a ringer, Smythe, you know this game more than just a little."
"Yes, Geri, I do. I play tennis as often as I can." Leigh wasn't bragging but stating a fact. Leigh did know the game from every angle, and she loved playing this game, not only for the exercise, but to actually do something that counts. She thought to herself, 'maybe I will play professional tennis'.
Leigh served the next ball, and it went right by Geri Watkins' right foot, making the sore 40-Love. Leigh had one ace to her credit. Leigh was going to try and serve the next ball to the left of Geri's side, hoping for another ace. It worked, as the ball was called in, making the score 41-Love.
"Game, Smythe," Olga said, with a wide grin.
They switched sides after taking a sip of Gator Ade, and it was Geri's serve. Roger Dobkins was also in the stands and clapping everytime Leigh won a game. When Leigh saw him in the stands, she miled and waved a little without being obvious. Roger waved back. The girls took their respective sides of the court, and Geri served, this time calmly.
But, it didn't work, because angry or calm, Gerladine Watkins was no match for Leigh Anne Smythe.
Leigh returned the ball, and the volley was going good after several returns from both girls, until Geri hit it in to the net.
"Love-15," Olga called out.
It was then Geri Watkins got an idea.
"A time out has been called by Gaynor," Olga stated. "Five minutes, Gaynor."
"I want everybody here to know that Leigh Anne Smythe is a guy and not a girl, and has no place in this competition."
"Are you finished, Miss Watkins?" Olga asked, looking peeved. Geri nodded her head. "Very well, then. It is listed here by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, that Leigh Anne is what they called intersexed, with female being the dominant sex. Leigh Anne Smythe is permitted to play in this tournament." There was applause from Hampton High and boos from the Gaynor side.
Leigh giggled, because Geri couldn't get her thrown out of the game. Now Geri was boiling mad and served the ball with as much hatred as she could muster. The ball was called out as was the next one.
"Love-30. Gaynor, control your player or she will be disqualified."
"Time," the Gaynor coach called. Olga said five minutes, and they only had one time out left.
The Gaynor coach talked to Geraldine Watkins, but Leigh couldn't hear what was being said. But, she kind of gathered that the Gaynor coach was not too happy with Geri's performance.
When Geri returned, it was still her serve. She served it as calmly as she could, and it hit the net. Served again and it hit the net.
Geri Watkins was shuddering to think that Leigh was better than she had thought. So, Geri tried getting into the the spirit of the game, but it was too late. One more point and Leigh would have won the first set for the Lady Tigers.
In men's tennis there are three games they play to a set, even though there are six games to a set and six sets to a match. But, being as time was of the essence, only two games per set was allowed in girls tennis, unless there was a tie, then there would be an extra game. So far in the two games played, there were no deuces.
Geri served again, hitting the ball out. It didn't bounce inside the base line. Geri served her second ball, and the volley last nine minutes.
"Love-41. Game, Smythe. First set to Hampton High." Olga now had a real smile on her face. "Good job, ladies." Geri and Leigh went to the net to shake hands.
"I'll get you when you play at our school. We have clay courts."
"I am looking forward to playing on your courts, Geri. Take care."
"Yeah, uhm, you too."
The next set was between Patty and Gaynors five foot, eight girl, whose name is Debbie Adams
"The next game is between Patricia Langston of Hampton High and Debbie Adams from Gaynor. Ladies, please take your sides of the court."
Leigh was going to watch this game very closely. She wanted to see just how clumsy Debbie Adams really was. It was Patty's serve.
The first ball was in and they volleyed back and forth for ten minutes, and finally, Debbie kind of tripped on her own foot, losing her balance, briefly. Leigh couldn't help but giggle softly.
When Patty served the next ball, Debbie couldn't even see where it went. Another ace for the Lady Tigers. Patty refrained from laughing, but she was silently thinking, 'yep about as clumsy as the Jolly Green Giant'. Patty served again, and this time Debbie returned the ball and the volley was starting out very good, but then Debbie hit the ball into the net.
The next serve got a volley of eight minutes, but Patty hit her return in to the net.
The next serve was called out, so Patty served her second ball, and the volley lasted for only three minutes, when Patty hit the ball so hard, it was called out.
Patty was beginning to worry a little, that she might not be able to win over Debbie. She served the next ball and Debbie rushed to meet it at the net, tripping on the pavement.
"40-30. Are you all right, Miss Adams?" Olga inquired.
"Yes, ma'am," Debbie Adams said, getting up. There was applause from everyone.
Patty served the next ball, and it went wide and was called out. She served again, and this time, Debbie hit right at Patty's right foot.
Now the game can only be won by one of the players getting two points more than the other.
Patty served and Debbie hit it back, and it hit the top of the net and started to roll over on to Patty's side. Patty scrambled to return it, and caught Debbie of guard, by tipping the ball right back over the net. Debbie tried to get to it before it bounced twice, but she wasn't fast enough.
With the next serve, Debbie returned to hit just inside the serve line on Patty's side.
This time, Patty hit the ball high, so it would bounce right in front of Debbie, but she saw it coming and backed up to return it. Patty returned it with a spin, and won the advantage.
Patty's next serve was an ace.
"Game, Langston." There was applause from her side and boos from Gaynor.
Four of the girls from each school got a chance to play, but it was getting dark, so the Gaynor Lady Cougars would have to come back tomorrow and finish the tournament. There was one more set that needed to be played. The Gaynor team got on their bus for the ride back to their school.
Leigh and the rest went in the school, to get their books for homework. There was a note taped to each girl's locker telling them what homework was required and it was from the afternoon teacher whose class they had missed, because of practice.
Leigh Anne - Chapter 7
by Barbara Lynn Terry
Chapter 1 - After the tournament.
The girls all made sure the tennis equipment owned by the school was put away, and they put their own equipment in their parents cars. As the equipment was being stored in the girls gym, coach Madison addressed the assembled team and parents.
"Ladies, and parents, I want you to know that you all did a wonderful job, today. There are refreshments for you if you want, before you leave. Girls, tomorrow we have three more games to play against Gaynor. If we win these games, then next week we play them on their clay courts.
"Leigh, you said you have played on clay courts, before. Where was that?"
"At the Tennis Center in Coral Springs, Florida. We went there for a vacation one summer."
"Yes, I have played there, myself. How did you find playing on the clay surface?"
"It was challenging, because that was the first time I had ever played on a clay court. They had a trainer there that saw me play, and he wanted to challenge me." Leigh giggled. "He won one of the three games we played."
"So, when we play Gaynor next week, how do you think you will fare on their courts?"
"I will do very well, Mrs. Madison."
"Good girl. Alright girls, you may enjoy yourselves for about two hours, before we have to leave."
Everybody started milling around. Parents who didn't know Leigh or about her, started talking to her. Donna Sanchez' mother came over and congratulated Leigh.
"Hi Leigh, I'm Mrs. Sanchez, Donna's mother. I just want to congratulate you for playing a very good game, and not letting that snot from the other school get to you. A good athlete always pays attention to the sport at hand. You did very, very well. I drive Donna to all of her games, unless it is an away game, then I meet her there. Are you going to play tomorrow?"
"No, Mrs. Sanchez. There are a few more girls who didn't get to play today, so it will be their turn tomorrow."
"Well, I will be here. You just take care of your team and yourself. Never let an opponent get under your skin, as the saying goes."
"Thank you, Mrs. Sanchez."
Dorothy Winston's parents came over to talk to Leigh.
"Hello, Leigh, were Mr. and Mrs. Winston. Dots parents."
"Hi," Leigh answered back, smiling.
"When that girl from the other team tried to get you thrown out, you seemed like it didn't bother you."
"It didn't, Mr. Winston. I have been playing tennis since I was ten years old. Each time I played I learned something new. I'm considered the best tennis player on the squad, but that comes from the other players who play as equally as I do. I think tomorrow you will see what I mean. There are three girls who didn't play today. We will win the next game and we will go to state."
"Well, we're hoping right along with you, Leigh," Mrs. Winston replied with a wide smile.
"Leigh, how long have you wanted to be a ..." Mrs. Winston cut him off.
"Robert, that is none of our business. This young lady played her heart out today, and when that girl tried to get her thrown out of the game by revealing things, Leigh didn't let it bother her. It shouldn't bother us, either."
"But, all I was doing, was trying to find out ..."
"I know what you were trying to find out, dear. It is none of our business."
Leigh was thinking that it was a good thing that Dots mother had interrupted her husband because it saved them both from some very embarrassing moments.
All too soon, it was time to leave and go home. Leigh found her cheering section, and decided to stay close to her mother.
"There you are, sweetie. Having a good time?"
"The best, mom. I had my cheering section today."
"Roger said he is coming to all of our games, I told him he could ride with us when you have an away game. He took me up on my offer."
"Roger, are you trying to pick up my mom?" Leigh asked, then winked.
"A lovely lady she is, too, Leigh, but there is a young lady, more my age that I would like to get to know in a friendly, platonic way, of course."
"And who, pray tell, is this young lady you want to get to know in a friendly, platonic way?"
"She is so modest, too. Who do you think?"
"Well, dear, are we ready to go?" Leigh's mother asked, playfully, then winked at Leigh.
"Yes, of course, mother. Thank you for cheering for me today, Roger."
"Wait!" Roger exclaimed. "Leigh, will you be my girlfriend?"
"Roger Dobkins, wouldn't you get ribbed by your team mates by going steady with me?"
"One on one, I am the strongest on the team, Leigh. If they ganged up on me, then I would have to challenge them on a one to one boxing match in the gym. They know they would lose. If you are asking would I be embarrassed by being seen with you, the answer is no. You are very pretty, and that outfit shows it."
"Roger, I have to talk to my mom about this. I...I'm really not...ready for a...boyfriend. I don't think. Can I let you know tomorrow before the game?"
"Yes, of course. Take your time."
"Roger, never say take your time to a girl. We are just liable to take you literally."
"Oh, I know you would. When my sister's boyfriend comes calling, she takes forever to get ready, making him wait until she is ready."
Leigh and her mom just giggled. They said their good nights to Roger, and Leigh promised she would give him her decision after school tomorrow.
"I see you didn't eat anything, you just had a soft drink."
"Yes, mom, I wanted to save room for dinner."
"Well, I didn't eat anything, either. So, what do you think we should have for dinner?"
"Homemade chicken noodle soup, with unsalted top crackers, milk for me, and maybe a fruit yogurt for dessert."
"That sounds good to me. Do you want me to make the noodles, or buy them at the market?"
"Make them. They taste better homemade."
"Yes, they do. Do you want the soup made country style, with veggies?"
"Then we have to stop at the store. We're out of carrots, peas, we have only one onion left, and we need a clove of garlic. I think we should pick up a stalk of celery, too.
They headed home by way of the supermarket.
They got more than just a few items at the market, because Leigh's mother remembered they needed milk and eggs, too. Might as well get them now, while they're there.
When they got home, Leigh took her racquets and tennis balls to her room. She changed in to her knee length, lavender nightgown. This nightgown had to be hand washed because it was a nylon tricot material and had four layers, so that it wouldn't be see through. She stepped into her slippers and went back to the kitchen to help her mother with the dinner.
"Well, I see you slipped in to something comfortable."
"Yes, mother. I was in those clothes all day today, and I needed something a little more comfy."
"Well, get the noodle machine out, and I will make the dough. You can cut up an onion, one length of celery, and you can do a carrot and one can of peas. The clove of garlic I will take care of, because we don't want too much in the soup. I will also cut up the chicken breast.
As they worked Leigh talked about her day, and how she felt on the court. Her mother had said she held her own against that girl from the other school, and was surprised when what the other girl said didn't bother Leigh in the least.
"Mom, Donna's mom told me that a good athlete pays attention to the sport at hand. That's what I was doing. When she said to look at a blimp, I was watching her for the serve I knew was coming. She was surprised that I returned the ball. Tomorrow, there are three more games that need to be played. When we win against Gaynor, our next game is against them at home on their clay courts.They have clay courts right on the school grounds, next to the track."
"Well, you certainly proved to be an asset to the squad. No wonder they picked you to substitute for that injured player."
"Yes, Janey Mitchell. She was the star player until her doctor said no more tennis until the medicine can help the pain in the elbow. Janey plays as much tennis as I do, but we don't play on the same courts. Janey, well most of the girls for that matter, never interested me. I always sat alone with my yogurt and juice. When Patty Langston came over with the entire girls tennis squad, I was like, 'oh no, what do they want now'.
"Now look at me, a substitute girl, substituting for an injured girl."
"But, dear, you aren't a substitute anything. You especially are not a substitute girl. I watched you out there on the court, and at the little get together in the girls gym. You certainly were not substituting anything. You WERE just being a girl."
"Thanx, mom. I really needed to hear that."
"Honey, sometimes we get thinking very low about ourselves, that we need a boost now and then to perk us right up. You are our daughter, Leigh, and you are my angel, and there isn't anything I wouldn't do to make you know that."
"Mom, what about dad?"
"Well, we will just let him cool off for now. He has to think things over, and he can only do that while he is alone. I'm sure he will come to his senses."
"I hope so, mom. It isn't the same here without him."
"I know, dear, but sometimes people have to go and be by themselves for a bit. We all need that space. When you're in school, I sit here thinking about what to make for dinner, and do we need anything from the store. Then I think about you, and think back to when I was growing up. Times sure have changed."
"Well, mom, we are the fourth generation to actually stand up for who we are. We don't hold things back, anymore. I held things back until Patty and the girls told me they needed me. They actually needed me. I was really glad they asked me to be on the squad. When they told me they wanted me to substitute for Janey, I was like, okay. Now we need to tell my parents they have an older daughter. I'm sorry dad couldn't accept me for the girl I always knew I was."
Leigh's mother gave her a big hug.
"Honey, you have always been more girl than you actually know. I never said anything because I wanted you to come and tell me or your father. Well, anyway, here you are, and that is all that counts. Now let's make this dinner. Would you like a grilled cheese to go with the soup?"
"Yes, mom." She smiled at her daughter, because she knew Leigh was going to be all right.
Leigh's mother took all the ingredients and placed them in water with the noodles. She made sure it was stirred occasionally, and then she took another spoon and tested it for taste. One more Bouillon cube should do it. She put in the cube, and let it melt down. After a bit, she stirred the soup again, and it was ready. It doesn't take long to make homemade chicken noodle soup, country style.
As she was stirring the soup, she was also making the grilled cheese. She put two buttered, double cheese sandwiches in a medium fry pan, and when the soup was done, so were the grilled sandwiches.
They ate their dinner, and after one helping, Leigh said she was full. She took her dishes to the sink, and rinsed them, and then placed them in the sink.When her mother was done, except for her coffee, both ladies did the dishes. Leigh washed and her mom dried. When the dishes were put away, Leigh wiped the kitchen table off, and her mom swept and mopped the kitchen floor.
It is always nice to mop the kitchen floor after each meal, because then the germs that accumulate will be at a bare minimum. With the stove, table, floor and dishes done, they both went in the living room and turned on the t.v. Leigh went through the channels, but there was nothing good on. Then she pressed the On Demand button and looked at the premium channels.
They saw that Ocean's Eleven with Frank Sinatra was on. Leigh had only seen it once, and told her mom that this was a funny movie. They watched the movie, and when it was over, it was time for Leigh to be in bed. She kissed he mother good night and gave her a hug. Then Leigh went to her room and crawled in her bed. She was asleep in seconds.
Leigh Anne - Chapter 8
by Barbara Lynn Terry
I got up about five minutes before my alarm went off. I stepped in to my slippers, threw my robe on and grabbed my bath caddy. I went to take my shower. Mom had gotten me a couple bars of perfume soap, and one of those was lavender while the other was rose. I used the lavender. I put on my shower cap, and made sure my hair was tucked in as best as it could be. I then brushed my teeth, and by then the water was warm enough to get under. I soaped down and rinsed off. I turned off the water and got out of the shower. I got a soft terry towel out of the cabinet and patted down. I looked at my legs and saw they would be able to stand the day. I went to my room to get dressed.
I had another green and white tennis outfit, but this one was a green top with a white over black top with green piping and a black tennis skirt that had sewn in glitch pants. The skirt had two front pockets (the girls need some place to keep the extra ball). The white over black top conformed to the tennis regulations because it had green piping. After getting into her sports bra, top, skirt, and socks and shoes, Leigh went downstairs after folding the tops of her socks down.
As she went in the kitchen, she noticed her mother was making a full breakfast of pancakes, sausage patties, with milk and juice for Leigh. Leigh, knowing arguing wasn't going to pay, sat down and waited for her breakfast.
"Leigh, You need a regular breakfast today, just in case you have to play for one reason or another."
The reason Leigh and her mother got along is, because they didn't argue. They disagreed, but then they talked about why they disagreed with each other. Leigh was a good daughter, and her mother was going to make sure that Leigh would be the girl they were expecting when Leigh was born. Being accepted as a girl on a girls varsity tennis squad was proof that Leigh is where she should be. There was only one problem; Leigh missed her early childhood as a girl, but she was not going to miss her teen years as a girl.
When she was finished eating, she rinsed her dishes, gave her mother a hug and kiss on the cheek, said I love you and headed out the door, with her tennis racquets and her book bag.
Leigh waited for Patty's mom to come and get her. She didn't have long to wait. Mrs. Langston parked in front of Leigh's house and Leigh got in the car. She buckled her seat belt.
"Good morning, Mrs. Langston, Patty, Darlene."
"Good morning, Leigh," they all said, together.
Mrs. Langston made sure that Leigh's seat belt was fastened and drove to the school.
"Thank you Mrs. Langston."
"You're welcome, Leigh. I will be back this afternoon to watch the rest of the tournament. Have a good day, girls."
They all got out of the car, and Patty hugged and kissed her mom on the cheek. They went in the school, and right to homeroom. After their teacher took the roll, the announcements came over the intercom.
"Good morning students. The chess club meeting is cancelled for today because of the continuation of the tennis tournament between our Lady Tigers and the Gaynor High Lady Cougars. We would like you all to be out there supporting our varsity girls tennis squad and cheer them on to victory. Leigh Anne Smythe will substitute for Donna Sanchez as Donna has a sprained ankle from exercising last night at home. It will be about a week before she can play again. There are no more announcements for today, so, all I can say is, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIGERS!!!!!"
Leigh looked at Patty and Darlene, who were smiling. Leigh gets to play a second day in a row, then has a week to practice. She has to find a clay court somewhere to practice. Leigh's morning classes went by very fast, or so Leigh thought. The bell rang ending the last morning class, and they put their books in their lockers and headed to the cafeteria. Leigh saw they were having cardboard pizza, again, so she just took a juice and a yogurt. The lady at the cash register waved her through and winked at Leigh.
Leigh waited for Patty and Darlene and they went to find a table. The entire squad sat with each other, again, and this time, Leigh would be playing Debbie Adams. Gaynor didn't have the numbers on their squad that Hampton had. In fact, Gaynor was one player short, but it didn't matter because they had enough for singles play and doubles. But, if Gaynor makes it to state, they will need one more player, as all the teams must have the same amount of eligible players. That means that each team in the conference must have eight players.
"Leigh, it is not good that Donna doesn't get to play today. She was so looking forward to playing. But, accidents happen, and you get to play a second day in a row. You are not only substituting for Janey, but also for Donna. Somebody upstairs really likes you." Leigh looked at the ceiling and frowned.
"I don't see anybody." All the girls giggled. "I do have a small confession to make. I just can't get enough of playing tennis. That is why I play it every weekend. But, this week, though, I am going to have to find a clay court somewhere, so I can practice."
"They have two clay courts right next to each other at the college in the next county. I can get my mom to take us."
"Patty, that would be great, but I couldn't impose. Not for practice."
"So, impose already. Look, all of us are going to have to practice for our next game against Gaynor. The only reason we get to play them two times in a row, is because of the different types of courts. We can talk to Mrs. Madison, and see if we can get school approval for a field trip to go the college, so everybody can practice."
"Attention please, attention. Will the Girls varsity tennis squad please meet in the girls gym right after lunch. Thank you, ladies, and GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIGERS!!!!"
"This is better than I thought. We get to practice all afternoon. Gaynor may be doing the same thing. The reason you will be playing Debbie Adams, Leigh, is because of her height. You saw how she played yesterday. She is good, in her own way, but don't underestimate her."
"Thank you, Dot. I think we will be able to at least take one school in the conference away from them. Us!"
The girls all said, "RIGHT ON!" As loud as they could. The whole student body that was in the cafeteria said, "GOOOOOOOOOOO TIGERS!!!" The girls did their solidarity handshake before leaving the cafeteria. Then all went to the girls gym.
"Afternoon, ladies. Today, we beat the skirts off of the Lady Cougars. Leigh, you will play against Debbie Adams. Whereas we have eight players, they only have seven. So one of their girls has to play again today. So, let's all get your racquets and head over to the courts. We are going to practice all afternoon."
"We were talking and we all agreed we are going to have to practice on a clay court before we meet Gaynor on their home courts. The college in the next county has two courts, side by side. We could practice on those. Do you think we could do it so that it could be an extracurricular activity, and we could take the bus there and back?"
"I will talk to Mr. Thompson after school today, or even during practice, since he will come out there. I think that is a good idea, Dot. I think Mr. Thompson will allow us to do that. I will be given permission slips for each of you, and your parents will have to sign them. It is okay if only one parent signs them, too. Are we ready, ladies? Let's go practice."
They headed out to the courts across the street. The line up as different than it was yesterday. This time, Leigh, Dorothy, Colleen and Cheryl were on one team. After the two teams took their sides of the court, Mrs. Madison, told Leigh to serve the ball.
Leigh served for an ace toward Colleen. Cheryl tried to return it, but it went right by her and toward Colleen. Colleen tried to lob it, but was too hard, and it ended up out. Leigh and Dorothy switched positions, and Leigh took the inside of the court, while Dorothy served. Colleen and Cheryl also switched positions, and Dorothy served the ball. Colleen caught the ball with her racquet, and returned the ball to Leigh. Leigh returned it to Cheryl, and the volley went back and forth for about eleven minutes. Then Leigh hit the ball out. It was now 15-15 and Leigh served again. Cheryl returned it to Dorothy, who hit it back. After two minutes, Dorothy hit it out and it was now 30-15. It was now Colleen's serve, and she hit too hard, and Mrs. Madison called it out. Colleen served again, and this time the volley lasted five minutes, before Leigh hit it out. 40-15. Take your time girls. Just keep your minds on the game.
The practice went on all afternoon, with the two teams switching the serves. This was only because Mrs. Madison wanted to see the strengths and weaknesses of each girl. Then she could talk to them about where they needed to improve.
"Ladies, Gaynor will be here any time, now. I just want to say this. You all did great, but there were a few errors. Leigh, don't try to lob the ball, unless you are sure you can make it count. When you girls play the inside of the court during doubles, and you see the ball is a little too high or fast, let it go to your partner. So, other than that, you all did very well. Here comes the Gaynor bus. Everybody please sit down."
The stands were filling up, and Leigh saw her same cheering section, including Dr. Sam. There was one person in the stands that Leigh didn't see, wearing a dark blue hoodie.
The judges took their positions and Mrs. Olga Svenson took the referee's chair.
"May I have your attention, everybody? This is a continuation of the tournament between the Hampton Senior High School Lady Tigers and the Gaynor Senior High School Lady Cougars that was started yesterday. Today will determine eligibility to see which school will go to the state finals." There were cheers from both schools. "We also have a last minute substitution. Leigh Anne Smythe will be playing for Donna Sanchez, who is out with a sprained ankle."
Everybody looked to see who yelled, and they saw it was Geraldine Watkins.
"Miss Watkins, do you have a protest?"
"Yes, I do. If she gets to play two days in a row, then so do I."
"Miss Watkins, Donna Sanchez suffered a sprained ankle last night at her home, while exercising. Hampton High called the MHSAA and they approved the substitution. I do not see your name here as a substitution for anybody. Miss Smythe has been approved by the state association. Your argument is with them."
"Excuse me, Madam Referee."
"The chair recognizes Debbie Constantine from the Michigan High School Athletic Association. You may speak, Miss Constantine."
"Thank you, Madam Referee. Young lady, what is your name?"
"Well, Miss Watkins, we were called this morning when one of the player's parent called the school saying that her daughter, who was on the varsity tennis squad, would be absent all week from school, because of a sprained ankle, and she needed to stay off of it, and keep her foot elevated. Hampton Senior High School called our office right away this morning, asking that a last minute substitution be allowed, because one of the players was out for medical reasons, and they described the medical reason. We approved the substitution. In this context, Miss Watkins, it is fair Leigh Anne Smythe gets to play for a second day in a row. Do you have anything else to say?"
"No!" Geri Watkins said, and sat down fuming.
"Thank you, Madam Referee."
"Alright. Will Debbie Adams and Leigh Anne Smythe, please take the court, with Gaynor facing the sun. Yesterday, Hampton started out facing the sun. It is Gaynor's serve."
Debbie Adams served the ball, and the volley lasted for several minutes, before Leigh hit it in to the net.
"Debbie served again, and this time when Leigh returned it, Debbie hit it way past Leigh, forcing it to be called out.
Debbie served again, and tripped on the court.
"Miss Adams, are you all right?"
"No, ma'am, I think I hit my ankle bone."
Miss Constantine went out on the court, and looked at Debbie Adams' ankle. She whispered so nobody else could hear.
"You aren't hurt, and if this is a ruse to get that other girl to play, I will have a conference with the judges and the referee, and have your school disqualified. Is that what you want?"
"All right. Get up and play. Don't pull this again. Everything is fine, madam referee."
"Players, resume play. It is still Gaynor's serve."
Debbie Adams served the ball, and Leigh returned it for a point.
The next serve was way wild and way over Leigh's head. Leigh looked at the referee with a 'what the heck' kind of look.
"Out. Gaynor, this is the second day in a row that one of your players has gotten angry at Miss Smythe, who is only playing the game. Caution your player to settle down." Gaynor's coach called time.
After a bit, Debbie served the ball again, and this time it was in. Leigh and Debbie volleyed the ball for another several minutes, and Leigh hit it for another point.
This time, the two girls volleyed the ball for over ten minutes, when Debbie Adams hit it out.
"Game, Smythe." There were cheers from Hampton and boos from Gaynor. "It is Hampton's serve, please change sides of the net." After changing sides, Leigh served the ball.
When Debbie Adams tried to return it, it hit the net.
The next volley seemed to go on forever, until Debbie hit past Leigh for an out.
The next volley went on for less than two minutes, and just as Leigh hit the ball inside Debbie's side of the court, a glass bottle crashed near Leigh's feet. Leigh wasn't hit with the bottle, and it was thrown from the Gaynor side spectators.
Debbie Constantine asked to be recognized again. She went up the referee and had a short talk with Mrs. Svenson.
"It has come to the attention of the chair, that since Gaynor Senior High School can't seem to control its student body, Gaynor Senior High School is hereby disqualified from further games until an investigation has been concluded. This broken glass is going to be fingerprinted by the police, because what just happened was dangerous attempted assault. This in itself, is cause for the offending school to be terminated from competition."
"Madam Referee, the MHSAA is terminating this competition in favor of the Hampton Senior High School Lady Tigers, who didn't have to cheat to try to win. However, nobody is free to leave yet, because before asking to be recognized, I called the police. We are either going to have decent sportsman like conduct, or the offenders will not compete. That is according to the MHSAA handbook. If any student disagrees with the judgement of the chair, please read the MHSAA handbook."
Two police officers were shown on to the courts. They looked at the bottle, and asked Leigh where she was standing when the bottle landed. Leigh showed them, then one of the officer's called for a picture and fingerprint squad. When Leigh looked at her mother, she saw she was talking to a man. Leigh excused herself and went by her mother.
"Shhh. It's okay, punkin. When we get home, we are going to talk. Let's get through this, first."
One of the officer's came over by Leigh. "If we find the person who did this, is sixteen years or older, we are going to prosecute for felony endangering safety. If that bottle had hit you in the head, it could have knocked you out, or even caused you to go in to a coma. That is a Coca Cola bottle. The bottom is heavier than most soda bottles. Right now, our picture and fingerprint squad is photographing the crime scene and taking fingerprints from the glass. We are also going to be questioning the other school's students. One of them threw that bottle, since bottles can't throw themselves. So, give us your information. Your name is Leigh Anne Smythe?"
"You are fourteen years old?"
"What is your date of birth?"
"August 14, 1996. So you will be fifteen this year."
"Are these your parents?"
"What is your address?"
"23226 Palisades Drive, in Waterford."
"Do you know your phone number?"
"Yes, sir. It is 525-6446."
"Where do you go to school?"
"Here, at Hampton Senior High School."
"Alright, Leigh, I guess that will do it. You and your folks may leave. If we have any more questions we may stop by or call. Thank you for your cooperation."
Leigh and her parents left the courts. They walked back in the building so Leigh could get her books for homework, and found another note taped to her locker with her homework assignments on it.
They then went out to the waiting car in the parking lot, and after everybody was buckled in, Geraldine Smythe drove for home.
Leigh Anne - Chapter 9
by Barbara Lynn Terry
Part I - Leigh's father returns.
As Geri drove in to the drive way of their home, She looked in the rear view mirror at Leigh, and found she was asleep. Geri Smythe smiled to herself and thought that her daughter must have been really tired. But it was only going on five thirty, and she had dinner to get done.
"Leigh, honey, we're home."
"I must have been really tired. Daddy, what...uhm...I don't..."
"It's alright, punkin. We will talk at dinner. I have a few things to say. But there is one thing that can't wait. Can you forgive a foolish man for being so insensitive towards his daughter?"
"Oh, daddy, I have been so worried about you. Are you going to...stay, now?"
"Yes, sweetie, I am. I will tell you all about it at dinner."
"Mom, daddy, I'm going to go upstairs and change in to something a little more comfy than this restricitng tennis outfit. Be right down."
When Leigh got in to her room, she sat on her bed, and thought about what happened on the court. She wondered who threw the bottle, but since she was not hurt, or even hit with the bottle, her thoughts turned to her father.
He hadn't been gone that long, and when she saw him at the court, he seemed almost like another person. Leigh wondered out loud what could have happened to make him change his mind like this? Well, she thought, if he is here to stay, maybe we can have a complete family, after all. She got in to her sleep shirt with the three bears and Goldilocks on the front, sitting at the bears table, eating from a bowl. The words on the nightshirt said, "...and she tried the third bowl, and it was just right." Leigh stepped in to her slippers and put her robe on. She then went back downstairs, to see if her mother needed any help.
“Do you need any help, mom?”
“No, dear, you just ... well, yes, as a matter of fact. Will you please set the table, and put the salad out on the table?”
While Leigh was doing this, She thought again about how her father had called her punkin and even smiled. He wasn’t yelling, or calling her names, nor was he being mean. Instead of wanting to leave, he said we would wait. What exactly is going on? Leigh went to tell her mother that she was done, and her mother told her to tell her father to wash his hands for dinner.
“Daddy, mom says you have to wash your hands, and that dinner is ready.”
“Alright, punkin. I will be right there.” He was only gone for a few minutes. As he sat down, he looked at Leigh and his wife.
“I suppose you both want me to explain why I have a change of mind. Well, the last two days have not been the best for me. I was at the hotel we went to when we went on our honeymoon, and as luck would have it, they gave me the same room.
“I sat in this room, ordered a pizza, and started thinking about the wonderful times we had. The wonderful childhood that Leigh has had and the friends that Leigh has made. Then I thought about what has happened recently. I couldn’t grasp the idea that my son wanted to play as a girl on a high school girls team. I even called the MHSAA and tried to get Leigh disqualified. I...”
“Excuse me, daddy. But, is that why Miss Constantine came to the house?”
“I guess so, punkin. When I was told there would be an association investigation in to the matter, they hung up. That was number one. Number two, was yesterday, I came to watch the tournament, and when that girl from the other school told everybody you were a male, it didn’t seem to bother anybody. I didn’t get it, at first. But when I heard the referee say that you were transgendered, I thought ‘could there be no end to this perversion’? I watched the rest of the tournament, and decided to come back today to see the finish. That was when it suddenly hit me like a bolt of lightning, when I saw you play. You moved naturally like any other girl, you swung your racquet like the women I have seen playing tennis on tv. When you ran to the net to hit the ball, you kept your thighs together, and your body swiveled like the girls bodies do, when they walk or run.
“So, I said to my self, I said, ‘self, this isn’t your son, this is your daughter, and you owe her an apology’. So, I am asking you both. Can you forgive a stupid bum like me for getting angry at the two of you?” Mother and daughter got up and gave hin such a hug that said, ‘yes, we forgive you, you big ox.’
Geri Smythe kissed her husband and told him that it she has been too lonely the past two nights. That was when the doorbell rang. Leigh answered it to find Debbie Constantine there.
“Miss Constantine, please, come in. We were just sitting down to dinner. Would you like to join us?”
“Why, even at home, you are such a gracious hostess. I will sit with you and have a cup of coffee, while you eat. We need to talk about a few things.”
“You may put your coat here in this closet, or drape in along the back of this chair.”
“Thank you, Leigh.”
“The dining room is this way.”
Leigh led the way, and then showed Debbie Constantine where to sit.
“I’m not sure I remember your name,” Geri Smythe told Debbie.
“It is Deborah Constantine, but I prefer to be called Debbie. Deborah is way too formal.” After Leigh poured her a cup of coffee, Debbie continued. “We at the MHSAA allowed Leigh to play in this tournament, because it was not only a request, but a plea from the school to allow this boy to play as a girl on the Hampton High School Lady Tigers tennis team. We decided I should come and look the situation over. We tentatively approved you to play after being assured you were very feminine looking, and that we had nothing to worry about. We were concerned, too, about strength, because male athletes are stronger and taller than their female counterparts. But, when I came here to invesitgate, I didn’t see a boy, I saw a girl. I didn’t see anything I haven’t seen on the girls. Of course, I didn’t see you naked, either.” There were giggles, while Leigh’s father laughed.
“Anyway, this brings up a further issue. Continued eligibility to play as a girl for Hampton Senior High School. I talked with Mr. Thompson, your school principal, before coming here. He said that he would have no objections to you continuing to play on the Lady Tigers tennis, volleyball and badminton teams. Since the same girls on the tennis team are the ones for the other games, we decided that Leigh Anne Smythe is not only the star player for Hampton, but also the epitome of femininity. When Geraldine Watkins told everybody about you, yesterday, you didn’t let it bother you. You kept playing as though what she said was about somebody else. Then, when the two sets were done, you shook her hand at the net. I was very pleased to see you actually show that kind of sportsman like conduct. That is what we want to see in our athletes, whether they are boys or girls.
“Another thing is, too, I understand you need another school in the conference to play next week. Gaynor Senior High School has been put on a probationary status with the association. The police did find the boy who threw the bottle at you. He is Geraldine Watkins’ boyfriend. Geraldine Watkins and her boyfriend have been taken to detention, because he told the police it was Miss Watkins idea to get you out of the game by any means necessary. Since he is fourteen, I will be talking with the social worker from child protective services, about having Miss Watkins and her boyfriend sent to the proper state homes. The court can’t even try them as adults, because they aren’t sixteen."
"But, why is she angry with me? I mean, I have seen her at the White Tower on 12th and Mitchell, and we even talked really nice with each other. It wasn't until after I was on the squad that she was angry with me."
"Well, Leigh, Geraldine Watkins is what we call an egotist. She thinks she is the best of ... well ... everything. When someone who is better than she is comes along, she tries whatever she can to get that person out of the tournaments. She is not a good winner, because she brags about being the best and she is a very sore loser. When we have our meeting on Monday, next week, I am going to recommend that Gaynor Senior High School be eliminated from the conference. This way, they won't have another school to play, because every senior high school, except them, right now, are members of the association and have to abide by conference rules.
"But, that wouldn't be fair to the other players on the teams that play according to the rules. I would say, though, that maybe you could eliminate Debbie Adams, because she was trying really hard to get it so that Geri could play."
"I know, Leigh, and I told her that I would have her school disqualified if I found out her pretending to be hurt was a ruse to get Miss Watkins to play. I asked her if that is what she wanted, and she said no. So I told her to get up and continue playing. Okay, so, then on Monday, I will file a report against Debbie Adams and send a copy of the report to Mrs. Archer, Gaynor's principal. But, even though Gaynor has been placed on probationary status, they have been penalized by being suspended from playing against any school, next weekend. It will give them time to reflect what kind of athletes they want for their teams."
"I wish there was another way."
"I do too, Leigh. Well, I should be going. You ..."
"Oh, Miss Constantine? Would it be alright if our school practiced on the clay courts at the college in the next county? This way, if we do have to play on a clay court, then we will be ready."
"I will call Mr. Thompson in the morning and discuss it with him. You have a good night, everyone."
Debbie Constantine left Leigh's and got in her car. As she drove away, Leigh couldn't help but think that Gaynor was being punished for the actions of a few. She would talk to Mr. Thompson tomorrow about this. She thought that it wasn't fair that the whole school be punished for what a few bad people did.
Leigh's mother wanted to watch telelvision, but Leigh's mind wasn't in it. She had to get Gaynor back in the conference for next week. Winning by default, wasn't the way Leigh wanted to win a tournament. She wanted to win on it's own merits.
"Mother, we need to get the association to keep Gaynor in the conference for next week. I mean, it wasn't the whole school who did wrong. It was just a few, and I do agree these few need to be suspended from playing. But it isn't fair to suspend the whole school."
"You are an angel, Leigh. You really do have a kind heart. I will tell you what. I will call the association and tell them what you said. Then, I will call Mr. Thompson and tell him. So, when you talk to him, he will know exactly what is on your mind."
"Thank you, mom. I'm not interested in watching tv, so I will just go to bed early. Good night mom. I love you," Leigh said, giving her mom a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Then she went by her father and told him the same thing.
"Bed? Already? It's only seven thirty."
"I have a lot to think about, daddy. See you in the morning."
Leigh went to her room, and crawled in bed. Activity like playing tennis or just going shopping and being on your feet for hours, can make a body tired. Leigh was alseep in no time.
That night, she dreamed that she was at the Gaynor courts playing against Geri Watkins. She saw the laughter as Leigh made one mistake after another. It was when the referee yelled Hampton, out that Leigh woke up. Leigh got out of bed and went to use the bathroom. She couldn't help but wonder what had woke her up. She got back in bed, and didn't dream any more that night.
The next morning, Leigh got up just as her alarm started to buzz. She got out of bed, stretched, and got her bath caddy and put on her robe and slippers. She would get her clothes out after her shower. She wanted to take a bath, but she didn't have the time. She wanted to talk to Mr. Thompson today, before school started.
Leigh dressed in her Khaki colored cargo pants, a light brown shirt with a western applique to it, her anklets, and her brown Mary Jane's. She brushed out her hair, and put it in a high pony tail, and went down to breakfast.
"Good morning, punkin. Going on a safari today?"
"Yes daddy. I'm going in to the dangerous jungle called school. They have monkeys, gorillas, hyenas, and donkeys there. They have cats of all kinds, and they even have snakes. So, I am going in armed with my wits, and my ability to dodge a barb thrown from one of the gorillas."
"Well, schools have certainly come a long way from when your mother and I went. When the last day of school was over for the summer, we would say 'school's out, school's out, teacher let the monkeys out'. We had fun."
"That's funny, daddy."
Leigh gave him a hug and kiss on his cheek, and went in the kitchen for a small breakfast. Leigh's favorite breakfast was a slice of jelly toast, with milk and juice. After she was finished, she put her glasses in the sink, wiped her part of the table off, and gave her mother a hug and kiss on the cheek.
"I love you, mom. See you after school."
"I love you, too, sweetie. Have a good day."
"I love you daddy," Leigh said as she grabbed her book bag and headed out of the door.
Patty's mother was just driving up, as Leigh walked out of the house.
"Good morning, Mrs. Langston. Hi Patty, Darlene." They all said good morning. "I have an idea. We need to get the squad together, and go in the office and tell Mr. Thompson that it isn't fair to suspend the whole school for what a few did. I want to to go to state as much as anybody, but not like this. I would like to think that we got to state on our abilities and not because of a penalty against another school."
"You are so right, Leigh. We will see where the whole squad is, and get everybody together. This way, too, when he sees that we all want the same thing, I'm sure we will be playing Gaynor, next weekend."
"Leigh, do you always think good about others, even the ones who have done you wrong?"
"Why not, Mrs. Langston? Didn't Jesus forgive us on the cross?"
"Yes, I guess He did."
"Then I can forgive those who do wrong to me, or even my friends or all of us together. Mrs. Langston, I want to win to go to state, not be raised on the ladder because another school was disqualified. That isn't the way I want to go to state. I want to earn my right to be at the state semi finals and finals."
"I'm with you, Leigh," Patty and Darlene said, together.
"Well, Leigh, I have to commend you on your sportsman like conduct. A lot of schools would just rub it in to the others that they got to state because someone else messed up. But you, you want to actually earn the right by winning, instead of just being put ahead of another school."
"That is what I am saying, Mrs. Langston. The whole Gaynor team didn't do anything wrong. It was Just Geri Watkins, her boyfriend and Debbie Adams. I do agree they should be suspended from playing, but not the rest of the their tennis squad."
"Well, here we are girls. Good luck talking to Mr. Thompson."
"Thank you Mrs. Langston."
"You're very welcome, Leigh. Go get 'em Tiger." Leigh did a tiger claw motion and went "rawwwr".
The girls went inside the school after finding the rest of the squad. They marched right in to the office and told the secretary they needed to see Mr. Thompson on an urgent matter. They waited a while, and were all shown in to the principal's office.
"What can I do for you ladies, so early in the morning?"
"We have a dilemma, Mr. Thompson. Miss Constantine is going to recommend that Gaynor High be suspended from playing next week against any school. Mr. Thompson, that puts us one school in favor of us going to state. I don't want it like that. I want to win the games, and be able to go to state on my own merits, not because another school was disqualified. Would you be able to call the association, and let them know what we said. I mean, we all talked about it, and we are all agreed."
Mr. Thompson sat back in chair, and looked at his tennis squad. He was thinking that Leigh certainly has the spirit, and is thinking only of others. That is how a good athlete thinks. After a few minutes, he smiled at the girls.
"Yes, ladies, I will definitely tell them what you said. I'm sure if I get right on it, I can actually talk to Miss Constantine and get her to only suspend the guilty parties."
"Thank you, Mr. Thompson. I hear the first bell, so we had better go to homeroom. Let us know after school or during lunch what you find out."
"I certainly will."
The girls all left to go to their lockers and sort out their morning books, then head off to their homeroom. As everybody sat in their homerooms, Mr. Thompson delivered the announcements.
"Boys and girls and staff, I was approached by our varsity Lady Tigers and asked to call the MHSAA and ask that only the guilty parties at Gaynor be suspended from playing, but not the whole school. Miss Debbie Constantine of the MHSAA told me that three separate incident reports would be filed against the two Gaynor players that were so angry at our Leigh Anne Smythe, and she said also, that she is filing a report against one of the Gaynor player's boyfriends, because he threw the soda bottle at Leigh.
"It is very commendable that our varisty Lady Tigers don't wish to see anybody punished that had nothing to do with the campaign against our Leigh Anne. Next weekend we will be playing Gaynor on their clay courts. Also, the school board has approved tennis practice for our Lady Tigers as an extracurricular activity to be held at the college in the next county. The college has graciously consented to let us use their clay courts for free. If you are all wondering how we go this done so fast, you can all thank Leigh Anne, because this was her idea. Yes, Leigh, the rest of the Lady Tigers told me. Thank you, Leigh, for thinking of others before yourself. This concludes the announcements. Have a good day everybody."
Leigh turned a thousand shades of red, purple, orange, blue and red, again. She never was one for taking credit for anything, except her studies, and if she had help, she gave the other person credit in class for helping her. Leigh Anne Smythe is a star, rising, because she looks out for others before herself.
Leigh Anne - Chapter 10
by Barbara Lynn Terry
As Leigh Sat in her first period class, she thought hard about the upcoming match. What made Leigh a good student is, she was able to multitask. She could be thinking like she was, about the upcoming match against Gaynor, and still be able to listen to the teacher, and get her class work done. The sign of a well rounded girl whether young or older, is that she has her feet firmly planted on planet Earth, and can multitask.
Leigh, was, in a nutshell, well rounded. The entire Varsity squad depended on her to carry the team, if the others fell. Leigh was concerned about this, because what would happen if she had an accident? What would happen if she was kept home on a tournament day because the doctor had ordered it? Well, this is something Leigh had a passing thought about, but just as quickly dismissed it. When they go against Gaynor, nobody is going to know that they Hampton Lady Tigers had been practicing all week at the Birn University campus in the next county. Tonight will be the first night the girls will practice on a clay court. Leigh had told her mother about the practice, and she should be back by dinner.
The morning passed quickly for Leigh. The bell for lunch rang. Leigh went to her locker and put her morning books away. After closing and locking her locker, Leigh headed for the cafeteria. WhenLeigh got to the cafeteria, she saw they were having stroganoff, again. This was not one of Leigh's favorite lunches, but she was going to need all the energy she could get. She took a full tray, a milk,and then went to sit by the squad, that had already domineered a whole table. As Leigh sat down, Patty Langston couldn't help but remark on Leigh's tray.
"Girl, you are going to get fat, eating that."
"Not really, Patty. When we practice tonight at the college, I will wear it all off. Besides, I need all the energy I can get."
"That you do, girlfriend. Listen, We should only practice certain plays on the those courts. If we become somewhat decent in their execution, then we can spring them on Gaynor. They won't be expecting us to be able to play well on their courts."
"I see what you're getting at. The clay courts are soft, and the balls don't bounce as well as they do on concrete. If we can practice our lobs and aces, then we will have a better chance of defeating Gaynor."
"Exactly, Leigh," Darlene added. "All we have to do now, is defeat Gaynor, and we are on our way to state. But remember, Leigh, that at the state semi finals and finals, we will be playing different schools from across the state. So we had better be better than the school we are playing against."
Leigh was not a glory seeker, but she has dreamed of being able to play in a competition. When the squad inducted her in to their ranks, that dream became closer to reality. Before becoming a Hampton Lady Tiger, Leigh had never thought about dressing, being, or wanting to be a girl. But all the ciscumstances led to her becoming her mother's daughter. Well, today is only Monday, and she sees the doctor again on Friday.
But, in the meantime, Leigh will be thinking about state and winning the local tournament to go to the state finals. That is the dream of every high school and college athlete. Maybe, she thought, she should have taken up golf, instead. Leigh giggled to herself when she thought that. The bell ending lunch, rang, and everybody put their trays away and left to get their afternoon books. They were still walking to their lockers when the public address system boomed with Mr. Thompson's voice.
"Will the varsity Lady Tigers tennis squad, please report to the girls gym. The varsity Lady Tigers to the girls gym, please."
The entire squad was abuzz with conversation as they entered the girls gym.
"Ladies, ladies, please settle down," Mrs. Madison, the girls gym coach instructed. "I have been given permission by Mr. Thompson to be able to practice at the college during school hours. This way, we will be on an official school hours field trip. I know that you all brought your tennis clothes and racquets. So, here it is.
"In a bit, we will go out to the bus , and leave for the college. Now, I want to emphasize that playing on a clay court is a lot different than playing on concrete." Leigh raised her hand. "Yes, Leigh."
"Mrs. Madison, we were talking at lunch, and we agreed that we need to practice our lobs and aces if we are going to defeat Gaynor. This way, if we can become a little good at playing on clay, then Gaynor will do like that did when they played here. They will underestimate us, and that will be to our advantage."
"Leigh, did I ever tell you that you are a samrt girl? You are right, that is what I was going to tell you. So, if we are ready, and we know what tactics we need to practice on, let's go."
They all went out of the school, in to a nice warm school bus. Since it was only the squad, the driver and Mrs. Madsion, nobody sat on the "hump". This made for a smooth ride to the college campus. The bus pulled up to the gate, leading in to the courts. Mrs. Madison, went in the office to tell them they were there. She was told that the coach would be right out. Mrs. Madison went back by the girls.
Mrs. Madison gave the girls the lineup, and they started practicing. Leigh against Darlene were first.
"Ladies, be careful of the uneven spots in the court. If the ball lands in one of them, your play could be dead before you even have a chance to return the ball to your opponent. All right, then, Darlene, you serve first."
Darlene hit the ball at an angle, and Leigh, even though she was fast, could not return the ball. Leigh thought, too, that Gaynor has had practice on these kinds of courts, so Leigh decided she needed to be just a tad quicker.
"That was a good effort, Leigh, but be just a little quicker, if you can."
With 15-Love, Darlene served again. This time, Leigh was ready, but the volley didn't last beyond a few returns apiece. The score was tied at 15. Darlene, eager to show Leigh the ups and downs of playing on a clay court, served an ace. it was now 30-15." Mrs. Madison told each girl, that was what they needed to be prepared for. Darlene had served the perfect ace, hitting just inside the serve line, before it bounced away. Darlene served again, this time, she served directly to Leigh, and the volley lasted a few minutes, but in the end, it was Darlene's point. Now, with the score at 40-15, Darlene served her triple advantage shot.
The ball was returned and Leigh on the third return from Darlene, missed it making the score 41-15.
"Good effort, ladies, ..." Mrs. Madison was interrupted by Gloria Edmonton, the women's varsity basketball coach.
"Good afternoon, ladies, I'm Miss Gloria Edmonton, I teach gymnastics and I am the women's basketball coach. I was watching this game, and you ladies play beautifully. I think a week's practice here, will get you in shape for the coming weekend. I want you all to know a little secret. I went to Hampton High. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIGERS!!!! So, you have my support. When I heard about your request to practice here, I told the Dean that I would be delighted to supervise the Hampton Lady Tigers. By the way, I hear that you're playing Gaynor on Saturday. I will be there cheering you all on to victory." Miss Edmonton giggled, then said; "I should bring the cheer squad with me. Gaynor would be so distracted, you ladies would win hands down. But we can't have any noise on the courts while the players are playing. But, it was a thought." Everybody giggled.
"It would serve them right, for what they did to Leigh," Cheryl Master said, with annoyance.
"Yes, I heard about that. Which one is Leigh?" Leigh raised her hand. "Leigh, I hear you are very good on concrete. Let's see how good you are on clay by the time Saturday gets here. Remember what Mrs. Madison said. Be careful of the uneven spots on the courts. After a week of practicing here, you will all be ready to defeat the Lady Cougars. So, whose next?"
Mrs. Madison called Dorothy Winston and Mary Whithers out to the court.
"You both saw how Leigh and Darlene played. I want you two to be able to improve on that. Lobs and aces, ladies. It is the only way we can defeat Gaynor. Mary, you serve first."
The two girls took their side of the court, and Mary stood at the serve line, ready to serve. She served the ball to Dot, and Dot sent it back to her with a spin. The ball landed just inside the net, and bounced back once, hitting the bottom of the net on Mary's side. It was Love-15. This was the kind of return that Dorothy Winston was going to practice on, because their coming opponent would not expect her to be good at it. Mary served again for an ace, making the score 15-15.
What these girls needed to really practice on, were inside aces. That is a serve that lands the ball a little over the net on the opponent's side. Most of these aces cannot be returned, because the opponent was not ready for them, or was too far away from the play, that the opponent could not return it. Before Mary served again, Dorothy moved up to the net.
Mary served attempring an inside ace, but Dorothy returned it. The volley lasted only for a few minutes, before the ball dropped dead on Mary's side of the court. It was 15-30. At this point, Mrs. Madison spoke to the players.
"Girls, this is precisely what you have to be ready for. On clay, the ball may suddenly hit your side of the court and not even bounce, or may bounce low. Try to anticipate this, and be ready to return the ball, even if you have to move like the wind to make the return. Mary, you are doing good, but your serve technique needs a slight improvement."
"May I show her what you are talking about," Gloria Edmonton volunteered.
"Yes, Gloria, by all means."
Gloria took Mary's racquet and tossed the ball as if she were going to serve it. Mrs. Madison took another racquet and Gloria and her played a few volleys to show the girls just how the ball should be played on a clay court. Gloria gave Mary her racquet back, and Mrs. Madison and Mary played a few volleys, until Mary understood what her coach had said.
"All right, Mary, it is your serve."
The score was 15-30 and Mary served the ball again. The ball hit Mary's side of the net.
Mary served her second serve and this time Dorothy returned it a few times before it landed at Mary's right foot. The score was now 15-40. Mary served again, and this time it was an ace for 30-40. Then on a player error, Mary served the ball, and Dorothy hit it past Mary, but just inside the line. Dorothy won the game.
"All right, Leigh and Darlene. Darlene, take the court facing away from the sun. Leigh take the court facing the sun. Leigh it is your serve."
Leigh served the ball, and prepared for the volley, but the ball hit a "dent" in the clay and bounced low, making the score 15-Love. With leigh's next serve, they volleyed back and forth for about eight minutes. Leigh hit the ball out, and it was 15-15.
"Leigh, try to hit the ball away from the 'dents'. This way, the volley lasts longer, and you have a better chance at getting the next point."
"Thank you, Mrs. Madison."
This was the week that the Hampton Lady Tigers needed so they would be able to play on the Gaynor Lady Cougars clay courts. Leigh was a little rusty on these courts, but after this week, she should be as good as any Gaynor player. This wasn't a competition to see who was better than the other, or to lord itover the other team, but, it was a competition for the best school to be able to go to the state tournament in Lansing and maybe, just maybe, go to the nationals which was being held at Jacksonville, Florida.
Leigh served the ball, and Darlene wasn't fast enough, making the score 30-15. With Leigh's next serve, Darlene returned it for a point, making the score 30-30. On Leigh's next serve, she hit the ball just inside the right corner and the score was now 40-30. Leigh's next serve was an ace and Leigh won the game.
"Leigh, you did better, but remember, you must try to hit the ball away from the 'dents' in the clay. No clay court is perfect, no matter how much they try and smooth it out. The history of tennis is a disuptable subject with some saying it was first played as a handball game either aganst a wall, or over a rope. Some say it was first played by French monks who played jeu de paume, meaning game of the hand, and that the word tennis derives from the French tenez meaning 'take this' which the serving player would say to the other. Whoever started playing the game in its earliest forms, we know that the game we call tennis is played between two or four people, on a concrete, clay or grass surface, and that there is money to be made if you play professional tennis. Today, we know the game to be how we play it now.
"Ladies, you all did fine. Today, and tomorrow, Gloria said we can have the court for as long as we want it. Gloria, thank you for letting us practice here."
"You are more than welcome. Where is your next game?"
"At Gaynor. That is why we need the practice here, because they have clay courts."
"Well, I am a Lady Tiger, still, so I will be there to cheer on my alma mater. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIGERS!"
As they all got on the bus, Gloria gave each of the girls a big hug and said she would see them tomorrow. She told the girls that she was the college supervising instructor for the time that the Hampton Lady Tigers would be practicing on the college courts.
When they got back to the school, Geraldine Smythe was waiting for Leigh.
"Well, how did practice go?"
"We had fun, and I tried a different way to do my lobs and aces, because the ball doesn't bounce on clay, like it does on concrete. But we have the rest of the week to become a little decent in playing on a clay court. The college gymnastics coach also went to Hampton, too, and said she will be there when we play Gaynor to 'cheer her alma mater on'. She is really nice."
"Well, I'm glad you had fun. Want to stop and have a bite. It's kind of late to start dinner. By the way, your father said, that he will be at the college for the rest of the week, so this way he can bring you home, when practice is over."
"That would be nice, mom, But I still have to go back to the school to get my homework assignments and my books I am going to need."
"Well, alright, dear, but just so you know, he will be there. Maybe we will both come, and then we can go out for dinner, instead of making it at home."
"That would be nice, mother."
"Did you do good, though?"
"Well, kinda. Clay is a lot different though, because it isn't completely smoothed out like a concrete court is. Everytime the ball hits the clay, during play, it makes a 'dent' in the clay. Sometimes the ball hits the other side, and may stop dead in the 'dent'. So we have four more days of practice, then we play Gaynor on Saturday. This is going to be the game that decides who goes to state."
"Well, your father and I will be there. We want to cheer you on to victory." Leigh smiled, when her mother said that.
"Thanks, mom." Leigh laid her head on her mother's shoulder, and Geraldine Smythe held her daughter. She knew that Leigh was going to have a very tough week.
"Leigh, Buckle up, and we will go to Zebb's for something to eat. Your father called and said he would meet us there. So, what do you want when we get there?"
How about the twenty one shrimp basket? We can share it, while dad eats his steak dinner."
"Is that all you want? Don't you want a burger plate?"
"No, mom. I need to eat light because I don't need to have a heavy feeling when I am playing. The shrimp will be all right for tonight, because I will have a light lunch at school tomorrow. I will be all right, mom."
"Well, okay, if that's what you want. I just worry about the way you have been eating lately."
"Thanks, mom, I really appreciate that, but I have been cutting down on what I eat. I want to eat as healthy as I can."
Geraldine Smythe smiled to herself. She knew that Leigh would be okay because she was a strong girl.
"It's alright, sweetie. the twenty one shrimp basket it is."
Part II - At Zebb's.
Geraldine Smythe drove in to the parking lot and parked the car. They both got out of the car, and started for the door. As they walked in to the restaurant, Leigh saw her father sitting at one of the tables. Zebb's had tables, booths and a counter with stools. Leigh showed her mother where he was sitting, and they went over by him. Leigh gave her father a hug after her mother did the same.
"Hello, daddy. Did you like the games I played?"
"Yes, I did, punkin. You play as well as some of the professional women tennis players I have seen on television. Have you given any thought to continue playing when you get to college?"
"If I get to college, daddy, I will continue playing. The reason we are having our tournaments this late in the season, is because of the unusually warm temperatures. I mean, there is hardly any snow on the ground, and it is warm enough to wear tennis dresses or skirt outfits."
"I noticed, too, that when you sit down to take a break, you cover your lap with a towel. Why is that?"
"For modesty. Because our outfits are so short, we cover ourselves up to our knees, because that is what a lady does to protect her dignity. There are a lot of perverts in the stands that like looking under our skirts to see if they can see what they're not supposed to see." He laughed, while Leigh and her mom giggled.
"Well, that is a good way to keep your dignity, I must say. But, you play like a professional."
"That is because I have played every weekend at Burnham Park. Every time I play, I try something new. Tennis is not as simple as it looks, daddy. There are a lot of complicated plays that can be done. We just have to practice them."
"You watch tennis on television, and you see that sometimes a player will hit the ball and it will spin, making the other player miss it. There is a way to make the ball spin, by hitting it with your racquet on an angle. Sometimes, the ball will hit the net for a fault and the opponent's score. But, the game is fun, and it is good exercise."
"Yes, it certainly is. I have never seen an overweight tennis player."
Leigh giggled when she said, "I never have either, daddy."
I think tomorrow you, me and your mother, will be there to watch you practice. Then afterwards we can go out to eat."
"Daddy, I still have to go back to the school to pick up my homework assignments and the books I will need. Then we can go out to eat."
"That sounds wonderful, punkin."
"Leigh," her mother cut in. "I was thinking that this weekend we could go shopping. Mine and your father's anniversary is coming up, and I need to get a nice outfit for that day."
"I'd like to tag along, if it is all right with the majority."
"Well, dear," Geraldine Smythe added, "this is our fifteenth wedding anniversary, and it is the same rules as in the wedding. You cannot see the bride, until she is at the altar."
"Yes, dear, altar. We are going to renew our wedding vows."
"Now that sounds like a plan. Leigh, would you like to give the bride away?"
"I would like that, daddy."
"Have you picked out the place where we are going to do this?"
"Yes, I was thinking St. Peter's on twenty third and Greenfield."
"That's where we got married. So, then where exactly did you plan on having the reception?"
"At the Outback, over by Southridge."
"Did you invite any of our friends?"
"Iinvited everybody I could get a hold of, including your mom and dad, my mom and dad, your brothers and sisters, my brother and sister, and everybody who wanted to attend. Everybody has chipped in for a wonderful day to have a wedding. Leigh, do you know what day your father and I got married?"
"No, mom, I don't think I was there." Her father laughed while Leigh and her mother giggled.
"Well, your father and I were married on St. Patrick's Day and you were born a year later. So, we all need to go and get decent outfits for the occasion. Then everybody is going over to the Outback by Southridge for the reception dinner and party. In fact, we had enough money to reserve the entire restaurant for that day."
"That is a costly renewal."
"Dear, we are going re-celebrate the first of the two best days in our lives. Yes, it was costly, but everybody that I could get a hold of that was there, and several of our new friends, chipped in tomake this day a wonderful and exciting day for us and everyone there. Don't worry, dear, I didn't rob Peter to pay Paul."
"Mom, what was the second best day in your lives?"
"The day you were born," her mother and father said in unison.
Leigh thought that now this was a family. She had heard that sometimes married people renew their vows, sometimes twice in the time they are married. She thought that this was the ultimate commitment of renewal, and she was proud to have these two people as her parents and her two closest, best friends.
They finished their meal, paid the cashier and went out to their cars. Leigh decided to ride home with her father.
St. Peter's Evanglical Lutheran Church is located at 2235 W. Greenfield Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204. (414)384-3447.
The Outback Steakhouse is located at 7401 West Barnard Avenue, Greenfield, Wisconsin (a suburb of Milwaukee). (414)817-1800
Burnham Park is located at 3300 West Burnham Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215 (The park is 1 block wide and 2 blocks long. The tennis courts are directly across the street from the main park at South 35th and West Burnham Streets).