Allison Zero - Book 1 - Part 10

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A dark metallic hallway on a space station, functional and industrial with signs of advanced technology, with a large hexagonal window with a view of a star field. Faint pink text with the words ‘Allison Zero’ are centred on the window to the star field.

After waking Allison received news she didn’t believe at first but instantly realised she loved, Dr. Grace confirmed Allison is changing. Allison is becoming who she wants to be. Now she just needs to let time work its magic and keep doing what she’s doing.

What Allison would really like, however, is for things to slow down. Not the changes, rather she’d like to get time to enjoy who she is, but she doesn’t even know if that’s possible. She knows she’s unique in the history of the deep-space station, and maybe that means things will never be slow and normal. But what’s more normal, in all this newness, than a lunch with Angie?

By now Angie’s face wasn’t just beaded with sweat but coated with it as she blew a quick breath through pursed lips. “Fuck!” she said, shaking her head in disbelief.

“Good?” Allison asked.

“I can’t feel my mouth.” Angie wiped her running nose with a scrunched up napkin. “That was hot! Amazing! How can I still talk?”

Allison stabbed the last lump of lamb with her fork and spooned up some rice with it. “There’s so much good food on this station if you can actually afford it.”

“And as long as you’re allowed to buy it for yourself,” Angie said, smirking.

Allison chewed on the meat, savouring every last bit, then swallowed. She shrugged. “I coped without it before, I can cope without it again.”

“Please! You already have one man in your stable you’ll quickly find it’s easy to add more. Eventually all you’ll have to do to get a meal or a night out is know which of them to smile at on a particular day. Some you’ll just have to say, ‘Hello,’ to. It’s easy. Anyway, Robert is a foot freak. Casually cross your legs and let a heel dangle and you could convince him to murder for you.”

Allison didn’t say anything as she gently placed a stray lock of hair behind her ear and crossed her legs beneath the table, brushing her foot against Angie’s calf. Then she smiled as she turned her head to avoid Angie’s questioning, wide-eyed stare.

Angie shot back in her seat, face bursting with curiosity, then freezing in a look of amazement. “How did you know how to do that?” Angie asked.

“How about you buy me a drink and we talk?” Allison said, sliding a little on the cushioned bench, curling towards where Angie should sit. Where Allison would be all over her. And Angie could slide her hands over Allison.

Angie roared with laughter and reached for her whiskey and cola. She lifted it to take a drink and just as it was next to her lips she looked back at Allison, sputtered with laughter again, and quickly placed the glass back down. Then she wiped her whole face with a napkin she’d kept clean and unused throughout the meal.

“If there was any doubt about you being a woman... Doesn’t work on me, though,” Angie said, shaking her head.

“Yeah? Another sex dream tonight?” Allison asked.

“I fucking hope so!” Angie screamed, laughing again. “Seriously, though. How did you know to dress like that?” She waved her hand up and down as though indicating a human, and an entire outfit.

“Like what?”

“Calf-length, pale denim skirt, opaque stockings, nice comfy top. I like the shiny heart logo in the middle.”

Allison looked confused, and looked down at herself not really knowing what Angie was getting at.

“You dressed comfy... Relaxed...” Angie said.

“I felt like it.”

Angie shrugged, then grimaced a little, almost in annoyance, the excitement of Allison having shown her flirtations now completely forgotten. “It’s a Monday outfit. Pretty much every man is working. And if they worked the weekend they’re usually exhausted and taking it easy. Mondays are for us.” She took another drink of the cola.

Allison nodded, accepting it. It made sense. When she was a dude, and refusing to work — not simply not allowed to — Mondays were lazy days. After the weekend she, or the ‘he’ she thought she was, whoever that person was, would venture out from whatever rat-squat they’d found for themselves. It was usually when she went to the free cinema.

There was no-one coming onto anyone on Mondays. No woman would try to get anything out of the person Allison believed she was at the time. The public theatre didn’t show the new blockbusters, you had to pay for that, but the films were good, and pleasant. Some she’d seen tens of times and she knew she’d watch them again. She figured they were simply classics. They’d stood the test of time. She explained all this to Angie.

Angie nodded. “I don’t know how people didn’t figure this out before. Did you never see a doctor? Surely someone must have known something was up with you.”

Allison shook her head. “I didn’t even have a clue.”

Angie just nodded as silence fell over the table. A few minutes of simple comfort passed when a man approached them. “Hi,” he said to Angie.

“Yes?” Angie asked, dismissal in her tone.

“Nothing like that,” he said, with a smile. “You looked like you really enjoyed your meal—”


“More than her,” the man said, waving the basket he held in his hands towards Allison. “More than most who come here. I heard a little of your Monday conversation...” He looked towards Allison. “She’s right about Mondays. I worked the weekend. I’m drained. Not capable of playing game.” Then he looked back at Angie. “I don’t know what your deal is. I don’t care how you’re eating here. I assume some dude has paid for a pass for you two. If it’s tapped out I thought you could continue your chat with this...”

He put the basket he held down. Inside were some breads, and crispbreads, a few little nibbly bits. “There’s some credits with the counter for drinks, if you want. No pressure. You look like you’re having fun.”

“You’re cute,” Angie said, grabbing a poppadom. The words were said without any meaning behind them, mere filler, a ‘be gone now’ to the man; a ‘ you have served your purpose.’

“You like the food,” he said, smiling, as Angie happily crunched.

“Do you want to join us?” Allison asked.

The man smiled a gentler smile. “No. Today is Monday. It’s not about me. Enjoy!” he said, then walked away, and out of the restaurant, with Allison’s eyes on him. Allison not really thinking about what part of his body her eyes were specifically focused on.

Angie was loading some of the pickles that were included within the basket into her mouth, with a bread. “Is that normal?” Allison asked, when the man’s arse had departed.

“Normal? Yeah. Everyday..? No? I guess... It happens,” Angie said, sweat breaking out on her face again. “This is even hotter than... Fuck! That fucker did that on purpose!”

“Is it nice?”

Angie laughed, loading more of the too-spicy pickle into her maw. Then the two chatted as they continued to pass the time while the restaurant slowly emptied and re-filled.

Eventually, as the last of their drinks were finished, when both knew they didn’t want any more, Angie admitted something to Allison, something that had been on her mind. “There’s something missing from your get-up we should probably fix.”

Allison nodded. “I know. I need earrings. I’ve been thinking about it.” Allison almost looked disappointed.

“Earrings?” Angie said, confusion on her face. “Do you want to get your ears pierced?”

“I’ve always wanted to get my ears pierced,” Allison said. “It hasn’t been a men’s style since I was about thirteen. And even then it was fading out quickly. You see a few older guys with them, but not many. It’s kinda hot.”

Angie shook her head. “Yes! Damn! Let’s get you your ears pierced.”

“You didn’t mean earrings, did you? When you said something was missing?”

“No! I meant makeup. This is far more interesting. You always wanted your ears pierced?”

Allison nodded, looking quite young to Angie. Almost afraid.

“Oh, you poor baby! You should have said something. This the first time you’ve really wanted something for you. Of course we’ll get your ears pierced!”

“No... You’re right... I should get makeup. With my face like it is it’s more important. I know what makeup can do. I’ve watched enough women at parties touch up their own.”

Angie laughed. “Yet more fucking signs! You in the toilet with the non-bitches, chatting while they did their mascara. You were such a cool guy and now it’s obvious why! OK, come on we’ll get you your makeup. I know where to take you, they might have some material you can learn techniques from.”

Angie lead Allison on a journey through the station, probably longer than necessary but they both knew Allison needed a little exercise as well as ensuring she was well fed. Whatever route they took it was timed correctly. Just as Allison was starting to feel her energy drain they came to a store, clean and white, almost clinical, but still warm in tone. It was large, obviously part of a franchise, unlike Rowan’s. Whoever owned it pooled their money in a co-op with other business owners.

There was aisle after aisle of every beauty product imaginable. Or at least that Allison could imagine. And plenty of older women in smock dresses chatting away to other women, obviously helping them with their purchases. Allison saw one bored guy standing in front of a worker and another shopper who were deep in conversation.

Angie found the first free staff member, near a desk, who immediately asked how she could help.

“She wants her ears pierced,” Angie said, bold as brass.

“Angie!” Allison said, with a whine. “We’re here for makeup, Angie!”

“We can do both!” Angie said, still with certainty in her voice.

The woman nodded. “Ears, nose, we have some jewellery, bellybuttons are coming back in fashion. Makeup, styling, advice, I’m happy to just chat,” she said.

Angie turned to look at Allison, a sneer on her face. Or maybe more a challenge — daring Allison to disagree.

“Fine, yes! I would like my ears pierced, please,” Allison said.

“Like I’m forcing you.”

The woman smiled and nodded. “Have you had a piercing before?”

“No. Is that an issue?” Allison asked.

“Not at all. Come with me.” The woman lead Allison and Angie to a desk. “I’ll need to access your file to ensure a doctor hasn’t barred you from piercings. It won’t be an issue, the confirmation could be instant, or take a few minutes. I’ve had one issue in four years and I’ve done first piercings every second day, and sometimes multiples a day. From then on it’ll be ready to go whenever you need a piercing. It’s just about security levels in accessing your data, I think?”

The woman held a scanner up for Allison to swipe with her wrist. Which she did. Then Allison reached for her purse to take out her conn and actually issue the confirmation so the data could send.

“You don’t need your conn,” the woman said. “It’s so low-level I won’t get anything but a Yes or No, and if it’s a No I won’t even get your name. I’ll just tell you to talk to a doctor. Not even your own doctor, literally any. You could even get a message from one. There’ll only be a request for confirmation if there’s a bigger issue. Then it’s up to you. You can go to a doctor or me. I’ve never seen it happen. I can handle it if it happens.”

Angie was busy looking in a cabinet at the earrings available, obviously picking out things she liked.

“What are the ‘bigger issue’ things that happen?” Allison asked, knowing she could very well be one of those bigger issues.

The woman tilted her head to the side as if to say ‘don’t worry,’ but she did begin to speak, after what looked like a moment’s thought. “They’re not really bigger issues, more something that needs attention on the spot, or can get it. A strict ‘No’ is usually something you’re trying to get past your doctors with, you’ll have discussed it before. Or been warned. Some bigger issues I’ve heard of happening are someone who’s flagged an infectious illness warning without realising. They’re usually given a timeline for when they can get the piercing. Infectious things we don’t mess with.

“People with blood issues will typically be told either talk to their doctor or be recommended to a specialist piercer, almost always the specialist, I’ll get a suggestion on the spot if that’s the case, and you authorise it. I think there’s been a few cases where someone is under medical supervision and one of their doctors wants to be present with the specialist piercer. That’s usually not on the person getting pierced but more professional interest. The doctor and piercer can learn from it. Maybe a student.

“Anyway, nothing to worry about. Even in the worst case you might have to wait a week or two. Do you have something in mind for your first earrings?”

Allison was beginning to feel worried. It seemed like the woman had given a speech and her confirmation still hadn’t come through. She tried to distract herself thinking of the earrings she wanted, but she didn’t need to think. They were the exact same ones she’d wanted since she was thirteen. She remembered seeing them on men, and women. She even remembered how some of the people wearing them looked. In quite specific detail. “Circular gold studs, in the centre a small, circular, green—”

The woman burst out in a huge smile. “Oh! A classic! You’ve wanted them since you were a little girl, haven’t you?”

“Since I was thirteen,” Allison said, with a smile of her own this time, almost blushing, or maybe feeling tears beginning to come on.

“Did you see a beautiful woman you wanted to be like wearing them?” The woman paused. “Or did you have a crush on a guy? Men used to wear them, I remember a friend of...” The woman sighed. So did Allison. The woman opened her eyes wide at Allison as if demanding to know.

But she did know. And Allison knew she knew, at some level. And Allison didn’t quite understand why she was blushing but she was. And Allison felt like Angie looked when Dr. Grace revealed Angie’s sex dream.

“Say no more!” the woman said. “We don’t delve into the teenage mind until we’ve had more than a few drinks! Great choice for a first earring, by the way, and quite unique. I don’t think many girls your age remember men in earrings. It’s incredibly rare now and certainly not the fashion among the suitors you’re getting.”

Allison laughed. Then grew quiet. She hadn’t thought of it but did she have a crush on those guys?

“Is this taking too long?” she said, after what seemed like ten minutes of confusion about teenage fantasies. And if the various, almost almost new parts of her body weren’t stopped it wouldn’t be worry any more, it’d be dancing on tables.

The woman turned a business conn around, and there was Allison’s name and ID number, with an authorisation next to it. “Came in while you were reminiscing about your crush. Not that I expected anything else. Now just let me do some paperwork and get someone to bring you your earrings...” The woman stopped herself from actually going to do paperwork. “Sorry, I had to bring you back from your youth. You’d have wandered out of here forgetting who you are if I didn’t take the serious route. Probably have walked out an airlock without realising. That’d mean trouble for me...”

Allison cringed while the woman smiled and tapped away at the business conn. Then Allison began to fidget with her fingers, refusing to look at the jewellery calling to her. She knew this could get expensive, fast. Especially with how much makeup she needed. She had money but she did not want to spend like she was rich. It was all money she’d need to get started in her new life.

Eventually another woman arrived to them and said to Allison the earrings were found. She had to dig around some of the storerooms to find them, but both Sandra and Sandy knew they had a few pairs, somewhere. They both remembered them extremely well from when they were younger.

Sandra was the new woman who brought the earrings, and would help Allison with makeup. Sandy was the woman Allison had been speaking to already, but now Allison couldn’t get a word in. Sandra and Sandy were arguing about their names. Apparently Sandy’s name was also actually Sandra but because the original Sandra had been working there longer she claimed the right to be the first and only Sandra. Something about no need for numbers.

The two kept this up until Angie said to Allison, “They remind me of us two.” Which shut them both up very quickly, then Allison and Angie were lead to the piercing room.

It was a quite big room, for something that only needed space for two people, really, and when they all entered comfortable lighting automatically came on until Sandy changed it over to a light obviously needed for piercing’s precision.

It was actually quite a soft room. Soft furnishing on the couches, a large ornate mirror, with chairs and products before it. Apart from what looked like some basic hospital equipment it was really quite pleasant.

“Why is the room so big?” Allison asked.

“They need to soundproof it properly for when you scream,” Angie said.

“Scream? Why?”

“You’re getting a needle stuck through your body, of course you’ll scream.”

“Fuck you, An—”

“We do get screamers,” Sandra said, laughing. “They usually have a horde of friends around them trying to help and calm them down. They get in our way but they’re great fun. You learn a lot. Sandy certainly did. She can deal with any screamer.”

“Are you afraid of needles?” Sandy asked Allison.

“No?” Allison said.

“That would have turned up on the authorisation. If it tells us someone is afraid we’ll know but won’t bring it up unless they do. Doctors tend to know and will let us know. Some are simply screamers and not really afraid. Occasionally they’re both, that can be frightening. If someone goes quiet and pale it’s when we need this room. They’re having a genuine reaction. It’s a phobia, but we’re used to it. Rarely serious. Sandra would spot it the second it starts. We both know what to do.”

“And we’re in this room because we’re also doing makeup for you,” Sandra said. “It’s where we keep the wine fridge.”

Angie looked at Allison like she knew all this already. And Allison knew she’d picked this store especially. Whether Angie had been here herself or had simply heard about it on the grapevine Allison didn’t know.

“There’s something special about this store, isn’t there?” Allison asked.

“You’re Allison. Every beautician on the station is talking about your court ruling. Whoever that man was he was either blind drunk or stupid. Or both,” Sandra said.

“He—” Allison began.

“Was an idiot. You’re obviously a woman. Anyway, if a man wanted his ears pierced and makeup lessons we’d teach him. That’s why we exist. We already do it. Or Sandra does, at least,” Sandy said, pointing her thumb at Sandra as she readied what looked like medical packaging on a little tray, then forcing Allison to sit.

Allison was getting nervous, though. No matter how she dressed or how she looked after the medication’s effects she did have a man’s voice. She didn’t know if she could change that. She knew there were limits on what the doctors could do. Things she couldn’t have. Things she didn’t want to think about now. But it was dawning on her ever since the court ruling people were just being polite, or were afraid. Loads of people obviously knew there was at least something strange occurring when such a weird accusation had been ruled on. No-one had ever heard of such a thing before. Even Dr. Grace said Allison was unique.

With a shaking voice Allison forced herself to speak, and as she did she realised she was trying to make it a little higher pitched. She got her first word out when Sandra began talking to Sandy.

“Men can be so stupid, and we’re the ones not allowed work until we’re forty! It’s not right! This fool sees a 100% woman in front of him and reports her.”

“I bet it was her voice,” Sandy said.

“Yeah, an idiot. Basic biology lesson. Taught from the day you start school, so kids aren’t afraid: puberty is strange. Hormones can be beasts on women. Everyone knows that. I know women with voices deeper than hers, were they ever reported for imitation? They try to change, or act more girly, when not a person on the station really cares. Except for this prime simpleton! They’re the idiots my friends are afraid of and try to change for. I didn’t even think someone so stupid actually existed! I thought it was impossible! Now we’ll know. We’ll learn. And do not a bit different because we are all women here, who deserve respect, and no-one can ever cast doubt on us. Not a man, the law, not a thing!” Sandra said.

“We are who are,” Sandy said.

Allison was starting to feel dizzy with all this talk. She really just wanted the needle being stabbed through her skin so she’d have an excuse to scream. “When are you—”

“Put your earrings in, honey, we need to see you do it,” Sandy said, patting Allison on the forearm. Somehow having moved to the other side of her.

“What? Earrings how?” Allison said.

“You have holes in your ears now. Stick the earring through, attach the back.”

“When did you—”

Sandra held out a little, blue, velvet box with some earrings in it on a little cushion.

“They’re the exact ones I wanted,” Allison managed to say, somehow.

Allison stood, walking to the mirror where she pushed her hair back at one side and placed the earring in, securing the back without even thinking. She did the same at the other side then gave her hair a little shake to let it settle back down.

“Don’t get your hair cut. What you have now suits you. You might be tempted to have your ears on show but you’ll regret a cut if you do. Earrings are like stocking tops, at least the earrings you chose.”

Angie smiled. “Allison knows full well how to flirt. A little touch here, a small smile. I’ve yet to see her show a stocking top. Not unless she was already engaged in activity.”

Allison was tilting her head from side to side, looking in the mirror, occasionally brushing her hair back and turning her head.

“I’m having a drink, now, Sandra. I’m off duty. Is Allison OK?”

“What do you think?”

Sandy smiled and said, “No reaction other than seeing a girlhood fantasy come true.”

Without the knowledge of it happening, somehow, Allison was sitting down in the seat before the mirror while Sandra busied herself preparing various brushes, sponges and every form of makeup Allison had ever seen — she noticed — and many she didn’t know existed. A glass of wine was in her hand. Every few seconds she tried to surprise herself in the mirror. She couldn’t.

“You said you did this for men?” Allison asked, the sparkling white wine she’d been drinking warming her confidence.

“Yeah, we’ll do it for anyone, if they want. We’re a specialist store, though. There’s quite a few. Partly medical facility. Almost... Sandra will work with doctors on skin issues. She’s not a doctor but she’s trained in it, it’s more technical than anything a normal beautician would do and it involves education and tests, and qualifications. A lot of study and practice,” Sandy said.

Allison laughed to herself.

Sandy looked at Allison, questioning.

“Which is why every beautician wanted to get their eyes on the accused Allison...” Allison said.

“Never heard of it before. No-one knew what was happening? The conspiracy-thought was a doctor had failed somewhere, or the Governor’s office making a mistake was even debated. Stores like us have been issuing constant threats to the regular stores that if Allison appears they’re to be sent to an expert. And if any amateur tried to make a name for themselves they’d be hated more than the man who reported the — frankly — gorgeous Allison.

“Thankfully, your friend brought you to one anyway, so she’s not all bad,” Sandy said, pouring Angie, sitting next to her on the couch, some more of the wine. “Oh god, girl, we thought your confidence was shot with that. We wanted to make you look like a dream.”

“Now we know you’re just an unfortunate woman who was slandered because some moron didn’t remember his education... Well, the question at the heart of the gossip is we don’t know what we’ll do now we know you’re no different to any other women and there was no reason for any worry. That’ll be up to Sandra.”

Sandra moved around to where Sandy was sitting, resting herself on the armrest. “It’s up to Allison. I’ll do whatever she wants.”

“I don’t know...” Allison said.

“OK...” Sandy said, after two or three seconds thought. “I’ll update the good stores, anyway, and they’ll update the good stores they know. ‘Normal woman, idiot man.’ You know the story. Heard it from every client we’ve had who’s ever met a man. Everyone shares information if they’re any good. That’ll stop the gossip internally and that’ll stop it among our realm, eventually. Then something new will be found to gossip about. It all happens very quickly,” Sandra said.

Angie was holding her glass out to be topped up again which Sandy did automatically. “What do you normally gossip about?” Angie asked.

“Industrial accidents. Which is where pretty much every man we’ve ever dealt with has come from. Sometimes you get a man with bad skin, or confidence issues. They’re bad! The confidence issues... They need a friend, often more. Women can be horrific. You have no idea, Allison. I hope you don’t meet a monster.

“Someone in medicine, whether voter-doctor or trained citizen medic will send the men who need us to us. It’s usually more about just letting them talk than anything cosmetic. But confidence is also aided by cosmetics, which I’m sure you two are very familiar with it, given you’re dressed for a Monday!” Sandra said, laughing, with Allison joining in, thinking she just felt something in her bones about today when she got dressed.

“Did you ever get men just into makeup?” Angie asked, curiosity spilling out of her.

“There were a few in my twenties. I was willing to work with them. The last of a generation, last stragglers. And I’d say Allison’s earrings are the last of that entire fashion. People playing with gender. Supposedly it comes and goes in cycles, just like any other trend. I’d guess you’ll see it come back around in your lifetimes, maybe not ours, but I’m holding out hope.”

“Did you ever see men in—”

“Stop!” Allison said, her glass spouting wine out with her enthusiasm. “How long have you two been working?”

“Do you have a job?” Sandra asked, leaning out of the couch to turn Allison’s seat around to face the mirror.

“I’m not sure I should—”

“I knew it! There’s far more to this than an accusation. I’m stopping here. This will get me in trouble!” Sandra said, while Sandy had a look of mischief on her face.

“What?” Allison shrieked.

“Oh, come on, Sandra! You love trouble. The girl is just looking for a bit of her story.”

“No!” Sandra said. “Allison has enough going on! She can figure it out as needed!”

Sandy looked annoyed as Sandra handed her a bottle of wine — Allison had lost count — and Sandy clutched onto it, arms folded across her chest, refusing to look at Sandra because she was trying to shut down the conversation.

“Women aren’t allowed to work!” Angie said, shooting out of her seat.

“How old do you think I am?” Sandy asked.

“I mean...” Angie began, then stopped.

“Do you really think both of us have learned everything we know since the day we turned forty?” Sandra asked.

“You practised on yourself! Of course!” Angie said, feeling a hand on her shoulder pulling her back down to sit. The hand also contained a bottle of a wine. It was Sandy’s hand.

“And friends,” Allison said.

Sandy nodded.

“And your friends told their friends. And eventually people were contacting you offering to give you things if you’d help with makeup because you knew the trends better, and what was in fashion, and some people just liked you more. And you were good. And it was fun.”

“Allison has started university already,” Sandy said.

Allison nodded, understanding some new things, again, which was all her life seemed to be now.

“When did you realise money transfers aren’t really monitored. And if they are people don’t mind, unless you’re doing something you really shouldn’t do, because it’s dangerous. Or you’re being reckless?” Allison asked.

“What makes you think that’s what happens?” Sandra asked, looking quite concerned.

“It makes sense, from what I know. Older women tell younger women to save as much as they can. To get men to buy everything for them because they might need the money. They’re talking about businesses, starting one and paying for unofficial ones, before they’re forty, or they’re just idiots and want to use men.”

Allison was having difficulty with being forced to face the mirror — looking at herself — in knowing where exactly to turn, while she found out more from these two older women than anyone else, people like One and Des, even Dr. Grace, those seemingly educated and powerful people, had ever really let her in on.

“Allison will be teaching the university course someday,” Sandy said, the demand for mischief that was on her face seemingly placated.

Sandra took a deep breath, stood, moved to the front of Allison, then picked up some makeup from the counter. “Don’t work if you don’t want to, Allison. You don’t have to. Just let life happen and enjoy it. Kiss some men, drink and dance. This is why we don’t make it obvious. It puts too much pressure on people. You’re young. Youth is to be enjoyed. Don’t waste it. Really, please, have fun, make friends, drink, dance, and?”

“Kiss men...” Allison said.

“Damn right!” Sandy said, while Sandra applied some cream to Allison’s face.

Allison watched what Sandra was doing to her, and listened to her explanations, but her mind was having trouble focusing.

“Are you listening to me?” Sandra asked.

She’d stopped applying the make up and was standing, taking an appraisal of Allison’s face from front on. Allison knew it was complete. She looked, well, just normal. Like a woman.

“Yeah,” Allison said. “‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. All mistakes can be corrected. Nothing is wrong.’”

“That’s the only thing I’ve said that really matters.” Sandra said, and she smiled a smile that reminded Allison of every one of the mothers who’d looked after her.

Then, in a voice loud enough to beat a screamer getting pierced Sandra said, embarrassingly, as she spun Allison around for Sandy and Angie to get a look at her, “You are beautiful! ALLISON! WOW!”

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Girls’ day in!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

The two A’s and the two S’s make a good matched set — especially when paired with a nice wine! Seems like Allison is a natural, and what she doesn’t get instinctively she is picking up fast. Her dialogue with Angie is always fun. :)