An old lady wants to hire a boy as a friend. She has a hidden agenda that will change the boy forever.
We were standing outside the gates to an old large house. As we walked through its garden path, we could see that everything was overgrown. I thought rich people had nice gardens, but this garden was quite scary. The plants and trees looked mean, as if they were about to eat you up. I stayed close to mum as we walked through the windy path. Not because I thought that she could save me from the evil plants and trees, but she was bigger, so maybe she would be eaten first.
The door of the mansion was huge. There were dragons and snakes on it. It was not a door that you wanted to go through. Mum didn’t seem impressed. She knocked and it sounded like we were knocking on hell’s door. This old Butler that seemed as old as the house itself came and slowly (and I do mean slowly) led us into a dark room. It smelled old and everything in it was old. There was dust on the furniture. But the problem was that the room was so dark. No sunlight came in. An old woman that looked like a wrinkled prune was sitting in her chair. Next to her was a table that had many pictures of a girl. There was a candle lit in front of them. It was the only light in the room. Mum started to say that the picture of the girl looked like me, but before she could finish the sentence, the old lady cut her off.
“So boy, come a bit closer… I see… you look exactly like her... The only thing is that you are a boy… well that can be fixed. I want you to come and live here. There will be some things you have to do, but the main thing is that you have to keep me company. Can you do that boy?”
“Good and Its time to send your mother on her way. The money you earn will be sent to your family. Say good-bye to your mother. I don’t have all day to waste.”
I could see tears in Mums eyes, she was obviously afraid to leave me with this strange old woman and her pictures. I gave mum a hug. Our farewell didn’t last so long, and it didn’t help that the old lady kept asking if Mum was going? After a few minutes I was left alone with this old woman. I could feel that my heart was banking harder and harder. What would life be with her?
The first thing she told me was to go in another room and put the clothes on. She said it was my bedroom while I lived in the house. I went in the room. It was a nice room, much more posh than I was used to. The bed looked so comfortable, Even though it had pink silky sheets. There were also a lot of teddies on the bed. On the other side of the room, there was a huge dollhouse with about 20 dolls. I picked up some dolls and thought they were pretty. I would take good care of them, like they were my own babies. As soon as I thought this, a thought hit me. It was a girl’s bedroom. It was most likely the girl that was in the pictures had this room once.
I looked on the bed, and noticed that the clothes were there. I lifted them up and thought there must be a mistake. It was a summer Victorian dress and tights and a wig. Not only was I in a girls room, they put out the wrong clothes. It couldn’t be expected that I would wear a dress. I would look like a right twat if I went around wearing a dress. What would my friends and family say to me suddenly wearing a dress? No, there must be a mistake. I must be in the wrong room.
I slowly walked back to the dark room. The Old lady didn’t even look at me and said in a loud stern voice, “I know you are surprised with the room. I know the clothes shock you. You just have to think that your mum and family now have something to eat. I don’t want to hear anything of what you think about the clothes or bedroom. You are lucky that you are not walking around naked.”
She sent the servant in with me to help me with the clothes. It was embarrassing that I had to take off my clothes and stand nude. I was washed in perfumed water that had rosebuds in it. I must have smelled like a real mama’s boy now. When I got out of the bathtub, I noticed that my skin was smooth and even shiny. The servant wasted no time in drying me off. Then he put some white lacy panties on me. They felt so soft and silky. I could feel a ticklish feeling in my stomach. I felt like I was going to giggle. I must have looked like a real sissy, with girl panties on. Then the servant put these long stockings on me. They were so tight that I thought that they nearly were part of my skin. The dreaded dress came after. It was long and had some lace around the bottom and sleeves as well as around my neck. The only thought I had was that I hoped that none of my friends would see this.
I rushed out to show the old lady, but she stopped me before I came in her dark room by asking did I also remember the wig. I walked back to my room and the servant was waiting with a wig. It was a wig full of curls. He put the wig on me. I tried shaking my head to see if the wig would fly to the other side of the room. It didn’t. It was stuck to my head as it was glued. I didn’t know why I couldn’t have my own hair. But I suppose that I had to have girl’s hair on me if I was wearing girl’s clothes.
For the third time, I walked into the dark sitting room. The old lady looked at me and then commanded me to look in a mirror. I couldn’t believe my eyes; I looked exactly like the girl in her pictures. I felt a bit weak on my legs. What was happening here? Why did I look like a girl on some pictures?
“You look exactly like my daughter, so from now on I want you to think you are her and act like her. Her name was Anastasia and that is what I will call you. So let’s be sure about this, you are now a girl
I just nodded. I knew this was a strange job, but it was only a job. As Mum said, it would help me to be a butler or something better later in my life. I decided that I would do as the old lady said, as I knew it was important for Mum that at least someone in the family left the poverty of the slums.
The old lady suddenly became a small bit kinder. She seen this girl in me, and convinced herself that I was the girl. Old rich people are crazy, that’s one thing for sure. She asked me did I want to draw. So the servant came with some paint and paper and I knelt on the floor about to paint my first masterpiece in my life. I was half ways finished when the woman got irritated and asked what I was drawing. I said it was a knight killing a dragon. The old woman asked for my wet painting, and then tore it up. She wanted something more girl like and sweet. She suggested that I drew rainbows, and flowers and a princess. I looked at her with my “do I have to” face, only to see her smile disappear and be replaced with a frown. I started drawing a rainbow and thought the old lady reminded me of Queen Victoria. She just sat there giving orders. I wasn’t used to drawing or painting, as this was something I never tried. I thought my drawing was rubbish and was afraid that she wouldn’t like it. The old lady also warned me not to get anything on my petticoat dress. This was hard, as it seemed like the dress went all over the floor. At the end, I gave the old lady the drawing as a present. “Oh Anastasia, “She said, “Thank you very much for the drawing. It is so long ago that you have given me a present. Now I have a present for you.”
She called the servant in and told him to get the box. Minutes later he returned with a pink box. I opened the lid and found a poodle inside the box. At first the dog looked ugly, as if it was two balls of yarn that could walk. But then the poodle jumped out and licked me on the face. I smiled back and thought that this was the best present I ever got. I gave the old woman a hug. I could smell how old she was and was afraid I would break all her bones when I hugged her. I told her that I would name the dog Betty. She smiled and said that was an appropriate name for a dog. She didn’t know that was my grandmother’s name. At least I had some of my family with me now.
The old lady told me that it was time to take Betty out for some fresh air. I went to open the garden door in the dark room. It was stuck. It was obvious that this door was not open for years. Even now, it seemed wrong to open the door, as it would be letting light come in such a dark room. The servant helped me open the door and I went out with Betty. We could do lots of exploring because the garden was so overgrown, it was like a jungle. Of course I could hear the old woman’s voice every minute telling me not to get my dress or tights dirty. I was having so much fun with my dog that I forgot that I was outside dressed like a girl. I saw people go past the house and look in. I just smiled at them. I was fooling them in thinking I was a rich spoiled girl. They didn’t know that I was a boy; otherwise they would have laughed and teased me.
When I came in, the old lady was very mad; she kept on asking me how I got my dress dirty, and did I play in a muddy pool or something like that. I held my head low as she continued calling me dirty girl.
As I was standing there, she said, “Anastasia, I haven’t seen you for several years. They told me that you died and you would never come back again. How could you leave me Anastasia? How could you leave me alone? A mother needs her daughter. I knew that you would come back. See I have all your pictures here and they reminded me that you would come back one day. A voice in my head said that you would be born in another body. You would be reborn. I knew that I had to search the whole planet. Why did you try to trick me by being born in a boy’s body? When that young boy stood here earlier with his fake mother, I knew that you were mine. He just needs longer hair and your clothes on sweetie and then he will be totally like you. I am not amused that your clothes and shoes look like you were playing with the pigs. No Anastasia, I want you to take a bath and kiss me goodnight and go to bed. It will obviously take time for you to remember who you really are.”
Much of what she said confused me. I believed her when she said that I would know who I was. I was a boy that came to work for her. The servant was giving me a bath. Once again the water smelled like flowers. I didn’t pay attention to him. He kept calling me Anastasia as well. I didn’t react to this. I just closed my eyes and thought about what the old lady has said. By the time I finished thinking, I was just as confused as I was when I started. The servant said Anastasia three times. I looked at him. He finished giving me a bath and also managed to dry me and was now telling me to put my hands up so he could put a nightdress on.
I slept. I was tired and confused what my job was and what my new life was.
Over the next few weeks, it was obvious to me why I was doing here. Every time the old lady or a servant called Anastasia, I knew that it was me. Every time that they called me a girl, I knew that I looked like one. When I got up, I would wash myself and put a pretty dress and stockings or tights on. Then I would put my wig on. I liked the wig, Even though sometimes it came in my eyes. It hid the fact that I was really a boy beneath the beautiful dress and a boy that was doing girl things. The old lady loved when I painted, or watered the flowers, she loved when I practiced dancing and even hired a ballet teacher to teach me. I loved dancing. I suspect that he knew I was a boy. But when I danced, I felt free.
Sometimes the old lady would get mad at me. I hated when she got mad and cried. She would get mad at me if I acted like a boy or complained that I had to do something I hated, like arranging flowers. She also got mad at me for dying and then being reborn in a boy’s body. She kept on saying what would happen if she never looked for me. As hours became days, and days became weeks, and I was here for a few months, I could never remember my real mothers face. I could not remember what fun was when I was with my real mother. I knew that I loved my dresses and dolls. After a few months, I no longer questioned the old lady. I was Anastasia, that was reborn as a boy and I was lucky that my true mother found me. I loved the old lady so much.
One day, months after I came to the dark house, we had a guest. It was the old ladies niece. She was the same age as me. The old lady lit up and said now that I could play with someone my own age. So Bella, her niece and I were playing with dolls. I was very polite with her and said I liked her dress and her curly hair. Her niece did not smile or anything. In fact she was a bit of a snob. I did what the old lady wanted. I tried to play with Bella. After a few hours we could see that the old lady was asleep.
“I really don’t want to play with you” Bella whispered to me when the old lady was asleep.
“You’re a boy in a dress”
“That’s because I was reborn as a boy. It’s good that mama found me”
“You are not Anastasia. She is dead. You are not her.”
“I am Anastasia. I am not a boy. I like being Mama’s daughter. I love her.”
”You are so blind. Can you not see that you are being brainwashed or something like that?”
“Don’t you even miss your mum, I mean the mum you had before you came here”
I didn’t answer her. I started to cry. Of course I missed her. I just had to forget her, because I was now a girl and my mum didn’t want a girl. She knew me as a boy. What would she say to me being a girl? Bella thought it was funny seeing me cry. I think she hated boys and wanted to make them cry.
As I was crying, Bella took the wig off. She said that my hair was now long enough to look like girls hair. I sat on a stool while she brushed my hair. It went down to my neck. I loved having my hair brushed so I quickly forgot that she was mean and crazy like the old lady could be. After 20 minutes of playing with my hair, she showed me the result in a mirror. I couldn’t believe it. I looked like a real girl now. It looked more natural and not as fake with the wig.
When the old lady woke up, she noticed that the wig was gone. She could see that my hair was long. She was very excited about it and said the flowers in the hair made me look like a little fairy. I now looked exactly like Anastasia. This made the old lady so happy.
Her niece left, and once again I was alone being the old Ladies daughter. Once again I was in a world where I got dolls and lovely presents. I wore the prettiest dresses. The only thing I had to do was to play in the dark room so the lady could see me. Even when I went out, I was girl like. No longer did I run and hide in the jungle. I would walk around picking wild flowers and chasing after butterflies.
One day the servant came and whispered something in the old ladies ears.
“Anastasia, do you remember you’re mum when you were a boy”
“She is here and wants to spend the afternoon with you”
“What do you mean”?
“I don’t want to see her.”
“Because she is no longer my mama, you are. I don’t want to see her. Send her away!”
“If that is what you want, I will send her away.”
Years later, when I was 23, the old lady was dying. She called me in her room for the last time. Her eyes were closed, and to be honest, I didn’t think that she was listening.
“Mama, why did you do this to me? I was once a boy with a good family. You bought me into your crazy and bitter life because your daughter died. You brainwashed me into believing I was her reincarnation. I did everything to please you. I acted like Anastasia. I looked like her and indeed I ended up believing I was here.
I was secluded in your world. I was something you could form, as if I was a piece of clay. I was something that you could manipulate. I became as bitter and strange as you. Oh, I remember the day when I kicked my mum out. I remember I didn’t want to see her. I was confused. Who my real mum was and who was the intruder? I didn’t want her to see me as a sissy.
I was not just a sissy. I ended up in believing that I was your daughter. It was not until much later that I feel in love with the boy that delivers things from the shop. It was not until he tried to go below my skirt, that he told me the truth. I was 18 at the time and he told me I was a boy. Then I thought of my life and I knew the truth about what I become. I felt like Frankenstein, a screwed up woman that you made,
Look at me now. I cannot be a man that God intended me to be. I feel like a woman. I act like a woman. When you die, I will be the same as you. I will be imprisoned here because I am different. I can view the world from a dark room through a window.
I will die as bitter and crazy as you. Society will never accept me.
The old Lady smiled and stopped breathing
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