Tales of the Season: Charlene's Story - Chapter 3


Another BigCloset TopShelf story.   Charlie's final family fling before heading for Season's House.


Tales of the Season : Charlene's Story


Lisa Elizabeth

Chapter Three

Getting Ready

Charlie and his parents left the courthouse and headed back to his aunt Robin and uncle Jim's house. Charlie sat in the back seat and noticed that his Mom had stopped crying.

"Mom? Dad? I am sorry about this. I am going to try so hard to change while I am away..." He would have said more but the tears welled up. It was a combination of anger at himself and fear of not knowing what would happen over the next six to twelve months.

"We know you are. We also know that you will try very hard to change because you gave your word on it! That is something we always taught you, a man's word is his bond, if you say you will do something then you do it!" Charlie's stepdad told him with a smile in the rear view mirror. "Let's enjoy the rest of this day, since you aren't tied to the house anymore. We'll stop back and pick up your aunt, uncle, brother and cousins and go out for dinner! Your choice sport!"

Charlie chose pizza! No surprise there! After all pizza is the main food group for all teenagers. His uncle suggested a place in Indianapolis called 'The Paramount Music Palace'. It turned out that everyone loved it, even the adults. They had a great big pipe organ that rose up out of the floor and a man in a tux played music for an hour at a time. When it first came up it reminded everyone of an old black and white movie called 'Phantom of the Opera'. However, the man playing it wasn't dressed scary at all. Charlie thought the neatest part was when he made the organ sound like a steam engine for the song 'Chattanooga Choo-Choo'.

That night Charlie slept peacefully. He now knew he would only be away from his family less than a year, faster if he learned his lessons well!


While Charlie and his family were out enjoying music and pizza, Judge Ruth was waiting for Jane Thompson to call her back.

"Aunt Ruth?" Kenneth queried. "I can speak from first hand experience that Momma Jane will call as soon as she gets done with her little outing. I also know that she is probably just torturing them a little more before she lets up for the night!" Kenneth smiled at that thought.

"I know...I just get so impatient when I have a child that really and truly needs Jane's help." Ruth replied.

Kenneth was about to answer when the unlisted telephone rang.

"Ruth here"

"Hello Ruth, this is Jane. I am returning your earlier call, sorry to have missed you."

"Hi Jane! How was your shopping trip?"

"It went very well. The girls had their final fitting for the dresses they are to wear in the parade this Saturday and we picked up a few things for their trip to the opera matinee on Sunday. All around a good trip today."

"Good, How is John or I should say Joan doing?"

"The big breakthrough came last weekend."

. "Yes, Marie told me."

"Joan finally realized that I was only trying to help her and she actually enjoyed her latest trip to Milady's Closet. She is ready for a 'little sister'. Did you have someone in mind?"

"Yes...well I have another boy here that could truly use your help."

"I thought as much when I arrived home. Marie told me you had called and I had papers in my fax machine! You are not very subtle anymore you know?"

"Good, you read the documents I faxed earlier? When could you get him into the program?"

"We will need to finish these outings first. Darla was talking about visiting his 'Aunt Ruth' and Kenneth before school started in three weeks. I had figured on another week to make sure Joan was truly comfortable in the masquerade. That would allow for this weekend, then unmask Darla as Darryl on Monday...We would then see him off to visit you on Tuesday morning. That would work...Hmm-m-m...Yes! That would work just fine. I would need to talk to Joan on Tuesday afternoon and evening to insure her role as 'the big sister' for Charles. I believe that if you have him on that 4:30 PM train that connects in New York, he will arrive here at 10:30 AM Wednesday."

"So if he were to arrive a week from Wednesday...That would work? Ok, I'll arrange that."

The rest of the conversation centered on arranging for Darryl's flights and catching up on all of Kenneth's activities since Jane last talked to him. That took an additional hour, but Jane wasn't in a hurry. Things were going well with Joan and it looked like she would have a new student so Darryl could adjust to being male again before going off to school. Even by Jane Thompson's standard, this had been a very good day!


It was right after breakfast when the telephone rang. Charlie's mom was handed the telephone and she talked with Judge Ruth's secretary, Lisa. Lisa told her about the train and that tickets would be waiting at the station. She also asked Anita to measure Charles so that his academy clothes could be tailored for him. After writing down all the information and a telephone number to call with the measurements, Anita hung up the telephone.

"Alright! That was the judge's secretary. She says you leave next Tuesday afternoon, so we can have a little fun until then. We also have to measure you for your academy clothing. Since you are in shorts and a T-shirt that won't take very long. How about we do that right after breakfast?" Anita looked at Charlie for an answer.

"Okay, mom! That's a whole week before I leave? Seems a long time, doesn't it?" Charlie replied.

"They probably just need the time to order your clothing." Anita replied.

After breakfast Anita did just that. After all the measuring and telephoning in the numbers to Lisa, they were free to enjoy their last week as a family for some time to come.

John called his office and arranged for another two weeks off and then said they may as well have a mini vacation since they were all here.

Over the next six days, they went to 'Indiana Beach' for a day. Then to 'Holiday World' in a place called Santa Claus, Indiana for two days. That was cool to Charlie because they stayed in a hotel right next to Jasper Engines, in Jasper, Indiana. He got to see the Jasper Engine NASCAR Ford in the parking lot that night! They went on an old steam train in a place called 'French Lick' and then spent a day sightseeing in Indianapolis. They did spend Monday and Tuesday at his aunt and uncle's relaxing.

Tuesday afternoon, Charlie was packed and ready to board the 4:30 PM train in Indianapolis. He had a carry case and a large suitcase to go with him. Mom told him they would take the rest of his things home with them. It was a scary and sad time. Charlie knew it would be a long time before he saw his family again. It was a teary goodbye for both Charlie and his parents. There were a lot of hugs and a lot of tissues used that day. Joey just figured Charlie was leaving like he did when he went to Indiana so it was not a big deal to him.

And so it came to be that Charles Allen Hawkins sat on a train in a rain storm, reviewing his life and wondering just what the future would bring.



Readers, Please Remember to Leave a Comment Want to comment but don't want to open an account? Anyone can log in as Guest Reader -- password topshelf to leave a comment.

If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
71 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 1340 words long.