by Bronwen Welsh
The 'other story' mentioned in 'Frends Forever'. How a misplaced attempt at revenge taught me more about myself than I expected.
My name is Robin, and I wrote a story about my early life which I called 'Frends Forever'. You can read it on this site of you like. At one point I alluded to 'another story' — an incident of which I'm not terribly proud, but then I guess that applies to us all at some time or other in our lives. My excuse, for what it's worth is that I'd been out for the first time in a dress at a Halloween party and things hadn't gone quite according to plan, leaving me angry and ready for revenge.
Much to my surprise, my appearance had been quite convincing enough to fool people, at least for a few minutes, and one of those was Laura, a very popular girl at our school who had never spoken to me before that night. However, next morning at school, there she was coming up to me and ready to chat. She invited me to go with her and her girlfriends to the local mall to do some shopping and check out the boys. My response was that surely she didn't want a boy going with them?
“No, silly.” was her reply. “We want you to dress as a girl again. Some of my friends were stood up by one of the guys who hang around there. We want you to chat him up, make a date with him, and then stand him up. Oh, and then we’ll tell him you’re a guy. He’ll be so humiliated.”
I like to think that normally I'm not the sort of person to play a trick like that on someone, but as I said, I was angry and bitter, and if I could take a revenge against a guy, even if it wasn't the guy I really wanted to get back at, well that was fine by me. Then a thought struck me.
“It's a great idea Laura, but Jake's sister helped me dress, and if I asked her to do it again, she'd think it was kind of weird.”
“Oh that's not a problem,” she replied airily. “My Mom works on Saturdays and you're about my size, so all you have to do is come to my place first and I'll loan you some clothes and do your make-up.”
So it was settled, and the next Saturday I told my Mom I was going to meet up with some of the guys, but instead I got on my bike and rode over to Laura's house. She opened the door and gave me a big smile.
“I'm so glad you came,” she said “I thought you might chicken out.”
She led me upstairs to her bedroom. Laid out on the bed was some pale pink panties, a bra,a slip and some petticoats, while hung up was a pretty pink flowered dress.
“What do you think? Bobby sox or stockings?” she said brightly.
“Err, I don't know.” I replied, swallowing hard.
“Stockings I think,”she replied. “They will make you look older.” She went to a drawer and took out a garter belt and some sheer nylons.
“Look, I'll go out while you strip off and put on the panties. Then I'll help you with the rest of the clothes.”
Little did she know I was quite experienced with dressing in every item of girl's clothes, and I wasn't going to tell her. I quickly striped off and slipped on the panties. They were made of soft cotton and fitted snugly around my waist. They felt so good.
“I'm coming in,” Laura called as she breezed through the door. I let her help me with the bra, duly padded out with some socks, and said nothing as she explained how to adjust the garter belt and put on the nylons. I was hoping that I looked awkward as though it was the first time I'd ever done it. Once the underwear was in place, she adjusted the petticoats and then helped me into the dress. She sat me down in front of her dressing table and proceeded to make up my face. Like other boys, I was wearing my hair long at that time, and with some brushing and then tying it in a pony tail she managed to make it look like a girl's hair. When I finally got to see myself in the mirror, I was as pleased as I had been on Halloween party night.
“Wow, you look so pretty, I'm jealous.” Laura exclaimed.
“You've no need,” I replied “You'll always be the prettiest girl in the school.”
“Oh you're so sweet!' she giggled, and kissed me on the cheek. I really started to feel like we were two girlfriends having fun together.
The door bell rang, and four other girls trooped in. They all greeted me with squeals of delight when they saw the transformation that Laura had achieved.
“Oh Brad will be after you for sure.” they pronounced with complete confidence. I wasn't so sure.
Like most boys, I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into a clothes shop when my mother deemed it necessary to buy me something new, but this time it was different. Was it because I was a girl in a group of girls, or just because female clothes are so much more interesting than male ones? Whatever it was, I found myself really enjoying the experience as we moved from shop to shop, and along with the other girls tried on various skirts and dresses. They even listened to my opinion on what suited them! I didn't buy anything of course — what would I do with female clothes at home? Anyway, I already had access to my sisters' clothes.
All this took some time, but eventually we moved out into the mall to where the food stalls were, and it was then that Laura gripped my arm and pointing said. “That's Brad.”
She was pointing at a tall dark haired boy who was facing slightly away from us, but from what I could see of him, he looked very handsome.
“That's the rat who stood up two of my best girlfriends, and we are going to make him pay.”
There was almost an ugly look on her face as she said it, but then in an instant she was all sweetness and light again as we walked down to take a table close to where Brad and his friends were sitting, while pointedly ignoring them. Laura made sure that I had an empty seat next to me, and sure enough, it was only minutes after our drinks arrived that Brad sat down beside me.
“Hello ladies”, he said with a grin. “How are you all this fine day, and who's this pretty girl? I haven't seen you before.” he continued, addressing that last comment to me.
“This is my cousin Robin”, said Laura. “She's come to visit from Paynesville for a week.”
“Only a week?” said Brad in mock distress. “Then I'll hardly have time to get to know you.”
Up close he was devastatingly handsome. No wonder all the girls were after him, and didn't he know it? I played along with him, making it very obvious that I was interested and flattered by his attention. I found myself blushing at his compliments, something I hated as a boy, but it seemed that for girls this was alright. I wondered where it was all going, when suddenly he said.
“Would you like to go to a movie with me Robin?”
“I'd have to ask my mother,” I said, panicking, “she doesn't like me going out at night.”
“No, I mean right now.” was his response. I glanced at Laura and she gave me the tiniest of nods.
“Well, alright,” I replied, and with that he helped me to my feet and we set off down the mall, the girls giggling behind and calling out “Don't do anything we wouldn't do.”
I felt very nervous, but Brad immediately took my hand (this guy had confidence in bucket-loads), as we walked to the movie theater. He paid for two tickets and we entered the auditorium. As my eyes became accustomed to the darkness, I could see it was nearly empty, being mid-afternoon on a sunny say. Brad headed straight for the back row as I anticipated he would, and we had it all to ourselves.
I have absolutely no idea what movie it was, and indeed we saw very little of it. This was a time when only 'fast' girls went 'all the way', and there were unspoken rules about how far a girl let a boy go, but of course the boys always tried to go that little bit further. In no time, Brad had his arm around my shoulder, but when his hand drifted dangerously close to where my breast should be, I deftly move his hand back. Then he tried another tack, turning my shoulder and hence my head towards his.
Strangely, I now felt quite relaxed. Brad had no idea I wasn't a girl, and I was happy to go along with what he obviously had in mind. Sure enough we were soon kissing. I kept my lips closed at first, but gradually relented as the tip of his tongue made its way inside my mouth, and soon we were full-on 'French kissing' as it was called then. He put his hand on my leg, and I could tell he was checking out that I was wearing garters and stockings. I tensed slightly, but he went no further until a bit later when he took my hand and moved it towards his groin. I let it stay there just long enough to feel his arousal before moving it away. I confess I was really enjoying myself. This time I was with a boy who wanted to kiss me, and I wanted to kiss him back.
So it went on until the final chords of the closing theme and the lights went up, when we reluctantly broke apart.
“Wow, Robin, I wish you lived closer.” Brad gasped. I'd obviously made quite an impression.
“So do I, Brad” I replied, and readily agreed to his suggestion that we meet up at the theater in two days time for a repeat performance. Only of course, I had no intention of being there. That was all part of the revenge.
I reported all that had happened when I got back to Laura's house, ready to change back into my boy clothes, although in truth I wished I didn't have to.
“Oh that's great.” she said “and fancy him kissing you too, that makes it even better.”
Two days later, Laura reported to me about Brad. She and some other girls had sauntered by the movie theater about 15 minutes after I was supposed to be there, catching Brad standing forlornly outside.
“What's the matter Brad, date stand you up?” they called out.
“And the funny thing was,” she recalled “He said 'You were too nice a girl to stand him up and something must have happened', so I said 'Don't you believe it.' I hung back and added “and by the way, what was it like kissing a boy?' You should have seen the look on his face when I told him you aren't a girl at all. He looked like he was going to cry.”
It was at this point that I started to feel really bad about my part in the whole affair. Laura had used me, and it wasn't a good feeling. She might be pretty and popular but there was that nasty streak again. I wondered what I could do to minimise the damage I had helped cause.
“You're not going to really tell everyone he kissed a boy are you?” I asked.
“Why not?” she replied, “he deserves to be humiliated, just like he did to those girls.”
I didn't want her to do it, and suddenly I had an idea.
“Well the thing is, if you do that you use up all your ammunition. But if you tell him that if he ever stands up one of your girlfriends again, you'll tell about him kissing a boy, then you've got something to hold over him.”
“Hmmm.” she replied “I guess you've got a point there.”
The next day she reported back that she'd spoken to Brad, and he promised her there would never be any need to reveal about our session at the movies. I was relieved to hear that, but I still had this nagging feeling of guilt about the whole incident. If I was honest with myself, I had really enjoyed my date with Brad, and it had helped to crystallise some things in my own mind, so really I owed him something — maybe like an apology.
Brad had an unusual surname, so he wasn't hard to find in the telephone book, and two days later I called his number. A woman answered and I asked to speak to him. I heard her calling out. “Brad. There's a girl on the phone wants to talk to you.” and his reply “Thanks Mom.”
When he picked up the receiver, he sounded a bit more subdued than the Brad I had met.
“Brad, please don't put down the phone. It's Robin and I need to talk to you.” I said.
“Robin” he sounded bitter, “More like Robert I'm guessing?”
“My name really is Robin. It can be a boy's name or a girl's,” I replied, 'but there was a reason for what happened, and there's more than one person at fault here. You know that don't you?”
“I know,” he said, sounding very subdued. “Laura's been on the phone to me.”
“So you know why I stood you up. You humiliated those girls and we decided to show you what it feels like.” I said. “But that's all that was supposed to happen. I didn't expect you to ask me to go to the movie that afternoon, and, and everything else.” I finished lamely.
“How you must have laughed at me.” he still sounded bitter.
“Well actually, no I didn't, and anyway there's never going to be a reason for that to come out is there?” He agreed that there wasn't.
“Look Brad, I'm going to tell you something about me. I probably shouldn't, but I will anyway because I feel I owe it to you. I'm not like other boys and I really enjoyed our time at the movie. It confirmed a lot of things I suspected about myself, but I wasn't totally sure of. Brad,” I went on earnestly “when you kissed me you were kissing a girl, really you were. You know it and I know it, but it will be our secret, and I will never tell anyone.”
He was silent for a moment and then said slowly. “I think I know where you're coming from. It was your idea for Laura not to tell everyone about us kissing wasn't it? Only a girl would think that way.”
“Yes it was.” I admitted. “Truly, I'm not the sort of person to get involved in that sort of thing, but I was angry at how a boy had treated me. But that boy wasn't you, and afterward I felt bad about it. But I also feel grateful to you for making me stop denying who I am.”
“You know,” I added softly, “there's one thing I will always regret, and that's that Robin the girl will never have another date with you.”
“I'm kind of sorry about that too.” he said, and I believed him.
“Take care, Brad. I hope life turns out well for you, because you really are a nice guy.”
“Thanks, Robin,” he replied. “I hope things turn out the way you want too.”
That was the last time I spoke to Brad. If you are thinking the perfect ending would be that we met up again down the track, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it didn't happened. As for me, things did turn out pretty much as I wanted, and in time I did fully become the woman I knew I was even then.
Years later, I did see Brad's name again, and his picture in the paper. He looked so handsome in his full dress uniform. Next to it was another picture of him with his wife and two children. I gasped when I saw it. She could have been my twin sister. I confess I shed a tear as I read the text of the obituary. Brad had followed in his family's tradition of serving in the military, so I guess his life had turned out as he had wanted. He'd served two tours overseas and didn't have to go back, but he felt it was his duty. He had been killed while trying to rescue a wounded comrade, and everyone said he was the bravest of the brave.
After I finished reading, I sat in silence for a long while, remembering. It's often said that we never forget the person who gave us our first kiss. I know I'll never forget Brad, the first boy who kissed me.
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