Soubrette: Chapter 3


Chapter 3

Nick was happy playing the system,unemployed and unemployable but it had to end some time.

Chapter Three: the Patricia Bateman experience

It was just another Monday morning I told myself, and no different from any other. Which was true, as long as I forgot that it was my first working day for three years, and I would be in women’s clothes throughout? It wasn’t as if I hadn’t a job before, and I was certainly no stranger to cross-dressing, but I’d never combined them. It would be an interesting day.

I rolled out of bed a few minutes before my alarm sounded. I hadn’t had a sleepless night, just a restless one, and as I swung my bare legs out from under the blankets I felt a little groggy; that, I had a simple cure for. Tiptoeing across the parquet floor to my wash stand, I emptied the jug of water I had filled the night before, into the basin and splashed several handfuls onto my face. Now it really felt like 5 A.M.

Wrapping my robe around me, I shuffled to the kitchen, where I prepared a light breakfast. While my favourite tea steeped, I toasted two rounds of bread on the gas ring, filled a tumbler with orange juice, and arranged everything on a tray to my satisfaction. This I carried into the living room, and set it on the coffee table. It was a suitably continental breakfast for a French maid.

Feeling somewhat louche, I allowed my robe to fall open as I sat, revealing my chemise, though not immodestly. If I kept this job I thought I should look out for some French crockery to use in the mornings, and then immediately stopped myself. Given my tendency to live out roles too deeply, in a week or two I’d be swigging absinthe and puffing Gitanes. I consoled myself with the thought, soon it will be warmer weather, when I could breakfast on the balcony, and that should be continental enough.

I let myself linger over the pot of tea for a few minutes, regretting that its slow warming valves meant I couldn’t have on the wireless. I looked speculatively at the rack of seventy eights, but changing discs every few minutes would be too distracting.

The first traffic sounds rose from the streets below as I busied myself in the kitchen, drying the dishes and replacing them in cupboards. That duty done, I sashayed back to the bedroom, let my robe fall and stepped out of my chemise. Dressed only in my brassiere and knickers, I padded to the bathroom.

One thing transgender stories always omit, the one thing most transvestites share, is the very first step of our transformation. I filled the wash basin with hot water, splashed some on my face, and began working up a rich lather. The jewel in my art deco bathroom‘s crown sat between the taps- my beautiful Ever Ready Streamline razor. Like many a beauty, she is treacherous, so I carefully steered her around my face until my skin was soft and smooth. Returning to my bedroom almost reeking of French lavender, I didn’t feel particularly manly-of course, being in knickers and bra didn’t help.

The first new pair of black panties that waited where I had left them the night before. As did black nylons and a bra I’d also picked out. I’d agonised over the latter for some time. I didn’t have many black bras, and as I imagined my uniform would be quite low cut, I dug out an old Wonderbra that I’d had for years. It wasn’t Verity‘s usual style, being more than half a century too modern, but I guessed cleavage was of the utmost. After arranging breastforms in its cups I reached for my high waisted girdle.

That was truly vintage, although I couldn’t swear it was pre war. It hooked at the side, but beating all fingers and thumbs, I turned it around so that I could better see the hooks. I was a very sorry excuse for a woman at times. At few more minutes found my stockings attached, and my seams straight.

More dressed than undressed, I sat at my vanity table and began making up. Verity had a particular way with her cosmetics, and I didn’t want to stray too far from it. I made my lips a little fuller, arched my brows more daringly, and tried to look at little more bashful.

Decisions about what to wear followed from my undies, and too had been made the night before. A dark blue, cotton day dress wouldn’t allow my black underwear to show through, and shoes with a low heel would be just the thing for the walk two work. I’d been wearing the black bob all weekend, so I stuck with it, which only left jewellery. Not wanting to appear ostentatious, I restricted myself two a single pendant, one ring, clip-on earrings and a small, silver watch.

Dandling my shoes in the fingers of one hand, I returned to the living room. With a flick of my wrist I checked my watch against the mantel clock, both of which read six thirty. It was maybe a twenty minute walk to the high street, which meant I had plenty of time to pick up everyone’s newspaper, as I did every morning. Nothing in the world could be more mundane except that this would be Verity’s first time. This would be an adventure.

Although the weather was dry, I slipped on my grey three quarter raincoat, as much for protection from curious eyes as any remaining night chill. I took my doorkey from its hook, slipped it into a pocket, and let myself out.

As I’d expected the corridor was empty, and I walked unhurriedly, though very aware of my heels’ clicking with each step. Our lift was as ancient as many of the residents, and complained almost as much. Therefore I chose the stairs, not wanting to wake up anyone.

Freshly shaven the night before, my legs smarted as I stepped out onto the street into the chill morning air. However, even that dwindled as I walked to the newsagents.

Roger and Maureen opened their shop while it was still dark, and light still spilled weakly from its windows when I approached. Both were busily working as I pushed on the door, its tinkling bell making me start, even though I expected it.

Maureen’s head popped up from beneath the counter with a cheery, ’Good morning,’ narrowly avoiding her husband, who was restocking the cigarette display.

‘Morning,’ I said, softly, ’I’ve come to collect Packney House’s papers. Are they ready?’ Friends say my voice changes when I’m dressed (some even see if say it changes with my hair colour), but I can never hear it. I hoped this morning they were right, and I could avoid explanations.

‘Oh, but Nick usually picks them up.’ Maureen narrowed her eyes at me, and then smiled.’ It's Verity isn’t it? We thought we’d never meet you. Look, Rog it's Verity.’ Her husband turned his hands full of Benson & Hedges.

‘The famous, Verity Parsons,’ he said,’ to what do we owe the honour?’

‘You will see me every morning now,’ I said, blushing slightly,’ I’m starting a new job, so I’ll be picking up the papers before work every day.’

‘Good for you, love!’ Maureen said,’ Give me a few minutes, and I’ll get them ready for you.’

I found being a papergirl no more onerous than being a paperboy; except, carrying newspapers under my arm was more difficult with breastforms competing for some of the same space. Thank heavens, I thought, Nick will collect the Sundays.

Whistling jauntily in the stairwell, I stopped off at each floor to push papers through letter boxes. The building was waking up. Radio’s played, and politicians preached on news programmes. On the second floor the Brownlows bickered lustily; who would have thought they had anything left to argue about after fifty years of marriage.

On our floor, I was delivering the Rose’s Daily Mail (shudder), when I heared a door open behind me. I turned to see an unshaven Mr.Blum running a hand through his shock of white hair.

‘You’re up early, Verity dear,’ he said, using his free hand to scratch at the bristles on his chin.

‘I start work today, don’t you remember,’ I said, handing him his Guardian.

‘You didn’t mention that Verity would be working, when you told us.’ He tucked the Guardian under one arm, and said ruefully, ‘I’m going to miss my morning chats with Nick, you know.’

‘I am too,’ I said, ‘but we will still have the weekends, and I’ll try to make time in the mornings from now on.’

Glancing at my watch, I saw that it was 7:45. Though it took only 20 minutes for Nick to walk to Soubrette, in heels, trying to walk femininely, it would take me at little longer. ‘I’m sorry, Mr.Blum, but I’ll have to shoot, I’ll see you this evening.’

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