Strawberries and Cream

When life gives you a bowl of strawberries, cover them in cream.

Strawberries and Cream
By Angela Rasch

“Two-hand backhand! Two-hand backhand!” Kevin’s father shouted at his fifteen-year old son. His father had been a borderline pro who turned coach for several female players and had come within two Williams of being quite successful as his players were beaten by Serena and Venus. At the moment Kevin’s father was spending an odd moment coaching his son.

Kevin pushed two errant chestnut hairs from his face. They had come loose from his ponytail and were the latest reason his concentration had wavered. Previously the Marc Jacob’s blouse on his playing partner’s mother had taken his mind off his game. He knew it had been inspired by the feminine attitudes of the 60’s. Kevin wished he could wear such a blouse, and felt the frustration of someone whose life would always be something other than what he wanted.

An intermediate, Kevin practiced nearly five hours a day, with a third of the time spent on basic strokes. His father pushed him on mental toughness training with constant emphasis on match situations. The goal was to prepare him for a pro career by playing on different surfaces every third day on a rotating basis. He never took a day off in his pursuit of better and better international rankings.

“You’re hitting like a girl,” his father complained.

Kevin’s striking eyes flashed with a mixture of anger and longing.

“Wait a minute,” his father remarked. “Now that’s an idea that deserves to be popped over the net.”

The young boy could tell from the faraway look on his father’s face that whatever had occurred to his father would soon become reality for Kevin.

“As a lad,” his father said quietly, “you’ve got the talent to rank in the top two hundred in the world, but in a skirt, you could be in the top ten.”

Kevin shook his head. “You’ve really outdone yourself this time. Only you would think of such a thing.”

His father narrowed his eyes. “Do you think I’m kidding? You’ll never make a living painting pictures of dogs. This is your shot. You’ve got the legs for it . . . impossibly long for a young lady . . . scrawny for a boy.”

Kevin could sense his father was becoming quite serious.

His father’s prematurely grey hair wreathed his wind-beaten face. “You stopped getting taller two years ago. What are you? About 168 cm?”

“I’m all of 173 cm!” Kevin answered indignantly.

“You’ll be perfect standing next to a strapping boy of 190 cm.”

“The Lawn Tennis Association would never allow it,” Kevin said a bit wistfully.

“You’re too young to remember Renee Richards,” his father remarked. “It’s been a while, but she did set a precedent. Besides I’m in line to have a role in deciding such things in an official capacity.”

“You’re daft,” Kevin suggested, wishing his father could make it so.

***

As one of the many nomadic international tennis coaches, Kevin’s father moved often. When they set up in southern California, Kevin ceased to exist and “Karen” took his place.

Obsession is a key personality trait of successful tennis coaches and Kevin’s father excelled at being fanatical. He had made a great deal of money in the 90’s investing in dot coms and had the good sense to get out before the bubble burst.

Unlimited money combined with a hyperactive sense of purpose left a huge wake. Karen was soon embroiled in a young lady’s finishing program to help her refine her every movement and utterance. When she wasn’t pounding the tennis ball, she was learning the nuances of attaining an impeccable fashion sense. To broaden her world perspective Karen became intensely interested in literature.

At first Karen balked at the short tennis skirts, but soon fell in love with the way they made her legs look. Further, she enjoyed the convenience of the hip ball pockets offered by her panties. She found that by adding graceful feminine motions to her game she gained much more precision and lost only a small percentage of her power.

Once Karen and her father had committed to a course of action it was a very short leap from the growth hormones Kevin had been using, to a chemical treatment that made her skin much softer and caused her breasts to grow. Soon they augmented the chemical process with critical surgery.

More defining surgeries followed and Karen became a permanent part of the female tennis world having passed their most stringent gender testing. As her father had predicted, she soon was ranked in the top twenty and rising quickly.

Unfortunately, Karen suffered a career-ending back injury, but as one door was closed another opened. While attending a tournament with her father in South Africa she fell for young Arthur.

***

“What’s it like living with the toast of England?”

That was the fifth time in less than an hour that Arthur had been asked that question. He thought for a moment before answering. “The average painting is 46 x 61 cm. Karen paints canvases that are 92 x 122. Everything about her is double the normal woman’s life. She’s twice as beautiful. Twice as smart. Twice as fashion conscious. And, of course, her lover is twice as sexy.”

Arthur laughed easily. He had been smiling and laughing non-stop since winning the All England Lawn Tennis Championship at Wimbledon.

Karen smiled at him providing support, as she had for the last five years.

Five years seems like a lifetime when it’s packed full of huge events and changes.

Karen’s last seven years seemed like several lifetimes.

The End



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