Tommy - The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl? - Chapter 35

The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?

A Novel By Teddie S.

Copyright © 2018 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 35
More Aunts and a massage.

As we walked down the trail from the cliff, we saw that the bonfire was just beginning. And Amy asked, “Are we going to the bonfire tonight?”

“Since we’re spending tomorrow night at the airport hotel, we’d better.”, I said. “Besides I have a feeling that I should.”

“You know, I feel a need to sit with you at the fire.”

We went to our room, and since this was our last bonfire, I decided that I was going all out. The white Biil dress, fancy moccasins, Concho belt, squash blossom necklace, the beaded choker, the bracelet, the rings, and the silver feather earrings. I liked the braids in my hair, and I kept them in. Amy kept it simple, with the long skirt, fancy blouse, moccasins, and only the beaded choker.

I picked up the small rug to sit on, and we headed to the bonfire. We were later then usual in getting there, most of the guests were already gathered on one side of the fire listening to the drummers, singers, and a flute player. My aunt and uncle were with them. Amy and I were going to sit on the other side of the fire.

I spread the rug out, and Amy and I sat down. I saw that my aunt had noticed us and pointed us out to my uncle. He whispered something to her, and she whispered something to him. Then my aunt walked over to where we were sitting. She knelt down and asked, “Are you two all right?”

“We're okay, Aunt Ruth.”, I said. “We just felt, that after today, that we needed to come here.”

“Do you want us to ask everyone to make this a whisper zone?”

“No. It’ll be fine.”

“Okay. Let us know if you need anything.”

“We will.”

My aunt left us, and I began to meditate. I couldn’t tell if Amy was or not. Then I heard someone start to chant, and I listened. It was enchanting, and the voice of the chanter sounded familiar. I continued to meditate and listen to the chant. The spiritual strength of the fire and the chanting came together and blocked out everything but my meditation.

The chanting ended. I stopped meditating. And I felt better. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I looked over at Amy and smiled. She returned the smile. We sat there for a few more minutes looking at the fire. Then I stood and helped Amy stand.

I picked up the rug, and we walked over to where my aunt and uncle were standing. And my aunt asked again, “Are you two all right?”

“Better than we where before coming here.”, I replied.

“Yes.”, Amy added. “Much better than before.”

“I’m glad. We were worried about you two.”

Looking at my aunt and uncle, I asked, “Aunt Ruth. Uncle Paul. Is the offer of a couple more days here still good?”

Aunt Ruth smiled, and replied, “Of course it is.”

I smiled, and said, “I think we’ll take you up on it.”

“Good.”, my uncle said. “I guess I can call off the kidnapping.”

My aunt asked, “Why did you change your mind?”

“I’m not sure.”, I replied. “But I felt something when I was meditating.”

Just then Naainish walked up, and Amy said, “We enjoyed your chanting tonight, Naainish.”

“Thank you, Ajie. It was the Navajo Healing Song. I thought it might help.”

“It was beautiful, and it did help.”

“After what happened to you earlier today, you both needed all the help from the Great Spirit that you could get.”

“Sitting there, looking into the fire, and hearing you chant took me to a very peaceful place. A place where I felt safe.”

Naainish looked at me and asked, “And you Kai. Where you also in a peaceful and safe place?”

“Yes.”, I replied. “It was a nice place.”

Naainish smiled, and said, “It is good.”

We chatted for another few minutes, then I said, “I’m tired. I think we’re going to turn in.”

“Could we go to one of the pools first.”, Amy asked. “I think it will even help us relax more.”

“Sure honey. That’s a good idea.”

“That sounds like a good plan.”, my uncle said.

“Aunt Ruth.”, Amy said. “If we're going to be staying for another couple of days, we need to wash clothes. Could we wash our clothes are your house tomorrow?”

“Sure honey. Why don’t you come for breakfast and then wash.”, my aunt said. “And we can call and change your reservations. Then we can call your parents.”

“Thanks, Aunt Ruth.”

As we were walking towards our room, we saw the two women that had been on the cliff with us. They both smiled at us, and I returned their smile.

We returned to our room and changed into our swimsuits. Then walked out our door, and right to the Kiva Pool. We spent a half an hour just soaking and relaxing in the pool, then went back to our room and took a shower. Yes, we showered together. And, yes, that led to other things.

Later as we laid cuddled together in bed, I asked Amy, “Honey. You said that when you were by the fire and Naainish was chanting that it was like you were in a very peaceful and safe place?”

“Yes.”, Amy replied. “You said that you were too.”

“Yes. Do you know where you felt you were?”

“Uh huh.”


She rolled over and looked at me, and said, “Back home, at the lake, in the park. You?”

“Same place.”

“Is that our special place?”

“It always has been. Hasn’t it?”

She didn’t answer me. She just kissed me.

* * * * * *

Sunday morning, the first thing I did was remove the fancy braids from my wig. Then I brushed it into a straight hair look. Amy and I dressed comfortably. Shorts, loose blouses, hiking boots, and no jewelry. Amy put her hair in a ponytail. With my hair straight, I used one of the fancy headbands. We grabbed our cowgirl’s hats, then as we’d done every morning since we’ve been here, we hiked up the cliff trail, to watch the sunrise, and listen to the coyotes. This morning the coyotes were there. And I was wondering if the saying of ‘red sky in the morning, sailors warning’ is correct. Because the sky this morning was many shades of vivid reds.

There were a few other guests up on the cliff with us this morning. And the woman from one of the couples asked us, “Were you the two that were sitting by the fire last night?”

“Yes.”, I replied.

“Are you’re a native?”

“I’m part Navajo. But we don’t live around here and are just visiting.”

“We thought it was interesting the way the musicians and the others there reacted to you. It was like they were there just for you.”

“No. They were there for everyone, to help them enjoy the fire and maybe feel what we feel there.”

“I thought that you might be feeling something while you were sitting there.”

“Our people feel that the area of the fire pit and the pools are sacred ground and that the spirits are strong. There are some of us that feel the spirits more than others.”

“And the gentleman that was chanting. It appeared that he was directing it towards you.”

“He was. He’s a medicine man, and was chanting the Navajo Healing Song.”

I didn’t feel that I needed to explain what had happened yesterday. We stood there with that couple and a few others, watched the sunrise, and listening to the coyotes. Everyone was interested when we told them that we’d seen wolves close by one morning earlier this week.

We walked down from the cliff together and chatted more with the couple. But nothing more was said about last night. They did invite us to have breakfast with them. And they were a little surprised when I told them that we were eating breakfast with my aunt and uncle who manage the resort.

We said so long to the couple when we reached the entrance to the hotel, and we continued to my aunt and uncles house.

As we walked up to the house, we noticed a strange car with New Mexico license plates on it. We walked into the house and heard voices in the kitchen. As we walked into the kitchen, my aunt, uncle, and grandmother were there along with two women.

These two women, had to be Navajo, and they looked familiar. Then it hit me. These are the two ladies that were on the cliff and at the bonfire last night. Why are they here?

My aunt saw us, and said, “Hi kids. I’d like you to meet your Uncle Paul’s younger sisters, Asdza and Nascha. They spent the night with us. Asdza and Nascha this is Kai and Amy or her new name Ajie.”

The four of us just looked at each other. Then I said, “You were the two that were on the cliff last night.”

“Yes.”, Asdza said. “And also at the fire last night.”

“Why didn’t you introduce yourselves?”

“On the cliff, we weren’t sure who you were, besides you were a little preoccupied. And at the fire, we were too interested in watching you.”

“So, you know who we are?”

“After the bonfire, yes. And of course we know about you, who doesn’t.”, Nascha said. “You were in the paper.”

“I know.”

“I work for the Taos News.”, Asdza said. “We even picked up your story from the Navajo Times. And it was on our front page.

“Your Aunt Ruth has told us a lot about you. And she’s right when she says you are one boy that makes a beautiful looking girl.

“Nascha and I just had to meet you and your pretty wife.”

“Well, I guess we have two new aunts.”, I said.

“I guess you do.”

“So you saw us up on the cliff last night?”

“Yes. We did.”

“What did you see.?”

“We don’t want to embarrass you.”

“You won’t.”

“We saw two pretty girls kiss like lovers.”

I felt my face get warm, and I looked at Amy, and her face was a little red. And I said, “I guess we are a little embarrassed.”

“Don’t be. You two were cute.”

“So seeing two girls kiss didn’t bother you?”

“No. It was fine.”

“I thought that we were out of site.”

“You were. But we were being nosy. We saw you holding hands and go over behind the rocks, and we followed you.”

“That sounds like my two nosy little sisters.”, Uncle Paul said.

Nascha said something in Navajo to my Uncle Paul that I didn’t understand, but she received a nasty look from him. And my aunt and Asdza laughed at what was said.

Amy and I looked at them like what did you say? But I didn’t ask what was said.

While Aunt Ruth made us an excellent breakfast, Amy and I started our one load of laundry. We then talked some more while we ate. Most of the talk was about the area and the people. We did learn more about each other, including that Uncle Paul’s real name is Yiska, and Aunt Ruth’s real name is Sahkyo, and that they use their Anglicized names to make it easier for the guests of the resort. And that Aunt Nascha worked for the local Sheriff.

We also talked about me being a two spirit person, and how I felt about it. I admitted to them, and myself, that at first, I didn’t like it. I loved the dressing as a girl, but the two spirit thing scared me, but since talking to Naainish and others out here, that I’d come to accept it and enjoy it. But that I still didn’t completely understand it.

We talked more about my great-great-grandfather Nez. And maybe why Uncle Paul had picked that name for me. Nascha suggested that it might have been the spirits of the fire that picked it since we were there when he used it the first time, and my Aunt Ruth agreed with her. I had no idea but admitted that I loved the name, Kai Nez. My aunt said that Kai meant, willow tree, and that Nez meant, tall. But we knew that. Then Aunt Ruth said, “But Nez, as a surname, was an adopted surname that came about when the Bureau of Indian Affairs forced the people to take a surname for use in official records.”

I asked, “Did the Navajo people have surnames before the white man came here?”

“Before the white man, our people used the clan name of their parents. Now surnames are common and can be Spanish or English or Navajo words.”

My uncle then asked, “So what are you two up to today?”

“Absolutely nothing.”, Amy replied. “Or at least almost nothing. Maybe do some hiking, and soak in the pools. Maybe get a massage. Soak in the tub. Just relax.”

“After yesterday, it might just be the best thing.”, my aunt said.

“You know.”, I said. “Since we’ve been here we’ve never been able to cuddle in front of the fireplace.”

Amy added. “That’s always a good way to relax.”

My aunt looked at us and asked, “Why haven’t you been able to?”

“There’s only chairs in the room. No couch.”

I saw my aunt look at my uncle. And my uncle said, “I’ll see what I can do.” Then he said, “I know you two have been to the Taos Pueblo, but you haven’t been to Taos itself. Have you?”

“No.”, I replied. “I think we drove through it. But we didn’t stop.”

“You might want to take a run up there tomorrow. It’s only about an hour northeast of here.”

“That might be an idea.”

“Do they have any place there where I could buy some more long skirts?”, Amy asked.

“I think they do.”, my aunt replied.

“They do.”, Asdza replied. “They have a shopping area that’s nothing but native craft. Just be sure it’s made here and not someplace else.”

“We could run over to Mrs. Benallie’s place again.”

“Hmm. That’s a thought.”, Amy replied. “I bet Kai wouldn’t mind going.”

“No, I wouldn’t.”, I replied. “She does have some nice things.”

After a heated discussion with my aunt about who was going to clean up, Amy and I won, and we cleaned up the breakfast dishes. Then we called the airline and changed our reservation to Wednesday, but our flight wouldn’t leave Albuquerque at nine. Three hours later than our current one.

Then we called our parents and told them of our change of plans. And that we’d be back home on Wednesday instead of Monday and we’d be in three hours later. They said that they’d see us on Wednesday. We didn’t tell them about the trouble yesterday. We figured that it would be better to tell them face to face.

My Aunt Ruth then said, “With your flight leaving later you won’t have to stay at the hotel near the airport. You can stay here, and we can run you down.”

“Aunt Ruth!”, I said. “We’ve already imposed on you too much.”

“Honey. Please let us do this for you. We love you, and just like doing things for the two of you.”

“Aunt Ruth. I’ve learned not to argue with you guys. I never win. So, okay.”

We then called the hotel in Albuquerque and canceled our reservation.

We told my aunts and uncle that we wanted to get our hike in before the temperature became too hot, as it was supposed to hit ninety today, and that we’d be back for lunch. So, after tossing our load of washing into the dryer, we borrowed water bottles and hiking staffs from my uncle, told everyone that we’d see them for lunch, and headed off to the Mica Mines.

We had a great hike and stopped back at our room to shower and change. When we walked into the room, it had changed. Instead of the two chairs in front of the Kiva fireplace, there was now a black leather couch. Amy and I looked at each other and said in unison, “Uncle Paul.”

We showered, again not together or we wouldn't make lunch. And we then changed into fancy blouses, long skirts, and moccasins. And we were at my aunt and uncles just in time for lunch. But before we ate, we rattled Uncle Paul. Amy and I walked up to him and said, “Thank you for the couch, Uncle Paul.” And then Amy kissed him on one cheek, and I kissed him on the other. As I’ve said before, I can be such a girl.

He sputtered a bit, but was able to get out, “You … You’re welcome girls.”

I saw my Aunt Ruth grin, and my two new aunts blush. Then my Aunt Asdza said, “Kai. I thought you were a boy?”

“Am I?”, I asked.

“I sure thought that you were. But kissing your uncle like that … ”

“Asdza.”, Aunt Ruth said. “Remember that he has two spirits. And we’ve learned that when the female spirit is strong. He’s a girl.”

I gave my Aunt Ruth a puzzled look and just said, “Aunt Ruth. He?”

“Sorry honey. Asdza. Naainish has told us that she’s special and he respects her and her spirits. So we’ve come to accept her even though we know it’s Tom. And we treat her as a girl.”

“We knew that everyone felt that she was special.”, Asdza said. “But seeing it … ”

“Aunt Asdza, I’ll tell you a little secret.”, Amy said. “When his male spirit is stronger, he is all man.”

My aunts, all three of them, then put together a nice lunch. As we ate, we talked more and learned more about Taos and decided that we’d head up that way tomorrow.

Then we talked about what Amy and I were going to do this afternoon. And when my Aunt Ruth found that I was going to soak in one of the pools while Amy was getting her massage, she asked, “Kai. Honey. Why aren’t you getting a massage?”

“Aunt Ruth.”, I said. “Don’t I have to get naked?”

“Yes. It’s better if you do.”

“I may be a girl in spirit, but what’s under this blouse and skirt? A boy.”

“Oh. Yeah. I see your point.”

“I wish I could have a massage. But … ”

“Honey. Let me make a phone call.”

My Aunt Ruth walked out of the kitchen. And the rest of us continued to talk.

Aunt Ruth was back in a few minutes, and said, “Kai. Go with Amy and get a massage. It will do you good. When you get there, Amber will be expecting you and will treat you very well. And be sure to soak in one of the pools for half an hour before you have your massage, and I have both of you scheduled for massages at two-thirty.”

“Really?”, I said.

“Yes. I told Amber that you were special and needed some tender loving care.”

“I’ll try.”

I went to get our clothes out of the dryer and found all of our clothes neatly folded on top of the dryer. And I thanked Aunt Ruth for doing that. We said so long to our two new aunts as they were heading back to Taos. And Amy and I headed back to our room to change into swimsuits. As we were changing, I said, “I don’t know if I’m going to get a massage.”

“Why?”, Amy asked.

“I just don’t know if I can let someone see me undressed.”

“I think that you’re wrapped in a sheet or at least covered by one. So you’re not completely naked.”

“But once I’m undressed I don’t have anything to hold a sheet up.”



“Oh. Well. You can wrap it over one shoulder.”

“Maybe. What about down below?”

“I don’t think they get that close to that area.”

“I don’t know.”

“Honey. Just try it. Aunt Ruth said that Amber would treat you well.”

“Okay. I’ll try.”

“Good. It’s almost two, let's go and soak in one of the pools, and it’ll help you relax.”

We changed into our bathing suits, walked over to the pools and spent a half an hour relaxing in the warm waters. Then just before two-thirty we were out of the pool and headed over to the spa. I still wasn’t sure about this, but soaking in the warm water of the pool did help me relax.

We checked in at the spa, and the girl told us that our therapists would be right out. We sat in comfortable chairs for only a few minutes before Amy’s therapists came to get her. As she stood, Amy whispered, “Honey. Relax. It’ll be fine. I love you.”

“I love you too.”, I whispered back.

Only a minute later my therapists came to get me, as she walked up, she smiled, and said, “Hi. You must be Kai. I’m Amber.”

Amber must be her Anglicized name as she was no doubt that she was a native. Possibly even a Navajo.

“Hi, Amber. Yes, I’m Kai.”, I replied.

“Come on with me, and we’ll get started.”

I followed her back to her area, and as she pointed to a door, she said, “That’s a changing room. Go in there and undressed. And you’ll find another robe that you can put on. Then come back out, and we'll see if we can relieve some of the tension that I feel in you.”

“Is your name really Amber?”, I asked.

She smiled, and said, “No. It’s Ahiga. I use Amber for the guests. Is yours really Kai?”


“Is it?”


“What is it?”


“Strange name for a guy.”

“A guy?”

“Yes. At least that’s what Mrs. Biakeddy told me.

“I guess my aunt told you my real name too.”

“Mrs. Biakeddy told me it was Tom. ... Wait Mrs. Biakeddy is your aunt.”

“Yes. She and my mother are sisters. What else did she tell you about me?”

“Oh. She also said that you’re the Nádleeh that everyone's been talking about. And about what happened yesterday. Why don’t you get undressed and we’ll talk some more? Oh, and you might want to remove your wig, so it doesn’t get ruined.”

“You knew about the wig too?”

“Yeah. It’s an excellent one, and I couldn’t tell, but Mrs. Biakeddy told me that you wore one.”

I went into the changing room, removed my robe, swimsuit, and slipped on the provided robe. Then removed my wig and wig cap. I looked at myself in the mirror, fixed my hair a little, and saw Tammy. I couldn’t help but smile.

I walked back out to Amber’s work area. She looked at me, shook her head, and said, “I thought you were a guy?”

“I am.”, I replied.

“No guy can look this good as a girl. And you’re not even trying. And now you’re a blue-eyed blond.”

“Didn’t the blue eyes bother you before?”

“No. I know a couple of blue-eyed locals. Something about them having some blue-eyed, whites, in their ancestry.”

“I have a lot of white blood in me. My mother is half Navajo, and my dad is white with blue eyes and blond hair.”

“We’d better get started. And we can talk more while I work. I’ll turn my back. You take off the robe, climb up on the table, cover yourself with the sheet that’s on the table, and lay on your stomach.”

She turned her back to me, and I did as she asked. As Amber started working, she said, “What I’m going to do is use warm, oiled basalt stones combined with a massage to soothe your muscles, balance your energy and relieve tension. I’ll place the large stones, which are heated in the mineral waters, at points on your body to help calm and relax your mind and nervous system. Mrs. Biakeddy suggested that this might be the best massage for you.”

Amber went to work, and whatever she was doing really started to relax me. And we continued to talk, mostly about my two spirits, my dressing like a girl, and Amy.

The massage ended all too soon. I went to the changing room, put my bathing suit back on, and slipped my forms back in. Then I put my wig back on, brushed it out, and put the headband back on.

I walked out of the changing room carrying my robe. Amber saw me, put her hands on her hips, and said, “I don’t know about you. You walked into that room as a pretty, blond, white girl and walk out as a pretty, dark-haired, native girl.”

I just grinned at her.

Then Amber accompanied me to the spa’s waiting room. Amy was sitting there waiting for me, she stood and came over to us. I introduced them, and Amy asked, “So. How was the massage?”

“Wonderful.”, I replied. “I never wanted it to stop. How was yours?”

“It was so relaxing that I fell asleep.”

I thanked Amber with a hug. And Amy and I headed back to our room to change for dinner.


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