The fair wound down on the following Saturday night, with the final visitors to the fair leaving just after midnight.
Dad had firmly but politely told off both Allison and I for not having gone to bed already, then said we had better get there rather quickly. As the simple thought of one of dad's 'punishments' is not something I look forward to experiencing, I was soon in our RV and in my bed.
The crowds had been no bigger over the last two days of the fair than they had been before. In fact, they might have been smaller.
By the time I woke up on the Sunday morning, a large part of the rides and equipment had already been dismantled by our folks. I noticed that four of the eleven tractor trailers were gone, which likely meant that they were already on their way to our next location in Indiana.
We had until the next Friday to get there, which was good, as it meant we could relax. Well, most of us could relax, but with all the physical stuff I've been going through over the last couple of months, mom and dad want me to be checked whenever we have time to spare to do so.
That meant we wouldn't be leaving the Carroll County area until the next day, possibly even Tuesday morning. I guess it would all depend on just how much time I would have to spend being examined tomorrow, as that is when the appointment mom arranged would take place.
I spent a fair part of the day that Sunday helping folks to dismantle the other rides and equipment, then load them into the trailers.
The last big rig pulled out of the Carroll County fairgrounds at 9:17 on that Sunday evening.
I would have loved to have some grilled sausages or venison burgers, but that pair of guys, their van and grill had already left the site.
I'd been feeling slightly 'under the weather' for the last two days or so, with no idea as to why. It never occurred to me to consider the fact that my body is developing as a girl, not as a boy, so I just continued with whatever I was doing until the final truck had gone on its way.
I'd headed back to the RV at that point. Mom had made some chili earlier in the day, and I warmed up a large bowl and a hamburger bun, then split the bun, put the two parts on a plate and spooned some of the chili onto the bun halves, thereby making some instant sloppy joes.
It didn't take me long to finish the chili a la sloppy joe meal and clean out the bowl. I finished it by drinking a large glass of fresh milk.
I was feeling fairly tired at that point, which was just about ten PM. I crawled up into my bed space and was soon asleep.
I woke up during the night, shortly after two AM, needing to use the washroom.
I padded to the bathroom, sat down to use the toilet to pee and saw some blood down there. I guess I freaked out and screamed really loudly.
Mom came running from the big bedroom at the back of the RV and yanked open the bathroom door, dad right behind her, only to see me staring down at my genital area, still screaming at the top of my lungs. Mom stepped in, knelt in front of me and grabbed me in a tight hug.
It took a few minutes before I realized she was holding me, then the screams shifted to nervous hiccups before I could finally speak.
"Mom... I'm... I'm bleeding down there," I managed to squeak out, pointing at my genital area just to make it quite clear what I meant.
Mom nodded, continuing to hug me tightly, then said, "You were told not quite two weeks ago that you might start some time soon, love."
Mom released me at that point, then stood and reached into the small cupboard under the washroom sink and pulled out a box. She reached into the box, grabbed an item that looked like a fake firecracker with a bit of string on it, then told me it was a tampon and how to use it.
She also pulled out one of two pads that were in the box, handing it to me. "Tampon first, then the pad just in case, okay?"
It obviously wasn't one of my better moments, it took me almost five minutes to get that darn tampon in properly, then put the pad in my underwear. After I had cleaned myself appropriately, I exited the bathroom, getting another hug from mom, then one from dad.
That was unusual, dad doesn't often hug me, I guess it was one of those guy things because I was thought to be a male until recently.
I made my way back to my bed over the front seats as mom and dad waited in the short hallway leading to their bedroom.
I woke up just after 7 AM that Monday morning to the smell of mom's homemade omelettes being cooked on the small stove.
Normally, that smell would have me nearly drooling. Not this morning, though, my body had other things to deal with at the moment.
As I passed by mom, I asked her if there were any other tampons in that box. I already knew there was one last pad in there.
She said there were two or three tampons left and smiled briefly as I continued on my way to the washroom.
Well, I'd like to say that I did better the second time around, but the truth would be otherwise. It took almost ten minutes before I was done, that included the fact that I had needed to pee first as I usually did when I woke up for the day, then I headed out to the small kitchen area.
Mom grinned at me and handed me a plate with a huge omelette on it, packed with my favourite ingredients, including hot peppers. On the side of the plate I could see three slices of bacon as mom handed me a smaller plate with two slices of toast slathered in peach marmalade.
I have no idea where she managed to get the marmalade, but it was the perfect finishing touch to that breakfast meal.
After I had finished eating, including a large glass of orange juice, I went back into the bathroom to have a quick shower. I put my hair into a cap to keep it dry as I showered, then when I was done, I dried myself, quickly realizing that rubbing as I used to do could be rather painful.
Mom was in the bathroom after me for her shower. Dad had apparently had one the night before and was already dressed for the day in a pair of stonewashed jeans with some worn patches over both knees and a t-shirt showing one of my favourite bands, Led Zeppelin.
I followed dad's example, dressing in a pair of jeans and a matching t-shirt, although my jeans didn't have extra holes in them.
Mom came out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her, and a few minutes later, appeared in a similar outfit.
We were on our way to the Carroll County Memorial Hospital to meet with a Dr. Peter Cantrell, who had been assigned to my case after I had met with Dr. Sandridge at the previous appointment. Dr. Sandridge had recommended Dr. Cantrell fairly strongly to my parents.
The appointment with Dr. Cantrell had been set for 10 AM, but we were there shortly after 9:30 that morning.
Mom and dad were soon busy filling out various bits of paperwork while I sat there and fretted over everything, especially last night's events. I had soooo not been prepared for the sight of menstrual blood when I'd entered that bathroom, as I've already mentioned here.
We weren't actually called in to see Dr. Cantrell until just after 10:20 AM, apparently he'd been delayed on the way in to the hospital.
Once we were in the office and settled down on some chairs, mom and dad filled him in on everything. That took a few minutes, even more when they produced several documents detailing the medical tests, exams and other things that had been done since it was all discovered.
They then informed him that he had initially been intended to only be a check-up on an ongoing basis, but that things had changed very recently, last night, in fact. Mom then went on to tell him rather explicitly about my reaction to seeing myself menstruating for the first time.
Let's just say that I turned as red as a beet when mom mentioned that, and of course, Dr. Cantrell noticed my reaction and chuckled.
He then went on to say that he wanted to do a few tests, primarily another ultrasound and blood tests, just to verify that everything was fine. He then stated that he also wanted to have my breasts looked at, a simple physical check of them is what he actually said.
A short while later, I was being led into a small room, told to strip and put on one of those silly hospital smocks that don't fully close and wait. The wait lasted a bit more than ten minutes, then a young woman led me to another room where they extracted seven vials of my blood.
Now, I don't normally make much of a fuss at having blood taken, but I'd been feeling a bit off recently, and so I whined at her. I didn't actually say anything, just made one of those ick faces you see in pictures of people seeing something distasteful and vocalized it all in a whine.
Once she had finished in her attempt to drain me dry, she put a bit of cotton on it, then taped it down and led me back to that other little room.
I sat in there, thinking about everything that I was experiencing and wishing that it could all be over with as soon as possible.
I'd been in there for not quite half an hour after I returned before another young woman showed up, saying the ultrasound was ready.
That wasn't any different really from the last time I'd had one, although things looked a little more fully formed this time.
The tech, a fortyish woman with slightly graying rather long hair, smiled at me as she wiped me cleaning, saying, "Everything looks fine."
I had just entered that little room where I had been told to wait each time when a mature woman called my name. When I answered, she led me to a small exam room, had me sit on the examination bed as she checked my breast growth, then lie down to get a different view.
She was soon done, mentioning that I looked to be a fairly full A cup at the moment, which was very significant growth for a month or two.
Then it was back to that little room, getting out of that silly smock and back into my clothes, at which point I returned to the doctor's office.
Apparently, the test results had already reached him, as he was nodding while looking intently at two sheets in particular.
It turned out that the two sheets were both ultrasound images, one from the hospital in San Bernardino, one from here.
"Well, Lara, there isn't a large amount of change from the ultrasound you had at Loma Linda about two weeks ago, but your internal organs are still maturing. If things keep going as they seem to be doing, you'll be fully functional within the next six to eight weeks, ten at the most."
I gasped, then curled up on the seat, leaning sideways over the edge of it to try to hug mom as I lost it. I started bawling, life had definitely taken a rather serious left turn along the way. As things stood now, knowing I could menstruate meant I knew that I could face pregnancy, too.
Hopefully, that will be delayed for quite some time. Besides, I think I'm attracted to girls, so that might be out of the question, which is a relief.
I managed to pull myself together after a good cry on mom's shoulder. I guess it's a good thing she wasn't wearing a high-end blouse.
After several more minutes of discussion with the doctor, he stated that it would be good to continue having assessments of the actual physical development on a fairly frequent basis, perhaps every two weeks or so if we could find the time. Mom and dad agreed.
When we walked out of the hospital, a clock on a wall in the entry area showed the time to be not quite 1:30 PM.
We headed back to the fairgrounds, where we met up with Tina, Ricki and Allison, then gathered in our RV to prepare and have lunch.
Having those three girls there when we returned from the hospital that afternoon was a good thing, a very good thing, indeed.
We decided to make some hot dogs and a macaroni salad, and the kitchen area was soon filled with busily working people.
The actual lunch turned out to be fairly good, although the mac could have been cooked a wee bit longer before being turned into a salad.
After the meal and the clean-up had been done, we prepared to leave Carroll County behind us, our next destination the Marion County Fair.
The actual trip to Marion County wasn't particularly long, we headed over to I65, then followed that north until we reached the southern outskirts of Indianapolis. From there, it was a quick run up I465 to where the cloverleaf by I74 was located before we could turn off and work our way around to be able to use Old US 421, then along S. Hunter Rd., Southeastern Ave. and E. Troy Ave. to reach the fairgrounds.
We were obviously there quite early, but considering that we hadn't had to go very far, that was expected.
I still felt a bit off, having had to switch tampons twice since this morning. There were times I wished things were different, specifically along the lines of my being female rather than male. Life as a male had been so much simpler in so many ways, it was bloody frustrating!
Mom decided to hit a pizza place a bit further down Southeastern Ave. One of the girls had said they'd had pizza there in the past and it had been pretty decent. Tina went with mom after taking down info on the various toppings we all wanted on our pizzas.
It turned out that the six of us all wanted different toppings, so they decided to split three pizzas, half a pizza for each person.
Mom and Tina returned not quite an hour later, loaded down with three pizza boxes. Mom was also carrying a plastic shopping bag like you can get at most convenience stores, grocery stores or supermarkets. Everyone dived into the pizzas, claiming their halves as fast as possible.
I'm glad the food had arrived, as that distracted me from remembering what I had seen in the plastic bag mom had been carrying. I was one of the first to finish eating my half pizza, so I made my way to the washroom and peed, then had to come out because I needed a tampon.
That was when I noticed the bag, which had been left near the door so it wouldn't be under everyone's feet as they ate. A quick look in the bag showed that mom had picked up a large pack of Kotex® maxi pads and a pack of Kotex® tampons. Well, that solved that problem.
I ripped open the pack of tampons, then pulled one out, stopped for a moment and grabbed two more for later. I rushed into the bathroom and spent the next several minutes getting the tampon properly situated. I might actually get the hang of that some time soon. Maybe.
After another quick wash once I was done, I exited the bathroom again and sat down, noticing that everyone else seemed to be finished eating. Well, one of the good things about pizza is that leftovers can be stored fairly easily, and there were maybe nine or ten slices left total.
Mom found one of those snap tight containers and placed the leftover slices in there, layering them as needed, then closed it and placed the now almost full container on the lower shelf of the fridge. Those slices would most likely be gone by the middle of the following day.
The next few days passed by in what seemed to be rather high speed. My period finished on Thursday afternoon. At least, that was when I knew it was done, as there was no new blood down there when I removed the old tampon and placed it where it belonged.
Allison and I were often seen doing our usual training exercises, including spending time up on the rope once it had been erected in our tent.
All of our rides had been set up by that point, plus several booths including dad's bottle one and the pony ride paddock.
I had the luck to be able to introduce a cute five year old girl named Melanie to her first pony ride ever. She apparently loved it, as I couldn't get her off of Maybelle, the pony she had been riding, until more than two hours had passed and little Melanie started to become tired.
Her mom noticed that, and soon had carefully pulled Melanie from Maybelle's back as I stood there and held on to Maybelle's reins.
Well, I'm sure that at some point soon, Melanie will likely ask her mom about riding lessons. Those lessons can be pretty expensive.
The fair opened late afternoon on Friday, and it didn't take long before people were scattered all over the place having fun.
Allison and I were doing two shows each weekday evening, drawing fairly decent crowds at those times. We had also done two shows during the day, but like our recent time at Carroll County's fair, the number of people wasn't very high, so the audiences were rather small.
Saturday turned out to be quite good for us. We put on four shows once the fair opened, getting good crowds and lots of applause.
When we weren't up on the rope, we sometimes watched some of our other shows. We had a great time on Saturday afternoon, between two of our performances, watching the acrobats do their thing on their equipment, with Peter and Jenny below them juggling bowling pins.
It was actually quite amazing just how much progress Peter and Jenny have made in the last two months or so since we started our wanderings around the country. Back then, they were often hitting the acrobats unintentionally. Now, they were barely missing them intentionally.
It sure was something to see, as Eric and his family deftly avoided the flying projectiles while tumbling this way and that way up there.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, with us doing four shows through the day, all to fairly large audiences and plenty of applause.
We managed to catch the clowns doing their bit between our second and third performances that day, which is when I learned about Allison's fear of clowns. She held on to me rather tightly as she told me about a boy in her home town who had played a clown and scared her very badly. She hadn't learned until some time later that the boy had been egged on by a few of his friends, but by then, Allison had moved away.
I held her close, letting her know that I understood what it was like to be afraid of something, then asked if she would let me introduce her to our clowns. She looked at me for a moment, perhaps to see if I meant to harm her somehow, then nodded and followed me over to them.
It didn't take her long to realize that our clowns were only friendly ones, and she seemed to be fascinated by young Michael. Michael happens to be Barry's son, he and his sister Linda had loved to watch their father doing his clown acts and had had him teach them to be clowns.
What made it even more interesting was the fact that Allison seemed to be attracted to Michael notwithstanding his being in costume.
Well, I guess it's pretty clear where Allison's heart is leaning. I took a moment to talk with Barry, letting him know what was developing. Barry nodded, muttering that he had seen Michael's reaction to Allison being there, and that he would tell Michael to go slowly with Allison.
Allison and I were soon doing another performance, drawing what looked to be a larger crowd and even more applause this time.
From Monday through Friday of the following week, the daytime shows had sparse attendance, with the evening shows being quite good. I overheard a conversation between dad and Jack Birchland on Tuesday evening, where Jack said we seemed to be ahead a bit already.
I didn't catch dad's reply, but I did hear Jack say that we might end up getting about $700 or so more than our costs, plus the various tip jars.
Doing the day shows was darn near boring, it's hard to really put your all into it when there's maybe ten people watching you. That didn't stop Allison and I from working our butts off, doing everything we could to make each show as good as possible for the audience.
When we weren't performing on weekdays, we wandered around the various exhibit buildings to see what they were showing. We weren't really noticing what the buildings contained, except for the ones with the animals, it's hard not to notice animals living close together, hmm?
On the second weekend of the fair, we were kept busy with our performances and training, although we did take time to relax now and then. Allison and I watched Eric and his family doing their acrobatic stunts with Peter and Jenny adding their bit of flair to the show.
Eric must be working both of them pretty hard, they were even better this time than they were just a week before.
I'm pretty sure we were all glad when the fair closed for the last time on that second Sunday night.
Brockton Fair in Massachusetts is our next stop. That doesn't open until Friday afternoon, so we have four days to get there and prepare.
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