The life of Riley part 6 The Italian dream

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After a while of pondering the idea of being home schooled by my mom and thinking about going up to Boston right before Christmas, I felt excited. I was still upset about the incident at school but I was also proud of myself. I felt proud because I didn’t let a bully treat me like garbage. I didn’t let him treat me like a second class person. I have the same right to be myself as much as anybody else. Being threatened because of that is simply unacceptable. I tried to forget this incident for the moment and focus on more positive things.

I liked the idea of starting new at a private school more and more. What adventures would wait for me? And what would happen to Sammy and me? Would I lose my first girlfriend or would we be able to keep our relationship? All of these questions were running through my head before I drifted off to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning my alarm clock read 8:21 AM. I felt exhausted after yesterday and it looks like I needed this extra sleep. I decided to go downstairs to see what mom was up to and maybe I was able to find some breakfast. I walked into the kitchen and saw mom preparing something that resembled breakfast.

“Hey mom! Good morning!” I said to her yawning and feeling a little sleepy.

“Hey sleepyhead. Did you get some good rest last night?” mom wanted to know.

“I sure did. Looks like you are making breakfast…” I inquired, smiling.

“Yes, sweetie. I am almost done. Let’s sit down and eat and talk a bit.” mom suggested while giving me a hug.

I nodded and pulled up a chair. I looked at my mom while she served us breakfast and I had to think about how much I loved her and how much I appreciated her support. Of course, there was the incident when Mary and I stormed out because my mom was shocked when she found out that I am a girl. I give her a lot of credit for adjusting quickly and for deciding to help me in every possible way.

“So honey, since I still have to figure out what the state requirements are for homeschooling, I was thinking we could take the day off and have some fun. What do you think?” mom asked me, seeming excited.

“Sure. That sounds great. What do you have in mind?” I asked not sure what to expect.
“I thought we could go shopping a little bit and then have lunch at the mall. After that we are going to a place. I can’t tell you what it is because it is a surprise.” mom said sounding a bit mysterious.

“A surprise? Alright. That sounds exciting. I am in.” I told her.

“Yes! A mother-daughter date. Wonderful. Now let’s finish our breakfast and then we should get dressed. I was thinking we could also maybe go to that book store in town and browse for some books.” mom suggested.

“Yes. Great idea. I will be back in about half an hour. Maybe forty five minutes. A pretty girl needs a fair amount of time to get ready in the morning.” I said, sounding a bit more dramatic than I intended.

Mom laughed at this and nodded. I finished up breakfast and went back to my room. I opened my closet and tried to decide which outfit I should wear. With all the clothes I got from Mary, Alyssa and Sammy I did have some options. However, I need to develop my own style as well and for that I am going to need some more clothes. I chose a red and brownish skirt, black tights and a cute reddish sweater. Before I got dressed I went to the bathroom and completed my morning routine.

Once I was dressed I went downstairs and saw that mom was ready to go. We smiled at each other and soon we were in the car on our way to the mall.

“This is fun. Not being in school right now feels a little naughty.” I confessed to my mom.

“I can see that. Don’t get used to it though. This is an exception. We are going to do this the proper way, young lady.” mom said sounding mostly serious with a slight grin on her face.

I tried to be serious and nodded, almost saluting her like a soldier in the army while trying to suppress yelling out a “Yes, ma'am.”.

While mom focused on driving, I contemplated many things. I especially thought about how I changed as a person when I started becoming Riley and how the relationships with my family members changed. I also considered how I mastered the threat by the bully in the hallway. I don’t think Randy would have been able to manage that. I made a mental note to bring these thoughts up when I will talk to Mary again. I also should share these thoughts with my mom.

While we were driving to the mall, I took in the scenery. It was a cold, gloomy and rainy day but I didn’t let this ruin my good mood. I was excited that my mom and I will spend some quality time together going shopping and having lunch and of course we will spend a lot more time together when she will homeschool me.

Soon we approached the mall and my mom found a place to park quickly as the mall was rather deserted on a weekday morning. We entered smiling at each other. I was ready to shop.

At first mom took me to a clothing store for young girls and women. I was amazed by all the outfits and the rather large selection. I tried on different combinations and decided to go for a black dress, a skirt and several tops I could wear with all kinds of outfits. Mom definitely approved of my taste. It felt fantastic to be able to buy women’s clothes openly. I could just be myself and I did not have to do it in secret.

We went to several more clothing stores and I purchased a few more items. Most of those items were accessories like a pretty silk scarf or some sunglasses.

Mom and I decided to go for lunch so we could take a break.

“Riley, I like all the stuff you bought. You have an eye for good fashion.`` Mom complimented me.

“Thanks, mom. That’s because I have the best teacher.” I said while smiling at her.

“Awww, now you got me blushing. Anyways, I thought that after the mall we could go to the bookstore you like.” mom suggested.

“That is a great idea.” I said excitedly. Books were something I liked even more than pretty clothes.

We finished our lunch and on the way home we stopped at the little corner bookstore. I decided to look for science fiction books and just browse. I found a few books and made myself comfortable in one of the cozy armchairs. Soon I got sucked into reading and left this world.

All of a sudden, I was taken back into this world by a distant voice.

“Is this seat free?” a stunning blonde girl asked me while holding a bunch of books and smiling at me.

“Well, yes. I think so.” I said feeling unsure of myself.

“Thanks. Sorry I interrupted your deep reading session. Must be something worthwhile.” the pretty girl remarked.

“This? Oh, it is just some science fiction. Nothing special really.” I said trying not to stutter while this amazing girl smiled at me. I noticed how fashionable she was. She also had a bit of an accent which I was curious about.

“I never read science fiction but maybe I will give it a try. By the way, my name is Angela.” she said reaching out her hand and smiling at me.

“It’s nice to meet you, Angela. I am Riley.” I said feeling a little light headed.

I took her hand and it felt warm and soft. Where did she come from? Why did I never run into her before? Was she a student at my school? Was she just travelling and happened to stop in our little town. While I love living here, our town is not really a tourist attraction.

“So, do you live here, if you don’t mind me asking?” I asked her wanting to know everything about her.

“No, the first half of my life I grew up in Boston but when my parents got separated I moved in with my dad to live in Florence, Italy. I’m here because my mom just moved out here and I am in the States to visit her. I will go back to Florence after Christmas.” she told me while getting comfortable in the chair next me.

This is amazing. A beautiful Italian American girl stumbled into the bookstore of our little town and strikes up a conversation with a dork like me. I wasn’t sure what to say. I decided to not overthink it and just go with it.

“That is amazing. What kind of books do you like to read?” I asked her.

“I love all kinds of books. While I read a lot of different novels I have been getting more into non fiction books lately. Oh, and I love the Harry Potter series. I read it in English and in Italian.” she said

“What about you, Riley? What do you like?” she wanted to know.

I almost laughed and wanted to say I like you but I restrained myself.

“I love Harry Potter as well.Hermione Granger is my favorite.” I said while giggling a bit.

“Me too. That is great. What do you do for fun, Riley? I will be here for a little while and I don’t know anybody yet. I just arrived two days ago and my mom wanted to introduce me to a few people but there is no one who is my age. I’m excited I met you.” Angela told me while seeming to giggle also.

“I like to hang out with my friends and my big sister Mary. She is away in Oregon for College but will be home for Christmas soon. We are actually planning a trip to Boston to look for a private school for me. I can’t go longer to my regular school. It’s a long story.” I told her.

“I hope this is not too personal, but is it hard to be far away from your mom all the time?” I inquired.

“Yes, fortunately my parents are getting along very well and there wasn’t a lot of fighting when they got seperated. I just decided I wanted to live with my dad. My mom visits often though.” Angela told me.

“I hope I am not boring you with my life story.” Angela said.

“Oh no. Absolutely not. Listen, my mom and I will probably leave soon. I would like to meet again if you want. We could go to Claire’s Cafe and chat a bit more.” I bravely asked her.

“Are you inviting me on a date?” she asked, smiling at me.

“Maybe.” I told her feeling confident and a bit feisty.

“That sounds good. Let me give you my phone number. I will ask my mom but I am sure it will be okay. We can then text or talk about our date.” she suggested.

“Great.” I said feeling excited.

We exchanged phone numbers and we parted. Soon my mom and I were in the car on our way home.

“What are you smiling and giggling about?” mom wanted to know.

“Oh nothing.” I said giggling.

Mom looked at me in a skeptical way.

“Spill your beans, girl!” mom almost demanded.

“Fine. When I was reading my book in the store, this beautiful Italian girl sat herself next to me and we just started talking.” I told my mom giggling.

“Interesting. How do you know she was Italian?” mom inquired.

“Well, she told me. She is visiting her mom who is from Boston. Her mom just moved out here. Angela lives with her dad in Florence but sometimes she visits her mom in the States.” I told her excitedly.

“It looks like you two talked about a lot of things.” mom said sounding a bit suspicious.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I wanted to know, feeling my mood changing from happy and excited to annoyed and even a bit angry.

“Well, you told this girl you barely know all kinds of stuff about you. You have to be careful these days.” mom said a bit forceful.

“I don’t understand. She was nice and friendly and was not trying to hurt me. Calm down!” I told my mom.

“Excuse me? You shouldn’t talk to me this way. I am your mom and I have to protect you. There are a lot of bad people out there. Especially bad people who want to hurt trans gender people.” mom said, seeming to get upset.

“Angela does not intend anything like that. I’m sure she is okay.” I said, feeling determined to prove my mom wrong.

“How do you know that?” my mom pressed on.

“I just know.” I said feeling like pouting.

“Riley, you do not have the life experience yet to always make the correct assumption. Please be careful with that kind of stuff. Remember the threat we received? That was bone chilling.”my mom reminded me.

“Oh yeah? I did not forget that. It was a threat against me. I am the one who passed out and hit her head.” I reminded my mom.

“I think it is best we drop the matter for now.” my mom suggested.

I could see tears running down her face. I felt close to crying myself. I nodded. When we arrived at home we silently put our purchases away. We then looked at each other for a moment. Both hurt and upset but softening up a bit.

I walked over to her and hugged her tightly. We both cried.

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