I was tired. I hadn't slept well last night. The other boys and girls were all excited to be shopping in the city at the department store. We were on a school outing and this was the afternoon treat before we were supposed to board the school bus back to the home.
I was in a home, I do not know if I had parents. All I ever remember was the home. There was girls and boys about my age of 11 in the home. It made sleeping sometime really hard. I had gotten more than my fair share of tricks played on me over the years.
I am what is referred to as a sound sleeper. Once asleep you can yell and punch me and I will not wake up. Both the boys and girls have found this to be amusing. Sometimes I would wake up out in the yard. Other times in pigtails and a girls nightie. The boys rolled me in mud and put my hand in warm water, A favorite of theres as it makes one pee while sleeping.
The year was 1981 most stores did not have internal cameras or sensors like they do now. When they locked for the night a security guard was sometimes locked in there. Other times they just used deadbolted security shutters. All stores were closed on sundays.
Anyways like I said I was tired. I tried to sleep last night but just as I was about too one of the kids would try a prank on me. I would wake up and deal with them. Which was look them in the eye and say no. I was never the muscular type. The boys would ignore me for any groups. The girls were always in there group. So I read alot of books.
I was sorta small for my age as puberty had skipped me by so far. Not even any pubic hair. I was for all intents and purposes hair free except for my head of hair. It like all the kids in the home was long. All the kids got the same trim from the blind barber. It was free so you can bet the home went for it. Trim across the bangs and just below the neck in the back. If you had curly hair it still got cut but when wet was longer. Or in my case thanks to a prank of the girls for the last year it got curled the night before and when the blind barber came he trimmed it. So when washed again it was past my shoulder blades.
So here I was in the middle of a department store falling asleep fast. I sat down in the middle of some rack of clothes to hide from the kids. I guess I totally fell asleep because when I woke up again the store was closed completely. I was also shivering so it took me a minute or two to realize my falling asleep didn't go unnoticed by the kids. Pants shoes socks and tshirt were all gone. Not really a big surprise knowing those kids.
I got up and looked around I was still in the girls section of the store. The store is like 8 floors, with each floor dedicated to one department. And yep they use steel grates on stairs. I went to an elevator out of service is lit on the floor number marker above the elevators. So I'm stuck on this floor. Food first thing. I'm 11 years old. After a bit of searching I found some Oh Henry bars behind a counter. Exits will probably set of the alarms. I search for the bathroom next a few minutes under the hand dryer bring me some warmth and a quick wash with hot water in the sink makes me feel better.
Next up is the search for warm clothing. I know its technically stealing but since I am trapped in the store over night I think they will cut me some slack. As I walk around looking at clothing I notice something I didn't earlier. This floor is wall to wall skirts blouses and dresses. Not a single pair of pants anywheres. I see some shoes on a display. They are girls black sandles with straps. The tag reads Mary Jane's must be brand name. However they fit alright and its alot less chilly. I guess there is no help for it. I need to put on something before I freeze.
I walk around looking for something warm that will fit. I come across this poofy looking white dress made of satin. It has lots of lace and the manni has lace gloves. Reading the tag it says its a first communion dress. It looks warm though. Okay it called to some part of me as well. I try on 3 before I find my size. Feels wrong though like something is missing. I think back to what little I have seen the girls do. Tights and another piece of something that slips. I go around and find the small lingerie section there is tights and slips. I pick a 100% polyester and silk slip. I'm not sure how it can be labelled like that but it is. I put that on and a pair of white tights. My undies I keep on as they are the generic unisex ones at the home. The tights I find feel nice and warm my legs so with the slip in place I put on the dress which feels alot better and actually swings easier. Getting the zipper done up requires some scrunching of material up around my neck though. Definatly warmer.
I look in a mirror and with the lace gloves on, yep grabed them off the manni, I see a very pretty girl in the mirror with unkempt hair. More searching around the store yeilds a hair brush with broken teeth and some ribbon in pink. Back to the washroom, there is only one on the floor, and I spend an hour playing with my hair and the ribbon. I finally get a look that is passable with the outfit.
The girl in the mirror looks like she needs something still. I go back to the one counter where behind it in a drawer was some lip stuff. It takes a wad of tissue, some soap and half the lip container to get my lips to look good with the red color. I go looking around and around here and there being careful to not mess up the dress. I find a small white purse that matches the dress behind another counter I put the lippy in there and put it on my should like I have seen the girls do. I also find some small fake pearl necklace in a corner under the desk with a bent catch. It takes me a moment or two to fix the catch. Using another mirror I put on the necklace. Looking good. I go back to where I found the broken necklace and find some other broken jewelry. I put aside the two matching earrings I found on separate little cardboard things. The other match to them obviously beyond repair. They are for pierced ears which I don't have. I put they both on the same cardboard and put them in my purse. I also find a small silver wrist chain and a small ladies watch in silver. The armband seems broken but in the small box is another armband. It takes me an hour or so but I fix the watch and put it on my wrist. On the other wrist I put the chain. By this time my feet which I have been kneeling on have fallen asleep. I get up and walk around to get some feeling into them again. I go back to the counter and find some other stuff that needs fixing. There is a bottle of perfume that seems to have a broken top to it. Another smashed bottle has a simular top. Tada I have a spritz of perfume. It smells nice. To bad I got some on myself fixing it.
I go back and forth to the washroom and around the store a few times in search of more food. I even found a still full but open can of pop. I use a straw to drink it. Never know what germs it may have. I go looking at other dresses, skirts and blouses. Since I am in here overnight might as well have some fun. Soon I have a bag with 4 skirts, 2 blouses, and 5 dresses as well as some matching underthings for them. The dresses just feel better though. I'm wearing a simple straight dress in off white with a cream satin sash that ties in the back and I found some white shoes to go with it.
In my searching I found in the corner a small back girls coat. It keeps me warmer. Its comfy too which I like. I go back to my spot with the interesting box and use my little fingers to fix alot of stuff in that box. I spend hours fixing this and that till my eyes get heavy again. I use my bag of clothes as a pillow and fall asleep for a nap.
"Doesn't she look adorable?"A strange voice intrudes.
"The perfect picture of a little lost girl." Another voice claims.
"Look she must have eaten those bars and drank that pop. Poor thing her mother must be hysterical."
" I think she fixed alot of the broken jewelry in this box. What clever hands she has. "
"I don't see any money or identification in her purse. And the dress in this bag looks like one of ours."
"Well for being a brave girl and fixing all this jewelry Ill write off the dress its on sale anyways."
"Are you sure maam?"
"Perks of being the boss."
"Oh look she is waking up."
I wake up to these voices and spy to well dressed women in matching skirt and blazer suits with funny ties on the blouses. One tag reads Peobody senior manager. The other tag reads Mable sales associate. I am in trouble I can see this for sure. I back away and clutch my pillow bag to me. I forgot what I was wearing.
"Ssshhh Its okay honey. Were you in the store all night by yourself?"
I nod of course lieing to adults is a bad idea.
"You must be hungry and probably need the little girls room." Strange way of saying bathroom but I do need to pee something fierce. Mable helps me to my feet.
"You are a very brave girl to spend the night in the store by yourself. Come lets get you all fixed up shall we." She grabs my gloved hand and we go to the washroom. Same one I used last night. I know the toilet sees don't move without a fair amount of squeaking so I sit to do my business. Not the first time Ive used a girls washroom. I uses some tissue to wipe myself clean down below. After I get out Mable is holding my bag of clothes.
"Do you want me to help you put on the pretty dress."
"Oh yes please!" I say excitedly. Probably the last chance I get. She helps me out of the current dress I am in and into the other dress. It still feels really good. When we are done and I have made sure my hands are clean, Mable leads me to the stairs. I am sure the police are waiting for a little criminal like me. But instead we go up another flight or two to a side door that leads to a small eating room like the home has. She calls it a cafeteria. She treats me to a warm muffin and some toast with a milk.
Mable is a very nice lady and after awhile I thaw out enough to tell her my life history. I do not specify that I am a boy nor do I make a claim to being a girl either. We talk awhile and she tells me she that when she was young her parents made her move away when she got pregnant with her child. Being pennyless she had to give up that child at birth. I feel for her I really do. She says that if she had a girl she would want her to be just like me. I don't know why but I got up and went and hugged her and said its okay Mummy. She cried and cried at that.
That was 7 years ago. I like with Mummy Mable and Tante Peabody. They arranged to have me adopted. They have always treated me as a girl. I never asked for it. But if this is the price to have two such wonderful women in my life ill do it again in a heartbeat. My apparent testies were just fat deposits. I now have small breats and Mummy is rather insistant I wear a bra under my school uniform. She and Tante insisted I attend this school. Its not private or anything but they do have a dress code. The girls at the store all think my tartan pleated skirt, white blouse with its black cross tie, and the blue blazer to be the cutest. I help them in the store fixing broken jewelry from time to time.
I got dollys and dresses and skirts. I haven't seen pants in 6 years. Personal choice. I am happy to by mummys little girl with her pearl earings, Mummy got my ears pierced.
Oh I should mention, She really is my Mummy. After all the adoption paperwork was done we had some bloodtests done. She gave birth to me 18 years ago, she was poor at the time and had little choice. It all worked out. One day I hope to make her a grandmother as well, Its the best possible thank you I could give her.
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