Ronnie's life took an unexpected turn for the different
the Wrong Store
By Jessica C
Copyright © 2013 Jessica C
All Rights Reserved.
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Good news, Bad news: The bad news is the good news of last year forced me to take matters into my own hands. The Good News: Last year a church was nice enough to send me to one of their church camps that had horseback riding. I was one of those urban kids who fell in love with the outdoors and horse riding. The Bad News was, they didn’t give the camp scholarship to anyone twice. My folks said, there was no way they were going to pay $326 for me to go to camp.
Getting an uncertain allowance of $3.00 per week, working odd end jobs, skipping hair-cuts and whatever I could do; had allowed me to save $223 by now, April 21. I even put all of Grandma $50 birthday gift to it. Now I received notice the early registration ends April 30 when camp registration would go up to $379. The horse camps usually are the first to close because of too many registrations.
Last weekend I redeemed over 400 bottles and cans, and wheeled over 70 pounds of scrap metal a mile and half to a dealer. Not bad for an eighth grader, especially since I am all of 5’ 5” and at 117 pounds in wet clothes. My brother made me a deal. He and his friends regularly shoplifted and stole things people wanted to be resold to make money. They, however, had a list of girl things that were beneath them, so Danny told them, I could do it because I needed the money real bad.
I have already profited $75 the past week alone from shoplifting what they wanted. Today I faked being sick and Mom dropped me off at Aunt Marge’s in a better part of the city. This is not one of the real large cities, just big enough I wasn’t known over there. I knew a couple of nice stores that would provide the nice merchandise needed. Maybe enough so I can send in my registration.
I said, “She wears a size 5, I am told.”
Jasmine looked at me, smiled and then caught herself, “I don’t mean to offend you but if they’re for you, you could try them on and see what fits as you like.”
If I were really shopping, I would have shown my anger and stormed out of there. But their merchandise was real good and I should be able to get more for everything I snatched. I told her, “No, I’m not like that,” though it did hit a nerve.
Finally, I asked Jasmine as I showed my money, “Can you leave me alone for a little bit? I need to choose between some things.” I thanked her for her help. “I might need to check the shop down the street and come back. I am pretty sure I will be back to buy the items here and I will have you check me out to get your commission.” By 11:40 most of the early shoppers had made their purchases and left. Then the opportunity arose. The manager said something to Jasmine and she left the store. I gave her a minute and began to stuff items under my bulky sweatshirt as well as smaller items down my pants.
I was near the door when Hannah called to me and I bolted for the door and turned the opposite direction I thought Jasmine had gone. I was smiling and making an awful remark as I was going out the door, but not for long. There was Jasmine but I was sure I could either run past her or pull out of her grab. She first had my arm but as I wiggled and pulled, she had my hair. “I thought you went the other way?”
I was just about to kick her when she said, “You will be real sorry if you try that.” A girl named Rachel swept my legs out from under me and now they both had me.
Jasmine and Rachel took me back in the store, where Hannah asked, “Rachel, please watch the store for a while and if you need help call. …Stay near the front door in case someone comes running out.”
She turns to me, “Well young man, I know Jasmine told you, you could try the clothes on here.” She paused and I wasn’t willing to confess to anything like that. “That is what I thought; I would have had more sympathy for you if that were it. The stores in this neighborhood have had a rash of thefts so we’d been warned to watch for you. I suspect the police will be glad to see you.”
“I had nothing to do with those thefts, I am not from this area. I had to stay with my aunt while my Mom works.”
Hannah asked, “So why were you stealing, I always like these answers?”
“I have been saving since last summer to go to the church camp that has horse riding?”
Hannah lightly giggles, “Stealing to go to church camp, doesn’t that sound a little inappropriate to you?”
Matter of factly I told her, “Do you know how hard it has been to save $225 for a boy like me and I got a postcard saying the registration and fee needs to be in by April 30. After that it goes from $326 to $379.”
The woman said, “Give me your parents’ phone numbers and hopefully we can take care of this without the police. First your name, your parents' names and their phone numbers.”
I said, “I’m Ronnie Hammer, my Dad is out of town on a trip and Mom is at work, I’ll give the phone number but she’s not supposed to answer during work.” I saw Mrs. Hannah’s doubt, “She will check her messages when she goes to lunch at 1:00 p.m.”
Hannah called my mother and got her voicemail, as I said. “She won’t be able to come here until after work at 5:00 p.m. I don’t want you to call the police; I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Are you so afraid of the consequences?” she asked
“Those consequences with the police for me would be easier, but it would hurt my parents more and they don’t deserve me doing that. What Mom doesn’t do to me my Dad certainly will when he gets back from his trip.” Hannah smiled and took hold of my arm.
“Even if that is true, I can’t watch you the next five hours wondering if you will run. Come with me, as I have an idea.”
I smugly think, I've got her to wait, “I will do whatever is needed, I tell you!”
We went back out to the store section and Hannah pulled me with her, “Stand there for a moment I need to check a few things. She was moving a few things around on the racks and then she started to pull them out on their hangers and held them up to me. Some she would quickly put back, like a long jean skirt, but a shorter black skirt was the first to be placed on top of the rack. She had it narrowed down to a short blue dress with white and red flowers on the top; the skirt portion flared while the rest of the dress hugged the waist and top. Unfortunately, I would not have breasts to fill it out like a real girl. It was sleeveless. She said a little lace top would go underneath it to help my appearance.
Hannah was making conversation and commented, “I thought it was cute when you told Jasmine that you thought you wore at least a half size larger than your girlfriend. Most boys wouldn’t know that unless they had experience wearing a dress.”
The next skirt outfit included a red skirt with straps that would go over my shoulders. The top was a pullover print with puffy sleeves, three buttons down the back at the neck and went down to a curved like V in the front. By that time she asked, “Which of the two would you like to wear. You need to hurry up as we have several groups coming in this afternoon with the first group due in at 1:10 p.m.”
“I don’t want either, if I were going to wear one, I would have chosen that long jean skirt...” Hannah broke in and told Jasmine, “Hand me the outfit you think Ronnie should wear and then put the other clothes back.” Jasmine handed Hannah the dress and Hannah was taking me to the back again. “Jasmine would you please bring be a bra and panty that go together and a pair of pantyhose. We were at the jewelry when she asked me, “Quickly pick out a pair of earrings and either a necklace or bracelet.”
I quickly looked and found a pair of earrings with a spring clasp to go behind the ears and then a bracelet but as I pulled it off the rack I saw that it included a necklace. I was working to put it back but Hannah said, “They are good choices, they will work well together as well as with your outfit. …I wish I could trust you but you will have to change behind those boxes and if you try anything I will have you change out here in front of us.”
“You can’t force me to wear clothes for a girl,” I was still being obstinate.
Hannah firmly told me, “You are right Ronnie and I don’t have time to argue; I run a business and you were just shoplifting. So if you decide not to do it or wait any longer I will be calling the police. And when I start I won’t stop until they are on their way!”
I went behind the boxes and started to take my clothes off and Jasmine brought back the clothes she was asked to bring. “Jasmine, open the packaging and gave me the clothes to put on. Give her directions or help if needed, just don’t give her any bad touches. If Ronnie should hesitate just call the police station and ask them to come. Please do not let him have his wallet and other stuff, less he decides to run. See what you can do with her hair and complexion?”
Hannah went out to the showroom, leaving me with a girl no older than 19. I quickly had on the panty which felt very nice but I wasn’t saying any such thing. I took the bra out and wasn’t sure how to proceed. Jasmine, “First I would suggest you tuck yourself under and have the panty help to hold you in place.” I could hear that she was struggling not to laugh. “I can help you with your bra, if you would like?”
I sadly said, “It is not my bra!”
“Well you’re the one who is going to wear it or I am calling the police. I need this job so I won’t disappoint Mrs. Grant.”
“Now put the front of the bra around your back and hook it in front of you and then shift it around and then put your arms through the straps. …Now let me put these in the cups. … Next you should step into the half-slip and pull it up into position.”
Trying the slip, I said, “There is hardly anything there it is too short.”
She says, “It needs to be a little shorter than the skirt of the dress silly, but you will rather have it on than not. I probably should have had you put your pantyhose on, but I usually wait a little longer in case I need to go to the girls’ room.”
She held the dress out and the buttons were undone down the back. “We can either put it on over your head or you can step into it and pull it up. I think it would be easier to put it on over your head so the slip doesn’t ride up. Wait we need to put on this lacy top. Too bad you’re not girly enough to enjoy how precious this looks. Now raise your arms as I put the dress over you …now find the sleeves. Wow that looks really cute on you.” She started putting the dress over my head and then there was the longest pause. My head was covered so I didn’t know for sure, but I was certain she was enjoying eyeing me up and down.
Finally she pulled it down just a little more and I found the sleeves and she continued to pull the dress down into position. “Now here quickly wash your hands and face and pat yourself dry. You don’t want dirt or oil under your makeup.”
“I don’t want make-up on period!”
Jasmine commented, “You will look less like a boy in a dress if you have it on; in fact, I think with it on you might make an attractive girl.”
I was drying my face I looked in the mirror, I saw a plain girl looking back. She wasn’t the prettiest girl but she was definitely a girl. With makeup, I knew she would look even better. I was resigned to defeat. Jasmine had me sit down and look straight at her as she put a dot on one earlobe and checked again as she marked the other ear. “Now this will pinch a little but do not grab or try to pull on it. You don’t want to tear your ear.”
“Ouch, it hurts.” Jasmine smiled, “You did not realize you picked a self-piercing set of earrings, did you?”
“What do you mean, there is no such thing,” I snapped back sure she was trying to scare me.
“Then you might be surprised when your mom comes after work.” Jasmine moved on to the makeup, “because by that time it will begin to pierce through for you.” Thinking about how bad of a job I would have done I was happy she was doing it. Otherwise I was sure I would look like a boy in girl clothes.
Jasmine progressed and my emotions were giving me a problem as I was beginning to look like a pretty girl. Glossing my lips was the crowning touch, then the bracelet and necklace. “Now I would suggest you use the girls’ room.”
“But I don’t need to,” I told her.
“During the next four and a half hours you will need to and then you will have your panties and pantyhose to deal with; I am just saving you a problem sooner or later.” I went into the girls’ room, hearing her telling me to sit down and keep my legs together, “But wipe your front, you don’t want wet panties.”
I washed and was drying myself when I saw the pantyhose being stuck through the door opening. I had tried a pair once before, so I had to remember how to do it. I kind of rolled each leg up and put my toes to the tip and lined the heel up and casually pulled gently up trying to keep the tension even. I was proud of the job I did.
I stepped out to Jasmine and twirled around. “Hannah was right wasn’t she? You have done this more than once before. It definitely was not your first time.” That took the smile off my face, and my complexion got a little more color.
The first groups of shoppers had arrived. “Let’s go out to the showroom and you will be sitting on a stool out there. I suggest you keep your legs together and not raise them up too much. The women will not be interested in seeing your panties.”
She took me out to the stool and said, “Sit here and I don’t want to see you getting off the stool.” One young shopper came up to me, “I like that dress; did you get it here?” When I nodded yes she was happy and asked, “Do you remember where it was in the store.”
I pointed and told her, “It was on the clearance rack when I bought it.”
“Do you know if there was a dress like it but smaller?” I stopped and looked up trying to remember when I looked through it. “There might be, but the dress is a different color, I think.”
“That would be great; I wouldn’t want one that looked exactly like yours.” I got up and walked ahead of her over to the rack. There was a red dress in size 2 and a lighter blue in size one. She saw differences in the dresses but definitely liked what she saw.
I said, “You can try them both on, depending on how they are cut either size might fit.” Emily introduced herself and thanked me for helping. I went back and stepped up to sit on the stool smoothing the dress out underneath me as I sat. I looked up and saw Hannah smiling at me. I was sure I blushed.
Emily came out and twirled in front of me. The light blue dress was a really nice fit, but she didn’t have a top for it yet. Her dress had a slightly different look. Rachel came over and I asked, “Where were the short blouses that might go with the dress.”
Rachel said, “There may be another one or two on the clearance rack.” Turning to the girl she said, “You might also look over where we have some satin blouses. I thought one of them would look really sharp and it would allow you to wear it as it gets cooler outside or at night. Emily took me by the hand to look with her.
She found a blouse the same time I did, but there was less to the fabric with the blouse I pulled out. I started to put it back when Emily spoke up, “Let me see that it looks cute.”
I said, “There is more fabric to the blouse you have, someone could see through this one.”
She said, “I thought the same thing that is partly why I like it. Plus this blouse has shorter sleeves that works better for the summer.”
“You have a better figure and I agree it should look really well with you and the dress.” She took both blouses and tried them on and called her friend Sally suggesting she try on the red dress. When she tried it on, the difference in the dresses became more obvious to even me. The dress was more open in the front with laces holding the front together however tight or loose the wearer would like. Sally like Emily had the figure and the daring spirit to wear it as she wished. She picked a peasant type top for when she wanted to wear something underneath it.
Emily told me, “Don’t get down about how you look. I am guessing you just finished eighth or seventh grade. I bet your body will fill out by the time you are sixteen like us.”
Jasmine was walking by and heard their comments and giggled. “I’m nineteen and I still wouldn’t mind having either of your figures.”
Sally looked and was ready to touch Jasmine but didn’t. “If that is all you, you have nothing to complain about. Just get the right bra and after work, don’t dress like a sales person, dress how you want to look.” I looked at Jasmine who I already thought was attractive and saw what Sally was saying. Though I had no idea what the right kind of bra or top would be good.
I knew as this group was leaving that the staff were going to give me a hard time. I was fortunate that others came while they were still checking out. Hannah came by and suggested I pull the hem of my dress down a little bit. I was not sure if she was serious or just trying to get me nervous but either way it worked.
I got up and walked to a mirror and checked my outfit, hair and make-up. But as I reached for a back pocket for a comb, I realized I did not have anything to fix my hair or make-up with. Hannah handed me a small hand purse suggesting I look in it. There was a small styling brush, some make-up and even perfume and nail polish. Jasmine whispered “Just a dab of the perfume on each wrist. I will help you with the nail polish after this group.”
“Thank you,” why did I say that? I don’t want to use perfume, do I? It is not like make-up I can take off. There are too many thoughts and questions for a boy who doesn’t want to. I began to feel sad and guilty; “It’s wrong for a boy to feel like I do.” My eyes start to tear as Jasmine looks at me.
“That is a precious girl look if I ever saw one,” Rachel said to me.
“No, I’m not…” I caught myself speaking loudly and noticed the new customers turning my way. I looked for Hannah and she was wiggling her finger at me not to say anything more.
I went to the stool and grabbed a tissue as I went. Jasmine tapped me on the shoulder, “No, you’re not a girl, but relax and let the people accept and like you.” I smiled at hearing that and thought of what she said. ‘I kind of enjoy it but no, I am not a girl. I need to behave so I don’t cause my parents more hurt than I already have.’
A ten year old girl came to me and sadly asked, “I don’t see clothes for a little girl like me.” I paused and thought, I had seen something. Then I responded, “Is your mommy here?”
“Yes, she is over there,” she said pointing in the direction of two women. I looked and as one girl was a pretty strawberry blonde, I was pretty certain I knew which one was her mother.
I went and asked to speak to Mrs. Nichols, “Mrs. Nichols, Jenny told me she is your daughter and asked me if there were any clothes for little girls? I wanted to check with you before I said anything, before putting you in a spot.”
“Yes, Jenny is my daughter and I want to thank you for listening to her. I didn’t want to disappoint her as I haven’t found anything,”she said.
“There are some mother/daughter dresses and outfits and at least two that are probably her size,” I told Mrs. Nichols a very attractive and young looking mother.
“Could you show me and then go get Jenny for me? O and my name is Caroline please,” she smiled and repeated, “Please.”
“Yes, Mrs. Nichols,” she smiled and shook her head at me. I went to Jenny, “Come with me Jenny your mother may have found something.” She perked up and skipped as she held my hand.
Caroline appeared to have found three dresses or outfits and was still looking. “Jenny, this young lady told me there are some Mother/Daughter outfits. We have three to choose from for right now, but there is another I am thinking of buying for maybe next spring?” Two of the outfits were very much mother/ daughter outfits. The third was a dress of blue, yellow and white long wavy lines going up and down. I had not seen anything like it but it was very sharp looking and would be quite attractive for both of them.
I was able to see the price tags on the Mother’s dress; it cost just under $200 alone. I expected Mom to push it aside. “Jenny,” she said as she picked the expensive dresses up, “What do you think; I think these are especially beautiful?”
“Wow, Mommy I haven’t had any dress that beautiful. Can we try them on together?” Caroline picked up her daughter and whirled her around, saying, “Yes Honey, I can’t wait to see how pretty you are in yours.”
“Well, you will have to be patient Mommy; I don’t want to ruin a dress that beautiful.” She was definitely a bright little girl.
Caroline addressed me,“Can you tell me your name? I would like you to bring the dresses at the far end to the dressing rooms for me as well.”
“My name is Jasmint, Ma’am, I mean Mrs. Nichols.”
She paused, “That is a unusual name but it fits you, a refreshing young woman.” They went into the large dressing room so they could change together. I found the dresses she was talking of and put them on a hook next to their dressing room. “Jasmint, could you see if you have two slips we might be able to use.”
I didn’t think it was likely but I interrupted Hannah and asked any way. “Could you stay with these people please and I will be back in a moment? Jasmint, you continue to surprise me.” She hurried to the back before going to the dressing rooms.
I’m thinking, ‘My charming self is going to get me out of this, yes!’ I had to keep my cool and not let anyone catch on. It was fun however to play girl and get this unique perspective. ‘Mrs. Nichols is a real neat mom, and Hannah’s Shoppe is special like Hannah herself.’
It was a short while, Caroline and Jenny were stepping out from the dressing room. Caroline had used a barrette to change Jenny’s hair as well as give her a light touch of pink lipstick. Other shoppers actually applauded, they looked that good.
Caroline and Jenny went back into the dressing room with the other set of dresses. Like the first set they were very artistic; each a bright yellow and mellow peach dress but one designed for an adult and more form fitting. While Jenny’s was appropriate for a young girl with a nice full skirt that came down to her knees with a nice petticoat to fluff it out just enough.
Hannah tapped me on the shoulder and handed me the matching dress for a young teen and told me go and change. I felt flattered that Caroline thought enough of me to do it, but I didn’t want to be made a fool of. I took the dress and went into an empty dressing room. ‘What am I doing in a woman’s changing room, changing into a pretty dress?’ The experience of undressing and dressing was quite enjoyable. There was a knock on the door, Jasmine’s voice, “Crack the door open please, you have the wrong pantyhose for that dress.”
I opened the door, but Jasmine was able to see I was already down to my panty and bra. I took the new package of pantyhose saying, “It really doesn’t make a difference, you know that.” I saw the smirk on her face as she handed it to me.
“Please knock or call me when you are done Jasmint, I would like to check your make-up,” she kindly asked me? I did as she said. She made up my eyes with a light golden shadow on top and a pale orange closer to the eyes. I checked the mirror and I couldn’t believe how it changed my appearance. The dress was pretty and I was happy that the dress was designed for a woman with a fuller top so it wouldn’t do.
“Shucks, how disappointing,” I said? Jasmine said I still needed to go out and show Caroline and Hannah. I heard some Oous and Aaahs and knew Caroline and Jenny were back out. We stepped out and only Caroline spoke saying I was pretty.
“Hannah, it is a very pretty dress on a pretty young girl can we alter the dress to make it work for her,” Caroline was asking?
“All I would need to do is take in the darting for the bust, as well as the sides and back a little; yes it would be almost as pretty as your dress. I don't feel it is needed but yes, it is possible.”
“You can’t allow her to do that,” I said. “I have no place to wear such a pretty dress.”
Caroline said, “Do your magic Hannah and don’t spare the expense. I will pay for it and if she doesn’t take it I will pay you nicely for the alterations. I will put it on my credit card so you can take it off the bill if need be, as I hope she changes her mind.”
Rachel please take Jasmint back to the alteration area, take out the darts and I'll be there to pin it properly and check things before she steps out of the dress,” Hannah told Rachel. She showed me back to a small round platform. She had a small tool that easily took out the stitching of the darts. “Let me give you a little firmer filler for your cups so I can pin it properly.” Rachel made sure no one was coming in or trying to look. She changed them quite quickly. Then Hannah pinned the dress again, I could see how the adjustments made the dress fit for me.
“You did a very nice job Hannah,” I said.
Rachel giggled and asked, “Is this the prettiest dress you have ever worn?” Dah! When I went out, the crowd had changed and Caroline was gone, so I felt vindicated having done what I needed.
There were more shoppers and I asked, “Is it usually this busy?” Rachel told me, “While we do a good business this is busier than usual. Hannah should be very happy tonight.” I was betting on the same.
The afternoon was moving along nicely and I was enjoying in being in this new world of color, nice fabrics, and variety; to say nothing of seeing a little more than a man usually does. Did I tell you though I shouldn’t have I did use the perfume, just a precious drop? I like smelling pretty and I was only glad I didn’t use too much. It is avery enjoyable.
It is now four and we have high school girls and young college women. I am amazed I have this experience of seeing women being their most beautiful. It doesn’t mean all are traditional beauties in appearance. In fact, there were two very attractive women who were so ugly it was hard to be around them. Their conceit and pettiness detracted much from their appearance. Another college student, supposedly a friend decided to walk or get public transportation back to the university, because their attitudes were so offensive.
Business let up at one point and Hannah came up to me and asked, “What do you want to do about the dress Caroline had purchased for you?”
I told her, “Just take it off her bill.”
She said, “I can’t she paid for it in cash so that you would have to take it. She wants you to call her and she will arrange a proper outing so you have a chance to wear it.” Hannah told me, "Caroline told me how you helped her jenny, I didn't believe it was true. Jenny has been so shy and isolates herself. When she opened up and approached you, Caroline saw her daughter in a way she hasn’t ever seen her in her nine years of life.”
“She told me there is no way a pretty young girl like you would understand what it means to her as a mom or for Jenny with her life finally feeling some sunshine.”
My emotions were up in my throat; my eyes were wet with tears. It was embarrassing but I couldn’t help it as I began to cry like a girl.
After I regained my composure, my mind was hoping it would be to my benefit. I asked, “Hannah, could I take the money for the dress as a gift and use it to go to camp?” I quickly knew that was a mark against me. “That was very inappropriate; I am seeing today the ugly side of me and I need to change.” ‘Hopefully that gets the point back and maybe a brownie point to boot.’
“Hannah who is this pretty young girl here?”
A group of college girls asked Hannah to introduce me, “If Jasmint is going to be around for a while, can we take her and show her the life of college girls?”
A few minutes later I saw my Mom come through the front door. I immediately tried to hide, worried about her recognizing me. Hannah let her look around for a few minutes before she called her to come to the back of the store with her. Jasmine came over to me, “Stay put and Hannah will talk with you and your Mom when we close at 6:00. She also said for you to relax. She thinks she can come to a good resolution, for what you did this morning, with your Mom.”
“I think you have been so good and seemed to have learned your lesson. Hannah has a good heart and a good sense of wisdom. I think you are going to get off lightly.”
I thought, ‘Be penitent Ronnie and in an hour and you’ll be out of this. And what did you learn? Work smarter, not to get caught. But if you do, you can charm your way out. Even better, if I play it right with Mommy, Dad may never know… Goodbye Jasmint, I hate to see you go. It was nice to play being you for a while, but you kind of grew on me.’
End Part I
To Be Continued...
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