By Maggie the Kitten
Jenny has been searching for "home" all her life. With the help of a little angel named Rosie, perhaps she'll finally get there.
This story is dedicated to two very special angels in my life.
Jenny the soap maiden was slinging boxes as usual, half paying attention to the customer’s order and half lost in her everyday dream world. Her job as a warehouse order filler was important to her for at least two reasons: food and shelter. If she wanted these things in the world, she needed money to have them and the job provided it.
The daydreams though were every bit as important as the job whose wages gave her a place to live and food to sustain her. They gave her a reason to live and like the cheap take away that fueled Jenny’s body most days, the daydreams provided sustenance to a soul that was always hungry, hungry for something it could never have in the real world.
So what did this soul hunger for? Money, power, talent, adventure, romance, beauty, love?
Well, love was a part of it, but not the kind of love you’d normally expect a 40 year old woman to be looking for. Of course, normal was not the kind of word you’d probably ever associate Jennifer Anne Tyler with.
Physically she did not fit into the normal range. She was a shade over six foot tall, a slender stick figure with no sand and no hour glass to hold it. Her shoulders were too broad, her feet and hands too big, her hair too thin and her voice too deep.
She just didn’t much look like a normal woman and for good reason, she wasn’t. She was transgender. She was one of those people whose heart, soul and mind were one gender and her body the other. In Jenny’s case, the insides were girl and the outsides had been born boy.
It’s a horrible thing to be an invisible girl as Jenny often thought of herself, but for years that is exactly what she had been. She lived and worked as a male, while inside the female yearned to get her chance to live and walk in the sun and to be recognized as a real girl.
Ten years ago, Jenny started her journey toward visibility. It was a long, painful path, but each step she took brought her more peace as it brought her closer to living in the gender she truly was.
Last summer she finally made it to the physical end of the journey. She had sexual reassignment surgery and was now as legally and physically a woman as she could possibly be. She had an employer and friends who accepted her as a woman, and even though it had been brief and ill-fated from the start, she’d been the romantic interest of a man. On the whole, she had quite a bit to be thankful for, much more than many of her transgender sisters, yet she still felt invisible, still hungered for more and was still very unhappy.
Why? Because the end of the journey had only brought her half way home. Yes, in the eyes of most of the world she was a girl or at least the best man-made version possible, but what the world didn’t know, didn’t see and would never believe, was that this middle-aged, towering t-girl, with the spanking new vagina, was actually just a little girl playing adult drag.
In her heart, soul, and mind, the same place she’d always been a girl, she was still a girl, only not the adult woman who cycled back and forth to the soap works each day and lived alone in her basement apartment. She was a little girl, the same little girl who at age 5 peeked out of the sad boy whenever her grandmother gave her permission for a quick play with the girl’s toys or to help her make pies in the kitchen.
That little girl would make the sad boys blue eyes smile and sparkle and she lived for those days of fun and freedom with the woman who knew she was different and only wanted her to be happy.
That little girl who cherished those stolen moments of visibility, acceptance, joy, play and love, wanted what she was rightfully entitled to: life. Life beyond a few afternoons at her Grandmother’s house. She wanted to be as whole and as physical and as loved and as wanted as the little girls she saw playing in the schoolyard, and why not? She was just as real as they were, save for the one part that mattered least: her body. Unfortunately the part that mattered least, defined her most, at least in the eyes of everyone save her Grandmother.
The world couldn’t see her little girl heart and soul, or notice how her blues sparkled when her Gran tied the little apron around her like a make-shift skirt. They never heard her crying into her pillows at night, begging the angels to give her a little girl body or to take her back to heaven and give her parents a real boy they could love and want.
When the little boy was almost six, his parents moved far away from his Grandmother and then the little girl had no one who loved her or saw her or believed in her. It was then the little girl dug in her Mary Jane’s and said that she was tired of being invisible, tired of not having what the other little girls had. It just wasn’t fair and she hadn’t done anything to deserve being punished for.
In defiance to the world who couldn’t see her, and angels who wouldn’t answer her prayers, she vowed to not be moved. She refused to grow up or grow older, no matter how old the boys body got, until she finally got to have the life and the body of a real little girl.
Twenty five years passed and that boy’s body grew into a man’s but the heart, soul and mind that belonged to the stubborn little girl, refused to budge or grow. Yes, little Jenny was winning the battle, but ultimately she was losing the war.
Being a five year old girl trapped in a five year old boys body is pretty bad, but being trapped in a thirty year old man’s body is way worse. It was a double whammy: in the eyes of the world she was neither little or female and she wasn’t allowed to act like either.
It was at her body’s 30th birthday that she finally gave a little ground. Realizing she couldn’t do anything to make her adult body a child’s she reluctantly focused on the only thing she could do. She could at least try to make her male body female.
Four days removed from her 39th birthday, she underwent SRS and successfully completed her mission, but it was a hollow victory for the home team. Yes, she had earned the right to be called Jenny, and she had all the legal documents and genitalia to back it up, but she was still half way home and with no way to go the rest of the way.
Medical science had come long way in the last hundred years, but things like body morphing nanites were still only available in the transgender fiction Jenny read online. Everything had been done to give her a woman’s body and life, but nothing could be done to give her the child’s body and life she so desperately wanted. She was still on the inside looking out at clothes she couldn’t wear, hugs she couldn’t feel, games she couldn’t play, and the life she couldn’t live.
So with nothing more that could be done for Jenny, she appeased the child within by doing the only thing she could do for herself. If she couldn’t change the real world or her real body, then she would daydream up a world where she had the life and the body the little girl had been holding out for.
In those daydreams, little Jenny finally had everything she’d need and sometimes wanted. And if one of her co-workers who routinely passed by while she was slinging soap and daydreaming, could see what was making those big blue eyes of her sparkle, they would definitely be surprised.
They would be peeking in on the very common, ordinary, and everyday life of a very common, ordinary and everyday little girl. Little Jenny was a pixie princess with blonde curly hair, big blue eyes and freckles splattered sparingly. She was undeniably cute, but not really any cuter than any other little five year old rugrat running the playground gauntlet and sporting her share of bumps, bruises, and bug bites.
While she loved the beautiful little dresses with lace and ruffles and ribbons, she rarely imagined herself in one. Normally she would be wearing a simple play dress or sometimes shorts and t-shirt, but the one constant with either attire was the fact they were always some worse the wear from a good hard day of play.
She didn’t imagine being the princess of rich parents and living in a dream house. She imagined being one of three or four princesses all jockeying for position at the bathroom sink when it came time to brush teeth. Her parents stock portfolio or net worth never figured in either. She just had two or even one parent who loved her, who wanted her, who encouraged her, who protected her, who inspired her, who made her laugh especially when she wanted to cry, who was more keen on spending time with her than money on her, and who held her close when she needed it. If she had a dream house, it was a Barbie one, probably passed down from an older sister and definitely a shared dwelling with her other sisters.
There were no unicorns or dragons or even ponies to have as pets, but sometimes there was a cat who timeshared her bed with her and gave her hours of joy chasing a toy mouse.
It wasn’t all rainbows, sunshine, hugs and fudge brownies. There were tears and scrapped knees and frustrations and brussel spouts and chicken pox and things she couldn’t reach, couldn’t have, and couldn’t understand. There were good times, but there were also time outs and bed times, and the word NO was a regular occurrence. There was learning to share and waiting your turn and frustrating things like alphabets and numbers that just had to be learned.
There was fighting…oh was there ever fighting, but eventually there was always kiss and make up.
And at times life still didn’t seem fair, like being punished for breaking something that you barely even touched on accident, or having to go to bed when you weren’t even tired. Yet for some reason, which shouldn’t have made any sense but somehow did, this less than perfect child with a less than perfect existence was perfectly happy or as happy as any kid could ever hope to be.
Yes, if any of her co-workers could have peeked in on those daydreams of hers they surely would have asked her why didn’t she make all the colors light and happy. Why didn’t she create the most perfect pain free childhood this side of a 50’s sit-com or straight from the pages of the best fairy tale she’d ever read?
And if Jenny would have answered, she would have smiled at them with those sparkling blue eyes and said that she didn’t want the perfect little girl’s body, or the perfect childhood or the perfect parents. She could get that on TV Land or Fictionmania. What she wanted was the very real, very mundane, very middle class, very everyday little girl’s body and life that was anything but perfect and yet exactly perfect for her.
Little Jenny was indeed stubborn but she wasn’t greedy or selfish. After thirty five years the dream hadn’t accrued any interest. She still just wanted what she’d always wanted: the same as any other ordinary little girl with an equal shot at finding her own version of happily ever after one day.
So yes, Jenny’s daydream did ask for love, but not of some God who graced the cover of a Harlequin romance novel. No, she just wanted the love of some goofy guy called Daddy, who had a scratchy beard that tickled, who shared cereal with her on a Saturday Morning, and gave her airplane rides before bedtime.
She also wanted the love of a woman, a very special woman called Mummy, who could make almost anything better with a kiss and a hug. This lady was mostly good witch but with a little evil witch thrown in when necessary. She was beautiful, if only to her children and that goofy guy. Sometimes she smells like perfume, sometimes brownies and sometimes like wet doggies because she’s just given Charlie a bath. She seems to know just about everything, especially the stuff you wished she didn’t and nobody makes macaroni and cheese better than she does. Too bad she has this thing for brussel sprouts. When you’re sick or scared she’s the only person in the whole world you want. She’s the person you most want to grow up to be like, make proud, and never ever want to disappoint.
And you got to have some sisters to play with, to cuddle with, to share clothes with and to fight like cats and dogs with. You absolutely need at least one older sister to teach you things, to watch over you and to tease you mercifully while you pester her to no end. Brothers are optional. You’d probably rather have a second cat, but you learn to live with and love them in the end.
Such were the daydreams of a minimum wage soap maiden named Jenny with blue eyes that sometimes smiled and sparkled and who was truly just a little girl that only wanted to go home.
Today those blue eyes were positively dazzling and so was the daydream. It was one she’d had many times before. It was a version of the the one that she’d asked the angels for all her life. Yet after 35 years of no-shows from the winged ones, she didn’t really expect an answer, but as already established, Jenny was one stubborn little girl.
The daydream itself was as lovely as all the others but what made it special was that the cast of supporting characters were real people, real people that Jenny had met and made friends with.
Jill was a real life single mummy of three girls. She was beautiful on the outside, but even more so on the inside. She was a wise, independent and compassionate soul with the ultimate sense of wicked humor. She was dedicated to her job and totally devoted to her girls. She was teacher, protector, friend, playmate, role model and task master to her children. Borrowing from television, she was a real life Lorelei Gilmore from the Gilmore Girls, and her daughters were Rory in triplicate.
She was not only Jenny’s friend, but her boss at the soap factory, and the pair had spent many hours long after everyone else had went home, discussing the transgender condition, the little girl within, and why Key Lime Pie is the Holy Grail.
Jenny’s favorite stories were those Jill shared with her about the girls and the everyday life they shared. To Jill, most of the tales seemed pretty average: just a Mum trying to raise three girls as best as she could, but to Jenny they were her daydreams come true.
And when Jill invited Jenny out to the house to a spend week with her and the girls it was the closest thing she’d ever known to her dream come true. The little girl within hadn’t been so happy, so alive, so at home, since those afternoons she’d spent at her grandmother’s. Jill knew her friend was happy too, as she’d never seen her eyes any bluer or her smile any wider.
The girls took to Jenny immediately. Their “kid radar” kicked in and they instinctively knew that despite all that height and all those years, there was a little girl inside Jenny, one that really needed someone to accept her, so of course, they did. And despite being the oldest by years, she soon found her place as the youngest in heart, and the Gilmore Girls unofficially added another.
Jill watched in amazement at the transformation that took place during those five days. The hard working soap maiden she’d admired for her courage to make the journey to womanhood, slowly slipped into the background. With each passing day the little girl came out more and more, deeply touching Jill’s maternal instinct. She almost feared that if she kept Jenny another week she might have to adopt her and enroll her in daycare.
When the fifth day came to a close, Jenny started crying as soon as she opened her suitcase to pack. She tried not too. She didn’t want to ruin it. She didn’t want to make Jill uncomfortable. She wanted there to be future invites, but more than anything, she didn’t want this real life dream to end and she just couldn’t stop crying.
Jill comforted her as best as she could. She promised her there would be other invites and gave her a long cuddle in the car before finally shooing her off to her empty flat. It was long night for Jenny. She spent most of it rocking and crying. When she finally did sleep, she slept fitfully as her arms reached out into the darkness for a Mummy and sisters who were no longer there.
It had been over a month since Jenny had stayed at Jill’s, and the nights were still long and lonely but the days were better. She could chat with Jill from time to time and then of course there were the daydreams. Via her imagination and need, she managed to slip off to Jill’s house and resume her position as the fourth daughter.
Jill’s house and family had become the favorite place for little Jenny to go and each night when she made her plea to the angels, she asked not only to wake up in a little girl’s body, but to also find that the bed she woke up in was her very own at Jill’s house.
Today’s daydream was another Jill and Company production but it had an extra special twist. It was based on a very happy real life event that would be happening within the hour. Jill’s oldest daughter Emily was coming up to work to meet her Mum for lunch.
Jill had told Jenny about Em’s visit when she’d came by the office that morning and Jenny had been skipping on sunshine ever since. Emily was 17, beautiful, intelligent, and talented like her mother. She was quite the hard worker as well being the youngest assistant manager ever at Steak and Shake. But what Jenny liked most of all about Emily was that she gave great hug.
Being it was the summer, Emily would stop by routinely to do lunch with Jill and she always had a really big hug waiting for Jenny. Little Jenny would light big Jenny’s eyes up as soon as she saw Emily walking into the warehouse. At that point, big Jenny slipped into the back seat and little Jenny was driving.
Jenny would run to meet her at the gate, holding onto the big Emily hug for as long as she could and then would hold her hand and walk with her to Jill’s office. Those sparkling baby blues of Jenny were wide, almost as wide as the smile that stretched ear to ear. It was a mini-transformation similar to that of what had occurred at Jill’s house. Jenny’s voice, her mannerisms, everything save for her size seemed to slip into little Jenny mode for those precious few minutes with her “big sister”.
Emily wouldn’t be due to arrive for about another thirty minutes but in Jenny’s daydream world, she was already there, only this time, a pint-sized little Jenny scampered to the warehouse door to meet her big sister. This time, Emily scooped the little cuddle kitten into her arms and hugged her tight, before walking back hand in hand to see their Mum. For reasons that really didn’t much matter in dream world, Jill had brought her youngest daughter to work with her that morning. Maybe it was take your rugrat to work day, who knows? But Jenny had been quietly coloring in Jill’s office most of the morning, occasionally getting attention, cuddles and candy from the ladies who would pop in to see the special visitor Jill had brought with her. A few times when Jenny had gotten bored, Jill took a short break and brought Jenny outside for a little run and play in the picnic area. Such were the things that daydreams were made of.
Jenny had relived that dream which culminated in Jill taking her two daughters out for lunch, at least half a dozen times that morning and was gearing up for another showing when a soft voice and a presence interrupted the show.
“Hi Jenny, I’m Rosie”, whispered a child’s voice in her ear.
Jenny’s eyes fluttered open and she managed a smile to greet her visitor, but much to her surprise she was still alone at her forklift.
She looked up and down the long soap aisle, but saw not a single co-worker, let alone a small child running loose.
Wondering if yet another brain fuse had blown under the strain of being a little girl trapped in a big girl’s manmade body, Jenny sighed and then closed her eyes once again.
“Hi Jenny, I’m Rosie” the soft voice repeated only this time Jenny’s mind got visual to go along with the audio. There on the stage that held her precious daydreams stood a very little girl, probably no more than three. She was wearing a lovely white dress, heavy on ruffles and lace and drawn in the back with a bow. White leggings and white Mary Jane’s finished the too cute ensemble.
“Who…who are you? And…ummm…what are you doing in my…my head?” stammered a startled Jenny.
The little girl sighed impatiently, “I already tolded you. I’m Rosie and I’m in your head cause you can’t see me outside. It’s not allowed.”
Jenny’s eyes immediately opened and just as she had been before, she was alone.
Now Jenny was even more convinced some brain fuses had blown, possibly the entire motherboard. She was hearing voices and seeing little girls dressed for the Easter Parade. If she wasn’t round the bend, she was coming up on it fast. She was tempted to run and tell Jill, only that was likely to result in a trip to Casualty and confinement at the Queen’s request in one of the not so finer mental motels.
Realizing it was in for a penny, in for a pound, she might as well go the rest way over, so she closed her eyes once again.
The little girl was there waiting for here and looking none to happy. “Please don’t do that no mores Jenny. I don’t gots a whole lot of time. I have to go down for my nap in thirty minutes ya know.”
Jenny giggled, “I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m not used to guests in my daydreams.”
Rosie stood proudly, “I nots a guest. I’m an angel! A real live, well…kinda live almost, first class, special angel!”
Jenny eyed her suspiciously, “You look awfully young for a first class special angel.”
Rosie squirmed and then drawled, “Well…I’m not zactly a first class special angel yet. I’m kinda a trainee angel and dis is my furst mission, but…but…I gonna be a first class special angel. I gonna be one just like my Mummy.”
“I’m sure you will Rosie, but ummm… aren’t angels supposed to have wings and a halo?”
Again Rosie squirmed and then sighed sadly, “Yeah, but…but I wores my wings to breakfast dis morning abter Mummy tolded me not too and I gots jam all ober da feathers, and now they’re in the wash so I couldn’t bring ‘em.”
Rosie reached into her dress pocket and pulled out a golden ring the size of a halo. “I does gots a halo, see! Onwy…it don’t lights up cause I took the batteries out last night to put in my toy pinano and I forgotted to put dem back dis mornin. Mummy tolded me not to do that too. But…but I weally am an angel and I gonna prove it cause I gonna do angel magic and fixes you up.”
“Fixes me up? I don’t think I understand Rosie”.
Rosie put both hands on her hips and pulled a pout, “Gee Jenny, for a kid, you don’t unnersand stuff any bedder dan grown ups. I’m here to gibs you your wish. You know…da one you been makin ebery night for like 35 whole years!”
Tears leaked from closed eyes and Jenny’s arm reached out blindly, grabbing the mast of the forklift before her knees buckled. “Really Rosie? You really mean it? You can grant my wish? You can answer my prayer? You can make me a whole, real little girl who can live in the outside world?”
“Yep, yep, yep, yep and yep”, Rosie added with a smile as she reached in her other pocket and pulled out a long white jam free feather.
“Wiff my magic feather and maybe just a liddle help from Mummy, I can give you your dream Jenny.”
“Oh Rosie, I wanna believe you. I really do, but I’ve been waiting and wishing for so long. I’ve…well, I’ve almost given up hope.”
Rosie smiled sadly at Jenny, “Yeah I know… and me and Mummy and alla da angels is weally sowwy it took so long for somebody to answer your pwayer, but Mummy saided somefins bouts da compuders ups in heaben cwashin alla times, and den…and den her saided some bad words I wasn’t posed to hear bouts somebody called I T and hows if dey weren’t always takin coffee bweaks den dere wouldn’t be mess ups like yours. But I heres to fixes you now, okay?”
Jenny wanted and needed to believe in this pint-sized angel, but it was all so incredible. It was crazy or just maybe…Jenny had gone crazy. Maybe all the pain, frustration and loneliness had finally put her over.
Jenny pondered her sanity or lack of, and quickly realized she was in a win-win scenario. If Rosie the angel was a genuine wish granting cherub, then little Jenny would step into the real world and she’d have the body and the chance for a happy life she’d always wanted. If Rosie the angel was just the gatekeeper to some permanent psychotic state, then maybe little Jenny would get her body and her chance, even if it meant big Jenny was wearing a straight jacket and being spoon-fed tapioca. Either way, she knew in her heart this was her chance, her only chance to go home and she was taking it.
“Okay Rosie”, she said with a confident smile. I’m ready to be fixed”.
Rosie returned the smile and added a nod. “Otays now furst of all dere is stuff ya gotta do. Eben though you pwobably been asking for da same wish all your whole life, you still gots to states your wish for da record cause dats da rule. Mummy tolded me so.”
Jenny took a deep breath and then let it out slowly before she made it official. “I want to be a real live little girl outside in the real world.”
Rosie said nothing, only giving Jenny another smile and a nod.
“I…I guess you probably think that’s a pretty weird wish, huh? Maybe even kinda sick”, Jenny said with a flush of embarrassment on her cheeks. “But I promise you Rosie it comes straight from the heart. I…I just know it’s what I need to be right Rosie, even if you can’t understand why I need it.”
“But I do unnersands Jenny. Honest I do!”, Rosie assured her. “See I knows zactly how you feel cause a whole very long time ago I was just like you.”
“Just like me?”, Jenny said in disbelief.
“Yepers just zactly like you. I was a girl borned in boy’s body like you was, and I asked da angels ebery night to make me a real little girl too. And I waited and waited and didn’t tinks no angel was eber gonna come to fix me, but I didn’t no gibs up. I stayed little inside just likes you did, and for awhile I eben libed like a big girl same as you. I ummm…well I eben got so sad dat I haded bad thoughts bout not waiting for the Boss to call me up to heaven, if you knows what I mean.”
Jenny could hardly believe it. Little Rosie’s life story was her own. Even the last part, the part she’d shared with almost no one.
“But then one night, one night when I was almost bouts to dat very bad thing, a pretty lady angel named Elizabeth with long blonde hair comed and she started talking to me. We talked da whole night and bouts da whole next day, and she helded me when I cwyed and neber eber lefted me!”
“So then what happened? Did she fix you? Jenny asked excitedly. “She gave you your wish, right? She made you a real little girl?”
Rosie beamed, “Yepers, but dat wasn’t all her did. She gibed me somefins else dat I needed and wanted just as much as I needed to be a real little girl. She gibed me her love and becomed my Mummy, cause a liddle girls just gots to habs a Mummy or hers will be lost.”
“Oh wow Rosie, that’s so beautiful”, Jenny sniffled. “Elizabeth sounds like one amazing angel”.
“Her’s the bomb!”, Rosie stated proudly
“Gee, Rosie it must have been pretty cool having an angel for a mummy. I bet you had loads of fun telling everyone what your mummy did for a living”, Jenny added with a laugh.
Rosie shook her head. “Nopers, Mummy couldn’t be my real life mummy and an angel too cause dats da Boss’s rules, so she had to turn in her wings and become mordal just wikes me.”
Jenny was speechless. She knew that a mother would give up her life for her child, but to give up wings and life everlasting for your child. Well…if that wasn’t the ultimate statement of love she didn’t know what was.
“Rosie?”, Jenny asked hopefully. “Was being a real life little girl everything you always dreamed it would be?”
The little angel sighed and smiled dreamily, “Eberyting and lots and lots more Jenny. They just aint nuttin in da whole world bedder dan getting to be the same on the outshide as you are on the inshide. It’s kinda…kinda likes alla sudden bein fwee…fwee to be you and no dumb ol body gettin in da way…and…and your not indibisble no more. Eberybody can see you is a liddle girl and dey smile at you and hug you and treats you just like da same as any udder kid And…and they don’t think you is sick or bad or perverted. Nobody tells you dat you gonna burn in hell and nobody wants to hurt you. And…Jenny best of all, you won’ t want to hurt you no more neiders.”
Jenny dropped her head in shame as Rosie made her last comment. The little angel knew her and her ongoing battles with the darkness all too well, because she’d had those same battles herself.
“Kinda sounds almost like heaven Rosie”, Jenny sighed.
“Sometimes Jenny, it’s all so wonderful it really seems likes heaben, like…like all da stowies you’ve read and written and all the dweams you eber had, but you gotta member somefins portant. It’s not heaben or a stowy or a dweam, it’s real life, and life in da real world is tough for eberybody, eben for liddle kids. Cause Jenny deys gonna be tears, and hurts, and fusterations and tings dat will scare you and make you mad. Sometimes you will be sick and sometimes you wont unnersands tings and sometimes it won’t be so much fun bein too liddle to do stuff. There’s so much you habs to learn Jenny and I don’t just mean in school neiders, I means eberyting you gots to learn as you grow and sometimes dem lessons hurts lots. It’s not all sunshine and wainbows ya know.
Jenny nodded, “I know Rosie, I remember being little. I remember da pain.”
“I know Jenny, I know how bad you hurted, and dey will be some hurts and bumps and skinned knees dis time, but…but dis time Jenny it will be different cause you will be different. You won’t habs to pwetend to be a boy dis time. Dis time you will get to be you and dis time you will habs a lovin family to help you face all da scaries, and dats da difference Jenny. Dis time you will be right and dat means you can handle almost anyting dat life can throw at a liddle kid. And always members dat dey ain’t hardly nuttin your mummy can’t fix with a hug and a biscuit most of da time.
“Really?”, Jenny perked up.
Jenny was grinning from ear to ear and her eyes were the brightest blue they’d ever been.
“It still sounds like heaven to me”, she said dreamily.
“Yeah…but it’s better than heaven, cause it’s real life Jenny. It’s being a real little girl in the real world, learning, growing and living da way it’s posed to be. And Jenny…it’s your life, your real life if you want it. All you gots to do is choose it.”
“Choose it?”, Jenny said in disbelief. “Choose it?, Of course I choose it. I want to be a real life little girl more than anything in da whole world Rosie, you should know that.”
Rosie nodded and replied calmly, “Yes Jenny, I knows you chooses to be a liddle girl, dats da easy part, but now you gots to choose whose liddle girl you gonna be and maybe dats not so easy cause I seened all your dweams and you’ve wanted loads and loads of different mummys.”
Rosie was right and Jenny knew it. She had always felt like a lost little girl on the street, latching on to any girl or woman who came by and showed her a little love or attention. Each time, she’d hoped that this would be the mummy who would have the magic to fix her, and the heart to love her, to want her and to take her home. Some saw the little girl and stayed with her for awhile. Some hugged her, some loved her, and few even tried to fix her and take her home, but none had the magic, and in the end, she was all alone on the street again.
“You’re right Rosie”, Jenny admitted with shame, “The little girl within has latched on to so many mummy’s, hoping they would be the right one, but I…I guess it was easy for you to choose, because when you saw Elizabeth, you knew straight away she was the one.”
“That’s true Jenny, when I saw Elizabeth, I knowed she was the perfect mummy for me, da only mummy for me, but before she came down from heaben I was just likes you Jenny. I wanted a mummy so bad dat ebery time I saw one pushing a pram down the street, I wished I could jump in it and go home with her.”
“Really Rosie?”, Jenny suddenly felt a little less guilty. “Just like me?”
“Yepers, just wikes you. In fact”, Rosie whispered secret softly and with a smile, “I wanted it so bad dat I pwobably woulda been the devil’s daughter if he wore a blue dress and said he could fixerade me.”
Both girls had a much needed giggle before Rosie gently nudged Jenny along.
“Jenny, it don’t madder how many laps you jumped into or how many times you pwessed your nose to da window and wished you was part of da family inside. What madders now is dat you looks into your heart and finds da one mummy, da one familwee you know is right for you.”
Jenny closed her eyes and thought. Yes, she would be anyone’s girl who would have her, that’s true, but if she got to choose, really choose the mummy and the family she wanted most of all, then she knew who she would choose. She knew her heart’s desire and she was as sure of it as Rosie was when she met Elizabeth, but did she dare ask it?
“Rosie…I do know who I want to belong to. I think she’s the perfect mummy, or at least the perfect mummy for me. I’ve seen her with her kids. She’s loving and patient and funny, but tough when she needs to be. She gives her kids attention, hugs, direction and a swift kick in the bum when they need it. She’s the woman I want helping me to grow up, and the woman I most want to be like, when I do grow up. She’s everything I ever wanted in a mummy and I love her with all my heart.”
“Sounds to me like someone’s made their choice”, Rosie added with a wink and giggle.
“But Rosie I’m afraid”, tears began to well in Jenny’s eyes, “I know I want her, but…but I’m afraid she won’t want me. She’s already got a house full of kids now. Maybe there isn’t room for one more.”
Rosie wished she could wrap angel wings round her friend as she knew she needed a hug, but all she could do was tell her the truth. “It’s not her house you gots to worry bouts Jenny. It’s her heart. If her has room for you in her heart, then she’ll make room for you in her life and her house.”
“So, if I choose her, but…but she doesn’t have a place for me in heart, does that mean I lose my wish?”
“No Jen. It just means we gotta finds you annuder mummy dat’s all. But don’t worry, cause I gots angels institution and it’s tellin me dat if you trust your heart, it will lead you home.”
Jenny hoped Rosie was right because she didn’t know what she would do if the mummy of her dreams didn’t want her. Yet even if she did want her, Jenny still had concerns.
“Rosie, I know you can fix me, but how do you fix it so I can be my mummy’s real daughter, and once you make me a real little girl will I remember how I used to be before? Will I remember you? I’d really hate to forget you Rosie.”
“Otay’s…let me twy to splain it. I wishes Mummy was here cause hers bedder wiff da big words, but I twy my best. Da same magic dat changes you to a liddle girl will change you into your mummy’s little girl and dat will fixeraded it in da weal world. And you still is five aint ya?”
Jenny nodded silently.
“Well dens da magic will fixes time for bouts six years, cause you gots to counts da time in da belly toos. Fwom da minute your new life begins, da old one will end and it will beez like you always been your mummy’s little girl.”
“Okay, I think I understand sorta, but what about my memories, the ones from before my new life? Am I gonna remember that I once lived as a boy?”
“Kinda yes and kinda no. At first, you’ll member some of it, but it will seems kinda more likes a bad dweam than reality and fors you know it, it will all gets pushed out of your head, cause dey won’t be no more room in dere for bad dweams wiff all da habby memories you gonna be makins.”
Jenny’s life hadn’t been all bad, and she did have some happy memories that she hated to lose, but considering the wonderful ones she was sure to make in her new life, it seemed a more than fair trade.
“Mummy tolded me something when I asked her da same questions Jenny. Her saided dat if I wanted to be a real liddle girl den I had to be a real liddle girl, and that means you gotta learn eberyting ober again and you can’t does dat if your old life gets in da way. Her saided dat bein a kid is more bouts whats you dont’s know and habs to learn dan almost anyting else.”
“I think you mummy is one smart lady Rosie.”
“Me tinks so toos”, the little cherub added with a proud smile.
“I…I don’t really mind forgetting everything, but I just wish I didn’t have to forget you Rosie”, Jenny added sadly.
“But…but you don’t gots to forgets me Jenny! I is da one ting you does gets to member cause I gonna be your guardian angel and I will watches ober you kinda ummm…like a little big sister. And…and when you weally need me, I’ll be dere.”
Jenny smiled hopefully, “Promise?”
“Angel’s honor”, Rosie pledged.
With all of Jenny’s questions answered and her fears calmed, it was time to choose, time to choose life or at least the one she’d always dreamed of.
“Rosie I want to choose now”, Jenny took a deep breath and then spoke with more confidence than she’d ever known. “I want Jill. I want to be Jill’s daughter. I want to be the littlest princess in her castle. I want Emily and Erin and Samantha as my big sisters. I want the joy and love I felt for those five magic days to be there everyday and I want to go to sleep each night knowing I’m finally home.”
Rosie smiled knowingly. Like any good angel, she’d done her homework, (she had to or her mummy would have sent her to bed without a story). She’d known Jenny’s heart’s desire almost before she did. Reaching into her gown, she pulled out the file marked: Jill.
Jenny watched closely and then giggled as Rosie put on tiny reading glasses to read the fine print. “Otay…otay…yes, I can see why you’d choose her Jenny, Jill’s a real smasher, she is, and oh wow, nice genes. You’re gonna be one cute liddle girl, but…”, Rosie hesitated a moment.
“But what?”, Jenny’s voice trembled.
“Da Jill package is OSD”, Rosie answered with a frown.
“OSD?, What’s OSD Rosie?”
“Ooops sowwy Jenny, dats angel code for Off Site Daddy. Dat means you gotta daddy, cause all kids gots daddy’s, but hims won’t be livin dere wiff yous. Jill’s a single mummy and dat won’t change when her adds you. So is you kewlies wiff dat?”
In the past, Jenny’s daydreams of the perfect family had included an “on site daddy”, as would most any kids, but after seeing and feeling the magic that Jill worked in her solo parent act, she knew that no pair of parents she could draw could ever beat the Queen of her heart.
“I’m ummm…kewlies with that Rosie. I’m kewlies with anything that makes me Jill’s.”
Rosie nodded and smiled. “Otays Jenny, den if you gots no more questions. Den it’s time for da angel magic. Time to send you home.”
“Wait a minute Rosie!”, Jenny haulted the proceedings. “Can I ask just one more question?”
“Sure kiddo. Dat’s what I is here for.”
Jenny hoped she wasn’t being to personal, but she really wanted to know, “If you was mortal like me, how did you get to be a real angel?”
“When I got all growed up I wanted to help people just likes my mommy helped me, but since I wasn’t no angel and didn’t habs magic, all I could does was talks to people who were stucks in da wrong body and give dem all da help and hugs I could. I wish I coulda dids more then, but I did help make a few people feel a liddle less sad, a liddle hopeless and a liddle less alone. And den when I wented to heaben and met da Boss, two wunnerful tings happened. Mummy was dere wiff da Boss and she was an angel again. Da Boss said hers was so good at being an angel he just had to give her wings back. And…and den da udder good ting habbened. Da Boss saided I had been such a good angel on Earth wiff out wings, dat he would gibs me a chance to see what I could do wiff wings! So here I is, and you’re my berry furst case, so I weally wanna get dis right.”
Jenny giggled, “I really want you to get this right too.”
“Don’t worry, Mummy’s got my back. She’s on a cloud cose by, and she’ll give me a boost if I needs one. Sooo…now is you weady to go home Jenny?”
“Yes Rosie, I’m ready”. Jenny’s eyes sparkled in anticipation. “What do I have to do?”
“Nuttins. Dis is a full service job ya know. All you gotta do is cose your eyes and me, Mummy and da magic feader will do da rest. When you oben dem again, you’ll be home. Oh I forgotted somefins…”, Rosie added quickly. “You might be a liddle tiwed when you wake up. The trip and da change always takes it out of you, but don’t worry, by morrow, you’ll be a toddler terror ready to roll.”
“Rosie?”, Jenny asked meekly, those tears welling once again, “How…how do I thank you for…for giving me everything?”
“Just go habs a habby life Jenny, dat’s all da thanks an angel eber needs, and oh…wait a minute…dere is one ting you can do for meez. Eats lots of custard and cwumble. I kinda miss da food sometimes”, the little angel added with a wistful smile.
Jenny promised to do her best to have a happy life and ask for seconds anytime custard and crumble were the pudding of the day.
With no more words, Jenny finally closed her eyes. The last thing the soap maiden remembered was a warm feeling all over her body and the faint smell of chocolate chip cookies.
Jill sat at her desk, one set of fingers at the computer keys, the other working the calculator. A tall stack of files sat impatiently in her “inbox”, a half dozen phone messages waited to be answered, and in thirty minutes she had a meeting with her boss who wanted hard copy on how she planned to do the impossible once again. In other words, business as usual for Jill, the first lady of logistics.
The two chairs in front of her desks were filled as usual, but instead of being filled by co-workers who’d stopped in for a quick chat, or slimy salesmen waiting to make their pitch for more than just soap transport, she had to two special guests today. Emily, her oldest daughter, had just arrived after working the breakfast shift at Steak and Shake. Jill had called her on her mobile and asked a tremendous favor. Tremendous because she knew that a 17 year old girl had better plans for a summer day than to baby sit a sick sister, but that was one of those things that came with being oldest princess in the castle.
Jill felt a bit guilty about robbing her hard working daughter of a little fun in the sun, but not too terribly, because she knew two things: there is no such thing as a free lunch (the slimy salesmen had proved that repeatedly) and there was no such thing as a free babysitter. Emily would choose her moment and method of repayment for this one, of that, Jill was absolutely sure.
In the other chair, was Jill’s youngest. She had her mother’s blonde hair as did all the princesses, including the unruly curls Jill had when she was the same age. The junior princess was sleeping now, but if her eyes had been open they surely would have flashed a beautiful blue. She had her father’s eyes and when she was happy, which was most of the time, they sparkled like twin jewels.
She was wearing her favorite Disney Princess outfit again. She’d gotten it for her fifth birthday a few weeks ago, and Jill had barely been able to get her out of it long enough to give it a good wash. White strap sandals had slipped off her feet some time during the morning, and tiny bare toes peeked over the edge of the chair as the rest of her had curled up, clutching her favorite stuffed baby.
Jill stopped calculating and computing long enough to give her sick, sleeping kitten a mother’s concerned gaze. If Emily hadn’t been at work early this morning, or if Erin and Samantha hadn’t been spending this week with their father, she’d never brought the little one to work with her. Jill had known her youngest wasn’t feeling well even before the fever came.
She had climbed into Jill’s bed sometime in the wee hours of the morning which was nothing unordinary for the “Hug Monster”, but…instead of settling down as she always did, she tossed and turned and cried most of the night. Originally Jill thought it was nightmares, but when she turned down not only her favorite strawberry cereal bar for breakfast, but also custard and crumble left over from last night’s pudding, she knew she had a sick kid on her hands.
After arriving at Jill’s office, she had sat quietly, either looking at books or coloring for most of the early morning. Not once had she interrupted her mummy wanting to could go outside and play or begging to go over to the place where they make the soap or asking Jill every thirty seconds or so what she was doing and if it was time to go home yet. In short words, she’d behaved like a perfect angel. There was no doubt she was sick, the fever that came about an hour ago, only confirmed it.
The fever concerned Jill, but only mildly. Samantha had been bitten by the same bug before she’d left for her fathers. She had made a full recovery shortly after arriving there and Jill had no doubt the prognosis would be the same for her littlest one. What she needed most was some bed rest, children’s Tylenol, and a little TLC for the next day or two. What Jill needed most was to finish knocking out that hard copy for the staff meeting, and a two week vacation on a white sandy beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Deciding the second need wasn’t likely to be filled anytime within the next 15 years, she felt she needed to devote all her attention to the first one, and called Emily to pick up her sick sister.
Emily reached into her handbag and pulled out a chocolate chip biscuit she’d nicked from work. “Here this ought to bring sleeping beauty round”, she said with a giggle as she waved the treat beneath her sister’s nose.
The little one continued to sleep, unaffected by the scent of one of her favorite biscuits. “Gee Mum, she really is out of it.”
“She turned down custard and crumble this morning”, Jill added shaking her head.
“Oh wow! She must be sick. I don’t think she’s ever done that. The little monster usually tries to nick mine off the table if I don’t watch her.”
“The little monster”, Jill added with a tight smile, “is going to be fine. She’s got the same thing Samantha had. I’ve already given her some meds and she won’t need another dose until around 3. Just keep her in bed. Feed if her she’ll eat, but if she won’t eat, don’t fight her, just try to get her to drink something.”
“There’s still some pink grapefruit squash in the cupboard Mum, I’ll make her some of that. She’s always begging for it whenever I fix myself a glass.”
“That’s fine Em...and that’s about all there is to it. Check her temp if she complains of being too hot, and call me if it spikes or if she starts vomiting, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I should be home round 6:30 to take over then.”
“Okay Mum, no worries, I got it covered”, Emily promised with a smile as she knelt down to collect her little sister’s book bag and sandals.
Jill came from round her desk and scooped up her little one. “Jenny … time to wake up”, she sang softly. “Emily’s here to take you home, honey.”
Big blues fluttered, but never really opened. A soft sleepy voice whispered, “Mummy … I gots an angel and…and her name’s Rosie”.
“An angel?”, Emily said curiously.
Jenny managed a few more words before drifting off again, “Her…her sabed me…her fix…fix...er…raded me”.
Emily looked helplessly at her Mum who smiled knowingly in return. “She was having terrible nightmares last night. I’m sure this angel is all part of the dream. I doubt if she’ll remember it by the time I get home tonight.”
Emily accepted the explanation as valid and then slipped the book bag over her shoulder before opening arms to take possession of her little sister. “C’mon J-Bug”, Emily’s pet name for her little sister, “let’s go for a ride. If you want…we can stop by Steak and Shake and I’ll get the manager to comp you a free kid’s size strawberry shake.”
A small smile turned at Jenny’s lips. “Already on the road to recovery”, Jill quipped dryly.
Jill then gave her two girls a kiss and a hug before sending them on their way.
Emily had just finished strapping her little sister into the car seat, when Jenny’s eye’s fluttered open again, “Emwee…where’s we goin?”
“We’re going to get you a strawberry shake. Don’t you remember goofy?”, the big sister playfully teased.
“And den where Emwee?”
“Home J-Bug, we’re going home.”
Jenny smiled happily as her blue eyes opened and sparkled, “Home…I glad we goin home.”
Emily shook her head and smiled as she checked the straps. “I know J-Bug, you always wanna go home.”
And as the pair of princesses drove off, a mother angel cuddled her daughter angel on a first assignment well done.
Hugs and love from Maggie the Kitten
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