A Whole New World : I Can't Go Back To Where I Used To Be


A Whole New World:
I Can't Go Back To Where I Used To Be
by Missy Crystal


Chapter 3

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I'm way up here
It's crystal clear
That now I'm in a whole new world with you

Wednesday morning arrived with a storm of activity. Mom was her usual organized wife and Dad was his usual patient husband. She went through her travel list. "Passports? Wallet and credit cards? Boarding passes? Honey, do we have everything?"

"The kitchen sink is still here."

Not funny, Ginny."

"Suitcases? Cell phone?" Mom continued undeterred.

"You need to get going. The airport shuttle is waiting."

Hugs and kisses. Almost out the door, Mom turned back. "The hotel information is on the refrigerator and a copy of the itinerary. We'll be back a week from this Sunday."

"Yes, we know."

"And Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank's phone number."

"Yes, we know for the hundredth time. You need to go."

"The emergency number and poison control too, on the magnet."

"Seriously, Mom?"

"You never know."

"We know. Dial 911 and puke."

"Still not funny, Ginny."

"Love you."

"We love you too."

Hugs and kisses again. "Remember to lock the house and, Ginny, drive carefully."

"Yes and yes. Very carefully. Like an elderly turtle. Go!"

We stood in the doorway and waved as they wheeled their luggage out to the van and loaded it in the back. Today was going to be the longest school day ever. I suggested to Ginny that we stay home and get a head start on cousin Jasmin's arrival, but she took being in charge seriously. No playing hooky. There would be plenty of time when we got home. Easy for her to say. There was no way that I could concentrate.

"Okay, lets get going." Ginny took the car keys and backed out of the driveway. Usually, Mom had the car and we took the bus, so this was a special treat.

"Um, Ginny, I don't know much about driving yet, but I'm pretty sure that school is in the other direction."

"Oh, I told Betsy I would pick her up. She's only a few minutes out of the way." Ginny must have called her cell phone, because she was waiting on the sidewalk when we pulled up.

"Hi, Bobby," Betsy greeted me. She came around to my door and opened it. "Would you be a lamb and get in back, please?" Ginny nodded her agreement. I would have to add 'be a lamb' to Jasmine's vocabulary. They spent the rest of the trip gossiping about school and clothes and boys and who was dating who and wearing what and going where. I listened closely for future reference when talking with other girls. The conversation ended when Ginny pulled up to the drop off area. "Bobby, hop out. I'm going to drive around to the student parking lot."

I stowed my backpack in my locker and got to my homeroom just as the tardy bell rang. I hoped Ginny made it in time. She said we'd go shopping and I didn't want to spend the afternoon waiting for her to get out of detention instead. I sat down at the desk next to Jeff.

"Hey," he acknowledged my arrival.

"Hey."

"Did your folks leave?"

"Yeah."

"When are you going to your grandparents?"

"Not sure. This afternoon, I guess. They didn't say exactly. Whenever."

"Ginny's not going?"

"No, my folks wanted her to watch the house while they're away. My cousin Jasmine is going to stay with her for the weekend."

"How come?"

"Her folks are going away too. They probably were afraid for her to be in the house with me alone." I did my best impression of a leer. "You know a pretty girl with a dude like me."

"How old is she?"

"Our age."

"She's pretty?" Bingo! He took the bait.

"Yeah."

"Maybe I should go over. You know, say hello."

"Suit yourself."

"Are you going to be in school tomorrow?"

"Uh huh. Ginny's going to get me."

"How come they're not staying at your house?"

"Don't know."

"So Ginny will be home with your cousin?"

"Jasmine, yes, she's getting dropped off Friday afternoon. Walk over and see. I'll tell Ginny you might stop by." The first period bell rang.

I tried to pay attention, force myself to take notes, but it was no use. I kept thinking about my date with Jeff. I pictured us holding hands. Maybe he'd try to do some stuff with me. Probably not. He wasn't experienced with girls. I remember us playing a game of spin the bottle in Kathy Rose's basement. He went in the closet with her twin sister, Maryann, but he told me that he only kissed her on the cheek. Hopefully his aim has improved with age. I continued to daydream as Mr. Gray droned on about frog's guts.

Finally, the third period bell rang and it was time for lunch. I hurried to the cafeteria. I found an open table and Jeff joined me. About ten minutes later Ginny came in surrounded by her usual group of girls and sat down at the cool kids table. I tried to catch her eye. She looked over and I motioned with my head towards the tray return. She got up, had a few words with some of the girls, and picked up her tray. I picked up my tray, excused myself and joined her.

"I told him about Jasmine," I whispered, "and he wants to meet her. I think he might stop over Friday afternoon."

"Convenient."

"Can we be ready?"

"We?"

"Can I be ready?"

"You?"

"Jasmine."

"I don't know. You'd have to ask her. Will she?"

"Yes."

"Then you know the answer to your question. Are we done?"

"Yes." She started to walk away."

"Bobby, wait." I turned back. "I'm going to drive my friends to the mall this afternoon. Can you take the bus? I'll be home in time to make us dinner."

"Yes, but I thought we were going shopping," I said with obvious disappointment.

"Don't worry," she looked around to see if anyone was listening, "little sister," she whispered. I'm going to get you ready for your date. When you get home," she looked around again, "take a nice hot soak in the tub. You've probably got peach fuzz, but shave under your arms and your legs. Use the pink razor and foam. When you get out, cream up with the body lotion. It's unscented. Then pick out a pair of panties and a cammie. Look through my closet and get an idea of what you'd like to wear for your date. Try some things on. We've been over your wardrobe choices. I'll be home by the time you're done. Keep your undies on under your clothes. Nobody will know. We can have a quick dinner and then go shopping for Jasmine. The mall's open 'til nine. You can stay up late to finish your homework. Better?"

"Yes, much." I looked around. "I love you," I whispered."

"And I love you," she said in a normal voice, not caring who heard. She walked off and joined her friends. I went back to sit with Jeff.

"What was that about?"

"We had to work out how I'm getting home. She's going to the mall with her girlfriends and I'm taking the bus."

"Did you ask her about me coming over?"

"Yeah. I told her that you wanted to take Jasmine out on a hot date."

"No! Really, you didn't say that did you?" He looked at me expectantly.

"Don't worry, dude, I just said you might stop by to say hello. After that, its up to you."

"Thanks." I couldn't tell if he was relieved or disappointed.

"Your welcome."

The rest of the day dragged on. I caught the bus and followed Ginny's directions. I always showered. I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to shave in the tub or do it first and then get in. I decided to try it first. Funny I thought, as a finished under my arms and started on my legs, that I was shaving my body before my face. After the bath, I toweled off and went into Ginny's room. I picked out a pair of pick panties with white lace trim and a camisole with matching lace around the yoke and a little bow at the front.

Opening the closet, I studied the different options. A dress was too formal. Jeans were too casual and too much like what I wore every day, even if they had decoration on the pockets. That left skirts. Ginny had lots of them, mini, midi and maxi, as she had educated me on girl's fashion. Maxi was too conservative. Mini the opposite. Something above the knee seemed right. I found a cute tiered denim skirt and tried it on. The waist was stretchy enough that I could get it buttoned. After struggling to reach the zipper, I realized that all I needed to do was put it on backwards and turn it around. I found a pink pullover to pair with it. Shoes were a problem. Ginny's were too small and she and Mom were the same size. When I was dressed, I sat down at the vanity and practiced putting on lipstick. As I was applying the lip gloss, I heard the kitchen door open and close. I looked at the clock on the night stand and it was five thirty. Time really does fly when you're having fun.

"Jasmine, I'm home," Ginny called from the bottom of the stairs. "Come down so we can get dinner and then we can go shopping." I ran down the stairs. She had the refrigerator open.

"Hi, Ginny," I greeted her happily.

She turned around. "Wow, I love that outfit you picked out. It's one of my favorites. You have good fashion sense," she complimented me.

"Thanks. I had a good teacher," I complimented her back.

"Is that what you decided to wear when you go out with Jeff?"

"I guess so. Why?"

"No reason. It's cute. I was thinking about when you meet him as I was driving home. Don't laugh."

"Why would I laugh? I'm clueless."

"I kinda pictured you in a Catholic school girl outfit. Remember I made up that cousin Jasmin goes to St. Katherine's."

"Yes."

"So you came right from school. I thought that it would reinforce that you're a good girl. We don't want him trying for second or third base and finding out that he's in the wrong ballpark."

"Huh? What does baseball have to do with it?"

"Don't you and Jeff talk about scoring with girls?"

"Scoring?"

"I just assumed you guys talked about your dates."

"What dates. Jeff's my first one. Or he will be."

"When a guy goes out on a date and he kisses the girl, that's getting to first base. If he touches her breasts, that's second base. If he gets farther south, that's third base and if they do it, that's scoring a home run. Get it?"

"Why not just say so?"

"Because it's teen code for talking about sex."

As she was talking she was checking the containers. She took out one labeled 'Mac and Cheese.' How about I pop this in the microwave. It should hold us until we get back from shopping and we can have a late snack."

"Sure, sounds fine."

"Set the table, please. Pour yourself a glass of milk. I'll have water." "When the microwave beeped, she took out the container and served us. Sitting down to dinner, she resumed her discussion of my outfit. "I have a plaid kilt and a white blouse. It's not an official school uniform, but Jeff won't know. Some knee socks or tights and Mary Janes and your all dressed."

"Mary Janes?"

"Flats with a strap across the top.

"Flats?"

"Shoes without heels or low heels. It's going to be a while before you're ready for heels."

"Okay, whatever you say."

"I really think the school girl look is going to work. After dinner, try it on. Then we can shop for a bra and shoes. That shouldn't take long."

We ate and cleaned up. I followed Ginny upstairs. She looked through her closet and took out a blue plaid pleated skirt with two buckles. She handed it to me. "Put this on." As I was changing, she handed me a white blouse with a round collar. "This too. We can skip the socks. I just want to make sure these will fit you."

I couldn't figure out how to get the skirt on. It didn't have a button or zipper. "It's a kilt. It wraps around." Ginny undid the two buckles. There were two hooks that held the waist closed. She fastened it, redid the buckles and adjusted it so that the split was above my left leg and the buckles went across my hip. I put on the blouse and tucked it into the skirt. Ginny showed me how to flip up the skirt to pull down the blouse. She nodded approvingly. "Look in the mirror." I checked myself out, turning from side to side.

"Cute."

"Very."

"Ready to go?"

"Like this? Seriously?"

"No. Put your jeans back on. Do you remember how to take off the skirt?

"Yes." I undid the buckles and unhooked the waist.

"Hang it up, please. The blouse too. Girls take care of their clothes."

Back in boy mode we got in the car and drove to the mall. "Penny's has a good junior's department. Let's find you a bra."

I hesitated. "I can't shop for a bra dressed like a boy."

"Why not? Nobody is going to know it's for you." I followed along as she checked out racks of bras, taking one, examining it, putting it back. She was right, nobody paid us any attention. Finally she found one she liked. She brought it over and showed it to me."

"Ginny," I looked around nervously, "what are you doing?"

"Showing my sister her new bra."

"Stop! Somebody will hear you."

"And if they did, what? They'd know you were transgendered. Aren't you?"

"Yes."

"So?"

"So, you're right," I agreed.

"Good." She showed me the bra. "Feel the cups. They have removable pads so you can go from an AA to an A. That's just enough to fill out your blouse. And the straps are stretch material.

"Okay?"

"Okay."

Ginny brought it to the counter. The woman rang it up, put it in a bag with some tissue and handed it back. "One down, one to go for tonight." As we left the department store she handed me the bag. "Your bra, you carry it." She linked her arm in mine and we walked through the mall.

We ended up at a Payless shoe store. "It's self service, so it will be easier to fit you." She took me down an aisle of women's shoes. There was a chart on the end of the rack which converted men's to women's sizes. "So women can buy men's shoes," she explained. "But it works both ways," she said with a smile. "What size are you?"

"Eight and a half."

She ran her finger across the chart. "A woman's ten." She took my arm and we walked down one of the aisles. "Here." She looked over the selection and picked out a black pair with a strap across the ankle and a low heel. "Mary Jane's, see. Let's try them on." I looked around. "Sit." She directed me to a stool. "Sneaker off." I took off my right sneaker. "Sock too." She bent down and slipped it on. "Other foot."

"You want me to try them on here?"

"Why not? Do you see a lot of people interested in your choice of footware?"

"No."

"That's because they're not. Now, other foot, princess." She put on the shoe. I stood up and took a few hesitant steps. "You're going to be walking around with Jeff. You need to be comfortable. Nothing ruins a date more than excruciating foot pain from shoes that don't fit. I know it for a fact. When you start wearing heels, you'll find out for yourself." I paraded the length of the aisle. "Okay?" I nodded. She paid for the shoes and we went back to the car. It was nine o'clock when we got home.

"Why don't you go upstairs and try on your bra. This one hooks in back, so, until you get the hang of fastening it behind your back, put it on backwards. When it's hooked, turn it around and slip the straps over your shoulder. See how it looks and feels with the blouse. Skirt and shoes too. Remember to keep you knees together or you legs crossed at the knees or ankles. I'm going to hop in the shower and wash my hair. If the house phone rings, let the answering machine pick it up in case its Jeff. Remember, you're supposed to be staying with gram and grandpa. London is five hours ahead, so it's early morning. Mom and Dad won't be calling us."

I followed her instructions and was working on my homework when she came into my room with a towel wrapped around her hair and another around her chest. "How're you doing," she asked while drying her hair.

" I have about another half hour of homework."

"I have some too. Come in when you're finished. I have something for you."

"What?"

"Come in when you're finished and I'll show you."

I worked quickly. I could always go over it in study hall. Ginny was at her desk when I went in. She didn't look up. "On the bed," she directed.

"A nightgown!" I held it up. It was silky white nylon, ankle length, with a pink bow at the neck and short sleeves with matching pink bows. "Ginny, it's so pretty. Thank you."

Ginny turned around with a smile. "Your welcome. Aunt Judy gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday." She shook her head and laughed. " It's way to girly for me. I sleep in boxers and a tee shirt. Now, off to bed and sweet dreams. "

"I will. Thank you again."

"You're welcome again. Goodnight."

"Goodnight."

Back in my room, I took off the cammie and slipped the nightgown over my head. It felt wonderful. I got into bed and pulled up the covers. I loved the way the nylon panties slid against the nightgown and the way the nightgown felt as I moved under the sheets.

The alarm went off and I sat up. It took me a minute to realize that I was in my room, in a nightgown and panties, waking up to a new day as Jasmine. I thought about holding on to the feeling by wearing the panties to school, but, like I told Ginny, Thursday was gym and getting caught would ruin everything we had planned. I took them off and put on my white briefs and tee shirt.

Ginny was already in the kitchen when I came downstairs. "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"

"Yes, very well, thank you. I don't understand why you don't wear the nightgown. It feels so nice."

"I wore them when I was younger. Long ones, short ones, baby dolls, sleep shirts, teddies, they all bunch or ride up. You wake up with them around your chest or stuck in you crotch. There's no need for a girl to look pretty or sexy when she's sleeping by herself." I wondered who else would be in bed with her and then realized that she was talking about sex."

"Oh, you mean, oh. Have you ... ?

"Yes, that's what I mean, and no, I haven't done it" she interrupted me, "I'm still a virgin."

"I didn't mean to pry."

"Sister's don't have secrets from each other. You trusted me enough to share something very special about you. I don't mind reciprocating. Tim and I got pretty close, but I want it to be memorable, which the back seat of his mother's Camry is not. Now then, princess, finish your cereal and lets get going."

I took my dish to the sink, rinsed it and put it on the drying rack. Ginny picked up her pocketbook and we repeated yesterday's routine. I was a lamb and got in the backseat. Jeff was waiting for me in homeroom.

"Hey, Bobby."

"Hey, Jeff."

"Well?"

"Well what?"

"Is it all set?"

"Is what all set?" I teased him, knowing that he was asking about Jasmine.

"Did you talk to her about me?"

"Talk to who?"

"Jasmine."

"Why would I do that? I thought you were just going to drop over."

"Yah, but I thought you'd ask her."

"Ask her what?" I could see his frustration increasing.

"Ask her about going out with me."

"Dude, I told you, I was just kidding."

"I know. I just thought that maybe, you know, you'd tell her I was going to come over."

"Bad idea."

"Why?"

A perfect opportunity to make sure he doesn't tell anyone about Jasmine. "Because if I told her about you, she'd tell her parents and her parents are very strict. They'd probably ground her."

"Oh, wow. So she can't date? What's the point of my meeting her then?"

"I said they don't let her date. Maybe she has a different idea. Who knows with girls. There's only one way to find out. It's a five minute walk."

"Yah, thanks for the tip off, Bobby. You're a good friend." He gave me a playful punch in the shoulder. I punched him back. The first period bell rang. We headed off to class.

Today was easier than yesterday, because I had Jasmine waiting for me at home. Another day to practice putting on lipstick and wearing skirts. Another night to wear my nightgown. I had already picked out the skirts and tops I was going to wear when I met Jeff and on our dates, so I decided to try a dress, just for a different experience. I found a red velour one with a high waist and short skirt that ended mid-thigh. I thought that if I could manage to sit in it without showing my panties, I could manage any skirt. I practiced with varying degrees of success. I wished that I could fit into her heels. I was dying to try them.

"Jasmine."

"I'm upstairs."

"I'm sorry I'm late. We met up with some of the guys and, well, you know. Actually, you don't, but you will. Anyway, thanks for getting things set up. Come down in about twenty minutes."

I checked the clock and it was time. I put away my books and went to the kitchen. Ginny turned as she heard me come in. She had a surprised look on her face. "I didn't realize that we were dining formal tonight."

"You said to pick out whatever I wanted to wear."

"I did and you look lovely."

After dinner Ginny showed me her collection of pocketbooks. "I like a shoulder bag, because it leaves your hands free." She picked up a red leather bag. This is a Coach. That's who makes it. See the design? Mom and Dad gave it to me when I graduated from middle school. It's expensive, but it doesn't hold much and I have a ton of stuff. She handed it to me. This will be good for you. She put the strap over my shoulder. Let's go in my room and see what we can find to go in it.

Ginny started rummaging through the drawers in her vanity. "You need a mirror." She put a round one in the bag. "Lipstick, lip liner and lip gloss." She pointed to them on the vanity. "Tissues." She took about six, folded them over and tucked them in the bag. "A comb and brush and tampons." She went into the bathroom and came back with two pearly plastic tubes.

"Tampons?"

"If you're a girl, then you have them in your purse for emergencies." I shrugged. "And a wallet." She found one in a drawer and checked to make sure it was empty."Okay, you're good to go." She handed me the bag.

"Ginny, I'm not good to go. I know how to dress like a girl and act like a girl, but," I held my hands up to my face with the fingers spread, "I don't look like a girl." "If Jeff comes over tomorrow, he'll know it's me. When do you and Darla turn me into Jasmine?"

"Relax. I have it all planned. Tomorrow is Friday. I have honors study last period, so I can get out early. I'll write you a note from Mom saying you have a dentist appointment and need to leave after fourth period. Meet me in the parking lot and we can get your nails done and your ears pierced."

"What! Are you nuts? I can't have my ears pierced."

"Why not? I do. Two." She paged back her hair to show me her right ear.

"Yes, but you're a girl."

"That's the point. Girls have pierced ears. You want Jeff to believe that you're Jasmine. He knows that his friend Bobby doesn't have pierced ears. So if Jasmine has pierced ears, then she's a girl and, if she's a girl, then she can't be you. Right?"

"I understand the logic, but how do I explain it to Mom and Dad?"

"They're just two tiny holes in your earlobes. If you take out the earrings, they'll close up. Your hair covers your ears, so nobody will notice them. Or you could keep them open for when Jasmine comes to visit and just cover the holes with a dab of makeup. It's up to you."
I shrugged. "I guess so."

"You need to do more than guess."

"Yes."

"Darla works at the spa in the afternoons. She's coming over about five o'clock to do your hair and makeup. Tell Jeff that Jasmine needs time to get settled and not to come over until after dinner. You should be ready for your debut."

"Thanks, Ginny. You're the best sister a girl could ever have." I paused. "No, you're the best sister anyone could ever have. I love you."

"Don't get too carried away. I may not be doing you any favor. There's no guaranty this is going to work the way you want. Jeff's hormones are only going to make him stupid, not blind. You've got to convince someone who knows you that you're somebody else. If not, you could be in big trouble when Mom and Dad get back."

"I understand and whatever happens, it's worth it to me. I hope it won't make trouble for you."

"Nah, like I said, I'm off to college in a few months. I've already enrolled, my tuition is paid and I'm sure that whatever happens will blow over by the time I come home. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say. You're the one who's going to have to live with it."

I sighed. "There's no other way, Ginny."

She walked over and gave me a reassuring hug. "It's getting late. We have a big day tomorrow, so get a good night's sleep."

My alarm clock went off at six thirty. This was the day! I took off my nightgown and went to my dresser for a pair of briefs. I looked at them and put them back. I decided to wear panties. I went into Ginny's room to get a clean pair. She was in her bra and panties. As I watched, she stepped into a pair of jeans and wiggled them over her butt, finishing with a couple of hop and tugs to get them up to her waist. Another tug and she had them buttoned.

"Impressive," I complimented her."

She laughed. "It's not easy being a girl, you'll see." I went over to dresser and took out a pair of white panties. "Aren't you getting dressed for school?"

"Yes," I smiled.

"Oh. I thought you decided it was too risky to wear panties."

"I know, but we don't have gym today and I can practice sitting to pee, if I need to use the boys' room. We're going to get Jasmine ready this afternoon and I just wanted to feel like a girl."

"What about a panty line?"

"Oh, do you think they'll show."

"Maybe you should wear the thong."

"Seriously?"

"No, I'm teasing. You can't see panties under jeans. Now scoot so I can finish getting dressed."

Ginny drove right to school. We got there early so I could drop off the note at the office. I was waiting at my desk when Jeff arrived. Sitting next to him secretly wearing panties in anticipation of him meeting Jasmine tonight made me really pleased with myself.

"What's up, Bobby?"

"Huh? Nothing."

"Did you meet Jasmine?"

"What? No. Why would you say that? I told you, she's not coming until tonight. In fact, Ginny wanted me to tell you not to come over until after dinner and to call first."

"Oh. Okay. I don't know. It's just that you seem different today."

"Yeah, well, you know, staying with my grandparents is kinda weird." I gave as an excuse.

"Yeah, I guess so. Whatever."

Just to be safe, I tried to stay away from Jeff the rest of the day. At lunch I pretended to be concentrating on an English assignment. I got up about ten minutes before the period bell. "I gotta use the head," I excused myself. I stopped and turned back to him. "So dude, I won't see you until Monday. Ginny's taking me to the dentist this afternoon. I'm getting out early, and my grandparents are picking me up. Good luck with Jasmine." I chuckled. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do," which, of course, he couldn't.

Ginny was waiting in the car. She drove to the mall and parked. "Let's do your nails first. Then we need to stop at Sephora and after that get your ears pierced."

"Sephora?"

"A cosmetics store. Mom was right, red is too dramatic. You need something lighter. And nail polish. I'm just going to have them put on clear. It will make a good base and I can polish them when we get home. Here." We went into 'Topline Nails.' Ginny spoke to the Asian woman at the front. Twenty minutes later I was done. "Let me see." I held out my hands. "Nice." I turned my hands and curled my fingers to look.

"That's how men do it."

"Do what?"

"Look at their nails. Women don't make a fist. Haven't you ever seen a cat fight? We scratch, we slap, we pull hair, but we don't punch. Hold your hand up and spread your fingers. Like this." She demonstrated. "There." She pointed to a woman walking in the opposite direction. "See how she holds her bag? Her palm is open and just the bottom of her fingers are curled around the handle."

"Thanks, but if only women know the difference, then only a woman would know that I'm not one of you, right?"

"Aren't you?"

"It's taking me longer than most."

"Here." We went in. I couldn't image anyone needing that much makeup, but apparently the women shopping knew differently. An attractive young woman in a black smock with elaborate eye makeup came over. Ginny told her we were looking for lipstick and she brought us to a display that put the rainbow to shame. Ginny picked out a pink one. "Put out your hand."

"Why?"

"So I can test it. You need to see it against your skin tone." She took my hand and made a streak.

"Ginny!" She rolled her eyes. "Right. Nobody cares," I conceded. She smiled.

She finally settled on one encouragingly called 'Addicted to You' and, after looking through an equally overwhelming, at least for me, collection of nail polish, she picked out a complimentary pink. A lip liner pencil and tube of lip gloss completed our shopping. "Anything else you need, either Darla will have it or you can borrow it from me. Speaking of Darla," she looked at the time on her cell phone, "we need to get going."

When we got home, Ginny started dinner. "While I'm getting it ready, shower and use the scented body wash. Just put on panties and your bra for now and wear Mom's big terry robe. It's on the hook in her bathroom. I'll polish you nails and help you get dressed after we eat.

Twenty minutes later I was back in the kitchen bundled up and smelling like lavender. Ginny had heated a tuna-noodle casserole. She looked at the clock on the stove. "We need to hurry. Darla will be here in a half hour. Leave the dishes. I can clean up while she's doing your makeover. C'mon." She headed upstairs and I followed.

In her bedroom, Ginny handed me the white blouse. I put it on, pleased with my skill at doing the buttons in reverse. She got a pair of black tights out of the dresser. "Watch." She slipped her hand into the leg all the way to the foot, then rolled them down her arm until. "See." She pulled her hand out and handed them do me. "Wait." She took my hand and examined it. "You'll snag them. Here." She handed me a bottle of hand lotion and I applied it. She supervised the application. "Okay." I followed her directions, pointing my toe, pulling one leg on up to my knee, then the other, tugging them up to my waist and smoothing the legs. She nodded her approval. I put on the skirt, stepped into my shoes and buckled them. I looked in the mirror, turning from side to side. I sat back down at Ginny's vanity and she adeptly polished my nails a pretty pink. After waving my hands in the air for ten minutes and confirmation for Ginny that they would not smudge, from the neck down Jasmine was ready.

Ginny fussed with the skirt and blouse. "Let's go downstairs and wait for Darla." No sooner had we reached the hallway when the doorbell rang. "You'd better stay out of sight, just in case Jeff's impatience got the better of him." I ducked into the den. She opened the door. I heard girl's voice.

"Hey there sweet cheeks. How about starting where we left off!" Ginny laughed.

"You can come out now." When I did, Darla had her arms around Ginny and it appeared that they were getting seriously reacquainted. "Enough, Darla!" They disengaged and Ginny stood back. "You never give up," she accused her playfully.

"Nope, not with my best girlfriend ever. If only. Okay, where's the little tranny?" She looked around. "Ahh." She came over and looked at me closely. "Turn around. Cute. I've never kissed a tranny." She moved in. To my surprise, Ginny didn't intervene. She released me and shook her head. "You need to work with your sister on kissing, doll," she suggested.

To my surprise, not having met any lesbians, Darla was petite, Ginny was about five four and she was much shorter, with short dark hair, and wearing tight jeans, a black sweater and tan pumps with heels. She saw me staring. "What? You were expecting a construction worker?"

I nodded sheepishly. "You're very pretty."

She smiled. "Looks can be deceiving. Which brings us to you." She turned to Ginny. She took my chin in her hand and turned my face from side to side."

"We're on a tight schedule, Darla." Jasmine's date is supposed to come over around six thirty. That gives us about forty-five minutes. Can do?"

She released me and stood back. "No problem, she's got good skin and features, won't need a lot of makeup, but I need to work where there's light."

Ginny suggested the kitchen. "This way."

Darla picked up the two cases she brought, one big rectangular and one smaller round, and followed her. She looked around. "Not ideal, but it will do." She pointed to a chair. "Sit." I sat. She opened the rectangular case and it blossomed into three tiers with compartments filled with what looked to me like an artist's equipment, brushes of every size and shape, tubes, bottles, jars and a lot of tools which I had no clue as to their use. She produced a cape and put it around me.

"Hmm," she studied my eyebrows, rubbing her thumb across them. "They need to be thinned." She picked up a tweezer. "Hold still. You'll feel a slight pinch when I pull a hair. Be brave. "

"Darla, hold on," Ginny interceded. "Jasmine has to go to school on Monday as Bobby and we don't want her boyfriend to recognize her."

"Uh huh. I'm just going to clean up the area between the brows and a few stray hairs. I'll use an eyebrow pencil to shape them. You won't notice much of a difference once it comes off." A little blush on the cheeks for color and, close your eyes, doll, a little mascara, um, actually, I think I have some day wear false eyelashes, hmm, yes, just to lengthen them a little," she nodded her head, "definitely. What about lipstick?" Ginny told her we already had it. "Okay, then." she pulled the first hair.

"Ouch," I winced.

Ginny laughed. "Nobody said being a girl was painless."

After what seemed like an hour of torture, Darla started on the makeup. She outlined my brows and filled them in, blending the color, applied the eyelashes, used one of the mysterious tools to curl them and brushed a light pink color over my cheeks. She stood back and looked at Ginny. "Yes?" Ginny nodded her agreement. She took a hand mirror out of the case and held it for me. I sighed.

"You don't like how you look?" Darla questioned me.

"No, Darla, I love how I look. It's just, well, I look like a very pretty boy."

"Aren't you?"

"Yes, but I'd rather not be. Thank you for trying."

Darla, gave Ginny me an impish look. "There's no pleasing tranny's. They're so dramatic." She shook her head. "Relax." She opened up the round case. "This should do the trick." She took out the most beautiful wig. She shook it out. It was honey blonde and had long hair with soft curls. "I borrowed this from the salon. It's real hair. "Happy?"

"Oh my God, Darla, I, I, I love it. Oh, thank you, thank you. Yes. Happy. Very happy."

She handed the wig to Ginny. "First, we need to get your own hair out of the way." She brushed it back, gathered it and tied it with an elastic. "And you need a cap that will hold it secure. Once it's pinned it will stay put. Now," she took the wig and placed it on my head, adjusted it and attached it to the cap with bobby pins. Once she was satisfied, she used a round brush to style it.

She stepped back, fussed with it some more, stepped back, more fussing, and finally she pronounced it done. She produced the hand mirror. I looked at my face framed with a sweep of hair over my forehead and framed by shoulder length blonde curls. Bobby was gone. Any bigger smile would have damaged my face. "I take it you approve."

"I love you," I gushed.

"I get that a lot from trannys," she joked. "Unfortunately, what they've got is not what I want." She leered at Ginny, who shook her head. Darla shrugged.

Ginny walked over to her. "Payment due." They had another long kiss. "Whew," Darla fanned herself. "Don't tell Carly." I assumed Carly was her girlfriend.

"And get my eyes scratched out for poaching. Uh uh. You're secret's safe with me."

"In that case, come to mama." She opened her arms.

"Be good." Darla put her arms down. "I'll return the wig to the salon on Monday, if that's okay."

"Any time. Seriously," she gave Ginny a wicked grin, "any time you realize that boys are a waste of effort." She looked at me, "present company excluded." She turned to me. "Jasmine, you're a sweetheart. Good luck with you boyfriend. I'm going to leave you the eyebrow pencil and blush. Ginny has whatever else you'll need. Oh, and the wig brush too. Bring it back with the wig." She closed up the makeup case and Ginny escorted her to the door.

I couldn't get over the transformation. If Jeff recognized me, it wouldn't be by my appearance. I went to the hall mirror and admired myself. I could see Ginny standing behind me with a big smile. I gently tossed my head."I wish this was really my hair."

"Yours covers your ears. If you let it grow, it should be almost that long in about six months. You can make it any color and the curls are easy. A hair dryer and a styling brush or big rollers."

"I wish."

"Ready for you debut?"

I took a deep breath and exhaled. "Yes.""

As if on cue, the phone rang. Ginny waited until the fifth ring, just before the voice mail picked up. "Hello. Hi. No, it's a good time. Yes, uh huh, she's here. This afternoon. Yes. Sure. Okay. See you in about ten minutes." She hung up and turned to me. "How do you want to do this? Do you want to meet him at the door or do you want to make a grand entrance?"

"At the door, I think." I went back and looked in the mirror. "Do I need more lipstick?"

"No, you look fine."

I adjusted my skirt. "Do I look okay," I asked nervously.

"You look fine. You're hair's fine, your makeup is fine, your clothes are fine, the only thing that won't be fine is if you wet your panties. Trust me. It's all fine. Take a few more deep breaths."

Chapter
4

A whole new world
A hundred thousand things to see
I'm like a shooting star
I've come so far
I can't go back to where I used to be

The doorbell rang. I panicked. "Maybe this isn't such a good idea, Ginny."

"Do you want me to tell him that Jasmine is indisposed?"

"No. Go ahead."

"Don't be so anxious. Let him wait. I guarantee that he isn't going anywhere." She held up her left hand and counted. "One - two - three - four - five." The doorbell rang again. "See, he didn't even get to six." She put her hand down and opened the door. I stood behind her. "Hi, Jeff. She invited him in and stepped aside, closing the door behind her. "Jasmine," she turned to me, "this is Jeff, Bobby's friend."

Okay, you can do this. I stepped out. "Hi." A brilliant introduction. Ginny looked at me encouragingly. "It's very nice to meet you."

"Why don't you two go in the den and get acquainted," Ginny interrupted our awkward introduction. She motioned with her head towards Jeff. I wasn't sure what she meant. "Arm," she whispered. I stepped forward, took him by the arm and guided him.

"Jasmine," I turned to Ginny, "I have a couple of errands to run. I won't be gone more than a half hour. Will you be okay with Jeff?"

I still had his arm. I looked at him and back to her. "I'm sure we'll be fine. Won't we Jeffrey?"

"Oh, ah, um, ah, ah,"

"We'll be fine," I mercifully answered for him.

"Okay, then." Ginny got her pocketbook and the car keys. "Be good." She winked at me and left.

"Jeffrey, would you like something to eat?" I let go of his arm. He followed me docilely into the kitchen. It amazed me how much control I had over him, that Jasmine had over him, I corrected myself. "Oh dear, I don't know where anything is," I pretended to be helpless. "Jeffrey, could you find some glasses, please." Of course, he'd been in our kitchen hundreds of times, so he knew where we kept them. I opened the refrigerator. "Milk, orange juice and cola. I'm going to have milk. What would you like?" I knew he preferred soda, but he politely agreed to have milk too. I took out the bottle and poured two glasses. "Do you think there are any cookies?" He found them in the cupboard and took out a package of chocolate chip and a package of Oreos. "A plate, please." He brought over a plate. "Thank you for helping." I gave him a demure smile and he gave me a dopey grin. I arranged four of each on the plate. "Shall we go into the den?" I picked up the plate with the cookies. "Be a lamb and bring the milk, please."

In the den, I put the plate of cookies on the coffee table in front of the couch. It had three cushions. I smoothed my skirt under me and sat down on the left side. Jeff put down the glasses and sat on the right side. Polite, but not what I had in mind. "Oh, dear. We forgot napkins. Would you mind?" When he left, I moved over to the center cushion and tucked my legs up, the way I had seen Ginny do, adjusting my skirt for modesty. Jeff returned and stopped when he saw that there was no way for him to sit down without being next to me. I patted the cushion to my right. When he still hesitated, I gave him a little smile and nod of my head. He took the invitation. Not exactly first base, but at least he was in position to play ball.

I sat quietly with my hands folded in my lap. "Um, do you want to play a game?" Jeff ended the awkward silence.

"A game?"

"Uh yeah, a video game. Bobby's got some really cool ones," he offered enthusiastically.

"I like the Disney ones."

"Oh, ah, I don't think he has any of those."

"Maybe we could just talk?"

"Um, okay."

I followed Ginny's suggestion and kept the conversation about him. He told me that he liked math and science and played sports, which I knew was a lie, but I pretended to be fascinated, batting my eyes and listening raptly to his effort to impress me. As we talked, I inched over until my shoulder was brushing his. Nothing happened. If this was the best he could do with girls, I was probably the only date he was ever going to get.

"Hi, I'm back," Ginny announced her return.

"We're in the den, Ginny."

She came in. "How're you doing?" She gave me a questioning look. I returned a little shrug. "Jeff, thanks for keeping Jasmine company."

"Uh, sure."

"It's getting late and I want to do some girl stuff with my cousin. Why don't you say goodnight."

He stood up. "Goodnight. Um, thanks for, um, you know, the cookies. It was, um, nice meeting you and maybe," pausing to work up his courage," we could, um, ... ."

Ginny looked at me for confirmation. I nodded. "Actually, Jeff," she interrupted him, "you could do me a favor."

"Um, sure."

I'm going out for a few hours tomorrow night and I don't want Jasmine to be home by herself. So, would you take her to the movies. I'd drive you and pay for the tickets. Jasmine?" She gave me a silly grin.

"Oh, yes, Ginny, I would like that ever so much. Jeffrey is such a gentleman, I would feel very safe with him."

"Jeff?"

"Definitely," he responded enthusiastically.

"I'll pick you up around seven o'clock." Turning to me she asked, "what movie do you want to see?"

"Jeffrey, can decide," I politely conceded.

Ginny gave Jeff a stern look. "Make sure its G rated."

"Yeah, sure, no problem."

"I'm going upstairs. Goodnight."

I took Jeff's arm and escorted him to the door. "Thank you for a nice evening, Jeffrey."

"You're welcome, Jasmine."

I opened the door and he started to leave. "Jeffrey." He stopped and turned to me. I looked over my shoulder like I wanted to be sure nobody was watching. I leaned forward and our lips more bumped than smooched. But it was a kiss. Jeff stumbled down the steps. At the end of the walk he turned. I waved and closed the door. Yes!!

I went upstairs. Ginny was getting ready for bed. "Well?"

"Well," I repeated, "He didn't quite make it to first base, but at least he was in the game."

She gave me a puzzled look.

"I caught him with a kiss as he was leaving."

"And?"

"It wasn't enough of a kiss to really tell. Hopefully he will figure out that there's more where that one came from. Goodnight, Ginny. And thanks."

"Goodnight little sister. I hope it works out the way you want." I started to leave. "Wait. You'd better let me take off your wig so I can see how to put it back on tomorrow." She removed the bobby pins, took off the cap and undid my hair. "And scrub the makeup off or you'll get zits."

It was another night that I couldn't fall asleep. I kept thinking of different romantic scenes with Jeff at the movies. If tonight was any preview, it wasn't going to be easy. Why are you in love with a dork, I asked myself. Because he's the dork of your dreams, I answered, which didn't make any sense, so maybe I was asleep.

The alarm clock woke me up at seven o'clock. I had no idea what I was going to do until tonight. Jeff thought I wasn't home, so I couldn't go out, in case he saw me. On the other hand, if he did, I could tell him that my grandparents dropped me off for the day and explain Jasmine's absence by saying that they picked her up in exchange. But that would mean you'd have spend the day as Bobby, I argued with myself. I decided to ask Ginny. I kept on my nightgown and went into her room. She was still in bed. She rolled over when she heard me come in.

"Good morning," she sat up a stretched. "Did you sleep well?"

"Good morning. No, I don't think so. I kept thinking or dreaming about Jeff. I'm not sure which. That's what I wanted to talk to you about. What should I do today?"

"What should you do today about what?"

"Maybe the better question is who should I be today?"

"Be yourself."

"Which myself?"

"Is there more than one of you?"

"No."

"Then problem solved."

I tried again. "Seriously, Ginny,what should I do until my date with Jeff tonight?"

"What do you want to do?"

"If I knew, we wouldn't be having this talk."

"Betsy, Pam and Jen are coming over. Why don't you call Jeff and hang out with him? Tell him you're home and Jasmine is with gram and grandpa."

"Yeah, great minds think alike. I suppose I don't have much choice."

"Unless you want me to introduce Jasmine to my friends, no." She thought for a moment. "You know, you could. If Jeff didn't catch on, I doubt that they will either. It's up to you."

"What about if they say something to mom about meeting me."

"Same story that you gave Jeff. I'll tell them that I'm not supposed to be having people over, so don't say anything about you being here or we'll get in trouble."

"Are you sure?"

"Like I said, I'm outa here in a few months. It's your problem if you get outed."

"Outed?"

"Discovered, revealed, come out in public as gay. Or transgendered."

"I appreciate the offer, but I think it's too much too soon. I'm okay with Jeff, but I'm not confident enough to take a chance convincing girls. You're the one who said that there are little giveaways, like the way I looked at my nails or how I hold a purse. I'd rather just deal with Jeff for now."

"Sure, I understand. Give me fifteen minutes and I'll be down to make breakfast. Why don't you call Jeff, tell him you just got dropped off and see if he wants to hang out."

"Yeah, okay," I said unenthusiastically and went to my room. Considering that I'd been doing it for fifteen years, it seemed strange getting dressed as a boy. Maybe strange isn't the right word. Wrong. Not wrong, like I was doing something bad. Wrong like they weren't my clothes. I was borrowing them from someone else. I put on my sneakers and went downstairs. Ginny had a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice on the table. I could smell bacon in the microwave.

"Did you call Jeff?"

"No, I thought I'd just go over after breakfast."

"You might want to take out your earrings and remove your nail polish before you see him."

I looked at my nails, fingers curled, and brought my hands up to my ears for confirmation that she wasn't teasing me. "Wow, thanks."

"Freudian slip?"

"What's that?"

"Doing something that you want to do but don't admit to yourself. Outing yourself to Jeff."

"Or just forgetting."

"Or just forgetting," she agreed. "Either way, use the cleaning solution you got and then put on a dab of my zit concealer. Its in a tube on my vanity. Make sure you clean the makeup off good before you put them back in. There's a bottle of nail polish remover in the bathroom vanity and a bag of cotton balls. Soak the cotton ball with the remover, do it over the sink, that stuff is like paint remover, actually, it probably is paint remover, hold it against a nail for about thirty seconds to soften the polish, the wipe it off. You should be good, because you had a clear base, so they color didn't penetrate into your nail."

After breakfast, I followed Ginny's instructions and was ready to leave. "Ginny, I'm going over to Jeff's now."

"Hang on. Let me give you a final inspection."

"I'm good."

"You were good when you came down to breakfast too. You sure?"

"No." I presented myself.

"She checked my ears, hands and studied my face."

"And the eyelashes."

"What?"

"The false eyelashes Darla put on you. You didn't take them off last night when you washed up."

"Oh, geez. Maybe you were right. You think I really want Jeff to know?"

"I'm not a psychologist. Maybe you do. Or maybe you're just not very good at going back and forth between a boy and a girl. Practice makes perfect. In the meantime, that's what big sisters are for." She laughed.

"What?"

"Actually, I'm not sure that checking on transgendered brothers who want to date their best friend is part of my job description."

"It is now." We both laughed.

"Speaking of which, you're good to go."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome. Have fun."

I gave her a doubtful look and left. Jeff only lived six houses down the block. I rang the bell. His mother answered the door. "Hi, Mrs. Lewis."

"Bobby, hi. Jeff's in his room."

I went upstairs. He was reading and looked up. "Hey, Bobby. When did you get back?"

"About a half hour ago. My grandparents swapped me for Jasmine."

"Is she coming back? We, I thought, we, um, we were going to the movies. Ginny asked me to take her. She said it was a date. She really did,'' he insisted, in case I didn't believe him. "She didn't change her mind, did she?"

"Relax, dude. It's cool. They just wanted to spend some time with her. She's coming back and they're picking me up. I had to get some more clothes anyway."

"Oh, yeah, I knew she wouldn't stand me up," he said less than convincingly. "She likes me."

"How do you know."

He lowered his voice. "She kissed me."

"Wow," I pretended to be impressed. "You're a fast mover." Like a snail, I thought to myself. "Is she a good kisser?" Not that he'd know.

"Yeah, really good."

"Do you like her?" It was weird talking about Jasmine as though she was someone else.

"She's pretty." A step in the right direction, but no commitment. "Did she say anything about me?"

"We only had a minute before she left. She said she met my friend, you, and that he, you, seemed nice."

"That's it?"

"What more do you want? She thinks you're nice and I kept my mouth shut."

"Not cool, dude."

"Ease up. I'm just kidding. What movie are you going to see?"

"Don't know. Ginny said G rated. They're like lame."

"So take her to something else." A scary move would give me an excuse for holding onto him and from there I envisioned something more romantic.

"You think?"

"She's not supposed to be on a date either."

"Yeah."

We spent the rest of the day playing video games. His mom made us lunch. At about three o'clock I told him I had to get back to pack up. He was enthusiastic about my leaving, since it meant that Jasmine would replace me. "Tell her I'm looking forward to tonight."

"Tell her yourself, dude." I couldn't help a smile, since he already had.

"What?"

"Nothing, just trying to picture you smooching with her."

"You're jealous." I had to suppress another smile.

"Yeah. I wish it was me."

"She's your cousin."

I rolled my eyes. "Yes, I know who she is. See you in school on Monday."

When I got home, Ginny's friends were still there. I said hi and went to my room. I was anxious to change, but Jasmine's clothes and makeup were in Ginny's room and I couldn't be sure of my privacy. Finally Ginny called up that they were leaving. I looked out the window to see her drive off and waited another ten minutes, just in case they came back for some reason. Finally, I got undressed and showered with the scented body wash.

I had already decided on the tiered denim skirt and pink pullover top. I only had the one bra. Pink panties and black tights completed the outfit. I modeled the outfit in the mirror, turning and posing. I wanted a more feminine look. I went back to Ginny's dresser and looked through her tights. She had a pair of light pink ones. I tried them on and liked the look. While I was waiting, I tried putting on a coat of polish. Doing my left hand was easy. Using my left hand to hold the brush was going to take more skill.

"Jasmine, I'm home," Ginny announced her return.

"I'm upstairs, getting dressed."

The nail polish wasn't dry and I was sitting at the vanity waving my fingers. I heard Ginny laughing and turned around. "Stand up." I got up. "Turn around." I did a slow turn. She shook her head in amusement.

"What's so funny?"

"Where'd you find those tights?"

"In your sock drawer."

"Those were from when I took dance. I'm surprised that Mom didn't pack them away. I'm sorry. It wasn't very nice of me to laugh at you, but I couldn't help myself. If you want to be a ballerina, there's a leotard and cute chiffon dance skirt that goes with them."

"Oh, no. I just thought they looked pretty with the skirt. I put on the black tights. They seemed too plain. I wanted a little color."

"My sister the fashionista. Seriously, I wouldn't have thought of pairing them with that skirt and top, but you do look kinda cute." She laughed again.

"Now what?" I asked petulantly.

"You have nice legs."

"Oh, thank you."

After dinner, we did my hair and makeup. Ginny handed me the lip liner and lipstick, finishing with the gloss, nodding with approval at the result. We saved the eyelashes, but Darla didn't leave the glue, so we couldn't use them. Ginny applied her eyeliner and mascara instead. Since we were still going for the innocent girl look, she applied just a touch of blush. When she was finished, I looked in the mirror and saw Jasmine.

Ginny stood back. "You really should have been born a girl. You're a knockout. Are you sure you want Jeff for your boyfriend? You could have any guy at school."

"I'm doubt it wouldn't work in reverse. Remember what you said about scoring. I don't think any of the guys at school would want to date a girl like me. I'm hoping that there's enough chemistry between us as friends that Jeff can accept me. If not, he's not going to admit that he went on a date with his transgendered best friend, so my secret's safe."

"Agreed. Just one more thing. You need some jewelry. You can put your earrings in for a start."

"Oh, right."

Ginny dug through her jewelry box and took out a gold heart on a chain. She fastened it around my neck. "Perfect." She looked at the clock. It's almost time. "Are you forgetting anything?"

"Probably or you wouldn't have asked."

"Think. What does every girl have that you don't."

"Anatomically?"

"No, doh. The one item that no girl would be seen in public without. Her pocketbook. It's essential. Even naked we'd still carry a bag." She picked it up and handed it to me. "Now you're ready."

"I hope so."

I got in the back seat and we stopped in front of Jeff's house. Ginny honked. The front door opened and he came out. Mrs. Lewis stood in the doorway and waved. I scrunched down. Jeff saw me and opened the back door. He turned and waved to his mother, then climbed in and sat at a respectful distance. I smiled at him.

"Hi, Jasmine. Wow. You look great." Since he hadn't really looked at me, he must have been rehearsing.

"Thank you, Jeffrey. You're sweet."

"Um, ah, I, ah, what movie do you want to see?"

I could see Ginny glancing in the rear view mirror with a big grin.

"Whatever you like. You decide for us."

"Um, ah, okay, sure." So much for his rehearsal.

I told him about spending the day with my grandparents and going out to lunch with them. I asked him about what he did. He went into Bobby coming over and hanging out. I was relieved. If he believed that I was with my grandparents and that he was with Bobby, then the deception was working. I casually paged back my hair to show my earring, toyed with my locket, crossed my legs and adjusted my skirt for confirmation.

The theater was only a twenty minute drive. Ginny pulled up to the entrance. "Here's twenty dollars." She handed it to Jeff. "That should cover the movie and snacks and something after." The theater had a food court. "I'll be back at ten thirty."

Jeff got out and I slid over, remembering to keep my knees together and swing my legs. I took Jeff's arm and we went in. We stopped to review the movies. "What would you like to see, Jasmine," Jeff asked politely.

"Why don't you decide, Jeffrey."

He studied the list. "What about the one with the fish?"

"That's nice." He started towards the ticket counter. I tugged on his arm. "Jeffrey, would you mind terribly if we saw the one with the robots. That's like the video games you and Bobby play, isn't it?"

"Sort of, yeah, but its PG-13."

"I know," I gave a little giggle. "You wouldn't tell on me."

"No, of course not, but Ginny said it had to be G rated."

"I know you're a gentleman, Jeffrey, but I'm with a boy," I hugged his arm for emphasis, "and I I never get to be naughty," I said suggestively. "I won't tell if you don't. Please."

"Are you sure?"

"Very. You do want to see the robot movie, don't you?"

"Transformers. Yeah. Actually, I was going to see it with Bobby."

"Do you mind seeing it with me?"

"No, that's cool."

We got into the ticket queue. As we were waiting, someone tapped Jeff on the shoulder. It was Greg, one of the kids in our class, with his group of jocks. Even worse, behind him was Nancy Foster, and her friends. I took a deep breath.

"Jeff, whose the babe?" Greg wanted to know, which was surprising. Not that he wanted to know who I was, that he knew Jeff's name. At school he and the other cool kids ignored us.

To my surprise, Jeff stood up to him. "She's my date!" Particularly brave, since Greg was the captain of the football and baseball teams.

To my even greater surprise, he got away with it. "Okay, chill, dude. I haven't seen her around."

Before Jeff's boldness got him in trouble, he'd be back in school with these guys on Monday, I answered for him. "I'm Jasmine. Jasmine Delaney."

"Hi, I'm Greg. I go to school with Jeff."

I wanted to end the conversation as quickly as possible. "Hello."

Nancy must have thought I was competition, because she pushed forward and introduced herself. "Nancy." She put out her hand. Do girls shake hands? I put out my hand. She took it and held it so that she could see my nails. Nicely manicured and polished, thank you. She released it. "Where do you go to school?"

"Saint Kitty's."

"That's a funny name."

"It's what we call it. Saint Katherine's"

"Oh, yeah. I think I know a girl who goes there, Mary Connors?"

Did I know a girl who want to a made up school? "Sorry, no." She shrugged. By then we were at the front of the line. "Nice meeting you." I directed Jeff to the counter. I think he was in shock that he got that much respect for having me as his date. He bought the tickets. As we were leaving, I heard Greg ask for the same movie. Great, an audience. I should have stayed with the fish.

Jeff got two popcorns, a soda and a bottle of water for me. He asked me where I wanted to sit. I picked two seats in the center of the second section, half way back. I was hoping that the kids from school would sit in front, but no, they took the row right behind us with Greg behind Jeff and Nancy behind me and the others coupled up on either side of them.

Greg was engaged with his snack. It was clearly up to me to get things started. When the lights dimmed for the previews, I leaned over to him. "Jeffrey, this is lovely, thank you." That encouragement was to no avail. Something less subtle was required. "Would you put your arm around me, please." I got the deer in the headlights look back. "Your arm, Jeff. It's okay." He picked it up and rested it on the back of my seat. Fair is fair. This was his first date. I reached over with my left hand and moved his arm onto my shoulder. I wondered what Greg and Nancy were thinking.

The movie started. I waited for a combat scene. "Ooh, Jeffrey, this is scary." I cuddled closer. Would you hold my hand, please. I put my left hand out and he took it. "Mmmm, thank you. That's better." After a while, I wanted to see what the other girls were up to. I let go of Jeff's hand, opened my bag and took out my makeup mirror. As I touched up my lipstick, I could see that there was nothing going on, at least that I could see.

When the movie ended, I remembered Ginny's advice to use the bathroom. "Jeff, excuse me, please." Figuring out which one to use wasn't a problem as there was a line waiting to get in. Nancy and some of the other girls were behind me. "Enjoy the movie?" she asked me with a smirk.

"Yes, very much." I sighed contentedly. The less we talked, the better, but I didn't want to be rude. "How about you?"

"It was OK. Greg likes that stuff. I don't. How do you know Jeff?"

Not a conversation I really wanted to have. "He's friends with my cousin."

"Uh huh. Who's your cousin?"

"Bobby Delaney."

She shook her head. "I don't know him." Actually, you do. He's in your math class. Apparently I'm invisible as a boy. "Does he go to Memorial?"

"Yes."

"In the ninth grade?"

"Yes."

Our conversation ended as we reached the entrance. A woman came out and I went in. Ginny was right. There wasn't anything to see. I redid my lipstick, put on gloss and primped my hair. I gave one last look and went back out.

Jeff was patiently waiting. I took his arm and we walked to the food court. He pointed to an empty high-top table. “Is this okay?” I nodded and sat down on the stool, crossing my legs and adjusting my skirt. Jeff remained standing. “What would you like?”

“Some french fries would be nice. I don’t usually eat them, but this is a special occasion.” I gave him a big smile. “Don’t forget napkins, please.” A girl cannot be too neat when she’s trying to convince a boy she’s a girl.

He left and was back with the fries. “I, um, I, didn’t get you anything to drink. Do you want a soda or something? And did you want ketchup?”

“I have my water from the movie. No ketchup. I might get it on my clothes and my mother would ask me about it. I can’t lie to her. Then she wouldn’t let me come back.” I put my hand on his arm. "I’d like to see you again,” I said encouragingly.

“Me too, Jasmine. I like you a lot.” He likes me! “You’re different.” Oops, he should have quit while he was ahead. “Good different.” Nice recovery. “Can I see you next weekend?”

“I don’t know, Jeffrey. I'll talk to Ginny and she can ask my parents.”

“Can I have you phone number, so I can call you?”

“Oh no,” I put my hand to my mouth in dismay. “If a boy called me that would ruin everything. You mustn’t, please, promise me you won’t," I pretended to be worried.

“No, I won’t. I promise. Really.” He crossed his heart for sincerity. “If I give you my number, you could call me."

I shook my head. “I can’t. If they caught me talking to a boy on the telephone it would be just as bad. If it's okay, Ginny can tell Bobby and he can tell you. That’s the best way. Okay?”

“Sure, no problem.”

I ate some of the fries and patted my mouth with the napkin. While Jeff was finishing the last of them, I took out my mirror and redid my lipstick. Looking around, I saw that Greg, Nancy and their friends had come in and were in a booth near the entrance. It was almost time for Ginny to pick us up. “Are you ready?” He stood up. I took his arm and I put a wiggle in my walk as passed them. Babe indeed.

We waited on the curb for Ginny to arrive. On the way home she asked what we saw. I already told Jeff I couldn't lie. I looked at him to answer. "Um, ah, the fish movie?"

"Not really. We saw the one with robots. It was my choice. I'm tired of animal movies. Jeffrey's just being a gentleman."

"Your secret's safe with me, Jasmine," Ginny punned.

"So it was okay," Jeff asked with relief.

"Yes," Ginny assured him. "I wanted Jasmine to have a good time and it seems like she did."

"A very good time. Actually, Ginny, Jeffrey wants to go out again next weekend. Do you think you could talk my parents into letting me come back?"

"I don't know," she played along. "I'll try."

"Oh, thank you so much."

With that we arrived at our house. Ginny considerately stopped in the driveway and let us out, so Jeff could walk me to the door. She pulled into the garage, leaving us standing on the front porch. I turned to him. "Goodnight, Jeffrey. Thank you for a lovely time." I had my hands at my side flouncing my skirt."

"Ah, um, ah, Jasmine," he got up his courage, "can I kiss you?"

"Yes." He moved forward. I kept my arms at my side and leaned forward, flicking my tongue over my lips to wet them. Jeff put his arms on my waist and our lips met. It wasn't passionate. There was a space between us, but it was a wonderful first kiss. I wanted to tease him a little, so I pulled away. He let go of my waist. "Mmm, that was nice. You're a good kisser."

"You too, Jasmine. I had a really nice time. I hope I can see you next weekend." He turned and started down the walk. At the end he turned and waved. I waved back.

Ginny was waiting in the hallway. "So?" she asked eagerly.

"It was perfect. We ran into some of the kids from school, girls and boys. They didn't recognize me. Ginny, they thought I was a girl! I think the girls were even a little jealous." I spun around. "I'm a princess."

"Yes, well, being a princess does not guarantee a happily ever after. I'm sorry to mix fairy tales, but there's no bibbty bobbity boo here. Cinderella is going to have to go back to her old self tomorrow, because I told Darla I'd return the wig after your date, and I'm not sure how the story ends when Prince Charming finds out that the glass slipper fits his best friend."

"We have a week to figure it out. For now, I'm happy." I hugged her.

Sunday morning, I woke up feeling really good about myself. After breakfast Ginny asked me what I was going to do today. "I want to talk to Jeff and see how his date went."

"You were there."

"Yes, but that was last night. Maybe he's changed his mind."

"Why would he do that?"

"Who knows why boys do things."

Ginny laughed. "Welcome to the club."

As Ginny was getting ready to leave, the doorbell rang. It was Jeff. He was holding flowers.

"Bobby? I thought you were at your grandparents."

"They had some stuff to do and dropped me off."

"Is Jasmine here?"

"Nice flowers."

He ignored my sarcasm."They're for Jasmine. Is she here?"

"Nope, her folks came and got her on their way to church. Do you want to give them to me?"

"What?"

"The flowers. Do you want to give them to me and I'll put them in a glass with some water."

"They're for Jasmine," he insisted.

"Yes, I know, but she's not here."

"Did she ask Ginny about next weekend?"

"I didn't get a chance to talk to her and Ginny just left. So, what do you want to do with the flowers?"

"I don't care. Here." He handed them to me. I brought them to the kitchen. "So, did you, you know, get some," I provoked him.

"Don't talk about her like that. She's a nice girl," he said angrily.

This was working out even better than I hoped. "Jeez, sorry. You must really like her;" I prompted him.

"Yes. You sure she didn't say anything about me?"

"Very sure."

"It's just that I wanted her to know I really liked her."

"Yeah, the flowers."

The rest of the day and the next week were normal, except that every day Jeff questioned me about whether Jasmine would be back. If he only knew how close she was and how much she wanted to tell him. I kept him in suspense until Thursday. "Ginny talked to Jasmine's parents. They're going to let her stay over this weekend."

"Do you know when she's coming?"

"No. Call after dinner, like before."

"Maybe if you get a girlfriend, we can go on a double date."

"So Jasmine's your girlfriend?"

"Well, not officially. It's only our second date. But I was going to ask her."

"You understand that she isn't supposed to date and she isn't going to be staying over once my parents get back."

"Yes, but there has to be a way. We'll figure something out."

Friday afternoon I put on the same plaid kilt and white blouse to make it look like I was still in my uniform from school, except Ginny found some knee socks. Based on Jeff's behavior the last time, it didn't seem like there needed to be much of a barrier to exploration. Darla brought the wig over and did my hair and makeup. Ginny did my nails while Darla worked on me. At six thirty Jeff called and Ginny confirmed my arrival and availability.

At six forty-five, Jeff was at the front door. I opened it and he stood there with a big grin and another handful of flowers. "Hi, Jasmine." He offered me the flowers. I wondered how he was going to explain the decimation of her garden to this mother.

"Why Jeffrey, how sweet." I took the flowers and smelled them. "They're lovely. Let's see if we can find a vase. Ginny told me you brought me flowers last week too. I wish I was here."

"Me too, Jasmine. I, um, ah, um, I wanted to tell you that I, um, ah, well, I like being with you and, um, ah, well, I was hoping that, um, ah, maybe you would, you know, be my, ah um, girlfriend. I mean you don't have to if you don't want to, its okay if ... ."

I turned and put my finger to his lips. "Yes." His look of surprise was priceless. Jeff was now officially my boyfriend. That was the good news for him. The bad news for me was that after tomorrow night Jasmine was going back in Ginny's closet. I took has hand and we walked to the kitchen. "Do you know where they keep the vases?" He started opening cabinets. "It's okay. Just a glass for now. Ginny can find one when she gets back."

"Do you want to watch some television?" Of course he did. We went into the den. He turned on the TV and channel surfed until he found something on the Disney Channel that he thought I would like. Since we were now officially a couple, I sat next to him, swinging my legs up onto the couch and resting right hand on his chest. He got the message and leaned forward. I smiled approvingly and tilted my head. He put his lips against mine. This time I seriously kissed him and he kissed me back. This kiss lasted a long time. When we separated, I could see traces of my lipstick on his lips.

"Oh my, Jeffrey, you are a good kisser. I bet you've had a lot of practice," I suggested coyly.

"No, Jasmine, you're the first girl I ever kissed."

"No, really?"

"Uh huh. Really."

"Then perhaps we should practice some more," I said softly, lightly running the tip of my tongue over my lips to moisten them. We kissed again. Suddenly, Jeffrey broke it off. I looked at him questioningly. "Is something wrong?"

"Oh, um, ah, no, its just, um, ah, I remembered I told my parents I was just going to stop over for a little while and its getting late and, ah, um, I should get back, so that they don't call, because, you know, you aren't supposed to have boys over, so you can't answer the phone and I can't answer the phone and Ginny's not here, Bobby's not here, and I don't want to get you in trouble," he babbled on. He got up suddenly and started towards the door.

"Jeffrey," he turned, "aren't you going to say goodnight?"

"Oh, heh, heh, yeah, goodnight." I could see he was embarrassed.

"Are we going out tomorrow night?"

"I'll call you."

I got up and followed him to the door. Love 'em and leave 'em made no sense after how much Jeff anticipated seeing Jasmine last week and her agreeing to be his girlfriend. Something was going on and I had no idea what it was. Maybe we went to fast and he was afraid he couldn't control himself. He was being a gentleman.

Jeff opened the door and stepped out onto the porch. I stood in the doorway and waved to him as he hurried down the walk. He turned when he reached the sidewalk and waved back. He made the 'I'll call you sign' with his hand. I made the sign back.

There wasn't any reason to stay dressed. I went upstairs, took off my wig, hung the skirt and blouse back in Ginny's closet and went into the bathroom to remove my makeup. As I was finishing my beauty routine, Ginny walked in.

"Jeff went home early?" I nodded. "Did something happen?" she asked with concern.

"I'm not sure. I don't have a lot of experience dating boys. We were," I sighed contentedly, "kissing and then he remembered he told his parents he was only coming over for a short visit. He said he was worried that they might call and I couldn't answer and you weren't here to answer and if nobody answered they'd be worried, so he had to rush home." I shrugged. "He said he'd call me tomorrow, so it wasn't anything I did, I don't think."

Ginny shook her head and started laughing.

"I don't see why Jeff running out on our date is funny."

"It's very funny." She calmed down. "Does your big sister have to explain to you what happens to boys when they get excited?" I gave her a puzzled look. "Really? What happens when you play with yourself?"

"Ginny, please, I don't do that."

"Sisters don't have secrets, remember. What do you think I do with what you found in my shoebox? Its not unique to boys."

"I thought you said you were a virgin?"

"Virginity is a state of mind, not body. Or, as Captain Barbosa would say, 'Arr, them's more like guidelines than rules.' Now, answer my question."

"I, um, I get, ah ... ."

" A hard on, a boner, a stiffie, a woodie. You don't think girls talk about it?"

"I haven't been a girl long enough to know."

"Well, we do and that's what happened to Jeff. You got him turned on and he didn't want you to see it."

"Wow!"

"Don't take too much credit. Boy's get excited just thinking about sex. When I was in ninth grade and wore a mini skirt, half the guys in my class had to walk around holding their notebooks in front of them. They don't think we know what's going on," she laughed, "but, I'll tell you a secret, little sister, its fun to tease boys. It has to be subtle, though, or you get a reputation as a slut."

"So Jeff really likes me?"

"He really likes kissing you. Anything more and he probably would have had an accident."

"An accident?"

"OMG, you really are naive. What's the end result of playing with yourself?"

"Oh, you mean, ... ."

"Uh huh, he'd cum in his pants. Another reason to carry tissues in your pocketbook, in case things get out of hand." She giggled. "Or in hand."

"Ginny!"

"Sorry, but you need to understand pussy power." She started laughing. "Present company excepted, at least for the time being." She stopped laughing. "Seriously, if you are going to make out with Jeff, you either have to figure out how to keep it down, literally, or be prepared to give him some relief. That's just the way it works, Jasmine. It's up to you to decide how fast and how far the relationship is going to go."

"Okay, so how do I keep things under control?"

"With Jeff, it's going to be hard," she laughed, "umm, difficult. He's got no experience with girls, so anything you do is going to get his motor running. Go slow to start. No marathon making out. Okay?" I nodded. "Remember, supposedly you just met him last week and tonight was only your second date."

"Thanks, Ginny. This would be impossible without you."

"Just one thing little sister." I looked at her attentively. "If you lose your virginity before I do, however that works, I'm going to be pissed." We both broke into laughter. "Speaking of which, are you going out with Jeff tomorrow night?"

"Probably. He said he'd call me."

"Am I driving you?"

"I don't know what he wants to do. From what you said, just the two of us hanging around the house is dangerous. Maybe another movie, if you don't mind."

"No, I don't mind. Let me know. Goodnight."

I finished washing up and got into bed. I tried imagining what else we could do, but I kept coming back to kissing. I feel asleep dreaming of romance and pirates. Strange.

Saturday morning we were just finishing breakfast when the phone rang. "Jasmine, it's Jeff," Ginny announced. She held up one finger, then two, three, four and five and repeated the count to ten, before she gave me the phone.

He apologized for not being able to stay longer and gave me the same excuse. "Oh my, Jeffrey, that was ever so thoughtful," I complimented him on his pretend chivalry. He asked me if I wanted to do something. I told him yes, of course, now that he was my boyfriend. Following Ginny's suggestion, I decided that a movie might be too much opportunity. I suggested dinner at the food court and walking around the mall. Ginny would drive us. He should come over about six thirty. "Bye, Jeffrey, see you tonight."

"You heard?" Ginny nodded. "Is that okay?" She nodded again. "What should we do today?" She suggested we get a manicure. "What if someone sees us? Not someone from school, someone who knows Mom?" She shrugged. "You don't know or you don't care."

"Both. Mixing fairy tales again, the spell ends at midnight. On Sunday, Mom and Dad come home and Jasmine turns back into a boy. This is your last chance to be a princess. You can spend it hiding at home or you can enjoy it out with your sister. Its unlikely, but, if we run into someone we know, you're just my friend. There's no reason why they should suspect otherwise. You convinced Jeff and the kids from school. If they do out, well then, that's the risk you take. So?"

"The mall. Definitely, the mall." I said enthusiastically.

"I know you like skirts and dresses, but being pretty is not always an advantage. You'd attract less attention if you wore jeans and blended in with the other girls who are dressed casually. I have some super cute ones. Makeup, hair, panties and a bra should be girly enough." I agreed. We went upstairs and Ginny started going through her closet. She must have pulled out a dozen pairs of jeans. "No, no, maybe, maybe, yes, no, no, maybe, yes," she sorted them out.

"Ginny, why so many pairs of jeans? I have two and the only reason I have two is so that I have one to wear when the other's in the wash."

"Yours are the same. Mine are all different." She started pointing them out. "Regular, skinny, boot cut, cute, this is the one I think you should wear, it has embroidery on the back pockets and little rhinestone studs, super cute, low rise. She picked up another pair. These are super cute too, really skinny, you have nice legs, they'd be super cute on you too." She handed me the first pair. Try these on.

I had given up modesty. I stripped off my nightgown, changed panties, slipped into my bra and tried them on. They were snug over my hips and butt. I understood now why Ginny had to do her little hip hop dance to get them up. I. I turned from side to side and admired myself in her door mirror. "You're right, super cute."

"Try this top." She handed me a white v-necked sweater. She shook her head. "It would look better if you had bigger boobs. We could stuff your bra. I read somewhere that baggies filled with rice work. Do we have any rice? Mom must have some. She's got a mini-mart in the cabinets. Yes?"

"You're the one who thought I'd be better off not drawing attention to myself, although it would be fun to see what I'd look like if I really did have boobs like yours."

"We can try, but I think you're right. Maybe a different top. Here, try this." She handed me a pink jewel necked cardigan. I put it on and buttoned it up. It was short, so there was a little bit of my stomach that peeked out. I nodded my approval.

"Pink is definitely your color," she agreed."

Shoes were more of a problem. My Mary Janes were the only ones that I had. "You could wear you own sneakers. They're pretty much unisex and girls wear boy's shoes anyway. She handed me a pair of sneaker sox. I got my sneakers and put them on. She made a so-so sign."After our manicures, we could go back to the shoe store and look for some pumps with kitten heels." She saw that I didn't understand. "Low spike heels, maybe an inch, just to get used to them."

"Can you return them? It doesn't make much sense just for a couple of hours of walking around the mall."

"Maybe, if the soles don't look too worn, but I don't mind if you keep them. Every girl should have a pair of heels. Like I said, I've got Mom's credit card and I can tell her I bought them for college. If Jasmine ever does come back to visit, she'll have some shoes."

Ginny was right. Nobody paid any attention to us. The Asian manicurist found a match for my polish and did her work. Having my nails done made me feel really feminine. We wandered from store to store looking at clothes. In one of the them Ginny picked out a really pretty dress. She held it up to herself and flared out the skirt, swinging from side to side. "Do you like it?"

"Very much."

She held it up to me. "Let's go try it on you."

"On me? I thought you ... . She took my arm and started towards the dressing room. "Wait, Ginny, no. What if ...."

"No what ifs." The dress was fabulous. So were the shoes I tried on. Ginny found some really high heels and had me practice walking in them, just for fun. She made sure to hold my arm as I teetered along the aisle between the shoe racks. We finally picked out a pair with the little heels. I exchanged them for my sneakers and wore them out of the store for practice. Ginny looked at her watch. "It's four thirty. We should head back, if you want to get yourself put together for your date. Unless you just want to keep wearing what you have on."

"I'd rather change. It's my last chance to dress up. Besides, I like being girly when I'm with Jeff."

When we got home, there was a message from Jeff on the answering machine. He wanted to know when he could come over and what I'd like to do. I had Ginny call him back. "Oh, hi Mrs. Lewis, its Ginny. Uh huh. We're fine. Yes, they get back tomorrow. Bobby's in the shower. Have you had dinner yet? Uh huh. No, us neither. Bobby thought that he and Jeff could get something at the food court and then hang around the mall for a while. I don't mind driving them and picking them up. Okay, good. Why don't you tell Jeff to come over at six. Yes, home by eleven. No problem. Thank you."

I hurried upstairs to get ready. Earlier, I picked out a brown corduroy jumper, light coffee blouse and brown tights. My new shoes completed the outfit. I adjusted my wig, freshened my lipstick, added some blush and went downstairs to wait. Jeff was punctual. Knowing him, he probably was standing on the porch for ten minutes looking at his watch, so he wouldn't seem too eager.

"Wow, Jasmine, you look beautiful." Flattery will get you everywhere.

"Why thank you, Jeffrey." I gave him a kiss on the cheek. He looked disappointed. I winked at him and took his arm. "We need to get going. Ginny, we're ready when you are."

Ginny met us in the kitchen. She motioned with her head. I couldn't figure out what she was trying to tell me. Finally, she pointed to her pocketbook. "Oh, Jeffrey, how silly. I left my pocket book upstairs. I'll be right back. I checked to make sure everything I needed was there. I got in the backseat behind Ginny. Jeff got in the other side. I patted the middle seat and he slid over. I took his arm and put it over my shoulder and nestled against him. I could see Ginny checking us out in the rear view mirror. I gave her a contended smile back.

Walking around the mall may not seem special, but going out as Jasmine with the boy I've had a secret crush on for years was an indescribable feeling. A wonderful memory I'd always have, no matter what happened. I was so happy. I couldn't help myself. I stopped in the middle of the concourse and kissed him.

He was embarrassed by the PDA. "Jasmine!"

"Yes, Jeffrey. Do you have a complaint?"

"Um, uh, no, I, just," he looked at me, "no."

"Good." I looked at my watch. It was nine thirty. "I'm going to call Ginny and see if she can pick us up. I want our last night together to be special." He gave me a curious look as to what I had in mind to make it special. "You'll see when we get home."

Ginny came and got us. When we got home, she took me aside. "Are you sure about this?"

"It's our last night together."

"Yes, but remember what we talked about. He really likes you. You can't turn him on and turn him off like a radio. You have to finish what you start."

"I intend to finish what I start."

She shrugged. "I hope you know what you're doing."

"I hope so too."

"Goodnight, Jeff. Please keep an eye on the time. I told your mother you'd be home by eleven. Jasmine, I'll see you in the morning."

We both said goodnight to Ginny. I took Jeff's hand and led him into the den. I pointed to the couch and Jeff sat down, I'm sure he was eagerly anticipating whatever I had in mind. I got up my courage. "Jeff, I'm sorry. You deserve better." He had no idea what I was talking about. A better girlfriend? Better kissing? "I shouldn't have tricked, you but I couldn't help myself. All the time I've known you, I've wanted to tell you how I feel, but I couldn't. You wouldn't have understood."

He thought I was talking about our dates. "Jasmine, I do understand. I feel the same way."

"No, Jeff, you don't. I wish you did, but you don't." Now he was confused, but by calling him Jeff instead of Jeffrey, the way Jasmine did, and the change in my voice, he was beginning to realize that something was different. I put my hand under my wig and caught hold of the cap. I pulled it off exposing my own hair.

Jeff's eyes went wide. "Bobby! No, it can't be you? How? Why? It's not possible." He shook his head in denial. "No. I don't understand."

All I could do to calm him down was apologize. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry." There was no point in holding back. "I love you. I couldn't help it. I needed to know how you felt about me as a girl."

Jeff stood up and confronted me. "You're not a girl," he accused me angrily. "Wearing girl's clothes and pretending to be one doesn't change that. All that lovey dovey stuff. You tricked me into kissing you. I'm not gay. That's just plain wrong, man. Whatever." He paused as he realized the social implications. "Jesus, Bobby, what if the kids at school find out? Shit, they saw us in the movie holding hands and stuff. I'm screwed."

"It's okay, Jeff. Nobody will find out. We were very careful not to let anyone know Jasmine was here and I'm not going back to school. I can't. I'm transgendered."

"What's that mean?"

"It means that I'm not pretending to be a girl. I am a girl. I was born a girl in a boy's body. All these years, I denied how I felt, who I really was, but I can't any more." I let out a sad sigh and little whimper. For the first time, Jeff looked at me sympathetically. "I don't now what's going to happen when I tell my parents. Maybe they'll send me away or put me in some kind of special place for kids like me? Whatever happens, Jeff, I'm not going to be able to see you again. I wanted this one last time together, so that you'd know me as I really am.

Jeff softened. "Why aren't we going to see each other again?"

"Because you hate me and you're not gay."

"I don't hate you and if you're really a girl, then I'm not gay."

"You still like me?"

"I wouldn't be much of a best friend if I didn't."

Maybe things weren't as bad as I expected them to be. "Would you kiss me?"

"I did."

"No, you kissed someone you thought was a girl named Jasmine. I want you to kiss me. One last memory for me to hold onto." I changed back into my Jasmine voice and gave him a smile. "Please, Jeffrey."

Before he could think too much about it, I moved forward, put my arms around his neck, ran my tongue over my lips to moisten them, tilted my head and pressed my lips to his. He remained passive, but as the kiss lingered, he put his arms around my waist and I pressed against him. I don't know what he was thinking. That he was kissing a girl or that he really liked kissing me, but whatever was going through his head, I felt something stir in his pants. So did he. He let go and pulled back, looking embarrassed. I pretended not to have noticed.

"Thank you, that was lovely."

"Um, ah, Bobby?" He wasn't sure of who to call me.

"Jasmine," I confirmed to assure him that his reaction was to her.

"My Mom said I had to be home by eleven. I have to go."

Jeff allowed me to take his arm and I walked him to the door. Still holding onto his arm, I said in my Jasmine voice, "Just so you know, Jeffrey, if I was your girlfriend, there isn't anything I wouldn't do for you." It took him a few seconds to process the implication. From his expression, he figured it out. I leaned forward and whispered in his ear, "yes, anything." Then I kissed his ear. He was startled and bumped into the door.

"It works better if you open it first." Jeff stopped when he reached the sidewalk and looked back conficted. Silhouetted in the light I waved to him. He turned and headed off. I closed the door and leaned back against it with a sigh of contentment.

Ginny must have heard the door close. "Jasmine, has Jeff gone home?" She stopped halfway down the stairs when she saw me without my wig. Her eyes widened and her eyebrows went up. "You told him?" she asked me with concern. I nodded. "I though you didn't want him to know that you were Jasmine. What made you change your mind?"

"If you care about someone, you can't hurt them. Either I tell him the truth or I break his heart by letting him think that Jasmine dumped him when he never hears from her again. I'm the one who should take the consequences, whatever they are."

Ginny came the rest of the way down the stairs. She took me in her arms and hugged me. "I'm proud to have you as my sister. You really are a princess." She let me go. I flared out my skirt with my hands and extended my left leg behind me in an awkward curtsey. "Speaking of broken hearts, how did Jeff take finding out that his girlfriend was really his boyfriend."

I gave her a big smile. "He kissed me."

"As Jasmine, a girl?"

"As Jasmine, me. And," I paused dramatically, "from his reaction, he liked it ... a lot."

"You mean ....?"

"Uh huh."

"So now what?"

"I don't know." When he left I told him that I would do anything for him, if I was his girlfriend.

"Anything?"

"That's what he asked. I said yes."

"I told you that I'd be pissed if you lost your virginity before I did," she teased me.

"Don't worry, I'm sure you will get the prize. I think third base, wherever that might be in this ballpark, is probably the farthest we would go." She laughed and we hugged again.

"I'm happy that things worked out with Jeff, but, more importantly, what are you going to tell Mom and Dad? Will they meet Jasmine when they come home?"

"No, I don't want to spoil their trip as soon as they get home. Tonight, after they get settled, I'll tell them that I'm transgendered and I don't want to go back to school as a boy. There's only two months left before summer vacation. I could be tutored at home. Or whatever they want to do with me. I hope they'll understand. I'm sure that they'll want your input. That will make it much easier."

"Are you sure about this?"

"Yes, very. I have no choice. It's a whole new world for me, Ginny. I can't go back to where I used to be."

The Beginning.


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