The two days before the return to court go by pleasantly
By Barbara Lynn Terry
It was a light conversation, until the phone rang. I heard mom say a few words, and then she said, "will she have to testify?" Mom came in the kitchen and told us that was the district attorney on the phone, and he is sending us a subpoena for me to go to court and testify as to what my mother did in raising me.
"Will I still be able to live here?"
"Well the man didn't say. All he said was that you have to testify at your mother's trial. In this state assaulting a minor by an adult is a felony, and she is charged with attempted assault. That means if she is convicted she can get up to the maximum for the charge as it is written in the law. Honey, don't you worry none. Mr. Marks has everything you ever told us, and he will make sure the court sees that. You will have to testify that you told it to us, but that won't be a problem. He said the subpoena should be here tomorrow morning."
"Sue, do you think you can testify against her? I mean we will all be there for moral support, but mostly all of this has to come from you, because you were the one that was there. We can testify that you were crying when you told us all of this, and that you were afraid to go home. So don't worry about anything, because we are all here for you and Angela."
"Thank you, Bobbie. I knew I had good friends. I'm just sorry that it had to be like this."
"I know, and look Sue, you have always been our sister in more ways than one. We noticed that you took to doing things in a feminine manner easily. That is what made us wonder if you were just, you know, queer. But now we can see that wasn't it at all. You have been through so much Sue, and we are here to see you through the rest of it."
"Thank you, Cindy. Thank you all for being there for me."
"Anyway, daddy says he is coming over to talk to you about when you go to court. He wants you to call him the minute you get the subpoena. Then he can get right on this, so there won't be any wasted minutes getting ready. The only witness the defense has is your mother. We have you, and the deputy that saw the attempted assault. Your mother is going to keep up with the you're a boy bit hoping that she will be sent to a hospital. But I can tell you just by the judge we get, if she will go to prison or a hospital. We have a few judges here that don't fall for that."
"Thank you all for being my friends," I started crying again, because this whole thing made me so sad. Mom, Bobbie, and Cindy all held me in a group hug. Mom! It is so good to say that and mean it.
"It's all right, Sue, you're safe now, and she can't get at you. Angela is here too, and right now I think she's waking up."
I went in the living room where Angela was sleeping, and saw she was awake. I got a clean diaper, and cleaned her up and changed her. After putting the dirty diaper in the diaper pail, I took her in the kitchen, and sat her on the phone books by the table.
"Angie, would you like some juice?"
"Yeth, pleath." I gave her some fruit punch in her sippy cup, and she just sat there drinking it. She loved sitting at the table like a big girl.
We didn't talk about court, or our mother, while Angela was in the room. We talked about going shopping, and getting a few outfits.
"I go thopping too?"
"Yes sweetie, you can go shopping too." I gave her a hug, and told her we would take her with us when we went. She was all smiles. I wanted to have her with me as much as possible, because I didn't see her when I was in school. But I will have to keep my eye on her though, because she loves getting into things like all two year olds do.
"Angie, how would like to get a new dress, when we go shopping?"
She wasn't too excited now, but when she sees all the pretty dresses in the store, she'll want every one of them. She's such an angel though. We were talking about getting me a new dress too for court. Something to impress the judge with. What!?! I'm a girl, I'm supposed to impress others with the way I dress. But anyway, I really do have to be ready for all of this, because Angela and I were the ones affected by what our mother had done to me. Oh yes, it affected Angela too. With our mother constantly yelling at me, I could just imagine what was going through little Angela's mind. I mean, she may only be two years old, but she knows when something isn't right.
Angela started yawning, so I took her in the living room and laid her on the sofa. I gave her her little teddy bear, and she went right to sleep. Just then the doorbell rang. Angela stirred a little but her eyes were still closed. Poor baby she must have really been tired. Mom answered the door, and I heard a man's voice ask if this is where I lived, and mom said yes.
"I have a subpoena here for her. Will you see that she gets it?"
"Yes officer, and thank you."
"Sue, that was a deputy sheriff, and the subpoena says you are to be in branch 32 down at the courthouse this coming Friday." Cindy was already on the phone talking to her father.
"Sue, daddy says he is coming right over. He's bringing mom too because he wants to take us all out to eat." Just then my dad, well Bobbie's dad, but mine too now, came in the living room.
"I can get used to going out to dinner if someone else is paying." We all giggled. Daddy was only joking of course.
"Anyway Sue, Daddy says there is a lot to go over. He said he has to ask you some of the same questions just to make sure it is still fresh in your mind."
"I will never forget it, Cindy." I sat in the chair by the sofa, and just started crying. Everybody came over and we had a group hug.
All the memories still being so fresh just flooded in and made me sad. Well Friday we will see what happens to my birth mother. Maybe after this is all over, I won't be bothered by her anymore. The doorbell rang again and mom went to see who it was. It was Cindy's father. He came in the living room, and sat down.
"Sue, this is going to be more hard on you than anything you have had to do so far. I need to ask you these questions and we will ask them again in court. Are you ready?"
He started asking me about everything all over again. I couldn't stop crying because mother was so mean to me, so upset. She knew I was a girl all the time but she wanted me to be a boy. I will never understand why as long as I live. But hopefully the judge will send her to a hospital and not a prison. Cindy's father asked me everything that went on when Angela and I were with her. I answered him like I did before, and after a long while, we were finished.
"Well since all the business is taken care of, I would like to take everyone out to eat. Where should we go?"
"I think the Copper Kettle would be nice. They have nice meals there."
"The Copper Kettle? Didn't that open up just last year?"
"Yes, sir, it did. Vickie is one of my very good friends. Her mother owns it." (See my short story The Interview and the Interview - Part II.)
"Well all right then, we will go to the Copper Kettle. Does Vickie help in the kitchen too?"
I giggled. "No sir, but she does watch how things are done."
"Are we ready?"
Everybody got up, and we went out and got into our cars. There were too many for just one car, so we had to use two. We drove to the Copper Kettle, and went inside. The hostess asked us how many and then took us to our seats. Vickie saw us and came right over.
"Sue, Bobbie, Cindy! I was hoping you would come in some day. I'll get mother." She wasn't gone long, before she came back. "Mother, these are my friends I was telling you about. This is Susan, Bobbie, and Cindy, and their parents."
"Hello, and welcome to the Copper Kettle. I hope you like what we have here. Vickie, would you like to give them their water, and take their orders?"
"Yes, mother. Then Sandy can finish."
"Mother is very formal when she's here. She seems to think being friendly with the customers isn't a good thing."
"Well I can see her point too, young lady. But a little friendliness goes a long way to keeping a business going though."
"I know Mr. Marks, but she's set in her ways though. Daddy has often told her to be more relaxed, but she doesn't. So when customers that I know come in, I try to make them feel like they're at home."
"That is a very good attitude. Maybe someday this restaurant will be yours. Then you can make the rules."
"I'm only twelve years old, sir. I have a lot to learn here before I can take over. I do help mother with the bookkeeping. So at least I will know that before I am old enough to work here."
"I can see you are going to go a long ways, young lady."
Bobbie, Cindy, and I knew that Vickie would make it someday. But until that happened, we were friends, and friends always were there for each other. Vickie took our orders, and then went and put them on the wheel. I listened as she called out the orders. She will make a good waitress when she is older.
We talked about things other than my mother's coming trial. We talked about shopping while our dads talked about fishing, hunting, and cars. We had a refill of soda while the adults had more coffee, and we just sat there enjoying the atmosphere. When we were ready to go, Cindy's father paid the bill and we left. Vickie came running out to give us each a hug.
"Come back anytime. Did you like your dinner?"
"Yes, young lady, we did. And we will be sure to come back." She smiled, and then told us not to be strangers, and went back inside.
Before we left, mother had an idea, and asked if Cindy could ride with us, because mother wanted to go shopping. Her father said it would be all right, and daddy and Mr. Marks left together. It is so funny though because daddy and Mr. Marks didn't like to go female shopping.
I asked mother where we were going and she said it was a surprise. I really love it when she says that because it means she is getting something for me. Now let me see. I have several necklaces, bracelets, ankle chains, a couple of friendship rings, mountains of dresses, skirts, jeans, capris, shorts, lingerie, shoes, two coats and one light jacket. So what could she get me that would be a surprise?
We didn't go downtown where we lived, but out a little farther. There was a specialty boutique there that was very exclusive. The sold everything that was in the low high price to the extremely high price range. We had talked about going shopping at home and taking Angela with us. But I guess this was just something mother wanted to do on the spur of the moment.
I really loved being part of this family. They did everything together, even after school functions. Everybody cared about each other, and one's pain was everyone's pain. That is what a family is all about.
After I found out I was really a girl, I was really sad for my birth mother because she couldn't understand why I had the growth of skin that looked like a boy's penis. I think she thought the doctor who told her I was female was a little off his rocker. Anyway when I go to court I am going to ask the judge if I can say something. Then I will ask if she can go to a hospital instead of prison. I think when the doctor told her I was female something snapped in her mind. She does need help, and I will never stop thinking about how she is getting along. Well we will see when we go to court.
When we got the shopping center, we went to a little store that had specialty clothes like formal and semi formal dresses, evening dresses, dresses for special occasions, and really pretty dresses for whatever. The also had the lingerie to match these dresses too. They sold shoes that were not cheap, and they even pierced your ears.
Since we found that I was really female, we didn't have time to get my ears pierced but mother wanted to do that today.
"Mom, I would like to have Angela with us, when we pierce my ears. I want her to pick out the ear studs."
"Why Susan, that is a very lovely idea. Tell you what, let's go and get Angela and come back. Would that be all right, dear?"
"Yes mother", Bobbie and I both said together.
We went back to the car, and mother drove us to the house. I went in and saw that Angela needed a change, so I cleaned her up and changed her. Then I put her in her nice jean bib dress, and got her little socks and shoes on her, and after putting the changing things and diapers in a diaper bag, we went back out to the car.
"Goodness! What took so long?"
"Angie needed a change, so I changed her."
"Are we ready then?"
"Yes mother", Bobbie and I said together again. Angie even said yeth, and it was so cute.
Mom drove us back to the shopping center, and we went to the same store. We went right to the register and told the lady that I needed my ears pierced.
"What is your name, dear?"
"Mine is Shannon, it is nice to meet you. Come over here and we will get started. What would style of studs would you like?"
"Angie, what earrings do you like? You can pick them out and I will wear them." I held her up to the display and she pointed to a beautiful pair of sapphire studs.
"Shannon, I'd like these, please." She opened the case and took out the sapphire studs.
I sat down on a high stool, and she took a small marker and marked each ear. Then she put this thing on my ears and I heard a pop and the studs were in. When my ears were pierced, I looked in the mirror and they looked absolutely beautiful.
"See Angie, Susie will wear these because you picked them out." I gave her a hug for picking out such beautiful studs.
"These are very beautiful Angie, thank you for picking them out."
"Angie, would you like to get a nice dress?"
"Then let's go." I took her hand and walked slowly so she could keep up.
There were very nice dresses for toddlers too. We went over to where they were, and started looking through them. Angela pointed to a very pretty dress. It was coral, and had puffed sleeves, and lace around the hem and the sleeves. This looked like a party dress, and every girl should have her own party dress. I looked at mom and she nodded. I took the dress off of the hanger and held it front of Angela. She would look very pretty in this dress.
"Angie dear, come over here and I will show you how it looks." I showed her in the mirror and she gave me a big hug.
"Would you like this dress, Angie?"
I put the dress carefully across my left arm, and then we went to look for a dress for me. I would need the lingerie to go with it too and the shoes. When we got to the juniors section, I saw a really pretty lavender dress. It was one of those you could wear for everyday, or to a party, dinner, or any other occasion. It had a scoop neckline, an empire waist, and lace around the edges of the sleeves. It zipped in the back, and it flared out just enough to be very feminine. I went in the changing booth, and tried it on. It fit perfectly. I stepped out to show mom and Bobbie. Angela looked at me and then she said, "Suthie you look pretty."
I picked her up and gave her a hug, "Thank you, Angie."
I went back in the changing booth and changed into my regular clothes, and put the dress back on the hanger. I took Angie's dress and mine and draped them over my left arm, and I was ready to pick out the lingerie. We picked out one full slip and one half slip, one camisole, a packet of panty briefs, and then we needed shoes to go with the dress.
When we got to the shoe section, I saw a very nice feminine pair of black pumps with a bow on the front, with a sling back strap to around the back of your foot. I liked them and they were reasonable priced too. They only cost fifty-five dollars. But they were all leather, even the insole was leather. I liked them, and mom bought them for me. Then we asked Bobbie if she wanted anything.
"No thank you, I am having fun watching my two sisters having fun."
We left the store and headed back home, but on the way mom stopped by a supermarket and picked up two cornish hens and bag of red skinned potatoes. Mom said these were for dinner.
When we got home, mom shoved us upstairs to play while she worked her magic for a special dinner. Since daddy never went shopping with us, mom said he deserved something special too, and he just loved cornish hens for dinner. Bobbie, I, and Angela went upstairs, and we went in my room.
"Angie sweetie, I am putting your dress right here next to mine. When you go to a party, or have a party, or go to church, or just out with us, then you can wear it. Okay?"
"Yeth Suthie." She is so cute and especially when uses "th" sounds for "s" sounds. Well she is only two years old, and she will get out of it. I hung both dresses in our closet, and I put my lingerie away. Then I put on some records, and Angela was dancing by herself to the music in her own cute way. When the first record was over, Ricky Nelson's Be-Bop Baby was the next one. I picked Angela up, and danced with her until the song was over.
That is another nice thing about being a girl too. We can dance with each other, even in public and no one says anything. Oh, but don't let two boys or two men dance with each other though. They would be touted as sissies forever. Then I thought about when my birth mother was telling me I was a boy. It is a good thing that Friday is only a couple of days away. I cleaned Angela up and changed her, then mom was yelling for us to come down to dinner. When we got to the table, daddy said grace, and we all sat down. I put Angela on the phone books again, so she could sit at the table like a big girl. She may only be two years old, but she knows what she likes and basically does what she likes to too.
When dinner was over, I took Angela and set her in the living room, and told her to play nice while mom, auntie Bobbie and me cleaned up the dining room and the kitchen. I needn't have feared though because daddy was going to watch the news. It only took us fifteen minutes to clean everything up, including washing, drying, and putting the dishes away. We took one last glance around and we were all satisfied that everything was clean.
We went in the living room, and I looked over at Angela. She was playing nice and in her own little world. We sat down to watch the rest of the news, because there was a movie coming on that we wanted to watch. The movie was going to be a two and a half hour movie and was coming on early. When the movie started, I looked over at Angela and she was sound asleep. I picked her up very carefully and took her upstairs. I cleaned her up, and changed her diaper, and she went right back to sleep. This whole day tuckered her out. That was good in a way.
I went back downstairs to enjoy The Ten Commandments. I had just made it in time to hear Cecil B. DeMille give the introduction. I like these kind of movies because not only are they historical but they aren't boring either. When the intermission came on, I went to the kitchen and got a glass of juice. Then I went upstairs to check on Angela. She was still sleeping. I went back down to enjoy the rest of the movie.
When the movie was over, we all hugged and said good night, and I dragged myself to my room. I was really tired now, and bed seemed very inviting. I got my lavender nightgown and panty set, and went to take a bath. A nice soothing bubble bath. After making sure Angela was still asleep, I went to the bathroom.
I ran my bath water and put in a little lavender bubble bath, and let the suds foam up. I brushed my teeth, and just sat in the tub letting all the stress just wash away. I washed all over and pulled the plug. I rinsed what suds were left off with the shower head, and patted myself dry. I got into my nightgown and panty set, stepped in to my slippers, and went to bed.
Angela woke up about one o'clock in the morning, and said she needed a change. I cleaned her up and changed her, and then we both fell back asleep. It is so nice having a little one to look after, especially when she is my sister. The day after tomorrow was Friday.
My alarm clock went off, waking both Angela and I. I stepped in to my slippers and threw my robe on. I cleaned Angela and changed her and then took her downstairs to the kitchen. Mom was already up, and having a cup of coffee.
"Good morning mother," I said, giving her a nice hug. Angela gave her a hug too.
"Good morning, girls. Did you sleep well last night?"
"Yes mother, we did."
I sat Angela on the telephone books, and put some cereal in her little bowl, and then gave her her sippy cup with juice in it. Toddlers always play with their food. They make more of a mess than they eat. I giggled at the thought. I told mother I had to get my bath and dressed for school. She said that I had today and tomorrow off, because court was tomorrow.
Well if I was off of school, then I could be here to help with Angela. Mom pretty much let me take care of her when I was home, because she is my sister. I told mom I was going to take my bath and get dressed. She nodded and I went back upstairs.
I turned on the water, and put in a little jojoba bath foam. I went to get my clothes. Since I didn't have to go to school today, I decided on something simple. I took out my jeans with the full rose on the left back pocket, white under things, a simple white pullover sweater, and my black flats. I took the clothes and laid them on the bed, and put the shoes right under them on the floor. I went back in the bathroom, after grabbing my robe and slippers, and my under things.
I sat in the tub thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow I have to testify what mother did all over again. I let the suds take all the stress out of me, and then washed all over. I rinsed off with the shower head, and patted dry. I put on my under things, and my robe, then stepped into my slippers. I went back to put a little makeup on, and get dressed. When I was completely dressed, I put my hair in a pony tail, and went back downstairs.
Angela was playing in the living room in her little area. I went in the kitchen to have my breakfast. I poured myself a glass of juice, and a glass of milk, and poured myself a bowl of cereal. I put two slices of bread in the toaster and got out the butter. After the toast was done, I spread a little butter on, and then a little peach preserves. I ate my breakfast, and talked to mom.
"Mom, I'm kind of nervous about having to go back in the court. Why did she have to do what she did?"
"Well dear, hopefully tomorrow we will find out.
I finished eating, and washed my dishes. After putting them away, I went in the living room to see what Angela was doing. She was playing with her dolls, and was having a good time. I turned the tv on to watch cartoons. But the only thing on this early was either soaps or news programs. I turned off the tv and went to my room to play records. I was dancing to Ricky Nelson's I'm Walkin' when Angela came in my room and started doing her kind of dancing. The way she moved was so cute. So I sat on my bed, and watched her dance. When the song was over, I clapped because she was soooooo cute. I gave her a hug.
"Angie, want to dance again?"
I put on Ricky Nelson's Be Bop Baby and we both danced. She tried so hard to copy the way I was dancing, I couldn't help but smile.
"You are doing so good, Angie. Do you want me to teach you how to dance like I do?"
For a two year old, she was very smart. She could talk her baby talk but we all understood her. But she tries so hard to copy me. She will be doing the twist by the time she is three if she keeps dancing to the music. So I put on a new record that Chubby Checker had just made called Let's Twist Again, and we both danced. I held her little hands and walked her around the room. She was really enjoying herself. I didn't see mom come up, but when the song was over, and we stopped dancing, she clapped her hands.
"That was good, you two. Angela, do you like dancing with Susie?"
"Well, it's lunch time girls. Let's eat."
Angela took my hand and started to pull on my arm. "Come on Suthie, eat."
She is so cute. I hope she grows up just like me.
Lunch was Angela's favorite; peanut butter and jelly, with milk. I made a salad tho, because even though peanut butter is good and has a lot of protein, it is also very fattening if you eat too much. Besides I like my salads.
When we were finished eating, I took Angie in the bedroom and cleaned her up. I changed her diaper, and then put on her blouse with the rabbits, and her blue jean skirt. After getting her shoes and socks on, I took her back down to the living room. Bobbie and Cindy were in school, and I was really bored. Angela was playing with her dolls, and I went over to ask her if I could play too.
"Yeth, Suthie," she said beaming a big smile. She gave me a Barbie doll and said I was the sithter. She had a little problem pronouncing her esses, but that would come as she got older. We played until I heard Bobbie and Cindy behind us.
"So this is what you do when you're not in school. Can we play too?"
So we all played, and I told Angela that were friends all hanging out, and going to the "place" as we called the drug store where everybody hung out. I went and got her tea set, and we pretended were having Coke malteds and looking at the boys. Angela was having a good time, and I could see that she was very happy too. We played like this until it was dinner time, and we all went in the kitchen to see if we could help. Mom said we helped by keeping Angie busy. We were having beef roast, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and even a clove of garlic. Mom put them in a roaster and put the roaster in the oven.
This day was going fast, and I guess the saying time flies when you're having fun is true. Because when the oven stew was ready, mom cut up the roast and put a slice with everything on our plates. We sat there and talked about the day. Bobbie said she met someone at school, and wanted to know if she was too young to have a boyfriend. Bobbie, Cindy, and I are the same age, with a month between us. Bobbie was born a month before me, and Cindy was born a month after me. Mom said that as long as the boy didn't want anything special, it would be all right. But she wanted to meet this young man, so that both father and mother could see what kind of a boy he is.
"All right, mother, I will tell him. Daddy, what do you think?"
"I agree with your mother, punkin. We do have to meet this young man. You are only twelve years old. How old is this boy?"
"He's thirteen, daddy. But he's really nice."
"Honey, I know your father will agree, but some boys, and some men too, will act really nice just to get you to go steady with them, or even marry them, then they become abusive. We just want to make sure he is a decent young man."
"All right, daddy."
When we were finished eating, we cleaned up the dining room, washed, dried, and put the dishes away, and cleaned up the kitchen. Bobbie brought my assignements home, so I had homework to do. Bobbie, Cindy, and I went to my room and started on our homework, after being assured that mom would watch Angie for me. I put on a few records to listen to while we worked on our assignments.
Where does the time go? Mom came up and told Cindy that her father was here to pick her up, and that meant it was bedtime for us. I got out my black nightgown and panty set, and went to run my bath. I put a little bubble bath foam in and let the water make a mountain of suds. I just sat there thinking about tomorrow. When I had washed all over, I pulled the plug and rinsed off what suds were left. I patted dry, and got into my night clothes. I went back to my bedroom, and Angela as already asleep. Mom must have brought her up. I carefully got under the covers, so as not to wake Angie up. I was asleep in seconds.
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