Auntie was thrilled that I had made friends with a boy, finally. “Oh, that’s so nice you’ve got a friend like Bert,” she said.
It wasn’t that she didn’t like the girls I hung around with; she did, since they were all dancers and seemed to be nice girls. I guess she felt I should be with boys more often.
It turned out to be raining Saturday, so our bike trip was off, but auntie said I could invite Bert over to visit me in the afternoon.
“You two will have the house to yourself, honey,” she said, “But I think you’re both old enough to be here alone. And I think you’ll not do anything silly, dear.”
It was so nice for auntie to trust me, and I would never betray her. She had volunteered to work at the local Veteran’s Hospital for the day. Actually it was called “Soldiers’ Home” in those days, and it was already beginning to handle the servicemen who suffered long and difficult recovery from war wounds suffered overseas.
The day had turned warm and stuffy, the steady rain making it even worse, and Bert arrived after a 4-block walk from his home, fairly wet and hot. He was carrying a model airplane he wanted to show me and a game of Parcheesi that we might play. I had also gotten out auntie’s Monopoly game, in case we wanted to do that.
“I got so wet coming over here I gotta change, Terry,” Bert said upon arrival. “Do you have an extra shirt?”
“I think so, but not sure it’ll fit you,” I said, noticing how muscular and broad his body was, compared to mine.
“Let’s check it out,” he said. “Where’s your bedroom?”
“This way,” I pointed to the stairs and he bounded up the stairs, not waiting for me to even nod “yes.”
I followed him up the stairs, realizing he would see how girlish my bedroom was, and I desperately wanted to avoid that. But, Bert was too quick, having reached the top of the stairs, seeking which door to enter. I pointed to a door, upon which a figure of a ballerina was mounted, realizing with horror he’d soon see the true me. I sought to talk my way out of what his eyes would see.
“Don’t pay attention to how the room looks, Bert. Auntie is planning to have it redone.”
It was too late. He had opened the door, stopping short.
“This is your room?” he asked, turning to me in puzzlement.
“Yes, and as I said, auntie is supposed to change the décor for me,” I said, lying, of course.
He surveyed the room, obviously noticing how neat I kept it; the bed was made, and the two stuffed animals were in their usual perched on the bed, with the Shirley Temple doll still in its prominence in the dainty rocking chair. Even the room smelled sweet and feminine.
“Oh my, it’s so pretty,” he said. “It’s nice.”
I looked at him strangely. Didn’t he think it weird that a boy would have a room like this?
“The bed is comfortable,” I said, dodging the topic.
“Well, I like it,” he said.
“You do? Really, you do?”
“Yes, why not? It’s more for a girl, but it’s nice.”
I blushed, and I guess he noticed, since he then said: “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”
I went to a dresser, choosing the top drawer where my boy clothes were kept, hoping to find a shirt big enough for Bert. The other drawers had mainly skirts and blouses and lingerie in them. The truth was that I had more girl stuff than boy clothes, since I dressed almost always in girl outfits when at home.
“Sure enough, this should fit,” I said, pulling out a new tee shirt, which auntie bought recently that I felt was too big.
Just then he saw the shoes I had neatly placed near the vanity. Two of the pairs were obviously girls, both sandals with a pink pair having short 2” heels.
“Do you wear these?” he asked, picking the pair up and holding them out to me.
My reddening face gave him the answer. I wanted to run from the room, from him and suddenly from myself. But he must have sensed my dread, and he grabbed my wrist, feeling so slender in the tight grasp of his large, hard hand.
“You do, don’t you? These are yours, you sweet little girl.”
“Yes,” I said, feeling so ashamed.
“As I said, Terry, I like you,” he started, “And I won’t hurt you or tell anyone else. I had a feeling that you maybe dressed like a girl sometimes. You really are so pretty.”
“Don’t tell anybody, please, Bert. I hate I’m not strong like you.”
“But I’m not pretty like you,” he said, smiling. “I pictured you often as a little girl, really.”
“You thought about me before?”
“Oh yes, from when I first saw you, I said, ‘Terry’s as pretty a girl as we have in school.’”
“I suppose so,” I said, slowly getting comfortable with the realization my secret was out to him.
“Would you dress up for me now, Terry? I bet you can be so beautiful.”
“Oh, I don’t think auntie would like that.”
“But I’d so love to see you in a dress, just to show me how you look.”
“You really don’t mind me being like a girl?” I asked. “Most boys would make fun of me or beat me up.”
“I might like you as a girl,” he said, smiling. “I’ll make a deal. If you dress up for me, I promise I’ll keep the other boys from teasing you and taunting you.”
Finally I agreed, and I told him he could dry off in the bathroom and change tee shirts, while I dressed up for him.
My chest was pounding with excitement as I rummaged through the dresses hanging in my closet. I had some really cute ones that auntie and I had found at the Schuster’s store on Vliet St. They always had the most darling of clothes for girls, auntie said, and I had to agree, although I really hadn’t shopped much anywhere else.
Part of the large closet in my room, as I’ve mentioned before, is composed of ballet costumes, used mainly for the students of auntie’s dance studio, but auntie had carved out a section for my clothes, all dresses and skirts and blouses. I loved to go into the closet, if for no other reason than to smell the flowery perfume that emanated from some of the outfits.
I couldn’t imagine why this strong boy was so intent on seeing me dressed up as a girl. But then, I was only 12 years old, was very naíve, and I had little idea about how boys change at my age. As I rummaged through the closet, my mind raced in wonderment as to what Bert would like to see me wear. I really wanted to be “beautiful,” which was the phrase he used about me.
Finally my eyes took me to a peach-colored summer dress, with light green and lavender flowers. It had puffy short sleeves, a belt and pleated skirt, ending just above the knees.
“Good,” I said, feeling pleased with myself knowing I had both ankle socks and a head band of matching peach color that I could wear.
Auntie had fixed a training bra for me, which was permanently stuffed to provide me with smallish breasts so typical of a 12 year old girl. And, I found the most darling of cotton panties, also peach with tiny colored flowers adorning the trim. Even before I put on the dress, I paraded in front of the mirror, wearing only the panties and bra, looking at my smooth, lovely body. What a girl!
“I’m done and changed, Terry,” I heard Bert yell. “What should I do?”
“Don’t come in here!” I yelled back. “I wanna surprise you.”
“OK? But where should I go?”
“Wait in the ballroom. I’ll be down in about five minutes.”
“OK. Hurry up, I can hardly wait to see you.”
I heard his footsteps as he went downstairs, and I finished up, brushing my hair so that it flowed easily, adjusting the headband and applying some lipstick. I also used rouge to brighten my cheeks. I put on the ankle socks and the shoes, and I was ready.
“Oh,” Bert said, suddenly speechless as I walked into the ballroom, where he was standing nervously awaiting my arrival. He just stared at me, and I knew I must have started to turn red before him. He said nothing, and I grew frightened over what he must be thinking.
“You’re a girl!” The words came out suddenly, and he continued to stare. “You are a beautiful girl,” he said finally.
Naturally, I blushed, and I curtsied before him, holding up my dress daintily as I bent my knees.
I looked up at Bert now, noticing how his broad shoulders and muscular arms seemed to burst out of the tee shirt he was wearing. He had combed his hair, and I was taken aback at how marvelous this boy looked.
“Can we play some music?” he asked. “Maybe we could dance. My mom has taught me how to dance with a girl.”
“I guess we could, Bert, as long as we don’t break any of the records,” I said. I really wasn’t sure auntie would like me going into the collection of records, which were only used for dance classes. She was afraid, I guess, of breaking any of the records, which would crack apart if they fell to the floor.
“Do you know how to dance with a boy?” he asked.
“Yes, since we’ve practiced dancing the fox trot and waltz in classes, and I have danced the girl’s part often.”
Auntie had installed a sound system in the ballroom, with a record player, amplifier and record collection located in a former closet. I had learned to use the system because at first I merely assisted auntie in her classes, before joining them as one of the “girl dancers.”
“How about ‘Moonlight and Roses?’” I asked. It was a slow sound, good for a start.
“OK,” he said, crowding into the tiny room with me. “My you smell nice, Terry.”
“I put on some cologne. Do you like it?”
“Oh yes, very much. You are so sweet.”
I had noticed I was acting so much like a little girl, now, with even my voice seeming to take on a lilting, higher pitched quality.
Soon we were on the dance floor, the sounds of music gathering us up in its magic; I found myself easily following Bert’s steps, surrendering myself to his direction.
“Your mom has taught you well,” I told him.
“I liked dancing with her, but you are a good dancer too, Terry. This is the first time I’ve danced with a girl, outside of my mom, of course.”
“Thank you,” I said, pulling myself closer to Bert, placing my hands over his shoulder as I’ve seen them do in the movies. We had been dancing at arm’s length to start.
Soon the music stopped, and I had to put on a new record. Auntie’s sound system had a high quality turntable, which had to be loaded with a new record for each song, and most songs were limited to three minutes of playing time, due to the length available for music on the typical 10-inch record.
By the 5th song, Bert and I were dancing “cheek-to-cheek,” in the words of a popular song of the day. I nestled my head on his strong shoulder and he enveloped me, his muscular arms easily holding my seemingly fragile, slender upper body. The music stopped and we stood there as the record player continued to twirl, sending out rhythmical clicks and hisses as the record continued to spin at the end of its track.
It felt so good to be in his arms, but Bert seemed to be shaking now, almost violently and I wondered what was happening to him. I was a few inches shorter than Bert, and I could feel something protrude from his crotch into my own lower tummy. He was trembling. I wasn’t sure what was happening.
Then, suddenly, he kissed me, almost violently, and pulled me tightly, like he was holding on for survival. Our lips met and pressed together. At first, I didn’t know how to respond, but soon I returned his kiss, feeling a stirring in my own penis area.
The record kept spinning sounding its alternate hiss and click, and I was growing light-headed under his hold. Finally Bert broke away from me, running off to the bathroom. As he bolted from me, I felt the tension in my penis lessen. I was confused about what all was happening to me as I danced as a girl with Bert.
I puzzled as to what happened to my friend, and when he returned, he seemed a bit pre-occupied.
“What happened? Are you all right?”
“Yes, I just had to go to the bathroom real bad,” he said, mumbling a bit.
“You left so suddenly, I thought you got mad at me or something.”
“Oh, I couldn’t get mad at you, Terry,” he said. “I I want you to be my girl friend,” he said, as he was about to leave.
“I wish I could be, too, but I’m only 12 now, and auntie wouldn’t let me date so young.”
“I know, but you really are so nice to be with.”
“And I’m still a boy,” I said with a coquettish smile.
“Not that I can see,” he said, kissing me again, as he began to leave.
I closed the door, and watched him walk down the steps and up the sidewalk. And I danced, twirling about, flinging my arms lightly into the air and feeling complete joy!
In the few remaining days of school, I rarely talked with Bert, with me being busy with my girl friends, and he being with his friends. Yet, I noticed he somehow was always around during the times before and after school, making sure that Wanda or Serena or one of my friends would be with me as I walked to and from school.
“Hi Bert,” I said as I we happened to meet in the hallway on the Tuesday following our Saturday visit.
“Hi Terry,” he said looking squarely at me. “Are you doing OK? Anyone bothering you?”
“No,” I said.
We both spoke softly, so no other kids could hear in the din of the halls. It was true; I had not been teased or taunted at all.
“I hope you didn’t mind being forced to dress for me on Saturday,” he said. We had moved into a side alcove to talk. Everyone could see us talking, including a group of his friends who I could sense were looking strangely at us.
I must admit I blushed a bit, and said to him. “No, I liked it.”
He nodded at that. “I liked seeing you that way. You looked so pretty.”
“You’re not telling anyone are you?”
“Oh no, Terry. I gave you my word.”
“Your friends are watching us,” I said.
“I know that and they can like it or lump it,” he said, smiling.
The warning bell rang, summoning us all to our classes, and we parted. I knew I had a strong boy to protect me. For some reason, it seemed only natural for a girl to want to have a boy who will protect her.
The school year ended without any more teasing or taunting. Oh, I continued to get some occasional stares that seemed to show disgust at my growing feminine mannerisms, but no one directly bothered me. Somehow, I guess the word of Bert’s protective shield must have gotten around.
Wanda and Serena and I became even closer friends, as Aunt Adele increased the ballet group’s rehearsal classes to four mornings a week, at least for those girls who were to participate in the 4th of July program. Mostly, we worked on synchronized dances, perfectly our ability to dance totally in unison, without missing a step.
I must say Auntie and Donna Mae, her assistant, worked us relentlessly, forcing us into repeated performances of the same steps over and over again. For the first time in my life, I felt moments of hate for my dear auntie, as she forced into dancing through terrible exhaustion. Yet, I knew she was being so tough in order to make us the best troupe of girls ever to perform.
“What’s our theme going to be for the program, Miss Adele,” Serena asked after about a week into rehearsals. “All we’re doing is basic practicing.”
Auntie had assembled us in a circle. I was seated on the floor, my legs tucked under me just like the others. In my tights, shorts and blouse, I know I mixed in perfectly as one of the girls.
“Yes, Serena, I think it’s about time we talk about the program,” Auntie said. “First of all let me praise all of you for working so hard this past week. I know it hasn’t been easy, but we needed to get you all into the need to be perfectly in sync with each other.
“Now for a theme, Donna and I have decided we should highlight what women are doing on the home front to help our boys at the front as they fight Germany and Japan. But, we want you all to come up with specific ideas to incorporate into the dance program.”
“Like what, Miss Adela?” asked Judy McQuistion.
“Well, for example, lots of women are working in defense factories, making tanks and guns and planes. You could figure out making up a dance of women working on the assembly line.”
“Oh,” Judy said, growing excited. “Like being a nurse for an injured soldier?”
“Yes, that’s it, and I know you all have ideas. I’ll give you time now to break up into groups of two or three girls, each group to come up with an idea.”
It was only natural that Wanda, Serena and I would join together, and at first we didn’t know where to start.
“What could we do as three girls . . . ah . . . or women for the country?” Serena asked. Of course I was considered a girl by them now. It was just to be expected.
“Hmmmmmmmmm,” muttered Wanda. I said nothing, but my mind was twirling in all sorts of directions, picturing the three of us as army nurses, or assemblyline workers or even bus drivers.
“I got it,” Wanda proclaimed. “Let’s be USO entertainers.”
“That’s it,” Serena proclaimed.
“What would we do?” I asked. I didn’t think our troops liked to watch ballet, and that’s all I knew that we could do.
“What about being like the Andrews Sisters?” Wanda said.
“But we can’t sing?” I protested. The Andrews Sisters were a trio that had captured the attention of the nation during the war, singing many popular songs.
“I bet we can, and we can add some dance steps, too,” Serena said.
“I don’t know,” I protested.
“Yes, I know you can sing Terry,” Wanda said. “You sing in the 7th grade chorus, and you have a beautiful voice. And Serena is also in the chorus as an alto. I think I sing, too.”
Serena beamed. “Yes, we can do it, Terry. Your voice still hasn’t changed.”
It was true. My voice was still able to hit high girlish levels, since my voice hadn’t changed, being one of the few boys of my age with such a high voice.
“You can be Patty, Terry” Wanda said, smiling, naming the youngest of the three Andrews sisters. “She’s the cutest of the three.”
“And I’ll be Maxene,” Serena said, choosing the sister who had the greatest range of voice.
“Leaving me for being Laverne,” Wanda said.
“Yes, we’ll be perfect,” Serena said enthusiastically. “With his light colored hair, Terry’ll be a super Patty.”
Later, as they described their plans to the group, all the girls hooted and giggled, with Terry bursting into a high-pitched phrase from one of the Andrews Sisters’ top tunes, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” He had been listening to a record of the Sisters singing that popular song, and knew all the lyrics, having sung along with the music many times.
The other three groups of girls described their ideas, and Aunt Adele said she’d be able to weave all of them into a performance, finishing with a grand finale when all the girls would be on stage.
“I can hardly wait to start setting up our act,” Wanda said.
“You’ll get your chance right now,” auntie said. “All of you spend the next half hour within your group to come up with a 3-minute program to perform.”
Auntie let us put the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” record on the player, and let us crowd into the control room to hear the song, while the others did their planning in small groups at the corners of the room.
“Do we have any pictures of the Andrews Sisters?” Wanda asked.
“I must have,” I said, knowing I had a stack of movie magazines in my room. Other boys my age usually had collections of comic books, but I found them kind of boring. Instead I gathered up auntie’s old movie magazines and pored over them in my room. I blush to admit that I looked mainly at the young actresses, not because I lusted for them, but mainly ‘cause I envied them, wishing a could be like them, wearing sexy outfits. I particularly wanted to have legs like Betty Grable and wear white shorts that ended at the top of my thighs, seamed stockings and high heels. Grable’s picture in those shorts had found its way into the lockers and seabags of thousands of soldiers and sailors.
Actually, I knew I had pictures of the Andrews Sisters, having only recently cut one out from an old magazine because of my love for their singing. And now to actually be one of the Sisters was truly exciting.
I ran up to my room, gathered up the picture, returning to the studio, where we discussed what we’d wear and how we’d look. Their hair had curls, so that would mean we’d all have to have our hair curled, probably at a beauty salon.
“Let’s do it,” Serena said. “I’ll get mom to make an appointment for us a couple of weeks before the program at her hair salon. You’ll have to go with us, Terry, as a girl.”
“Oh can’t we do that here, at home?” I asked. “I’m not sure I wanna do that.”
“Yes, Terry, do it, please,” Wanda added. “No one can tell you’re a boy, anyway.”
“I don’t know,” I protested. My early excitement at this plan was being quickly deflated, as I began to realize what I’d have to be doing. I really wanted to do all this, but it meant transforming myself totally into being a girl, and not just for the dance, but for numerous outings as we got prepared for the big event.
“Come on, Terry, you’ll do it, I know you will,” Serena said, proclaiming that she’d be making an appointment for all three of us.
Of course, I did it!
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