The Girl Most Likely To ... - Part 8
by Barbara Lynn Terry
Settling in at Pine Meadows.
When Eve and Naomi parked their cars, several girls came out of the house. Rachel stood by the car, her legs freezing, and looked in awe at the main house of Pine Meadows Home For Adolescent Girls. One of the girls that came out of the house saw Eve, and shouted: "It's Evie, Evie!!!" They all ran up to Eve, who gave each one a hug.
"Girls, there is someone I want you to meet. This is Rachel, and she is a new girl."
"Yes, we have been expecting her for hours. OMG GIRL!!!! Let's get you in the house, or you will definitely freeze to death out here. My name is Sharon, and I am going to be your room mate. Your bed is already made, so you won't have to do that until morning, now."
Everybody walked back to the house, and when they got inside, Sharon asked Naomi if she was Rachel mom.
"No, I'm just a friend."
"Oh, that person. Yes, many of us were brougth here by the sheriff."
"Naomi's been there for me when no one else would be. Even the school I went to wasn't there for me."
"Because you were a bully and beat on a transgender person."
Naomi was going to interceded, when Eve held her back.
"You know, the transgender act according to their belief in who they are, but look at you. Big tough boy in a girl's dress. Now that is what I call poetic justice."
Naomi was going to intercede again, but Eve held her back.
"Shar...on, may I...talk...to you and the...girls, please?"
"Okay, what's on your mind?"
"I need help in finding out who I am. On...on the way...way up here, Naomi...and I were talking, and I...I...I just..." That was when Rachel broke down again. All of a sudden the laughter and the teasing stopped.
"Oh Rachel, of course we will help you. We're not monsters. Look, why don't we go up to our room, and I can show you your bed, and the view from our window. Then we can come back down here and we can talk."
Naomi looked at Eve for an explanation.
"The girls here were expecting a foul mouth boy, but they got just the opposite. When Rachel asked for their help, they immediately knew she wasn't a bad person. A little sad, maybe mixed up a little, but definitely not bad."
"How do you know about all of this?"
"They called me at the restaurant, because many of them have stopped there on their way here. I wanted to see this foul mouth boy for myself, and what I saw was a sad, demure young lady. No, Naomi, she may be a lot of things, but bad is not one of them. Come on, let's see her room."
They went up and before anyone knew anything, the girls were giving Rachel clothes they either didn't like, were too tight or they just didn't wear any more.
"The ones that fit you decently, Rachel, you should keep, and the ones too small or too tight, we can give to the Goodwill."
"Why are you...doing...doing thi...this?"
Everybody in unison said, "because we are sisters."
"Rachel, that will also be the last time you wear that dress. I mean, it is all right for Sundays and dances, but not everyday. It is way too pretty for that. Besides, in this weather you'll freeze your fanny off."
A lady a little older than Naomi came in the room. "Girls, girls! What is all the ruckus about?"
"Mom, meet Rachel, the new girl we were expecting, only not expecting."
"All right Sharon Hardesty. What exactly does that mean?"
"Well, mom, we were expecting a foul mouth, not so tough little boy, but who we got was Rachel. Rachel, this is our house mother, Madelline, or mom as we affectionately call her."
"Then this is a...a...home? With...with love and...and laugh...ter?"
"Yes, dear sister, it is. We are here for different reasons, but we have one thing in common. We want help, and the best help we can get here, is from each other. This is a family, and families support and help each other. You are now a part of that family, and because you asked us to help you, that is what we will do.
Rachel sat on her bed, and began crying again. "I...I never...never had any...body...help me."
Have you ever felt that you were being squeezed to death in a loving group hug? That is what Rachel felt, only she didn't mind it, because the girls were showing how much they cared about her, a complete stranger.
"Now look what you've done," Sharon said, looking at Rachel's eyes. "You look like a raccoon. Let's get that mascara off of you.
Sharon went to get a box of tissues, and she began taking off the mascara on Rachel's face and eyes. When she was done, she sat back and looked at Rachel, again.
"There, all done. Girlfriend, if what you have shown us is the real you, we can help you be the girl that is inside of you. Would you like that?"
"Yes, yes I would,"
All the while the girls were around Rachel, Naomi was talking with Madelline. Then Madelline made a statement.
"Girls, this is Naomi Petersen. She is a deputy sheriff in Forest City. She will be coming up here three or four times a week to help Rachel through her therapy programs."
Janice Peyton, a fifteen year old resident, looked at Naomi to see if this was some kind of a trick.
"Why would a cop want to help one of us?"
"Please, please don't say that about Naomi. She was there for me when nobody else was."
"What is your name, young lady?"
"Well, Janice, I want to help Rachel, because I saw something in her that I have never seen in a young person. When we were driving up here, we talked, and she even asked me if horse back riding was fun. When she asked that, then I knew I was right about her. So, I promised her in a pinky swear that if she took part in the programs set up for her, I would come up at least three times a week and help her through her therapy."
"You're confusing me," Janice said, looking bewildered. "You're a cop. Right?"
"Yes, my job is enforcng the law, but I am something else too."
"Like what, for instance?"
"Like, I am a human being with feelings, and my feelings for Rachel right now, is to help her through her traumatic times."
"Well, anyway, I think after about a week, Rachel will call this home," Sharon added, changing the mood. "We have an excellent equestrian program here. We get to go horse back riding, every day if we want. We go to school, and we help each other with our homework if we get stuck. We have dances, we have parties, we have ...... fun. We do have chores to do, though, and all the cooking is done by the residents. We take turns. One week I and someone else will do the cooking, and then the next week someone else will. You'll see, girlfriend. Welcome home, sister." Sharon gave Rachel a sisterly welcome home hug.
"Naomi, what's wrong?"
"That is so sweet, you've all got me crying. I have never seen such solidarity in a setting like this."
"This is the first time I have ever seen a cop cry," Janice said, bewildered.
"Janice Peyton, stifle it!" Sharon exclaimed.
Naomi went over by the group and said that she was going to stay for a bit, because she wanted to see the rest of the house. So the girls took Naomi and Rachel on the two cent tour.
The living room was huge, sixty-five feet long by forty-eight feet wide, the dining room was half that size and had long picnic like benches for tables, the recreation room was also huge, and that was where the tv was, and the gym, or exercise room, was about the same size as the living room. This is where there was all kinds of exercise equipment, bought by the residents, for the residents. There were recumbent bikes, treadmills, stair steppers, weights, and a track that went around the room for jogging.
"There is a lot here to really get involved in. Isn't there?"
"Yes, Naomi," Madelline answered. "We try to make this as much of a home setting as possible. During the first shift, there is a house father and house mother, and they treat these girls as though they were their own daughters. So do I, which is why they call me 'mom'. "
"It must be nice to live in this kind of setting, knowing the alternative."
"We don't talk about things like that, here."
"Naomi, my name is Brenda, I am also fourteen, and I have been here almost two years. When we have a problem, we can go to anyone of the sisters, or to mom, or daddy when he is on, on first shift. You see, Naomi, this is a home. We have love, we have caring, we do things for and with each other. This is why we are sisters, Naomi, because we are family."
"That, that is so sweet. Pardon my ignorance, but I have never seen this kind of solidarity in an institution."
"Yes, Naomi, this is a state run institution, run like a home setting, and making sure we know how to treat others. In fact, Naomi, our motto here is, "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You".
"Wow, times sure have changed."
"Naomi," Rachel said, looking at the floor. "Thank you for everything. I would not have known my true self if it wasn't for you. I asked these girls for help, and they said yes right away."
"Rachel, when we help you, we are going to train you in how to be a girl, since that training has been denied you. See, just because we are female, doesn't mean we know how to act like girls. That comes with with us through the years, as we grow up, and sister, you can do a lot of growing up here. I mean, look at Eve, she used to live here, and she is still a sister. Now she volunteers here on weekends, and during holidays, except Christmas and Valentine's Day. She works at the diner not far from here, and gives new girls on their way here a decent change of clothes. Eve gave you that dress. Didn't she?"
"Yes, Sharon, she did. All I was wearing was detention clothes. When I saw this teal dress in her locker, I just had to try it on. I just had to."
"That, dear sister, is how a girl thinks."
"Rach, honey, I have to be going. Please let me have a hug." Rachel went over and gave Naomi a big hug. "Listen to me, listen. I said I would be back to help you, and I will, but I have the seven in the morning shift again, so I had better leave, now. These girls will help you in any way they can. You are going to be all right here. These girls and house parents will make sure you are safe. Do what they tell you, and everything will fall in to place. So I will say this. This isn't goodbye, it's just good night. Alan Freed used to say that back in the fifties when he was a dj."
"But, you're not that old."
"No, but my mom is."
"Good night, Rach, girls, Madelline. I will be back this weekend for sure, maybe before then."
Rachel followed Naomi out to the car, and before Naomi got in, Rachel gave Naomi another hug.
"Be a good girl, Rach, and I will be back."
"Yes, I will, Naomi."
Naomi put on her seat belt and started the car. She waved to Rachel as she backed up and then headed for the road.
Rachel went back in the house shivering from more than just the cold.
"Girl, you can catch your death out there, without a coat on."
"Yes, mom, I...I...know."
"Rachel, is there anything you know how to do, like clean a house, cook a meal, sew a button on a shirt, maybe?"
"No, mom, I never did any of those things. If I did, my dad would hit me hard and say that is woman's work."
"Would you like to learn how to do those things?"
"Yes, I would love to learn how to cook and sew, especially."
"Then that is what we will be teaching you, besides being the girl you have always been."
"But, I never showed anybody that I was a girl, inside."
"Honey, girls can 'see' these things, because we know how to look in to the soul. The girls knew right away you weren't what we were expecting. You have shown us a sad little girl who only wants to come out and live, and live you shall. It is like Sharon said, you can do a lot of growing up here, if you want to."
"Thank you, mom." The older woman embraced Rachel in a motherly hug, and nodded to the other girls to make themselves scarce.
"Let's you and I sit down and have a talk."
"Now, Rachel, this is a loving home, and there isn't any problem we can't solve as a family. If something is bothering you, just ask one of the girls if you can talk to them, or ask the house mother on the day shift, or Hazel, who is our night house mother. We are a family here, and we help each other. We also have a psychiatrist, a psychologist and two psychotherapists. You can talk to any one of them, too, if you wish. There is no forcing anyone to do what they don't want here, except maybe in your case. But let me ask you a question. If you could have the operation to make you a physical female, would you want that?"
"Was last week, soon enough?"
"You just gave me the answer I was looking for. Only a boy with boy thoughts would have hesitated, and made to look like he was thinking about it. You didn't do that. You answered me right away."
"Mom, nobody is forcing me to be a girl. This is the way I want to live my life."
"Then, young lady, you shall have your wish."
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