By Janet L. Stickney

I had the best tenor voice in the school. I sang in all the plays, participated in the choir, and practiced a lot. I knew that my voice could propel me into the big time, but I had to maintain my grades, graduate, and go into a well regarded music school to even have a chance. I worked hard, and even had a few famous people come see me sing when I was a Junior. They all said the same thing. Great voice, good delivery, nice tonal quality, but ...

You see, I am small, both in stature and physical size. 5'5" tall and 123 pounds. Auburn hair and green eyes, and I did not project the image of some of the most famous tenors. They were all tall and handsome. Never the less, I kept my focus and went on as if I had a chance, hopeful that I would experience a growth spurt. At the very end of my Junior year in High school there was an accident. An elderly woman ran her car into our yard and hit the house, which caused the front wall to collapse. Unfortunately I was in the den, adjacent to the living room when a ceiling rafter dislodged, fell, and hit me. At first I thought I had just been knocked down, then I saw the blood spurting out and running down my shirt. Dad wasn't home, mom was at the grocery and I was all alone. Unable to move the beam alone, I lay there hoping mom would get home soon, so I could say goodbye. I knew I was bleeding to death. But our neighbor saw what had happened, grabbed her son, and they found me. Tim is a giant compared to me, and he easily lifted the rubble off of me. All except the rafter that hit me. By the look on his face it was bad.

The paramedics used some tools to get me free, then carted me to the hospital just as mom drove up to our house. I passed out from a shot they gave me and have no idea what happened after that. I awoke in the hospital 12 hours later, my neck wrapped tightly in bandages, a cast over that, and I could not talk. Mom, dad, and the doctor came in a bit later, and told me what had happened.

"To put it bluntly, you were stabbed" The doctor said. "One of the nails in the rafter hit you right in the larynx, straight on. That's the reason you can't talk right now. The nail does not appear to have done a lot of damage except in one place. Your vocal chords were severely bruised when the surrounding tissue contracted under the force. That's all we can say at the moment, but we expect you to regain your voice in a few days, after the swelling goes down."

He left me there with mom and dad, my only thought was that my singing career was over. I wanted to die.

Mom and dad could do nothing but hold me. It was two days later that I found out the truth. During the long hours that I lay there, I had time to reflect on my life. My voice, the instrument I planned on using to become a star was, in all likelihood, damaged, and with it, my dreams. When the doctors unwrapped my neck I was very worried. I had no idea what I would sound like. The very first word I spoke was clear as a bell, which made the doctor happy, but I was shaken right to my core. Those clear fine tenor tones of mine had been taken away! I now had a high tenor voice, almost a soprano with a cloud of smoke mixed in! I was desolate, convinced that my singing days were over.

At home life did not change much, and I spoke as little as possible. After a week or so of that my sister Lisa grabbed me by the arm and yanked me around, pulling me into her room. Surprised by her actions I stood there as she glared at me. Then, all at once, she handed me a microphone!

"Sing that song you like so much. The one from Phantom of the Opera."

"Sing? I can't sing!"

"Just do it!" she said, and put on the CD. As the opening strains filled the room, she sat on the bed and sat staring at me. "Sing!" she said, and handed me the music.

She had to start the music over again, and while shaky and nervous, I began to sing. The male part, just like always. My voice sounded a little husky, but the words came out clear, and I was able to hit all the notes, including the high ones were in the soprano range. When I was done, Lisa told me to sing the girls part. I had done the girls parts before, just for the timing, and thought nothing of it. The music started again, and I sang the female part. Lisa was grinning as the softer sounds, with that husky edge to them became more and more feminine. When I was done I tossed the microphone on the bed and started to walk out of the room. Lisa did not stop me, and I went to my room to check my e-mail. When everyone was at the dinner table, about halfway done, we all heard the music come on. We all stopped to hear it, then I heard myself singing. It was the female part I had sung earlier. Played through the surround sound, I had to admit it sounded better than up in Lisa's bedroom. When the music stopped, mom asked Lisa who that singer was.

"Whoever that girl is, she had a wonderful voice! Just the right amount of huskiness in her voice to add character to the music! Who was that Lisa?"

Well, Lisa looked, and slowly pointed at me! Both mom and dad were shocked at first, then dad began to laugh! He only quit when mom made him be quiet. Then it settled over all of us, including me. I could still sing! The fact that I sounded like some sexy girl aside, I could still sing! Then Lisa made a suggestion.

"You know, I'll bet that he would look real cute all dolled up! As girl, you would sound just right, and maybe be able to continue your studies in music!"

Well you can guess my reaction to that! I said no way, and made it as firm as I could. Everyone seemed to take my saying no with grace, and I forgot about it. Until I went back to school that is. More than one person commented on my voice, how high it was, and some of the guys began to kid me about it. They all knew what had happened, so the kidding wasn't vicious, just ... accurate. My singing coach wanted to hear me sing, but I put her off, saying it was to early. But she told me to wait, and put on the recording that Lisa had made. As my voice filled the hall, I simply stood there, shocked that Lisa would do this to me, but the coach stood and listened, then began to smile. When the song was over ...

"You won't like this, but it's true I'm afraid. As good as you were before the accident, you now have the perfect voice! As a woman of course, but, and I do not say this lightly, if anything, your voice is better! Soft and smooth, clear yet sexy."

Mrs. Pomer would not have said that to me if it was not true, and that sent shivers down my back. Me? Sing as a girl? The very idea was just as ludicrous as it sounded. With nothing to say, I went home. About the only thing that was the least bit good lately was that school would be out for the summer in just ten days. Then I would not have to put up with the kidding any more. Between Lisa, my parents, and Mrs. Pomer, I knew that what they had told me was true. I had heard it myself. If I wanted to sing, then I would have to do it as a girl, and if I was just as good, if not better than before, then I could still chase my dream. Only the thought of me in a dress almost made me laugh out loud. There was no way I could ever look anything like a girl!

Before school let out Lisa left to visit a friend. She would be gone for a month, and I looked forward to having some piece and quiet so I could practice. As school let out that day and I went home, my heart was heavy with what everyone had told me. I was caught between competing scenarios. I could sing and maybe make it big, but I would have to do it as a girl, or not sing at all, yet have to go through life sounding like a woman. Some choice. Deep in thought I did not see mom when I walked in the house.

"Honey? Can we talk a minute?"

I sat across from mom, watching as she struggled with whatever she wanted to say. Finally ...

"Lisa is gone, and we thought that this would be the perfect time for you to see just how you would look as a girl. NO! Don't interrupt me. Your father and I have talked this over, and we are in agreement. You have the voice, only you don't look like you belong to it. What we want to do is get you dressed up, just once, so we can all see how you look. If it doesn't turn out well, that will be the end of it. Lisa won't be here to nag you, and your dad has agreed to stay away until I call him. It would be just you and I."

Mom was serious! I knew that tone in her voice. It was her "I'm just stating the facts" voice. With Lisa gone it would be just mom and I, and that was something, but mom did not say what would happen if I turned out looking nice! She didn't have to. I already knew. I wanted to cry, yell, something, but there was no other way, and as much as I expected to turn out like a freak, mom did not, plus, and even though I hated it, I nodded my head yes. That drew an immediate smile from mom, which told me that she had anticipated my answer. Without a word she crooked her finger at me, and I followed her to my room. The first thing I saw was what looked like a complete outfit on my bed! Turning to look at mom, all she did was tell me to undress.

Standing there in my briefs was bad enough, then mom began to cover me with a hair removal cream, smearing it all over until she reached the forbidden zone. Even that was not safe as she yanked my briefs down in the back, smeared on some more cream, then handed me the jar and told me to do the rest, wait 30 minutes, then take a shower and wash it all off. She did not tell me to shave, since I hadn't started to shave every day yet. Like most guys my age, I wasn't that hairy, but as I watched what I did have wash down the drain, it signaled a dramatic change. My skin felt smoother, and as I washed my hair, it came to me that maybe, possibly, mom just might be able to turn me into a girl. Not pretty of course, but at least passable. Wrapped in a towel, I walked back into my bedroom to see mom sitting there waiting for me.

"In order to make you feel as comfortable as possible, and feel as much like a girl as possible, I want you to dress from the skin out as a girl, starting with these panties."

I took them, slipped them up my legs, in the interest of modesty you understand, but it turned out that the thin material only made things stand out more! I had no choice but to turn and fold myself out of the way, and in doing that, I took my second step in looking like a girl. After that came a trip to Lisa's vanity. Foundation and powder, then pale eye shadow and darker eyeliner, blusher, then, a spritz of perfume. With my hair still damp, mom set my hair in a rollers, pulled a plastic cap over them, and took me back to my room. The moment mom said she was done with the makeup I knew. Not only was it possible for me to look like a girl, I just might turn out to be what the guys call cute. The bra was wrapped around me and stuffed with a pair of what mom called "helpers" that Lisa had used when she was younger. On me, they filled out the bra just right. Standing there in a bra and panties, my face all made up and smelling like my sister sent shivers down my back. I couldn't control it, it just happened.

Then came pantyhose; they made my legs look pretty good by the way, then a short slip, and finally, the dress. As I stood there and mom zipped it up, I had the strangest feeling, yet kept my mouth shut, waiting until mom said she was done. The shoes were new. They had low heels and were black and shiny. Mom had me sit on my chair, then she took off the plastic cap, took out the rollers, and began to brush out my hair. I couldn't see anything from that angle, and had no idea how I looked. Clip on earrings, a gold necklace, then mom handed me a tube of red lipstick. As soon as I had some on my mouth, mom took it, then led me to her bedroom and walked me to her mirror. Standing there was a girl! As my eyes scanned from head to toe and back, I saw the twin mounds gently pushing against the dress, the material tapering to fit my waist tightly, then the skirt flaring out to end just above my knees. I was in shock! Auburn hair that fell in waves around my face, smooth flawless skin set with green eyes and a red smile, legs that looked longer and just as good as any I had seen before.

I was unable to speak as I grappled with the plaintive cry of my masculinity yelling "no not me!". My eyes took in a girl that was better than average looking, maybe even cute, yet I knew it was myself I was looking at. I wanted to deny the truth of what I saw, deny that it would be possible for me to become a girl. To deny that my voice no longer fit the boy inside. I looked at my mother, hoping she would laugh it off and let me change clothes, yet I knew better. We both knew that if I had to, I could become this girl, sing, and maybe make it into the big time. That realization hit me like a sledgehammer. I stared at my reflection looking for some flaw, some way to say that it wouldn't work, yet I could see with my own two eyes that there was no flaw.

"You're very pretty, but we might want to find a name for this girl. I don't think Jason will work when you look like this. Why don't we go down to the kitchen, get a soft drink, and we can talk about it."

Then, without a word, mom took my arm in her hand and pulled me gently out of the room, down the stairs, and into the kitchen. Just walking in a skirt felt eerie, yet not so bad. The flicking of the skirt against my legs, the scent of the perfume and makeup, the taste of the lipstick, the clicking of my heels against the hardwood floor, all combined to signal the very dramatic change that had taken such a short time to happen. I felt awkward, yet not quite ashamed. Mom handed me the soda and motioned to the patio as she opened the door. If I went outside and someone saw me, well, that would be the end of it, but mom merely smiled and wagged her finger again. Like a good son, I did as she wanted, and stepped outside the house dressed as a girl for the very first time. I sat at the table farthest from the yard, hoping I would be unseen. Mom and I sat there sipping on our drinks, my mind was reeling as I tried to cope with what had happened to me, but I tried to think of a name, a girls name, for the new me. I was lost in a sea of emotions as I both wanted to just go change clothes, and the knowledge that I might be able to get away with this charade, if I was lucky that is.

"Think of a name yet?" Mom asked. When I shook my head no, "Well, before you were born we had a name picked out for you. I know it's probably not a sexy sounding name, but we liked it. Linda. Linda Ann was going to be your name if you were born a girl. Do you like it?"

"It's okay I guess."

"Okay then, if you do not have a different choice, then we will begin to call you Linda. I bought those clothes just guessing at your sizes, but after we find a few things Lisa can't wear and add a few more, you'll have a modest wardrobe of your own. We'll do that tomorrow. I'll need you to try on almost everything by the way, just to make sure the clothes fit."

"Mom! You act as if you expect me to dress this way every day now!"

“Well, it seems that I was right honey. You look just wonderful!”

Mom and dad did expect me to dress as a girl every day so that, according to them, "I would get accustomed to the clothing, and be able to present myself as a girl at all times"! Every argument that I presented was shot down with logic, parent logic that is. Mom said that if I wanted to sing as a professional, then I would have to learn how to become a woman, and that starts with learning how to be a girl. Then she told me that I would not be allowed to wear any slacks, not even jeans for a while since they wanted me to get used to wearing a skirt or dress!

"Honey, we all understand your reluctance, but you saw yourself in the mirror, and you know perfectly well that nobody would ever guess that you are a boy under those clothes. We just feel that three months of dressing as a girl every day will make it easier for you to do this. By that time you'll be able to do your own hair and makeup, maybe even your nails, and you'll be just as comfortable in a skirt as I am."

"But you're a girl!"

"That's true, but does it matter? I mean, what is more important to you? Your singing, or the fact that you are a boy? Think about it for a minute. Have we ever been anywhere that someone wanted to check inside our panties to see if we are girls or not?"

"That's plain stupid mom!"

"No, it's not. If you look like a girl, and act like a girl, who is going to know that your not a girl? Us? We aren't going to tell anyone, and you aren't going to tell anyone, so who would know?" Mom sat back and looked at me. "This is entirely up to you dear, but you should think about it for a while before you say anything. Whatever you say, that will be the end of it. All I did today was to show you that it could be done. The rest is up to you."

I watched as mom got up, walked back in the house, and left me there! I sat there, still afraid to move too much just in case someone saw me. Then I thought about what she had said, and realized that she had left it up to me! Neither her, dad, or Lisa would say a thing to try and make me do anything. They had left it all up to me! That was freaking great! Now, if I quit, I would be the one that trashed my possible future in music, but if I agreed, what would happen after that? What would happen if my friends see me this way? And what about the family? Nana is old school and might not understand. And just how could I agree to this? I mean, what do I do? Just walk in the house and tell everyone to call me Linda from then on? No matter how I cut it, this dressing as a girl is a mess. I sat there for almost an hour before I went in and stood in front of the hall mirror. There she was, the girl I would become if I said okay, and as much as I wanted to deny it, I looked just fine as a girl.

I found mom in her sewing room. I stood in the doorway, waiting until she could look up. When she did, I said "Yes", but I wasn't as positive about this as mom seemed to be. Mom merely said "okay, but stay dressed" and went back to her sewing. That left me with almost four hours to kill before dad got home that night. I made the most of it by going on line to check out boys that dress as girls, and found thousands of places. I weeded them out, and found a few that gave me a lot of information, which I printed out. By the time I heard dad's car drive up, I had resigned myself to my fate, fate that I alone had decided on. That's when I decided to try and do my best, at least for that night. I found the same lipstick, ran it over my lips again, then walked out of my room and down the stairs. I could hear my parents in the kitchen.

"I'm telling you he turned out simply gorgeous! He and I decided on the name Linda by the way. Let me get her."

Mom walked around the corner, saw me, smiled, and called out for dad to join us. Dad's very first reaction when he saw me was obvious. Stunned disbelief. His eyes went wide, his mouth opened, and no sound came out. I stood there as demurely as I knew how, my feet together, my hands folded in front of me, but I wasn't smiling. I was scared of what he might say. Dad and I traded stares for a moment, then he handed me a packet.

"This is sheet music that I picked up today. I know it's not what you usually sing, but I want you to try it for me."

Dad handed me the packet, then really surprised me when he said that I looked "very nice". At dinner, nobody said a word about how I was dressed, but both mom and dad referred to me using the feminine. Her, she, Linda, and so on. Mom said that in the morning we would be raiding Lisa's closet, then maybe the next day going out to get me things that girls don't share, like panties and bras. That alone almost made me want to quit this nonsense, but I didn't, and I didn't say anything either. Then, after dinner, while I was helping mom with the dishes, she told me that she also wanted to take me to her salon and have my hair "shaped", whatever that meant, and my nails done before we went shopping. That would mean that I would be going outside, dressed as a girl, in front of God and everyone! Mom patted me on the shoulder, and told me not to worry, everything would be fine. I hoped so.

The next morning mom told me to shower, and she would set out my clothes for me. When I stepped back into my room the clothes were on the bed, mom was nowhere in sight. But, underwear was a must, so I slipped on the panties, then the pantyhose. The bra was a bit tricky but I managed, slipped in the "helpers", and once again had a modest bustline. Just then mom came in and we went to Lisa's room where she had me sit at the vanity. Her total instruction was for me to do my makeup! She told me she would tell me what to do, but it would be up to me to do the actual application. It took almost twice as long for me to do my own makeup, but mom said it was just as good as when she did it, and I have to admit, I looked almost the same as the day before. Back in my room I found a skirt that looked like one of those uniform skirts. It was a green and white plaid skirt that was about mid thigh on me. The blouse was plain white with a round collar. Mom told me to button it up all the way. I wore the same pair of shoes, the low heels. After the addition of some earrings, a dash of perfume, and some lipstick, mom gave me a purse to carry. It had my wallet, the lipstick and some tissue in it when I did the hardest thing I ever did before. I actually walked out of the house, and to the car, which was in the driveway. Since I was 16 and had a driver license, mom told me to drive. It wasn't as hard driving in heels as I expected.

As I expected, the first place we went to was the salon. Under mom's direction, my hair was trimmed and styled, set with what I was told was a very soft perm, just to hold the curls, and while all that was going on, my nails were trimmed, filed, and made a bit longer, then painted a soft plum red color. By the time we left the salon, I had been there almost two hours! When I looked in the mirror the first time I almost went into shock. My hair, once so straight, now lay in waves and curls all over my head, fluffy and higher on top, I had bangs that caressed my forehead, and curls that framed my ears! My nails flashed in the light, and I became very aware of them each time I moved my hands. It felt ... good? Not bad anyway, and I looked even more like a girl than before! I felt so different as mom and I walked out of the salon, and I felt a grin wanting to burst out. But why?

The next place we stopped at was a shop that sold prosthetics. In a very matter of fact manner, mom explained that I needed some "help", and I soon found myself being fitted with fake boobs! The ones I was shown looked so real it was scary, but the woman simply measured me, then selected a pair and attached them to my chest! Yes, I said attached, as in glued on, semi permanent according to the woman. She said I could wear them for up to three months without removing them! As I looked in the mirror and saw them, I could have sworn that I grew them myself! Putting the bra on was a lot harder once I had those boobs on my chest, but mom showed me the easy way, and once I had my blouse on, we left the shop. With every step I took I could feel the slight bounce of the breasts and the tug against my skin, constantly reminding me that I was rapidly becoming a girl.

In a department store we went into the lingerie section, selected three bras, picked up several packages of panties, added both short and long slips, a camisole, and two nightgowns. In dresses mom helped me pick out two new dresses plus two skirts and some blouses. With every selection I made I came to feel as if I actually were a girl. The soft fabrics, the sensation of nylon on my legs rubbing together, the new nails and the scent of my perfume had combined to reinforce what I was feeling, and whenever I looked at myself in a mirror, I began to like what I saw. I knew that becoming a girl for three months would change everything, maybe even how I thought of myself. So, with all that in mind, I began to try and act like a girl my age. I watched how mom used her hands and arms, walked and talked, plus, how she reacted around other women. It felt awkward of course, but I managed, and must have made an impression on mom since she even commented on it.

After we had put our stuff in the trunk of the car, mom and I stopped at a fast food joint, had some lunch, and I expected to go home. But she drove across town, stopping at a recording studio. Not well known, it was a place for people to record songs, but they had to pay for it and you only got two copies.

"I brought that sheet music Linda. I thought you would like to try it here. They have the background music, and all you have to provide are the words."

I had been there before, but never cut a record before. Mom must have set this up previously because the woman said that we were right on time! I took the music and followed a guy into the recording studio itself. I told him what music to play and the key, he left, and I waited. As the first strains of the music started I waited until I found the beat, and began to sing. It was a ballad, a song from the fifties. As I sang, I paid no attention to anything beyond the tempo and words, and let my emotion sink into the song. I did it twice more, then the producer asked me to sing another one. For him he said. He gave me the music and started. Another ballad, this one was slower, more like jazz, yet it felt as if it were very old, and new at the same time. I sang that one twice, the second time I had it, and I knew it. The words spoke of love lost, desperation and poverty, none of which I had ever experienced, yet I felt it, and it came out that way. When I was done the producer called mom and the woman into the studio, then replayed the songs so they could hear them. As my voice filled the air, even I was surprised at just how much like a woman I sounded. Sultry the producer said, hot and sultry, yet so pure and virginal. At least he had that virginal part right.

"You have", the producer said, "the finest voice I've ever heard! I have made copies of the two songs. I want to send them to a friend of mine. Do you mind?"

Before I could say a word mom spoke up. "As long as you send them to this one guy, and you let Linda come in here and record three more times for free."

"Sure! I can do that. With her voice, I have some stuff I would like her to try."

He handed me the CD with both songs on it, and we left for home.

The minute we got home and had all of the new clothes in my room, I put the CD into the player and turned it on. Once again we heard it. The sound in my voice defied definition, but I knew that I had found "it", whatever that was, and "it" would carry me into the big time. A bit later the second song began, and we heard it again, the plaintiff cry of agony, written by someone else, but brought to life by me, and every word, each syllable, clearly defined the ache the writer felt. It made me feel very good to hear that song and know that I was the singer. My shame at wearing a skirt disappeared as I absorbed the tonal quality, the smoke filled words brought forth by the emotion of the voice. I looked at mom who was simply standing there.

"Is there any doubt about your voice now Linda? And, is there any doubt that you will continue to be a girl?"

It wasn't as if I wanted to become a girl, but there was no way I could deny how I looked, how that made me feel, and more, that I was beginning to like it. It was as if I had been liberated, and mom must have noticed it. In the way I acted, walked or something, but it was true. I was about to say something I never thought I would say.

"Mom, there isn't any doubt at all. I kind of like being a girl." There! I had said it!

Mom didn't say anything except to tell me that I might want to clear out some space in my dresser, as my wardrobe was changing, and I would need the room. I went and did what she told me, and with every pair of briefs, socks, jeans, old shirts and so on that I added to the pile, I began to feel very good about my decision. When Lisa sees me she is going to have a cow! By then I will have been a girl for almost a month, and hopefully I would be able to do my own hair and makeup, get dressed and so on all alone. If I was going to do this, I would need her support, and the best way to get that was to be a feminine as possible, and that is exactly what I decided to do. I just hoped dad wouldn't think less of me.

Dad saw me when he walked in the kitchen. I was helping mom make dinner. When he saw me, he acted as if it was the most normal thing in the world to see his son in a skirt, a perm, nails painted red, and wearing makeup. But, he didn't say a thing about how I was dressed, or looked, except to say that he liked the hair cut I got! Mom went in and started the CD player while dad and I sat at the table. As the music started I saw him listen, then look at me. As the music finally stopped, dad sat back, then began to applaud!

"That was simply the best I have ever heard you sing! That was outstanding! Well done!"

"Linda's producer made and extra copy. He said he was going to send it to a friend of his. Maybe this will be her big break."

"But ... what if it is a big break mom? How will I attend school?"

"Linda" mom said, "you did say that you were going to remain as a girl didn't you? Did you plan on returning to school as a girl? We could change your name and all that, but there are other complications to consider. Lets just wait and see what happens before we jump to conclusions. Okay?"

"Okay mom."

Each day after that I became better at getting dressed, doing my hair and makeup, which mom said was mandatory, then mom would work with me to help me with my mannerisms. Simple things, like sitting down, became very complicated if I wore a full skirt or dress, then of course I had to keep my ankles and knees together, my hands folded in my lap. I was very uncomfortable at first, then, one day while I was getting dressed, I tried something new. I had read about it on the Internet. Once I was finished with manipulating myself, and I was dressed, all of the transient pains went away, my knees fell together easily, and it was no longer a task just to walk without possibly damaging myself. On a lark, I tried on a pair of Lisa's jeans. Like her, I had the perfect shape, including in front. Standing there, looking in the mirror, the strangest feeling swept over me. All at once I knew who and what I was. My name was Linda, I'm a girl, I'm 17, and I'm cute. That revelation made me feel very calm, and just like a light coming on, I lost the dread that had stalked me from the first moment I wore that dress. With that newborn confidence, I walked down the stairs and into the kitchen, grabbed a soda, and went out to sit on the patio. I wanted to enjoy the sunlight, the air that felt so refreshing, and simply enjoy myself.

I still had the jeans on when mom asked me to help her make dinner. She did not comment on my wearing jeans, even though she had told me not to. Dad once again simply accepted how I looked, but I sensed some tension in the air, unspoken yet palpable, signaled by the way my parents were speaking. Polite to the point of being stilted, calm, like the weather before a great storm. I at there, waiting for something to happen, and when it did not, I guess I exploded.

"What's going on? Is it me? What did I do?"

"No honey, it's not anything you did, but it is about you."

"What!? Tell me mom!"

Dad spoke up. "Linda, I lost that account at Smith's. We cannot afford to send you to a private school now, and since you have to graduate, and you have become ... so feminine, we ... "

"What your father is trying to say" mom interjected, "is that we, you, have to decide what to do now. You have become Linda in almost every way, and have almost mastered being a girl! Since you will have to attend the same school as last year, what do we do? Can you simply quit being Linda, for an entire year and start again later? Or, can you attend, as Linda, and be secure enough to see it through? Are you willing to even try attending school as Linda? That's what's bothering us, not how you dress, and certainly not how you look or act." Mom sat back, then, "If you were to ask me, I think that you should attend school as Linda. You now look, act, and sound like a girl so much that I doubt that you would have any trouble at all."

We all traded stares for a moment as the news sank in. Me? As a girl? In school? The very thought of it made me queasy inside, yet I had felt a strong feeling that one, I could do it, and two, I didn't want to give up being Linda if I didn't have to. As much as I had come to accept dressing as a girl, and with that nagging guy in my brain telling me it was stupid, I had come to like the way I looked, and was no longer afraid to go outside. The clothes, the makeup, and the perfume all drew me into the web of feminine behavior, but it was the breasts attached to my chest that made me feel so complete. All combined, and even though I never expected it, dressing as a girl was exhilarating, and I liked it. All those thoughts ran through my mind in an instant that seemed to last for hours, then, when my mouth opened ...

"You have both been telling me just how much I look like a girl, how I act and react like a girl, and with my voice the way it is, you question why can't I attend the same school? Do I look that much like my old self that I can't do it? If I don't, then why not? Just change my name and call the school! I am not going to quit now, and we all know that, don't we?"

With that, I had not just stepped into my fate, I had taken a running jump and leaped in, head first! My parents took my decision with grace, especially dad. Mom told me that if I planned on remaining as Linda, then she and I had some more shopping to do, then she said that from that moment on, I would be doing all of her errands for her, including grocery shopping, and so on. According to her, I might as well do it all or none at all. With a renewed sense of my destiny, I became very assured of myself, and looked forward to the coming weekend. Lisa would be home, and she would meet Linda for the first time.

The next morning I went grocery shopping with mom, then we stopped at the salon where I had my nails touched up and my hair styled again. Jeri also thinned out my eyebrows, giving them a higher arch. On the way home we stopped at the recording studio to use up one of my free sessions. When the producer saw me, he asked if I would do some Ella Fitzgerald stuff. Of course I said yes. Her songs were very popular and almost every one well known. I considered it an honor. I did two of Ella's songs, then he gave me two more, but they were by a popular singer from the fifties named Diana Krall. One of them was her hit "They can't take that away from me". After I sang all four songs, he gave me a copy of the CD, and told me I sounded like a cross between Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey! He also said that his friend from L.A. would be in town in a few weeks, and wanted to meet with me! I was on cloud nine so to speak. On the day that Lisa was coming home, I spent extra time getting ready for my debut. A long hot bubble bath, shaving what little hair I did have away, then I rubbed in a sweet smelling lotion.

I wore the short white shirtwaist dress. Leaving the two top buttons undone, and wearing my new uplift bra, I made sure that I exposed some of my new charms. The fitted bodice was accented with the waist nipper I had on, and the four foam pads I was now using gave me a well rounded figure. White heels with gold and white earrings, a wide gold necklace, perfume, and bright red lipstick to match my nails. My makeup was perfect, and my hair looked great. I waited with mom in the family room for Lisa to arrive, which she did, just after two. Lisa did not see me at first, then, when she did, she had that questioning look on her face as if to say "who is this?", then it hit her. Her eyes went wide, a grin grew on her face, and she ran over and hugged me.

"Damn! When I suggested that you dress like a girl, I expected you to leave me something! I mean, just look at you! Hell, you have more boobs than I do! And a better figure!"

I hugged her back, and just smiled. I wasn't about to tell her how I managed to have what seemed like a swell shape, at least not right then. I helped her carry her stuff to the bedroom, then we sat and talked. I put on all of the CD's I had cut, and asked her to just listen, then I played them. As she sat there and listened I watched her face. Lisa liked music, and I could always tell by the look on her face whether she liked something or not. At first nothing, then a smile, then her foot started to move. Those were all good signs, and I knew it. When all the songs were done Lisa looked over at me, her eyes wide.

"I knew you were good before, but this is fantastic! You have just the right amount of huskiness in your voice to make you sound hotter than hot, which goes well with the way you look now! You're going to be a hit Linda, a big hit!"

After that, Lisa and I spent hours in her room just talking, and I eventually told her how I managed to have boobs and hips. Then I told her I was going back to school as a girl. Since Lisa had just graduated, all she could do was suggest a few things. Then she asked me if I had been on a date yet. I said no, and told her that I wasn't that way, which brought a laugh. According to Lisa, given the way I look, I would have guys asking me out all the time, and somehow, she didn't think that I was going to stay at home every weekend. Regardless of what I had in my panties, sooner or later I would accept a date. That was her conclusion. I denied it of course, but all she did was laugh at me! Then, to my surprise she asked me to join her the next night. She said she wanted to hit the new teen club downtown. I said no, she said yes, then mom said yes. Having walked in without my hearing her, she had listened in on what Lisa had said.

"I think it's time you began to go out Linda, and I don't mean just shopping. I mean to the teen clubs and so on. Sooner or later someone is going to ask you out, and you might as well get used to the idea. Besides, what is going to happen if this fellow from L.A. likes your stuff and wants you to record for him? That means pictures and so on doesn't it? Boys will see those pictures won't they? Then what? If you already have a boyfriend, then you can be a little more open without risking anyone bothering you. Now, I want you to go with Lisa tomorrow night, and I want you to have a good time!"

Well, I went to the club, but before we even left the house, Lisa gave me one of her stretchy dresses to wear. All it turned out to be was paint I think. A tight sheath dress, it was at mid thigh on me, red with a scoop neckline and sleeveless. I felt naked in it. Lisa said I looked hot. In her defense, she also wore a dress almost identical to mine except hers was bright blue and had two straps to hold it up. When we walked down to the family room I thought dad was going to choke, but he managed to hold it in and told us to have a good time. Higher heels than I had ever worn, perfume that seemed to coat my body, and my sister grinning like a bear with a hunk of raw meat. Lisa drove, then led me inside.

We found some seats, then, as the music started, the emcee walked out and announced that for the first time they were hosting anyone that wanted to sing. All we had to do was sign a slip of paper with the song on it. It was karaoke with a twist. I saw some kids filling out the form, but declined when Lisa offered one to me. But she filled one out and put my name on it anyway. Two kids got up and sang, one a girl that I knew from school. Then my name was called!

"Go on Linda! Knock them on their collective asses! You can do it!"

Lisa gave me a shove, and up I went. With every eye in the house watching me, I climbed the stairs to the elevated platform, looked over at the D.J. who gave me a thumbs up. Then the emcee mentioned the song. It was one I had recorded earlier. As the music started I waited until I had the tempo, then began to sing, and I gave it everything I had. Soulful yet sweet, I lost myself in the song and simply closed my eyes and sang. When the music stopped and I opened my eyes, there wasn't one sound anywhere in the club, and I thought I had screwed up royally. Then the applause began. I tried to get off the stage, but the emcee held me back and asked me to sing another. The second song was right out of the fifties. Once again the applause rang loudly, and I climbed down the stairway and went back to my seat. Lisa was smiling, laughing and hugged me tightly.

"You just have no idea how good you are Linda! Most of these kids have never heard any songs done that way, yet they reacted to you as if you were the first one to sing them, and they like it! Look around. Listen to the other singers, then tell me you don't know it already."

Lisa was right and I knew it, but how could I say that without sounding smug? In a few minutes our table was surrounded by kids, most of them boys, but the girl I knew also stopped by. She sat next to me grinning.

"What?" I asked, not understanding her grin.

"I've heard some really good singers before honey, but you are simply fabulous!" She took my hand in hers. "My name is Cathy Pomerantz. Will you be going to Central High in the fall?"

"Um, yes" I said, hoping she had no idea who I really was. "This is my sister Lisa."

Just then a hand reached in between us and took my hand. It was a male hand over mine.

"Care to dance?"

"I'm ... with friends right ... "

"Oh go ahead Linda, we'll be right here when you get back."

Lisa was grinning at me as the guy waited, then walked me to the dance floor. He took me into his arms, then, as we moved around the dance floor he told me his name.

"I'm Mark Gerard. That's my cousin you were sitting with. You're a very good singer Linda."

"Thanks. It just comes out that way, but I like to sing, and I practice some."

Mark was polite, not the least bit pushy, and when the song was over, walked me back to the table. Cathy and Lisa were gone. Looking around I saw them out on the dance floor with a couple of guys. Mark sat with me until they returned, then left.

On the way home Lisa was just about jumping for joy. She said that not one person at the club had even the faintest clue that I was a boy, and told me that Cathy told her that Mark wanted my phone number! When I asked her if she gave it to him, she looked stunned.

"Of course I gave it to him! Are you nuts? Mark is your basic hunk Linda, and he wants to call you!"

"But I'm a boy Lisa!"

"Who says? Just look at you! Most of the girls at the club would just die to have a guy like Mark calling them, you sing like an angel that smokes, and you have a shape that's just terrific! Didn't you tell me that you were going back to school as Linda?" That drew a quick nod of my head. "Well you might as well get used to the attention Linda, because you're going to have lots of guys asking you out!"

Unable to respond with any kind of retort that sounded the least bit sane, all I could do was sit back and wonder about what Lisa had said. The bad thing was that I felt she was right. I had been a girl for a little over a month, and I had already found out that I liked it. Now, with the specter of boys calling me looming large, I had to either accept it, or quit, and once again I found myself unwilling to do that. The fact that I liked being a girl aside, having boys calling me was something I had not planned on. When I got to my room I stood in front of the mirror. Boobs that were just the right size, hiked up by the bra so they swelled up. Long legs wrapped in nylon shown off by the short dress, and a waist that accented my wider hips. It was all there. The shape of my face, my hair style, the shape of my body, the voice, I had it all. Well, almost all. That is exactly the point that I decided to no longer fight the girl I had become. I was about to step into unknown territory. I decided to become a girl in every aspect of my life.

Mark called me the next day, which threw dad a little when he answered the phone and found a boy calling for me. I took it, and agreed to let Mark take me out for some ice cream later that afternoon. The minute I put the phone down I turned into an anxious, giddy teenage girl. What to wear? What do I do when he tries to kiss me? Will he like me? I was almost frantic when I got to my bedroom, ready to try on everything I owned. Lisa stopped me. In the end I wore a short pleated skirt with a nice top and my gym shoes.

"Just be yourself Linda! Relax and let him lead you and you'll be fine."

Dad met Mark at the door, and he immediately went into his protective dad mode. He told Mark what time I was to be home, wanted to know where we were going, and all that. I was a bit embarrassed by it since dad had never acted like that with me before. Mark took my hand, and with a wave of my hand, we left the house. Mark and I had ice cream, then he drove over to the local park where we walked around, rode the swings, walked along the waters edge, and sat on the grass talking. I found him easy to talk to, and more, I began to see just how handsome he was. We were watching the water when he touched my arm. I turned and felt his arm pulling me closer, then his lips touched mine. A jolt went through me when he did that, and I instantly had duck bumps all over. Then he kissed me again, harder and longer, his tongue flicking against my lips. I didn't mean to, but I let his tongue slip into my mouth as he pushed me backwards until I lay on my back. It was time to break it off.

Panting, I pushed him away. He smiled at me as I lay there, and I understood why so many girls wanted Mark. He was sexy. He lay back and we talked some more, then, he pulled me to my feet, kissed me again, then took me home. Both Lisa and mom must have that sixth sense that tells them when something has happened. They both smiled while all dad did was ask me how the day was. Lisa followed me to my room, unwilling to take no when I told her to go away.

"Tell me little sister, just how good a kisser is he? Did you like it?"

When I could no longer hold it back, I began to giggle, the said "great, and yes" to answer her questions.

My parents simply asked me if I had a nice time to which I said yes, and they dropped it. Mark called the next day, but mom and I were going shopping again, this time with Lisa along, for new drapes, bed covers, and paint for my room. That afternoon mom took a call from the man that had made the CD's for me, and asked us to be at his studio in the morning at ten.

The next morning we all went. Dad, mom, Lisa and I all walked into the studio together. Then I met the man from L.A. His name was Ken Right. He was very excited about hearing me sing, so I went into the vaults with the producer and selected five that I liked and three that he liked. I sang all eight songs, some twice, one three times, then we met in a conference room.

"You have a true gift Linda. The music that seems to suit you best is slow hot ballads. I am willing to sign you to a contract right now, but since you are to young to sing in night clubs, we'll have to stick to records."

"Not really sir" Lisa said, "Linda sang at a local teen club the other night, one of those amateur night things, and she left the room silent when she was done. I'll bet that if you booked her into those kinds of clubs she would do just fine."

"I'll check into that" he said, "and in the meantime I will leave these contracts with you, plus the names of some agents. You better get one Linda. If you hit like we think you will, you'll need one. Please have your attorney look at the contracts and call me. Here's my card."

Mr. Right gave dad his card, the contracts, and once again told me he thought I would be a hit, then left. I was sitting there, unable to even talk when the producer replayed the music I had just sung. All of us just sat there and listened. On the way home it hit me. I was about to become some kind of star! The minute we got home I called Mark, and asked him to come over, then Lisa called her boyfriend, and we both went to change.

That night I told Mark what had happened. I also asked him not to tell anyone. He agreed, then, with Lisa and Don walking somewhere, Mark kissed me. This time I let go of my maleness, and simply reacted as a girl would. I submitted to him in the only way I could. I had to remove all traces of my manhood, and in my mind, this was the way. Once I did it I could not go back to being a boy, ever. My hand, led by Mark's, found his member. Hard, throbbing in my hand, I stroked him until he shuddered, then lay back. I had to repress a giggle because I knew that he had sticky pants.

I went on to sign those contracts, and recorded two full albums on my first journey to L.A. Because of that I never did attend my old high school, but was put into an all girls school. It was a very strict school, and except for the times I had to do a public appearance or I was at home, I had to wear a uniform. The up side is that I started on a regimen that quickly gave me both the body and shape of a girl my age, and I no longer wear any padding of any kind. It was just before graduation that I finally let Mark touch my breasts, and it was like an electric shock. That was also the night that I took Mark again, but not in my hand. I liked it and I know he did too.

That was three years ago, and now I perform all those sultry hot songs nightly at clubs all over the country. Mark is still with me. He's my husband.

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