Pandora's Trunk: 10

Carol and I exchange secrets

In ancient times, when the box owned by the beautiful Pandora, the first mortal woman,
was opened all the troubles of the world flew out and could never be put back.

So what will happen when a trunk with the name 'Pandora Wilkins'
is discovered in a house in North London in 2009?

Pandora’s Trunk
Chapter 10

by Louise Anne Smithson

Copyright © 2013 Louise Anne Smithson
All Rights Reserved.


Image Credit: Picture from Free for commercial and personal use with restriction. Girl in Red.

Chapter 10 Two sisters get to know one another
I left Lucy at about 4.00pm in order to give her plenty of time to get ready to go out on her date. I returned home with two shopping bags containing all of Becky’s remaining wardrobe. On the bus on the way home I went through various possible scenarios in my mind and what I was going to say to my sister when we met. The main thing would be that I was not going to give way to any bullying or emotional blackmail on her part. She had previously agreed for me to take part in the trial and I was now committed to doing so.

‘Carol,’ I called out, rather tentatively, as I entered the flat.

‘Hi …. er…. Becky,’ she responded emerging from her bedroom.

That was a good start - but it was followed by an awkward silence, with neither of us knowing quite what to say next. At last my sister broke the ice.

‘You look nice in that dress. Is it Lucy’s?’

‘Thank you. Yes; she is loaning it to me and the shoes I’m wearing; for a week or so.’

‘Oh yes. … Did she do your make-up for you?’

‘No. I did it myself today.’

‘In that case you've done it quite well.’

I smiled.

‘I didn’t get so carried away as we did yesterday.’

‘So I see.’

Another awkward silence followed.

‘Look …. Becky …. I’m sorry about what I said to you last night. I shouldn’t have done so. I was in a bad mood and then it was the shock of seeing you looking the way you did.’

‘Maybe the girls at the salon did go over the top yesterday, but only because I let them. I wanted to see what it felt like to have a full makeover.’

‘Well you certainly had one of those. So you still want to complete the six-week trial?’

‘Yes, we agreed, and I've now committed myself.’

‘Perhaps I didn’t take in the full implications of what you were proposing to do when I spoke to you last week. You’d better tell me all the details once again over dinner tonight.’

‘Yes of course, but let me just put these purchases in my room and refresh my make-up first,’ I replied, now confident that I was not going to give way.


I was right, Carol had arranged for our evening meal to be delivered from a local takeaway, and whilst we were waiting for it to arrive I went through all the details of the trial and my new job once again. Without having Lucy present, Carol felt less constrained about asking me some searching personal questions about my feelings and long term plans, most of which I couldn’t really answer because I did not know.

‘I’d no idea that you might be gay or a transvestite,’ she said, ‘I just thought you were just a little shy.’

‘I’m not sure if I’m a transvestite, a transsexual or am otherwise transgendered,’ I explained, trying to be as honest as I could without baring my soul in its entirety. ‘Also I’m not sure whether I am gay, straight or bi-sexual, as gender identity and sexual orientation are two quite different things. All I can say is that at the moment it feels right for me to be Becky.’

‘But how long is this going on for?’

‘I thought we’d agreed it would be for six weeks.’

‘Then what?’

‘I don’t know; we’ll just have to see what happens.’

‘How long have you felt this way?’

‘What way?’

‘That you wanted to dress as a girl.’

I shrugged my shoulders.

‘For as long as I can remember.’

‘But you’ve never said anything about it before.’

‘I know, I was always too afraid to admit it, even to myself. But ever since I went in for that competition and then was offered a trial as a barmaid I’ve felt more confident in myself, and who I am. I’ve also been having a lot of fun going out with Lucy,’ I explained.

‘You say that you feel more confident and are having fun but you aren’t likely to find many girl-friends if you dress like that,’ she said, stating the obvious.

I have found friends,’ I thought to myself remembering the fun I’d had after the competition was over the previous Saturday night.

‘Maybe not, but was I ever likely to find one as a shy, unhappy and unemployed young man?’ I replied.

She didn’t say anything.

‘Now that I have committed myself to my new employers, I'm quite determined to complete the trial dressed as Becky, Carol.’

‘So what does Lucy think about it all now?’

‘In some ways she seems to treat me like a younger sister. In fact she also told me off for wearing too much make-up yesterday, as well, but in a less abrupt way than you did.’

Carol looked a little embarrassed by my answer, perhaps thinking that she’d been a little hard on me.

‘It's alright for her, but she isn’t responsible for your welfare.’

‘Neither are you, I’m an adult now.’

She changed the subject.

‘You didn’t win that competition last week, so why do you think they singled you out to offer you this trial?’

‘I suppose they realised that with the right clothes and make-up I could be made to look like a convincing young woman. Perhaps Randi also saw something in my personality that I couldn’t. Maybe Lucy did so as well. She has encouraged me to go for it although without ever putting any pressure on me.’

Carol thought for a moment.

‘A few minutes ago I said that I had no idea about how you felt, but now I come to think about it, there was one occasion when you were a little boy and I was about to go to the school prom. Mum was doing my hair for me, and although I had my back to you, I could see your reflection in the mirror. There was such an expression of longing on your face, that I felt sure that you would have liked to change places with me.’

‘You never said anything about it at the time.’

‘No, I suppose that I was more concerned about my prom and I didn’t want to embarrass you or cause you any problems. I wish now that I’d said something afterwards.’

She smiled and added as an afterthought: ‘maybe I could have helped to dress you up as a princess.’

‘I would really have loved it, if you had done so, but what would Mum and Dad have said about it? In any event you left home to go to college soon afterwards.’

‘I know. I left you to get on with my life.’

Carol seemed quite absorbed and a little sad for a few minutes but after a while she took my hand and smiled.

‘Alright then Becky; I’m not sure that I totally approve of what you are doing but, as you say, it’s your life. If you want to live that way for the next six weeks, that is alright with me. I’m glad you’ve now told me everything.’

She then added as an afterthought: ‘I must admit you do look very attractive dressed as a young woman.

‘Thank you, but you do realise that I will be expected to wear make-up as well.’

Carol smiled.

‘It wasn’t the make-up that freaked me yesterday, rather the fluttering eyelashes.’

I blushed.

‘I know, and I’m getting more used to them now, so they don’t flutter as much. I promise not to repeat the experiment.’

‘You could always try stick on lashes next time you want to look glamorous,’ she replied, laughing.

I both smiled and blushed at the same time.

‘By the way, I’ve also had my ears pierced, yesterday’ I said, brushing my hair out of the way, so that she could see.’

She sighed.

‘I’d assumed as much. They are nice earrings that you are wearing. Once the holes in your ears have settled down, I’ll lend you some of mine as well.’

‘Thanks Carol. So will you be treating me as your sister from now on?’ I asked.

‘It doesn’t appear that I have any choice; for the time being at least. I never really had much chance to get to know my brother Nick. Maybe I should now make a little more effort with my sister Becky.’

‘I should really like that,’ I replied.

‘But what are we going to say to Mum?’ she asked.

‘Nothing: at least for the time being, until I know what I want to do in the longer term.’

‘So there might be a longer term?’

‘Maybe, but I don’t know yet.’

She didn’t press the matter.

‘Alright, as long as she doesn’t find out by some other means before you have a chance to tell her.’

I was now feeling a lot more confident in our relationship, but there was still one thing on my mind.

‘Carol, as we are sisters with no secrets between us, may I ask you how it is it that I’ve been living with you for the last five weeks and yet I still don’t know whether there is a man, or maybe a woman in your life? I never know where you are on those occasions that you don’t come home at night.’

She flushed a little and seemed hesitant to answer.

‘Isn’t that the sort of information that sisters might share with one another?’ I asked.

She sighed.

‘I suppose so. Yes, there is someone that I work with, his name is Geoff, but it is complicated.’

It was the answer I’d been expecting.

‘I presume he’s married,’ I said tentatively, trying to avoid any tone of disapproval in my voice.

‘Yes; and with three kids,’ she replied quietly, so I don’t want any of this getting back to Mum, or to Lucy for that matter.’

‘You can trust me, sister,’ I replied, touching her hand as I did so.

‘But his wife doesn’t understand him,’ she added, as an afterthought.

This is the woman who has two university degrees, holds down a high-powered job and has won prizes for her economics essays? I thought to myself, but didn’t say so.

‘Does Geoff know about me?’ I asked, instead.

‘He was aware that I’d had my younger brother staying with me. We had an opportunity to stay together last night but I told him I couldn’t as my younger sister would be arriving. He assumed that I was talking about two people.’

‘I see.’

‘That was why I was in a bad mood, last night; I’m sorry.’

‘Maybe I could meet him sometime, but only if you want me to.’

‘That may be difficult to arrange, Becky. But I’m glad that you now know about him and that I don’t have to keep it a secret from you.’

‘I’m glad too. Thank you for taking me into your confidence, but please don’t let yourself get hurt.’

‘Don’t worry about me, I can look after myself. I’m more concerned about my little sister.’

Neither of us said anything for a minute or two, but eventually Carol broke the silence.

‘Becky, I know that I shouldn’t have said some of those things to you last night, and I’m truly sorry. Whilst you were out this afternoon, I went through my wardrobe and have found some clothes that I no longer wear and which might suit you. Would you like to try them on later?’

‘Oh yes please. Carol, you’re a lovely sister.’

‘I hope you will be so, as well, Becky.’

‘I’ll do my best,’ I said, giving her a kiss on the cheek.

By the end of the evening I was the possessor of two more dresses, a skirt and a couple of tops. She also passed on to me a nightdress and matching housecoat and furry slippers which she’d been given by Mum but had never worn (preferring to wear pyjamas herself). I also had her permission to continue borrowing the older of her two winter coats, a pair of leather boots and a handbag for when I went in to work on Monday afternoon, so I wouldn’t have to make the journey wearing those heels. All in all I probably now had as many clothes as Becky might need for her six week trial.


We both slept in late on Sunday morning. I didn’t get up until 10.30 am and I was still in my nightdress and new housecoat an hour later, happily chatting on the phone to Lucy when Carol emerged from her room. I’d telephoned Lucy partly to find out how she’d got on the previous evening, but also to give her my account of my discussions with Carol (although omitting the part about her boyfriend). This was something which Nick would never have thought of doing but seemed to come naturally to me as Becky.

‘How are you this morning, younger sister?’ asked Carol when I eventually came off the phone.

‘Good afternoon, elder sister,’ I said, looking significantly at the kitchen clock, which was now just past midday. ‘I’m fine thanks.’

’That’s one more thing I’ll need to get for myself in due course, a more suitably sized wristwatch, I thought.

‘I thought you were supposed to be practicing how to put on your own make-up this weekend,’ said Carol as she poured herself a coffee.

‘I am, but I haven’t had a chance to do so as yet. It took me nearly half an hour just to sort out my hair,’ I replied.

‘Well it is a lifestyle that you’ve chosen to adopt, my dear sister, so you must accept the consequences,’ she said, smiling. ‘But if you change into a one of those dresses that I gave you last night and can manage to put on some make-up in the next half an hour, I’ll take you out for some lunch, although I’m afraid I’ll have to go into my work afterwards.’

‘That’ll suit me fine,’ I replied.

Carol checked up on my efforts and expressed her approval before we left home, so I concluded that she was not now ashamed of being seen out in public with me, in spite of the eyelashes. This was a decided step forward for although she’d been generous enough to Nick over the last few weeks, she’d never invited him out to lunch with her before.

‘So what plans do you have for the rest of the day and tomorrow, sister?’ she asked as we sat together in a nearby cafe.

‘I’ll still need some more practice of being Becky and getting myself ready before I go into work tomorrow afternoon. I must also phone Mum this afternoon as I haven’t spoken to her in nearly a week and I don’t want her to get anxious about me.’

‘It is just as well she doesn’t use Skype or MSN, or else she would want to see you as well. What have you said to her about your new job?’

‘I told her that I’ve found some temporary bar work in a night club.’

‘Alright, as long as we both get our stories straight.’


I felt a little bit dishonest when I phoned Mum, looking as I did, whilst pretending to be Nick. Part of me wanted to tell her everything that had happened, and then face the consequences, but I knew this would not be a good idea and would also create difficulties for my sister. Mum would be up on the next train, before I’d even begun my new job. There would come a time to tell her, but only after I’d had a chance to discover whether or not there was any future for Becky. So instead I prevaricated and gave her as few details as possible about my new job, saying that I’d yet to find them out for myself, but promising to ring her again the following Sunday afternoon.

I spent the rest of Sunday afternoon before I went in to work, preparing myself for my new job. This included practising putting on my make-up and doing my hair once again, and also in walking and climbing stairs whilst wearing the tight skirt and heels. Carol arrived home at 9.00pm, just as I was about to wash my hair.

‘I’ll help you to put it in some rollers when you are finished and perhaps then you can help me with mine, as well.’

‘I’d love to,’ I said, feeling that I was at last beginning to be accepted as a sister.

‘I doubt if I’ll have a chance to talk with you again before you begin your job tomorrow. So good luck, I hope all goes well and that it works out as you would wish.’

‘Thanks, Carol.

‘Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready.

‘I will.’

‘And one other thing, Becky.’

‘What’s that?’

‘I’m proud to have you as my sister.’


On Monday morning I lay in bed until after I heard my sister leave for work, trying to work out in my own mind what I thought of recent events. I was beginning to get used to some of the different feelings associated with being a girl, such as having lovely smooth arms and legs and long finger nails. I was now barely conscious of the tracks holding my hair extensions in place, so that most of the time it felt just as if it were my own. My ear lobes had also now ceased to feel sore, although I realised that the holes would not yet have healed completely. Sarah had been right, it was a good idea to get all of these discomforts out of the way at the start and so I would be able to enjoy my new identity.

I got up and took a shower, and whilst I did so checked that my boobs were still securely in place and not creating any soreness on my skin. I was not entirely used to the additional weight of them and the way they moved, but no doubt this would come in time. I dressed myself in one of the dresses that Carol had given me and put on a pair of tights that I’d bought when I was with Lucy on Saturday. It was a nice feeling as I did so. I then brushed my hair and put on some make-up before going out for an hour or so. This time there was no Lucy or Sarah to help me with my hair and make-up, and no Carol to make sure that I looked alright and advise me what to wear. From now onwards I would be taking responsibility for how I dressed and looked. It was a little scary, but felt right.


Next time: I begin work

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