Cherchez la femme:

When I first heard her talk, I thought her voice was changing and I was right. Her voice changed, but it didn't get lower, it got higher. Joan also has a nice figure."

"Son, are you gay?"

"No, sir. I don't know why I noticed Joan out of all the natural girls in the school. We're not in the same classes. She's a freshman and I'm a sophomore. I'm going to be sixteen this year, and I am starting to notice girl shapes more and more. It was Joan that I noticed, though, and I was wondering if I could be her boyfriend."

Cherchez la femme
Chapter 1

by Barbara Lynn Terry

Copyright © 2013 Barbara Lynn Terry
All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 1 - Jake to Joan
He got up and went to take his bath. His mother always left her bubble bath in the bathroom. He took the bottle and poured some of the bubble bath into the cap. Then he turned on the water after placing the plug in the drain, and poured the capful of bubble bath under the running water. Soon, the bathroom smelled like roses, and he got out of his pajamas, and sat in the tub. There was a large sponge hanging just in arm's reach, and he took it, and started cascading the scented water all over him. He washed his hair in the rose scented shampoo of his mother's, and made sure to condition it. He did this twice. After rinsing off, he got out of the tub, and wrapped the towel around him from under the shoulders down. He had seen his mother like this, when she came out of the bathroom, going to her room to get dressed. After he cleaned the tub, and the sink, he started towards his room, when his mother came up the stairs and saw him. She stopped to look at him, and then she walked over to him.

"I see you used my bubble bath again, and you washed your hair with my shampoo. Would you like me to do your hair, and pluck a few stray eyebrow hairs?"

"Yes, mom, I would like that."

"So, then tell me, Jake, if you were a girl what do you feel your name should be?"

"I always liked the name Joan. Like Joan d'Arc of France."

"Then Joan it is. I have been wondering for some time now, just how the other kids at school see you."

"Well, some of the girls tell me to stop being a tomboy, and the boys leave me alone. I over heard some of the boys saying if they beat me up, it would be like beating up a girl. So, they see me as girl, a tomboy girl, but still a girl. Even the teachers have taken to calling me Miss Atkins."

"I see. So then tell me, would you like to go to school today as Joan or Jake?"

"Joan. I have always wished I could be seen as Joan by the others. I mean, the girls like me as a friend, and the boys want to see just how much of a girl I really am."

"I was afraid of that. Joan, under no circumstances are you to allow a boy to see your bra or panties. You are never to allow a boy to look up your skirt or dress, and never allow a boy to put his hand under your skirt or dress. Do you understand what I just said?"

"Yes, mom. I have always wished we could have mother/daughter talks about boys, clothes, makeup, hair styles and shopping."

"Well, I have some of my clothes, I think will fit you. You are fourteen and four foot, nine inches. Your arms and legs don't look as masculine as they should for a boy your age. So, come with me, and let's see what I have that you can wear.

Jacob Alan Atkins, fourteen years old, stood only four feet, nine inches. He was as tall as the shortest girl in his class. But even being short, the girl got a lot of respect for her cuteness. Jake wanted to have that same respect. He would find out today if that was possible. Jake followed his mother in to her bedroom, and she told him to sit on the French Provincial Bench, just in front of his her vanity. She got out a pair of white panties, and a white bra. She showed him how to place his fingers on each side of the bra band, and hook it together. She had him try it, and after a few minutes, finally got it. She told him that the tag is either in the back of the panties, or on the left inside seam. She told him to stand and she would show him how to flatten himself while pulling the panties up. She told Jake that this was important, so that nobody could tell he was male.

Jake put the panties on, and did as his mother had shown him. The result, when he looked in the mirror, was to see a small tuft at his groin area. His mother explained that others would think it was just a patch of pubic hair. She had a pair of double knit, knee high socks, that she gave Jake. She showed him how to roll the sock down to the toe, and bending his toes slightly, roll the sock up his leg, until they were firm, but not tight. Then after he had the socks on, she showed him how to take his hand and make sure the socks, or stockings, were firm without any wrinkles.

She then handed Jake a full slip, and told him to put it on. He did it like he was doing it for some time; which he had been. Then she went to her closet and got out a nice cream colored dress with a scoop neckline. After plucking his eyebrows, his mother helped him in to the dress and zipped it up for him. Then she styled his hair, and since he already washed it, it was easy to style, as it was still a little damp. The result was that she gave him bangs, while the hair on both sides of his face, was cut down to the chin and curled inward, slightly. The rest of the hair remained long and there was quite a contrast between looking like a boy in a dress, or a pretty girl. He looked like the latter.

Then for the finishing touch, she placed her winter, calf length boots on his feet. When she zipped up the boots, Jake stood up, and almost fell over. He was not used to wearing boots with a higher heel. But, he quickly regained his balance, and soon was walking like he was doing it all of his life. Then his mother took out a cream colored winter coat, and told him to wear it to school.

Both of them went down to have breakfast. His dad was sitting at the kitchen table, when he looked up and saw how Jake was dressed.

"Come here, punkin, and let me take a look." Jake did a slow turn for his dad, so he could see the entire ensemble from all sides. "You look very pretty, dear. You may not realize this, but you are going have the boys asking you for dates. Just remember to refuse politely."

"Yes, daddy."

Then his mother asked Jake what he wanted for breakfast.

"I'll just have a slice of jelly toast, milk and juice."

"Where is that person who sat at this table and gulped everything I put in front of him?"

"Mom, if I am going to be a girl, I have to start eating like one."

His parents smiled when Jake said that. When Jake finished with his breakfast, he rinsed his dishes and placed them in the sink.

"It's time you were heading to catch your bus. Remember to smooth out the back of your dress when you sit down."

"Yes, mom." Jake gave his parents hugs and cheek kisses and left to catch his bus. Since Jake's father worked and had enough money, Jake took the city bus to school. In the morning, by the time the bus got to his stop, it was already to standing room only.

As the bus stopped and Jake got on, one of the boys got up and gave Jake his seat. As Jake sat down, he smoothed the coat under him. He thanked the boy and enjoyed the ride to school. Half of the bus got off at the stop near Jefferson Senior High School, and as they neared the door, the bell rang, so they went right to their lockers.

John Lundgren, who was a year ahead of Jake, and was taller and more muscular, stopped by Jake's Locker.

"Now, doesn't it feel better to be dressed properly, instead of wearing those frumpy heavy clothes?" John was not making fun of him, but was actually complimenting him on how he was dressed.

"Hi John. So, what made you stop by me and give me a compliment?"

"Because when I saw you, you looked like a vision of an angel. May I walk you to class?" blushed and looked coyly at John.

"Why yes, you may." John's classroom was only two doors away from Joan's homeroom and first hour class. As they walked, John got an idea.

"May I carry your books for you?"

"Yes, you certainly may." Joan promptly let John take her books and walked with her to class.

Joan thought to herself, 'so this was what it felt like having a boy bend over backwards to help a lady'. Then she thought, too, that boys were generally nice to girls until they got the girl alone with them, and then demanded sexual favors for their being so nice. Joan wondered if John was one of those type of boys. She put the thought in the back of her mind, as John set the books on her desk and left for his own class.

Miss Joanna Sanger was their homeroom and first hour teacher. Her blonde hair shined in the sunlight streaming through the windows. The boys in class all fantasized about having sex with her.

"Settle down, class. Boys! I said, settle down. I want to introduce a new student to our school. Miss Joan Atkins. Joan, please raise your hand, so they know where you are." Joan raised her hand. Then Bobby Sherman raised his hand. "Yes, Bobby?"

"I just want to tell Joan that it is about time we saw her instead of that tomboy she was trying so hard to be."

"Thank you, Bobby. I am sure the whole school is amazed at Joan's transformation from tomboy to lady. Especially the boys." All the girls giggled, including Joan. "I see that everyone is here, so when the bell rings in a minute or so, we will begin our lesson." The bell rang ending homeroom.

"We will begin our lesson for today. Open your books to page fifty three, and we will discuss the chapter on the parts of speech. Does anybody know anything about the parts of speech?" Nobody raised their hand. "Well, the eight parts of speech are noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. It is necessary that you know how to write these in sentences, so that your thoughts come out the way you intended. Does anybody know what a noun is?" Joan raised her hand. "Yes, Joan."

"A noun describes a person, place, or thing. Like my name Joan is a noun."

"That is correct, thank you, Joan. Does anybody know what a pronoun is?" Bobby Sherman raised his hand. "Yes, Bobby."

"A pronoun is like if I was talking about Joan, I would use the pronoun 'she' to described Joan. Sort of."

"Yes, Bobby, thank you, that is correct. Sort of." The class giggled. In Miss Sanger's class, the students not only learned their lessons, but they had fun doing it, too. "Alright, class, I want you all to write a two paragraph essay using the eight parts of speech. These can be long paragraphs, or even short ones, but they must contain the eight parts of speech. Again, the eight parts of speech are noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. If you know what you want to write about, you may get started.

The only student that did any writing, was Joan. Everybody else pretended to be thinking about what to write about. Joan knew about nouns, verbs and adverbs, but she would need to look up the other parts, and see them used in a sentence. Joan's essay started out:

They took us out to the park, and let us ride the horses. The man didn't charge us anything, because he said that we needed the experience, whatever that meant. It was nice riding in the small fenced in area the man called a corral. We rode on the horses for a few hours, then my butt started getting really sore.

This is where Joan stopped for now, because the bell rang ending class.

"Class, these essays are due on Friday, so make sure you write them using the eight parts of speech. Class is dismissed."

John Lundgren was waiting for Joan outside Joan's classroom door.

"Hi, Joan, May I walk you to class?"

"Why, yes, you certainly may." John motioned to Joan's books, and Joan let him carry them. "You know, John, that I really am not as I appear to you." John bent down and whispered in Joan's ear.

"I know that you have a male body, but that is as far as being a boy goes with you. You are one hundred per cent girl in here," he pointed to Joan's heart. "It doesn't bother me what kind of body that you have, as long as you are a decent girl."

Joan looked up at him, and smiled a weak smile. John assured her that everything would be just fine.

"Joan, I don't need to be right home, after school, so I was wondering if I could walk you home."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, Joan, I am very serious. If you let me come in, I can meet your folks."

"Do you really want to do that?"

"Yes, Joan, I really want to do that."

"John, why are you being so nice to me?"

"Because you are not afraid to show the world who you are. You came to school dressed as the girl you feel you are. It takes a brave person to be able to do that. Not only brave, but confident, too. If you weren't brave and confident in who you are, you would not have been able to come to school dressed the way you are. So, the question I want to ask you is...would you be my girlfriend?"

"Oh, John, that is so sweet. But, I don't think my parents would allow me to have a boyfriend. You may walk me home after school and talk with my parents."

"The French have a saying. Cherchez la femme, which means 'look for the woman'. Joan, you are a young woman in my eyes."

Joan's second hour was history. They were studying the American Revolution. As the class continued, Joan was thinking about John. Why had he all of a sudden become "friendly" and why does he want her to be his girlfriend, when he specifically knows that Joan is not a natural female? These thoughts occupied her mind more than the American Revolution. Although Joan was thinking about John Lundgren, she still took notes about what the teacher was saying. She heard him mention the name of a general...who was that again? Oh! Yes! His name was Francis Marion. The teacher also said that this general was known by the nickname of the Swamp Fox, given to him by a British officer.

When the bell rang, ending class, Joan gathered her things and walked out of the classroom. Like a puppy eagerly waiting for his mistress to walk in the door, John Lundgren was waiting for Joan, again, outside the classroom door.

"John, I was thinking about you in class. Why are you all of a sudden being nice to me? Before I was either lesbo, or queer, or ... So why are you being so nice to me all of a sudden? Did your jock friends put you up to this?"

"What? No! I just...want to be your boyfriend. Listen, Joan, you may not know this, but you don't look anything like any boy I have ever seen or know. You look just like any of the other girls in this school. Don't put yourself down, because Joan is actually new. Be Joan, be you. Nobody in this school holds anything against you. Even before you came to school this morning.

"It is true that most of the guys seemed to ignore you, but they weren't ignoring you intentionally. They just have other things on their minds. The girls all considered you their friend, because you didn't act like other guys...Now I can see why. Joan, please be my girlfriend."

"Like I said, you have to talk to my parents. My dad said just before I left for school to politely turn down any boy asking me for a date. John, I think my dad is concerned and doesn't want see me get hurt."

"I understand. God help the ... uhm ... idiot who tries to hurt you when I'm around. Joan, you are very pretty. I didn't know that a person with a male body could have a figure like you do. Your voice is high like all the other girls. Well, I suppose I will find out tonight, if you can be my girlfirend."

"John, when we get to my house, why don't you call your parents, and ask them to come over to our house for dinner. This way both of our parents can meet, and we can talk about whether or not I can have a boyfriend."

"That sounds even better than just talking to your parents."
Chapter 2 - John meets Joan's family
All through the rest of the school day, John walked Joan to her classes and carried her books for her. Joan didn't know if having John meet her parents was a good idea, or not. Of course, the only way to find out would be to have John and his parents over for dinner so they could talk. The bell rang ending the school day.

As Joan got her books she needed for homework, John was right there.

"Since we are going to the same house, may I carry your books for you?"

"Of course, John. Don't forget to call your parents when we get to my house. Also, John, you are not allowed in my room."

"Darn, and here I was thinking maybe we could elope." Joan giggled, because she knew he wasn't serious. "But, I know, Joan, that I can't go into a girl's room. I know you are not a physical girl, but it is what is inside that counts. It doesn't matter who you thought you were before, it is who you are now that counts. Never let anybody tell you that you are not a pretty girl, because you are. You have a petite body and a very decent soul. These are the reasons I asked you to be my girlfriend."

"Thank you, John, that is so sweet to say that."

"So, can I still meet your parents?"

"Yes, John, I think that would be great. You can call your parents and have them come over. We will have dinner and talk about any objections our parents may have against us being an item."

"That sounds fair to me."

"John, you are a year ahead of me, and you have asked me to be your girlfriend. What happens when you graduate, and I get picked on?"

"Don't worry. I know all the bullies in the school, they don't have one brain between them. I will tell them to leave you alone, because if I ever hear they messed with my girl, I'll... I will just leave it there and let them worry about what I would do if they mess with you."

"John, did anyone ever tell you that you are just evil?"

"Yes! You did, just now." They both laughed and giggled. "So, how far do you live from the school?"

"I have to take the route 56 to 6th street, then transfer to the route 80 and go to Lincoln Avenue. I live right at 610 Lincoln Avenue, apartment 2."

"I live in the opposite direction. Over by 15th and Mineral streets. My address is 825 South 15th street."

"So, do you have a school bus pass or a regular pass?"

"A regular pass. My folks know I play on the varsity team, and they wanted to be sure I could get on the bus without any trouble."

"I have a regular pass, too."

"Well, you want to hang around the Tower for a bit and let the crowded buses go, then catch one that is less crowded?"

"That would be great. You can buy me a soda."


The city buses were not the best to ride early in the morning and right after school. Some of the students would go over to the White Tower and talk about mostly nothing. But the students had to make sure they weren't there long, because Irene would still be there, until she took the money to the bank. Every student from Jefferson Senior High School that lived in the area, hung around the White Tower usually after going home, dropping off their books and then coming back. By then, Irene was already gone. Irene is the manager with fiery red hair and the temper to match.

John and Joan went in the White Tower just in time to hear Irene giver her famous speech.

"Remember kids, this is a restaurant, not a hangout. Please finish with your orders and leave, unless you buy something else."

Irene then took the money bag to the Mitchell Street State Bank. This meant that Irene was going home after making the bank deposits.

"John, I have to get home."

"All right,let's go." They took their sodas and left the restaurant.

As they waited for the bus, John was deep in thought. He was wondering what Joan's parents would say when he asked them if Joan could be his girlfriend. Joan was similarly in thought. She was wondering what her folks would say when John told them he wanted Joan for his girlfriend. It seemed that the bus cam almost right away, and they got on it. They rode the Mitchell Street bus to sixth street, and changed to the number 80, southbound. The number 80 was at the corner when the number 54 stopped to let the passengers off. Joan raised her hand to signal the driver, who waited for the passengers to get on. Joan thanked the man for waiting for them, and he smiled as he closed the doors and waited for the light to turn green.

John and Joan got off the bus and walked to Joan's house. The fear that Joan's mother had had about Joan meeting boys finally came true. But, was this a good thing, or a bad one. One could only tell. As John and Joan walked in to Joan's house, Joan called out to her mother.

"Mom, I'm home. There's someone with me that I would like you to meet."

"I'm in the kitchen, dear. put your books away and come and sit down." Joan told John to sit on the sofa while she put her books in her room.

"John, call your parents and tell them to come over. I will be right back." It didn't take Joan long to put her books and coat away. She then rejoined John in the living room.

"Joan, my parents are coming right over. You know that I told them about you. They are very anxious to meet you. So, they should be here in a few minutes."

"Let's go in the kitchen," Joan told John.

They went in the kitchen and Joan offered John a glass of grape juice. They both sat down at the table.

"So, Joan, who is your friend?"

"Mom, this is John and we are having him and his parents over for dinner tonight, so we can talk."

"What do you want to talk about, dear?"

"Whether John can be my boyfriend. He has been like a lost puppy all day. He carried my books from class to class and followed me all over school. He even carried my books home for me, too."

"John, you know that Joan is not ..."

"Yes, Mrs. Atkins, I know. But to me, it doesn't matter. What matters is, is that she is all girl inside. That is where it counts the most."

The doorbell rang, and Joan went to answer it. When she opened the door, John's parents were standing on the stoop.

"Mr. and Mrs. Lundgren. Please come in. We're in the kitchen. Here, let me take your coats." Joan took their coats and hung them up in the hall closet. "Come this way, please." Joan led them to the kitchen. "Mom, this is Mr. and Mrs. Lundgren, John's parents." Joan's mother stood up.

"It is nice to meet you both. My husband isn't home yet, and what Joan has told me, we need to have him here."

John's mother extended her hand, and the two women actually pinky swore, instead of shaking hands.

"I'm Bessie, John's mom. This lunk next to me is Brian. John did tell us a little about Joan, and we told him that as long as he knew about Joan, we had no objections. But, there are safety measures we have to talk about in several areas. I have told John that he is more mature than his fifteen years."

"I'm Jessie or just Jess. I have said the same about Joan. I can see that John is intent on Joan being his girlfriend, but there are things that young people do need to know. For instance, and I know this may not even be on your minds, but we have to talk about safe sex."

"MOM!" Joan screeched. "I'm not thinking about that."

"I'm not either, Mrs. Atkins. I just want to be near Joan, take her to a movie now and then. Help her with her studies. Maybe even go for a walk. But we are thinking about being friends."

"Then why don't you just do that. Be friends, instead of boyfriend/girlfriend. See, if you were boyfriend/girlfriend, there are meanings or connotations, as they say, that go with that. But, if you just friends, then you can do things without people gossiping."

"Mom," John started. "I just want Joan to know that there is someone who appreciates her for herself. I don't want Joan to be anybody she doesn't want to be."

"That is very good. So, I think that just being friends is the way to go right now. Does that sound alright?"

"Yes, mom," John answered.

"Yes, Mrs. Lundgren."

"Good. Now, Jess, do you need any help with the dinner?"

"No, Bess, you are our guests. You just make yourselves comfy and talk with the children."

"That sounds like a really good idea, but I would rather be helping."

"Well, if you want to come in the kitchen. I can use the company."

The two women went in the kitchen, While Joan played hostess to John's father.

"Would you like something to drink, Mr. Lundgren?"

"Yes, thank you, young lady. Do you have any juice?"

"Yes. We have grape juice, orange juice, lemonade and lime Kool-Aid."

"May I have a lime Kool-Aid?"

"Yes, sir. I will be right back. Here is the television remote in case there is something on that you would like to watch." Joan went in the kitchen.

"Well, thirsty already?"

"No, mom, this is for John's dad. John didn't ask for anything."

"Brian just loves lime Kool-Aid, lemon-lime soda, and he will even eat raw lemons and limes. He says it wakes him up." The ladies just giggled.

"Joan, we are having ring bologna, asparagus spears, garlic mashed potatoes with real garlic and I figured for dessert we could have my cherry cheese cake."

"Did you say cherry cheese cake? That is my favorite Jess. How did you know?" There more giggles.

"Joan, tell the men it is time they got their hands washed for dinner. It doesn't take long to make tonight's dinner. Then would you please set the table?"

"Yes, mom."

Joan got out the dishes and to her surprise, John came in to help her. Both mothers were watching this bonding between the two adolescents. The mothers looked at each other, and then went back to preparing the dinner.

"Did you see how they got along so well. I mean, John never helps like that at home. He does his chores, but anything beyond that, he kind of looks the other way at. But, here, with Joan, I can see he is very serious about being with her. We are going to have to watch them very closely."

"Yes, Bess, I totally agree. When we sit down to eat, we will go over the ground rules for them."

"We can't tell them not to see each other, Jess, because then they will do it behind our backs. I would rather have them in plain sight."

"I agree. I just wonder what our husbands have been hatching in the living room."

"We will find out when we sit down. Children, will you tell your fathers to wash their hands and come to the table?"

"Yes, mom," Joan said and skipped off to tell her dad.

"Yes, Mrs. Atkins," John remarked and went to tell his dad.

When everybody was at the dining room table, Joan said the grace and they all sat down. When everybody had their portions, the conversation of whether Joan and John could be boyfriend/girlfriend started in earnest. Joan's mom started.

"Now, children, when you both came in the door from school, you asked me whether or not Joan could your girlfriend. I started to say that you know Joan is not yet physically female. You said you knew. Would you like to tell us how you knew.

"Well, I have seen Joan in school often as we pass each other in the hallways between classes. I noticed things about her, that made me think that there is something more inside Joan than meets the eye. I noticed how Joan sat, walked, ate in the cafeteria, and held her books to her chest when she was walking. So, I figured, maybe she is just one of those feminine looking boys you see very rarely. I waited, though, until I could talk to Joan about what I was thinking, and then she came to school as Joan. So, right away I asked to carry her books and did it after every class. I don't care what Joan's body is like. I love Joan, not her body as it is now. She does look pretty, though, and has a nice high voice like a girl's. When I first heard her talk, I thought her voice was changing and I was right. Her voice changed, but it didn't get lower, it got higher. Joan also has a nice figure."

"Son, are you gay?"

"No, sir. I don't know why I noticed Joan out of all the natural girls in the school. We're not in the same classes. She's a freshman and I'm a sophomore. I'm going to be sixteen this year, and I am starting to notice girl shapes more and more. It was Joan that I noticed, though, and I was wondering if I could be her boyfriend."

"Joan will fifteen, this year, and will be a sophomore in September. John, your mother and I have been talking in the kitchen, and we came up with this. Why don't you just be friends for now. You can still do a lot of things as friends. Then, if you want, you can move in with each other after you graduate. But, your mother and I would feel much better if you were just friends for now."

"Joan's dad and I had a similar discussion, son. I have to ask, though. What is your given name, Joan?"

"My parents named me Jacob, but this morning my mom asked me if I wanted to go to school as Jake or as Joan. I picked Joan."

"Well, your father and myself would be very happy just to see you as friends for now. We can't tell you not to see each other, because then you would do it behind our backs. I would rather have you just be friends for now. Do you both understand what I just said?"

"Yes, sir," John answered his father, sheepishly.

"Yes. Mr. Lundgren," Joan replied.
Please consider leaving a comment or kudo if you liked my story. I would also love to hear from you if you feel so inclined to pm me. I always consider reader input into improving my stories.

Thank you in advance for having read my story. ~Barbara~.

If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
79 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 5589 words long.