Leave the boy alone

Leave the boy alone.



“Leave the boy alone,” my mother admonished my dad.

“Well, he looks like a bloody fairy.”

“So, it’s not hurting you, is it?”

My father grunted something unintelligible and stormed off with his newspaper, probably to go for a poo or something.

I showed my mother my knitting–I’d made a mistake and couldn’t work out what I’d done wrong nor how to fix it. Dad didn’t like me having such feminine pursuits while my sister was the opposite–out playing football and fighting with boys and girls if they wanted to scrap.

I was a year older and yet she was bigger. She was an inch or more taller, quite a bit heavier and much stronger. She took after my dad whereas I seemed to look more like my mum. Sometimes I wondered if we got the wrong bodies–my sister and I, that is.

Mum sorted my knitting and asked me how my sewing was coming along, it wasn’t. I’d taken it to school to do in the needlework class–yeah, I go to it after my mum asked for me to be allowed to and when they saw I was serious about it, I was allowed to sit in the class instead of doing sports, which I loathed. Anyway, one of the boys in the year above grabbed my sewing and flung it over the wall behind the bikeshed and I couldn’t get it back.

Shelley, my sister offered to climb over and get it back after she’d punched Bradley Sprugg in the mouth, but I wouldn’t let her, it was far too dangerous, although I felt like crying at my term’s work lost to a barbarian like Sprugg.

The needlework teacher eventually prevailed upon the school caretaker to recover it and he did but not until after it had rained and my stuff got all wet. Mrs Heathcote had taken it home with her to see if she could clean it up for me. I’d take her in some choccies for her help.

I was often the victim of bullying–I was small and girlish and didn’t fight back, though I was getting better at not crying quite so easily. Also I think the school was getting more aware of my plight after my mum went and spoke to the head about my torn clothes and frequent bruises. I’d also been in hospital once after being beaten up–that time I got beaten to the ground and kicked several times including twice in the groin. I was nine at the time and I think it did something to my dangly bits. I’m now fourteen and have no facial hair and my voice hasn’t broken.

Dad keeps saying I need to see a doctor to get some hormones–I don’t know what for, especially if they make me turn out like him, fat, bald and aggressive and with more hair than an orang-utan. I’d rather stay like I am even if he doesn’t like it. Mum doesn’t seem to mind, and she says she appreciates my help around the house–I especially like cooking–the only thing my dad doesn’t grumble about.

Mrs Heathcote phoned to say she’d rescued my dress–yeah, okay–well that was what the project was for this term. Each candidate had to make a dress for themselves including inserting a zip, darts, sleeves and obviously we had to cut it out and so on. I love doing it and two of the girls have got quite friendly, Lucy and Debbie and we chatter away while we sew–Mrs Heathcote is very laid back–I suppose she must be to have a boy in her class. I’ve got used to her addressing the class, including me as, ‘girls’ or ‘ladies’, and Lucy says I’m her best girlfriend–but that might be because I help her sort her sewing when she gets stuck. She calls me Allie although my name is actually Alistair, Alistair Allison. So I guess I’m a double Allie.

The dress I’m making is a knee length one in a jersey material, with full length sleeves and a tie belt. The neckline is almost cowl and the zip runs from the waist up to the back of the neck. It’s in this gorgeous dusky pink and fits like a glove, but then the material is stretchy and clingy. To get the darts right in the bust, I had to get mum to buy me a bra and some padding so we could fit it properly, she also said I needed to wear tights and proper girl’s shoes to model it. I don’t mind although some of the other girls in the class think it’s funny and talk behind my back. Mum also bought me a full length slip so the dress will hang properly. I’m so glad Mrs Heathcote managed to save it.

Apparently we have to put on a fashion show at the end of term and model our dresses for the whole school. I did think about trying to get out of that but Lucy said she wouldn’t show hers if I didn’t wear mine. So what can a boy do? I like Lucy a lot but I don’t fancy her, though I think she might have a bit of a crush on me.

Goodness is that the time? I’ll never get this knitting sorted before I go to bed.

Author's note: I had so many requests to extend this story that I wrote a sequel, 'The Proof of the Pudding,' both can be enjoyed together or as stand alone short stories.

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This story is 975 words long.