Testing Times - Chapter 24 "Uniforms"

Testing Times - A Tommy & Tamara Story  

Twenty Four



Monday 18th May

"You have a reminder from the doctor's surgery, Tammy, about your blood test."

"Thanks, Pru, anything else?"

"Elsie asks that you speak to her this evening."

"Fine, where's Dad?"

"Governors' meeting at the school. You didn't stay there for lunch?"

"No, I needed to get out of that place. The Head looked like he wanted to speak to me just afer breakfast but wasn't around when I came out of the gym after the exam. I guess he was in the meeting."

"You may be right. You'd best make sure Julie knows you're here otherwise you might not get any lunch."

Tammy took herself to her room, flopping onto her bed. Today's exam had been the first part of Business Studies, it hadn't been overly difficult but it had involved an awful lot of writing.

She came to, Angela was stood beside the bed with a smile on her face.

Tammy, swung her legs off the bed and shuffled into her bathroom, returning a minute or two later with a clean face. Angela was still smiling.

"Okay, what's up?"

Angela handed her a letter, Tammy first noticed it was on Glasgow Royal Infirmary headed paper before reading the content.

"Oh, well done sis!"

"Thanks, I thought I'd have to wait a few more months?"

"Look, phone the surgery and let Dr Abi know, I'm there in the morning and can collect your prescription."

"Thanks, but I want to take my first one today! I'm on the pill!"

"Not until there's a prescription, young lady! Okay, why don't you ask Pru to fax the letter to the surgery then call an hour later, if they can issue the thing today then we'll go collect it."

"Thanks!" Angela bounced out of Tammy's room, a complete change from the girl who had been moping all of the previous few weeks. The diagnosis had been simple enough, Angela's testosterone levels had dropped so low they were barely registering. Because of that, her GP had stopped the blockers immediately and took more bloods for urgent testing.

That was the last Angela had been told, but it was clear from Professor Robert's letter that he had spoken to the Endocrinologist Dr Yates and to their shrink, Jill Davison, just before the weekend; the letter was postmarked Friday.

What Angela did have to do, however, was to see the Professor as soon as her exams were over, Tammy hoped that Pru would spot that requirement and make the necessary arrangements.

Looking at her clock, it was gone two, lunch had been and gone. Someone had, however, left a sandwich on her desk with a glass of water and a banana. Her hunger now out-weighed any other concern.

She decided on a shower, followed by climbing into a onesie. Tammy knew that she'd promised Angela a lift to the surgery but didn't really have the energy. She heard a phone ring downstairs but ignored it, simply laying back on her bed.

Tammy woke just after five when Joan came into her room.

"What's up with you, Tammy?"

"I'm tired, shattered in fact."

"Is that all?"

"I don't think I'm going down with anything."

"Okay, I was going to see if you wanted to go to Inverness with me tomorrow?"

"I have to be at the surgery at nine."

"Oh, I wanted to leave at half seven, if not earlier."

"Sorry, I'm not available. Where are you going?"

"To the uniform outfitters, the governors have asked me to obtain some samples."

"Okay, but why me?"

"An issue has come up, we might need a school dress, for a short while anyway."

"That's interesting, who is it for? I'm guessing it's one of the lower years'?"

"Sorry Tammy, it's confidential and might not happen. I wanted your input on the design and you could have modelled too."

"Why not take Angela instead?"

"I checked, she has a history exam tomorrow afternoon."

"Oh, and you won't tell me who has asked?"

"No, Tammy, I can't."

"The Head wanted to speak to me this morning, but I didn't get a chance, was it about this?"

"May have been, but I guess it could have been something completely different too? Are you coming down for dinner?"

"Sure. Did Angela show you the letter?"

"She called me, I swung past the surgery on my way home and picked up the pills, it was only a two month supply but Pru's booked her to see the professor during the summer. Apparently he wants to see you at the end of the summer?"

"I vaguely remember something like that, but I need to talk to him about my surgery."

"Are you having second thoughts?"

"No, not at all, but I don't think I should have it done this autumn, there's just too much going on. It would be better next summer?"

"That makes sense, but you'll be cooped up indoors for a few weeks during the nicest time of the year."

"I guess there's no perfect time."

"Where something like this is concerned, there isn't. I remember when I was pregnant with Suzie, I had to carry her all through the summer, she was born at the end of August. We were in the South then, and it really was a hot summer that year."

"No choice on timing?"

"We'd been trying for ages, and were wiling to take the first offer. George ....." Joan looked away, not willing to recall this memory of her deceased husband.

"I'll be in the kitchen." She left Tammy on her own to ponder what Joan had been about to say?


Tammy called to speak to Elsie but reached Helen instead.

"Aunt Elsie is busy, and I'm bored."

"Sorry, Helen, but it's out of my hands. Do you know what Elsie wanted to talk to me about?"

"No, but I need to be in school in the morning, can you take me?"

"I can't sorry, you'll have to make other arrangements."

"I wish I could have stayed at my old school, there are too many stupid rules."

"It's worked out fine for everyone else. How are you feeling?"

"Run down, I'm still on and still don't like it that I couldn't go in your pool on Saturday."

"Are you going to see the doctor?"

"I'll go on Wednesday morning, I have an exam that afternoon."

"Okay, you'll like Dr Abi. We're going to the self defence class tomorrow might if you're interested?"


"Me, Tanya, John and maybe Angela."

"It will get me out of here for a few hours?"

"Yes, I'll pick you up at seven."

Tuesday 19th May

Tammy felt her stomach complain when she pulled into the carpark at the ddoctor's surgery just before nine. Her appointment was with the nurse, who she'd seen previously.

"Good morning Miss Smart, could you take your jacket off? When was the last time you had anything to eat or drink?"

"Seven last night, if you discount the glass of water this morning."

"Good." The nurse had inserted the canula without Tammy paying any attention and was quickly filling the first vial. Four more vials followed, within two minutes she had her jacket on and was on the way out of the door.

Tammy immediately saw the school secretary, Janet Adams, accompanied by a boy in a kilt who was trying hard to hide from Tammy. On closer look, she could see that the kilt was a tartan skirt and there were some red marks on his legs above white ankle socks. His top was covered by a black hoodie in an attempt to hide his face.

"Hi Janet, and, err Gerry?"

"I wasn't expecting to find anyone here, Tammy, and I'd be grateful if you didn't say anything."

Tammy nodded, she could see that Gerry Anders was positively frightened. Her stomach rumbled, making her next move an easy one.

"I'm off home, I'll see you tomorrow?"


Tammy wondered what was going on with Gerry, who James Hunter had called Geraldine only a couple of weeks earlier.

Back at home she went for a substantial breakfast before hitting her maths folders, in preparation for the following morning's exam. Angela looked in just before lunch.

"How long did it take before you felt any different?"

"Being on HRT?"

"Yes, I can't feel anything."

"You only started last night! It might be a month, or much longer, you should have another blood test booked?"

"Yes, mum was asked when she collected the prescription to make an appointment for me, I guess I'll have to see Jill again?"

"That's your decision, but I'm not happy with her right now."


"I don't want to repeat it Angela, but it concerned Helen."


"Have you seen anything of Gerry Anders in school?"

"No, not for a week or two. Why?"

"Just curious, I haven't seen him in school either."

Angela went back to her room, she had two exams the following day, Maths before lunch and History after lunch, could that wipe her positive attitude away?

Her bedroom phone rang just before lunch.

"Hello Elsie."

"I thought you were going to call me last night?"

"I did but Helen said you were busy."

"That girl! Now, I need to run this past your father but I'm going away for a fortnight and she can't stay here. I understand that you might have some reservations?"

"I do, but I hope she's lost the infatuation she had?"

"I doubt it, you are still her main topic of conversation."

"Oh dear. Is there another option?"

"I spoke with Dave Brown in case he had any concerns and he really doesn't want her to be out of our sight."

"That's awkward."

"Indeed, Tammy."


"First it was the lousy exam this morning and then I find out that Elsie's going to Austria on holiday in a few days, she told me this afternoon. Can you believe it?"

Helen hadn't even put her seat belt on before starting to talk.

"I mean, I've never been there so she could take me but she says it's not possible. I'll be on my own, please can't you do something about it?"

Tammy was trying to concentrate on the road, and didn't appreciate it when Helen reached over and touched her knee.

"Don't! I could lose control!"

"I'm sorry!" Helen burst into tears. "You don't want me, nobody wants me."

"That's not true, Helen, but I cannot have a relationship right now, it just wouldn't work."

"I don't believe you."

"Look, as soon as our exams are finished, I have to go to London for my summer internship. I won't be back before September."

"Doing what?"

"I don't know yet."

The pair were quiet for the rest of the run to the hall, arriving just before John & Tanya. Angela had again decided against joining them.

The instructor, Vance, welcomed them but didn't recognise Helen.

"I'd like to join, you can blame my friends for my being here."

"I'm afraid I don't think you should be here unless you personally want to."

"Well, in that case ..."

"Please fill in the registration form, how old are you?"

"I was eighteen in April."


Tammy managed to speak briefly to John during a break.

"Has Tanya submitted her job application?"

"Yes, I delivered it on Monday."

"Good, I hope she's a bit more prepared this time."

"So do I."

"Have you seen Gerry Anders in school?"

"No, but meals are being taken to his room and Mrs Small takes work to him, he's not having any visitors."

"Oh, I wonder what the problem is, he was at the surgery this morning."

"What did he say?"

"Nothing, and he wasn't expecting to see anyone either, Mrs Adams was with him."

The session restarted before Tammy could say any more. Half an hour later they were leaving the scout hall. Tammy dropped a tired Helen off at the McPherson estate before going home to a well-earned night's sleep.

Wednesday 20th May

Tammy drove herself, Angela and Helen into school. Helen's exam was after lunch but she decided she could work in the library.

Under the rules, drawn up the previous week, Helen could not walk freely around the school without a chaperone. She was also not welcome in the common room unless a prefect was with her. Tammy and Angela were the nominated chaperones but both had Maths exams that morning.

They arrived in time for breakfast and a cryptic announcement from the Head.

"Could I remind you all that if you have any health concerns, go see the matron or Mrs Small - don't let a small problem get out of hand."

Tammy made certain Helen was safely escorted to the library then took herself to the gymnasium for a few hours of hell.

"Well, that wasn't as bad as I thought." The comment came from John as he caught up with Tammy. "What did you think?"

"I reckon some of the mocks were more difficult!"

The consensus from the boys, and occasional girl, leaving the gym was that they were satisfied with the exam. Tammy was handed a note by one of the other prefects.

Please see Mrs Small after lunch

"I wonder what she wants?" Tammy hadn't seen Joan that morning and hadn't seen much of her the previous evening either.

At lunch the talk on the sixth form table was all about the exams - it affected all of them. The lower sixth, a year behind Tammy, John and Angela, wouldn't normally have exams but they were all taking the English Language A/S Level, a peculiar qualification that was between a GCSE and A Level. Even those students not taking the English Language A Level were put in for the equivalent A/S Level exam. Tammy herself had taken, and passed, this a year earlier.

With lunch out of the way, Tammy went to Joan's room.

"Did you have anything planned?"

"I was going into town, why?"

"I'd like your help, I understand you saw Mr Anders yesterday morning."

"Yes, I hope he's okay?"

"Unfortunately, he isn't alright. He has suffered with psoriasis since infancy but it has flared up terribly at the moment."

"The red marks on his legs?"

"That's right, he can't wear trousers as they cause inflammation. He also couldn't wear his kilt as it's woollen, he's only really able to wear cotton at the moment."

"So that's why he was in a skirt?"

"Yes, a purely practical measure. Unfortunately, he also suffers around the waist so we've been looking at a suitable solution that could be worn around school."

"Hence your trip to Inverness yesterday?"

"Yes. We looked at gingham school dresses but they really look best suited to younger girls and don't fit the style of this school. We therefore settled on this." Joan pointed behind Tammy at the tartan frock. "It's 100% cotton and can be worn with a plain white cotton top."


"Why not let him wear his own clothes?"

"He's says he's not transgendered and does not have any skirts other than the one you saw yesterday. He only needs one dress and a few plain tops until the flare-up finishes."

"What did the governors say about it?"

"There was no argument, the boy's education comes above everything else. He cannot sit an exam if he's stuck in his room."

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