The Dress That Changed My Life - 1

December 2016 Spirit of Giving Story Contest Entry

The Dress that Changed My Life - 1

By Katherine Day

(Copyright 2016)
(It was just a dress I saw in a store window while on a Christmas shopping trip, but it helped me realize a truth about myself.)


I couldn’t help myself. That dress in the window. Lacy, lovely mint green-colored fiber, and flowing so daintily. The dress seemed ideal for a girl in middle school; its skirt flared out at mid-thigh. Puffy cup sleeves exposed the lovely arms of a girl and its scooped bodice added a teasing look. It took my breath away.

I let out a gasp; I tried to keep it low so no one would hear, but Mitzi, my nosey sister, did.

“What’s got you all excited, Teddy?” she said.

“Nothin’,” the I said, my face growing red, realizing that my interest in a pretty dress had betrayed me. Why would a boy like me admire a dress?

“You were looking in that fashion shop window. Did you see something?” Mitzi asked. She was always intruding into my thinking. I adored my pretty sister, but there were times when I felt I hated her.

“Nah, I was just looking at our reflection in the window.”

I don’t know if she accepted my lie, but mercifully she said nothing further, merely shaking her head to signify an amused disgust.

She turned and began walking away through the mall’s crowded corridors, beckoning me to follow. I took one last look at the sweet, lovely dress and continued after her. It just seemed the dress was made for me.

Mitzi, my sister, was fifteen, and I had just turned fourteen; we were born about fifteen months apart. Mitzi and I were really close and I could say she was my best friend, though sometimes were argued. What brother and sister don’t? I admired Mitzi; she was smart and pretty and had lots of friends. By and large, she was a happy and cheerful girl.

I didn’t really have any other friends, so maybe that’s why I clung on to Mitzi as a friend as well as my big sister. When she entered her second year of high school a few months ago, she tried to discourage me from accompanying her to meet her friends. In fact, Mitzi was developing into young womanhood, having blossomed with pert breasts and a cute bottom, along with sparkling blue eyes, lovely legs and flowing light brown hair. Already she was attracting the attention of boys.

Sometimes we were asked if we were twins; we both were about the same height and I also had brown hair, though mine was a bit trending toward blonde. While I kept my hair long, it wasn’t as long as Mitzi’s. I probably should have gotten it cut shorter, but I liked the feel of the long hair. I played with it constantly, flicking it away from my eyes with a light gentle hand.

“You look like a girl when you play with your hair, Theodore,” Mitzi said. We were sitting at the food court in the Hickory Hill Mall on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, doing a bit of early Christmas shopping. We were enjoying our iced tea and veggie wraps when she made the comment. She often used my hated, given name when she was angry with me or was criticizing me. I didn’t like it when she was bossing me.

“Oh?” I said, quickly taking my hand away from my face.

“Why don’t you get it cut, little brother?”

“Quit nagging, Mitzi,” was my only reply.

Mitzi scowled. She had only reluctantly permitted me to accompany her that Saturday after mom had told her, “Just take Teddy with you, Mitzi. It won’t kill you.”

I had nearly fifty dollars with me, money I had earned baby-sitting for Mrs. McGonigal’s two little girls. I had been sitting for them for two years, since I turned twelve and Mrs. McGonigal said I was the best baby-sitter she’d ever had, even though I was the first boy. She had told mom that the two little girls, Emma, who was five, and Emily, who was three, adored me because I played dolls with them. “Besides, your son had no problem in changing Emily when she was in diapers and he always did the dishes,” mom had been told.

Mrs. McGonigal recommended me to her friends and I had developed quite a string of baby-sitting jobs. Most of the money I earned went into my savings, but I regularly gave mom part of it for the household. I did keep one dollar out of every ten dollars for my own use, and had developed my nest egg of fifty dollars to spend.

Mitzi had told mom that there some pre-Black Friday bargains that she wanted to take advantage of. I knew that was only an excuse because she probably had planned to meet her friends at the Mall and I knew Mitzi didn’t like having her wimpy little brother tagging along. In fact, I liked her friends, Melodie and Heather, who were in Mitzi’s class in school. A few minutes after we got our food and drinks, the two girls showed.

“Fancy meeting you here,” Melodie, who was tall and husky, said.

I especially liked her; she was one of Mitzi’s best friends and was often at the house. Melodie and Mitzi had been in school together since First Grade and I often played with the two of them at our house.

“Oh that’s you, Teddy,” Melodie said. “From the back, I thought you were another girlfriend of Mitzi’s. Your hair is so long.”

“I just told him to get it cut,” Mitzi said.

“Oh I think he’s cute and he should keep it long,” Heather piped up. She was an exceedingly beautiful dark-complexioned girl, whose body was filling out into early maturity.

Melodie and Heather joined us at the table and the three girls began chattering about shopping, several boys in the school and some general gossip. I was comfortable with the girls and soon added a few words of my own to the conversation. And, I giggled right along with them.

“We’re supposed to be Christmas shopping. You guys looking for anything specific in the mall today?” Mitzi asked her friends as the conversation began to lag.

“Yeah, we’re trying to find a dress for Melodie for the Holiday Dance,” Heather said.

“Are you both going?” Mitzi asked, referring to the dance held in the high school gymnasium on the last Friday before Christmas vacation.

“Yes, aren’t you, Mitzi?” Melodie asked.

“I don’t know. Who’ll I dance with?”

“Some guy will ask you, you’re so pretty, Mitzi,” I interjected.

“So you’re beginning to notice girls now, little brother?” she teased.

I know I began blushing. Yes, I had begun to notice girls, particularly how they dressed, wore their hair, walked and talked. They were able to wear such colorful and different clothes, while I only had boring boy clothes to wear.

“You’re cute when you blush, Teddy,” Melodie said chucking me under the chin. I knew I must have become crimson in the face after Melodie’s remarks. Even though she was a year older than me I liked her a lot, not as a potential girlfriend, but just because she was always happy to have me join in when she and my sister got together. I loved playing with Mitzi’s and Melodie’s dolls, dressing and undressing them. Melodie had tons of clothes for her Barbie. When they entered middle school, they quit playing with their dolls, and I had to sneak into Mitzi’s room and pull her dolls out when I was home alone. That’s too bad, isn’t it?

The girls talked on a bit more about what stores Melodie and Heather were visiting in their quest for dresses.

“Oh, I know just the dress for you, Melodie,” I eagerly intervened.

“Where, Teddy?” Melodie asked. “Tell me about it.”

I was about to burst out with the answer, but I saw Mitzi looking at me, a weird smile appearing on her face that could only be taken for a smirk. Fortunately, neither Melodie or Heather saw her look.

“Oh,” I said, trying to be nonchalant. “It was in the window at Suzie’s Teen Fashions shop. I just noticed it as we walked by. I didn’t really look at, though, so maybe it’s not any good.”

“Not look at it, Theodore!” my sister thundered. “You examined it like a teen girl.”

“I did not.”

“You should have seen him,” Mitzi continued. “I had to drag him away.”

Heather leaned in and asked softly: “Is your dirty little brother getting hard over mannequins now?”

“Nah,” Mitzi said. “I think he wanted to wear it.”

“I did not,” I protested weakly.

“See, he does want to wear it,” Mitzi said triumphantly, sensing the tentative denial. “He’d be so pretty in it too.”

Melodie smiled at me and nodded her head. “I can imagine he would be the cutest girl.”

All three girls looked at me and I felt hot and flushed. I’m sure I must have blushed. I had never before felt so exposed and I knew the girls must been reading my mind. I have been imagining myself as a pretty girl more and more recently and the thoughts bothered me. I was supposed to be a boy, wasn’t I? I remembered the times when we were younger and Mitzi would talk me into wearing some of her dresses; she had stopped doing it when I turned eight years old. Mom caught me in one of her dresses then and said “no more.” She told both of us that perhaps I would be harmed by being in dresses and it was time for me to become a real boy.

I looked at my sister and stuck my tongue out at her. All it did was bring a giggle from the girls and Melodie, who was sitting next to me, reached over and grabbed my hand.

“You looked so cute doing that,” she said.

Suddenly, I realized I couldn’t deny it. I really wished I was a real girl at that moment so that I could giggle along with them, go shopping for pretty dresses and talk about boys. Right then I did something I knew was bound to give the wrong impression. I brushed back my longish hair with a light flourish of my hand; it was definitely a girlish maneuver.

Melodie looked at me and smiled.

“You’re really a lovely boy, Teddy,” she said. “You must stay as sweet as you are.”

I have to admit I’ve sort of fallen in love with Melodie, even I couldn’t imagine her being my girlfriend. After all, I was year behind her in school and I wasn’t particularly manly and doubted any girl would ever want a guy like me. It was strange, too, since Melodie was easily the least pretty of Mitzi’s many girlfriends. She was a bit overweight and her facial features were blunt, almost peasant-like. Melodie carried her weight well, however, and had become quite a star as a pitcher with a lightning fastball on the school’s girls’ softball team.

As the girls talked and giggled, I began day-dreaming, reflecting on how I’d look in the dress I’d seen in Suzie’s Teen Fashions window. The dream grew weird; I pictured Melodie in a tuxedo, looking handsome and masculine, escorting me looking lovely in the mint green gown from Suzie’s window. I wanted so much to be that girl. It excited me and the thought suddenly made me grow hard – painfully hard.

In desperation, I excused myself to go to the boy’s room; fortunately, there was a stall open and I sat down on the commode, dropped my pants, grabbed a wad of toilet paper and relieved myself, my teen boy semen overflowing the toilet paper and making my hands sticky.

I washed my hands and quickly looked into the mirror, plainly seeing a pretty face that could have been feminine. I was alone in the men’s room at the time and studied my features as I brushed the hair from my face, using a decidedly effeminate motion. Yes, I could be a pretty girl.

The door opened as I was admiring the girl in the mirror and two guys entered.

“Hey girl, this is the men’s room,” one of them said.

“Oh,” I said, quickly exiting the room, but not before I heard one of them say, “She was hot.”

I was getting mistaken for a girl more and more these days and I knew I should get my hair cut, as both mom and Mitzi had insisted I do. But, I probably wouldn’t get it cut. I returned to the table to find Mitzi and her two friends giggling as if they were scheming up some plot.

“Oh, here she comes,” I heard Heather say.

She? Did I hear that right?

Heather, apparently fearing I overheard her, recovered quickly, “Feel better, Teddy?”

I nodded that I was OK and sat down. I worried about what the girls were planning. I’m sure that whatever it was, it must involve me; I knew I shouldn’t have left them, but I had to. I was about to have an explosive ejaculation at the time. I didn’t have much choice.

All three girls looked up at me and smiled as I returned to the table. I got the feeling they were up to something, but I didn’t think it’d be too bad. I didn’t think Mitzi would do anything too nasty. Nor would Melodie, I figured.

“Teddy, why don’t you show us where you saw that dress?” Melodie suggested. “You think it’d look OK on me? It’s hard for me to find something that works on me.”

Melodie had the sweetest smile and along with her bright blue eyes and pale complexion she truly captivated me. I hesitated in answering her since I wasn’t sure the dress would be appropriate for her large figure. The dress likely would expose too much of her husky thighs, I felt. It would look great on me.

“I’m not sure it’s really best for you, but I know the store could probably find a nice dress for you,” I said.
It was agreed, the next stop for the three girls and me would be Suzie’s Teens Fashions, but we dawdled a bit beginning to consider whether any boys would be asking them to the dance.  I know Mitzi didn’t have a regular boyfriend and I suspected neither Heather nor Melodie did.  All three were pretty enough to attract attention, though Melodie may have difficulty because of her large frame.
Melodie turned to Mitzi and said, “Leo’s got his eye on you.”

“You think so? He hasn’t said anything to me,” my sister replied.

“He sits next to me in French and the other day he asked me if you had a boyfriend,” Melodie said.

“Who’s Leo?” I asked.

Melodie said that Leo was “scrumptious” and that he was in their class and ran cross country and played the trumpet. I remembered seeing him in the school’s jazz band and thought his trumpet playing was exciting. Yes, he’d be a nice date for my sister, and I could see that Mitzi was excited for the prospect of going out with him.

I know Mitzi well enough to believe that she must have been bothered by the discussion about whether she’d get a boyfriend. I never thought she should worry because she was really a nice girl, pretty and smart; any guy should be proud to have her on his arm.

“We’re sophomores and none of us has a boyfriend and we’ve never ever been on a real date,” Heather commented.

“The boys are just too full of themselves these days, right Teddy?” Mitzi said, turning the conversation to me.

“How would I know? I’m only a freshman,” I replied, after a brief hesitation to consider my answer.

“Hi Heather,” a voice said behind me.

I looked up to see the two guys who saw me just moments before in the men’s room, wondering why a girl (me) was there. I quickly turned my face away from them, hoping they didn’t recognize me.

“Hey Curtis,” Heather said to the boy.

“You girls shopping or just talking about boys?” the boy named Curtis answered.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” my sister piped up.

“Must have been boys then,” Curtis quipped.

“Don’t flatter yourself. There’s more to talk about than a bunch of creepy boys,” Mitzi persisted. She has a sharp tongue and I enjoyed watching her use it on someone else than me.

“Such a mouthy girl. Who are your girlfriends, Heather?” he retorted.

Pointing at each of us one by one, Heather introduced us. “These are my best friends, beginning with Mitzi who always speaks her mind (Mitzi nodded with a smile) and this is Melodie who could probably beat you to a pulp if you wise-off too much and this cutie is Mitzi’s little sister, Theodora, and we call her Teddy.”

Theodora? Where did that come from? I blushed and looked down the partially eaten salad before me.

“Oh I’ve seen her before. That was the girl we saw in the men’s room just before,” the other boy said.

“You’re right, Barry, and she’s hot,” Curtis added. I kept my head down, fearing to look up to be exposed as a boy.

“Nice seeing you, Curtis,” Heather said, signaling that she wished he’d leave them.

Fortunately, Curtis took the hint. “Let’s go, Barry,” he said to his friend. Both boys mumbled “nice to meet you girls,” and headed off.

“Who’s that? He’s kind of yummy,” Mitzi said when the boys were gone.

“Oh, Curtis, I met him at church camp this summer. He’s been after me for a date,” Heather answered.

“I’ve never seen him at Madison,” Melodie said, referring to James Madison High School that we all attended.

“He goes to Kennedy High. He’s kind of a wise guy and I don’t like that,” Heather said, explaining the manner in which she treated the boy. It’s funny; I didn’t see that he was a “wise guy, but I guessed that Heather was trying to hide her true feelings that she truly liked Curtis and hoped he’d ask her out. Girls can be so foolish around boys, I was learning.

All the time the girls were discussing Curtis, I kept wondering why Heather had to introduced me as Mitzi’s little sister, as a girl. The two boys had called me a “hot” girl and the thought scared me. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the idea of being a girl. Hadn’t I thought I looked pretty? I was fairly short, thin and not muscular; when I snuck into Mitzi’s room and wore her clothes I was astounded at how girlish I looked. It must have been my slender arms and pretty legs.

Mitzi finally asked Heather. “You told that boy that my brother was my little sister?”

“Well, he does look like one of us girls, right? It would have been too complicated to say he was your brother. I wanted to get rid of him.”

“Are you all right with that, Teddy?” my sister asked, turning to look at me.

“It’s alright,” I said, feeling rather strange. I was worried that Heather and Melodie, particularly Melodie, would be looking at me as being a disgusting, pathetic boy. Yet, I couldn’t help but be strangely flattered that I was accepted as a girl.

Melodie touched my hand, a soft gentle touch. “Would you like to join us in trying on dresses at Suzie’s, Theodora?” she asked, her tone signifying her understanding of my quandary.

“How could I? I’m a boy.”

“Well, today you look very much like a girl, if you don’t mind me saying that,” Melodie replied.

“No, it’s OK?”

Instead of heading immediately to Suzie’s Teen Fashions, Mitzi got up and beckoned me to follow her while Heather and Melodie remained at food court.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Just follow me; we’ll just going to make you prettier,” she said.

“What are you going to do?”

She grabbed my hand and led me back to the restrooms and into the door marked “Women.” I resisted, but quickly gave up. “You better come with me. We must make you a bit more real, Theodora,” she said. I told Mitzi I had to pee and she directed me to an empty stall.

I sat down and relieved myself, hoping to soften my penis that had grown hard with the realization that I was to spend the rest of the time in the mall as a girl. I emerged to find Mitzi at the bank of wash bowls, some of her cosmetics spread out in front of her.

“Now, let’s do something about your hair, dear,” she said. She brought out a brush and proceeded to brush my light brown hair out so that it hung straight, reaching nearly to my shoulders. The brushing created a natural bob and she fashioned a short bang that drifted to the right across my forehead.

I glanced into the mirror as she finished, realizing that no one could possibly see me as anything but a girl. I liked what I saw.

I started to walk away, but Mitzi restrained me. “We’re not done here.”

She began to put a few brushes of blush to my face; she darkened my eyelashes a bit and was adding some gloss to my lips when the door opened and another teenage girl walked in. The girl stopped and starred at us.

“Can’t she do her own makeup?” the girl asked.

I wanted to hide, but Mitzi stayed cool. “Of course she can, but she’s not too good at it. My little sister’s always been such a tomboy.”

The girl smiled. “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have asked. She’s got such a pretty face; it’s a shame to waste it.”

“See, how pretty you are Theodora,” Mitzi whispered as the girl entered an empty stall.

As we approached Suzie’s Teen Fashions, I eagerly pointed out the dress in the window that I admired so much.

“What do you think, Melodie?” I asked.

She studied it for a moment. “Well, it’s a hot dress, but don’t think it’s right for me, but I know you’d look great in it.”

I couldn’t help but blush. I was thinking exactly the same thing. The dress was certainly meant for a girl who was much daintier than Melodie could ever be.

“I’m sorry, but maybe they have something you’d like,” I volunteered.

The store was teeming with teen girls, some accompanied by older adults who were probably their parents. Off to the left, I saw the sign “JUNIORS” and began heading toward the area, warding off other browsing teens and their adult followers. The other three girls followed me.

We were crunched nearly into inaction. Other girls were drawing dresses off the racks and holding them up before themselves or their friends, nodding either approval or disapproval. It was nearly impossible to move.

“There’s nothing here in my size,” Melodie said.

“Let’s get out of here,” Heather agreed.

They were right; it was too crowded to shop in the store. I was disappointed; there were many dresses and outfits that I liked. There were none in Melodie’s size.

Just then, I spied a sign in the rear of the store that said simply, “Special Sizes.”

I poked Melodie and pointed to the sign. “Maybe there’s something for you there,” I said.

She nodded and I led the four of us to the rear. It was a lot less crowded here; the area was reserved for girls who were unusually tall or husky. I smiled that the store didn’t label its clothes for larger girls as “Plus Size;” there were few teen girls, I supposed, who liked the term “plus size” to describe themselves.

“I’m Stephanie, your customer service representative. May I help you girls?” a husky but solidly built young woman spoke, addressing me as the apparent leader of the group.

Stephanie was exceedingly pretty and stood nearly six feet tall. She was full-busted and heavy in the waist, but carried her weight well. She was walking testimony how larger girls can be very attractive. The woman’s dress enhanced the beauty of her large framed body; it was a skater dress that ended just above the knees and was made of bright blue floral lace. The wide straps of the dress exposed Stephanie’s heavy, but firm arms as well as much of her back.

I could see Melodie was awed by the woman. Perhaps she too could be made to look as pretty and attractive as Stephanie, I hoped.

“Do you have something for me?” Melodie said, stepping forward to address the representative.

“I’m sure we do, miss. May I ask your name?”

“I’m Melodie.”

“Melodie, you’re a lovely girl. What do you need it for? A school dance, perhaps?”

Melodie blushed. “Yes, the holiday dance at me school.”

“She’s been asked by a football star, too,” I lied. I don’t know where that came from, but I guess I wanted make Stephanie think that Melodie was a popular girl in school.

“Oh, honey, he’s a lucky boy to get to dance with you,” the salesperson gushed.

“But, I’m too fat,” Melodie replied bitterly, eyeing me with confusion, probably wondering why I had created a fictional date for her.

“Whoa, Melodie. Don’t think like that? You’ve got lots of charm,” Stephanie said.

“And I think she’s very pretty,” I said, wanting to support Melodie.

“She is, miss,” Stephanie said to me. I smiled, pleased to be accepted as just another teen girl.

It wasn’t long before Melodie selected a shiny black swing style dress that was detailed with a damask pattern. The top had bow sleeves and a bodice that was detailed with a lace up front with a sheer lace inset neck. It was a size 14 and looked great on her.

“Now, can you pay for this now, Melodie?” the clerk asked her.

“No, I have to ask my mom and dad.”

“Do you think they will approve?”

“I think so. Maybe I’ll have to come back with mom,” she said.

Stephanie smiled. “I can see you really like this dress and you really do shine in it, my dear. Tell you what I’m going to do. I’ll put a ‘sold’ sign on it ‘til next Saturday and if you want it, it’s yours. OK?”

Melodie beamed. I was so happy for her.

“May I ask how you came to choose our store?” the clerk asked.

“My girlfriend Theodora suggested it,” Melodie answered, nodding her head toward me.

“Well, we’re glad you did, dear,” Stephanie said, addressing me. “Did you see anything in the store you liked?”

I hesitated, afraid to answer, but my sister was quick to jump in.

“Teddy is enthralled about the mint-colored party dress in the window,” Mitzi said.

“Would you like to try it on?”

“No that’s OK. We can’t buy anything today,” I said, hoping to avoid embarrassing myself.

“I think she’d like to try it on,” Melodie said quickly.

Stephanie smiled and look closely at me. “Let me see,” she said. “You’re such a dainty girl. You might fit in a six, I guess. Let me see what we have for you.”

“No that’s OK. Some other time. We should go.”

The other three girls agreed that they had time to wait for me to try on the dress. They seemed to be genuinely happy for me, just as if I was one of their real girlfriends. Still, I wasn’t sure that they weren’t playing with me and trying to make fun of me.

I imagined how I would look in the dress and my mind pictured a sweet-looking, but mischievous and dainty girl. The dress itself was strapless with a sweetheart neckline, lace-covered top and a beltless waist. Its skirt fluffed out with gathered material, ending at mid-thigh.

Stephanie needed a few minutes in the back storeroom, before emerging with the lovely dress I wanted so badly. She also had a box in her hands.

“I can see, Theodora, that you’re not too well developed on top, so I brought these along to help fill you out so the dress fits better,” she said.

I looked quizzically. Of course, I wasn’t “developed up top;” I’m a boy. I took the box which was labeled “Breast Forms. Size A.”

“I’ll help her dress,” Mitzi interceded, taking the box. “Yeah, she needs help. She’s just fourteen and slow to develop I guess.”

“You’ll need a bra; I’ll get one, maybe a 32 A.” A few minutes later, she returned with two bras, both lacy and dainty looking. I was growing excited at the lovely girl I was becoming.

“Don’t soil the bra or the forms, kids,” Stephanie warned. “They need to be put back in stock.”

“I’ll be careful,” I said. “And thank you.”

I tried to talk Mitzi out of joining me in the changing room, but she would have none of it. She told me to strip down once we were in the room; I protested of course, but she reminded me she had seen all of me when we were younger.

“You really have a lovely body for a girl,” she said.

“I’m not a girl.”

“Except for those boy briefs, you could have fooled me,” she said, giggling. “And those boy briefs will have to go. Take ‘em off.”

“No, what’ll I wear?”

She smiled and picked up a shopping bag she was carrying. “Here, I got these for you while you were dealing with Melodie’s dress.”

Mitzi reached into the bag, extracting a three-pack of colorful satiny panties and tore it open. “Here put this on,” she said, handing me a bright-green panty.

I turned my back to her so as to hide my male part, even though it was true she probably had seen me nude probably as recently as four years ago. To be truthful, my appendage hadn’t grown much since I was ten years old, a fact that further shamed me in the locker room during school gym classes.

I slipped on the panty; I loved how it felt on my skin. Of course, it wasn’t the first time I had worn panties; when Mitzi began to refuse to lend me her panties, I had resorted to snitching some of Mitzi’s dirty panties from the hamper and wearing them before returning them to be washed. I was certain no one suspected. I often toyed with buying a set of my own, but was afraid to be seen purchasing girl stuff at a store.

Mitzi helped me put on the bra after stuffing it with the breast forms. She then held the dress open for me so that I could step into it. She pulled it up and fitted it so that my fake breasts held the dress up, once the zipper was pulled up on the back. She quickly ran her fingers through my hair to smooth it down.

“There I now have a beautiful little sister,” she said.

She led me out of the changing room where Heather and Melodie stood, obviously waiting to laugh at this boy in a dress. Instead, both let out a whoop. Melodie exclaimed, “Wow, she’s lovely.”

“The boys will go crazy over you,” Heather echoed.

“What? Let me see. Where’s the mirror?” I asked.

It was as they said: I was pretty. The girl in the mirror was slender, with a thin neck, lovely shoulders and smooth-looking skin.

“That dress was made for you, Teddy,” Mitzi said.

“I need to get a picture of this pretty girl in a pretty party dress,” Melodie said, pulling out her cell phone.

“No way, you know it’ll get on Facebook or something,” I protested.

“I wouldn’t do that. You know that Teddy. This is just for us,” Melodie assured me.

Soon they all took a picture of me and then I posed with each of them. Finally, Stephanie, the clerk, appeared and she took a picture of all four of us girls together. (I liked the thought of being one of the girls.)

“That dress is darling on you, dear,” Stephanie said.

Mitzi explained that they weren’t ready to buy that day. Stephanie offered to put it on layaway, but I discouraged it, saying that my mother might think the dress was too risqué for a fourteen-year-old girl.

“Well, dear, you’re such a sweetie that I’m going to hide it away for a week so if you want it, I’ll have it for you. You four girls are respectful and nice to deal with. I hope you’re able to buy these dresses and that you’ll all return.”

Stephanie gave me her card. It read, “Stephanie Usher, chief executive officer, Suzie’s Enterprises.”

“You’re Suzie?” I asked, puzzled that the store wasn’t named for Stephanie.

“Yes,” Stephanie smiled. “I named it for my little sister who was cute, like you my dear. She died at your age in a traffic accident.”

We all told Stephanie we were sorry; I began to tear up.

(To Be Continued)

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