First Dates are Kissing Dates 1 and 2
Murmuring with Starlings
By Frances Penwiddy
Copyright © Frances Penwiddy 2016
Murmuring With Starlings will be published as an eBook on Amazon Kindle over the next few days but once it is published I might have to restrict the chapters reproduced here or I’ll upset Amazon not to mention losing the millions I expect to make on royalties, film rights and television soaps, serials and nail biting dramas.
I mention this because if you are unable to buy E books you might prefer not to start reading these chapters for fear of being cut-off in your prime. Amazon Kindle Ebooks supply an App free of charge so that you can read the books. Get the AP by clicking on the right hand column of Top Closet’s Home Page
I am also going to produce it as a paperback and if this proves successful, I will do the same with the volumes of Vesta’s Hearth and Footprints in the Sea.
John: I’ve enjoyed our chats and would love to meet you. Is there any chance you would agree to having dinner with me?
Emma: Yes, thank you for asking me. I like what I have learned about you on the chat site and our tastes in music, art and literature are similar. I would love a meeting but if I do agree to a date, I would ask you to respect a rule I never break. Fist dates are kissing dates, nothing more, no nakedness, no physical sex other than kissing and caressing. I’m not being prudish, I just like to meet and get to know a man before I go to bed with him.
John: I understand that but would that mean that having met and found you still liked me, you would consider taking things a little beyond kissing on a subsequent date? What I’m trying to say is, should our first physical meeting develop into something more, a long term relationship, would you be prepared to… I don’t know how to put this without sounding like I’m trying to undress you before we even meet…
Emma: Shall I make it easier? I consider sexual intimacy with a man as an extension to a relationship rather than the object of it. As I explained when we had our first chat, I am transgendered because that is who I am, a female. I dress as one because I need to express myself, not because I want the first man I meet to undress me and take me to bed nor do I fantasise about his doing so. I need more than sex in my life, I’m old fashioned, I need companionship and romance. That’s why I never date married men because I suspect that in most cases, they simply want intercourse because sex with their wives is unsatisfactory or their marriage is breaking up and I would never like to be thought of as the catalyst in the break-up of a relationship.
John: Your meeting protocols match your choice of clothing, you really are a Fifties girl, well that is the impression I have from our chats.
Emma: I think you may be right, I need to be wooed by a man before I invite him into my body and I need to know that once he’s made love to me physically, he won’t just roll over and go to sleep or get dressed and go home.
John: You make it sound more exciting. I like the idea of treating a girl as a girl and not a prostitute. Having to compete for her love, make her feel like the best thing in my life, yes I like the idea, it’s a sort of challenge; can I make you fall in love with me enough to lay beside me in a bed, kiss me, allow me to caress you and hold you close to me until we both know it’s the right time for us to seal our relationship. I want us to meet, I think I am already in love just from the one or two pictures you sent me and the things we have talked about on-line?
Emma: Yes, let’s meet on neutral territory for the first date but where?
John: Somewhere where we can have a quiet conversation and get to know each other. I have a place in mind so if it’s okay, I’ll pick you up in a taxi. Where should I meet you?”
Emma: Do you know the war memorial outside the old town hall?
John: Yes. What time?
Emma: Seven, would be nice, the day after tomorrow and it will take me seven or eight minutes to walk there, so will you message me when you’re ten minutes away?
John: I’ll do that, will you leave the choice of restaurant to me. The one I have in mind is about ten or fifteen minutes from where we’re meeting. It’s in the centre of town so I won’t make you nervous by taking you out into the country to a lonely roadhouse.
Emma: That’s considerate. Is it somewhere where I will need to dress up?
John: No, dress however you wish, formal or smart casual but as a favour to me, might I ask you to make it as close to your Fifties look as you can.
Emma: Okay, are you coming as a Teddy Boy?
John: Lol. No, just a suit, I haven’t the courage to wear a scarlet draped jacket with a black velvet collar and certainly not a DA haircut. I’ll see you at seven the evening after next. Bye for now, I’ll be playing ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ before I go to bed.”
I left the chat room and sat thinking, my fingers tapping gently on the desk. We had been chatting for some weeks and I seemed to have found a nice man at last, or was he too good to be true? We were meeting on neutral ground and were going to a restaurant in town so there was little risk attached but I reached for the telephone and dialled Samantha’s number, gave her the details and took note of her advice to copy his rendezvous message to her so she could retrieve the phone number and advised me to reject any messages I received that signalled ‘number withheld’.
I stood in front of the mirror and looked closely at myself starting at the hair, light brown with soft curls and a fringe that ended an inch above my brows, eye makeup in soft grey and light blue to accent my eyes and an eyeliner and mascara to give them a slight almond shape. My foundation and powder were just right and the blusher applied just heavily enough to highlight my cheekbones.
I pursed my lips and then relaxed them, a soft red with a darker line tracing their shape, the face that looked back at me was pretty but with just a touch of allure a hint of the excitement that might be available one day. Jewellery was minimal short dangling earrings, gold with cultured pearls as the centrepiece, a gold chain with a small locket that just reached the swell of my breasts and on my hands, two discreet jewelled rings and an antique gold band with small sapphires set in a row and finally a single gold bangle on one wrist and my watch on the other.
I had an ivory silk blouse above a black skirt and wide black leather belt. The skirt hung an inch below the knee and was very full and beneath that a two tier tulle petticoat without the usual stiffer net covering, it looked like a skirt from the Fifties, a skirt that betrayed its fullness but not too obviously, a rock and roll girl not a bobby soxer with a poodle skirt. And to prove that I was not going to send the skirt horizontal when I spun, I was wearing a pair of three inch leather heels and tan stockings to slow me down. The sexiest bit of me was under the skirt and blouse, a white lace basque and matching panties but first dates were kissing dates and he wasn’t going to see them unless I fell down a flight of stairs.
My cell phone started playing The Ride of the Valkyries, my tune for messages that were important. It was John, ‘Cabby says ten mins.’
I sent back ‘K’ and added his phone number to my friends list and then sent it on to Samantha. I took one last look in the mirror, teased my hair, fluffed up the skirt and slid my coat over my shoulders, picked up my shoulder bag and left.
As I turned the corner and walked towards the old town hall a taxi drove round the war memorial and pulled into the kerb. A man got out of the rear, bent to speak to the driver, turned and began to cross the road and as he turned I recognised the profile from his chat room pictures, “John, why are you running away from me?”
He turned and looked at me with the puzzled look of non-recognition then his face broke into a smile, “Emma?”
“Were you expecting somebody else?”
He trotted back to the pavement and started walking towards me, “Nobody else, who’d want anybody else,” and he stopped and watched me as I walked towards him, “You’re quite a stunner. Ditch that picture in the chat room and get a portrait done by a pro and use that.”
“Thank you but I haven’t done that because I thought I might attract the wrong sort of admirer. I prefer people who want to chat to me, not just an attractive woman. In fact I ought to change my gender, it still says Male on my profile and in a couple of weeks I will be having my operation and will be all girl like my bust says.”
“Are they’re real,” he coughed, “Sorry that was personal.”
“That’s okay. I would have been offended two or three years ago but not now. Yes they’re real, completely real. Hormones and not a hint of surgical enhancement.”
He stared unabashed at the front of my blouse we had reached the taxi and he opened the door for me and then sat beside me and as I started searching for the lower part of the seatbelt. He slid his hand down, found it and handed it to me and our hands touched and I felt the hairs on the back of his wrists tickle my underarm and a tiny thrill ran through me. I did up the belt and sat back and watched him fiddle with his, he was still glancing at the front of my blouse; “You’re staring; they are 36B,” I whispered “And the basq…er bra is not padded, you can have a feel if you like but I also have an IQ of 152 if you’d prefer to talk?”
“First dates are kissing dates so I think I would prefer to talk and I apologise for staring again, you are a lot more than I expected, lovely, no stunning.”
“In that case, pay attention to what you’re doing, you’re going to stab yourself in a delicate place with the seatbelt buckle if you’re not careful.”
He grinned, “I’m acting badly, making you believe I’m a voyeur, I’m sorry but my excuse is that in the presence of a woman so lovely, I’m in something of a dither.”
“You ready to proceed as planned, Guv?” asked a voice from the front of the cab.
“Yes please, L’Hirondelle.”
“French,” I said unnecessarily, “I love French cooking.”
“I know, you told me so when we had our first chat.”
“I chatter too much.”
“No you don’t, you were answering my questions, “You also like Elvis Pressley, The Supremes, Roberta Flack, Matt Monro and Schumann, Beethoven, Sibelius, Purcell, Verdi and Puccini.”
“You’ve forgotten Delibes, Delius, Elgar, Saint-Saens, Borodin, Khachaturian, The Platters and Doris Day.”
“No I haven’t,” and he reached down and pulled a briefcase from under the seat, opened it and gave a flat packet to me tied with pink ribbon and when I took the wrapper off there was a 12” vinyl record of Samson and Delilah. “Oh John, thank you so much and I placed my hand over his shoulder and fought the seat belt until I could kiss him. When I let go, my kiss-proof lipstick hadn’t lived up to its name so I started searching through my shoulder bag for a hanky until he stopped me and pulled out his own, “Use mine, I want an imprint of your lips on my handkerchief.” So I did what he asked and opened my lips slightly, slipped a section of the hankie between my lips and pressed down. “There you are, almost perfect but it will wash out.”
“Not a chance I’m going to frame it and hang it on my wall.”
I smiled and went searching in my shoulder bag again, found my lipstick and compact and replaced the lipstick that John was now wearing and turned the mirror around, “The colour simply doesn’t suit you.”
He looked, pursed his lips and nodded, “It doesn’t…”
“There’s a box of tissues on the rear window ledge,” the cabby said, “You can help yourself if the lady promises to kiss me as well.”
“I can’t, it means I’ll have to do mine again and I’ll run out of lipstick before the evenings over.”
“You won’t need it when I pick you up again, will you, you’ll be going home and can stock up again.”
I grinned and turned to John, “Did you book him to bring us back?”
“Yes, finding a cab that late is almost impossible and I use George all the time when he’s available.”
“You’re a useful man to know.”
The cab pulled into the kerb, “Here we are, enjoy your meal. What time do you want picking up?”
John looked at me and I shrugged, “Two maybe three hours if we’re enjoying ourselves.”
“I’ll send a text message, George.”
“Okay, make it about a half hour before you need me.”
I had a really good time with John, he was a humorous conversationalist and an excellent listener which was a good sign, most men like to hog the conversation but he let me chatter on and I could tell he was really listening to me, showing an interest in what I was saying. He asked me about my job, about my social life and my friends and finally when I had had the time to become comfortable in his company, about my transgenderism.
“When did you first realise you were transsexual?”
“I don’t think ‘realise’ is the right word. When I was young, about six years old I preferred staying with the girls when we were playing at school, I liked hopscotch a lot and I do recall thinking how much nicer their clothes were; pretty, softer materials, things like that but it never occurred to me that there was something different about my sexuality, at that age I didn’t even know what sexuality meant. When I was nine I began to realise that there was something more than just liking the games and clothes and found myself wishing I had been born a girl rather than a boy and then at eleven, when I should have been showing signs of puberty, nothing happened. My voice didn’t change, my preference for things female became more intense and then one day I asked my mother why boys clothes were so different to girls, why girls wore brighter, prettier, softer materials.
“Dad was out at work so we sat at the kitchen table and she asked me a lot of questions and listened to my answers but didn’t make any comments and the next day she kept me off school and we went shopping and she bought a girls summer dress and a pair of knickers, not the really fancy ones, fairly plain but definitely girls knickers, then knee high white socks and a pair of yellow flat heeled shoes I didn’t say anything to her, I thought she was buying them for somebody she knew, a cousin or neighbours daughter. When we got home she took me up to her bedroom and told me to take my clothes off which I did, I was never shy with mum but I was with dad. When I had stripped she told me to put the knickers on and held the dress ready. I put them on still not saying anything, not arguing with her, not saying they were sissy, and I still didn’t object when she slipped the dress over my head, buttoned it up and then made me sit at her dressing table and she brushed my hair and arranged it differently, it was still fairly short but she managed to feminise it a little and then she put the socks and shoes on and me made stand in front of the mirror,
“You asked me yesterday why girls wore different clothes to boys, how do you feel now?”
I remember I run my hands down the dress and did a slow spin and looked in the mirror again, at mother’s reflection, “They feel nicer, not so rough and the dress is pretty. I wish I had been born a girl.”
She didn’t say anything except, “Take the dress off and hang it in my wardrobe and put the panties in the top drawer of the dressing table and get dressed in your school uniform again, dad will be home soon.”
“Will he be angry if he sees me like this?”
“No, just a bit shocked. Now hurry up and come down to the kitchen and help me get tea ready.”
Nothing was said but I remember they stayed up late and were in the sitting room and talking most of the time and I went to sleep wondering if there was something wrong even though they had spoken quietly and didn’t seem to be arguing.
“Four days later, Mom took me to the doctor; she made the excuse that I felt hot and she thought I might have a temperature. The only thing that wasn’t normal was the timing of my appointment, it was after the normal surgery hours. Mum went in first to speak with the doctor and then they came out and the doctor felt my forehead and just said “Yes, we need to look at you,” so I followed him into the consulting room and he made me strip and lay on the inspection bed and he went all over me pushing prodding squeezing and looking at my privates, checked my blood pressure asked me a lot of questions, took some measurements and nodded. “I’ll give you a prescription for some pills for the high temperature but I think I need you to see a specialist. There’s nothing seriously wrong I’m certain but at your age unexplained headaches and higher than normal temperatures need to be checked.”
“And that’s when you realised?”
“No, I didn’t have any suspicions at all though I had noticed that I was spending more time with the girls at school but nobody said much, they just thought I wasn’t interested in kicking a tennis ball about in the playground and just wanted to chat. It was when I went to see the specialist. I was old enough to realise that the medical he gave me and the urine and blood samples and the questions he asked weren’t normal for somebody who just had a headache sometimes or a slight fever.
“Then mum and dad came in and that’s when he told me he was of the opinion that I was transgendered and then spent a half hour explaining exactly what that meant and as he talked I kept looking at mum and dad but they just smiled at me. When he finished he told me I should continue school until the end of term and then he wanted to see me again.”
“So how did you cope with it, learning that you were different to the others at school?”
“It’s odd but I didn’t think much of it at the time except perhaps a feeling of relief, relief that I wasn’t unusual and that wishing I had been born a girl wasn’t something to be terrified about. When we got home mum and dad took me into the sitting room and whilst mum went to make a cup of tea, dad had a chat with me, he asked me how I felt about what the specialist had said. “I don’t know really, a little bit surprised and I’m relieved it’s nothing serious.”
Dad chuckled when I said that, “Nothing serious, what would you consider serious?”
“Well if I had leukaemia or cancer or I had a disease that would mean me having to stay in bed or a wheelchair all the time.”
He nodded when I said that, “You’re right, most people don’t suddenly die in pain when they discover they are transgendered but what do you want to do about it?”
I looked at him and hesitated, how would he react if I told him I wanted to be a girl? Would he go mad and end up hating me?
“Tell the truth, Ryan, it’s important that your mother and I know what you feel, how you want to live. If we’re left to guess, we may get it wrong and that would have disastrous results, so tell me the truth.”
“But how do you and mum feel about it, what would you like?”
Be brushed aside the question with a wave of his hand, “What your mother and I would prefer at this stage is unimportant, it’s what you want that has priority. We can discuss us after you have made up your mind. What I can say without prejudicing your choices is that whatever you decide, provided it is supported by the doctors, is okay with us. We won’t throw you out of the house if we don’t like your choice, we’ll still be a family because we will all need each other to sort things out.”
I closed my eyes and thought about it, for some reason I didn’t want to tell dad, I thought he might be disappointed in me, think I was just a sissy boy. Be sad, perhaps angry but I made up my mind, I had to tell him the truth, he was right, our family life would be difficult if I didn’t. It was going to be bad enough if I did tell the truth but if I didn’t it would lead to friction and that would mean mum and dad arguing and even getting a divorce and putting an end to our family and that would be the worst thing of all. I opened my eyes and looked at his face which was soft, there was no disappointment showing, no hatred so quietly I said, “I would rather be a girl. Since I was five or six years old I have often wished I had been born a girl but I know it now. It isn’t just about the pretty clothes, Dad, there are lots of reasons I think I’m really a girl. I’m not all that keen on football or rugby, climbing trees and things like that, at school I preferred being with the girls. I like playing hopscotch, turning cart wheels and in PT, I love the swimming and gymnastics because they seem to have more moves that are graceful, a sort of beauty to them. If I was to go to a fancy dress party, I would rather be a Christmas fairy than superman and I do like the soft materials and pretty colours that girls can wear when they want to. But I also like it when you take me to a cricket match and if it’s one you’re playing in, I get really mad when you’re out, I want to run onto the field and slap the player that caught the ball or the bowler who knocked your wicket down, that’s not girly though is it?”
“Yes it is, your mother is the same when we’re coming back from a match, she sits in the car and goes on and on about it being a no-ball or the fielder was just lucky.”
“I know, I listen to her and she’s right most of the time.”
He chuckled, “What about fishing?”
“Oh I still want to do that, I like fishing as long as you continue putting the maggot on the hook.”
“What about your name, we can hardly keep calling you Ryan?”
“Emma,” I said immediately, “I like Emma because it’s a name that can’t be changed into a boy’s name. If I called myself Charlotte, people would shorten it to Charlie, if I picked Frances it would become Frankie but there’s no boy equivalent that I can think of for Emma, Andrea would be Andy, no, definitely Emma.”
Dad had stood up and held out his hand, “Come on, we’d better introduce Emma to her mother.”
“But mum knew about me a couple of weeks ago, she bought me a dress.”
“I know but that was just her way of testing her theory about you.”
“You mean she knew about me?”
“We both did and we’ve had suspicions for two or three years, we just didn’t know how to speak to you about it but you’re voice hasn’t broken yet and you’ve not shown any of the other symptoms of a boy entering puberty so we had to do something so she bought you the dress to see how you would react. And your reaction spurred us into taking you to the doctor.”
“I still like it,” I grinned, “And the panties.”
“Well you can go upstairs and put them on after we’ve seen your mother.”
I had been looking down at the table as I told John the story, occasionally eating something and then his hand appeared holding a handkerchief, “You’re crying, tell me the rest later, and eat, it’s a restaurant.”
I looked up and smiled, “I did warn you I was a chatterbox,” and I dabbed at my eyes.
“A compelling story though, I would like to hear more but not tonight, tell me on our next date.”
I gave him back his handkerchief, “I took care not to wash away the lipstick kiss.”
He folded it carefully and we concentrated on our food and when we had finished eating he began to ask me another question, “No,” I said, It’s my turn to ask you questions, so tell me about your job, your engineering planning, working with production lines, things like that. He did and told it well, made it sound interesting and at times challenging and he took care not to get too technical and I found myself visualising him in a helmet and hi-vi over a white lab coat or up to his knees in hydraulic oil and there were times when he was talking about machinery he particularly liked he made it sound quite dreamy and when he spoke about computer controlled production lines, it was almost pure science fiction; a new world where computers and robots took away the drudge; the dangerous and dirty labours of life and left us free to allow our souls to roam the bye-ways of our existence.
“You travel a lot?”
“A couple of days at the office perhaps one or two on site and usually two days working from home.”
“There’s only one day left after you spend time at the office, on site and at home?”
He nodded, “I work seven days a week on occasions, even eight or nine at very busy times.”
I smiled, “Doesn’t leave you much time for leisure activities.”
“Sssh,” he whispered, “You never know who is listening and I wangle it by working twelve or more hours a day for three days, then a few hours work at home and have the rest of the week off.”
“Why don’t you work twelve hours a day without lunch times or coffee breaks for a week and then take the rest of the month off.”
“I have never considered that,” he nodded, “Yes it has possibilities, I could even increase the daily hours to sixteen, give up food altogether other than high energy snack bars and drinks. If I did that for three months I could take the rest of the year off.”
“That would mean you could sleep in a coffin in a pretty grave yard in the country and have a nice rest. If you want to take up healthy leisure activities you could book in at a hospital and have a week of ECGs and scans.”
He shook his head, “Not that, I don’t like hospital food.” He picked up the wine and began to top up my glass, “No, I can’t drink anymore I’ve had nearly three, I’ll start having fits of giggles if I drink more.”
“I’ll just top you up then, we’ll compromise on a half glass.”
I didn’t protest, I could leave it if I did start the giggles but I did want the evening to continue. He was an interesting man, a very good dining companion and I did wonder for a moment what sort of lover he would be. I stifled that thought immediately, I had had three glasses of wine, well three and a half if I counted the top-up and thinking along those lines would mean my golden rule about first dates could be broken.
We spent the next hour talking about mutual interests, music, the theatre, restaurants and our jobs and then I started to feel a bit dizzy and when I took my bag and went to the loo I had to concentrate on walking steadily and after I had washed my hands, concentrate even more on touching up my makeup. “You look rather serious, you even frowned once when you were walking back.”
I managed to sit down without tipping my seat over and nodded, it was that last drop of wine, it has affected my walking and is my makeup okay?”
“You look as fresh as you did when we met earlier.”
I felt a giggle coming on but managed to control it enough to stop myself from inviting him to squeeze me somewhere to make sure I was really fresh, “I did warn you I get giggly.”
“I’ve already sent a text to George, he’ll be here in ten minutes and I’ve settled the bill, I assumed you were ready to go home.”
I nodded slowly, “Yes, I think I’ve reached my limit and a little bit more.” I reached across the table and took his hand, “I’ve enjoyed this evening, thank you.”
“No, it was you that made it so nice. Emma, I would like to repeat it, take you out again.”
“Yes, there’s still lots to talk about but not until after the weekend, I have a job to complete for a customer and there’s my hospital business coming up soon so I have to make sure no work is left undone.”
“Would Wednesday suit you, a film and then supper perhaps?”
“Okay and if your work gets in the way, we can make it Thursday or Friday.”
We left the restaurant and my walking required less concentration because I had my arm securely tucked under John’s. Once we were settled in George’s taxi he asked, “Where would you like me to drop you, I don’t want you walking too far on your own?”
I felt confident enough of him so I asked, “Would you drop me off at my place, its twelve Heath Terrace, just round the corner from the war memorial.”
He relayed the destination to George and when we got out of the cab he asked George, “Will you wait George, I won’t be long,” but before we left the cab I went to the driver’s window, “George,” he looked up at me and I leaned down and gave him a quick kiss on the lips and stood back, “You were right, I shan’t need the lipstick, if you like the colour, let me know and I’ll get you a tube,” and I returned to John who walked me up to the steps of my house and looked up, “Do you live in the top flat, if so I’ll escort you up the stairs?”
“Thank you but my place is the ground floor and I’m okay,” I did a slow spin and my skirt flared but I kept my feet and managed to keep my skirt down to mid-thigh, though I must admit I was tempted to speed it up a little and reveal a stocking top. See, a perfect landing,” I boasted as I finished my display. “Would you like to come in for a nightcap or coffee?”
“I’d love nothing more but I will decline, if I come in with you I might say or do something inappropriate and spoil a perfect evening.”
He had his arms around my waist now so I reached up and placed mine around his neck, “Kiss me goodnight then, that’s allowed on first dates.” He pulled me in closer until I was pressed against his chest and kissed me tenderly and I pushed myself in closer and after a while we ended the kiss and he smiled, “That is as far as I go, you are a little tipsy and if I kiss you again I would have difficulty in preventing myself from sending George away and coming in for the coffee.”
“And I would have difficulty in preventing myself from inviting you to stay for the night and it isn’t the wine I’ve drunk. Thank you again, it’s been a lovely evening, perfect and when you go to bed, dream about me and I’ll dream about you and perhaps we can meet again in our dreams.” I eased myself away from him and opened my bag and dug my keys out.
“When you get inside, come to the window and wave, then I’ll know you’re okay.”
I nodded and let myself in and did as he asked and watched as he smiled and walked down the steps, stopping at the cab to wave before climbing in.
What now, there may be a second date, how should Emma play it? Chapter 3 may reveal the answer, or chapter 4 or 5 or…
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