Tommy - The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl? - Chapter 30

The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?

A Novel By Teddie S.

Copyright © 2017 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 30
A shopping trip. And Amy to the rescue.

Both Amy and I had been made honorary members of my grandmother’s clan. And I'd also been made a member of the Navajo Nation. We’d also just met the girl, Dee, that I had donated the money to, from when I did the photo shoot for the resort’s brochure. And Dee and her three friends were meeting us at the bonfire.

On the way to the bonfire, Amy and I stopped at our room, and I grabbed a large blanket. As we walked up to the bonfire, there was a large group of guests, along with both of the Chiefs, Naainish, grandma, my aunt and uncle, and both sets of our parents.

Dee and her friends saw us and walked up to us. And Dee asked, “Is it still okay to join you?”

“Of course.”, I replied. “I’d love you too.”

I took them to an area near the bonfire and laid the blanket on the ground. The feeling that I always feel when I was around this area of the resort was with me.

I looked over at the group of guests who were enjoying the bonfire and whispered to Amy, “It looks like we have quite an audience.”

“Yes.”, she replied.

I looked at the four girls, and said, “I don’t know why, but I feel a strong presence here. I don’t know what it is, but Naainish has told me that this is a sacred place. When we sit, sit quietly. I don’t know why, but when I'm here, I feel the need to meditate. If you feel the same way, join me.”

Amy and I sat in the middle of the blanket, and I invited the girls to join us. Two of them sat next to Amy, Dee and the fourth girl sat next to me.

As we sat there, I heard some chanting. I looked and saw that Naainish and one of the singers were chanting. We sat there quietly for about twenty minutes. And finally, as I went to stand up, Dee asked me, “What is it that you feel?”

“It’s hard to explain.”, I replied. “But it’s a spiritually strong feeling. And it’s like it interacts with my two spirits.”

“I felt a little something, but I don’t think that I could explain it either.”

“Naainish is older and wiser than we are and he can’t explain it.”

Dee smiled, and said, “I’m so happy that I’ve met you. And with the scholarship that you donated to and the grants and other scholarships that are available, I should be able to go to college.”

“I’m delighted to hear that. You should be able to help your people. Are you still thinking about medicine?”

“Yes. If I can keep my grades up.”

“If you want this, you will.”

“Are you going to help your people when you graduate?”

“I don’t know. But, Dibe, I do know that you will succeed in what you pursue.”

“How do you know?”

“I don’t know how I know. I just know that you will.”

She hugged me. Then Amy took her aside, and I picked up the blanket and said so long to the other girls. Then I walked over to where everyone else was. As I walked up, Chief Kinlicheeny said, “Kai. You are a fascinating person.”

“I am?”, I replied.

“Yes. The people accept you so quickly, and you interact with them in a very positive way.”

“Thank you.”

“And I do want to get to know you better.”

“I’d like that. But it’s been a long day, and I'd like to get some rest.”

As I was saying goodnight to everyone, Amy walked up and joined me. We finished saying goodnight. And my aunt told us to join them at the house for breakfast.

Amy and I walked to our room. And as we walked, I asked Amy, “So did you and Dee have a nice talk?”

“Yes, we did.”, Amy replied.

“So, what did you talk about?”

“Nursing school. But I think Dee is leaning towards being a doctor. She appears to have the drive to do it. And she knows how rough it can be.

“She also told me that you told her that she would succeed in being a doctor. How do you know?”

“I don’t know. It was something that I felt tonight.”

As Amy and I walked into our room, she turned, wrapped her arms around my neck, and kissed me.

When we finally broke the kiss. Amy looked at me, smiled, and said, “Tommy. I love you so much.”

“Tommy?”, I said.

As she touched my chest, she said, “No matter what you look like you’ll always be my Tommy where it counts.”

“Amy. You are so special.”

She gave me another quick kiss and went into the bathroom. When she walked out of the bathroom, she was wearing one of the terrycloth robes that the resort provided. And I was stripped down to my panties and bra.

Amy smiled and said, “I’m going to soak in the soaking tub for a while before going to bed. Want to join me?”

“I think I’m just going to take a shower and go to bed.”, I replied.

As she opened her robe and let it drop to the floor, she said, “Are you sure you don’t want to join me?”

I looked at her, and she was standing there completely naked. And I said, “You’re going outside like that?”

“Sure. It’s a private balcony.”

I grinned and said, “I’ll be right out.”

* * * * * *

Saturday morning Amy and I overslept and were almost late for breakfast.

There was a real crowd at my aunt and uncles house for breakfast, my parents, Amy’s parents, grandma, my aunt and uncle, Amy, and me. As we were eating, my aunt asked, “So, did you two sleep well last night?”

“Oh yes.”, Amy replied. “We used the soaking tub last night, and it relaxed us so much that we almost overslept.”

“Those tubs do have that effect on people.”

“Are we still going shopping this morning?”, grandma asked.

“Sure mom.”, Aunt Ruth responded.

“I’d love that.”, I replied. “But I'd like to do something with my hair first.”

“What, honey.”, my mother asked.

“Take it out of the braids and go with a straight look.”

My mother asked, “Think we can do that, Ruth?”

“I think so.”, Aunt Ruth replied. “We’ll give it a go right after breakfast.”

After we’d cleaned up the breakfast dishes, my mother, my aunt, Amy, and I went to the master bathroom. And with me still wearing my wig my aunt went to work, first taking it out the braids, which took a little work, then she worked on brushing it out.

After she’d brushed it for a while, she stood back, looked at it, and said, “I think to get all the remnants of the braids out, we’ll need to wash it.”

“I know that it will take a little while to dry.”, I said. “And I don’t want to mess up the shopping trip. Is there anything else we can do.”

“How about a ponytail or a simle braid?”, Amy asked.

“A simple braid could work.”, my aunt replied.

So I ended up with a simple single braid. Just before we were going to walk out of the bathroom, my mother asked me, “Honey, what's with you and the bonfire?”

“What do you mean mom?”, I asked.

“When you sat down by the fire, everyone became quiet. It was like they knew you were doing something special.”

“We’ve seen that every time that Kai is at the bonfire.”, my Aunt Ruth said. “It’s like everyone knows that she’s special.”

“Guys, I’m not special.”, I said. “I just feel the spirits in the area and treat them with respect.”

My mother looked at me like she knew differently. But she didn’t say anything.

Since today was supposed to be hot, both Amy and I were both dressed comfortably. We both wore shorts, cute blouses, and sneakers. I decided to wear the silver feather earrings and the beaded choker. Amy wore the turquoises loop earrings.

And the other four ladies were dressed very nicely, but comfortable.

With all six of us going shopping, we took the van belonging to the resort. I think that the three men were going fishing or something like that.

As we were driving, Grandma said, “I spoke with Mrs. Benallie, and she’s expecting us.”

“Is she the lady that makes all of the clothes?”, I asked.

“She doesn’t make them all her self.”, my aunt replied. “She and some other ladies, that work with her do weaving and sewing. And they do an excellent job. Mrs. Benallie lives in Santa Fe, and that’s where her shop is. Some of the work is done there and at the homes of other tribal members.”

We found Mrs. Benallie’s shop just outside of Santa Fe. It was small and well taken care of, and looked to share the space with a beauty shop. My aunt said, “Mrs. Benallie shares the shop space with her sister, Mrs. Hatathli, who is a hairdresser.”

The six of us walked into the shop and were greeted by Mrs. Benallie. And for being a small store it looked like there was a lot of clothes to look at, and with the six of us in there, it was a little crowded. There was a separation between the clothing shop and the beauty shop, but they shared a common door.

Mrs. Benallie, my aunt, and my grandmother greeted each other and chatted in Navajo for a minute. Our mothers, Amy, and I looked around. There were skirts in all kinds of designs, from plain to fancy. There were also all sorts of blouses, moccasins, men’s trousers, men’s shirts, jewelry, and headbands, fancy, beaded, and plain. I was overwhelmed, and Amy and our mothers were in heaven.

Mrs. Benallie didn’t pay much attention to the rest of us as she talked to my aunt and grandmother. Then I saw her look at me and say something to my aunt and grandmother. The three of them looked at me, and my aunt said something to Mrs. Benallie.

Mrs. Benallie then walked over to the counter, picked up something, walked back over to my aunt and grandmother. The three of them looked at what appeared to be a newspaper. And they talked for another few seconds, then my aunt said, “Kai. Honey. Would you come over here for a minute?”

As I started walking towards them, I said, “Sure, Aunt Ruth.”

Mrs. Benallie looked at me as I was walking up. Then she glanced at the paper. Then back at me. And said something to my aunt that I didn’t understand. My aunt and grandmother just smiled.

As I walked up to them, my aunt said, “Chooli this is my niece, Kai Nez. Kai this is Mrs. Benallie.”

We exchanged greetings, then Mrs. Benallie held up the newspaper, pointed to a picture of the two Chiefs and me, and said, “This is you. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, Ma'am.”, I replied.

Mrs. Benallie smiled, and said, “You bring good luck to my business.”

“I ... I do?”

“Yes. A two spirit person brings good luck.”

“Oh. And I didn’t know that I was going to be the paper.”

“Honey.”, my aunt said. “The people from the tribal paper knew what was happening at the barbecue, so they were there. And you made today's edition.”

“I won’t be able to go anywhere.”

“Yes, you will. You just have to realize that some people will recognize you, and most of those will be your people. Not too many outsiders see the paper.”

“Do you think I could get some copies?”

“That shouldn’t be a problem.”

The six of us helped deplete Mrs. Benallie’s stock just a little. I’d picked out three long skirts, which were very pretty. Four blouses, one was plain, and the others were fancy. And a pair of moccasins. But not the fancy wrap type. Amy also had two new blouses and two long skirts. Amy and I then found some adorable headbands with some beadwork, and we each bought one.

Then we found the earrings and both Amy and I fell in love with the same pair. It was a silver multi-stone earring. Just below the hook was a small oval turquoise stone and just below that was a little oval red stone. Then attached to a small loop were two silver feathers, smaller than the silver feather on the earrings that grandma had given me, attached. They looked to be about two and a half inches long.

Amy and I saw them at the same time and started arguing about who was going to buy them. Mrs. Benallie heard us arguing, walked over, and said, “Girls stop arguing. I have another almost identical pair. And you each can have a pair. And if you can tell me the difference between them I'll give you one pair at half price.”

“You can’t do that.”, Amy said.

“Yes, I can. It’s my shop.”

Mrs. Benallie opened a drawer and took out another pair of earrings that looked to be identical to the first. She handed us the two pairs of earrings, and said, “I’ll tell you this. They are both handmade by the same person. And the difference is very subtle. And the stones don’t count.”

Amy and I spent some time looking over the two pairs of earrings, and we didn't see the difference. Finally, Amy said, “There it is! One pair has more lines on the long feather than the other.”

“Very good my dear.”, Mrs. Benallie said. “The silversmith who made these, when he’s making two of the same thing always makes a little differences in them.”

So now Amy and I had almost identical earrings.

As we were paying Mrs. Benallie, I heard someone say, “Kai!”

I turned, looked and there was Dee. She ran up to me, gave me a big hug, and asked, “What are you doing here!?”

“Buying clothes.”, I responded. “What are you doing here?”

“Having my hair done. There’s a competition tonight.”

“Good luck.”

“Thanks. I’ll need it.”

“I don’t think you will. I think you’ll do a great job.”

Just then a woman walked out of the beauty shop side of the shop, and said, “I heard all this excitement out of Dee and had to come and see what it was all about.”

“Mrs. Hatathli.”, Dee said. “Come and meet my friend Kai Nez. Kai this is Mrs. Hatathli.”

Mrs. Hatathli walked over, offered me her hand, and we shook hands. Then still holding my hand, she gave me a quizzical look, and said, “Kai. Kai Nez. The two spirit person?”

I just smiled. And Dee said, “Yes she is.”

Mrs. Hatathli looked at her sister, and said, “Chooli. Why didn’t you tell me she was here?”

“I was busy.”, Mrs. Benallie replied.

“Kai.”, Dee said. “You should have Mrs. Hatathli do your hair. You’d love what she does.”

“I’d love to do her hair.”, Mrs. Hatathli added.

“I just may do that for the next barbecue.”, I said.


“The barbecue at the resort north of here.”


“Yes. My aunt and uncle run the resort, and we’re staying there.”

“I see.”

"Do you have an opening on Friday afternoon for the two of us?"

"The two of you?"

As I looked at Amy, I said, "Yes. Myself and Amy."

Mrs. Hatathli looked at Amy, and said, "There's something I don't often see, blond hair."

I smiled, as I thought about what was under my wig. Then I said, "Maybe you could dye it black?"

"We could do that."

Amy glared at me, and said, "No!"

"But you would look good with black hair.", I said.


"Okay. Mrs. Hatathli, when could you fit us in on Friday?"

"How's one o'clock?"

"That will be perfect."

I said so long to Dee and again wished her good luck at the competition.

My mother and Amy’s mother both walked out of the shop with a couple of bags each. Grandma and Aunt Ruth didn’t buy anything, but they live here and could shop in this great store anytime that they wanted to.

By the time we’d finished shopping, it was lunchtime. And grandma knew of a nice restaurant not far from Mrs. Benallie’s shop, so we stopped for lunch. As we ate, I said, “I didn’t know I was lucky.”

My aunt said, “Some people believe that a person with two spirits brings luck. But the actual belief is that if you have a two spirit person in the family, that it brings luck to the family.”

“So I bring luck to all of you?”

“You might.”

My mother-in-law was sitting across from me at the restaurant, and she had a silly smile on her face. So I asked her, “Mom. Is something wrong?”

“No honey.”, she answered. “I was just thinking about watching you in that dress shop.”

“Watching me?”

“Yes. You were like a little kid in a candy shop. And knowing that there’s a boy under there makes it even cuter.”

Amy giggled. I looked at her and asked, “And just what’s so funny?”

“Don’t you remember the first time that you, me, and our mothers went shopping together?”

“That frigid winter day. Yeah, I remember. What about it?”

“Don’t you remember what you said after I said you were like a little kid in a candy shop?”


“You said, ‘Well. Wasn’t it a candy shop?’”

That received some smiles from all the ladies. Then I said, “Well it is a candy shop. Isn’t it?”

“For you. Yes. It is a candy shop.”, my mother said.

“You know.”, my grandmother said, “I have more and more problems remembering that there’s a boy under there somewhere.”

“Mom. You know.”, my mother said. “I sometimes have problems with that myself.”

Amy, with a wicked grin, said, “I don’t have any problem seeing the boy under there.”

“Amy!”, her mother said. “Behave.”

“Well, I don’t.”

We made it back to my aunt's house in time for Amy and me to soak in the hot springs for a while before having dinner of fresh trout that the men had caught.

As we ate, I said, “Daddy. I didn’t know that you liked to fish.”

“I haven’t gone fishing for a long time.”, my dad replied. “Your grandfather and I use to go fishing all the time. But this is the first time that I’ve ever tried fly fishing. And I may have to do it some more.”

After we’d helped my aunt clean up, we sat around and talked for a while. Then Amy and I decided to hike up the cliff trail to watch the sunset, and our parents went along. As the sun was setting, about a dozen other couples were standing there watching the sun go down, and it probably the best sunset we’ve seen.

I showed our parents the lone tree we used for the photograph of me, with the tree and the storm.

After Amy and I were back in our room, I took the ponytail out of my wig, carefully washed it, and brushed it straight. Then set it to dry.

That night after another long soak in the soaking tub, and some extracurricular activity, Amy and I cuddled together in bed. And not long after we’d gotten to sleep, we were awoken by the loudest clap of thunder that I’ve ever heard. And Amy grabbed me and held on. We had a real nasty thunderstorm roll through. Luckily it didn’t last long, but the lightning and thunder were amazing.

* * * * * *

Sunday morning Amy and I were up early, so we decided to take a walk up the cliff trail to see if we could hear the coyotes again in the morning twilight. As we approached where the lone tree was, we could smell smoke. Then we saw that the tree was no longer standing and what remained of it was smoldering.

Amy said, “It must have been that loud clap of thunder we heard.”

All I could say was, “Yeah.”

Since our parents were still here, we were all eating breakfast with my aunt and uncle. And I guess as we walked in I must have had a sad look on my face, and my grandmother asked, “Kai. What’s wrong?”

“The tree on the cliff, where we took the pictures, is gone.”, I replied.

My uncle said, “Gone?”

“Yeah. I think the lightning last night must had hit it. It’s badly splintered and still smoldering.”

“There was some nasty lightning in that storm.”

“It kept me up.”, Amy said.

Uncle Paul went to the phone, dialed, waited for an answer, and said, “Francisco. It’s Paul. I’ve just head that the lone tree on the cliff was hit by lightning last night. I'm going to be gone most of the day, so could you or someone check on it.” ... “Okay. Good. I’ll call you when I get back later today.”

Early tomorrow morning our parents were going back home. So, today we were going to do some site seeing. We were going to the Taos Pueblo and then to Santa Fe. Then after eating dinner out, we were going to drop my parents and Amy’s parents at the hotel near the airport.

Amy and I went back to our room to change before we left for the Taos Pueblo. When I’d put the wig on this morning, I’d put it into a straight style with a headband, and it looked good. So, I left it that way. I put on one of my new skirts and tops. The top was a turquoise V-neck, with short sleeves, and had gold beading around the neck. The skirt was a three-tiered, crinkle print in turquoise, dark blue, and white, with ribbon trim.

I couldn’t make up my mind if I was going to wear a belt with this or not. But Amy made up my mind for me when she said that I should wear the Concho belt. I put it on, and she was right, it added something.

I wore the earrings that Amy had bought our last time here, the beaded ones that matched the barrette. I also wore my new moccasins.

Amy went with a coed look. Her hair in a ponytail. Shorts, a lightweight white blouse, and tennis shoes.

I’m not going to bore you with our day of site seeing, other to say that both Taos Pueblo and Santa Fe are fascinating places. And I guess because of the way I was dressed I had a few people ask me questions while we were at the Taos Pueblo, and I had to explain to them that I was a Navajo and not a Puebloan and that I didn’t know much about the Pueblo.

We’d taken two cars on our little trip, as my parents had to turn their car in and my aunt, uncle, Amy, grandma, and I had to go back to the resort. So after a lovely dinner at a local restaurant, we took my parents and Amy’s parents to the hotel, then my uncle followed my dad to where he’d rented the car and brought him back to the hotel.

We said a long so long to our parents, then headed back to the resort.

When we were back at the resort, Amy and I walked over to the bonfire and just stood there quietly for a little while. Then Amy whispered, “Are you all right?”

“Yeah.”, I replied. “I’m just missing our parents.”

She took my arm and hugged it, and whispered, “Me too.”

We went back to our room and spent a little time in the soaking tub, before turning in.

* * * * * *

Tuesday and Wednesday were just relaxing, we did some sightseeing, and I’m glad my uncle gave me a good map of the area. We had gotten lost a few times, and if we hadn’t had the map, we’d still be wandering around the desert or forests.

It was late afternoon on Wednesday, and we’d been in one of the spring pools for about a half an hour and had just gotten out when we heard a scream and then a woman yell, “Help me! Please, someone, help me!”

Amy being Amy, ran in the direction of the screams, another one of the pools, with me right behind her. When we were there, a woman was kneeling over a young boy along with someone from the resort’s staff, and everyone else was standing around. Amy ran to the woman and asked what happened. Someone else said that they had just pulled the boy out of the pool. Amy knelt down, pushed the woman out of the way, and checked on the boy. She looked at the person from the staff and told them to get some help.

Then Amy said he’s not breathing. And her nurse training kicked in. I watched as she turned the boy on his side, and checked his mouth, then she flipped him onto his back, bent down and blew into his mouth, then she checked his neck, then moved to his chest and gave him some chest compressions. She went back and forth between the breaths and compressions a few times, and finally, the boy started to cough and breathe on his own.

Someone asked, “Is she a doctor?”

“No.”, I replied. “She just finished her second year of nursing school.”

Someone else said, “I could never do that.”

Amy stayed with the boy, and she told the mother that the boy needed to go to the hospital to be checked out.

My uncle showed up, with the employee, and asked me, “Kai. What happened?”

I told him. Then Amy looked up, and said, “Uncle Paul. He needs to go to the hospital to be checked out.”

Uncle Paul told the person on the resort’s staff, to go and get the station wagon, and that they’d take the boy to the hospital. My uncle picked up the boy, who was crying, and carried him to the station wagon. His mother and Amy followed them.

I heard people talking about how quickly Amy had reacted and taken charge of the situation and what she did.

Later I was waiting with my aunt at the house when my uncle and Amy returned from the hospital. As they walked in, I asked, “How is he?”

“He’ll be fine.”, Amy replied. “They’re going to keep him overnight just to be sure.”

“I couldn’t believe how quickly you reacted to that.”

“It comes from doing the clinicals in the ER.”

“The boy’s mother couldn’t say enough about Amy.”, Uncle Paul said.

“It was nothing.”

“There’s my Amy.”, I said. “She does something special and thinks nothing of it.”

“Honey. It’s late. Can we go back to the room? I want to soak in the tub, and get to bed.”

Amy and I said goodnight to my aunt and uncle and we headed to our room. She walked in the door, stripped off her bathing suit, which she’d been wearing for the last few hours, walked out to the soaking tub, climbed in, and just relaxed. I quickly joined her.

We sat there quietly for a little while. Amy with her eyes closed, and me just looking at her. Finally, she opened her eyes, looked at me looking at her, and asked, “What are you looking at?”

“You.”, I replied.


“Because you amaze me.”

“I do?”

“Yes. You jumped in to help that boy without any hesitation. And you took charge and made things happen.”

“Someone had to. Everyone else was standing around doing nothing. And the boy’s mother was in hysterics. So she was no help. If no one had done anything, the boy would have died.”

I smiled, and said, “I love you Amilyn.”

“I love you too Tommy.”

I don’t know where she gets the energy, but that night in bed Amy took charge. And I’ll leave what happened to your imagination.


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