I woke up, not quite knowing where I was. Then I remembered: I was at home, in my own bed, wearing my own night-gown. I just lay there for a few minutes, relishing the thought: I was at home! I didn’t have to go to all my boring classes! Well, to be fair; the classes weren’t boring, but the teachers certainly were!
I eventually left the warmth of my bed for the bathroom. I took a thorough shower, just like I had been taught, and went back to my bedroom, to get dressed. The red ankle-long plush dress which lay on the chair, I decided to put on just before the party that evening. Instead I took out a red-and-white striped frock from the wardrobe. After having put a clean pair of underwear, a pair of white woolly tights, the corset, and the frock on, I went and searched for Mother. I found her in the kitchen, and I asked her to tighten the corset and button the frock, as I couldn’t do it myself. After that, we sat down to eat.
“You’re not eating much.”Mother noticed as she saw the solitary piece of bread and half-filled glass of milk in front of me. “Aren’t you hungry?”
“Yes Mother, I am,” I politely replied, “but they teach us in school that a lady never eats much.”
“Well,” she said, giving me a mischievous look, “you’re not in school now; are you? So you can eat as much as you want; whenever you want. I could excuse you from wearing corsets and dresses, and let you wear your old clothes, until it is time for you to go back. I won’t tell a soul; promise!”
I gave her a suspicious look, and said; “Thank you Mother for suggesting it; but no thank you. If you had asked me a couple of months ago, I probably would have said; “yes, please” but now I am too well accustomed to wearing them, to want to change; maybe in the summer, but not now.”
“That’s my girl! They really do a stunning job at that school!” Mother beamed: “How about I buy you some nice, cool dresses that you can wear when you come home for your summer vacation; would you like that?”
“Yes, please!” I timidly answered.
Later on that afternoon, Mother went with me to help me change into the red dress. She took a leather strap with buckles either end. She bent down, lifted my skirt and fastened it above my knees.
When she stood up again, she grabbed my upper arms, and looked at me, from top to bottom and back up again. “Now, let me look at you. You look simply adorable! With the hair that long, even I would have hard time seeing you were once a boy.” she beamed.
“Now, let’s see,” she continued. “Mrs. Jones of course knows you are really a boy, but wouldn’t it be fun, if we succeeded in fooling Mrs. Tomlinson, and her two daughters? I‘ve never really liked that woman; I only invited her because Mrs. Jones told me to!”
“Yes; that could be fun!” I agreed. “I just hope Mrs Jones doesn’t think that sort of thing is inappropriate.”
“Oh, I’m sure she won’t!” Mother assured me. “She detests that woman every bit as much as I do. I only invite her because she and Mrs Jones are the ones who have the most power in this town. ”
The doorbell rang, and we went to answer it. Thankfully, it was Mrs. Jones who arrived first, so Mother had time to explain what she had in mind.
Mrs. Jones looked down at her brown, floor-length silk dress, with its many layers of tulle petticoats. When she looked up again, she had a broad, almost evil, smile on her face.
“Well, as neither she nor her daughters are the brightest bulbs in the box; that shouldn’t be too hard to do.” She looked at me. “You just remember to talk the way we teach you in school.” We all looked at each other and giggled, like teen-age girls.
And, of course, Mrs. Jones was right; they weren’t. The deception-game went smoothly, and at the end of the evening, as they left, I could hear Mrs. Jones tell Mother she wished she had such polite daughters, as I was! Now, if that is not a resounding success, I don’t know what is!
“Don’t you go and get too cocky there, young miss!” Mother warned me. “Tomorrow, I’ve invited your aunt and her husband; and they will be much harder to fool!”
“Oh, don’t worry, Mother!” I said confidently. “The way I feel now, I can fool anybody!”