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Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

by Teddie S

 

Part 1

It Begins

 

"No! Katie, I won't do it."

"But, it's only for a few days."

"No way."

"But, this won't work without four. All the publicity shots have been done, and printed. We can't change them."

"I don't care. There is no way, not even for an hour."

"You're being selfish."

"No, I'm not. What if someone finds out. I would never hear the end of it."

"No one will find out. We'll be on the cruise ship."

"Mark will be there."

"Mark?"

"We don't get along at all. And, if he found out, it would be all over town."

"He wouldn't do that."

"Yes he would. In a heart beat."

"Please. Just think about it?"

"No. I won't do it. Period."

Katie was crying when she left my room, and that hurt. I loved my sister. I guess I should explain this whole thing. My older sister, Katie, who's five years older than I am, I'm sixteen, had put together a girl's singing group, The Four Hearts. I thought the name was a little dumb, but it worked for them. They started in high school, and continued afterwards. They have done a number of local gigs, become well known locally, have received some good publicity, and made some decent money. Then they had gotten an offer to work for five nights on a cruise ship, which was offering a special cruise for the twenty something crowd. And, the group jumped at it. They figured that it might open some new doors for them.

My sister's best friend, Nan, was one of her backup singers, as well as doing a couple of duets with Katie. And, a little while before the cruise, Nan was hurt in an automobile accident. This was a major tragedy for everyone. I liked her a lot, and didn't like seeing her hurt. She was going to be in the hospital for a while, and of course she would miss the cruise. Katie had spent a long time looking very hard for a replacement for Nan. But, there wasn't anyone that would fit the bill. And, she was at her wit's end, and almost ready to cancel the gig.

The group consisted of Katie the oldest at twenty-one, the lead singer. Nan who's also twenty-one, and plays bass guitar. Abby who's twenty, and played guitar. And, Pam, the baby of the group at nineteen, the composer of the group, as well as the keyboard player. Mark, was Katie's long time boyfriend, and was the groups sort of manager. He and I never got along. There was just something about him that I never liked.

A few years ago, my dad, before he died, had built a practice room for them in the basement, and they practiced there almost every day. And, I, being a typical teenage boy, hung around them when they practiced. I enjoyed being around four pretty girls. So, I knew most of their songs. Oh yea, Pam had actually written most of there original stuff.

It wasn't long after Katie had left my room that mom found me. She said, "Mat. Katie told me the idea that she had come up with. And, I thought she was crazy, but you and Nan are close to the same size. You can sing, and play the guitar. And, it would be almost like she was there."

"Mom! You're not making sense."

"Why?"

"I'm a guy. I'm your son. And, there is no way that I'm going to dress up as a girl. Besides, there is no way that I could look like a girl, or act like a girl. Let alone Nan. She's gorgeous. Besides . . ."

"Matty. You could. You and Nan are the same height, and about the same build. I think her outfits might even fit you. A little makeup."

"Mom. A little makeup?"

"Oh. I see what you mean."

You see, along with being gorgeous, Nan was also black. And, I'm as white as could be. Blue eyes, and blond hair. My northern European heritage. Nan had brown eyes, and her skin tone wasn't really that dark, it was like a nice tan. I burn when I get too much sun, so I've never tanned.

"I know all the publicity photos have been done for this trip, showing the four girls. And, of course one, Nan, is black. Can't Katie find anyone?"

"You know she's tried. I guess she'll just have to cancel, if the cruise line won't accept just three girls. Nan's a big part of the group. And, finding someone that knows the songs, and all, on such short notice is hard."

"I know she's trying. I really don't even sound anything like her. My voice is too deep."

Mom looked at me a little funny.

"What?", what I asked.

"Honey. You have a very nice singing voice. Your voice hasn't changed that much."

"Oh. Thanks. I'm sixteen, and sound like a girl."

"Don't worry. It'll change when it's ready."

Mom finally walked out of my room, and I went back to my reading.

Something else you should know about me, is that I am small. In fact, our whole family is on the small side. My dad was five foot six, my mom is five foot one, Katie is the giant of the family at five foot seven, and I'm like my dad, a whole five foot six. And, yes, my voice had never changed much. I sing countertenor in the high school choir. And, I've never played sports, but can play the piano, guitar, and saxophone.

Also, I'm one of those kids that don't have many friends. There aren't any kids in the neighborhood that are close to my age. Most are much younger. I do have a couple of friends when school's in session, but they live out on farms, and spend most of the summer working on the farm. So, I guess my closest friends are the girls from my sister's group. I spend most of my time reading, and helping mom take care of the house. And, the girls at school have never really liked me.

An hour or so later, I wandered downstairs, and into the kitchen looking for lunch. Katie was on the phone, when she saw me, she quietly said goodbye to whoever she was talking to, hung up, and said. "Hi Matty."

"Hi sis. Any luck finding someone?"

"No."

"Sorry to hear that."

"I know. It was a dumb idea thinking that we could make you look a little like Nan."

"Not dumb. Just far fetched. How's Nan doing?"

"That was her on the phone. She's still sore, and the casts are bugging her. But, she's just happy to be alive."

"So am I. I hope she gets out of there soon."

"So does she. She's lonely. Want to go see her?"

There was a little smile, and a twinkle in her eyes, when she asked.

"Yea. That would be okay. After lunch?", I replied.

"Sure."

So, after lunch, we headed for the hospital. When we walked into Nan's room, I was surprised as to how she looked. I knew she had been hurt. But, a cast on one leg, a number of bandages, all kinds of wires, and an IV line. I just stood there, and stared.

"Hi guys.", Nan said, "Don't be afraid, it isn't as bad as it looks."

Nan was always upbeat, no matter how bad things were. We walked over to her bed, Katie bent down, and gave her a kiss on the cheek. And, I tried to smile at her. Nan looked at me, and said, "Mat. I'll be fine. The doctors say I'll make a complete recovery. And, it won't take that long."

I just looked at her, tried to smile a little more and said, "It's just hard seeing you laying there like that."

"I know. Now, sit down, and tell me everything that's going on."

We sat with her, and Katie filled her in on all the gossip and goings on. And, I added a few comments from time to time. Finally Nan said, "Katie, would you be a sweetie. And, run down to the cafeteria, and get me a ginger ale?"

"Sure.", Katie replied.

I went to get up, and go with Katie. But, Nan said, "Mat. Stay here, and keep me company."

"Okay. If you really want me to?"

With a sweet smile, Nan said, "I'd like that."

So, I sat back down, and my sister headed to the cafeteria.

Nan looked over at me, smiled, and said, "Thanks for coming, and seeing me."

"No problem. I miss seeing the four of you together."

"I guess Katie is going to have to cancel the gig on the ship."

"Yea. She can't find anyone to take your place. And, with all the publicity stuff done, I don't know if the cruise line will accept only three girls."

"She told me about her crazy idea of turning you into me."

"It is kind of crazy."

With a grin, Nan said, "I guess there's no way they could turn a white boy, like you, into a pretty black girl, like me."

I looked back at her with a little smile.

"But,", she continued, "you know . . . "

My smile turned to a questioning look, and I said, "Now don't you start. You were right when you said, 'There's no way.'"

"But, Matty. You don't want the group to fail. Do you?"

"Of course not. But, there's no way that I'm going to dress like a girl. It's crazy."

"Matty. It's only for a few days. And, it would mean so much to all of us, and especially me. Since I messed this whole thing up."

"The accident wasn't your fault. So, don't feel bad."

I could see tears appear in Nan's eyes. This wasn't good.

"Matty. I just feel so bad. I would give anything, if there was anyway that I could undo this."

And, the tears started rolling down her cheeks.

I felt bad. I took her hand, and said, "Nan, don't cry. Everything will be fine."

"No, it won't. I've messed this up big time."

"Nan. You haven't. I wish I could help."

"Would you try something for me?"

"Maybe. What?"

"Well. I have a friend that works at a tanning place. Would you stop and see her?"

"For what?"

"To see if there is a way that she can get your skin color close to mine."

"No way. It would take months to get a tan like that. Besides, I burn."

"No, it wouldn't. They have a spray they use, and it only takes a few minutes. How do you think your sister keeps her tan during the winter?"

"A spray. How long does it last?"

"Until it wears off."

"And, how long is that?"

"About a week."

"A week?"

"Yes. It wears off after that time."

"Well . . . I don't know."

"Matty. For me?"

"Well. Maybe. But, what about everything else. My eyes? My hair? My voice? And, I know nothing about being a girl."

Nan had a way about her. Was I starting to bend to her way of thinking?

"You sing in the school choir. So, I know you can carry a tune. And, you wear contacts. Don't you?"

"Yea."

"Then colored contacts."

"My hair?"

"Well. I usually wear my hair fancy, with long braids, and colored beads. But, I was going to change it for the cruise, something a little easier to take care of. Your hair is somewhat long. I know of someone else that might help."

"No. There's no way. I can't. What if someone found out?"

"Matty. No one will know. I know people that are so good with makeup that they could make a cat look like a dog."

I smiled a little at that. Nan was starting to really bend me to her way of thinking. I couldn't believe that I was starting to think about doing this. There was no way that this would work.

"Hi guys. Have a nice chat?", Katie said as she walked back into the room, carrying three drinks.

"Matty is always a good talker.", Nan said.

"Good. What did you guys talk about?"

"Oh. Just Mat becoming me for the cruise."

"Really?", Katie said, looking at me.

I just shrugged my shoulders, and shook my head yes.

Katie added, "I figure he's still saying no to trying it."

"I don't know. He hasn't said yes, and he hasn't said no."

Both girls looked at me. Nan with her big brown eyes, and a smile. Katie with her blue eyes, and a questioning look. Could I say no to these two?

"All right, you two. This is nuts. But, I'll go to the tanning place, and see what happens. But, that's all.", I said.

The two girls looked at each other, and smiled. Katie looked at me, and said, "Thanks for doing this Matty."

"I only said that I'd go to the tanning place. No promises."

"I know. But, you've given me a little hope.", Katie said.

We sat, and chatted with Nan for a little longer. I didn't catch Katie checking her watch every few minutes, or the nod she finally gave to Nan. But, it wasn't too much later that Nan started to become sleepy, and Katie said we should be going. Nan tried to get us to stay, but Katie insisted that Nan needed to get some rest. Katie got up, and gave Nan a kiss on the cheek. I just said good bye to her. And, she made us promise to come back soon. I also missed the thumbs up that Nan gave Katie as we were walking out of her room.

As we drove out of the hospital parking garage, we turned right instead of left toward home. And, I asked Katie, "Where are we going?"

"I thought we might stop at the tanning place."

"Ah . . . Now?"

"Why not. You got a heavy date?"

"Hmm. I guess. I did promise Nan."

"I know."

Ten minutes later we pulled into the parking lot of the Tanning Barrel. Katie got out of the car, and I just sat. She bent down, looked in at me, and said, "Come on. It won't hurt."

I looked at her, and slowly got out of the car. We walked into the Tanning Barrel together. I looked around, and there were a number of people waiting. A girl walked up to Katie, greeted her with a kiss on the cheek, and said, "Hi Katie."

"Hi Mary Ann. This is my brother Mat."

"Hi Mat."

"Hi." Was all I could say.

"Is he the one that Nan and I talked about?"

"Yes. He's the one.", Katie replied.

I thought, 'Nan had already called here? That was quick.'

"Come on with me, and we can get started."

I followed behind Katie and Mary Ann to a private booth. Mary Ann closed the door behind us, and said, "All right Mat, take off your shirt, and will see how dark we can make you."

I slowly, and reluctantly, removed my shirt.

Mary Ann continued, "The way this works, is that we get you as dark as you want to be. Then if you want to keep it, you come in every week, and we redo the spray. What I'll do today is just a small area, to see how your skin will accept the solution. Then if you decide to do it, we can do the spray booth anytime you want. I'll also give you some lotion, which will help extent the time the tan lasts."

"Spray booth?", I asked.

"We have a special booth that you go into, and the spray is applied in a very uniform way."

"Oh."

Mary Ann got out a little device that she called an air brush. She carefully sprayed an area on my back, waited a little while, and checked it. She said, "This looks good. What do you think, Katie?"

"Looks great to me. Can't really tell if it's that close to Nan's coloring without seeing more.", Katie answered.

"Can I see?", I asked.

Mary Ann moved a couple of mirrors around, and I saw an area on my back that was tanned. Interesting.

I heard Mary Ann whisper something to Katie. And, Katie say. "You're right."

"What?", I asked.

"Oh, nothing."

"No. Something. What?"

"Mary Ann said, that if you do this, you'd need too lose your body hair."

"What!"

"If you go along with this. The body hair has to go."

"No way."

"Matty. Have you seen a girl with hairy legs, or arms?"

"No. I'm not a girl, and there is no way am I letting you guys do that."

"Matty. Relax. It's no big deal. I do it all the time."

"Yea. But, you're a girl."

"It grows back."

"Sure. But, how long does it take to grow back?"

"It depends on how it's done."

"Hmm. How's it done?"

Mary Ann said, "There's three quick, none permanent ways. Depilatory, shaving, and waxing."

"And?"

"Well. With shaving you'd have to do it almost every day, and it's prickly when it grows back in. With the depilatory, again you have to use it every few days. And, with these you'd have to have someone do your back. With waxing, we'd do it here. It's slow to grow back, and it grows in soft. No prickly regrowth. You'd only have to have it done once. But, it's a little painful to start with. This is what your sister, and Nan have done."

"I don't like pain."

"You kind of get use to it after a little while.", Katie added.

"We could show you on your back. And, you're not that hairy, so it won't be too bad.", Mary Ann added.

"Get use to pain? I don't know. This is really starting to getting too deep for me.", I said.

Katie said, "Matty. Just give it a try."

"I really don't know. I only said that I'd try the tanning."

"Just one spot? For me."

"All right. Just one spot."

Mary Ann, as she was walking out of the room, said, "I'll be right back."

I looked at Katie, and said, "Sis. This is really getting too deep. Hair removal. Tanning. Not to mention everything else that you and Nan have talked about. I'm really having second thoughts."

"Matty. Please, for me, give it a shot."

"Sis. I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I can pull it off."

"Matty. Please rethink this. It would mean the world to me, not to mention Nan, Pam, and Abby."

"You are going to owe me big for this."

"I know."

"Alright. We'll see what happens with this wax thing."

Just then Mary Ann walked back in, and said, "Come on with me."

Katie and I followed her to another room. This room had a nice padded table in it, a couple of nice arm chairs, and a roll around table with various stuff on it. Mary Ann patted the table, and said, "Hop up here Mat, and lay face down."

I reluctantly did as she said. After I laid down, Mary Ann said, "Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to spread a little wax on your back. It'll be warm, but not hot. Then I'll place a strip of cloth over the wax, and then remove the strip. Like I said, it will hurt a little. But, the body gets use to it after awhile. Okay?"

"I guess."

I felt Mary Ann spread something warm on my back, and then pressed something over it. She asked, "You okay?"

"So far."

"Now for this part." With that Mary Ann removed the strip very quickly. I jumped about five feet, and yelled.

Finally I was able to say, "That hurt!"

"Just relax for a minute, and it'll stop."

I looked at Katie, and said, "Hurt a little! That really hurt. I can't do this. No way."

"Matty. I have this done all the time.", Katie replied.

"Yea. But, you want to do it. I don't. How often do yo go through this?"

"Every four or five weeks. But, only my legs, and under arms."

"And, it hurts like this every time."

"Only the first pull."

"Yea. Right."

"Your body really does get use to the pain after a few minutes.", Mary Ann said, "Can I show you?"

"I don't think so."

"Please, Matty?", Katie said in a very sad voice.

I looked at her for a minute, and reluctantly said, "I . . . guess."

Mary Ann applied some more wax to my back, another strip of cloth, and again quickly removed the cloth. I jumped. But, she was right, it didn't hurt as bad.

"Was I right?", Mary Ann asked.

"I guess. But, it still hurts."

"But, it does get easier. Want me to show you? Your back is half done, and I might as well finish it."

I wasn't able to see the wink that Mary Ann gave Katie.

"Well.", I said, "I guess it would look funny only half done."

Mary Ann continued with my back, and by the time she was done, it really wasn't too bad. I have to admit, I really liked it when she massaged some lotion onto the area that she had waxed.

"Want me to do the rest?", Katie asked.

"The rest?"

"If you're going to be a girl, we need to do the whole body from the neck down."

"You're kidding. We only came here to check on the tanning, and now I've gotten my back waxed."

"Well. We know the tanning is going to work. What do you think?"

"You know what I said about you owing me. Well that just doubled. Mary Ann, is there a rest room close?"

"Sure. Turn left and it's the third door on the right."

After Mat had left the room, Mary Ann said to Katie, "Nan said he would do this if we worked it just right."

Katie, smiled, and said, "There's just something about Nan. She can wrap Mat around her little finger."

When I got back in the room, Mary Ann handed me a thong, and said, "You'll need to put this on."

"Why?"

"We need to do your whole body, except your privates. And, it's to keep you decent. You can go behind the screen, and change."

I looked at it, and wasn't sure it would cover everything. Even my little everything. But, I went behind the screen, stripped, and put on the thong. When I walked back out, Mary Ann said, "All right. Back up on the table."

I looked at Katie, and said, "Does mom know about all of this?"

"Not yet. But, I was going to call her while Mary Ann works on you."

She got up, and walked out of the room. And, Mary Ann went to work, starting with my backside, and working down the backs of my legs. She worked quickly, and methodically. Her only comment was, "I'm glad you're not too hairy. This won't take long at all."

About the time she was having me roll over, Katie was back, and said, "I talked with mom. And, so far she's fine with this. The waxing, and tanning. But, she wants to talk to us before things go much further."

"Much further? I'm not sure it's going any further.", I mumbled to myself.

When Mary Ann started on my chest, the pain was almost the same as when she first started on my back, but again subsided as she did more. When she was all done, she again massaged lotion everywhere that she had waxed. She also looked over my body very carefully, looking for any hairs that she had missed, and didn't find any. As I was starting to get off the table, she said, "Wait."

"What?", I asked.

"I almost forgot. Your underarms."

"Do we have to?"

"Ever see a girl with hairy underarms?", Katie asked.

I looked at her, and just shook my head. I figured this was really going to hurt, but it didn't. I was surprised. As I was finally getting off the table, she asked, "Do you want to do your first tanning session today?"

I looked at Katie. She looked at me, and said, "It's your call."

"I'm . . . I'm . . . Oh. Why not.", I finally said.

"By the way. After I called mom, I called Nan, and told her. She said she owes you a big kiss for doing this."

Mary Ann had me put on a robe, and she led us, me still in the thong, back to the tanning booth. She put me inside, after telling me how I needed to stand. It only took a short time. She looked me over, and touched up a few spots using the air brush. I looked at my arms, and they had a nice tan to them, as did my legs.

Katie said, "It looks good on him. He should have done this a long time ago."

On the way home, Katie said, "I'm proud of you."

"Proud of me? I think it was set up."

"Set up?"

"You and Nan set me up. I don't think she needed anything to drink. It was just away to get me alone with her. And, let her work on me."

Katie just sat there, and grinned.

"So, you may be able to get me to look like a girl. But, what about acting like a girl?"

"You've got four teachers, they've been girls all their lives, and can probably do a good job in teaching you. As long as, you are willing to learn."

After we got home, mom intercepted us in the kitchen, and said, "All right you two, sit."

The three of us sat at the kitchen table, and mom looked at me, and said, "Well you do look good with some color. But, are you doing this because you want to help your sister, or did she and Nan coerce you into this?"

"I'm not sure what happened, mom. One minute I was myself, the next I was hairless and tan. And, I wasn't sure why I was doing it. But, it's done."

"Are you going to do the cruise with the group?"

"I don't know. I told Katie and Nan that I would check out the tanning, and that was it. But, I guess I went a little further."

"I'd say a lot further. Katie, you know if he goes through with this, you're going to owe him. And, Mat, if you do, be careful who finds out. Afterwards it may be a fun thing. But, during, it could be very embarrassing for everyone."

"Mom,", I said, "you don't have a problem with this?"

"Yes, and no. Yes, I don't know if I want my son dressing and acting like a girl. And, no, I don't want to see my daughter fail, and if my son wants to help her succeed, that's his choice."

"I'm going to have to sleep on this. I don't know if I can do it."

"Abby and Pam are coming over to rehearse. Want to join us?", Katie asked.

I thought, 'What! And, let those two work on me too.'

But, being a teenaged boy, I couldn't resist being around three pretty girls, even thought they were older than I am, and one was my sister. So, later that evening I joined them, in the room in the basement. I sat on a stool, and just listened to them for a while. They sounded good, but without Nan there, something was missing. As they finished one of the songs, Abby looked at me, smiled, and said, "That tan looks good on you Mat. Going to keep it?"

"I don't know.", I replied.

"It does look good.", Pam added.

"Thanks. I think."

"Nan said that you were considering doing the cruise with us."

"Just thinking."

"I think it would be cool."

With a nasty tone to my voice, I said, "But, you don't have to do it."

"Mat! That wasn't nice.", Katie said.

"I'm sorry. But, this is really beginning to be too much. I'm a guy, and I don't want to dress up as a girl, or act like a girl."

"It's no big deal Mat," Pam said.

Abby added, "It's just clothes, and some makeup. And, you look good with tan you have. It's almost like Nan."

"In fact it could be fun. Just to see how the other half lives."

"You guys are really pushing this. Clothes and makeup. Yea. But, then I have to also act like a girl. I've been a boy for sixteen years. I don't think I can do it.", I said.

"The big thing is.", Abby added, "If we don't find the fourth. This gig is going to fall through. And, then I think that the group will fall apart."

Abby was the serious one of the group, and could always be counted on to come to the point. My sister looked at her, then me, and I could see tears welling up in her eyes.

"Mat.", Pam said, "You know most of these songs. Why don't you join us for just one?"

Katie looked at me, and said, "Yea. Just do a background part."

Against my better judgement, I slid off the stool, and said, "Just one."

Nan and I were at about the same level with the guitar, and I knew the music. So, that wasn't a problem. Singing with them was another matter. But, not much later, I we had done six songs. And, one was a duet with my sister.

"Matty.", my sister said, "That was nice. You actually sounded good. Want to hear what it sounded like?"

They taped all of their practice sessions. I looked at her, and said, "I guess."

We sat there, and listened to the tape. To start with, I could hear myself in the group, but as the session went on, my voice started to blend in with the group. And, with the duet with Katie, I wasn't sure it was me.

"That sounded very nice girls.", my mom, who had been standing at the door, said.

I turned around, and said, "Girls?"

"Sorry Mat. But, it did sound like a girl's group."

"Oh, thanks. Just what I needed"

"Mat. It did sound good. For some reason your voice blended with ours.", Pam said, "And, I think with a few more sessions you would sound like a natural. You have a nice sultry voice."

"Now I'm sounding like a girl!"

That night I lay in bed thinking about this whole thing. I really didn't want my sister's group to fail. But, I also didn't want to dress up like a girl. I'd gone as far as the hair removal, and tanning session. And, that may have been too far. Did I want to go further? Could I go any further?

The next morning I came down for breakfast, and only Katie was there. She looked up, and just said, "Morning."

"Hi. You okay?", I asked.

"I didn't sleep very well last night."

"How come?"

 

"Worrying about the cruise ship gig. I'm going to have to call them this afternoon, explain what's going on, and see if they'll accept just the three of us. But, we're really missing something without a fourth voice. And, I just don't think it'll work."

I got myself some cereal, and sat down across from Katie. And, between mouthfuls I said, "Did I really sound that good last night?"

"Yes. Toward the end. When you relaxed, and started having some fun."

"It was kind of fun."

"The girls also thought that you were really fitting in."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"If I do this. What more would we have to do?"

I saw a little hope appear on my sisters face, as she said, "Get your hair done. Find someone to do your makeup, so that you'd look right. Get you a couple pairs of brown contacts. And, be sure that Nan's outfits will work for you."

"You've been thinking about this, haven't you?"

"Yes. I've been running it over and over in my mind. Just incase you decided to do it."

"Think Nan is up?"

"Oh, probably. Hospitals are notorious for getting people up early. Why?"

"I just wanted to talk to her."

"Okay. I'll call her."

"Hi Nan. It's Katie. Didn't wake you up did I?" . . . "I figured as much." . . . "There's someone here that wants to talk to you." . . . "Yea. Hang on."

"Hi Nan. It's Mat." . . . "Fine. How are you feeling?" . . . "Good. I just wanted to tell you that I've decided to try and do the gig." . . . "Yea. I sang with them last night, and they all said I sounded good. My mom even said so." . . . "Yes, I'm willing to give it a shot." . . . "Thanks. Here she is."

I handed the phone to Katie, who had a big smile on her face. And, I was still wondering why I had just said what I did.

Katie took the phone, and said, "Hi." . . . "No. A big surprise to me. He never said anything until he told you." . . . "I know." . . . "Yes. A lot of work in a short time. But, I think we can manage." . . . "That's great. Let me get a paper and pencil." . . . "Okay." . . . "Alright. Talk to Aba at the Hair Hut on 12th." . . . "Yea. See Tom there. They'll be all right with it?" . . . "Yes. It will be interesting." . . . "That'll be cool if you can do that." . . . "I'll wait till I hear from you." . . . "You take care, and get well. Love you. Bye."

Katie hung up the phone, looked at me, and said, "Mat you really surprised me. Are you really going to do this for us?"

"I'll try."

"Are you sure?"

"I guess."

"No guess. I only want you doing it if you're really sure."

"I am. I don't want you guys to have to cancel the gig. It may lead to something big for you."

"Mat. If you weren't my brother, I'd kiss you."

"You'd better not. But, promise me something?"

"Sure. What?"

"That Mark will never find out."

"He's harmless."

"I don't care. He really doesn't like me, and there's no way I want him finding out."

"Okay. But, then we'll have to really keep you under wraps, and only let him see you when you're fully dressed, and in girl mode."

'Girl mode?', I thought, 'This isn't going to work.'

An hour or so later I heard Katie talking on the phone, and it sounded like it might be Nan. And, it was later that day that we were off to somewhere that I'd never been before, and I wasn't really sure that I want to be, a beauty parlor. It was called the Hair Hut, we sat, and waited for a certain girl.

A girl, in full Goth, finally walked up to us, and introduced herself as Aba. She said that Nan had called her earlier, and explained everything. We got up and started following her. As we walked toward the back of the shop, I whispered to Katie, "How many more people are going to know about this?"

"Not many. We have to get your hair done. And, your make over."

Aba showed us into a private room, and said, with a smile, "Mat. Don't worry. Nan told me the whole story. And, I think you're really cool for doing this. And, I want to help you do it. The biggest thing is getting your hair to look as close to Nan's as we can. I do her hair all the time, and she figured that I had the best shot at doing it. Have a seat in the chair, and I'll take a look."

I sat in her chair, and she started looking at my hair. Finally she said, "This will work. What we're going to have to do, is add hair extensions, dye it a mahogany brown, and do it in tight curls."

"How will he keep it like that for the cruise?", Katie asked.

"Easy. The curls will be very tight, and will stay in for the most part. And, if it's like most cruise ships, they have a good beauty shop on board, and can fix it. And just being a little careful when he sleeps. When do you want to do this?"

"How long will this whole thing take?"

"The longest part will be doing the extensions. We could do the extensions, dying, and set in one day, but it would be a long day."

"Think he should be in girl mode for this?"

"At least when he walks out of here. His hair will be so feminine, even with just the extensions, that it will look funny if the rest of him looks like a guy."

"So, if Mat walks in. A girl should walk out?"

"That would be best. If he looks completely like a girl, there won't be any strange looks."

"What about makeup?"

"I think one of the girls here would be willing to help. Nan uses her when she wants a really good look. And, she's really good at special looks."

I had been sitting there taking in all this talk between Aba and Katie, felling like the odd man out, and I finally said, "Stop. You're talking like I'm not even here. I'm the one that's going to go through this. If I do. So, once I get the hair extensions I have be in girl mode from then on?"

Nodding her head yes, Katie said, "And, it might help you get into the role of being a girl."

"Role of a girl?"

"There's more to it than just looking like a girl. Remember I told you, you are going to have to act like a girl, move like a girl, become a girl."

I just sank down in the chair. This was going to be more trouble than I thought.

"First lesson.", Katie said, "Girls don't slouch. So, sit up."

I frowned at her, but sat up in the chair.

As we were walking out of the beauty salon, Aba said, "I'll order the real hair extensions as close to Mat's color as possible, and we'll see you later in the week. And, I'll also talk with Viv about the makeup."

We got into the car, and I slouched down in the seat. Katie said, "Mat. Sit up."

Reluctantly, I obeyed her.

She turned, looked at me, and said, "Mat. If you're not going to do this, we're going to stop right now before we waste any more money. Now. Are you doing this or not?"

I looked at her, and I could tell she was being very serious. She just sat there and looked at me. Then said, "Well?"

"I said I would, didn't I?"

"Yes you did. But, the way you've been acting. . . . "

"I'm sorry. But, there is just so much."

"Yes there is. Trying to make a boy look like a girl, is a lot of work. You're trying to turn a macho male, into a sweet girl. It's a major challenge."

"How much more?"

"We're going to stop at Nan's place, and pick up the clothes that she was going to wear for the cruise, and take them home. That way we can be sure they fit you, and we can make any alterations that we need to."

"What else?"

"Another stop, on the way to her place."

"Where?"

 

"Look at me, and tell me what's the biggest difference between you and me besides our faces."

I looked at her. And, I must have gotten a puzzled look on my face, because Katie took her hands, and pointed to her breasts.

"No way.", I said.

"Mat. Only forms, something to go inside a bra."

"Underwear. I've got to wear girl's underwear?"

"Mat. It's the whole thing, or nothing."

I just looked at her, sighed deeply, and said, "Okay."

We drove to the other side of town, and pulled into the parking lot for a place called Stage Front. As we were walking in, I asked, "Now does Nan know about all of these places?"

"You didn't know?"

"Know what?"

"That along with being a singer, she's been into the theater since she was very young."

"You're kidding."

"No. She's done a number of plays, and musicals. And, has gotten to know a lot of people."

"I guess."

We walked into the Stage Front, and Katie asked for Tom.

Tom walked up to us, and said, "Hello. I'm Tom. You must be Katie and Mat. Nan called, and said you were coming." Then turning to me, he said, "I think it's just wonderful that you're going to be helping."

"Thanks. I think.", I said.

"Come on, and we'll get started."

We followed him to the back of the store, and into a dressing room. He had me sit in another beauty shop type chair, and said, "So, we're changing you from a white boy into a black girl. A challenge, but possible. The tan looks great. I took the liberty of pulling some breast forms, and we'll see which looks best on you. These are all close to Nan's coloring, but in different sizes, and we may have to order something closer to your skin color. Do you have a bra?"

"Ah . . . No."

"Okay. Lets see what size. Stand up, and take off your shirt."

I stood, and took off my shirt. He wrapped a measuring tape around my chest, and said, "34" Then wrapped it around my waist, and said, "25". Then wrapped it around my butt, and said, "28. Okay, I'll be right back."

Tom walked out of the room, and I just looked at Katie. She said, "What?"

"You know this is going to be a lot of work, and money."

"You're right."

"I said that I'd do it, and I haven't been very good about it. Have I?"

"No. Not really."

"I'm going to try and do better. You're having enough problems, what with Nan and everything."

"Really?"

"Yes. I really do want you guys to succeed with this gig. I'll do whatever you want me to."

"Really?"

"Yea."

"Thank you. It's going to take a lot of work just getting you to look like a girl. And, you're also going to have to act like one. Not to mention fitting you into the group. I think we have to get you started thinking like a girl right now."

"Okay."

She just smiled at me. Tom came back in carrying a number of bras and something else. He laid everything down on the counter, turned, and looked at me. He picked up a garment that looked like underpants, but more.

"These are special panties.", Tom said, "You need a girl's figure. Your chest size isn't bad, your waist is good, so you don't need anything to give you a waist. But, your butt needs help, and that's where these come in. They're padded in just the right places, and they'll also help keep your friend in control. Also, they're the same color as the breast forms, and will be hard to detect."

"My friend?", I asked.

"You don't want to have a bulge in front with some of the tight stuff that Nan likes to wear. Do you?"

"Oh, that friend."

"If Katie will excuse us, I'll show you how to come up with a smooth front."

Katie got up, and walked out the door. Tom explained how to tuck my two little friends up inside, and pull my other friend back between my legs. And, then pull the panties up to hold everything in place. These panties were very tight, and it was very uncomfortable at first. But, after moving things around a bit, it started to feel better. Katie came back in, and was amazed as to how flat I was, and that I now had hips, and a butt.

Tom then went to work on the breast forms. They were dark, just about Nan's skin color. He explained that there were various sizes, and we needed to try various ones to see what looked best. He handed me one of the bras, and I just looked at it. He grinned, and said, "Never put one of these on before?"

"No. Never.", I answered.

"Here. Slip your arms through the straps, turn around, and I'll fasten it for you."

I did as he said, and it sure felt funny with that strap around my chest.

He then said, "Your sister can show you how to do it properly later."

"One of your lessons Mat.", Katie added with a smile.

"Now.", Tom said, "We'll try this size form first."

He proceeded to place a form into each of the bra cups, and adjust them to his satisfaction. He stood back, examined them, looked at Katie, and said, "What do you think?"

Katie said, "No. They need to be bigger."

Tom walked back up to me, removed the forms, and inserted a bigger set. Again, he stepped back, examined them, and asked Katie. And, again Katie said, "Still bigger."

Again Tom walked up to me, removed the forms, and bypassed the third set, and went to the fourth. He stepped back, looked at Katie, and said, "Well?"

Katie said, "Perfect. Looks just like Nan."

"Good. How do they feel Mat?"

"Heavy, and cold.", I answered.

"They'll warm up, and you'll get use to the weight once they're attached."

"Attached!?"

"Yes. To make them look natural they need to be attached with glue, and makeup used to hide the edges. And, then no one will be able to tell. And, Nan likes to wear tops that show cleavage."

"How long does the glue last?"

"It starts to degrade by itself after about two weeks, and then the breasts will just peal off. Or, you can use a remover anytime. I'll show your sister how to apply them, and then she can put them on anytime. But, if you come back just before you leave, I'll attach them, and do the makeup around the edges. Now, what we normally do, is have the forms custom tinted to match the persons skin color. But, we're lucky with you, and the set your sister picked is so close that it will match without a problem."

He laid me back in the chair, and showed Katie, how to mark where to place them. Then explained how to use the glue, place, and hold the forms in place until the glue set. Then how to work the glue around the edges. When we left, I had a set of breast forms, three bras, three sets of the special panties, the glue, and the remover. And, Katie had me wear a pair of the special panties to 'just get use to them.'

As we went to the car, I got in like a guy would. Katie caught me and said, "Wrong."

"Wrong. What?"

"Lesson two. A girl doesn't get into a car that way. Get back out."

I got out, stood beside the car, and said, "Well how should I do it?"

"Sit, and then swing your legs' in."

I did as she said, and it felt funny doing it that way. I watched, and she got in the car the same way. And, I said, "I've never noticed the difference before."

"That's because mom never harped on you to keep your knees together."

"Keep my knees together?"

"So the boys couldn't look up your skirt."

 

I though, 'Look up my skirt?'

We drove over to Nan's apartment, to pick up the clothes that she had planned on wearing on the cruise. Nan had everything separated in her large walk-in closet, and Katie knew exactly what to take out, and she set them on Nan's bed. Then she walked over to Nan's chest of drawers, and started looking for something. "Here take this.", she said, handing me a package. "And, this.", handing me a second package.

I looked at the first package, and it was a six pack of very sexy panties. The other package was three pairs of very shear panty hose. I asked, "What are these for?"

"Nan said, that she got the panties for the cruise, and that you might as well have them."

"But, I've got the others."

"But, they're skin colored, and if you didn't wear panties it would look like you weren't wearing anything."

"Oh. And, pantyhose?"

"Nan usually doesn't wear nylons, but for some of the formal stuff on the cruise she figured that she might need them."

"Oh."

"She also said that you could borrow some of her jewelry. So, lets see what she has."

Katie walked over to her dresser, and opened up a jewelry box, and started looking at things. I just kind of looked over her shoulder. I knew Nan like to wear a lot of rings, but I couldn't believe how many she had. Katie picked out a few, and set them aside. Then a couple choker style necklaces, and bracelets. Then she started looking at earrings, and she hesitated for a second. She turned, and looked at me.

"What?", I asked.

"Earrings. Nan's are all for pierced ears."

"No way."

"You already have your left ear done. All we have to do is your right. Besides, finding long dangle earrings like Nan wears in clip ons will be impossible."

"Ah . . . I know I said that I'd do this, but . . . "

"A lot of guys have both ears pierced, and no one cares."

 

"Oh all right. . . . I guess."

"I'll even do it for you. In fact, we can probably do it right here. Nan has some nice studs. Let me see if I can find some things."

Katie went looking, and I just sat on Nan's bed waiting. Katie was back in a few minutes, and shortly afterwards, along with the stud that I already had in my left ear, I had a small diamond stud in my right. Katie changed the stud in my left ear to one that matched the one in my right. Her comment, as she was piercing my right ear, was, "We should do multiples. Nan has five in her left, and four in her right."

I just looked at her, and said, "No!"

Katie then selected a dozen or more pairs of the longest dangle earrings that she could find, and a couple pairs of big hoops. I remember Nan wearing the big hoops, and I thought it was cool.

Katie carefully packed the clothes into a suitcase, and the jewelry into a small travel case. Saying, "We'll try them on at home. Next."

"Next?"

"Shoes. Nan said we could borrow anything we want."

"But, they won't fit me."

"They just might. We don't call her 'boat feet' for nothing."

"That's not nice."

"She called herself that first, when she found out that she had the biggest feet in the group. And, it stuck as an inside joke."

"All right. I guess."

"We'll need a dozen pairs."

"A dozen? Why so many."

"For many different looks."

"Does she have than many?"

"Didn't you see the shelf at the back of her closet? There must be four or five dozen pairs of shoes, a few pairs of boots, and each has there own cubbyhole."

"Why so many."

"It's a girl thing.". Katie replied as she walked back into Nan's closet. A few minutes later, she was back out with two pairs of shoes, and a pair of boots.

"Okay Matty. Off with the shoes and socks."

I took my shoes and socks off, and she placed a pair of what looked like sandals on the floor in front of me. I looked at them, they had a short heel on them, and what looked like laces.

"Go on. Slip them on.", Katie said.

I slipped my feet into them, and it felt strange, my heels higher than my toes. Katie knelt down, wrapped the laces around my ankles, and tied them. Then, she helped me stand up. She looked up at me, and said, "Well?"

"It feels strange."

"You'll get use to them."

"But, a high heel sandal."

"These are only about two inch heels, and they're the lowest heeled shoe that Nan has other than her trainers. Lets try this pair, if they fit then anything Nan has should fit."

This pair, was a pair of black, pointed toe stilettos. The heel looked to be twice as high as the sandals. Katie untied the sandals, slipped them off, and I carefully slipped my feet into the shoes. They were tight, but fit. And, I felt a little tipsy being on heels that high and skinny. Katie asked, "How do the feel?"

"Like I'd break my neck if I tried to walk in them. And, they're tight. They pinch a little."

"A little pinch is nothing. You'll have to learn to walk in these. We'll work on that at home. I'll go pick a few more pairs, and we'll get those packed up. Then we can go home."

Katie and I carried the suit cases with clothes, shoes, and jewelry down to the car. I went to get in the car, as I usually did, and Katie said, "Stop."

"I know. I know. Sit, and swing my legs' in."

"You got it."

As Katie and I were taking everything into the house, mom said, "A girl by the name of Aba, from the Hair Hut, called and she didn't have to order the hair extensions, she found them in the shop. She also said, that tomorrow was a slow day, and she could do Mat's extensions. So, I made you an appointment for nine in the morning."

I looked at Katie with, I guess, a little look of fright. And, she said to mom, "Mom. Mat will be in girl mode after we go tomorrow."

"Why?", mom asked.

"We figured, since he'd look more like a girl at that point, that it might be best for him to be in girl mode from the time the extensions were added."

"Matty. Did you really agree to this?"

"I guess. I told Katie that I was going to go through this without much more complaining."

"I see." And, I got the look from mom. The look of, 'I'm not sure about this.'

Katie and I hauled all of Nan's stuff up to my room, and laid the clothes out on my bed, or at least as much as we could. I, with Katie's help, put on a bra with the forms. And, we started trying on all of the clothes. Some of the skirts were very short, there were two long formals, a couple shorts outfits. The ones that I really didn't care for were the ones that showed a little bare midriff. But, that's what everyone was wearing. Surprisingly most everything fit or came very close.

Mom walked in just as I was trying on one of the formals, and said, "Very nice. But, it looks strange seeing Matty in a dress with breasts."

"It feels funny, too.", I replied.

"You're really going to do this. Aren't you?"

"I did promised Katie and Nan that I'd really try."

She nodded her head, and walked out of the room. Katie and I carefully made room for all the clothes in my small closet, and put everything carefully away. I looked at her, and said, "What's next?"

"I think you had better practice with the shoes."

"Which ones."

"If you learn to walk in the stilettos, then you'll be able to walk in any of them."

"But, I feel like I'm going to break an ankle."

"If you're careful, and remember to take small steps. You'll be fine."

"What about tomorrow?"

"We'll pick out some things later. But, I figure that we'll keep it simple, a pair of jeans, a loose top, and maybe the sandals will be good for tomorrow."

I slipped on the stilettos, and tried to walk in them. Luckily I was next to my bed, as I almost twisted my ankle, and fell on my bed. Katie helped me sit up, and said, "Maybe we had better start with a lower heel."

Later that evening, I practiced with the group again. That night it was my turn to not sleep very well, thinking about the change to come tomorrow. Was I really ready for this?

The next morning, after breakfast, Katie laid out some clothes for me. And, we packed them in a small case. And, as she was walking out of my room, said, "Be sure, and wear the special panties."

At nine o'clock we were walking into the Hair Hut, and Aba was standing at the desk chatting with a couple of the other hair dressers. She saw us, smiled, and said, "Hi Mat. Hi Katie."

We returned the greetings, and followed her to a private room. We were shortly joined by two other girls, and Aba introduced them, "This is Viv, she'll be doing your makeup. And, this is Penny, she's the nail tech. I figured, that while I was doing your hair, Penny could give you a manicure, and pedicure. And, then Viv can do your makeup. Is that okay?"

I looked at Katie, and she said, "Sure." I looked back at Aba, and said, "Okay."

Aba had me sit in her chair, she wheeled over a tray, and Penny rolled over another tray. Aba started working on my hair, and she was pulling, and twisting. But, what Penny was doing to my hands was relaxing. I closed my eyes, and tried to relax. I don't know how long this took, but at about the time Aba was done with the extensions, Penny had finished with the pedicure.

"Mat.", Aba said.

"Huh?", I said shaking myself out of a fog.

"Mat. I'm going to have to style your hair, do you have any idea what you want?"

"Ah. No."

"I think I know something that will look very cute."

"You know best. I guess."

I don't know how long it was, but when she was done, I saw myself in the mirror, and I had a very feminine hairdo. And, the hair went well below my shoulders. Then Viv walked in, and started on my makeup.

I happened to look at my hands. My nails were a dark red, and longer than they had been by about half an inch. I looked at Katie, and she grinned, as she said, "You must have really been zoning. Penny put acrylics on your nails, and polished them. Look at your toes."

I looked at my toes, and those nails were the same color as my finger nails. I looked back at Katie, and she said, "Remember we decided full girl mode after the hair."

"But, I wasn't expecting this."

"It's part of it."

Viv asked me, "Mat, are you shaving yet?"

"No.", I replied.

"Good. We won't have to hide a beard shadow."

I sat there while Viv worked on my makeup. The worst thing was when she was plucking my eyebrows, it wasn't the pain, but how much she was doing. When she was completely done, she turned me around to face the mirror, and I saw for the first time what she and Aba had done to me. I just looked at myself for a long time. I was a girl, hair, makeup, and all. Viv had actually given me nicely arched eyebrows.

Katie said, "I love the look Matty. Aba and Viv did a really good job."

"I know sis. Almost too good."

"What do you mean?"

"Will everything be back to normal by the time school starts?"

"It should be. We'd better get you changed. We have other things to do."

I looked at Katie, and said, "I guess I'm stuck going out like this now. Aren't I?"

"And, you'll do just fine."

"Know what?"

"What?"

"We've never come up with a name for me to use with Mark."

"Oh. . . . You're right. I'll have to think on that. But, as far as the cruise line is concerned you're Nan."

Katie helped me change into the clothes that she had picked for me, a bra, the forms, a leather skirt that hit me about mid thigh, and a brightly colored blouse. Katie called it a tie-front silk blouse. It actually felt nice. I also wore the sandals with the ties.

Now, don't get me wrong. I was standing there for the first time looking like a girl, but feeling very scared. I knew that Aba and Viv had done some remarkable work to make me look like a girl. I looked in the full length mirror, and saw a girl. Blond with a deep tan. Even kind of cute. But, could this boy, now looking more like a girl, walk out of the beauty shop, and be a girl, not a boy. I wasn't sure.

"Come on Matty we have things to do.", Katie said, as she took my arm and led me out of the room.

As we walked to the front desk, Aba and Viv were standing there, they looked at me, both smiled, and Viv said, "Looking really good girlfriend."

I think I might have actually smiled at that. I know I felt a little bit better. There were a number of other customers in the shop, some looked, some didn't. But, there were no strange looks like what I had expected. Katie and I said good bye to Aba and Viv, and walked toward the door. I hesitated at the door, Katie looked at me, and said, "Matty. You look cool. I know you're nervous about this, but you'll be fine. The more we get you out, the better you'll feel."

As we walked to the car, Katie said, "I think I have a name for your female side."

'My female side?' I asked her, "What?"

"Kyla."

"Kyla. . . . Hmm. I guess."

Katie watched as I got in the car. And, I did it correctly. She just smiled at me, then said, "You have a lot to learn in the next week and a half. And, start watching all the girls that you see. Not like a guy watching girls, but to learn how they walk, move, and interact. Remember the things that I've told you, always a little smile, walk with your head up, one foot in front of the other, short steps, and everything else. You're now a pretty girl, and you need to be proud of that. Think you can do it?"

"I'll try."

"I can't ask any more than that."

We drove over to the optometrist that we used, to pick up my brown contacts. Then we stopped at the mall, and walked around for a little while. It took Katie awhile to get me out of the car, and into the mall. As we were finally walking toward the mall, Katie told me that we were doing this for a couple of reasons. One was to get me use to being around people. Another was to watch girls and women. And, lastly to just do some window shopping. We spent a couple of hours there, and I started to relax. The more people ignored me, the better I felt. I received some smiles from women, and some admiring looks from guys. Then, as we were leaving the mall, we stopped in a small boutique, and Katie bought me a purse. The clerk at the boutique treated me just like any other customer. It was like I was just one of the girls.

Now, mom when she saw me was almost speechless. But, finally said, "Mat. I never thought that you'd go through with this whole thing."

"I promised Katie. And, we had a long talk about it."

"I just hope this will work for you Katie. It's been a lot of work."

"I know mom.", Katie said, "Everyone that's seen Mat this way is just struck by how good he looks."

"It's not all looks."

"We know mom, and we're working on it."

Three days after Aba had put in the hair extensions, we were back having my hair dyed mahogany brown. She also dyed what was left of my eyebrows the same color. I had worn my brown contacts, so that when we were done, I'd be completely Kyla. It took Aba awhile to put my hair in tight curls, but when she was done, I had what looked like a thousand curls down to my shoulders. Viv then redid my makeup to go with my hair and eyes.

Katie had brought a pair of Nan's large loop earrings, and replaced my studs with them. She commented, that we shouldn't be removing the stud from my right ear yet, but as long as we were careful we should be okay. When I finally looked in the mirror, I saw a pretty black girl, and Katie with a broad smile on her face looking over my shoulder. I turned around, and said in my best Kyla voice, "Well girlfriend, are you happy? You now have a sister instead of a brother."

"Matty. . . . No. Kyla. You look fantastic. And, I really owe you big time." She walked over, and kissed me on the cheek, just like she did with her girlfriends. Then said, "There's someone that's going to be even more surprised."

"Who?"

"Nan."

"Yea. She hasn't seen any of this."

"Want to go surprise her?"

A little while later we were walking down the hall to Nan's room, and Katie stopped me. She said, "Lets really surprise her. You go in by yourself, and see how long you can fool her."

"Cool."

We stopped outside Nan's door. Katie looked me over. Smiled. And said, "Go have some fun."

I slowly walked into the room, and peaked around the curtain. Nan looked up, saw me, and said, "Hello honey. Can I help you?"

Again, in my best Kyla voice, I said, "I'm looking for my friend. She's supposed to be in this room."

"I'm the only one in this room. What's your friends name?"

"Nan."

"My name's Nan. But, I don't think I know you."

I couldn't help but get a big grin, as I said, "Does the name Mat mean anything?"

"Mat!?"

"Uh huh,"

"No way?"

"Way."

"Where's that sneaky sister of yours?"

"Right here.", Katie said, walking into the room with a big grin on her face.

"Matty. If I could get out of this bed, I'd give you such a big hug. And, I love your earrings. And, your hair is just perfect."

"The earrings are yours, and I can wait until you're better for the hug.", I replied.

"They're yours now. And, Katie he, no she, looks so good. Is there really a boy in there?"

"He's still in there some place. It took a lot of work. But, your friends did it."

"How's his singing voice?"

"I'd worry, if I were you. He's beginning to sound almost as good as you do."

"Mat. You'd better not take my place."

"Don't worry.", I said, "You just hurry up and get well. I'll stop being Kyla any time."

"Kyla. That's a cool name."

"Katie came up with it."

"Has Mark met Kyla yet?"

"No.", Katie replied, "He won't be back until just before we leave."

"That will be the real test. If you can fool him, you can fool anyone."

Nan saw the frown on my face, and added, "What's wrong honey?"

"Mark. I just don't like him."

"It'll be fine, honey. There's no way that he'll know that you're really Mat."

"I sure hope not."

I was sitting on Nan's bed, and trying to break the sullen mood that I started, she reached out for my breasts. 'My breasts?' Touched them, and said, "Are these real?"

I jumped like they were real. Katie laughed a little. And, Nan grinned. We sat and talked like three girlfriends for an hour. I tried very hard to maintain Kyla. At one point a nurse came in, and said, "Could you girls excuse us for a couple of minutes? I have to change a dressing."

I looked at Nan, grinned, and said, "Sure. We'll be in the hall."

Once in the hall, Katie said, "See. I told you that you were passable."

"Meeting Mark will be the test to pass."

"Why don't you like him?"

"I'm not sure. I just get bad vibes from him. He just seems . . . seems like he's always up to something."

"He's harmless."

"We'll see."

 

We stayed another hour with Nan, and as we were leaving, she said, "Kyla. It's really nice to have another girlfriend."

"Thanks girlfriend.", I said, as I bent down, and kissed her on the cheek.

I was feeling pretty good. Almost sure of myself. Was I really beginning to get into this?

When we walked in the house, my mom saw me, she just sat down on a kitchen chair, and stared. I looked at her, and said, "Mom. Are you all right?"

She just continued to stare. But, finally said, "Matty, do I have another daughter?"

"Only till after the cruise, mom."

"It amazes me how pretty you look. Just be careful."

"I will mom."

The next week was a flurry of activity. I practiced every day with the group, and I was beginning to feel like a member. Katie, and the others, corrected everything that I did that wasn't feminine. We spent more time at the mall. And, I began feeling more and more confidant. Abby and Pam were treating me more like Kyla than Mat. And, I was feeling more like Kyla.

But, the biggest test was yet to come. Introducing Kyla to Mark. Something I really wasn't looking forward to. Mark had been away for some reason or other, and was coming back two days before we left for the cruise ship.

The day Mark was to meet Kyla. We went back to see Tom at Stage Front. He carefully attached the breasts to my chest, and then blended makeup around the edges. Katie watched very closely, just incase she had to redo them. Tom told us that the makeup was waterproof, but may need to be reapplied after a couple of showers.

As I finally sat up, it amazed me how heavy the forms were pulling on my chest. I looked in the mirror, and I had breasts. You couldn't see where the forms ended, and I began. I looked at Katie, and she just smiled. I finally put my bra back on, and it felt so much better. I thanked Tom with a hug, and he wished us good luck.

Next was a visit with Aba, Viv, and Penny at the Hair Hut. Aba congratulated me in keeping my hair in fairly good shape, she only had to touch it up a little. Viv asked how I'd done my makeup so well, I had to admit that Katie had done it all, so Viv had nothing to do. And, lastly Penny not only changed the color of my nails, but did some fancy designs on them. So, I guess I was as good as these people could make me.

As we were walking to the car, I asked Katie, "Can I meet Mark with the rest of the girls around?"

"Sure. Safety in numbers?"

"Sort of."

"He should be at the practice tonight, and we can introduce the two of you then."

"If we have to."

"Relax. It will be fine."

"I hope."

As I was changing clothes later that day, I looked in the mirror, and saw the pretty black girl looking back at me. She was only wearing panties, and a bra. And, looked very cute. But, she was me. I'm a guy. Why was I doing this? Could I do this? I wasn't sure. Not sure at all.

That evening at practice, after we were about half way through our fifth song, Mark walked in. I felt the knot in my stomach tighten. He stood at the door, and listened. When we finished, Katie went over to him, and gave him a big kiss. My stomach turned over. He was looking at the three of us, but I felt it was more at me.

"So, this is our new fourth?", he said, looking at me in a way that it made me very uncomfortable.

Katie said, "This is Kyla. Nan found her for us. She's a bit quiet until she gets to know you. Kyla, this is Mark."

"Good thing Nan found her. She caused this whole mess."

I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and was about to say something. But, Katie beat me to it with, "You know the accident wasn't Nan's fault. So, just give it up."

Mark just looked at Katie. He then walked over to me, and I offered him my hand. He took it, and looked into my eyes. I didn't like the look. And when he said, "From what I just heard, Nan had better get well quick, or we have her replacement already." I felt hatred building inside, and I pulled my hand back from him.

Katie said, "Mark! Kyla is a friend of Nan's, and she's doing this as a favor to her. If you make her mad, she'll probably back out."

"Sorry. But, I had figured this gig was a bust."

"It's not. Thanks to Kyla. Be nice to her. And, remember onboard ship, she's Nan."

"Yea. Nan."

Katie walked back over to the group, and Mark sat on one to the stools. We practiced for another hour before calling it a night. Mark hung around, so I left with Abby. We drove around, stopped to get a Coke, and just sit for awhile. Abby, for some reason, sat there, and stared at me. I finally said, "Please stop staring at me."

"I'm sorry. But, I just can't believe that you did all of this. I was just trying to find Mat in there."

"He's here."

"But, you've taken to this so well. I mean. You have to look really close to find anything masculine."

"Thanks!", I said sarcastically.

"I'm sorry. I meant that as a compliment. Katie said that you really had a hard time with it at first, but when you saw how much it meant to us, you went all the way."

"It's alright. Katie and I had a long talk, and I decided that I didn't want you guys to fail. So, I went with it."

"I'm so glad you did. You know that I've always really liked you."

"I've always liked you to Abby. But, Mark scares me."

"Why?"

"Just the way he just sat there, and stared at me."

"He does that all the time. Besides you should be use to all the guys looking at you from the trips to the mall."

"What I get from the guys at the mall is one thing. There was just something different about the way he was looking at me."

"Well, don't worry too much. The three of us will look after you."

"Thanks."

 

- End Part 1-

  

  

  

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