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Michelle's Way

by Lyssa Fields

Part One: The Charm Bracelet

 

"Yoo, hoo, Michelle, it's time to get your ass down here."

Kathy was calling to me from downstairs in the hallway of the small apartment in the center of town where she lived with her mother and younger brother. She, Sharon and Diane were waiting to take me shopping, and do whatever else they had in mind.

I was up in Kathy's bedroom, naked and on the verge of tears, as I looked at the pale yellow, thigh-length skirt and pink, lace-trimmed blouse with pink buttons and ruffled sleeves that she'd laid out on her bed for me to wear. It had already been bad enough, having to bathe in scented bubble bath and then to have the three of them look at my tiny, limp penis as they shaved my legs and armpits, giggling amongst themselves and telling me not to be such a baby.

"You know that you really don't mind this and maybe you even like it," Kathy had told me, after the other two went downstairs for a diet soda and chocolate cookies while Kathy glued pink false fingernails over my nails.

I was hating every minute of it, but I wasn't going to let her know. I thought I was man enough for that, at least.

"You really shouldn't bite your nails, you know," she'd continued. "Good girls take care of their appearance, and you want to be a good girl, don't you, Michelle?"

She'd laughed again and smiled at me, as if what we were doing was all a big joke. Then she left me to dress, telling me to pick out what I needed from her pantydrawer.

"Don't keep us waiting, sweetie, like girls always do," she'd said, casting me a coy backwards glance as she walked out the door.

But I'd seen the cruelty in her eyes. Kathy was getting even with me for letting her down. A week earlier, she'd come on me like a ton of bricks after a school dance. She'd led me a merry chase out to the darkened running track behind the gym and tried to get me to "do it" for the first time in my life. Given my inexperience and the fact I had all kinds of hangups because my penis was on the small side, it had been a dismal failure. Kathy had made me satisfy her with my finger, the only thing stiff enough to please her.

Two days later, during lunch break at high school, she'd dropped the bombshell.

"I want you over at my house, on Saturday morning, to go on a 'shopping trip' and to do everything I tell you, or I'll let everyone in the school know how you let me down," she said sternly, with fire in her eyes. She was really mad and I could tell she meant business. I quickly agreed. Besides, how bad could anything she could come up with be, compared to the humiliation if the other kids at our small high school heard how I'd failed to "perform"? Especially since Kathy was one of the sexiest and prettiest girls in the school, with wavy, black hair and nice pert boobs which drove all the boys wild and made other girls envious.

"You like my boobs a lot, don't you?" she said now as she came back upstairs and into the bedroom, to see how I was doing, and find out what was delaying me.

I looked at her through my teary eyes and managed to mumble "yes".

"That's 'Yes, Mistress Katherine,' for you from now on," she said, the fire that I feared so much rekindling in her eyes. It would have been better to let her tell on me at school. This was turning out to be far worse.

"Right, let's see, Michelle, where are we here...You haven't got your bra on, you haven't put on your panties, you're not wearing your Kotex, you haven't inserted your Tampax you're not dressed at all, are you, little missy?"

"Are we having a hissy fit?," she said, glaring at me.

"No...Mistress Katherine," I said, stumbling on the words and feeling so queasy in the pit of my stomach that I thought I might faint. Kathy saw me turning white as a sheet. She grabbed me around the waist with her arm and walked me over to her makeup table where she sat me down on a soft, pink stool.

"We don't want this day to go badly, do we Michelle?" she said, softening her tone and stroking my sweaty forehead. "You do know your 'girl' name now, don't you?" I nodded.

"And we really want to have a fun shopping trip with the other girls, and just have a big giggle together, don't we?

"It's going to be so much fun with Diane and Share they won't tell and we'll all have a good time and then we'll have our big, girly secret that only the four of us will know, right?"

I nodded again, since I'd come this far and I really hadn't any choice. Besides, I could feel already that Kathy's busy hands were doing what I'd been unable to bring myself to do.

She took a pink, lace-trimmed bra from her pantydrawer, slipped it over my arms and hooked it in back, adjusting the straps for my bigger, broader male shoulders. Then she inserted two foam "falsies" into the empty cups. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I guessed my false breasts were about an "A". Not nearly so prominent or alluring as Kathy's own "B" cups, but certainly noticeable.

"Michelle, you need to stand up and bend over, honey," she said softly, intimately but firmly. I did as I was told, seeming no longer to have any will power of my own.

"This won't hurt at all," she added in the same tone of voice. I could feel something stiff but soft pushing into my anus. Kathy pulled out the applicator and waved the white tube in front of me. There was a look of triumph on her face.

The rest of it took almost no time at all. Kathy gave me a pair of red, lacy V-cut panties from her pantydrawer. I slipped them on with hardly a thought, surprised at how snugly they fit. When I had them on, she stepped in front of me, pulled out the waist band and slid a full-size Kotex adhesive pad into the front of the crotch, burying my penis in the cottony fiber.

"We don't want any accidents, especially not in one of my best pairs of panties, do we, Michelle?," she said, flashing me a knowing smile.

"No, Mistress Katherine," I said, almost automatically, as if it was second nature. I was beginning to feel so weak and foggy-headed that I hardly knew who I was.

Kathy made me sit back down on the stool, ripped open a package of sheer black pantyhose, bunched up the legs, slipped them over my toes and worked the pantyhose up my newly-shaven legs. While she did this, she glanced from time to time at my face and when she'd finished, smiled again,

"You liked that, didn't you?," she said, sounding suddenly friendlier and even a bit surprised. I had to admit that I did for some reason like the cool, silky feel of the fabric against my skin. But instead of saying anything, I blushed.

"Mmmm...," Kathy said, standing back a bit and looking at me with an interested expression on her face.

"Who would have thought that the captain of the debating club, the star soccer goalie, the guy who always likes chatting with the girls....But maybe...just maybe...you're going to be my new girlfriend," she said with a laugh.

I blushed again. When I looked up, she was beaming at me, as if she finally understood something. For the first time that day, I smiled too. Then I got up, walked over to the bed and slipped on the blouse. It was bigger than anything Kathy would have worn, so I knew she had gotten it just for me.

"Don't get your head in the clouds," she said. "It wasn't expensive."

I buttoned it as fast as I could, fumbling a bit because the buttons were on the opposite side from what I was used to. Then I pulled on the skirt, but couldn't figure out which way it went. Kathy laughed, slipped the hook around so it was over my butt and zipped it up. Then she took a pair of shiny, red, flat-soled pumps from her closet and placed them in front of me.

"Red shoes, to complete the look," she said, looking pleased with herself, like she'd thought of everything. When I slipped in my feet the shoes slid right on! Kathy and I had the same shoe size!

For the finishing touches, she sat me back down at the makeup table and switched on the half dozen "dressing room"-style clear, naked bulbs around the mirror. With an expert hand, she worked some foundation into my cheeks and forehead and applied a slight hint of blush. She also glued on a pair of moderately long fake eyelashes and used a mascara brush and eyeliner on my lashes and eyebrows. Then she rummaged amid an assortment of lipsticks and pulled out one she wanted: "Pink Passion" it said on the label. Kathy pulled off the top and began to extend her hand toward my puckered lips but stopped.

"Maybe you'd like to do this part yourself, Michelle?," she asked sweetly. For the first time I felt that I really was with a friend a girl friend. And she was treating me just like another girl!

I almost felt like I was going to cry again but this time for happiness as I took the pink lipstick from her and began applying it to my lips. After I'd put lipstick on my upper lip, I worked upper and lower together, so the color coated everything evenly, just the way I'd seen girls do it when I secretly watched them using their compacts in school. I looked in the mirror it was perfect! And while I was admiring what a good job of makeup I had, I could see Kathy's hands lowering a wig onto my head. It was a short, black, wavy bob, very similar to her own hairstyle. I could see now that Kathy had planned this down to a T. Although I was a good four inches taller than she was, and our features were not similar, she in some ways wanted us to be close. Close like sisters!

"Diane, Share..." Kathy called down the stairs to the other girls, who the whole time had been giggling and laughing while they sipped their sodas and munched on biscuits. "Come see the babe who's going to go shopping with us."

I could hear their footsteps racing up the stairs and suddenly I felt panicky again. I looked quickly in the mirror. What I saw there almost made my heart stop. I WAS a girl, there was no denying it. My eyes looked big, and romantic, from the mascara, and my lips wonderfully luscious and kissable. While I stared transfixed, I could see Kathy's ever busy hands stringing a delicate gold chain around my neck. Hanging from it was a small, gold pendant in the shape of the biological symbol for females: a circle with a plus sign attached to it. She closed the clasp behind my neck and a second later fitted two matching clamp-on earrings to my ear lobes.

"We'll have to get those pierced, you know," she said, offhandedly.

Then she daubed a drop or two of perfume an inexpensive, flowery brand from the local discount store, but perfume just the same onto my temples, neck, wrists and, being a little naughty, lifted my skirt and put a drop on my panties.

"You'll smell sweet like a girl that way," she said. "Not like a sour old boy."

Just as she finished, Diane and Sharon burst through the door and into the room. I stood up slowly, hesitantly and they both gasped.

"Oooh, she's beauuutiful," Diane said, unable to stop herself and jumping up and down with delight. Sharon reached into her handbag and pulled out a small pocket camera. She flashed off three pictures in rapid succession.

Then both of them walked over and began to smother me with kisses and fondle my bottom. I felt wonderful and tingly all over and kissed them both back.

"You are our sister a sister to ALL of us," Diane gushed, cooing with happiness.

Kathy gave them a minute or two and then walked towards the door and clapped her hands for attention.

"Girls," she said in a commanding tone of voice. "It's time to shop 'til we drop."

"Uh, Mistress Katherine," I said, in an embarrassed tone.

"Oh, honey, you can call me Kathy, now that we're all girlfriends," she said in a friendly voice, just the way she talked to the other girls at the lunchtable at school.

"Well, Kathy, please don't be angry with me but I have to go to the...the powder room for just a minute, please," I stammered, my voice rising in panic. In my happiness, nervousness and relief at being accepted, I had wet my Kotex but fortunately, I could tell, not my panties.

Diane was the first to realize what had happened, and started giggling. Then Sharon caught on and finally Kathy. The three of them stood there, giggling so hard that I thought they would wet their panties too.

"Permission granted," Kathy said at last.

"The pads are in the cabinet under the sink, and maybe you better put some extra ones in your purse," she said, pointing to the table by the door where a small, bright yellow plastic purse, which matched my skirt, lay.

"Also, while you're in the 'powder room', as you so charmingly call it, maybe you should take one of these, to help you calm down," Kathy said, her voice suddenly turning serious.

She handed me an unusual, round pill dispenser, marked with the days of the week, with four weeks' worth of pills.

"You take one now, and one a day from now on," she said, showing me how the little, pink pill slipped through a small slot in the clear, plastic top.

"These will help you with your emotions, your attitude and your development," she continued, looking at me with a seriousness I'd never seen before. "And there's plenty more when the first batch runs out."

"They may make you feel a little odd, a little sensitive or light-headed at first," Kathy continued. "But soon you'll get used to taking them you'll even look forward to it. And they'll help you become a much better girlfriend, a real, true sweetie pie, someone who understands what being a girl being a woman is all about."

While Kathy spoke, I noticed that Sharon and Diane had stopped giggling. They exchanged nervous, worried glances with one another, but I decided to ignore them.

Kathy was my guide, my mistress, my goddess, even, and I was beginning to worship her. If she told me I should do something, I would do it, unquestioningly. If I hadn't been able to be a boyfriend to her, at least I could be a good sister, girlfriend or whatever she wanted me to be. I realized, in a flash, that I was now her little sister in training. She was bringing me into the world of women and femininity, and I wanted to go there.

I sunk to my knees before Kathy and looked at her with doting, worshipful, but lowered eyes, the way I thought a girl should look at her better. I popped the pink pill in my mouth and swallowed. Kathy caught my gaze, reached with both her hands under my chin, lifted my head gently and transfixed me with her gorgeous, radiant blue eyes. In what must have been just a matter of seconds, but felt like an eternity, she managed through her gaze to fill my head with a whole feminine garden, a feminine universe, where people loved one another, laughed, giggled, brought life into the world, nurtured and grew. By the time she averted her eyes from mine, I felt like I had left the world of men behind.

Diane and Sharon stood away, near the door, their jaws agape. They'd never seen anything like this bonding, even with their best girlfriends.

Again, it was Kathy who broke the spell.

"Mimi," she said, coming up with a new nickname for me, "you hurry up and get in that 'powder room' and freshen up so we can get this show on the road."

She helped me to my feet, pinching my hot, blushing cheeks and giving my butt a good, friendly wallop.

"But don't keep us waiting, girlfriend," she said, as I closed the door.

"We've got to shop 'til we drop and the cock...no, the clock," she said, correcting herself, "is ticking."

 

 

2.

 

My euphoria at having made a big discovery about my "real" self, and about going out on a shopping spree with my girlfriends, turned to panic again the minute we got downstairs.

"What if somebody I know sees me, dressed like this?," I said, coming to a dead stop about five feet from the front door. It was a Saturday morning in the middle of small, suburban Bakerstown, in rural Pennsylvania, and people were out and about in the warm, September sunshine. The chances of bumping into somebody I knew were not only good, they were excellent. And if that happened, the reason for my being there, to stop Kathy from letting out my damaging secret at school, would become meaningless. Then again, after what I'd been through already that day, the idea of her telling people I wasn't much of a man didn't seem to matter. I wasn't, and I seemed to be becoming less of one by the minute.

Kathy had a ready answer, to ease my fears.

"Mimi, for heaven's sake," she said, looking at me again in that way she had of making me feel like I was an innocent, naive child, in the presence of an all-knowing, powerful goddess.

"Think, now, girl. Nobody's going to recognise you, dressed and made up like that. Nobody, not even your own mother or father.

"If anything, you might get a cat call from one of those construction workers across the street," she said, pointing through the screen door to a new apartment building going up directly opposite her house.

Kathy already knew the guys working on the project were a randy bunch. Her bedroom was in the front of the apartment and she'd had to put up extra curtains to keep their prying eyes away. Sometimes it was a pain being a woman, always under the microscope, she thought. But then it could be fun, too, knowing you were wanted, an object of desire, and oh, so sexy to those hard, desperate, drooling boys.

She looked again at Michelle and wondered would he get it? Could he really be one of us? Could he do the deed the other way, the act he hadn't been able to do with me on the playing field? It was going to take some work, she realized, but she thought the answer was "yes". Michelle was going to be a "go", a babe, a bombshell. By the time she'd finished with him, he was going to be all woman and hungry for a man, plus all the juicy, hard but exquisite bits that went along with a hunk.

But for now, there was the question of getting him/her to the car.

"Diane, why don't you go around to the parking lot and drive out here in front so Michelle only has to walk across the sidewalk to the curb?" Kathy said, the girl with the plan, as usual.

"And don't put the top down," I added, thinking it was just possible she might.

Diane smiled a slightly haughty, even bitchy, smile at me, as if I were imposing on her. She took the keys to Kathy's Mustang convertible without a word and headed for the car park.

While she was gone, I looked at the decorations in the hallway of Kathy's apartment, and reflected on what I knew about her. Kathy's father had died unexpectedly when she was young. Her mother, who worked two jobs, as a beautician and at nights in a supermarket, had a hard time making ends meet for her beautiful, brainy daughter and her less fortunate son. Kathy's brother George took after their dad, which was to say he was personable but not too bright, and liked to party rather than study. In other words, he was a bit shiftless and aimless in life and he probably was never going to amount to much.

But Kathy was a different story. Her mother would do anything for her, even to the point of borrowing so they could afford the used but sporty red Mustang Kathy's dream car. Kathy always had top marks on intelligence and aptitude tests, aced all her courses and was immensely popular with her fellow students, who'd elected her senior class vice president the top spot going, of course, to a boy. Kathy was expert in modern dance and was a member of the debating club of which I was still nominally president but, given the recent changes in my status and relationship with her, I would probably resign. I had always known she was smart, but I had never before appreciated how much smarter and more gifted she was than I.

I really would be better suited to join something more practical, like the future homemakers club, which also met after school, and I'd probably drop soccer for volleyball or field hockey. In these liberated days a boy if that's what I still was -- could and should learn to iron, sew, make pot pies and be useful around the house. Plus soccer was just too physical. I didn't know how I'd managed to put up with the rough house and, besides, I couldn't see wearing a jockstrap again after all this. I thought it would be much more my style to play on the co-ed volleyball team, or even try to be the first boy playing field hockey. Maybe I could make a court case out of it, if they tried to keep me off the team. Maybe, by the time I got around to joining, I'd be accepted as one of the girls anyway.

Kathy's mother had put up an Irish lace doily on the wall, in a glass-covered frame. Admiring lace in a new way, I found it truly beautiful. The needle work was excruciatingly fine and painstaking. Woman's work and handmade, probably by nuns. Strong, amazing women. I'd be lucky to be as resourceful as they were.

There was also a well-thumbed copy of a fashion magazine sitting on top of the radiator cover. I wondered if it was Kathy who looked at it, or maybe George, to get his rocks off. I'd done that myself, many times, but for some reason I often fancied myself inside the clothes the models were wearing, not stripping them off them. Leafing through the magazine now, I began to appreciate why women read them. This issue was filled with interesting, kicky ideas about how to mix and match accessories and clothes. I surprised myself at how the ensembles which previously meant nothing to me now looked good or bad. One of them, a short, flouncy aqua skirt and beige camisole top from Benetton, looked like something that might suit me. I blushed at having such a thought and looked to see if anyone else noticed what I was doing. No one had, so I continued looking.

It seemed like there were plenty of interesting advice columns to read, about horoscopes and how men and women were different, how to make a man happy, balancing your career and your marriage, and health issues. Women's health was pretty complex so much more plumbing, so many more possibilities. It all seemed a different world, but there were also endless ads for sanitary pads, tampons, makeup and the like. Those seemed less foreign, more familiar now. I tore the subscription form from the binding. There was a lot I needed to know, and I had to start somewhere.

"There's Diane," Kathy said, interrupting my thoughts. "Quick, everyone into the car Michelle, you last so you can just hop right into the front passenger seat.

"And oh what a pretty passenger you are," she said, smiling at me, pushing a lock of my wig hair away from my eye and straightening my skirt.

She stepped back to admire me.

"Such a pretty, pretty, pretty girl."

 

 

3.

 

Kathy had been right about the catcalls. The minute three young women dressed in their Saturday shopping show-off clothes well, two girls and a wannabe walked out Kathy's door onto the brightly lit street to the car where Diane was waiting, the hooting began.

"Hey, babes," a husky voice yelled from across the street. I put my hand up to shield my eyes from the bright morning sunshine and made out a muscular, lean, T-shirted young man literally hanging by one, powerful arm from a girder on the sixth story of the frame of the new building. Normally I'd have ignored such yahoo antics, but today, after what I'd been through, in my emotional state and also feeling a bit light-headed, I put my other hand up to my mouth and gasped. The bronzed, square-jawed young man looked straight at me and laughed. "Yah pussy, yah," he yelled, lightheartedly, as he eased himself to the girder below, looking at me all the while. "Yo, mamma," he added, blowing me a kiss as he stood, legs spread apart and revealing a substantial bulge in his pants.

Kathy, who had switched places with Diane in the driver's seat, was furious.

"You get in this car right this minute, missy," she said, reverting to the stern tone she'd used at the outset of what was beginning to seem like the longest, most momentous day of my life. "And don't you get any ideas, looking at those losers."

I didn't know what she meant, at first, as I slid into the passenger seat and found, as I did so, that I had to pull my skirt out from under me and smoothe it out in order to sit comfortably. So complicated being a girl, I thought, as I straightened the hemline. So many niggling little details to attend to. Before the car pulled away from the curb, I took a last quick glance at the building site, and hoped Kathy wouldn't notice. The young man was still looking at me, still smiling. I realized, suddenly, deep inside of me, that he was gorgeous. This man, in his torn, dirty T-shirt and jeans barely concealing his bulging muscles, or his sizeable cock, was a god.

I smiled back at him.

"That's enough of that," Kathy said, in the sharpest tone I'd yet heard out of her.

"We don't need any freelancers with us today," she said.

I understood her meaning and blushed an incredibly deep shade of red. She thought I'd actually been attracted to the young man, was maybe making a pass at him and she was right! I began to shake almost uncontrollably and started to bawl.

"Kathy, please, it's not like that at all," I said, tears streaming down my face. "I didn't know what I was doing...I just looked, that's all and...and...all I really want to do is please you. Don't you understand? I love you, I love Share and Diane too and I just want to do what you want me to do, to be like you."

"It's okay, it's all right, calm down," she said, taking her right hand off the steering wheel as she drove along the main street of town, pulling my skirt up a bit so my panties showed and patting me on the thigh. Then she wrapped her arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer to her, so our bodies touched, across the gear shift lever.

"Hug time," she said, tugging me firmly, but gently, as close to her as she could. When we pulled up to the next traffic light, she put her hand on the back of my head, leaned over and kissed me full on the lips. In the midst of the kiss she pushed her tongue into my mouth and her left hand shot into my crotch. I was startled and my eyes opened wide, but in two seconds I had come in my Kotex, filling it with warm, sticky cum.

Kathy had me locked in her gaze as I squirmed in ecstasy, but once my sperm stopped pumping I let my eyelids slide closed and relaxed. My tears had long since ceased and I felt calm, happy and warm inside. And grateful. Kathy was in control now, totally and completely. I realized not only was I her little sister in training, I was also her love slave. I no longer made decisions for myself. She made them for me.

The light changed and there was a blast from a deep, loud truck horn behind us. The four of us almost jumped out of our seats and Kathy let the Mustang stall. A huge semi pulled out from the lane behind us, stopped alongside and the driver, whom we couldn't see, yelled through his open window: "Fucking dykes."

"Screw you too, prick," Kathy yelled back. The truck drove off but Kathy was steaming as she re-started the Mustang and started moving again.

"Men, such a bunch of pricks and bastards," she said. "They don't understand anything...ANYTHING.

"Have I made myself clear?," she said, turning to me, as if I was somehow responsible for the truck driver maybe for all the injuries men had done to women down through the ages. I was completely in a daze and hardly knew what she was saying, so I just nodded and said "umm-hmm." In the space of 15 minutes I had gone from looking at a god-like man on a building scaffolding to being French-kissed and fondled by a goddess. My life was changing so fast I couldn't keep up with it.

Kathy looked at me from the corner of her eye while the Mustang picked up speed as we reached the edge of the town. She read my thoughts.

"Pass Michelle her purse," she said over her shoulder to Diane and Sharon. They'd been singularly quiet in the back seat. As young, suburban high school students in their late teens, they'd never seen anything like this, and they hardly had a clue what was going on. Diane passed me my purse.

"You need to change your pad, again," Kathy said with a mischievous grin. "My fault, sorry."

"There's a pair of sunglasses inside the purse," she added coolly. "I'd like you to put them on, to cover your red eyes.

"Also I think your behavior shows that you're still too out of control, too impulsive too much like a boy. That's a kind of a sickness, you know, and I won't stand for it, not in one of my girlfriends, no way."

She reached over, rummaged in the handbag and pulled out the little, round pill case.

"Take two more of these now and one more an hour from now," she said in a tone of voice that indicated she did not expect to be contradicted. "You are in a very serious way, and you need help badly, and fast."

Diane started to say something from the rear seat, but Kathy looked at her through the rear-view mirror and stared her into silence.

I turned the dial-like cover on the pill case and let two of the little pills fall into my palm. There was a bottle of diet Coke in the beverage holder and I used it to wash them down. I was a little light-headed and my body felt unusually tingly, but whether that was from the first pill I'd taken, the lightning ejaculation when Kathy fondled and kissed me, or the whole sequence of events I'd been through, I couldn't say.

Besides, the pills were tiny and looked harmless enough. And Kathy, my goddess, said they were good for me. I had to take her word for it. A goddess wouldn't lie.

 

 

4.

 

The rest of the hour-long trip to the Buckstown Valley Mall was pretty much uneventful. Diane, in a not-so-subtle dig at me, insisted we pull over when we got out of town to put down the top. Touche, touchy, the girl could harbor a grudge. Then she and Sharon pulled out a joint which they smoked in the rear seat. Kathy and I both declined, so they giggled and passed it between themselves.

Diane also insisted that we tune into one of the Philly soul radio stations.

"That's cool music, you can really groove to it," she said, bouncing up and down in the seat and pumping her arms, as if she were breakdancing. Kathy pushed a button on the radio but it was a different kind of music altogether. The name of the station which flashed up on the radio display screen was "Girlpower 95." I'd only vaguely heard of it and never listened to it, but now it sounded just right. Madonna, Suzanne Vega, Joni Mitchell, the Cranberries just the tunes for girls out for a day on the town. Right now, Cindy Lauper was singing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." I looked at Kathy and smiled a happy, contented smile. She smiled back and patted me in a loving way on the knee.

"Relax, hon," she said. "We are going to have fun, and you'll need your energy."

I put my head back on the headrest, looked up at the sun through my shades and felt the wind rustle the hairs of my wig across my forehead and cheeks. I nodded off into a dreamy sleep. I was in heaven.

We pulled into the parking lot of the mall about 45 minutes later. It was jammed with shoppers and Kathy had trouble finding a space. As we drove around slowly, the older teenage boys and young men took more than a passing interest in a red Mustang convertible with four stunning lookers myself included out and about with not a boyfriend in view.

"Oooh, did you see him," Sharon said, looking back over her shoulders as we passed a tall black man who could have been a double for Michael Jordan. Sharon was black herself but it was Diane, the white, middle-class cheerleader, who'd wanted to listen to the soul station. Sharon knew better. She was cool way cool.

We finally found a space and Kathy put up the top. As we got out of the car she gave us a rundown of what she had in mind. Ever the organizer, ever the leader. I liked that in a girlfriend. It was making my life so much easier. I really didn't have to think much, just follow. And with my head feeling foggier and foggier, perhaps from the pills, following someone else's instructions seemed just the thing to do.

"Right," Kathy said. "I don't want to be little miss dictator here, but there are a few things I want to get done, which we need to do for Michelle."

She rattled off a couple of stores we had to hit as top priorities. First on the list was a discount lingerie shop. Kathy was happy to loan me her undies on a once-off basis but she figured I'd need my own from now on.

"Just six or seven pairs of panties and maybe a half dozen bras, that ought to do you," she said, looking at me and smiling once again. I hadn't seen it clearly before, but I was in this for the long haul. This was no "one-day punishment dress up". Kathy had every intention of making me dress like a girl, act like a girl, think like a girl and live like a girl from this day on. Eventually, I guessed, I would become a girl. Exactly how that was going to happen and when, I had no idea. But that was what she had in mind. And if Kathy wanted something, she got it. If she wanted me to be a girl, I was going to be a girl. Full stop. In my increasingly dreamy state of mind, I could see no reason to object.

"Okay, Kashy love, I'll do whatever you say, dahling," I said, ending with a short giggle that startled everyone, including me. The sentence came out almost without my intending to say it, in a languid, wispy drawl, like something a dumb blonde would say in a movie. I'd never said words like that before in my life, and I'd never giggled.

Diane cupped her hand to Sharon's ear and whispered: "The pills."

Kathy, too, was surprised at how quickly the transformation was happening and wondered if she was pushing it too fast, too far. There were side effects of the hormones, like heart murmurs and some other complications. Maybe she should give Martin, rather Michelle, a break, and tell him not to take the next pill he was due to take in a few minutes. On the other hand, hundreds of millions of women took them all the time, for birth control and hormone replacement therapy. And Kathy had been assured that a person in Martin's physical shape, at his age, could handle massive doses even overdosing. She decided to stick to the plan and forge ahead. Besides, she needed the money she was going to get from this.

Dr Brennan, the gynecologist, had promised to pay her tuition, and more, if she could deliver to him a willing, pliant and plausible teenage male who would undergo a very special male-to-female sex change. Brennan figured the operation would get him into the record books, and bring him tons of business from transexuals. For Kathy, it was the only way she was going to get to university. She desperately wanted to go, and to leave her impoverished, sordid past, with her alcoholic, wife-beating dad and all the damage it had done to their lives, behind. If Martin had to become Michelle to pull it off, so be it. He seemed to be a natural.

Kathy watched Michelle move hesitantly, delicately away from the car. He was feeling his way through the descending fog that was going to clamp onto his brain forever. That gentle fog, that dreamy haziness, that lovey-doveyness which made women willing victims for men would make a willing woman of Martin. One day, not so long from now, Martin/Michelle would be the one standing in a bedroom, trying to decide what to wear from a dozen outfits spread out on a bed, while his/her date/boyfriend/husband/lover fumed in the hallway below.

Martin/Michelle would wake up one morning dressed in a pink, baby-doll nightgown, lying next to a snoring man, woozy from lovemaking and realize he/she could no longer do math and was addicted to soap operas. She'd love chatting with her girlfriends for hours over a pot of tea, mostly about men, or any woman who wasn't there at the time. She the "he" part would become only a memory -- would worry herself silly about whether she was thin enough, busty enough, doting enough and above all, young enough, to keep that big, hard, stupid but lovable man happy and faithful. She'd do diets and aerobics, buy facial creams and have her hair dyed.

Yes, Martin/Michelle was going to become a cock pleaser, a ball teaser, a babe who could cook, sew, smile, suck dick, take a cock up her ass, and one day have a baby of her own. That's what Dr Brennan had told Kathy, that's what was so special about the sex change. Michelle was not going to have just a cock stripped down and turned into a phony vagina. Besides, with the size cock Martin/Michelle had, it would be a sorry excuse for a pussy.

This new woman Dr Brennan intended to fashion was going to be a real female, with a vagina, a uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and a womb. Michelle was going to really go on the rag and bleed menstrual blood. She would feel her period coming on, get ornery, cranky and have horrendous cramps. Afterwards she'd apologize for her behavior to her friends and co-workers, all of whom would understand.

Then someday, someone would marry her, or knock her up, and she'd have a kid. She'd do the full nine, like any other woman, and feel nauseous and throw up with morning sickness and eat pickles and get bloated and gain weight, feel her breasts get huge and hardly be able to move. Then she'd go into labor and scream her head off and suddenly there he'd be the baby boy that Michelle would so desperately want, and love and ache to feed with her milk and cradle in her arms. Because by then, Michelle wouldn't want a girl child. Not for the first-born, no way.

She'd know by then how difficult life was for a girl, having your period every month, bleeding, not knowing if you were leaking, having to find tampons in the middle of the night and having to put up with men pinching you and kissing you and fondling you and wanting to put their thing in every part of you. No, Michelle wouldn't want that for her first child. She'd want a bouncing baby boy whom she could raise to treat the next generation of girls exactly the same way men had treated her. It was all a bit perverse, but it was nature's way. The first born should be a son. After that, daughters, to have the fun.

Kathy looked at the smiling, disoriented, increasingly air-headed, bimbo-ey Michelle, barely able to tell up from down or right from left in the parking lot, and smiled. When she'd put on a bit of flesh in the right places, she'd look great, Kathy thought, just great. But now, she was a bit anorexic. No hips, no butt, certainly no boobs, to speak of. Had to work on it. Had to make the babe a real babe. And fast.

"All right, girls," Kathy said, clapping her hands again in her ritual way. "Time to get a move on. Michelle, is it time for your pill?"

I put my left wrist up close to my face and tried to focus on the watch dial. I really could barely see straight. The pills were powerful stuff. I was giddy, almost like I was drunk on champagne, and my nipples felt sensitive and itchy under the falsies.

"That watch!" Kathy exclaimed, in mock horror. I looked around, slowly, dazed and dreamy, not knowing what she was talking about. Diane and Sharon each grabbed me by an arm. They could see what was happening, and they knew I was in trouble.

"Got to change that clunky thing right away," Kathy said, stalking up to me and unstrapping my father's old, Navy aviator watch. She walked over and threw it in a nearby trash bin. I tried to protest, but I couldn't get the words out. But I could swallow the pill as Kathy took it out of the little pill packet and placed it delicately on my tongue.

"First stop, the jewelers," Kathy said, turning around and leading the way like a drum majorette. With Diane and Sharon each taking one of my arms, we followed our leader.

 

 

5.

 

When we got to the mall, Kathy's first port of call was actually the Bigbucks coffee shop. She knew my system had taken quite a beating and I needed something to get me back on my feet again, and able to function. She was afraid that if she didn't act fast, I would be reduced to one blubbering, tearful, spaced-out blob.

"Macciatos all round," she told the perky young waitress, whose name tag said she was Andrea.

"I don't want one of those," Diane said, ever the contrarian.

"I want a big latte with extra milk and foam," she said. "And I want a piece of that chocolate cake in the display case."

All of our eyes turned to the display case. The cake looked absolutely scrumptious. Andrea could read our minds.

"I guess that'll be four slices of the deep devil's food chocolate cake," she said.

"And you're real cute," she said, turning to me. I blushed again, which seemed to be turning into a habit, and smiled but didn't say a word.

"Pretty blouse," she added. "And that's a great pendant...really great."

Andrea came around to my side of the table and gently pulled up the gold female symbol to look at it. From where she was standing, she could look down my blouse and I thought she might even see the falsies inside my bra.

She let the pendant fall back on my chest and winked at me. Did she know? Or was she just a welcoming member of the mysterious female tribe, which co-existed on this planet with men. I was beginning to feel where my allegiances lay. And it wasn't with my own kind.

"Right, Michelle, you seem to be making a big hit," Kathy said abruptly, after Andrea had walked away to get our order. "Now do you mind including us in your circle of friends?"

"Oh, come on, Kathy," I said in a whisper, so people at the surrounding tables couldn't hear my distinctly male voice. I was feeling less foggy-headed now and more myself. Or maybe it was a new self and I was getting used to it. Whatever it was, I discovered I could talk again. In fact, I had an urge to talk a lot, but I knew I couldn't, not in these close quarters. It would have to wait until we were out in the car, so I could tell the girls my new feelings about things. But right now, I wasn't going to let Kathy have it totally her own way. I had to draw the line somewhere.

"She was just being nice, just being friendly," I said. "There's no harm in that, is there?"

"Look, Michelle," she said sternly but quietly, so none of the other tables could hear. "This is the second time today you've been flirting with someone. I don't know what it is about you, must be some pheromone or something, but this has got to stop.

"You're my girl and I am your lover, do you understand? Do you? And I don't like my girl looking at anyone else, not now, not ever." With the last few words, Kathy's voice rose in anger and a few people at the other tables turned and stared. Even I felt embarrassed and looked from side to side to see if many people had noticed. Diane and Sharon slunk into their chairs, trying to make themselves as inconspicuous as possible.

Kathy realized she'd overdone it. She laughed nervously to defuse the tension in the air, and brought her voice back down to a more intimate level.

"Okay, okay, sorry I blew up," she said, sounding more like herself, and directing the comment mostly to me. She realized she'd overstepped the boundaries and had acted, well, almost like a jealous man. She started to sob gently. We were all embarrassed for our leader.

But now that I thought about it, it had all been a huge strain for Kathy too. In just under three hours, she was well on her way to transforming a young man she'd had an eye on to be her boyfriend part way into a young woman whom she considered to be her lover. I was struck by the passion of her feelings for me, and suddenly loved her all the more.

"Kathy, hon," I said, using the same tone she'd used with me in the car and getting up from my chair, like a good girl, to help my lover in distress. I thought she was being a bit of a crybaby, but then she was a girl and what would I know. I rummaged in my little yellow bag, which was packed with useful things including tampons, more of the pink lipstick, a compact, eyeliner, spray-on cologne and a spray container of mace in case someone tried to rape me, and pulled out a scented tissue. I kissed Kathy tenderly on the forehead and gave her the tissue to dry her eyes. My kiss calmed her down. The feelings we had for one another were growing stronger by the minute and I was beginning to better understand what my role in life was. I was there to make people feel happy and loved. And to serve and obey. I was nothing, Kathy's happiness was everything.

She said she was all right and told me to sit down just as Andrea brought the coffees and cakes. This time I looked at Andrea differently, scornfully. The little bitch, I thought, trying to come on to me. Andrea got the message and went away without a word.

"I've always liked girls more than men," Kathy said, hesitantly at first but with her spirits returning after a sip of the macciato and a forkful of the rich, delicious chocolate cake. I thought I had never tasted cake as good as this. Incredibly creamy and chocolatey smelling. I seemed to be tasting, smelling, seeing and hearing things differently. There was a more colourful, sweet-sounding world out there than I'd noticed before. The world was full of music and sounds and life. If it was the pills doing it to me, who cared? Everyone ought to be taking them. Life as a boy was too boring. Life as a girl was turning out to be more interesting in every way.

Kathy was still telling her dirty little secret. Maybe Diane and Sharon would be shocked, but not I. I was in love with her and I was her girlfriend, whether she be male or female. My whole purpose in life was to serve her, to do whatever she said or wanted me to do. If she felt like telling her story, so be it. That's what girls were for, weren't they? To listen and sympathize. Tea and sympathy. The four of use were becoming a close-knit little female society. There was no way out of this, I thought. And what's more, I didn't want out, I wanted more "in".

"So it's always been that way for me, since I reached puberty," Kathy said, finishing up her confession. Diane and Sharon were clinging on her every word, but I hadn't paid much attention. That was the past, where Kathy and I were going was the future. It was up to her now, to lead us forward. I was at her beck and call.

"Right," she said, taking the last sip of her macciato and scraping the last bit of cake from her plate. She paid with a $20 bill a reasonable tip, no change. I could see in her pocketbook as she pulled out the money that she had quite a few hundreds in there. I wondered where she'd come up with that kind of cash, but it really wasn't my business. All that mattered was that my date could pay. I was along for the ride.

"Jewelry shop, anyone?" Kathy asked, pushing back her chair and talking for the first time in a way that at least allowed someone could venture a different opinion. None of us did.

"Jewelry shop it is," I responded, and took her by the hand. If we were lovers, we shouldn't be ashamed to show it, even if we were both skirts. Kathy dropped my hand and put her arm around my shoulders. Then she pulled me close to her and in front of the entire coffee shop gave me a deep, loving kiss.

"This is the most beautiful girl in the world," Kathy said, loud and proud. "Her name's Michelle and she's my gal. And if you don't like it, you can take a hike."

There was muttering at some of the tables and I could see some angry faces looking our way. But behind the counter, where the waiters and waitresses were standing, I could see little Andrea clapping softly, and winking at me.

 

 

 

6.

 

The four of us were laughing and giggling as we walked out of the coffee shop, leaving a stony silence behind.

"You two have sure made a name for us here today," Diane said, scowling but also getting a kick out of what was turning out to be a day to remember at the Buckstown Valley Mall.

I could see the eyes of one of the dark-blue uniformed security guards, standing along the wall, following us as he talked into a walkie-talkie while we strolled past the shops and mixed with the throngs of Saturday shoppers on one of the mall's many levels. I wasn't bothered. We'd done nothing wrong and if someone was offended, let him I was sure it was a "him" go jump in a lake. But I also realized, mixing in among the crowd, that this was the test of whether I could pass as a girl. I began to wonder if I was walking the right way, holding my hands the way I should, moving my body correctly. Kathy sensed my nervousness and stayed right beside me, holding my hand. Lovers or just girlfriends, no one could tell.

"You're doing fine," she whispered to me. "Just move gently, with the flow, stop if other people pass in front of you, give way to men rushing and pushing their way through. Remember, you're a girl. You've got time and patience to spare. They're going nowhere fast, and in the end, they're coming to you anyway. They need you, much much more than you need them."

I was reassured by her words and felt my shoulders relax and the tension drain away. I was floating through the mall with my girlfriends, looking at the colors, listening to the sounds, taking it all in. Somewhere, on the other side of a big central atrium which gave the mall a feeling of airiness, and around which the shops and levels were arranged, I could hear a baby crying. For the first time in my life, I liked that sound. It was a sound I wanted to hear, I enjoyed hearing. I looked in the direction the sound was coming from and wanted to go to that baby and try to be of some assistance. Kathy squeezed my hand.

"All in due time," she said, reading my thoughts, as usual, while she steered me here and there through the crowd, like a pilot for a ship in a fog.

"Go ahead," she said. "Have another pill. You can already see how good they are for you. The faster we go, the sooner you and I can be real lovers, the way I want us to be."

She pinched my bottom and it felt good. Girls' bottoms needed to be pinched, to remind us how soft and round and different we were. I pulled the little pill dispenser from my purse and popped another one in my mouth. Kathy and I were so close now that I didn't have to think at all. She did it for me. And that was the way it should be.

We walked on for another minute or two when Sharon let out a loud: "Whoopie!"

Kathy and I turned to where she was looking and saw the Theresa's Secret lingerie store. My heart stopped.

"No way I'm going in there, no way," I said, tugging on Kathy's hand and trying to go back the direction we'd just come.

"Besides, you said jewelry shop, and some discount undie shop, nothing about this place, nothing." I was truly in a panic. I could see the see-through nighties, glossy black panties and low-cut lace bras on the mannequins in the window and I was having none of it.

Kathy decided otherwise.

"I hadn't planned to come here, because it is expensive, but now that we're here I think it's a really good idea, a good test for you, Michelle," she said. pulling me close and giving me a loving peck on the cheek. "Besides, I think that red, Valentine's-style nightie in the window would look good on you, very good, in fact."

My hands and forehead suddenly felt cold and clammy, like all the blood had rushed out of them. Before I actually fainted, Kathy steered me over to a bench which faced the lingerie shop. As I sat down it dawned on me I was in way over my head. What was I doing, taking pills without a prescription, letting myself be led around by the nose by a girl I didn't know all that well, going out in public dressed in a way that could land me in jail? I began to cry again, and this time it came out in buckets. I was going from low to high and back up and down again every 30 seconds. My emotions were completely and totally out of control, and so was my life.

"Sharon, Diane, you sit beside Michelle and hold her hand and talk to her just say anything at all, how pretty she is, what a good girl she is, anything. I've got to call Dr. Brennan pronto."

Kathy raced off to a pay phone while Sharon and Diane sat beside me, one on either side, each holding one of my hands and looking for all the world like they hadn't a clue what to do. An older woman saw us sitting there, me with tears streaming down my face and the other two totally confused.

"What's the matter, dear," the kindly woman said, coming up and squatting in front of me. "Have you got the blues is it one of those days for you?"

She meant well. I tried to pull myself together.

"It's okay," I said in a whisper, managing to gasp out the words through my tears. She patted my right knee and smiled at me.

"We all feel this way sometimes, you know," she said. "It's only a natural for a girl to have strong feelings, strong emotions. And sometimes it can all seem so overwhelming and difficult, having to always look pretty and be cheerful and wear the latest fashions and put up with the antics of the boys."

That made me think of the hunk of a construction worker, hanging from his girder and proudly showing off his bulge, the cock of the roost. I stopped crying and smiled.

"That's a good girl," the kindly woman said, patting my knee again and starting, with difficulty, to rise up from her knees. Sharon quickly rushed to help her while Diane remained seated at my side, bored and ignoring the old lady.

"You know, it's hard being a woman, very hard," the woman said when she'd regained her feet and was ready to walk away. "But I wouldn't exchange it for anything else, not for anything in the whole world."

"I know," I said, continuing to whisper so she wouldn't hear the deep male sound of my voice. "You're very kind." She smiled as she walked away, and Sharon and I smiled back at her. Diane was busy by then filing her nails.

As the woman moved off, Kathy quickly appeared out of the crowd.

"Good news," she said, motioning for Diane to move over, sitting down beside me and clasping my hands earnestly in hers. Kathy almost absent mindedly touched my right ring finger and realized something was missing. Her girl should be wearing a ring of some sort, a sapphire or ruby, or some other love token. And a floral tatoo on Michelle's rump, a ring in her lip, or maybe both, would be good too. But she'd get to the branding part later. Right now there were other, more pressing issues.

"Right, I talked to Dr. Brennan and told him everything about the day so far, about the morning, how that went, about the trip here, about our little fun activity in the car and how many pills you've taken," she said, so Diane and Sharon could also hear.

"He said that what's happened is your male hormones are fighting the female hormones, with the result you are having a hormone war inside you and your emotions are like they're on a bungee cord, going up and down from high to low."

I didn't know who this Dr. Brennan was, but I assumed if Kathy went to him and knew him, he must know what he was talking about. I realized once again, despite my recent doubts, that I did trust her, I did love her. She was desperately trying to deal with my crisis and I appreciated that. I would, as usual, do anything she said.

"Brennan said you need to take what he called a 'forte dose' that's French for strong dose, the same way people treat malaria in the jungle," Kathy continued. "He said you need to take five of the pills right now, five more in two hours and then stop in to see him on the way home."

Sharon and Diane had been listening to this with growing interest and both of them were appalled.

"Kathy, you can't really do this to him, not without a prescription and him seeing a medical doctor," Sharon said, worried that this strange day was taking a dive off the deep end.

"That's right, Kathy, how would Brennan know without seeing Martin, I mean Michelle, here?" Diane asked.

"Look, look, I know this may sound too good to be true, but Brennan has already seen Mimi's medical records. He got them off the Internet or something."

There was something strange about the tone of Kathy's voice as she said that, but I couldn't think clearly enough to figure out what it was. The fog that had bothered me earlier in the morning the fog which only seemed to go away when I took more pills was closing in on me fast.

"Look, I want to take the pills, and I want to go in Theresa's Secret and I want to get the nightie Kathy wants me to get and I need to take a slash really bad," I said. All three looked at me as though they'd seen a ghost, and then they laughed.

"Michelle is back, our girlfriend is back," Kathy said, beaming from ear to ear. "Sharon, can you take her to the ladies? It might not be so easy for Michelle to find her way around in there. You know what a zoo it can be. And she might have to change her pad and even her Tampax, too, so she might need some help."

Sharon winked at Kathy while I opened my purse and took five more pills from the dispenser, which I popped in my mouth. I knew now I was going down the girl road forever. Theresa's Secret, here I come.

 

 

7.

 

The ladies room on a Saturday morning was every bit the zoo Kathy had said it would be. It smelled so strongly of women, their funky body odors, perfume and used sanitary pads that I almost fainted there too. But Sharon came in the stall to help me with all my arrangements, including showing me how to insert a fresh Tampax, and as soon as we got back we marched straight into Theresa's Secret. The salesgirls in the shop were used to seeing teenage girls, who often had more to spend than their mothers. I also noticed, without being terribly surprized, that there were a few men, some with their wives or girlfriends, some without, in the shop as well.

"There are men who actually get a kick out of wearing women's undies," Kathy said, whispering in my ear conspiratorially and motioning me to look in particular at a lone man in his 40s who was fingering through a rack of bras, pulling up hangers from time to time to inspect them more closely. Kathy and I both giggled, and the man noticed us watching him and stalked out of the shop. Kathy and I were girls and we were being bad and it was fun to be bad. I could feel the big dose of hormone pills starting to take control of me. I felt like I was floating on a river, a river that went on for eternity and would never stop.

Kathy was tugging my hand. She was holding the red Valentine's nightie, with a big heart cut out in the panties reaching all the way to crotch, and was handing it to me.

"Try it on," she said. "Go ahead, you can do it. And when you're ready for me to come in and see it, just give a little whistle."

I still felt queasy but the salesgirls were smiling at us and it seemed now like shopping was what we were here to do, so I'd better do it. I handed Kathy the bras and undies I'd picked from the same racks the older man had been pawing over and made my way to the dressing room.

Unfamiliar as I was with the street clothes I was wearing, let alone the delicate, flimsy but oh-so silky nightie, it took me a good 10 minutes to get undressed and put it on. When I'd finished, I whistled and Kathy opened the door of the little dressing room. She doubled over with laughter, making me extremely angry.

"What are you laughing at, what's the matter?," I said, truly pissed off at her. I'd done the best I could to make it look like I belonged in the nightie, but I didn't have much to show off on top, and I didn't have much at my midriff or bottom either.

"It looks terrible on you, just terrible," Kathy said, getting a grip on herself and clearing her throat to stop chuckling. "Take it off, it doesn't suit you. You're not ready for it yet. But here, while you're at it, put on this new black bra and panty set and take off mine. Now you can start to be your own girl, from head to toe or at least you will be once we get to a shoe store."

I did as Kathy asked, putting on the new black panties and bra, which I thought showed well through my silky blouse, and stuffed her red panties and pink bra into the bag with the rest of my new undies.

Kathy pushed the red nightie back across the counter as she paid for everything else. "We'll be back for that another time, when my friend here is ready," she said, totally mystifying the sales girl but making me think of some of the treats that were in store for me. I guessed I really would have breasts one of these days, maybe not too long from now. I wondered what that would be like, having big, melon-shaped boobs with red sensitive nipples, hanging from your chest 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, year after year. And wearing special bras that made them stand out, or showed them off to special effect. And men staring at them and drooling over them and fondling them and then sucking on them and becoming little children in front of them. And what it might be like if I got pregnant and they swelled up and became super super sensitive. And nursing a baby and feeling his toothless gums sucking on you, sucking hard, pulling warm milk through the membrane.

The very thought of it made me come. I could feel the sperm pumping into the big, super-sized Kotex pad, inside my new panties, without my doing anything except having a sexy thought. I wondered if it was like this for girls all the time, did they have orgasms just thinking about things? Is that why they sometimes peed in their panties and wore pantyliners on days when they weren't having their period?

I took the bag of undies the salesgirl held up to me and grabbed Kathy's hand. All the energy had drained out of me when I came spontaneously and I was completely in a daze, hardly even knowing who or where I was, but feeling happy and like I was in a dream. I was really and truly a lost little girl now. I needed my big sister badly, maybe all the time. I was wondering if Kathy would let me stay with her, in her bedroom, from now on. I didn't know how I would explain it to my parents, but it really would be for the better. I didn't understand anything that was going on anymore, not a thing. I needed Kathy to think for me, to help me, to be my master all the time. I thought for a crazy second that I wanted to marry her, right now, this very minute. I wanted to be her wife, and I wanted her to be my husband or, I guess, partner, as the politically correct terminology would have it.

"Kathy, do you know what happened to me in there?," I asked her, when we were outside the shop.

"Spontaneous orgasm," she said, without a moment's hesitation. "You are starting to become a woman and are beginning to feel the incredible sex drive and capacity for sexual stimulation that women have.

"Don't you know yet that we're better than you in all ways, in all things?" she said, looking again at me as if I were a child, and then shrugging it off with a laugh.

I looked down at the floor, letting her guide me through the crowds of people walking by, and realized what a child I was, what a complete and total baby. Kathy knew everything, I knew absolutely nothing. Maybe I should go back to kindergarten, or even further, and start all over again. I should be sleeping in a crib and drinking warm milk from a bottle and have Kathy sing lullabies to me and change my diaper. What I was trying to do now was to make up for a genetic lottery that gave me a penis instead of a vagina, and 18 years of learning everything the wrong way -- from the master of the universe, male perspective instead of from the understanding, feeling, compassionate and, in the end, overwhelmingly more powerful female point of view.

Kathy put her arm around my waist and pulled me close.

"There, there, sweetie pie, it's not all that bad. Men are just slow learners, you know?," she said, laughing again. Then she told me the story from Greek mythology about Tiresias, who had spent part of his life as a man and part of it as a woman. Tiresias had happened upon two snakes who were copulating, killed the female of the pair and as a form of punishment was promptly changed into a woman by the angered gods. When Tiresias later came to look upon his new form as being more pleasurable, especially in regard to having intercourse, the gods promptly changed him back to a male.

Kathy said that Moslems, too, thought that women got much more out of sex than men -- that women in fact had six times the sex drive of men. And that's why they locked their women up in harems, with eunuchs guarding them, in olden times, and made them wear the body-hiding hijab veil and cloak-like dresses today.

"Don't you ever marry an Arab," she said to me, as it that were at all likely, and laughed again as we continued to make our way through the mall. "The only thing worse is being trafficked as a slave prostitute by some Serbian people-smuggling gang, and even then, I'm not sure which is worse."

"And by the way, sweetheart," she added. "Here we are."

We were, at last, in front of the jewelry shop. At the rate we'd been going to get there, I was beginning to think it was the Holy Grail or something totally unattainable. Instead, there we were standing in front of the gleaming window display, chock full of gold, silver and diamonds. I was utterly bedazzled and involuntarily gasped in delight.

"Yah pussy, yah," Kathy said, imitating the hunk back at the construction site and thrusting her pelvis at me, as if she had a cock. I blushed a bright red. Kathy winked.

"I think Michelle has a boyfriend," she said, in a sing-songy voice. "And I know who he is."

"Come on you two, knock it off," Diane, who'd been trailing behind with Sharon, said.

Kathy took the cue and opened the door to the shop. Unlike the other stores in the mall, this one had a conventional, old fashioned door, probably for security purposes. Kathy waved me inside. I was the damsel and she was my gallant knight.

"Ah, jeez," I heard Diane moan in the background.

The jeweler, alone in the shop, I recognized instantly as being Jewish. He had a crinkled but kindly Eastern European face and -- I'm sorry to say it -- a characteristically hooked nose. He immediately flashed a smile at his four young and dazzling customers.

"Yes, ladies, what can I do for you?," he said, in heavily accented English. "Something in earrings, something in bracelets, perhaps."

"Actually, the first thing we need, for my friend Michelle here, is a wrist watch," Kathy said.

I'd almost forgotten. Kathy had thrown away my watch and I didn't have one anymore. But then again, I'd totally lost track of time. It didn't seem to much matter.

Before Kathy could say another word, the spry little man had pulled out a drawer full of wristwatches and placed it on the counter. When Kathy and I leaned over to look at it, I could see dozens of delicate, dainty oval or round gold ladies' wrist watches, with thin gold or leather bands. Some were inlaid with tiny diamonds or other jewels. I picked out what I thought was a particularly pretty one, slipped it over my wrist, and clamped it on. It was beautiful.

"What do you think?," I asked Kathy, secretly thinking in the back of my head "say yes, please, yes please".

"Too expensive," was all she said, fingering the little white price tag attached to the watch.

"Haven't you got any of the designer watches?," she said directly to the man, ignoring me. I began to pout. My Kathykins was being a cheapo. And little me-oh weally liked that pwetty, shiny gold one. "Down girl," I had to tell myself. "Down."

The little man was just as quick to take the gold watch from me, put it back in the drawer and pull out another. This one was filled with watches in just about every color of the rainbow, some garish, high gloss lurid hues like purple and turquoise, others pastel and less aggressive. Kathy picked out a pale yellow one and strapped it on my wrist. I realized she'd picked it because it matched my skirt and my handbag, but I wouldn't be wearing the same skirt every day.

"Don't worry, sweetie," she said, divining my thoughts, as usual. "This is a fashion watch with changeable bands and case covers. For every different outfit you wear you change the band and the cover to suit, like this."

While she was talking, Kathy had pulled the yellow cover from the watch and replaced it with one that was a pale, pretty aqua. That reminded me of the skirt I'd seen in the fashion magazine in the morning, but then I wondered, what am I thinking of, anyway? Is fashion my whole life now? Am I just going to spend all my time thinking about clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, hair color, nail polish and, God forbid, boys? The profile of the hunk on the construction site and his big member flashed through my mind again. Maybe I was. Maybe I really was.

I was becoming dreamier and dreamier all the time, from the pills, and Kathy realized she had to move this along.

"Mimi, is that one okay? Will that one do?," she asked sweetly.

"Oh, it's absolutely adorable," I said. "I love it." I was also thinking that Kathy was being a bit of a cheapskate, after having thrown my father's watch in the trash, but then again I loved her, and love can do no wrong.

"Fine, we'll take it -- she'll wear it out," Kathy said to the anxious man, who was hoping to make a sale. "And one other thing, do you have any charm bracelets?"

Quick as a flash, another drawer was on the counter, this time full of beautiful, sparkling bracelets, their bands made of thin, delicate solid gold, with little gold rings embedded for hanging charms. Kathy took the prettiest, shiniest one from the display and slipped it over my left wrist. Then she looked over the selection of charms and picked one which she snapped onto the first circle on the bracelet. When I held it up to my face, I could see it was two little golden "Care Bears", hugging each other inside of a golden heart. It was the friendship charm.

"There'll be more to come," Kathy said lovingly. Without even thinking, I kissed her full on the lips and our arms locked around one another.

"Sweetheart," I said. "I love you. I love you I love you I love you."

"I know," she said. "I know."

The jeweler was amused, not shocked. He was from Eastern Europe and he'd seen a lot in his lifetime. Two beautiful young American girls in love -- a bit of a waste but so what? That's life.

The rest of the day glided by. We stopped in a shoe store where Kathy bought me three pairs of shoes, one black dress pair for going out, one flat-soled brown pair for school and a pair of pink Adidas for gym class. We also stopped in a dancewear store so I could get a black leotard and tights. Kathy wanted me to start coming with her to her aerobics class twice a week. She said it would be good for my developing figure and to loosen up muscles I'd never before used, as well as to be in a completely female environment. "There are co-ed classes," she said, "but you won't be going to those."

For just a minute or two we lingered outside a bridal shop and looked at the long silky gowns on display. I squeezed Kathy's hand tight as I looked at a stunning pink number, with lace decollete, in awe.

"Some day," she whispered in my ear. "Someday, sweetheart."

Diane and Sharon lingered in the background, sipping on sodas and eating ice creams. They were well and truly sick of us by now. Diane had already said that what Kathy was doing to me was the ickiest thing she'd ever seen.

"You're making him into your little girlie, your little poppet," she'd said at one point, after I had trouble making up my mind on the third pair of shoes. "Don't you think you really better stop before this goes too far?"

Kathy and I had looked at each other. We already had gone too far.

Just before 5 p.m. we were back in the Mustang and headed for Bakerstown. We had a stop to make at Dr. Brennan's on the way home. It was going to be my first gyno visit, so he could check how I was adapting to the high octane doses of hormones I was taking. It was quite clear to everyone that I'd simply become hysterical outside Theresa's Secret, but I was feeling great now. I even took another five of the pills totally against the manufacturer's recommendations just before we left the mall, washing them down with a delicious, sugary frappuccino.

We had the top down again and Kathy had "Girlpower 95" blaring over the radio. The two of us were singing along to Madonna's "Material Girl" and having a good old time. Diane tapped Kathy on the shoulder and almost had to shout to her over the music and the wind noise.

"Kathy, pull over," she said. "I'm going to be sick."

 

End of Part One. To be continued

   

   

    

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