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The Scrapbook              by: Amber Palmer

 

Part II

Chapter 4

Little Things Add Up

 

Mother HAD noticed the different colored hairs in her brush back that very first time. She had assumed the obvious, that either my sister or I had used her brush. She probably never gave it a second thought. At least nothing was ever said.

But then there were those other little oddities, and those began to add up. The windows of her bedroom opened onto the driveway that led to the rear garage. She had to drive pass those windows when she parked in the garage. I usually cracked the drapes enough so that I could see if she came home unexpectedly. I had always thought that I’d returned them to their original position. But now I realize there were times she could tell they had been disturbed.

While I doubted that Allison would ever notice anything askew in her drawers, I really believed that I’d taken sufficient care to replace Mom’s items exactly as I had found them. Wrong!!! It turned out that Mom folded her bras differently depending on which side of the drawer she placed them, a habit she’d had since she was a little girl. When she had noticed the deviations, she had accused Allison of "borrowing" some of her things. Unbeknownst to me, Allison had vehemently denied prying in Mother’s drawers which left her wondering, "If not Allison, then who?" Oops.

And then there was the Diet Coke can incident. I’d carelessly left a can of Coke in my room with a telltale lipstick smudge on the rim. Mom had been picking up the dirty clothes in my room and noticed it. Sure it could have been Sis’s or maybe even a girl friend’s. Problem was, it was Mom’s favorite color and one that was not worn by teens. She never mentioned it to me, but she started to be concerned over the implications.

A few days after one of my adventures, Mom asked me if I had been in her room. I played dumb and denied any intrusion. She just gave me a troubled frown and quipped, "You wouldn’t be fibbing to me would you, Jeff?" I could hear her go into Allison’s room and ask the same question. I never heard her answer as Mother had closed the door before Allison responded. I never did find out what caused her to ask that question, but afterward, I heightened my sense of alertness to details when in her room. I began to feel more and more paranoid that I was missing something and even considered terminating my excursions for a cooling off period. But then, the thrill of the hunt was just too overwhelming, and in retrospect, the subconscious risk of discovery was itself somehow exciting. I never openly admitted it to myself back then, but I now I have to wonder if I didn’t unintentionally wanted to get caught.

In any event, my new sense of caution came a little too late. I learned later that when Mom had gone into Allison’s room, she learned of Allison’s own suspicions. The two of them began to share notes and I can only surmise the discussion that must have followed.

 

Chapter 5

A Plan

I learned only later of the basic outline of the conspiracy that was hatched behind Allison’s closed door. Mom had voiced her concern that it was me who was prowling both their rooms and enumerated the little signs that had raised her suspicions. Sis chimed in with her own observations that confirmed mother’s suspicions.

The state of war that exists between siblings is usually undeclared, but now Sis latched onto a golden opportunity for a strategic pre-emptive strike. It was payback time. All the silly pranks, all the refusals to help with her menial projects, all the teasing about her bucktoothed nerdy boyfriends was going to come home to roost. She found a cause and an ally in Mother. Things were about to turn ugly for me. I’m sure that Allison thought that my predicament quite amusing.

The different options on how to proceed were thoroughly argued outside of my hearing. Mom thought that a straight-on confrontational approach would be most honest and effective. "Let’s just confront Jeff with the events we’ve discussed. What other explanation is there than, it’s him? How can he deny what we both know must be happening when we’re not around? Maybe there’s even a logical explanation." Mother half heartedly offered.

"And when he stonewalls us, what then?" Allison argued back. "We know it’s him. He’ll know we know it’s him. But if he continues to deny his involvement, we really don’t have any solid proof. And anyway, I’m kinda curious to know just what he’s doing when he’s rummaging through my stuff. Don’t you want to know THE WHY of what is happening? If we really knew the answer to that, maybe we’d have a better chance of putting an end to it. Maybe, just maybe, Mother," Allison teased, "You might get that second daughter you always wanted."

"Don’t be silly, Ally. Jeff doesn’t want to be a girl. He’s just inquisitive. That’s all. " Mother weakly defended. "That’s just crazy."

What to do? Well mother had heard of a contact powder that could be used with a UV light to see if someone had touched a tainted object. Place an article in a provocative location, sprinkle some contact powder onto it and wait for it to be taken or disturbed. Then use the UV light to check the hands of the suspected perpetrator and if they light up, bingo. You’ve got your man. But this idea was rejected since neither wanting to contaminate their own clothing.

What to do? The use of contact powder that fluoresced under UV light was discussed. Seems there’s a powder that is invisible under ordinary light that can be sprinkled onto objects. Then when the object turns up missing, or in this case is disturbed, the hand of the perpetrator are examined under UV light and shine bright green. But this idea was abandoned when neither knew much about it or wanted to risk contaminating their own clothes.

"How about indelible lipstick?" Allison offered. "I’m sure somebody’s messing with my lipsticks and you found that Coke can in his room. Did you leave it there, ‘cause I sure didn’t? I can just picture his face when he looks in the mirror and finds that the lipstick he used won’t wipe off. I get goose bumps just thinking about the panic he’ll experience when he knows he’s been trapped. I mean, how could he explain his way out of that?"

But it wasn’t exactly the type of proof that Mrs. Cole had in mind. "Listen, if we want to really learn what’s going on, then I think a hidden video cam is what we need. I have a friend who’s husband rents these micro video cameras that can be hidden just about anywhere. I’ll get one and set it up in my bedroom and leave it on when we’re both out of the house. If it’s Jeff, I wager we’ll have our answer before too long. With this type of evidence in hand, we can sit down and have a serious talk with your brother."

"Why just your room?" Allison objected. "I want to know what he’s doing in my room too. Can’t we set it up in my room instead of yours, Mom?"

"Okay, Allison. Tell you what. We’ll set it up in your room first and see what happens. If it is Jeff, I want to see what he’s doing in my room also. We’ve waited this long, what’s a few extra days more or less. We’ll each have our answer and Jeff will have to fess up."

And so it was decided that Mrs. Cole would procure the taping equipment and that it would first be set up in her room. Then after some relevant evidence had been gathered, a second ambush would be set in Allison’s bedroom. And an ambush it would be. Allison had decided to leave her sexiest undies spread on her bed and an assortment of lipsticks on her vanity. Bra’s and panties and would seem to be carelessly discarded but would actually fall within the target area covered by the camera’s lens.

"And what will we do once we have the proof?" Asked Allison.

"Let’s wait and see what turns up before we decide on that." Mrs. Cole suggested.

 

Chapter 6

The Sting

It was three days later when I was off at baseball practice when Allison and Mom set up the camera in her room. They had it positioned so that it covered about 75 percent of her room from the far corner toward the entry. They did a very professional job in that I never suspected that I was being taped when I ventured back into her space.

That evening everything seemed normal. Dinner was served and the conversation was about the up coming school end picnic, the shopping needs for over the weekend, and what chores need completion. Then it was time for homework and after that we all watched TV together. About 10:30 the lights went out and we each headed for our respective bedrooms. I played video games on my computer for a while and checked my scrapbook. Then it was lights off and to bed.

Saturday morning Mom and Allison announced that they had a number of errands to run and that they’d bring back lunch with them about noon. As Mom walked out the door she gave me her familiar "Behave yourself" admonition and she and Allison disappeared in the car. I figured I had a good two undisturbed hours to myself and I proceeded to make my usual rounds.

I started in Sis’s room and lazily checked to see if she’d bought any new items that might make worthy trophies. Finding none I proceeded to mother’s room where I browsed for items in her dresser drawers and on her vanity. A number of her used lipsticks were in plain view and I removed the caps of some of these to inhale their peculiar fragrance. I couldn’t resist the temptation to try some on and primp in front of the mirror. And yes by then I had moved on to where I also sampled her liquid foundation and blush. I hadn’t quite mastered the mascara but I gave my lashes a few swipes anyway. Then I brushed my hair in a feminine style and admired my girlish image. I was tempted to go with some nail polish, but decided that I might not have time to undue my experimentation should Mom and Sis return unexpectedly. No souvenirs today and before I knew it was time to clean up and rearrange everything just so. I was finished by 11:30 and gave both rooms an extra walk though to make sure I hadn’t overlooked anything. By 12 noon when Mom and Allison returned, I was back in my room working on a model jet that was nearing completion.

Lunch consisted of cold cut rolls and quaint individual bags of gourmet potato chips. The was a chocolate chip cookie included for dessert and a diet Coke used to wash down the crumbs. I caught Mom and Alli giving each other weird looks a couple of times, but I didn’t make anything of it.

After lunch I was off on my own to play baseball with friends. Little did I suspect that the two un-indicted coconspirators were chomping at the bit for me to leave so they could view the video. The two watched it over and over, amazed at the primping and posing their 15 year old brother/son was doing.

"I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself." My mother sighed. "What am I to do?"

"He’s just as cute as can be." Smirked my malevolent sister. "Oh I wish could see what he’d been doing in my room, Mother. Oh please can we set the camera up in my room now?"

"Well we have time to make the change before he’s do back if we hurry. Given the opportunity, I doubt that we’ll have long to wait before we see him violating your space as well as mine. My guess is he’s been invading our privacy for some time and on a frequent basis to have him be caught on our very first sting." Mother observed.

The video cam was hurriedly repositioned in Alli’s room, again to show the maximum view from it’s strategic placement.

But this time they’d have longer to wait as chance would have it. I did think it strange when they decided after dinner to take in a Saturday night movie. It was Shakespeare in Love and not one I cared to see. You see, I had little interest in an actress dressing as a boy. So it turned out that I was left alone for the second time in one day. But since I’d already explored both their rooms only hours earlier, I spent my time alone amused with my own toys. I never even ventured near either of their rooms.

If fact they had to wait almost a full week before I felt the return of the urge for another booty search. This time I started in Mother’s bedroom and once again decided there was little new. Allison’s room was a different story however. There on her bed was a new panties/bra set that had just been taken out of the package. Indeed, the package wrapping was still wadded up in the wasted basket kept next to her desk. I wonder what they thought when they saw me go to the basket and carefully examined the discarded packaging. I took it and left the room, heading back to my own room. There I trimmed out the picture of the young teenage girl who was modeling the wares. I returned to Sis’s room and cautiously replaced the unwanted remnants in the basket, minus my cutouts. I left the room for about 15 minutes during which I was updating my scrapbook. I then returned to further explore Allison’s bedroom and try on the bra. Oh, did I failed to mention that I had tried on some of bras I’d stumbled across in the past few months. I was always careful not to soil in any way, or leave a loose axillary hair as evidence of my presence. I spent a brief time at her vanity examining and sampling the table top menagerie of cosmetics. I don’t think I need to go into the exact details at this time.

When Alli and Mother finally got to review the damaging tape, they immediately keyed in on my activities concerning the waste basket. It didn’t take them long to go through it’s contents and discover the trimmed portions of the packing. "He’s cutting out parts of the package and must be taking them to his own room." Concluded my mother. "Whatever could he be doing with them?"

"Since he’s not home, I say we pay his room a visit. Seems only fair that we get to go through some of his stuff after what he’s been doing to ours." Rationalized Allison. And so it was that my scrapbook was discovered. I don’t know how long it took them to find it, but the outcome really didn’t matter. In it contained not only the confirmation of my excursions into their private spaces, but also to my own fascination with the nuances of femininity. I might as well have left a signed confession as to my most private thoughts and fantasies. Why, oh why, did I ever compile that collection of forbidden mementos? I’m not sure I ever really wanted an answer to that question. But for better or worse, I was about to face the consequences.

 

To be continued in Part III, Chapter 7 The Confrontation

 

 


2001
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