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The Jade Box         by: Genni Smith

 

Part 5

'Okay, that's me done. Any more learning lines and my brain will explode.' Danny said later that night.

'And I am supposed to tell the difference how?' Amy laughed.

Danny was in the middle of throwing a cushion at the girl when Susan looked in on them in the family room. 'Would you like to stay for something to eat Danny?' She asked. 'Jade is going to have dinner at her friends house so I have heaps left. It's just Spag Bol.'

'Spaghetti is fine for me thanks Mrs. Denton.'

'Call me Susan hon.' the woman smiled. 'I'm sure Amy will show you where the phone is if you want to call your parents.'

Amy and Susan were laughing at one of Danny's stories when Susan bought up the wedding renewal. 'Did you know Amy is going to be a bridesmaid at her Aunty and Uncle's wedding?'

'Jesus,' Danny exclaimed. 'Why did you kick me Amy?'

'I was aiming for mum. Sorry.' Amy said sheepishly. 'She's just being her subtle self.'

'I just mentioned it,' Susan said in mock innocence.

'It's amazing isn't it? When us kids just mention something parents accuse us of stirring.'

Susan got the hint and changed the subject. Unfortunately for Amy it wasn't a subject she really wanted her mother to know about. 'So, what are you two studying anyway?'

'Romeo and Juliet' Danny shrugged. 'We have to perform it in front of the school in a few weeks.'

'You never told me this Amy.'

'Gee, I wonder why that is?' Amy said sarcastically.

'I'll have to come and see it.'

'Oh yeah, that's why.'

Amy didn't want to appear rude but she was happy Danny started thinking about leaving before Jade came home and checked him out. They were standing on the front porch, waiting for Susan to get her car keys when Danny asked if she was looking forward to the wedding.

'Well, yes and no,' she answered honestly. 'I was kind of hoping to ask Katie to come but it turns out she has to go down to Mount Gambier that weekend for her cousin's eighteenth.'

'Bummer.'

'I don't suppose you want to come? It won't be anything great. Mostly my relatives and stuff but they are pretty funny drunk.' For some reason she found that she was breathing harder and miraculously holding her breath at the same time waiting for his response.

'Drunk relatives huh?' He smiled. 'Sounds like my kind of thing. I'd love to come.'

'Cool.' Amy sighed with relief. 'Well... ah... great then.' He said LOVE, she thought. 'It's next weekend.'

'No problems.' Danny grinned.

Susan came out of the house. 'Found them. They were still in my jacket pocket.' She said rattling the car keys.

Amy thought it was a little suspicious that her mother came out at exactly the right time but seeing as how she couldn't prove anything she let it slide.

That night Amy's second period started.

-oOOo-

Saturday morning Amy took what is colloquially known in Australia as a sickie. She rang work early and told them she was ill and would be unable to do her sift. Sam wasn't too impressed saying he was already short staffed but Amy mentioned vomiting and diarrhoea and Sam backed down.

She still put on her work uniform and then met Katie on the corner of their street. 'Are you sure you want to do this?' Amy asked for the thousandth time.

'No,' Katie admitted sadly. 'I don't have much of a choice though Aim.'

The two girls stood in silence until a bus rattled down the road and picked them up heading for town.

The building was a little hard to find. They walked past it three times before they worked out that what looked like an old house was actually the clinic. Katie took a few deep breaths before heading for the door. She was almost there when this guy in his forties came out from nowhere. Amy grabbed Katie's hand tighter with her left hand and her handbag closer to her body with her right.

The man thrust forward a picture and said 'This is what they do in there.'

Amy didn't have time to assimilate a blurry photo of what looked like a skinned rabbit with the man's words.

'It's not to late to change your mind and come back to God.' The man continued. He gestured at the photo and asked, 'Is that what you want for your child?'

All of a sudden it hit Amy what this guy was about. 'Get out of our way dip shit.' She snapped.

'The Bible makes it clear that every life is sacred.' He said and stood in front of the pair.

'Get that photo away from me,' Katie screamed.

'When was the last time you were pregnant?' Amy demanded of the man.

'We are all children of the lord.' The man said in that sanctimonious way of speaking that all religious people seem to get.

'Well you'll be meeting your father soon if you don't get out of the way.' Amy growled, or at least she tried to. She looked up and down the street hoping some one would come along and get rid of this guy. As Stuart she would have beaten him to a pulp by now but as Amy she was intimidated by both his physical size and his zealousness. Katie was losing it and Mr. Bible was making the most of her discomfort.

'Go home and have your child girl. If you enter this building you will not only ruin your life but murder the life inside of you.'

'Lets just go Amy.' Katie said, beginning to cry.

'Yes Amy, listen to your friend, she has obviously seen the error of her ways.'

There was no way to argue with the man and no way to get around him. Until a police car pulled up at the kerb. 'Hey Ben,' one cop said. 'You know you can't stand here and stop women from going inside.'

'I obey the laws of god.' Ben, who ever he was, said.

'Well the magistrate is going to love that one. Get in the car Ben.' The other policeman said as they grabbed him and pushed him into the backseat.

Amy felt like a Damsel in distress must have felt when her knight in shining armour rode up to the castle. 'Sorry about him Ladies,' The younger of the two officers shrugged.

Katie sat on a railing of a fence and took a few deep breaths. 'Well that was fun.'

'Do you want to go home?'

'No. A thousand Bens can't be worse than one mother. Namely mine if I go home and tell her I am pregnant.'

'I think your mum deserves more credit than that Katie.'

'Oh, I know she will support me Amy but after all of the times she's told me about birth control I don't want to see that disappointed look in her eyes. Well, that and the I told you so look.'

'Your mother is good at them too huh?'

'Aren't they all? I know this is the right thing for me at the moment.'

'Okay then.' Amy smiled helping her friend up. 'Just as long as you know you can back out any time.'

-oOOo-

Amy was exhausted. She'd been to work and then did an hour and a half at Mary Anne's. She wanted to go home, get changed into some old sweats and crash but that was not to be.

'Have a shower' Susan said as her daughter walked into the kitchen. She was preparing some trays of finger food, never a good sign for Amy.

'Huh? Why?' Amy said stifling a yawn.

'I told you this morning, were having a bridal shower for your Aunty Colleen.' Susan told her. 'I've laid out a nice dress on your bed. Put it on.'

'A bridal shower?' Amy said. 'Isn't it enough that I am going to be a poxy bridesmaid?'

'That you are doing out of the goodness of your heart.'

'And this?'

Susan nibbled on a celery stick. 'This you are doing to get me to drop your grounding.'

Amy thought about it for a second or three. 'Fair enough.' She said.

She went to the bathroom and disposed of her sanitary pad. Her period had been heavier this time but still it was a lot easier to cope with now she knew what to do. She quickly showered and then dried her hair. The dress her mother had picked out for her wasn't too bad, as dresses go. It was made from a silk or satin material, mostly white shantung style with little red flowers printed on it. Amy brushed out her hair, pulled on a pair of fresh panties and replaced the sanitary pad, pleased to think that there was only a little bit of blood that day, hopefully it would be over by the next morning. The dress fell to the middle of her thighs and had spaghetti straps to Amy gladly didn't worry about a bra. She put on some lipstick, eyeliner and a little mascara, slid her dainty feet into the black high heels and pronounced herself ready to face the night.

She was pleased to see Katie and her mother appear soon after. Katie had been a bit withdrawn since Saturday but Amy expected that and did what she could to help, which was to be there with a shoulder for Katie to cry on.

More and more people arrived and Katie couldn't help but think of the night the guys were having at her Uncle Phil's house. They had hired a bunch of action films and very likely a few pornographic films and were at that very moment proceeding to get rat arsed drunk. She was wearing a dress and heels and looking at a night of women sitting around giving the bride sex toys and lingerie. Where was the fairness in that? Even her father and little cousin, Lachlan, were over there with the rest of the guys and she was stuck having a period and talking about vibrators.

The night actually wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. The women seemed to either forget Katie and she was in the room or they were just accepted as women rather than girls for the night. Some of the talk could make a sailor blush and Amy was amazed at some of the more graphic details that women talked about. She did enjoy some of the party games her mother made her play. The only weird time came when they were playing a game where they had to kiss a piece of paper, inhale a little to hold it to their lips, and then see if the next woman could take it in the same way and pass it on down the line.

Amy was first in line and held the paper no problems but as she was passing it to Katie the paper slipped and Amy found her lips and Katie's were touching each other. All of the women laughed, after all, that was what made the game fun, but Amy felt weird. Her first kiss with Katie was while she was a girl. She tried to laugh along with the rest of the ladies but her mind kept locking onto that kiss.

At around One AM people began to leave. Colleen was exhausted and decided to sleep at Susan's house rather than going back to what was undoubtedly a pigsty at her own.

Amy collapsed on her bed after taking off her make up and replacing the sanitary pad again. She kept thinking of the sensations she got from the accidental kiss.

-oOOo-

'You got a tick?' Amy asked as she knocked on Jade's door.

Jade looked up from a magazine. 'Oh, let me just check my social calendar. Yep, looks like I have. What's the problem?'

'This wedding.' Amy started. 'I'll be expected to dance right?'

'That is a normal thing to do at a wedding.'

'I can't.'

'You can't? You can't dance?'

'Well let's just say the Bolshoi's jobs are safe,' Amy said. 'I am supposed to have done ballet for years but I have all of the elegance of a hippo on roller blades.'

'I've seen you dance Stu, you're over estimating it.'

'So is there any hope you can teach me without making snide comments?'

'Not a snowballs chance in hell I am afraid.' Jade smiled.

'I thought not. I'll go ask mum.'

'Have you seen mum dance?' Jade asked

'Shit.'

'That's what I think of her style too.'

'Okay,' Amy sighed. 'I'll get some CD's and you can start cranking up the snide.'

'I love that box.'

-oOOo-

Amy woke up that Saturday morning early. It was getting easier to wake in her body but it still made her yearn for her old form. She swung her legs over the side of the bed, sat up and then marked off a calendar on her bedside table. This would be her fifty-first day as a girl.

Over seven weeks had passed since Stuart first opened that box. In that time she had two periods, worn a skirt or a dress countless times, learned how to do her make up, hair and even how to walk in high heels. She could put on pantyhose most times without causing a run in them and she now knew the difference between a sweetheart and a scoop neckline.

All of this would pale into insignificance compared to the day she was about to have. Stuart Denton was about to be a bridesmaid.

She went to the toilet and then made her way out to the kitchen where Jade, her mother and Colleen were already seated enjoying breakfast.

'Here she is,' Colleen smiled and gave the girl a hug. 'How's sleeping beauty?'

'Better if I was still sleeping.' Amy yawned. 'So today is the big day huh?'

'Sure is,' Susan smiled. 'I just hope Phil is the right guy for you Col, you know what men are like. They run away from commitment.'

'Yeah, he'll probably split right after the wedding.' Jade agreed getting into the joke.

'Pity he doesn't take off now. I might be able to get some sleep and forget this whole wedding thing.'

'You were always a grumpy kid in the morning Amy. I see nothing has changed.'

'What's first on the agenda?'

'Well the ceremony isn't until two this afternoon so we have to be at the Salon at eleven. They'll do our hair and make up then. We should all be out of there by one and then we come back here to get changed and we should just about make it to the church on time.'

'Not too early.' Jade laughed. 'It's traditional for the bride to be late.'

'Yeah,' Amy grumbled. 'How does the year 2007 sound?

-oOOo-

Amy walked into the salon not knowing what to expect. Marcel, a stereotypical gay man, met the four women. 'Hello ladies,' He lisped. 'Well, well, well. Aren't we all adorable! If you were any more beautiful I'd be out of a job. Now, Cherise has some bubbly for you all and we'll get this all done as quick as a wink.'

A tall woman bought Champagne to them and each lady took a glass. 'None for those two,' their mother said pointing to Jade and Amy. 'They're under age.'

Marcel waved away her concerns. 'Who needs to worry about a little thing like the law on such a special day?'

Susan threw both of the girls a look that clearly said "Not too much"

'Here's to a great day.' she said as they clinked their champagne flutes together.

Amy downed her drink a little too fast for Susan's liking and then she was led over to a comfortable chair with a tray table next to it. Colleen and Susan were shown to the sinks for a wash and Jade waited in another chair for her turn.

Cherise started on Amy's fingers while Marcel and another guy called Simon started to wash the older women's hair.

It was pretty fun really, if she could put the reason they were there out of her mind. Everyone was in a good mood and the stylists did their best to make it a fun occasion.

When the manicure and pedicure was done Amy found herself with 1 inch nails on her fingers with both her toes and her finger nails painted a red colour to match the lipstick they would be painted with later. She felt like Freddy Kruger and kept trying to keep the long nails out of the way but it was impossible. The damn things made it hard to even pick up the champagne flute.

She moved on to the basin for a shampoo and condition while Jade took her vacated seat at the manicure table. Colleen was in the chair getting a trim done.

An hour and a half later, feeling pretty close to being drunk, Amy was coiffed and made up. She'd had her hair washed, dried, curled, styled and then topped with a floral headpiece that her Aunty had chosen for her bridesmaids. She'd contorted her face in every known way to get her make up done and she was slowly getting used to having long acrylic nails glued on to the end of each finger.

Walking back to the car was a little weird. Most people saw Colleen and the rest of them and knew straight away that they were on their way to a wedding. But it must have been a strange sight to see four, half drunk, women made up to the nines from the neck up yet still dressed in casual clothes.

Arriving home there were five or six messages on the machine. All from Phil who was pulling their home apart to find his cravat. Colleen rang and told him exactly where it was and ended the call with , 'see you at the church honey. I love you.'

'We better hustle,' Colleen told the others. 'I know I am supposed to be late but it takes a lot of hard work to make this old girl look good.'

Amy went into her bedroom to get the dress and some underwear and sound a small present wrapped and sitting on her bed. Upon opening she saw a very expensive panty and strap less bra set along with a garter belt and real silk stockings. Attached was a card ; To my sweet niece. Thank you for being a part of our special Day. Aunty Colleen.

Amy was truly touched. Now if she could just work out how the hell to put the garter belt on and attach the stockings she'd be feeling great. Jade came to the rescue. 'Make sure you put the garter straps trough your panties,' She told Amy. 'You can pee easier that way.'

'Great. Now all I have to worry about is skewering myself with these bloody talons when I wipe down there.' Amy moaned.

'Wait until you put the stocking's on. They feel like heaven against your skin.' Jade took the opportunity to have a little fun. 'Speaking of which, I bet Danny will look nice tonight.'

'Yeah, yeah. Shut up and help me into this damn dress.'

The dress. That damn stupid dress. It was all Amy had heard about since her first sitting for measurements. It was a French Blue taffeta ball gown silhouette dress with a square halter neckline and a Plisse bodice and an long skirt. All of this was Greek to Amy but the words had been bandied about ever since Colleen and Phil had announced they were going to renew their vows.

Whatever the name of it was Amy had to admit it made her look like a princess and even though she wouldn't admit it to anyone she felt what she imagined a princess must feel like.

Amy and Jade spent the next half an hour or so helping Colleen into her dress and making sure she had something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Eventually a large limo pulled up out the front of their house and all of them, bouquets in hand, piled, well, climbed somewhat delicately, into the back. Next Stop, the Church

Amy should have been paying more attention to the minister but all she could think was 'Fuck these heels are killing me. How much longer?' She'd been standing now for what seemed like hours and there were still photos to go. 'Hurry the fuck up,' she wanted to tell the priest. 'It's not like they aren't really married.'

Finally they got to the 'I now pronounce you husband and wife... again,' and Amy smiled. She had to admit it was all going off rather well. Colleen was beautiful and even her Dad had scrubbed up well.

She followed the happy couple out of the church, holding her spray of flowers. Out on the steps of the old stone church they all paused and arranged themselves for the first of millions of photographs.

'How you going?' Jade whispered.

'I am busting for a piss.' Amy admitted.

'You too huh? Keep your legs crossed. Where's lover boy?'

'I don't think he was coming to the ceremony. He'll meet us at the restaurant.' Amy told her in hushed tones. They stopped talking long enough to smile for the photographer. 'And he's just a friend.' She added as they passed under a shower of rice.

-oOOo-

'Ladies and Gentlemen,' The M.C. announced. 'Please be upstanding for the bridal party.'

'That's our cue.' Jade hissed to Amy.

'Give me a tick will you? It's not exactly easy to piss in this bloody dress.'

Susan took young Lachlan by the hand and walked into the room

'The Best man and the Matron of Honour, Lachlan McCoy and Susan Denton.'

Amy and Jade rushed out of the ladies room and Jade took her place next to Phil's brother.

'Groomsman and bridesmaid, Darren McCoy and Jade Denton' the M.C. said.

'You look wonderful,' Jim Denton told his youngest daughter.

'Thanks,' She smiled.

'I am glad you're wearing my present.'

'Huh?' She was trying to look around the corner into the room to see if she could spot Danny.

'The locket.' James reminded her. 'You're wearing it.'

'Oh yeah. That.'

'Groomsman and Bridesmaid, James and Amy Denton.'

Amy took her father's arm and strode into the room and headed for the bridal table where the rest of the party stood waiting for Phil and Colleen.

'And now, introducing, or maybe that should be reintroducing, Mr. And Mrs. Philip McCoy.'

Everyone stood and clapped as a very happy couple walked into the room. Amy was looking for Danny though. She didn't know why she cared so much that he was there but she did.

Just then she spotted him, at a table in the middle of the room. He looked great all dressed up in a dark grey suit. She smiled at him and he flashed that trademark smile back at her.

She had to put him out of her mind for the time being though. There were speeches to listen to.

-oOOo-

Amy danced with her father first but only out of duty. All of the bridal party danced with the person they had been paired with.

'Have I done something to upset you?' Jim asked as Amy tried to keep up with the dancing.

'You mean apart from divorcing mum and marrying what's her name?' Amy replied not looking him in the eye.

'Her name is Francesca Amy,' Jim sighed. 'But you know that already.'

'Whatever. Look Dad, you bugger off to Perth and remarry. You had another kid and you forgot about me and Jade.'

'I never forgot Amy. You made it clear you weren't happy with me. I just tried to give you some room.'

'Moving to Perth gave me plenty of room.' She spat. 'Just don't come and act like you're a great father.'

'I know I've let you down.' He said as softly as the bridal waltz would allow. 'I did what I thought was right but here's a news flash, parents make mistakes too.'

'Gee, I am glad you told me that, I would have never guessed.'

James Denton shrugged and gave up.

-oOOo-

'So you made it then?' Amy asked as she snuck up behind.

'You promise drunken relatives and you can't keep me away.' Danny grinned. 'You look fantastic.'

Before she could stop herself she replied, 'you don't look too bad yourself.'

'Do you want to dance?'

'Maybe later,' again she answered without thinking. 'My heels are killing me. Do you mind if we grab a dink and sit for awhile?'

'Not at all.' They made their way over to the bar and both asked for cokes and then they found a nearly empty table. 'So have you had a good day?'

Amy thought about the question this time. 'Yeah,' she eventually said. 'Yes I have. I never thought I would but I do.'

'I thought you girls get into this whole wedding thing.'

'Well in the immortal words of Racey; Some girl's do. Some girl's don't .'

He laughed a little and they chatted. When they came to an awkward pause she stood up and took his hand. 'Lets dance.'

Thanks to Jade, Amy did pretty well on the dance floor. At least she didn't look like an idiot, which was more than you could say for some of the guests as the night wore on and the drinks kept flowing.

A slower dance came on and Amy was about to get the hell out of there by using the excuse she needed to pee but Danny pulled her in closer. His warm breath on her neck did strange things to her and his hands on her back sent little electric shocks through her body. She felt more uncomfortable about the fact that she didn't want to let him go than she did about him holding her that way in the first place.

The song ended and she really did need to use the bathroom. Unfortunately Jade was already in there with her friend Jessica. She grinned at Amy leaving little doubt that she had seen the pair snuggled up close on the dance floor.

She ignored her sister and entered a stall to begin the huge task of peeing in such a voluminous dress.

-oOOo-

Amy was standing on the line of guests as the Bride and groom left the restaurant. It was late and like most of the women Amy had long since abandoned her heels under one of the tables so the long wait for Colleen and Phillip wasn't as bad. She chatted a little more to her dad, he wasn't off the hook totally but Amy could see he wasn't as bad as she first felt.

'Thanks love,' Colleen said when she at last reached Amy. 'You were much better than my last bridesmaid.'

'Who was that?'

'I am buggered if I remember.' Colleen laughed very drunkenly.

'Well I am glad I could do better than that then. I hope you won't forget me.'

'No chance sweetie. What did you say your name was?'

'Come on,' Phil said to his "new" wife. 'We have to get home and get some sleep if you want to fly out to Bali tomorrow.'

'I've decided I am keeping my maiden name.' Colleen told him.

'I think the world has enough Denton's' Jim laughed as he hugged his sister and shook Phil's hands.

After thanking Jade, Susan, Darren and giving Lachlan a hug they jumped into an old pink convertible and left waving.

 

 

'I've really enjoyed tonight,' Danny said a little later as they both stood out in the courtyard.

'Me too,' Amy smiled. 'I'm kind of glad Katie had to go away.'

'Come with me to the dance next week.'

The girl blinked a few times, unsure she heard right. 'Sorry?'

'I am asking if you'll come with me to the dance. You are going aren't you?'

'I didn't really think about it.' Amy admitted.

'So think about it.' Danny took her chin in his hand, tilted it upwards slightly and kissed her.

Amy was stunned. Stunned to be kissed by this guy in the first place and stunned that it was so good. With out thinking about it her lips parted slightly and she felt his tongue. He tasted good and Amy continued to kiss him until he stopped and looked at her.

'What do you say?'

Amy looked at him for a second or two and then turned and ran away as fast as she could, pushing Jade out of the way as she went.

'I'll take that as a no,' Danny said to Jade who had walked up behind him.

'Let me work on her.'

'You have a very mixed up sister.'

'Danny, you have no idea how right you are.'

-oOOo-

Amy lay awake, replaying the kiss again and again in her mind. It was a hot night and for the first time since she opened the box she had gone to bed naked.

'Why did he kiss me?' She thought. 'I didn't do anything to lead him on did I?'

The more she thought about it, the more it seemed that the rough bed sheet rubbing her nipples was having an effect. It was as if the rubbing was generating some sort of electric charge that was building up into a warm ball that was situated behind her groin. Amy could feel something strange was going on down between her legs so she tentatively reached down and let a finger explore. Since her change the only time she had ever touched her vagina was wiping it after peeing or washing it in the shower but this was different. She was wet.

It took a few seconds to realise what this meant. Thinking about the kiss was making her horny.

Once more her hand snaked its way beneath the sheet and she gently rubbed her new lips and that's probably where it would have stayed except she touched her clitoris. 'HOLY FUCK' she whispered in surprise as she reeled from the sensation. Gingerly she rubbed a little more. It wasn't easy with the nails attached and more than once she jumped in pain as the acrylic poked into soft flesh but when she worked out the right way to do it she persisted through to orgasm.

It only took about five minutes but when it was done she felt amazing. The first time she had masturbated as Stuart she thought she had stumbled onto something new that no one else knew about. Now she tried to picture women she knew in the same position, legs spread and hand gently caressing their genitals. 'Women don't do it too, do they?' She wondered. 'If they do why do they get out of bed?'

She finally fell asleep with Danny in her mind.

-oOOo-

Jade entered Amy's bedroom the next day. 'You ok?' She asked. 'I saw the kiss, and you running off.'

'I feel like crap Jade,' Amy said in a quiet voice. 'It's like my head and my heart have gone to war. My heart says go for it, you love him. But my head keeps saying I am a guy, guys don't fall for other guys.'

'I could always bring you the girl's survivor pack.'

'Do I want to know what that is?'

'All the chocolate you can eat and some copies of Cosmopolitan' Jade explained

'Does Cosmo have an advice column on what to do if you are a guy who'd been turned into a girl and now you're falling for another guy?'

'I don't think so. It does have 100 ways to lose weight.'

'That ain't going to help me.'

'Do you want my advice?'

'I don't know.' Amy said honestly. 'Will it help?'

'It might.' Jade shrugged.

'Okay, I guess it can't hurt.'

'I've seen you change over the past seven or eight weeks Amy. You may not be 100 % girl but you are closer now than you know it. If that's true I can save you a lot of hassle. Your heart will kick your brain's butt in any competition.'

'Gee, I guess that makes me gay.'

'No,' Jade stated, 'just a normal girl.'

'I may be a lot of things but I am hardly normal.'

'I don't think you're worried that that your not a normal girl Amy. I think you're scared that you are.'

'I hate it when you're right.' Amy said lying back on her bed. 'What am I going to do?'

'I don't know. I have never been in your situation before but I am telling you that a girl's heart always wins in the end.'

'That's what I am afraid of.' Amy grumbled putting the pillow over her face and pretending to smother herself.

 

-oOOo-

Amy was watching the football on TV later that day when she heard a knock at the door. She was expecting Katie home soon from her cousin's eighteenth so she raced to the door hoping to get some more advice about Danny.

'Hi.' Danny smiled. 'Can I come in?'

Shit. 'Yeah, I guess you'd better.' Amy sighed with a mixture of disappointment and relief. She had thought Danny wouldn't want to know her any more.

'Would you like a drink or something?' She asked motioning him to a chair in the lounge room.

'Ah... coke please.'

She went out to the kitchen to get two glasses of cokes. Looking in the glass on the wall oven she tried to make her hair neater and cursed herself for only wearing sweats. In the end she shrugged and went back to him.

Both of them started talking at the same time. 'Sorry,' She said. 'You first.'

'I'm sorry if I overstepped the mark last night Amy.' He said not looking at her.

'I'm sorry for over reacting.'

'You...I... Ah... You're not like other girls I know.'

'You're right there.' She smiled in spite of herself.

'There's something different about you Amy but I can't put my finger on it.'

Amy didn't know how to respond to that one so she simply asked, 'different good or different bad?'

'Good,' Danny said quickly. 'Definitely good.'

A pregnant pause fell over the pair of them.

'I didn't mean to upset you last night you know?'

'I know Danny.'

'So will you go to the dance to me? I swear I won't try anything unless...' He left the sentence hanging in the air.

'Can I think about it a little bit?' She asked shyly. 'Just two days.'

'Sure, if you think it will help.'

'It will.'

'Cool, see you at school tomorrow.' Danny smiled as he passed the cup back and headed for the door.

 

'Well?' Jade asked as soon as Danny had gone.

'Well what?'

'Come on, its like pulling teeth here.' The older girl groaned. 'What happened?'

'He asked me to the dance again.'

'And?'

'And, I asked him to wait a couple of days for my answer.' Amy shrugged.

'You mean to tell me that a gorgeous guy who you like and who is crazy about you, asks you to the biggest social event of the year and you send him home to spend not one, but two sleepless nights until he gets an answer?'

'More or less,' Amy said realising how awful that sounded.

'And you're still trying to say you're not a girl?' Jade asked, shaking her head as she walked off.

-oOOo-

'Today's the big day huh?' Jade asked as the two sat down to breakfast on that Wednesday morning.

'Huh?'

'Hello, is anyone home? Today is the day you're going to give Danny your answer.'

'Oh, that.' Amy said as if it was of no importance.

'Yes, that. Have you seen him since Sunday?'

'We do share a few classes and we're still rehearsing for that poxy play.'

'Apart from that I mean.'

'Yeah, a bit.'

'So, don't keep me in suspenders here,' Jade rolled her eyes. 'What's it going to be? Yes or no?'

'I still don't know.' Amy shrugged munching on some muesli.

'You must know.'

'Nope, sorry. I want to go because Katie is going but I don't know if I want to go as Danny's date.'

'Poor bastard doesn't know what he's letting himself into.' Jade mumbled.

-oOOo-

'So what are you going to tell Danny?' Katie innocently asked later on that morning on the way to school.

'Sheesh,' Amy snapped. 'What is it with you and Jade? My life is not a soap opera just for your enjoyment.'

'You haven't made up your mind yet have you?' Katie said, easily seeing through Amy's anger.

'Nope.'

'I don't see what the problem is Amy.'

'Well you don't have all of the information.'

'You like him, he likes you. It's a school dance Amy, you're not bloody marrying him.'

'But what if...?'

'My dad always says that if you aunty had a moustache she'd be your uncle.'

Amy laughed at the aptness of the saying. 'What the hell is that supposed to mean?'

'I don't really know.' Katie admitted. 'But it sounds good. Oh oh, looks like he's not waiting for an answer.'

'Huh?'

'He's walking towards us. I'll see you later.'

 

'Hi Amy.' Danny said.

'Hi Danny.' All of the emotions ran through her mind in that one second. She actually felt better for seeing him, even though she knew she had to either upset him or go with him to the dance. 'Is that offer still open?'

'About the dance? I was sort of thinking of asking Miranda Salisbury instead.'

'You're a shit, do you know that?'

'That's Mister shit to you,' he grinned and held his hand out. Slowly she put her much smaller hand to his and they walked the rest of the way to school like that.

-oOOo-

'Package for you,' Susan said to Amy when she walked in from school on Friday.

'What? Where?'

'I put it in your room.'

Amy rushed to her bedroom, for some reason expecting it to be from Danny. She was both disappointed and amazed when she opened the large package to see who sent it.

She picked up the note; enjoy the dance princess. Sorry I won't see how beautiful you look in this. Love Dad.

She took the package back out to the kitchen to show her mother. 'Did you tell dad about the dance?' She asked.

'I did,' Jade said as she walked in.

'So you put him up to buying me this?' Amy said accusingly.

'I didn't put him up to anything. I simply said you were going and you were nervous about it.'

'He can't buy my love like this.'

'Shit, he can buy mine. Let me have the dress.'

'At least have a look at it honey,' Susan told her youngest daughter while throwing a dirty look at Jade.

Amy grabbed the straps and slowly pulled it out of the box. It was beautiful and obviously expensive. It was a slim line; full-length dress made from red satin.

'Whoa mamma,' Jade whistled. 'Danny is going to love you in that.'

'I haven't said I am going to wear it yet.'

'Oh come on Amy, we can see in your eyes that you love it.' Susan smiled.

'And besides,' Jade jumped in 'It's not like you have other dresses you can wear to a formal.'

'I was going to wear the bridesmaid dress.'

'Amy,' Jade squealed. 'You can't wear that. Danny has already seen you in it.'

'Since when have clothes had best before dates? One wear and then you have to throw them out. You women are weird sometimes. And anyway, why didn't he buy you a dress?'

'Stop trying to change the subject and just wear the damn dress.' Susan said firmly.

'I'm not going.'

'Why not? Did you run out of tins of dog food for the guys guide dogs?'

'You're about as funny as a fart in an elevator Amy. No, I just decided not to go.'

'It must bug you like hell that even your brother has a boy to take to the dance and you don't

'I am sure it's something I'll tell a shrink in years to come.' Jade said. 'Hey, what's this?' Jade reached into the box and pulled out an envelope.

Amy opened it to reveal a gift certificate for two at the local beauty spa. For you and Katie, the note said. Relax and be pampered. 'Wow, Katie will freak over this. She is always going on about that place. I am going next door to tell her'

When Amy had left the room Susan looked strangely at Jade. 'What?' The girl asked.

'Jade, I am your mother. I gave birth to you and have watched you grow for the last 16, almost 17 years. Something doesn't add up here.'

'I don't know what you mean.' Jade said trying not to return her mother's gaze.

'Amy gets all of that and you don't bat an eyelid. I know you, if Stuart got more dinner than you did there'd be a tantrum.'

'Would you believe that I am closer to Amy than I ever was to Stuart.'

'Yes, but something else is going on.' Susan said.

'Okay, how about if I told you I am trying to help Amy get used to the fact she might be a girl for good, out of the goodness of my heart.'

'That is a stretch. Now tell me what your father has given or promised you.'

'You know that ski trip I want to go on in winter but you said no because you don't have the money?'

'Ah ha.' Susan said tight-lipped.

'Ah... I need some more warm clothes.'

-oOOo-

Amy and Katie were lying on tables chatting away. It was certainly a new experience for Amy, she'd been waxed, plucked and pampered all morning and now they were both wrapped in mud that they had been told was specially imported from Austria. Amy wouldn't have known if it came from the local creek. She didn't like to admit it, but she was feeling nervous about that night and not at all sure what would happen. Katie was oblivious to this and kept on chatting about this and that. Amy tried to listen and even join in but her mind was on other things.

Three hours later Amy looked into the mirror and was stunned to see the girl staring back. She was a stunner. If she was worried about what Danny would do before she was petrified and strangely hopeful. Her hair was already done and it looked wonderful swept up and pinned expertly on top of her head. Katie well and truly took her breath away. She was always a pretty girl but now, after hours of expert ministrations she was absolutely fantastic. 'I don't know about you but I think we should hit the pubs after the dance,' Katie smiled. 'We'd pass for legal age easily.'

'Legal age for drinking means legal age for other things,' Amy said quietly.

-oOOo-

Amy got home and tried not to mess up her make up or hair until it was time to get dressed. She went to her bedroom and pulled on the strapless bra and panty set from the wedding and then pulled out a pair of nude pantyhose. She sat to carefully put them on and moved on to the dress. Carefully she slid it down her body and pulled up the zipper on the side. She looked in the mirror and admired her reflection. The spaghetti straps of the dress made her neck look longer and slimmer than it was and with her hair up her face seemed to be a different shape. She slipped on a pair of red high heels, made easier by the slit that ran up to the right knee, grabbed a small red hand bag and headed out just as the door bell rang.

Danny did a double take that would have put Lou Costello to shame when he saw her. Amy could almost hear the teenaged male hormones crank up.

'You look... wow.' Danny said.

He looked great himself in a tuxedo.

'He's right honey,' Her mother smiled and grabbed the camera. 'You look wonderful and your dad will kill me if I don't get at least one happy snap.'

'I'll kill you if you do.' Amy mumbled but took her place next to Danny none the less.

'We better go,' the boy said.

'Hang on, one more thing.' Susan handed an envelope to her daughter.

'What's this?'

'Open it silly.'

Amy opened it but it took a few seconds to take in what she saw. 'My god,' She screamed. 'My god. Thanks mum.'

'You're welcome sweetie,' Susan smiled as the girl threw herself into her mother's arms.

Danny was discreet enough not to ask what it was even though he was obviously dying to know.

Jade had no such problems. As soon as Amy and Danny left the house she asked.

'That was the best contraception I have ever heard of.' Susan laughed when she heard the question.

'You gave her some condoms?'

'Oh no, much better than that.' The mother passed the envelope to her oldest girl.

Inside the envelope was two tickets to Hong Kong in Susan's and Amy's name. 'You're right. She's not going to try anything tonight. It's scary how well you can manipulate us.'

'Years of experience Jade. Years of experience.'

-oOOo-

 

 


2001
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