My brother's a greaser! His hair is far too long and tatty, he rarely seems to wash and spends every day wearing the same Harley Davidson T shirt, a smelly old leather jacket, tattered jeans and his trusty old pair of baseball boots... and he thinks he looks 'cool'. He looks like a reject from a rock festival and I completely understand our mother's embarrassment every time he leaves the house. He could wear a pair of 'nice' jeans but no... he prefers the ones with a hole in the knee, frayed hems and greasy marks on the lap. What the neighbours must think I'll never know. It wouldn't be so bad if he brushed his hair once in a while... or even washed it! I'd post a picture of him if I'd bothered taking one. He's not what one would call photogenic so it never crossed my mind. Saying that, he used to be cute when he was younger, we've got plenty of old photos from before he grew his hair and wore what he was told rather than what he wanted.
Unlike Peter, my mother and I take great pride in our appearance. Neither of us can leave the house without our hair and make-up done, wearing clothes which are not only clean and pressed, but also match. Our mother runs a boutique called De Belle that sells designer ladies fashions as well as underwear and footwear, and when I qualified as a hairdresser and beautician she put up the money for me to open my very own hair & beauty salon, right next door to her boutique and called De Beaute. Our two businesses shared similar branding and complemented one another perfectly, so much so that we eventually knocked an entrance through to conjoin the two businesses. Customers would buy an outfit for an occasion and then come in to my salon to get their hair, nails and make-up done. Alternatively, they'd have their hair done before browsing the designer outfits in Mum's boutique, taking advantage of the discount vouchers we'd give to one another's customers.
It wasn't unusual for my brother to call in to either Mum's boutique or my salon when he needed to borrow some money, was bored or wanted a lift home... but if there were customers in, it was always slightly embarrassing when he walked through the door with his straw like hair dangling limply over his shoulders, the scent of patchouli wafting behind him and his unsightly 'biker' jacket. Looking at his jeans one would think he's in the middle of repairing a motorbike, but no... he's only fifteen and neither owns nor can even ride a motorbike!
Being a hairdresser, I'm always on at him about his hair. Even his split ends have got split ends and I keep telling him that no girl would give him a second glance unless he tidies himself up a bit. “I'm not saying you should get it cut short... I'm just suggesting that you take some pride in your hair... wash it occasionally, brush it...” I told him. He claims that he does wash it and does brush it, so I suggested he use a conditioner and brush it with something other than the garden rake. It was one of those circular conversations we'd often have, but finally, after god knows how long I managed to convince him to let me sort out his split ends and give his hair a good conditioning. “Come to the salon after school on Friday.” I said. “I've got no bookings so I'll shut up early... you won't be sat with a bunch of women, it'll just be me and you.”
“You promise not to cut it all off.” he said. “You're just going to take the split ends off?” he asked.
I assured him that I'd take no more than two inches off and hinted that the girls would give him a second glance if his long hair was well tended rather than tatty. “If you don't like it then all you have to do is not bother brushing it and you can go back to being a scruff pot.”
The following Friday, he turned up at my salon and hour later than arranged. He said he had to go home first to change out of his school uniform, so he arrived wearing his tatty jeans and T shirt, his smelly leather jacket and brought with him the pungent scent of patchouli oil. I shut the shop and closed the blinds. He sat himself in one of the big styling chairs and nervously stared at himself whilst he waited for me to begin. “I'm not touching you until you've had a shower.” I said. He claimed he didn't need one since he'd showered this morning. I told him that his hair needs to be washed anyway, and since both he and his clothes stink of patchouli oil, that he needs to take a shower.
On the first floor is a second salon which I use for the more intensive hair treatments such as colouring, bleaching and perming. It has a small tanning booth which I sublet out to a masseur and esthetician a few times a month, which is great for business. There's also a toilet and shower room up there. I send my brother up and tell him to make sure he uses some soap. I make it clear that I do not want him smelling of that 'minging' patchouli oil when he returns. I leave him a robe to wear when he's done and being a boy, he instinctively puts in on like a normal bathrobe. “No Peter... the split goes at the back, otherwise you'll end up with hair trimmings going down the front.”
“Can't I just put my clothes on?” he grumbled as he donned the robe properly.
“After I've finished you can... but I really don't want to be inhaling that oil you wear whilst I’m doing your hair.” I informed him. “Here.” I said, passing him a pack of slippers
“Disposable slippers!” he baulked. “What's the point of that?” he asked. I explained that when customers come in for a fake tan, massage or body wax, they shower first and instead of brining their own slippers every time... “Oh I see.” Peter replied as he ripped open the cellophane wrapper and donned the thin foam slippers. “I can't see them lasting very long.” he said.
“They don't have to.” I replied. “I do have proper slippers for my regular customers... first timers get disposables.” I said as we returned down stairs.
Peter headed directly to one of the styling chairs. I redirected him to one of the backwash chairs. “I've just washed my hair.” he said as he timidly perched himself on the big vinyl seat.
“But did you wash it properly?” I asked. He claimed he had. “Did you use conditioner?” I asked. He frowned and shook his head. I told him to sit back and relax.
“OK.” he gulped. I reclined the chair and placed his hair in the sink. “Don't look so scared.” I chuckled. “I'm not a dentist.”
“Sorry... I does feel like a dentist's chair.” he said as I began shampooing his hair. As with all my customers, I made small talk. “It'd be nice hair if you looked after it properly.” I said. “Do you brush it before bed?” I asked. “Well you should.” I told him. “I'm sure you'll prefer it once it's been straightened... but be warned, keeping it looking decent does take effort.”
“More effort than it's worth?” he dryly suggested as I rinsed out the shampoo. “Sorry... I didn't mean to sound ungrateful. This is actually quite relaxing.” he added as he closed his eyes
“Don't fall asleep.” I replied, “...otherwise you'll wake up with a peroxide blonde perm.” I grinned. Peter grinned too.
After shampooing and conditioning his hair, I moved him over to one of the styling chairs and sat him in front of the mirror. Once again he requested that I don't take too much off and not for the first time, I told him that all I’m doing it tidying up his split ends. “You'll barely notice the change in length Peter... but it will look much better.” I assured him. I ran a fine toothed comb through his long brown locks and once again said that it 'could' be nice if he only gave it the attention it needs. “Mum said the only way I'd get you to sit in one of my chairs was if I tied you to it.” I jovially added.
“Well I'm hardly going to run off am I.” he replied. “This is more like a dress than a robe.” he said. The robes all my clients wear are made from polyester and covers him from the neck to well below the knees to keep the hair trimmings off their clothes. The half length sleeves are deliberately broad to enable the wearer to retract their arms inside to ensure the trimmings end up on the floor and not the customers. The one my brother wears is white with blue pinstripes. I figured he prefer that to one with pink stripes. It fastens at the nape of the neck with a couple of magnetic buttons and wraps around the waist with a tape tied in a bow at the front. It's essentially a plasticised dressing gown worn backwards.
I begin trimming his split ends and when he sees just how little is being removed, he appears reassured that I'm not going to cut it short (as our mother feels it should be). Once I’ve trimmed the ends, I plug in a set of straighteners. Being completely ignorant, my brother asks what I’m doing and states that he doesn't want it crimping or curled. “They're straighteners Peter... they'll make it look straight rather than shaggy.” I told him, showing him the flat heating plates. A series of loud crashing and banging noises emanated from the street and drew our attention. Peter wondered what it was but I knew exactly what it was. “Shit!” I yelped as I put the straighteners down and darted towards the door. “The bins!” I said as I grabbed the three bags, swung open the door and bundled them outside. “That was close!” I said as I returned. “I get fined if I put out more than three bags.”
“Really?” he asked. I nodded and explained the high cost of trade refuse. “I thought it'd be free like the bins at home.”
“No... unfortunately not... although the bins at home aren't free either since they're paid for with council tax.” I added as I picked up the straighteners and sectioned off part of his long damp hair.
I straightened a few sections on one side and asked his opinion. “Yeah that looks OK.” he said. Being fifteen, my brother is at the age where most of his friends have girlfriends and him not having one makes him feel a little lonely. He doesn't say he's lonely, but I can tell he is. I was exactly the same at his age when my friends all had boyfriends and I felt like an under confident ugly duckling, not wanting to go out and socialise because I'd be the gooseberry so I'd stay in and pamper myself, dreaming of one day my prince will come. Since then I have had boyfriends but none of them proved to be the prince I’d dreamt of meeting. Mostly they were immature dicks with more interest in my breasts than my brain... so for the time being I'm keeping clear of boyfriends and focussing on my work. I straightened the rest of his hair and once finished, he said it looks 'cool'.
“See I told you it'd look better.” I smugly stated as I tucked it behind his ears, that being how he usually wears it. “If you'd let me do this ages ago you might have found a girlfriend by now.” I added.
My brother groaned, possibly in agreement. After a short silence he said “Lauren?”.
“Can you do something with my eyebrow.” he timidly asked.
I looked at my brother via the large salon mirror. I knew exactly what his concern was and the fact he referred to his eyebrow as a singular thing rather than a pair of things made it doubly clear. “You want the bit in the middle removing?” I asked, pointing to the centre of my own brow. He gulped and nodded. “I was going to mention that but wasn't sure if you'd want me to actually pluck your eyebrows.”
“Just the bit in the middle... if that's OK.”
“Well I might have to tidy them up overall... but I promise I won't take much off.”
“OK.” my brother hesitantly replied. “Thanks.”
I took to his eyebrows with a pair of tweezers, first separating his mono-brow and then shaping them. Unlike me trimming and straightening his hair, he wasn't in a position to witness the progress since I stood between him and the large mirror he faced. It was only when I'd finished that he could see the result. He bit his lip and gulped. “They look completely different... you've taken loads off!”
“They look a hundred times better than they did.” I told him as I faffed with his hair. “I think a side parting might look better than a centre parting.” I added as I did just that.
He glared at himself, clearly he's not keen on having his long hair parted at the side. “I look like a girl with it like that.” he protested.
“Well it's better than looking like a greasy biker... especially since you're not old enough to even ride a motorbike.” I retorted as I flipped open the magnetic buttons that fasten the robe around his neck.
“Hey what are you doing?!” he blurted as I reached down and pulled on the bow which secures it around his waist began tugging at it. Since it's worn back to front, it doesn't take much of a tug to pull it away from him and by the time he realised what I was doing, it was far too late for him to do anything about it. Like a frightened mouse, he sat in my styling chair as naked as the day he was born. He clamped his knees together, covered his bits with cupped hands and pleaded for his clothes. “Are they upstairs where I left them?” he shyly asked.
“No” I replied.
“They must be” he asked.
“I moved them because I didn't want you putting them back on before I did your hair.” I told him.
“Well... where are they then?” I whined.
“Next door maybe?” I shrugged, feigning ignorance. “Come on.” I chirped. “Let's show Mum your hair.”
“Give me the robe Lauren.” he pleaded. “I can't go through there like this.” he claimed.
“Why ever not?” I asked. “The shop's closed and you've got nothing that Mum hasn't seen before.” I informed him. He suggested that I either give him the robe or fetch him his clothes. I smiled and shook my head. I told him that mother's waiting and he needs to go through, exactly as he is. He pleaded once more for me to give him something to cover himself with. I smiled and slowly shook my head. “You've got ten seconds before I open the blinds... if you're not in Mum's boutique by then, everyone will be able to see in.” I threatened, taking a couple of steps towards the huge shop window and the blinds that cover them.
Peter looked heartbroken. He hung his head, lifted his butt off my styling chair and scurried towards the doorway that conjoined our two businesses. I followed, my wry smile grew in to a broad grin.
“What does that even mean!?” my brother yelped after I suggested that he's more likely to be a triple 'a'.
“It means you're extremely flat chested.” I grinned.
“But don't worry...” our mother said as she wrapped the tape measure around his chest. “...I've got bras for all shapes and sizes.”
“WHAT?!” my brother blurted. “I'm not wearing a bra!”
“You're not wearing those tatty biker clothes either.” our mother dryly stated. “Lauren and I are sick of you showing us up. Every time you leave the house or turn up here, you're an embarrassment, not only to us, but to yourself... I'm tired of buying you nice clothes that you refuse to wear and for once in your life I'm going to make sure you look nice.”
“But...” my brother gulped as our mother measured his chest again, “...a bra!?” he exclaimed. “I'm not a girl!” I whined.
“No you're not.” Mum retorted. “Maybe if you were you'd take a little more pride in yourself.”
“I am taking pride in myself... I've just let Lauren trim my hair!” he pleaded.
“And very nice it looks too.” our mother replied. “Now if you'll stop whining and let me measure you properly...” she added, “...then we can find you something nice to wear.” she stated. “Move your hands so I can measure your waist and hips.”
“Not whilst she's watching!” Peter gulped.
“Sorry.” I said. “I need to sweep up anyway.” I added before leaving my brother alone with our mother.
I giggled to myself as I shook the trimmings from the robe he'd worn. I swept the floor and tidied my salon whilst trying my best to eavesdrop on the events which were unravelling next door. Styling his hair and shaping his eyebrows was certainly easier than I'd anticipated, as was getting his clothes off him. He clearly didn't have the slightest idea what we had in mind when he arrived at my salon. He didn't even seem suspicious when I refused to give him his clothes back after he'd showered. I don't think the proverbial penny had even started to drop when he saw what I'd done to his eyebrows... no... he was completely unsuspecting of what we'd planned until the moment Mum told him that she's got bras for all shapes and sizes.
Mum and I had been talking about it for a few weeks. It started out innocently enough when Mum was moaning to me about his general appearance. I said he'd look OK if he looked after his hair and wore clean clothes. Mum said he'd look better with short hair like a boy should have, before suggesting that if he wants long hair like a girl, then he should dress like one too. We both knew that she wasn't being at all serious but that didn't stop us from speculating over what kind of 'girl' he could be, before agreeing that he'd probably be much the same as always; tatty hair, scruffy clothes and laddered tights. Oh how we laughed... and back then, neither of us had the slightest inkling that we might actually go ahead and feminise him.
Even when we began plotting, it was all make believe. We had no intention of actually getting him in to my salon and out of his clothes. For a start, we figured we'd have to literally tie him to the chair which might have put us on the wrong side of the law. Safe in the knowledge that none of this would ever happen, and that plotting his transformation was nothing more than a pastime and fantasy, we plotted his transformation. We'd drink wine and exchange ideas late into the night whilst Peter slept upstairs. We discussed waxing his legs and armpits, even his arms and bikini line before putting him in my styling chair. We talked about giving him blonde 'sun streaks' and putting his hair in big rollers, applying his make-up and probably even piercing his ears... all the time he's stuck in the chair, unable to do anything but watch himself be slowly transformed from a wannabe greasy biker into gorgeous teen girl with angel curls. The more we joked about transforming him and dressing him in all sorts of fancy clothes, from luxurious lingerie to little floaty dresses, the more we became tempted to actually go ahead and do it.
Of course he's only fifteen and tying him up, waxing him, forcibly dying his hair and piercing his ears could be considered abusive. In fact it should be! But... if we just trim his hair a bit and somehow get him out of his clothes and manage to 'lose' them... then there's nothing wrong with letting him borrow some clothes from Mum's boutique. After all, we could hardly let him leave the premises without any clothes... he'd probably get arrested. All we needed to do was get him to agree to me giving his hair a trim... and get him into the shower at the salon so we could whisk his clothes away.
Mum stepped up pestering my brother about getting his hair cut. I stood up for him and suggested that he should simply take more care of it. Mum pestered him some more, favouring short back and sides. Peter moaned to me about Mum being 'on his back' about his hair. I said it'd look OK if he got the split ends trimmed and brushed it once in a while. He claimed it looks 'fine' as it is. The good cop / bad cop routine worked a treat... and as I sweep the floor of my salon, I can scarcely believe that the plan we'd hatched has actually come into fruition.
I emptied the dustpan, put my scissors and brushes away, folded the robe he'd worn and put it with the others and returned to the boutique. As I swept the curtain that covers the adjoining doorway aside, I heard my brother say, “I don't want either!”
“You need one or the other Peter.” our mother retorted as I entered. Why I was so surprised by what I saw I really don't know. “Tell him Lauren!” Mum said as I stopped in my tracks and gasped.
“Tell him what?” I asked as my brother turned and glared at me.
“That he needs either tights or stockings.” our mother bluntly stated before turning to Peter. “Your legs are far too hairy.” she informed him.
“I think stockings.” I said. “Especially if you've got a suspender belt to match those knickers.” I grinned.
My poor little brother stood in our mother's boutique wearing nothing but a little lacy bra and a matching pair of boy-short style knickers, both in ivory. A trembling hand hovered over his groin, the other tried to conceal his bra. “Why are you doing this?” he asked in pleaful tones. His voice was little more than a whimper.
“Because it's fun.” I replied. “...and to teach you a lesson.” I added.
“Well... you've made your point... just fetch my clothes.” he said. “Please?” he murmured.
I decided to disregard his plea and reiterated the question I'd posed to my mother. “Have you got a matching suspender belt?” I asked. My brother told me that he's not going to wear a £**&ing suspender belt, so I casually suggested that he'd have to wear tights instead. “They won't look as nice or feel as nice but if that's what you prefer...” I told him. Our mother informed us that the particular set of lingerie he's wearing doesn't have a matching suspender belt. “Well tights it is then.” I stated. “Have you chosen an outfit yet?” I asked.
“One step at a time Lauren... we haven't even chosen his hosiery yet.” Mum replied. “I'm thinking opaque black.” she added.
“I'm thinking of scarpering.” my brother grumbled. “You two have gone nuts!”
“Off you pop then.” I dryly said. “...but before you go, I'll just let you know that the bin wagon went...” I pointed in the general direction of the bin wagon, “...that way.” My brother's jaw dropped just a little, he slowly and silently mouthed 'what?'. I bluntly and loudly told him that his jeans, jacket, t shirt and smelly old plimsolls are in the back of it. “...oh, and your socks and undies too.”
My brother didn't have a clue what to do. He just stood like an ancient Greek statue with one arm hovering over his chest and one hand hovering over his groin. His face switched and twitched from one perplexed expression to the next. He clearly doesn't have any options other than to comply... and he's already wearing a pair of knickers and a bra so...
“I can't believe I’m doing this.” he meekly peeped as he began rolling a pair of black 60 denier tights up his legs.
Once he'd pulled his tights on and grumbled about them feeing weird, Mum held up a short black slip which Peter described as 'a bit skimpy'. “It's a slip Peter... you'll be wearing a dress over it.”
“Please don't make me wear a dress Mum.” he whined.
Our mother told him that he can hardly leave the boutique in just his underwear. “Maybe a nice skirt & blouse?” I suggested, before asking my brother which he'd prefer.
“Neither.” he moaned. “Surely you've got some pants.” he said, glancing nervously around the store.
“What about shorts?” I suggested. “Shorts look nice with thick black tights.”
“Possibly.” our mother replied. “Although I had set my heart on him wearing a dress.” she added. Mum had a few options in mind, all of which were gorgeous. I suggested some nice skirt & top combinations which Mum quite liked. We got quite distracted thinking about potential outfits, so much so I almost forgot about Peter, until he meekly mumbled something. “Sorry what?” I asked.
My little fifteen year old brother was the epitome of shame. His cheeks blushed red as he hid behind his arm and hand. They didn't do much to conceal the black tights or ivory bra he wore. “Can I wear shorts instead of a dress... please.” he meekly repeated. “If you won't let me wear long pants, that is.”
“What do you think Mum?” I said. “Shall we let him wear shorts?”
“Well I suppose so.” our mother sighed. She didn't sound too happy about it though.
I selected a pair of short denim shorts along with a pair of black tailored shorts and let Peter choose. He chose the denim ones and wasted no time stepping into them. Now he can use both hands to try and fail to conceal his bra. “What about this top?” I suggested.
“Oh yes.” Mum gushed. It's a navy blue sleeveless top with polka dots and a white pan collar.
Peter said he didn't like it and said he should be allowed to chose. “You chose your shorts... it's Mum's turn.” I told him. Amazingly, Peter accepted this point of view and didn't protest when our mother helped him into it. He was baffled by it having a zip from waist to armpit on one side, rather than on the back as he'd have expected. A couple of tapes are tied in a bow at the small of his back to draw its waist into his, and combined with the little denim shorts and opaque black tights, his outfit looked really rather nice... although Peter didn't agree with our unanimous verdict. “Well if you'd rather wear a dress instead?” I suggested.
“No.” Peter muttered.
The final item he needs is some shoes... and of course we tried him in high heels first. We chuckled as he walked like an amateur drag queen and tried to explain how to walk properly, with grace, like a lady. We tried him in a mid heel which was better, but ultimately, he ended up wearing a pair of low heeled strappy sandals with bows on their toe straps. He complained that he looked like a girl. Mum and I convinced him that looking like a girl is better than looking like a boy in girl's clothes, which resulted in him allowing me apply just a little make-up, and to complete the look, Mum gave him a little handbag to carry. “I don't want a handbag.” he whined as he looked at his reflection in the giant boutique mirrors. “I've not got anything to put in it.” he reckoned.
“All girl's carry a handbag Peter... no one's going to know that it's empty.” Mum explained before asking if he'd rather be mistaken for a girl or seen as a boy. Reluctantly, my brother gave the correct answer. “Good.” Mum said. “I'll bring the car around front, you two bring those outfits if you don't mind.”
On the counter was the various dresses, skirts and tops we'd considered before my brother requested wearing shorts instead. He took half of them over one arm and I took the rest. He wasn't happy to hear that our mother thoroughly intends to see him wearing a dress when he gets home, nor was he pleased to hear that she has every intention of him spending much of the weekend trying on some 'nice' clothes for a change. But his main intention is to get home and that means playing ball.
Mum exited the boutique first. I held the door whilst the alarm beeped and had Peter leave before me. I shut the door and turned the key, then turned to my brother and smiled. “Don't look so frightened.” I said. “You look great.” I smiled.
“I feel like an idiot.” he said. “What if someone sees me?” he asked.
I glanced around. The street is hardly deserted. “Everyone can see you.”
“I mean someone who knows me.”
“Believe me... anyone who knows you won't recognise you.” I told him. I wasn't fibbing either. I wouldn't recognise this 'girl' as my brother. We waited on the pavement. I couldn't help but look my brother up and down. I particularly admired his legs, clad in a nice pair of tights and looking better than ever. “Hurry up Mum!” he grumbled to no one in particular as we loitered. I expect it seemed like ages to my brother. The sigh of relief he emitted when Mum's car finally appeared shifted litter across the street. The car stopped and Mum opened the passenger door. She asked for my bundle of outfits which I passed to her. She put them on the back seat. “Hurry up.” Peter grumbled. “I'm freezing!” he claimed.
I took the bundle of clothes from him and passed those to our mother. She put them on the back seat too. “Er... I think we'll walk... see you at home.” I said, before slamming the door shut.
“No wait!” my brother yelped as Mum pushed the door lock down. “Mu-um!” he groaned as she grinned and waved before driving off. “You two are fucking evil!” he said before immediately stomping off in a homeward direction.
I trotted and caught him up. “We're not evil... were doing you a favour... after this you'll have to take more pride in your appearance.” I told him.
“And if I don't?”
“Then you're a fool.” I told him. “Look at you... you make a really cute girl... so being a handsome guy should be no trouble at all.” I said.
“I'm not handsome.” he growled.
“You could be if you tried... and I don't mean by cutting all your hair off, in spite of that being Mum's ultimate goal.” I confessed.
“So this is all because I grew my hair?”
“No... it's because you're so scruffy. You don't brush your hair, you barely wash it... I'd suspect you don't wash your face much either...” I went on for a while, criticising his usual choice of clothing as we walked hastily down the road. Luckily for Peter, our little empire isn't in the centre of town but part of a small suburban row of shops. The quickest route home is cutting through the park. Peter was reluctant to enter though, since he was worried someone we know might recognise us. “We've more chance of being spotted on the street.” I told him. “Anyway, not a soul on earth would associate you with my scruffy little brother.” I added. “If anyone asks you're my friend... or a cousin maybe.”
Peter seemed to relax as we entered the verdant open space. There were people around; kids on bikes, dog walkers, the elderly perched precariously on canes, zimmer frames and mobility scooters... but they were all some distance away and not an imminent threat. His pace slowed. “This grass is wet.” he grumbled.
The toes of his tights were clearly damp due to kicking through the short grass in his low heeled, open toed sandals. “Are the heels sinking in?” I asked.
“No but my toes are wet.” he groaned, deliberately making sure he sounded as sulky as possible.
“I know you're annoyed with us but... you've got to admit, you do look good.” I said.
“Yeah but I didn't ask for this... you said you'd just trim my hair and that was it.” he growled. “If I knew you were going to turn me into a girl I wouldn't have bothered.”
“Well derr!” I retorted. “I know that, that's why I didn't tell you.” I said. He looked really annoyed and I did feel a little bit guilty. “Sorry I made you walk home.” I told him, before confessing that that was a bit mean of me. “I just wanted to see if you'd actually pass or not.”
“Pass as a girl.” I replied. “Plenty of people will have seen you back on the main street, and plenty of people can see you now but no ones jeering or hollering at you...” I told him. Before we left the boutique he feared that very thing would happen if he stepped out onto the pavement. “...no one knows you're really a boy, no one knows you're really called Peter.”
“I know but... what about our neighbours... they'll see you and then they'll recognise me.” he claimed.
“I very much doubt it Peter. Look at yourself.” I said, stopping him in his tracks and unzipping my handbag. I grumbled as I routed for my vanity mirror.
“I don't need a mirror... I know I look like a girl, but that doesn't mean I’m not crapping myself.”
I ceased my search for my mirror. “Fair enough... I keep forgetting that this must be a bit of a roller coaster ride for you.” I said.
“More than a bit.” he replied. “If I wasn't so scared it might be exciting.”
I smiled and cocked my head. “You can be scared and excited at the same time... isn't that what a roller coaster is all about?” I said.
He gulped and half smiled. I smiled back and wrapped my arm around his before commencing our stroll. We walked in silence for a while as we crossed the grass, avoiding the paths and the people thereon. I slid my hand down his arm until it gently and loosely took hold of his fingers, I lifted his hand to look at his nails and asked if I could paint them when we get home. I heard my brother gulp again. He didn't instantly reply. “Well... if Mum's serious about me wearing one of those dresses, a bit of nail varnish isn't going to make any difference.” he eventually said, quickly adding “It does come off doesn't it?”
I chuckled and said it did. We strolled in silence for a while longer before I informed him that our mother's probably intending that he wear 'all' of those outfits. Peter said that's what he'd been dreading, amongst other things. I told him it's just part of that scary yet exciting roller coaster ride. “What else are you dreading?” I asked.
“Walking past all our neighbours houses.” he replied. I assured him that it'd be fine, before asking him if there's anything else he's dreading. He had hinted at numerous things. He sighed before replying. “I dunno... things like, my classmates finding out... you we're pretty extreme with my eyebrows.” he said. “They'll notice those. Especially with all the grief I get for my mono-brow.”
“Well... just tell them your sister plucked them and went a bit too far.” I advised. “That's what happened. It's not a lie. They won't look at your eyebrows and somehow deduce that you've spent the weekend dressed as a girl.”
“Is that your plan then?” he asked in a forced mournful tone. “A whole weekend wearing dresses?”
“Well it's more of an idea than a plan... you've come this far... it'd be shame not to try a few new things... and no one need know apart from you, me and Mum.”
“Yeah I guess.” he mumbled. Eventually we left the soft grassy surface and rejoined the tarmac as we made our exit from the park. “These heels are really noisy.” he commented as they clacked on the surface. “The neighbours'll hear us coming a mile away.” he added.
“You worry too much... some girl's shoes are noisy.” I informed him, before complimenting him on just how well he's walking in them. He said they were far easier than the heels we'd put him in first. “Yeah... high heels do look great but they're not easy to walk in.” I replied. Peter tells me that I make it look easy. “Well I have had loads of practice... when I was your age I'll have been just as wobbly.” I replied.
Eventually, we turned onto our street. Peter was almost trembling with fear but nothing untoward happened as we passed by the neighbours' houses. Our mother said that we'd taken our time when we arrived home. “Didn't you cut through the park?” she asked.
“Yeah... we just strolled.”
“Oh... judging by the speed Peter set off walking I thought you might have beat me home.” she said as she looked my brother up and down. “I'm sorry to say it Peter but you really suit those clothes.”
“So Lauren keeps telling me.” he moaned. “Do I really have to spend the entire weekend dressed like a girl?” he asked.
Mum cast me a slightly bemused look. I mouthed the word 'yes' and our mother said “Well... I wasn't going to insist on the 'entire' weekend... but you must admit that you do look rather convincing... and I did bring all those outfits back.”
My brother hung his head. “Yeah I get it.” he groaned. “But please... don't tell anyone.”