If you’re just finding this story of Victoria Darling please check out Part 1 first then come back here.
April had a box of old clothes that belonged to her mom when she was a teenager. I noticed the fact that they were all girls’ clothes; a few of them being blandly colored and some were frilly and flowing. The fabric was different too. Most of it was softer – even the 100% cotton items – some were shimmering with sequins, some even looked like they could be clothes for older boys, but weren’t. I found this puzzling. Why should girls get such a wide variety of clothes, and boys were so limited when it came to fashion?
Grabbing a dress from the box, she said, “Go ahead. Pick something, and put it on.” Recalling my mom’s reaction to my initial curiosity, I hesitated. This was wrong. But then so was having two cookies. What Mom didn’t know wouldn’t hurt me, I supposed. Then April added, “I dare you.”
What little kid couldn’t resist that kind of taunt? I pulled out a shirt with poofy sleeves, and removed my own. April asked why I didn’t ask her to turn around. She was a little weird I guess, because she asked me to turn around while she took off her blue jumper. When she told me that I could look, she spun around. I noticed the way the fabric almost twirled around her, the last few inches clinging to the floor. I noticed a green skirt in the box, so I took off my pants and tried it on. Of course it was about five inches too big in the waist, so April found me a belt. The skirt looked and felt a bit odd at the waist, but the way the air flowed around my legs made me twirl. Fingers grazing the top of the skirt, I felt a sense of freedom. Is this what my Mom didn’t want me to discover? It was a wonderful feeling, this sense. But it was wrong, wasn’t it? This was like killing someone… that’s what mom’s programming told me.
Thinking of mom, my heart did a few jumping jacks. I looked at the clock. She wouldn’t be home for another hour and a half. I was exalted. Being “bad” felt good. April giggled a bit. She’d never gotten a “boy” to play “Dress-up” before. She noticed that I tensed up and was starting to unbutton the blouse when she said: “No, don’t take it off. You look cute.”
“You don’t think it’s wrong?”
“No. Why would it be?” She responded. I really didn’t feel like drudging up the Evil Store Incident, so I just said that if my mom found out we were doing this she’d freak out, and sat on April’s bed for a bit. “Are you going to pretend to be a girl too?” This question struck me as odd. She and I did everything together. She was certainly a future tomboy. What did it mean to “pretend to be a girl”?
“I think I’ve been pretending to be a boy, ” I said, adding quickly “Can I wear your clothes instead?” This funny kind of freedom would certainly feel better in clothes that actually fit me. Her eyes widened and jaw dropped. Then she smiled and told me to pick something from her closet. I removed the outfit I had on –I suppose modesty was a concept that was alien to me and stood at her closet wide eyed. This was “wrong”, right? Having fun is worse than homicide, right? I pulled out a carnation pink sun dress, and slipped it on.
Wow! April and I were the same size. I spun around and singing “Ta-daaaaa!”
She smiled. “You look cuter in that dress than I do,” she said. I think I blushed for the first time in my life. She grabbed my face and kissed my cheek. She asked me to turn again so she could change outfits. She did this several times over the next hour. I was content to wear her sun dress. Eventually, my paranoia kicked in, and I scrambled home in my own clothes a full thirty minutes before I knew my mom would be home. Upon leaving I reiterated the need for secrecy. April swore that she wouldn’t tell her mom.