Talking about bad days, this one is shaping up to be one of the worst. None of my copy is fitting the ads that I am working on today. Ever try to force something that is not meant to be. I felt like that trying to add copy to an advertisement for ladies feminine hygiene products. I don’t usually get these ads to work on, but we have been shorthanded recently, several of the ladies in our department taking sick time.
They aren’t really sick, but they have noticed the downturn in business recently and figured their jobs are in jeopardy. Both of them have confided in me that they are going to see if there is anything out there in the job market for them. I couldn’t blame them for their actions, but hoped they are wrong. I should be looking myself, but figure I will just take my chances and hope everything stays together.
The computer I am using to do the ads is acting up, causing me to lose what I had completed, this last time everything I have been working on for this client is lost. Several of the ideas that I had started working on I couldn’t remember for the life of me, causing me to start over. When a male is dealing with ad copy for tampons and sanitary pads, parts of his brain short circuits, causing a burning smell to emanate from his ears, and then memory loss.
It just is not coming together, as I looked up from my computer screen, I saw Sally, the Human Resource manager, standing at my office door. “When you get to a stopping point, I need you to come to my office.”
I finished up putting my last thought on the screen and saved the material. I just hoped that the material is actually saved and not lost to the great unknown. I slipped my jacket on and headed out of my office and up to the third floor where all of the management offices are located.
It is not a place that I wished to frequent, the management of this company quite often took to behavior that is weird and worrisome. Their employees often stumped as to the logic used in a decision that affected many of their employees. Most of the employees thought it was just normal corporate behavior, the company’s motto seemed to be do something even if it’s not right, what can possibly go wrong?
Strangely enough, in all my time here working for this company, I have been upstairs only two times, both times for yearly performance reviews since my other reviews were held in my office. As I rode the elevator up, I wondered what Sally wants to talk to me about. It is not review time; that was a couple of months ago, and I am very careful with any interaction with other employees since a lot of the past doubtful decisions by the company have dealt with employee conflict and harassment.
After the elevator door had opened on the third floor, I ran into one of the few people, not in my department that I see on a regular basis. Jennifer is in editing and copyright, and since I am a department head of writing, we regularly conferred. Jennifer is a sweetheart, does her job well and is liked by everyone.
“Hi, Jennifer how are you doing?” Managed to escape my mouth, but something is wrong. Jennifer just nodded and almost ran for the elevator. I thought I saw a couple of tears on her face but am not sure. Another human resource employee that I have seen before is going after her. I stopped and stared, but resumed my trip to Sally’s office when the elevator door closed.
Sally’s office is down at the end of the corridor, and I knocked before entering. She welcomed me and told me to have a seat. I could see that she had my personnel file on her desk, and suddenly I had a bad feeling about this meeting. Sally went into a fairly lengthy spiel about economic conditions and the changing face of advertising. Fellow employees including me considered this corporate bullshit, a necessary evil when dealing with a company like ours.
To summarize this conversation, I am declared redundant at a little after two o’clock this afternoon. “The company no longer needing anybody in your position. In fact your whole department is being let go. The nature of advertising is changing, and writers are no longer needed. You will be getting a severance package and, of course, a letter of recommendation.” I was at a loss for words as this is totally unexpected. Apparently, the girls are right in their assumption and looking for jobs, at least, they sensed something was up.
Like a drowning rat, I asked if there were any other positions that are available in other departments. I should be glad to be let go, but instead, I am groping for any straws. “There are several departments being let go today and tomorrow and at present; there are several employees with more seniority in the company, and they would be offered any open positions. If any open jobs are still available, we will contact you at that time.”
Sally offered a severance package with three options to choose from with; option #1 a lump sum payment, but only employee contributions to my retirement. I chuckled at that option since the money is mine to start with, and one way or another they would have to give it back to me. Option #2, a series of three payments spread out over ten years, but only paying me about forty percent of what is in my retirement account both the company and personal contributions.
Option #3 is a sixty percent payout in monthly installments from the employer’s contributions and the total of the employee contributions. In my case, the monthly payments would last for ninety-six months. In the case of bankruptcy, the checks would continue until all agreed to funds are distributed. With recent actions, that makes it a more important part of the option. As bad as this company is being run, bankruptcy is inevitable, maybe sooner than later.
I chose option three giving me early retirement and most of my retirement funds, both the companies and mine. I figured that the money would give me income for several years. That way I would not lose any of the money I had invested in my retirement and gain some of the company’s matching funds. She wished me well, handed me a letter of recommendation. “I will have an employee go with you while you clean out your desk and then escort you out of the building.” Talk about cold-hearted management sounds like their imminent demise is not far down the road.
I just stood there not knowing what to do or say. Finally, an employee from personnel came into her office and asked if I am ready to go. I am mentally still trying to figure out if I have taken the right option in the severance package, let out a deep sigh and headed back to my office. There is not much of a personal nature, a couple of pictures and a few letters and a piece or two of clothing. It’s funny what we take for granted, never appreciating the value of it until it is gone.
The employee from Human Resources wished me luck and wanted to be sure that I had all of my things. She politely but firmly said I would not be allowed back into the building. I had heard of this practice in other companies, and I guess events prompt it, but to be subjected to this practice is utterly humiliating. It is like I have been accused and found guilty of stealing something from the company.
I am escorted to the main entrance and asked to give back my employee badge along with signing a sheet that verified that I had all my personal effects. The H.R. employee turned and went back upstairs. No sorry, you were let go, no nothing. I think the cold un-personable corporate entity has finally arrived, at least as far as this company goes. I secretly hoped she would suffer the same treatment soon, maybe it would sink in as to what she was sanctioning.
I left the three-story building through the front door and headed to my car, stopping only once to look back. Nine years of work and time invested in my job reduced to nothing in a few minutes. No chance to communicate with any of my co-workers, not even to exchange contact information. Since I am the supervisor of my department, I am the first to go and the employees in my department do not even know what is happening. I wonder if they will be as shocked.
Tears came to my eyes as my cell phone rang at about the same time. I needed to wipe the tears from my eyes to see the phone. It took me a few seconds to be able to see the face of the phone clearly enough to answer it, but I knew who is on the other end of the line. I collected my thoughts and answered the phone.
“Hello Claire, I got fired a few minutes ago. Excuse me the phrase is let go. I guess I am doing alright but to tell you the truth, I am not sure right now. All of this came as such a surprise, most of my fellow employees don’t even know what is going on.”
“Blair Ann, I know, everything will work out, in the long run. It always has for us,” she replied.
The tears were coming quickly, and it was all I could do to utter any coherent words. She could not believe the audacity of my company to layoff whole departments on such short notice. I ask her how she found out so quickly. Claire sensed that something was amiss, with thoughts of me being fired. She went to the company’s website, and there at the top of the page is the announcement of the cutbacks. They even listed specific departments that were being let go.
I thought, how awful, not everybody has even been told yet, but it is already public knowledge. The new corporate world is achieving a reputation for uncaring practices rivaled by few if any. I am tempted to stay around to see if I could help some of my employees but dismissed it since I had not taken the time to get to know them very well, too late to correct the situation, so my embarrassment is two-fold.
Claire wanted me to go on home but to call her back right away. I told her I just need some time for myself, to try and figure out what I should do now. “If I do not hear from you in thirty minutes (takes me twenty minutes to get to my apartment), Mom would be told everything and they would be on a plane tonight headed to Atlanta.”
Knowing Claire, the two of them would not hesitate at doing this. I knew when I am beaten, and I told her I would call in the next thirty to forty minutes, as soon as I got home. In high-stress times, Claire is aware that I do not handle things well, and she always does everything she can to keep me from getting depressed.
You see Claire, and I are fraternal twins but are much more connected than most. We sense things our opposite twin is thinking or doing. We are also more like identical twins in the looks department, same hair color, eye color, facial features, and body shape except for our genitalia. Even our height is almost the same, with me a half-inch taller than her. Very disturbing for me since I am a member of the male sex. Do to my sharing of so many of Claire’s features I am often mistaken for a woman, a fact that has caused me quite a bit of stress and embarrassment over the years.
Claire knowing I was fired just the most recent of many occasions that she sensed that something is happening to me. She always took over at these times telling me what I should do. I tried to get mad at her for doing this to me all the time, just wanting to handle things myself, but I usually gave in to her and did what she wants. To be truthful, I sucked at handling things for myself, never able to decide what needed to be done and in what order. But it did feel good to know somebody else cares for you and are concerned about you.
The current situation a prime example, I am just wanting to get home and wallow in self-pity, instead of planning how to overcome it. I would have eventually got around to doing something beneficial, but that would be days later after I had suffered the tribulations of massive self-pity.
I managed to get home in the twenty minutes allotted by my sister, the warden. I put on some more comfortable clothes and grabbed the phone. I knew it is coming up on the forty minutes, but I liked to push Claire as much as I could. It’s just what twins do. I dialed the number but did not push the call button until the last minute.
Claire answered before I could hear it ring. She started right in with me, knowing I was pushing her for whatever enjoyment I could get. After all the crap for not calling right away, she moved on to reinforce what she has been pushing me for the last few years. She wants me to move out to Arizona with her, and now I have nothing holding me back.
I am quietly thinking about what she said, but could tell she is getting impatient with me. She cleared her throat wanting me to say something. Finally, I told her I would take a few days to think about it, and I would let her know. I wanted to wallow in my misery a few day’s (Claire’s words) before I came out to see her, her daughter and Mom. I needed her in a way, someone to lean on, to feel again that I am not worthless and wasted as an individual. The nagging feeling that I should be handling this myself is present, but I don’t know what to do about any of this either.
I asked her how everybody is doing knowing I would sense if there is something serious happening to any of them. My ability to sense things has never been as acute as Claire’s, but I guess my mind is not as focused as hers. I can tell if she is sick, or if there has been an accident, even once knowing when Linda, her daughter was taken to the hospital for an appendectomy. Claire, however, knows when I am upset, when I am extremely angry, and an overall better connection when it comes to her baby brother.
Claire and I were raised here in Atlanta after our parents were killed leaving a concert. We were ten years old at the time, and it took months before the full impact of our loss hit us. Our mother was everything to Claire and me, spending all of her free time with us. We went to concerts, movies, the zoo, parks and of course shopping.
We seemed not to have a care in the world when we were with Mother. Then the gunman ended all of that. He had just robbed a convenience store and was headed for his car when my parents turned the corner. He ran into them, obviously panicked and shot them dead. He was caught, sentenced to life imprisonment, but that did not bring back our Mom. I purposely don’t mention Dad much, he was always working, never spending any time with Mom or us. In the years up to their death we probably spent less than a day in his presence.
Our Mom’s sister, Marie took us in and raised us and was much like our mother. She included us in everything she did. She gave us the needed love to get through the loss and to get us reinserted back into life. She lived a little north of Atlanta, just enough to miss the traffic and smog of Atlanta itself. Marie instilled a wonderful sense of life in us that kept us close and caring while spoiling us rotten.
She owned a one person beauty shop that was her pride and joy. After school, we would meet her at the shop, do our homework and then help out in the shop. The help started out simple, with us cleaning up or replenishing supplies for Marie. She had set up an area next to her office where we could do our homework and still be within her sight. As we gained experience, we were allowed to help with the customers in some of the services.
Of course, this is after finishing our schoolwork. Also included with this is her doing different beauty services on us or doing our hair in a new style. Quite often, we would spend hours after the last customer left, essentially have a girl’s slumber party. At the time, I could see nothing wrong with having my nails done or sitting under a dryer with my hair in curlers, even though young men seldom did any of these things. Especially at this time in history, the boy bands were becoming popular, hair on males now shoulder length or longer, hippies were the rage, and life seemed mixed up. So a boy with curly hair, nail polish, and often sporting makeup not really that strange.
In a way, I guess I considered myself a sister to Claire, we played together, did our homework together, and often dressed alike. There were very few children in the area where Marie lived, so Claire and I ended up having to entertain ourselves. Marie and her evening slumber parties were entertainment, but a beauty salon does not lend itself to be a boy’s perfect playground. Even in school, I shied away from the boys’ sports, favoring tennis or golf if I had to partake of something.
On these party days, Marie would order take-out, and we would eat there at the salon. Both Claire and I always looked at Marie’s salon as another extension of our home. I would often go home sporting a new hair style or polish/makeup on my hands and face. Claire treated me like a little sister often helping me get the previous day’s beauty treatment removed before school the next day.
The comradery of Claire and Mom, as we did things to each other, was exquisite, that is the thing I remembered today, and how good it felt to belong to a group, to share things, to experience something new and wonderful. Yes, getting my hair or nails done was wonderful, an escape into another world where things are as they should be.
If I didn’t get everything off, I was often kidded in school the next day, and Claire would come to my rescue with an excuse or reason for me sporting something definitely not masculine. I am truly surprised that I got harassed as little as I did. Claire always said that it is because everyone thought I was a girl. I guess there might be a little truth in that.
I sat on my couch that night wondering just what I am going to do now. I had been hired for this job coming out of school, and I have had no other job in the last nine years. In fact, this company is the first company I had applied to after graduating. Part of the application for their marketing department was to write copy for some of their products.
I guess I was good at it because three days later I was offered that job. Now, suddenly all that comfortable, secure feeling just vanished. It seemed that all the advertising agencies were cutting back and or eliminating entire departments. The newer ads are very visual not having any words, slogans, or jingles, just photos to sell their product.
In fact, I liked those ads much better than the way I had been taught to do them. The ads seemed to catch you attention but did not require the involvement of your mind. If the pictures are good, a mental image comes up when you see the product name.
So employment in the marketing world did not seem to be much of an option. An ad that I saw on the TV a few moments ago proved my point. It is an ad that is five years old. In fact, I had helped write that ad that is running now to advertise their product. Now though the photos are selling the product, as they have taken out all the wordage from the ad, just a few images to catch and capture the customer’s interest are left.
My eyes followed the photos, and I made a mental note to look for that product. Take an old ad, remove the words, add some new photos, and you have saved a bundle. A definite sign of an economy that is struggling to maintain some type of prosperity. I guess I am feeling pretty sorry for myself, no job, no viable experience, and no immediate prospects of employment. Couldn’t get much worse or, at least, I hoped it wouldn’t?
My phone rang and again I knew who the caller was. “Hi Mom, I guess Claire has told you everything, I am just wallowing in my sorrow, but I feel okay.” It is Marie, but to us, she would always be called Mom. I heard a chuckle in the background and Mom plowed ahead with her agenda. She said the weather is great out there at this time of the year. The temperature in the seventies and sunny every day.
“Since you have nothing pressing going on you should get your pretty little ass on a plane and come see her and Claire.” I could now hear Linda, Claire’s daughter, saying in the background and me too. I tried to change the subject, but Mom is not to be deterred. Finally, she said Blair Ann get you things packed and get a ticket out here.
I cringe every time I hear my birth name, Blair Ann. A most feminine name for a boy that caused grief for me all my life. Why our birth mother gave me such a feminine name, I will never understand. Who names their son Blair Ann? The Blair part came from an uncle who was thought of very highly. After naming my sister Claire Ann, it was just easier naming me Blair Ann. Marie was told by our birth Mom why she named me Blair Ann, but Marie would never divulge that information other than she just thought it fit.
I still react when Marie calls me that. Well, Marie is still on the phone, and she is waiting for an answer. I told her I guess I will come out in a couple of weeks. She told me there is so much to see, and if I became bored, I could always help her in the shop a couple of hours a day or help Claire in her studio.
Hang on a minute Linda wants to talk to you. “Hi, Aunty Blair, I miss you so.” Linda also looks at me as Claire’s little sister and thus I became Aunty Blair. I told her I miss all of them and want to see them again. She started telling me how Marie has been teaching her to become a cosmetologist and that she already has some regular customers. In previous conversations, Claire had told me that Linda is beyond the student level, working in Marie’s salon with the other stylists and even doing makeup for some of her photo shoots. She is a bright girl, never having to be told twice how to do something, then add in that she applies herself to any task completely, and you have a successful young female.
I could tell she is proud and excited about learning. She slowed down a little to catch her breath and said Claire wanted to talk to me. I told her to behave herself, and I am really proud of her. You could just feel her swell up with pride. Claire is a truly remarkable young woman and has done an excellent job in raising Linda Ann.
Claire met and married her husband, Joe, soon after she finished her photography apprenticeship. At the time, she was deeply in love, but Joe had wandering eyes, and Claire caught him with another woman, and she divorced him immediately. Their marriage only lasted a little over a year, but Claire would never forgive Joe for cheating on her.
She was still pregnant with Linda Ann when the divorce was finalized. One thing I know for sure is that Linda never lacked or missed any love from Joe. Claire made sure that Linda is loved and cared for with enough love to make up for a missing parent. Having Mom nearby also helped, since we were never denied any love when she was raising us.
Finally, Claire got on the phone. She was glad I finally saw that a trip to Arizona is an essential part of my recovery. I told her some chance I had of not choosing that option. She asked if I am packed, and I told her no, I would get it together in the next few days. She suggested that tonight might be a better time to accomplish that task than wait. I am beginning to suspect something and asked Claire why the hurry.
“It will be easier to catch my one PM flight tomorrow if I am packed tonight. Close up your apartment and leave a forwarding address for your mail. The ticket will be waiting at the Air Arizona counter in your name. Enjoy your flight, and I will be waiting for you upon arrival at Sky Harbor Airport.”
Before I could protest, she said everybody loves me and have a nice flight. She hung up, and I just sat there with the phone in my hand. We may look alike, read each other’s mind, but Claire wins hands down in the pushy department. I knew she is worried about me, and this is just her way to get and keep me busy.
Claire is always more forward than I and made much more progress in life than I did. After graduation, she had taken a job with a fashion photographer as an assistant and in less than two years she had opened her own photography business. She moved her business to Scottsdale, Arizona and does mainly fashion shoots for a lot of the major designers.
Her specialty is fashion shots with Arizona’s beautiful scenery as the backdrop. She has traveled most of the state and knows where the spectacular scenery is available. Just last year eleven of the top twenty designers had shoots with Claire as their photographer. Claire features every designer in a different and unique scenic backdrop. The photos accent the designer originals and make them jump off the photo paper. She is very talented, and I envy her push and drive.
Soon after Claire’s move to Arizona, Marie was next to follow. A two week long Christmas vacation did the trick. She went out to visit Claire and Linda, later after returning to Atlanta; she put her shop up for sale. Claire had shown her a shop that was for sale in Scottsdale, that Marie just fell in love with. In fact, she bought it the same day as she saw it and wrote a check for it.
Within a couple of weeks of her return to Atlanta, one of her old customers bought her shop here, and Marie helped her find a capable cosmetologist to run it for her. Ever since then both Claire and Marie have tried every way possible to get me to join them in Arizona. My job was the anchor that held me here in Atlanta. That anchor is now gone.
As I had not really decided anything about my future, I followed Claire’s advice and packed my bags. The problem of what to pack is handled by packing all of my clothing. I figured I would end up moving to Scottsdale since most of my arguments and reasons for staying here are now gone. No use in making trips back to Atlanta to get my clothes. After nine years of investment in my job, with a return of basically nothing, it seems that Claire will get her little sister at home with her in the near future.
I only rented an apartment and even had resorted to renting my furniture, so I had almost nothing left of a personal nature after my clothes are packed. I got my luggage to the front door and munched on some snacks in the kitchen. Good thing I had not gone grocery shopping lately or I would have more to throw out. I cleaned up the apartment, deciding to turn in my keys tomorrow before I left. My month to month lease required no notification, so as long as the apartment is clean, I should get my deposit back. The furniture company would come get the rented furniture after I notified them tomorrow.
I decided a warm bubble bath was what I needed to relax and forget the problems of the day. The sweet scent of carnations filled the air as I sank into the tub. Even though nothing has changed, I became more relaxed and carefree. The problems of the day seemed just to vanish.
Taking a bubble bath is an indulgence learned when Claire and I were growing up. I remembered mentioning it to one of my classmates in high school and learned very quickly that a boy does not take bubble baths. Hence, it is an indulgence that has to be kept a secret. I sensed I was about to get a phone call, the dulcet tones of my cell are heard, and I reached over to the vanity to grab my phone.
“Hi Claire,” was my greeting and sure enough, she is just checking on my progress. She congratulated me on bringing all of my clothes for she is sure I would not be returning to Atlanta. How she knew I had packed, everything was and is a mystery to me but not unexpected. I told her I knew she is up to something but what exactly I had not discerned yet. She advised me just to relax, for she had everything worked out and I would soon be employed and making a substantial amount more than I was at my previous employment.
But best of all I would be with my family and sharing my life with the ones who truly loved me. I tried to get her to ease up with all of the planning, but Claire said she knew best for her little sister (she is older than me by ten minutes). I informed her, in case she had not noticed recently, I am her brother and not her little sister. “Blair Ann, you will always be my little sister and I just love you to pieces.” A few tears ran down my cheek at that thought.
If I am to move out there, I would need an apartment, and I tried to ask her about apartments in Scottsdale for I had heard that they were unbelievably expensive, but Claire is not listening. When you are pushy as Claire, selective hearing is an essential trait. She repeated that I need not worry, everything is taken care of. In a way, that was what worried me the most, she is a dynamic individual, getting what she sets her sights on, but sometimes that comes at the expense of who she is helping.
I tried to pry what she had planned from her, but suddenly she is not interested in talking anymore. “I have arranged a taxi for you, be ready by ten-thirty AM so that you will have plenty of time to clear security at the airport. I will always love you no matter what you decide, but you just need to relax and let the people that love you help get things back together for once. No telling where you might end up at, maybe something better than you had.” We exchanged ‘I loved you’s, and she hung up.
I hoped that what Claire has planned is something I could live with since nothing I have planned for myself has ever met with much success. Whether it is a weekend outing, a date with a young woman or any day to day task, things just did not go as originally planned. Quite often, I am able to survive the experience, but never as planned. On the other hand, Claire could execute anything she attempted in a proficient and timely manner without exerting any effort, and it always turned out exactly as planned.
As I lay in bed, I tried to come up with something I have accomplished in the last nine years since college. I never was able to find someone to live my life with although, the search never lacked effort. I had many pleasant dates, but no sparks and very few repeat attempts with the same woman. I just did not inspire any interest in the women I dated. Several from where I worked became friends, friendly like workmates, but never any romantic interest. I guess they ended up treating me like another woman. That seemed to be how they saw me when the dust settled.
I got up in the morning, got dressed, and checked the apartment for anything I wanted to keep or save. I cleaned up a bit more than turned in my keys at the office. I heard the taxi, the driver coming up to the apartment and to get my bags. After loading them into the trunk, we were off. The drive to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is always longer than it seems because of traffic, a problem that all of Atlanta experiences daily.
We arrived at a little after eleven-thirty, and the driver got my bags to the Air Arizona agent as I am getting out of the back seat. I paid the driver and tipped him, but he refused the tip. He had already been tipped for handling my bags and seeing that I made my flight on time. Claire again guilty of taking care of her little sister.
Also, since I got called miss several times, he is either blind as a bat or Claire’s handiwork is popping up again. I proceeded to the Air Arizona counter, and they checked me in. I received tickets to claim my baggage with and am assigned a seat in first class a few rows from the front.
I had expected to have to pay for the extra luggage, but Claire struck again. The lady Air Arizona agent simply replied that it had been handled by the purchaser of the ticket. She hoped that I enjoyed my flight and pointed me toward the departure gates. A brief stop at the scanners, shoes off, shoes on, keys in the tray, then back in my pocket, check the laptop, and then on to the departure gate.
I kept running things over in my mind, but am not coming to any conclusions. I knew deep down that I didn’t handle changes well and usually did not change unless forced to. Marie, Claire, and Linda knew this fact well since they had been trying to get me to move for years. I always had something that was holding me back that allowed me to evade their plans for me. Now I secretly wished that I had heeded their advice, since nine years of what I thought is important had got me absolutely nothing.
I proceeded to the departure gate and waited till they started boarding. After we had boarded, there is quite a delay while we waited to be cleared for takeoff. The line of planes in a similar situation is quite long. Finally, we made it to the end of the line, and as the pilot is taxiing up to the runway, the plane lunged forward and very soon we were climbing out of the smog of Atlanta. The pilot came on the intercom and apologized for the hasty departure, and then said, “When you get the all clear to take off in Atlanta, you take the advantage of it before they change their minds.”
As we reached cruising altitude, I got out my laptop and started going through some of Claire’s old email. Maybe I could get some clues as to what she is planning. Something is up and with Claire’s imagination no telling what it is. She is always trying to get me to quit and look for a better job. She is confident that I could do better, but I am not a person used to or liking change.
In Claire’s words, I wanted to suffer along in the job I had till I am forced to do something else. I guess this is working to Claire’s advantage because I am now forced to find something else. After reviewing her email’s it now seemed apparent that Claire is trying to hook me up with one of her friends, Barbara, who is a VP at one of the major cosmetic companies.
The application attached to one of the emails should have been apparent, but I never opened the attachment. She wrote about how good the company is to work with and how her friend Barbara is highly respected in her field. She had made VP in a little less than three years with the company. Hint, hint you have been with your company for nine years and the last I recall you were not in any different job than you started. I am sure I would be meeting Barbara soon after I arrived in Arizona.
The flight is smooth as glass for the first hour, and then the pilot came on the P.A., “We would be making an unscheduled stop in Dallas because one of our engines is acting up. There is no reason for concern we are just taking precautionary measures to assure that we will not encounter problems later.” The cabin is suddenly full of talk about the situation.
Shortly after that, we started our descent into Dallas, and about twenty minutes later we made a smooth landing in Dallas. As we pulled up to a gate, the maintenance crews flocked around the plane. You could see them working on the engine, but soon all the crews pulled away from the plane. The pilot came back on the PA and said we would be changing planes. Oh boy.
They asked us to gather all our carry-ons and get ready to disembark. The flight attendants showed us down the ramp, and there were Air Arizona people waiting for us at the end of the ramp. They showed us to another door next to one of the gates and told us to wait for a few minutes. Through the windows in the concourse, we could see another jet being guided towards the gate.
After about five minutes the door opened, and we were shown down a set of stairs, across part of the tarmac and up another ramp to the plane. This one, a much larger plane, with the attendants asking us to find any seat we wanted and stash our carry-ons and get ready for takeoff. It took about twenty minutes for everyone to get seated and then the pilot came back on the PA.
“We have been cleared for takeoff since we should have not even been here; we are taxiing directly to the runway and making another hasty departure.” I guess an unexpected plane can mess up schedules fairly quickly. The pilot lived to his word and in less than ten minutes we were climbing out of Dallas.
No sooner than we were in the air, we started descending into Phoenix. Since we were off schedule, we had to circle Phoenix three times before we were inserted into the landing queue. As the plane slowed down, the empty Salt River bed is seen out the side window, the airport located in the middle of the dry river bed. On the last turn, we slowed down more, descended, and touched down on the runway shortly after that. After we had started taxiing toward our gate, the PA came on again, the pilot thanking us for our patience.
Due to our unscheduled change of planes, our luggage is still in Dallas. Those that are continuing would have their luggage forwarded, those ending their flight here would have their luggage delivered to your hotel or home at no charge. The Air Arizona agents at the end of the ramp would get your information and arrange forwarding or delivery. Of course, that message is met with lots of groans and
complaints. In my case, I couldn’t see it being a big problem.
As I made my way down the ramp, it looked like the airline had rounded up their entire workforce to meet us. A woman whose name tag said Susan approached me. “Are you connecting or this is your destination.” I told her this was my destination. She asked for my name and got all of my forwarding info. I gave her Claire’s address for the luggage to be delivered to when it arrived. Hopefully, it would arrive as they had indicated. I gave her my baggage claim, and she issued me a receipt for my luggage claim ticket.
She handed me a voucher for one hundred dollars and said I could use it online or for tickets. It is the airlines way of compensating us for the hassle of delayed luggage. She apologized for any inconvenience and hoped I had a pleasant stay. Susan said that my luggage should be delivered by noon tomorrow. I am pleasantly surprised about the voucher, but that is something I can live with knowing that there is only a little inconvenience involved.
I left the ramp and saw Claire and Linda waving at me. I headed in their direction and am met with two very impressive hugs. I didn’t think it had been that long since I had last seen them. They both grabbed an arm, and we headed toward baggage claim. We took a few steps and then Claire stopped. “Your luggage did not make it.” She looked over at me, I told her, “No, but it is a long story.”
Instead, she headed for parking pulling me along. Both of them are still hugging an arm and at times, it is difficult to walk. It seems that I am not to be allowed to be alone, I think they thought that I might escape. Rather than escaping, I am glad to be here, their hands on me feel so good; I hadn’t realize until now how much I missed everybody.
We exited the terminal after several tram rides and took another tram to parking. Claire had managed to find a spot close to the entrance and we are soon standing in front of a new white Cadillac Escalade. She opened the passenger door for me and walked over to the driver’s seat as I gave her a funny look. “When did you start opening doors for men?”
“I don’t but for my little sister nothing is too good.” I asked her about the car, and she said this is the third new car she has bought in the last few months. She impressed on me that business is good, and if I hadn’t been so stubborn, I could be enjoying the good life too. The car is awesome and with leather seats and leather trim on the dash, it is top of the line.
Might I also say that it was about as feminine a car as you could purchase. The leather seats are in white leather with pink trim. The dash is covered in the same colors but has rhinestone studs at all the points of attachment. Claire would qualify as a girly girl, and this car is definitely a girly girl’s car.
Claire does not let things lay, always driving home a point till she succeeds in her agenda. On the way out of Sky Harbor Airport, she is quizzing me on what I am going to do. I told her I don’t know what I am going to do, but nothing is jumping out at me. In her opinion, I was always too set in my ways missing a lot of life’s opportunities. She wanted me to, for once, to be open to new ideas and lifestyles.
Now that word lifestyles got my attention. “If you like what is going to happen to you, you should embrace it? After you have tried it out, you can always go back to what you were if things don’t work out.” I asked her what was up with accepting new lifestyles talk. “Well in nine years you have not allowed any change to take place, and you are now back to square one.” That is so true, I responded that I am now open to any new ideas or lifestyles. She smiled one of her thousand-watt smiles. “Just remember that and do it.”
Claire lives about twenty minutes north of Scottsdale, but Sky Harbor Airport is south of Phoenix. It usually takes her about fifty minutes to get from the airport to her house. I just stared out the window as we made our way towards Scottsdale. Maybe she is right, maybe I should have quit and joined her out here. I had nothing, and Claire seemed to have most anything she wanted.
As we crossed the Salt River and entered southern Scottsdale, Claire took several new turns, and I figured we were going to see Marie first before we headed to her home. Every time I come to Scottsdale, I am amazed at the growth of the area. New shopping centers and everywhere you turn more homes and apartments. Soon we were entering downtown and just three blocks from the famous Fifth Avenue we turned and in less than a block we entered a newer mini shopping center. At the back is Turnabout Gurl Salon, Marie’s business.
The salon is right in the middle of the rear group of stores, the lights, and décor of the salon shining through the plate glass windows of her shop. The Turnabout Gurl sign, done in shades of pink script, made an inviting invitation to her salon. I thought Marie had used her old salon name when she moved it out to Arizona but didn’t think this was the name. I looked over to Claire for any explanation. When Claire found a parking space, she told me that Marie was approached by a large chain of beauty salons wanting her to join them. The deal was too good to pass up, and Marie made a hefty chunk of cash, plus now is a franchise holder in one of the most successful beauty salon chains in the country.
I had made a trip out to see Marie and Claire soon after she had bought the salon, but due to the work she was having done to it I never saw the salon in person. Apparently, the changeover to the new name was only last year.
We parked over to the side, and I then recognized another business name next to Marie’s salon. The Corseted Lady is the name of a lingerie shop that used to be next to Marie’s salon in Georgia. One of her best friends owned the shop, and they were always cooking up ideas to get more business for their shops or looking for new trends in fashion and makeup. I looked over at Claire, and she smiled. Same lady, same shop name, the same type of merchandise. Okay.
Julie sold her shop and moved out here shortly after Marie. “I guess I am one of the last holdouts in moving out west,” I said still looking at the shop. We walked the short distance from the parking lot and entered Marie’s salon. Claire stood by me as I looked over the shop, and Linda went back to one of the stations and started setting up her station. To say I am impressed with the salon would be an understatement.
The whole salon is awash in shades of pink and highlights of chrome. Looking at it almost took my breath away. Femininity personified would be my summation of the total effect. This salon is nothing like her old salon. Marie’s old shop was pretty, very well laid out, but the total ambiance is nothing like this. The next thing I noticed is that unlike her old salon Marie has employees, several of them, the outfits they wore are classic fifties in style, and again the pink color added to the total effect.
The pencil skirts are shorter than usual, and the blouses are made of a thin silk like material. The bullet bras they wore, showing through the blouse made the outfits very fiftyish. They are very sensual but not overly sexy. Of course, the hair is blonde and teased into a pageboy type style. The makeup is bright colors and very noticeable.
I am still staring when I was ambushed from behind. Marie had come from her office, saw me and attacked. She hugged me then pushed me back slightly so she could look at me. She gave me the once-over and started frowning. “Good thing you finally left Georgia, you are a mess, but we will get you sorted out in no time.”
Typical Marie, always finding something that needs fixing with regards to my appearance. She seemed to be paying extra attention to my hair. It is long for a guy, but I always wore it in a ponytail low on my head. I am nervous as she kept looking at my hair. I raised my hand up to smooth out stray hairs, and she noticed my hands. Big mistake on my part, the only thing she cares more about than hair is the nails.
She grabbed my other hand and examined my nails. Now I knew I was in for it. Marie always is a stickler for keeping our hands particularly our nails neat, clean and polished. It is just too much work in my job plus I got lots of funny looks when I first started when women would look at my hands. Neatly manicured hands with perfect cuticles and polish, even if it is clear, is noticed especially by other women. I eventually just stopped all the nail care.
On my previous trips out here, I would work on my nails before I left Georgia just to keep Marie from complaining, but when I returned to Atlanta, I would again let things slide. This time, I was too wrapped up in my self-pity that I completely forgot about my nails. After Marie had completed her inspection, she dragged me back to the back of the salon to her office but stopped briefly to talk to Linda. Claire smiled as she saw this, but I could not hear what is being said.
Marie wanted to know if I was alright and how I felt. I told her I was feeling fine but am lost about what to do. I mentioned that finding a job is going to be difficult, but I will try my best. I am sure that I could find something out here but was afraid that it would not be the best paying type of job. She smiled looking over at Claire and told me that first, I needed to get my appearance straightened out.
I said I would work on it in the next few days, but Marie said what is wrong with right now. I looked surprised but did not know what to say. Linda came back into the office and grabbed my hand and said come on Aunty Blair and I will fix you up. I protested a little but knew that there would be no peace until Marie approved of my appearance.
The fact that at Marie’s age of fifty-seven, she is still a beautiful woman with no signs of aging. Heck, she wears a size ten dress and most of the time her hem is above the knee. Her legs are gorgeous. Years of living with her as a teenager, I knew I would have to conform to her standards, and that I would most likely end up much more feminine than I am now. I guess that bothered me in a way but thinking back to our teen years they were some of my happiest memories. Even though I thought that I was a normal teenager, the facts are otherwise. A normal female teenager would be more like it, I was happy then and still relive those cherished memories often.
Linda dragged me to her station, and she had me lay back in the chair as she shampooed my hair. Marie has taught her well. The massage she gave me as she shampooed my hair had me dozing off till she straightened the chair back up. She wrapped a towel around my wet hair, then started gathering what she might need to fix my hair.
I asked her how she liked being a cosmetologist and she gave me the biggest smile. “I love every part of it and can’t wait to get to work in the morning,” I mentioned to her just to trim the ends, and that was all I wanted to be done. She pulled up a bar stool and sat next to me. She was searching for the right words to say when I told her just to say what is on her mind.
“She pointed out that I am not tied down to anything at the moment. No job, a possible new home and with three women that love me. For once, you need to let go and trust these women for they have your best interest at heart.”
I looked at her and could tell from her eyes that she believed vehemently in what she had just said. I swallowed and said, “Do what you want to me.” Feelings of dread started in my stomach but in the back of my mind, I wanted to put aside all that is the old Blair right now.
“Relax, and let me work my magic on you. I am going to make you truly beautiful, and you will find out that is how you should have been for all these years. Do not protest, just go with the changes and see what the next few days will bring. After a few weeks if you can honestly say that you do not like the new you, then we can change you back.” I started to respond, but she put her finger to my lips and said, “Just trust me.” I sighed and told her, “Do your best.” She starting cutting my hair and then started applying color to my hair as highlights. The cut is very feminine, bangs just one of the new additions to my hairstyle. I soon looked like I was part of an advertisement on TV for aluminum, with all the foil in my hair. While this is processing, she started on my nails.
She seemed to be really focused on what she was doing. My cuticles were cleaned and pushed back, and my nails were filed to feminine ovals. Two coats of a base coat and two coats of light pink polish left my hands looking decidedly like a woman’s. Even though I dressed as a ‘guy’, way too often, I would be addressed as a woman. Now with this manicure and hair, there is not any male image left.
Since my voice is in the upper ranges, I even sounded like a woman. On the phone, I am always addressed as Ms. or Miss, and adding to the problem my name and that pretty much sealed my fate. I remembered back to when Marie, Claire and I would have our impromptu slumber parties, and Claire had put a set of really long extensions on my hands. I was rendered helpless because the nail tips always got in the way. I had to wear them all weekend, and it was Sunday night before I could do any of the basic functions with my hands.
Looking at my hands I started to panic but again Linda put her finger to my lips, “Go with the changes, and enjoy the attention, and then everything will work out for the best. Today is Friday, wait until Wednesday of next week and see if you don’t embrace all of this. You now have beautiful hands and best of all you might get past Marie’s inspection. Enjoy it and the love of your family.” I was feeling more than a bit of emotion from what she said.
She looked at me and continued, “We love you, Aunty Blair, more than you know, and we would never do anything to hurt you.” She eased my hands into the dryer, and I could almost feel the polish drying on my nails. Not really, but I was getting scared again, too much change too fast. When my hands emerged from the nail dryer, the shine from my polished nails was almost blinding. I tend to exaggerate when the changes affect me, but even with a light pink polish, they are obviously the hands of a young female!
Linda started on my hair again rinsing my hair and then removing the foil from each lock. She applied a conditioner and then started putting curlers in my hair. She is using a small curler, and I could see a style with lots of curls in my future. After she had finished putting in the last curler, she moved me over to a hair dryer and turned it on. Thirty minutes later she woke me since the warm air had put me to sleep instantly. Funny when I was younger, the hair dryers had a tendency to put me to sleep also.
As she released the curlers, the hair popped back into the tight curl formed from the curler. This was not looking good for the male me. I am sure my looks are far more feminine than a normal woman; a girly girl seemed to be my destination. She brushed my hair it seemed like forever turning my chair around so I could not see the mirror. I have a feeling it is going to be worse than I originally thought.
Linda sprayed my hair three times with hair spray and then used a blow dryer with a diffuser on my hair to set it. When she turned me back around, I am speechless. There staring back at me is the girly girl I was most fearing. Since I am still wearing male clothes the head did not match the body, I imagined with a blouse or dress on it would be much worse.
Linda gave me a peck on the cheek and asked if I am alright. I hadn’t said a word since she had finished. My throat seemed parched, and my mind is still running scenarios none of which I could handle at the moment. Finally, a thought managed to escape my mind, and I told her she had done a magnificent job. She smiled, and a tiny blush appeared on her cheeks. “This is who you are Blair Ann, not some tomboyish excuse for a woman, but this proud female relishing in her femininity.”
I whispered that I was born a man and men should not look like this. She replied quickly, “Look in the mirror and tell me, do you see any male there?” I stared at the image looking at me, and I could see no male, maybe she is right.
Marie and Claire came over, and as I am getting up, I received two more fantastic hugs, I could get used to this, they felt so good and made me feel wanted. That is not a feeling I have had in the last few years.
“This is how my little sister should look, with the name Blair Ann now fitting you to a T. You should thank Mom every waking moment for giving you that name.” Claire never did shy away from stating her opinions, this is just the latest, of how she feels about me. “Maybe Mom sensed that is the real you, and knew that someday you would become Blair Ann,” she stated so calmly.
It was getting late, and I hadn’t noticed the passage of time. It was quarter past six and Linda had been working on me for over four hours. She cleaned up and grabbed my hand and Claire’s, and we headed for the door. I pulled back as we got to the front of the shop, and Claire looked at me.
“No one is going to think you are anything other than the beautiful female you present as,” Claire said. Looking over at Linda, Claire said let’s say hi to Julie before we go. An extra tug got me moving again, and we went next door. Her shop is loaded with merchandise and several customers. Like Marie, she also has hired help now, and we made our way back to her office.
Linda opened her door and said we have someone to introduce you too. Unbeknownst to me, Claire had stayed out front out of sight. Julie looked up and said, “Who are you going to introduce me to?” She looked at me and Linda, then, gave me a second look, she asked me, “Where did you get that funky looking outfit from?” I am very well aware I’m still wearing my male clothes.
About that time, Claire came walking around the corner. Julie did a double take and stared at me. “Oh my God is that you Blair?” she stated excitedly. My face must have turned a zillion shades of red. Julie thought I was Claire, and had no idea I was a male.
She ran over to me and gave me a gigantic hug and stepped back to look at me. “You look so pretty; I only wish that I could look this good since I am fifteen years older than you.” She then asked Claire if I had been filled in on everything yet, and Claire said no. That will come on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. It seems everybody but me is in on this plan.
Claire and Linda tugged on my arms, and we headed for the door. Julie said, “It was good to see you again Blair Ann, and we need to get together next week.” She also had that shit eating grins on her face. As we are headed to the car, Claire looked my way and said you have nothing to worry about; all is handled. Like that is comforting, I thought to myself, as to what they meant.
Claire continued to talk, “You are now officially a member of the female sex. It took too long to get you to this point, but here is where you belong.”
I was unusually quiet for everything that is happening to me, but I am not sure what to say. It is wrong for me to be putting up with what they are doing to me, but it somehow felt right. The girly hair looks good on me; maybe I should embrace the Blair Ann side of me more enthusiastically.
I stared off into the horizon as Claire headed north towards her home. The late afternoon traffic is heavy, and it took three to four lights to get through most intersections. My mind wandered back to when Claire and I helped Marie in her shop. We were not allowed to do coloring or permanents, but we could do shampoos, manicures, and pedicures. Most of the wash and sets in the late afternoon were done by either Claire or me.
Of course, being a local shop and everybody knowing Marie, we were accepted as if we were cosmetologists. Since Marie is a licensed teacher of Cosmetology, we were considered students. Thus, we did not have to get a license to work in the shop. I frequently dressed as a girl wearing some of Claire’s clothes.
We were dressing alike during that time period and since Claire was not going to dress like a man, I dressed as a girl. Of course, there were very few boys named Blair, and that was pointed out to me quite often. A lot of Marie’s customers just assumed that I was Marie’s other daughter, and no one told them any different.
The school we attended was a small private school teaching an accelerated program of studies. We covered in about four hours what the public schools took eight hours to teach. About eighty-five students composed the student body, and that did make it easier to get by with times when I forgot to take off polish or remove all my makeup, usually mascara.
Most of the students are female, and they just assumed I am a girl that is not developing as quickly as her classmates. High school is another private school, but with only thirty-five students. There again, I was considered a girl, with many reinforcements given by Claire, like when she arranged a double date with two guys so I could experience having a date.
On that occasion, I did wear a strapless evening gown with heels, makeup, and all the feminine undergarments. Claire even borrowed, from a girlfriend, a pair of glue on breasts to complete the illusion. Yes, I did get kissed, and that confused me greatly.
I was very shy back then and except for Claire and a few of my teachers, I just could not make friends with anyone. I was afraid to get too close to someone, fearing their reaction when they found out that I was a male under the clothes and makeup. Looking back, I missed out on a lot of possible friendships just because of my fear. With Claire around, I could talk to them, but as soon as she left, I froze and retreated into my shell.
Claire wore the typical apparel for girls then, and I often wore some of her clothes. She usually laid out clothes for us the night before, and I just went along with what she laid out. Every once in a while, Claire would wear a dress, but tops, jeans, and shorts were the basis for most days apparel. I only wore a dress or skirt on two or three occasions, scared shitless the whole time.
I did have a few masculine clothes back then, but on me, they still looked feminine. I often wonder why I put up with this back then, but at the time it just seemed normal for me to be treated that way. As I said before, I just went with what people wanted me to do. Nothing ever was said to me other than how an outfit looked on me. Never why are you wearing girl’s clothes?
Suddenly my attention is brought back to the present as Claire pulled into her drive. I could see changes have been made here also. She owned a sprawling ranch house situated on forty acres nestled in the foothills between Scottsdale and Carefree. Looking at the house, it is apparent that an addition has been added to the right side of the house since the house used to be in the shape of an L, now with the new addition, the house is balanced.
A quite sizeable addition I may add. All along the new addition, a planter had been fashioned of native Cholla, Ocotillo, and Prickly Pear. Smaller Cactus and succulents along with some landscape rock showing traces of copper and malachite are intertwined with those three, making the resulting mini landscape quite attractive. I glanced over at Claire and raised an eyebrow. Claire said I needed more room for my little sister and just had to add on.
We made our way into the house, and I noticed immediately that Claire had redecorated inside her house along with the addition. Pastel colors of the Southwest decor are prevalent, and she had acquired lots of Indian artifacts. A beautiful Kachina Doll is in a lighted area of the foyer and made a spectacular impact.
For pictures, Claire has used copies of her fashion shoots, and these are fascinating. Some are in eight by ten frames and some on the walls are four-foot square. The pictures are in groups, apparently each a part of that shooting. The landscapes in the background with the model highlighted in the foreground, in the rich and dramatic colors of the Southwest are breathtaking. Several pictures are lighted, the effect on the ambiance of the room is phenomenal.
I am literally dragged towards the new addition by Claire and Linda; I must have been moving too slow for them. You entered into the addition through a hall and then into a sitting room with chairs and a couple of end tables, all done in rustic wood with a distinctive Southwest look. This is a part of a larger room that is lined with closet space. Racks for longer dresses, racks on top of racks for blouses and skirts and pantry style shelves for shoes, lingerie, and accessories. In effect, the sitting room was at the head of a larger than a normal closet. A much larger than normal closet, at least, twenty by thirty.
The impressive part is that all of the shelves and racks are filled to capacity. There must have been at least a hundred pair of shoes alone. On some of the pantry shelves, clear plastic boxes are lined up filled to the brim with panties, bras, stockings, and corsets. Everything a woman would need. I am allowed to look at everything and take it all in and then shown the two adjoining rooms.
Claire announced that the room to the right was hers. Your eyes automatically went to the gorgeous canopy bed with matching vanity. Very much a girly girl type of room. The drapes and rug are all in shades of peach with Burgundy trim. The one wall has drapes the whole length of the room done in a peach brocade drape with an ecru lace sheer over them.
As I was taking it all in Linda, apparently hit a light switch, and the wall of drapes opened. The entire planter is visible making the room more spectacular than before. As she hit another light switch, accent lighting came on highlighting all the distinctive Prickly Pear and Ocotillo in the landscape. It is not quite dark yet, but I imagined when dark the view would be truly spectacular.
Next, we went back to the other side, and I found a copy of Claire’s room only done in pinks and Burgundy, still keeping with the Southwest colors. I looked around for Linda figuring that this is her room. She came in carrying a bundle of clothes and laid them on the bed. I asked her if this is her room, and she said no, my room is in the original part of the house.
She grabbed my hand and off we went through the house to what was Claire’s original bedroom when she bought the house. Again another canopy bed with vanity but this time done in shades of teal with the Burgundy trim. Her closet is packed as well, but the difference between the other rooms and hers is the stuffed animals. She had them stashed in almost every space capable of holding one of them. Even a teddy bear, hanging off the edge of the canopy bed.
She then took me down a couple of rooms to another room and showed me this one. Again, another canopy bed with vanity but done in shades of tan, brown and of course trimmed in Burgundy. When I visited them awhile back, this room is where I stayed sans the canopy bed and vanity. I asked whose room this was and before Linda could respond Marie came around the corner proclaiming this room is hers.
She told Claire and Linda that she closed up the salon and before she could leave Barbara had called looking for Claire. She told her that she would have Claire call as soon as she got home. She said it was important. She also asked if Blair had arrived yet, and I assured her that she had. She asked if we are free that she would treat us to dinner at the Arizona Biltmore about eight-thirty.
Marie told her probably, but she would have to confirm with Claire first. Claire is already heading out of the room to the phone, and my earlier premonition that I would be meeting Barbara seemed to be holding true. I asked Linda if any of my luggage had made it or if there is any message about said luggage.
She hadn’t heard anything and when she checked messages when they got home there were no messages. I was afraid that I would have to bow out from the dinner invitation, for except for the clothes on my back I had none. We made small talk about Marie moving in with Claire and Linda and how long she had lived here.
Then Claire returned and said we would be going out with Barbara. I was going to mention that I had no other clothes, but Claire is talking to Marie and Linda saying that Barbara wanted the schedule moved up because they are going to release the product two weeks earlier than planned. Linda looked at me and said to Claire that she didn’t see a problem that I am developing nicely.
I cocked my head slightly, developing nicely! And then, remembered that I had no clothes to wear to dinner. I mentioned this to everybody, but Clair said that I have a whole closet of them. I didn’t remember leaving any clothes the last trip, but I guess it is a possibility. Linda grabbed my hand and said she would show me what I had to choose from.
I figured that maybe Marie or Claire had bought me some clothes and just put them in a closet. We headed back through the house over to Claire’s bedroom. When we got to the large room full of clothes she stopped and said, “Anything here will fit you. Undergarments on the wall, shoes next to the lingerie and tops, pants, or dresses on the rack. You might want to wear something dressier because the Arizona Biltmore is a very exclusive place.
Oh, and, at least, a four-inch heel. Barbara always sends the company’s limo so we will not have to drive. I will help you with your makeup after you get dressed.”
I protested, “I can’t dress like a woman, don’t you have any more masculine clothes for me to wear?” Linda hugged me and then grabbed my shoulders and slowly turned me around to face one of the full-length mirrors in the closet/room since it is as big as a normal room.
“Take a good long look,” she said. “And honestly, tell me if you see a male anywhere in that mirror?”
I started to sob, cry, and generally make a fool of myself. Linda hugged me and told me to get it out of my system for she did not want me to ruin my makeup later. For some reason that got me to smile a little, maybe I am more a female than a male. She asked me if I needed help in dressing or picking out clothes.
I hemmed and hawed, but Linda said that she knew that I was taught the same things as her Mom, and I surely could not have forgotten everything I had learned. She turned me towards the copy of Claire’s room and patted my behind. As she is leaving, I asked her, “Where could I change?” and she matter-of-factly said, “In your room of course.”
I responded, “Just where is that?”
She told me to turn around a couple of times and snickered. “You are standing in it. Now no more questions just get dressed so I can do your makeup.”
I walked a couple of steps and collapsed on one of the armchairs. Surely this has got to be a dream, and I will wake up soon I hope. A minute or two later Claire came to start getting dressed and quickly disrobed.
She still had a fantastic figure and obviously kept in shape. She looked my way and chuckled. “The way you are looking at me, I thought you had decided to become a lesbian.” That got my attention, and I cleared my throat. “I don’t know if I can do this, Claire.”
“You have dressed like me in the past many times and had no difficulty and with that hair and those nails, you will look much better in a pantsuit that in a stuffy men’s suit and tie,” she said rhetorically.
She walked over to one of the racks and withdrew a pantsuit in a pastel pink with white trim around the neck and cuffs. “This outfit will do for tonight and since I have two of everything we can dress alike again.”
My only reply was, “I don’t have a figure like you, lacking both breasts and hips. I can just stay home and grab a bite to eat here.” She looked at me and said, “Barbara wants to meet you, so you are going. As for the lack of a female figure, we can fix that.
Strip off your clothes and take a shower. Dry off and I will have your lingerie on your bed, remember to pat dry and not rub.” I hesitated, but Claire came over to me and started undoing my pants. The shirt and boxers are next. She looked me over quite closely and was glad to see that I still had no body hair. Claire mumbled to herself that it was such a waste to dress that body in men’s clothes for nine years. She patted my behind saying, “Get moving, you are going to make us all late.”
The shower is wonderful and relaxing. For quite some time, I just let the water stream down over me taking most of my worries and concerns down the drain. I was standing under the pulsating spray when the water went suddenly cold. I hurried to turn off the faucet before I froze to death and saw Claire at the shower door with the biggest grin on her face.
“Just like a woman to use all the hot water, if I hadn’t turned off the hot water you would have spent the whole evening in the shower. You have to get dressed now so Linda can do your makeup.”
Mumbling, I grabbed a towel, wrapped it around myself and headed to the bedroom. My bedroom, to be exact. In a way, I am elated to have such a beautiful bedroom, but the guilt in having a room that is so feminine continued to pop up.
On the bed is a pair of panties, a bra, a camisole, a waist cincher, and a pair of stockings, with a pair of high heels on the floor next to the bed. This is going to be hard to do. It had been years since I have dressed like Claire, but as I reached for the panties it all began to come back to me. I turned into one big goose pimple as the panties slipped up my leg.
I tucked myself and then finished pulling the panties up over my hips. The bra is next, and I slipped it over my arms and reached behind me to attach the clasps. Surprisingly I got the clasps hooked on the first try. I adjusted it and pulled the flesh up a little in the cups to give the illusion of breasts. There is a little swell to my chest with the maneuver.
As I reached for the waist cincher, I noticed it had garters for the stockings and was quite small. The cincher slipped up my legs and settled around my waist. It is fairly tight and reduced my waist by an inch or two. The stockings are next, rolling them up my legs and then attaching them to the garters. They are very sheer and felt simply wonderful. As the stockings slid up my legs, I almost lost it. Not a sexual release, just an over stimulation of my senses, the feelings coursing through my body causing me to hug myself, savoring the moment.
The entire collection of lingerie is a pale pink with ecru lace trim. Obviously a matched set and by the labels apparently from Victoria Secrets. The camisole is the last piece to be included in my dressing. When I looked in the mirrors, I saw a woman returning my smile. A sudden pang of guilt hit me. I am a male and should be repulsed by any and all of this. But the image in the mirror is me, and I am smiling and happy again to dress this way.
Too many years in my youth in clothes of a more feminine persuasion to be content to be dressed as a male. To my surprise, I am looking forward to going out as a woman, and with my hair and nails, I don’t think anyone will recognize me for who I am. I was caught by Claire as I am admiring myself in the mirror. “You like what you see don’t you?”
”I do like it, and it brings back memories of when we were younger, pleasant memories, but I was born a male, and I have to live like a man.”
“Enough of that”, Claire said. “Tonight you are my little sister and we are going out, and you will forget you were ever a man.”
She helped me into the pantsuit and Linda showed up to do my makeup. She didn’t seem to add much makeup, but when she was done, there are no signs of masculinity left on this body. Claire came out dressed, and they took my arms, and we headed out.
Marie is waiting for us in the living room and soon after we arrived, the limo drove up. Barbara’s company must be doing well since it is the biggest stretch limo I have ever seen. The driver held the door for us, and after we are settled, the limo headed off to the Biltmore. Claire asked about Barbara, and the driver replied that she is waiting for us at the Biltmore.
It is about a thirty-minute drive to the hotel, and the driver pulled up to the restaurant entrance. He got the door for us, and we are escorted to the restaurant. Claire told the maître d’ that we are here to meet Barbara Weston. The maître d’ summoned a waiter, and he escorted us to a private dining room. A very tastefully dressed woman greeted Claire and Marie.
Introductions were made all around including two fashionably dressed women who worked for Barbara’s company. When I am introduced to Barbara, she reached to shake my hand and held my right hand as she looked me over. Then she released my hand and gave me another of those fantastic hugs that I have been getting recently.
We found chairs around a large table, and the waiters took our orders. They are soon back with our drinks and salads. Barbara asked the waiter to delay the entree since we had some business to discuss. Ever since I had arrived, I had noticed Barbara eyeing me up, particularly my hands. I even clenched my hands a couple of times to try and hide my nails.
She must have known about me and thought I was gay or something. I felt confident she is going to make fun of me for my appearance, since to me, I am obviously a man dressed as a woman. Since I am seated next to her with Claire on the other side of Barbara, there is no hiding my nails.
Barbara showed her obvious executive leadership by starting things off. She looked over at me and said she is truly grateful for the chance to work with me. A look of puzzlement came over my face as I just stared at her. Let me begin by saying you are more beautiful than your sister. Claire smiled and put her finger to her lips motioning for me to keep quiet and listen.
My company is coming out with a new line of nail polish that is UV activated. They become almost permanent, and we have found a whole array of colors in the Arizona landscape to make them more appealing. We need a model with exquisite looking hands to model them for our advertising campaign. We think we have found that person.
Claire is going to do all the photography for us and also for the cosmetic line coming out in a couple of months from now. Claire has sent us pictures of a hand modeling our nail polish and everybody agreed that is the hand we will use. When we cornered Claire as to who this person is, she told us it was her little sister. I took in a deep breath and in the process, my bottom lip must have hit the floor. Claire is trying to get me a job as a hand model.
As I composed myself a little bit, I tried to say something. I didn’t know what I was going to say. I am a male, and there is no way I could be a female model. Barbara asked that I hold my comments and questions till she finished. I looked at her in disbelief, but I managed to get my mouth closed, and I am redirecting my attention on Claire trying to give her a death stare.
How could she do this to me, obviously Barbara did not know about me? I take that back she must have known about me, but why is she proceeding with this. Barbara went on to explain that Claire told her about her little sister being her little brother, but was really a female at heart. I am blushing, in fact, I am sure it is more than a blush, probably a dark red all over.
Barbara explained, “Blair Ann, when you came in tonight, I saw everything I needed to see to confirm what Claire has been telling me. You are a very beautiful woman, and that is especially true of your hands and face. What I see here is a woman, not a male portraying a woman. I would like to sign you to a contract for a period of five years to model and promote our nail polish and cosmetics.
During this time, you would still be free to take other modeling jobs for clothes. But for cosmetics and nail polish we want an exclusive. We will pay you a base salary of fifty thousand a year and when you are doing photo shoots or personal appearances an extra one hundred fifty dollars an hour. Of course, we will furnish all of your cosmetics and nail polish that you might desire. Your beauty services like skin care and maintenance of hair will also be paid for by us.
Marie’s salon has been contracted to do most of this for us except for foreign photo shoots. Linda has been hired to do makeup, hair, and nails for our local photo shoots. You will have a clothing allowance initially set at thirty thousand a year, but if the number of personal appearances increases like we anticipate this will be increased.
I hope you find this acceptable and do take time during dinner to think about this. You will have time to discuss this with your family, but we did bring contracts with us and would like to wrap things up tonight. If you accept, we will start photo shoots in two weeks.”
Talk about not knowing what to say, I just sat there playing with my salad fork. I knew Claire was up to something right after I had been made redundant, but this is way overboard even for Claire. Barbara leaned over and whispered to me that what she saw now was the true me and they would love to have me join their team.
Her two assistants also wholeheartedly agreed, and the only person in the room that was a question mark is me. Needless to say, I did not eat much of my salad. Claire had not taken pictures of my hands, so she must have used her own hands and then said that the pictures were of her little sister.
I have to give Claire credit; she did get me a job, but at what price to me? The way I saw it, I would have the nails and probably a lot more for at least the next five years and what about the public appearances. I guess that would have to be as a woman, and that implied that I would be living as a woman also during that time.
Even though I was appalled at some of these thoughts, my mind found a part of Barbara’s conversation to return to; it is the money! The base salary was slightly more than I made as a writer, but the hourly pay plus clothing allowance made this seem too good to be true. My mind darted back and forth with all of these thoughts and I hardly noticed that the waiter had brought out the entree. I had decided to get the petite rib eye with creamed asparagus. It looked very delicious, but my appetite had suddenly evaporated.
Both Claire and Marie had looked my way quite often as Barbara had made her offer, but no comments have been made. They had also watched as I had played with my salad knowing that I was trying to make sense of all of this. Well, I played with my steak and only nibbled on the asparagus. When I laid my fork down and looked around, both Claire and Linda got up and asked Barbara to excuse us as we needed to freshen our faces.
So off to the ladies restroom to freshen our faces. The restroom turned out to be more of a lounge with seating and individual vanities to freshen your makeup. I went through the next door because since the idea had been brought up with going to the bathroom, I truly had to go now in the worst way. I found a stall and entered.
These stalls are huge and beautifully decorated. I started pulling down my panties and barely got them down in time. Yes, I did sit to use the toilet. I took me awhile to get everything repositioned the way it should be, and then I exited the stall. Everybody was waiting for me, and we adjourned to the lounge to fix our makeup. I just wanted to sit and try to figure out what to do. I found a vanity over in the corner, out of the traffic flow and set down. I caught myself with my legs further apart than usual for a woman and made the necessary corrections.
My mind is definitely overloaded, and nothing is making sense. Too many decisions, no, too many choices and I don’t even know where to start. I closed my eyes and tried to put any kind of sense to what was said tonight. Claire came over and pulled up another stool and hugged me. She knew I am troubled over everything that is happening and she, more than anyone else, knew I would not make the choice or decisions that needed to be made.
“Blair Ann, you deep down know what you would like. It’s just that you never let those choices be made. Everybody, including Barbara, sees the real you and we are going to nudge, push and drag that girl out into the open. I want you to take Barbara up on the job offer.”
I know you are probably upset at me for doing this behind your back, but I am worried about you. You have been depressed for way too long and are doing a poor job of handling it. Nine years at your old job and what do you have to show for it? Your friends, if any, are limited and you do not interact with anybody. This is not living life in any form or definition.”
Sitting there, I am scared to death of what Barbara has offered, but since it involves the things Claire and I did when we were growing up, I feel that it can’t be all bad. When I am truthful with myself, I guess that I am a girl at heart. But, and it is a big but, society does not embrace males wearing women’s clothes and living as a woman.
Claire is right, I only make decisions when I am forced to, and I guess this is one of those times. Claire has been watching me as I run all of this through my brain, and she is smiling because she knows that I have made a decision to take Barbara’s offer. She opens my purse and takes out the lipstick and hands it to me.
Fix your lipstick, so you can give Barbara the good news. I take the lipstick and cover my lips and then took a Kleenex and blotted them. The image in the mirror is me, the new and improved me and at least, at the moment, I am happy. We return to the table and take our respective chairs. Barbara looks around trying to gain a hint as to the decision.
I take a large breath, hold it for a minute, and tell her that I will take the job. A smile quickly spreads across her face, and her one-word reply is excellent. She asks me if I have any questions about the offer or the contracts.
I thought for a minute, and one thing that has me worried is what if I can’t do the hand modeling or the personal appearances. In particular, the personal appearances scare me. They involve the one thing that Claire says that I do not do well, interact with people. I clear my throat and ask Barbara if we might delay the start of the contract for a couple of months so that we can see if I can do the things she asks of me.
If I can perform the stipulations of the contract, the contract will go into effect, but if I fail in these stipulations, the contract can be declared null and void. She smiles, obviously not worried about me fulfilling the contract.
“No problem, I will get the lawyers to draw up an interim contract tomorrow that will cover a period of ninety days. If you don’t back out in the ninety days, the five-year contract becomes effective.” I nod my head in agreement with smiles present on everybody’s face; I just hope I can handle the appearances.
I told her I have no other questions about any of this for I trust Claire, Marie, and Linda to look after me; after all, I am a natural blonde, and too much thinking causes headaches. I did get a couple of laughs, but Claire’s smile said it all. She saw that I was coming to terms with the situation and accepting what fate has in store for me.
It turns out that her company had done some test marketing of the ads featuring my hands and the new nail polish, and the responses are overwhelming good. Then a photo-shopped picture of my face with the new makeup was circulated and the enthusiasm returned on that photo was phenomenal. I glanced over at Claire, she certainly has been busy promoting her little sister, and I attempted to give her the evil eye, but since I never mastered that as a teenager, it failed miserably.
We chatted for an hour or two about anything and everything, then we headed home courtesy of Barbara’s limousine. On the trip home, a lot of my worries started to make themselves known again. I am a male undertaking an impersonation of a female probably 24/7 and doing it in front of a camera and national advertising. Linda squeezed my hand, telling me not to worry about anything other than what I would wear for the day.
A beautiful woman knows things will go her way and when I look at you all I see is a beautiful woman. For some reason, I blushed at her remark, feeling myself flush with embarrassment. Barbara, Claire and now Linda seem to see me as a female and apparently I have been this female for most of my life.
We arrived home and gathered around the kitchen for some hot chocolate. Marie is making it just like she has done for Claire and me for many years. Linda retrieved the cups and saucers and some cookies that somebody had made in the last few days. Chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter, really good, but not conducive to maintaining a female figure.
Marie served up the hot chocolate, and we all took a sip. It is rich and creamy but more than plain hot chocolate, it brought us together in pleasant memories and desires. Marie wanted to know how I am doing. I responded, “Pretty well, I guess. I still have reservations about everything.”
Before anybody else could reply, I reiterated, “I will take the job and do the best I can, but that doesn’t make the butterflies go away.”
Even though I have quite a few doubts about my ability to perform all that the job entails. Claire and Linda knew that I could do everything the job entails since many years ago, I was doing the exact same things. I guess that they are right in a way, since the dress up Claire and I did when we were teenagers is most of what the job is about.
When the yawns spread from one person to another, it signaled that it is time to head for bed. I got hugs again from everybody, and they do feel good, especially, when associated with the love that hugs conveys.
As we walked through the house, Marie and then Linda entered their bedrooms and Claire, and I continued to our bedrooms. Upon reaching our enormous closet/dressing room, Claire helped me to get undressed and showed me where the creams were to take my makeup off and moisturize my face. I found the task of taking off my makeup and moisturizing my face came back to me as if I had been doing it all my life.
I got up from my vanity and proceeded to my bed to remove my bra and panties. Claire had laid a beautiful ecru lace baby doll nightie on my bed to wear. I slipped it on and hugged myself feeling the soft, satiny material caress my body. Claire had changed into an identical nightie and was standing in the doorway of the closet. She smiled knowing I am in heaven at the moment, remembering back to our younger years when we would dress like this for bed. Those memories were dear to me, and I will treasure them forever.
She asked if I wanted to sleep with her, and my face lit up with the biggest smile I could muster. She suggested we use my bed and break it in properly. I pulled the covers back and slid into the bed. Very plush sheets made of Egyptian cotton in a delicate pale pink color made the experience all the more luxurious. The bedspread is an Indian design in a heavier weave.
I laid in bed and admired the bedroom. The Southwest decor made the ambiance of the room precious. Claire had gone over to one of the wall switches and hit the lights in the planter and activated the drapes, as the drapes pulled back the view of the planter is truly astounding. Then to a sound above my head, a panel is moving unveiling a beautiful view of the sky with at least a million dots of light visible. The clear Arizona night sky seemed to make every star visible.
Between the planter and the night sky, my eyes are constantly moving trying not to miss anything. Claire came to lay next to me and spooned my back. I could feel the satin slipping back and forth between us as our nighties touched against each other. She hugged my back and said that she had really missed me. I started to tear up knowing that I had missed everybody more than I had thought.
She wanted to know if I had mellowed out since the meeting with Barbara. I smiled and said, “Yeah. I just quit thinking about it. I am sure though that I will not be going to heaven since I am a male dressing as a woman.” Claire corrected me, a woman who has finally got through her tomboy phase is more accurate.
“I hope you are right, Claire,” as I laid there thinking.
My mind was still going over the new job and then I must have gone to sleep since I can’t remember anything after that. I remember getting up a couple of times to go to the bathroom but fell back to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Both times Claire put her hands around me in a hug as I returned to bed. The night sky with the multitude of twinkling stars relaxed me instantly, so sleep could take hold.
I woke up with a start in the early morning hours, possibly a dream that I do not remember much about. It was not light yet, but the eastern horizon had a glow to let everyone know that sunrise is coming soon. I laid there staring out the skylight at the stars as they faded away with the sunrise.
It is a very peaceful feeling, and then Linda came into my bedroom and whispered my name, to find out if I am awake yet. I turned to face her and stretched as my muscles seemed extra tight. She sat on the edge of the bed, and I finally noticed that Claire is no longer in bed. Linda saw me looking around and told me that Claire had an early morning shoot and is dressed already and heading out to the shoot location.
I asked Linda what was on the schedule for today afraid that something for Barbara was on the agenda. Claire wanted the two of us to come to the shoot about ten, and we could have lunch with them after the photos are taken. It sounded good, and I asked if I had time for a shower. Linda responded that it was still early, and we had two hours before we would head out to the shoot location.
I remembered that I still had no clothes and asked what I could wear. She went to the closet to pick out something for me. As I was taking off the nightie, I asked Linda if there were any messages about my luggage. Linda said she would check as I took my shower.
The shower felt so good, the pulsating water relaxing every muscle in my body as I checked my body for any superfluous hair and then rinsed and turned off the shower. The towel is one of those extra-large and thick ones, and I remembered to pat dry. I started to wrap it around my waist, but caught myself in time, and moved it up to my breasts or at least to the area that should be where my breasts are located.
When I got back to my bedroom, Linda had laid out some clothes for me. I frowned at the choices, but since none of my clothes are here, I had no choice. Besides if I am taking Barbara’s job offer, I would be wearing clothes like these every day regardless. The underwear is similar to yesterday but in a teal color.
The tan capris are very snug fitting but according to Linda, I couldn’t have looked better. An ecru colored peasant blouse with 3/4 length sleeves topped off the clothes for today. As I looked in the mirror, I saw a woman looking back even without makeup. Of course, the highlighted hair tipped the scales towards femininity.
For the last ten minutes, Linda had been on the phone to the airlines being switched from one department to another. Finally, she reached someone knowing about the delayed luggage. She gave them my name and the lady entered it into the computer. She verified that the luggage had been lost, and they had finally tracked it down.
It had arrived in Phoenix this morning and was on the courier service truck to be delivered. They had paid for early morning delivery, and I should be receiving it before ten o’clock A.M. It was now 9:30 and I would be receiving it shortly. Linda thanked the lady and hung up. Linda told me to start my makeup, and she would help if necessary.
I gave her a puzzled look, but Linda knew that I knew how to do my own makeup, and I needed the practice. I sat at the vanity and started. Surprisingly I had not forgotten that much in nine years, and about twenty minutes later I decided that I would pass muster. During that time I had heard the doorbell and presumed that was my luggage being delivered.
Linda had come to get my luggage keys snickering to herself. I joined her in the living room, and there in the front entrance hall was my luggage. I was glad to see all five pieces there, figuring that at least one or two pieces would have been lost in all the shuffling. As Linda was opening the different pieces of luggage up, I saw my personal effects and pictures in one bag, and as she was opening the second bag, she burst out laughing.
I went over to get a better look, and that suitcase was loaded with women’s lingerie. Linda cocked her head, looking at me strangely. “I see you have been pulling our leg all this time, thinking that you were living as a man, and it turns out you were dressing as a woman.” My mouth was apparently wide open, and the only thing I managed to say after I got my mouth closed was that is not my suitcase.
She reached for the next bag and after opening it pulled out a women’s sweater in a very pastel pink. The next offending item was a dress, an LBD to be exact, a very little black dress. It had a plunging neckline and was sleeveless while the skirt was next to nonexistent. Linda hurried to open the reminder of the suitcases and all contained varying items of women’s apparel.
I was looking at the suitcase closely, and they looked like my luggage. The keys were typical luggage locks, and the same key would probably open several different brands of luggage. I called the airlines with the number that Linda had gotten from the lady that she had talked to earlier. I explained to the agent that the luggage looked like mine, but the contents were not mine. I asked her if anybody else had complained about getting the wrong luggage and after looking on her computer said no one else had reported any trouble.
Most of the luggage from my flight had been delivered late yesterday and mine was the last to be found and delivered. I asked her to call if anybody did call with the wrong luggage. As I hung up, Linda was looking at me and holding up one of the miniskirts, a tan color with black belt attached to the skirt. “Blair these clothes are in your size, and you have good taste in your selections.”
I tried to deny all of this but Linda was not buying into any of this. She told me to slip off my capris and put on the skirt. I reluctantly did, and the skirt fit like a glove. The waist was perfect, and there was not a wrinkle to be found anywhere on the skirt. It looked like I had been poured into the skirt. Linda just smiled, saying it was time to go.
I started to undo the skirt, but Linda suggested wearing the skirt instead. I buckled the belt and told Linda again that these clothes were not mine. Linda smiled and said, “In suitcases like yours, in your size, exact size looking at that skirt, and the airline has no other luggage that has not been claimed. Hmm, how unusual. Claire will be astounded to see you in the skirt and to find out that you had your own stash of women’s clothes.”
On the ride out to the location shoot, I tried several times to convince Linda that the clothes were not mine. Linda listened, but no other comment was forthcoming. I was so busy that I did not think about the fact that I was out in public, in women’s clothes, in broad daylight until we pulled up to the shoot. As the realization hit me, I started to panic, but Linda came around to my door and helped me out and literally dragged me over to where Claire was shooting. Nobody seemed to notice me, and I finally relaxed a little. We watched for a while until Claire told everyone to take a thirty-minute break.
They had a large R.V. set up next to the location, and Claire had entered it. We headed that way, and as we rounded the corner of the R.V., I noticed where Claire had been taking her pictures. It was a dry stream bed with three large Saguaro cactus in the background. In front and lower in height was a large prickly pear cactus in full bloom. There must have been at least three hundred to four hundred blooms on that plant. The blooms were red in color and from four to six inches across.
The burgundy fruit was also visible on a few of the pads of the cactus. In front of the cactus were several Cholla stems that died in the past and only the light tan skeleton remained. At the side of the large Prickly Pear was a vacant spot where Claire had been posing the models. All of the cactus and Cholla are present in any of the pictures, and since it is overcast this morning the shadows and light differences were dramatic.
We reached the R.V. and Linda held the door for me. We entered, and Claire turned to look at us, I guess look at me would be more appropriate. Claire’s eyes went right to my skirt, and I knew what the next question was going to be. Instead, Claire surprised me by asking where I had bought the skirt. I tried to explain to her that the clothes were not mine, but I saw from the look on her face that it was futile for me to explain any further.
I took a deep breath and told her I did not remember where I had bought the skirt. It was not a lie, I did not remember anything about the skirt. Claire was giving me a funny look and called Linda over. They whispered for a few minutes, and Claire went back to work uploading the pictures that she had just taken. I was looking over Claire’s shoulder as she loaded the pictures.
They were phenomenal, and the colors were dramatic almost leaping off the screen at you. She finished the uploading and told me to let Linda fix me up and after she gets through with the shoot she wants to take some pictures of me with the same backdrop. I started to protest, but Claire smiled asking me to explain the clothes that showed up today. I swallowed hard and decided that silence was the best option.
I will be ready for you in about thirty minutes. I nodded in acceptance but was desperately trying to find a way out of this. Claire left to get back to her shoot and Linda patted a chair at the side of the R.V. I walked over in her direction and saw a setup similar to the salon with a mirror and lights. I set in the chair and asked Linda why Claire wanted to take pictures of me?
She asked me again where I bought that skirt. I repeated that the clothes were not mine, and I did not purchase it or any of the other clothes! She thought for a minute, then told me that the skirt is a designer original selling for about nine hundred dollars. There is no alteration to the skirt, but since it fits me so well it must have been made specifically for me, and that usually runs about three hundred more.
All of the clothes that Claire has for you have been specially made for you to fit your different proportions. Claire does photo shoots for this designer and wants to take a few pictures of you since the skirt has been obviously tailored for you. I almost pleaded with Linda to please, believe me, I did not make that kind of money to spend twelve hundred dollars for a skirt, and the clothes are not mine. “I guess I might believe you, but too many factors are just screaming that these clothes are yours. Anyway, you need some work before Claire can take pictures, and I’ve got to get started.”
Linda fixed my hair in more of an up-do and took off my makeup and reapplied in more striking colors and heavier that she has done in the past. I heard some talk outside and as we prepared to go outside it became apparent that Claire had finished up her photo shoot, and most everybody was leaving.
Linda and I waited by the R.V. as the models changed in the R.V. and then left. The clothes were left hanging on racks in the vehicle. Most of the support staff left just leaving Claire, and a couple of her assistants, plus Linda and I. Claire called me over, and after she had changed the disc in her digital camera, she showed me what she wanted to have me do. It took me a couple of shots before I was able to do exactly what Claire had wanted.
As time progressed, I became more comfortable, and Claire began to take photos faster and in larger numbers. After twenty minutes, Claire stopped and asked her assistants to help me get changed. In the next hour, we went through the entire selection of clothes that the designer had sent out to be photographed. The disk in Claire’s camera was changed twice more in that time, and my eyes could still see the flashes of light when the strobes would fire off.
I was amazed at how hard posing had been. The excitement at first made all of this fun, but as the photos added up, my body became more aware of fatigue setting in. When Claire announced that we were done, I was glad that it was over, but in a way, I didn’t want this to end. Linda and I helped to pack everything up in the R.V., and one of Claire’s assistants drove it back to the studio, actually Claire’s home. Claire rode with us in Linda’s car, and we headed back to her house.
I asked her about why she wanted pictures of me in the clothes when she had professional models doing the shoots. When she saw me in the skirt and recognized it as one of her client’s designer’s originals she wanted to try something she had been thinking about. What she saw in the camera was proving her point. Linda agreed and wait until you see them on the screen. Linda had been going over the discs in Claire’s camera and remarked that a total of 450 pictures had been taken of Blair Ann.
After arriving at her house, I should be referring to it as our house; we went inside, and Claire went to her study/office. She began uploading the pictures to her computer and culling out ones that she was unhappy with for some reason. Linda and I went to the kitchen and prepared a little snack. It was too late for lunch and way too early for dinner, so a snack was in the best interest of everyone. A couple of sandwiches, a bowl of chips, a little salsa, and a pitcher of iced tea.
We put all on a couple of trays and went to join Claire. She had managed to get all of the pictures uploaded and was almost done culling out the unacceptable ones. These were the ones that were slightly blurry and ones where the light was not adequate. Claire like most photographers shot more than one picture after obtaining the right pose from the model. That way there were several chances to get an excellent picture, Claire referred to them as keepers.
Both Linda and I were looking over her shoulder as she went through these tasks. When she got to the pictures that she took of me, I noticed that she was deleting very few of them. I presumed that it was because that I was standing there and told her she need not worry about my ego. She looked at Linda, and they both collapsed in laughter. It went on for several minutes, and I was about to come to tears since I was afraid that they were making fun of me. Linda recovered first and wiped her face with a napkin and picked up one of the sandwiches and handed it to me. She asked me to nibble on it for a few minutes, and Claire would show me why they were laughing so hard.
As I nibbled on the sandwich, I was lost in thought again. The pictures that Claire had taken of me were good, but why would anyone want to use a picture of a male dressed as a female when you have the real thing to use. Some of the models I saw today were gorgeous, a real credit to their profession and gender. I know Claire wants to help me, but she has to see that in this case, the female model is the better choice.
Finally, Claire got through all the pictures and set them up on the screen so that it would show the two models side by side wearing the same outfit. She went through the selection of outfits and the pictures featuring the brunette model as she was obviously the most memorable. Then she switched the comparison to the brunette model and the ones she took of me. I was flabbergasted, the comparison showed the distinct differences in the models. The clothes were the same; the setting was identical, other than a few minor differences in the lighting as the day progressed.
I sat down hard in a chair that was next to her desk, it can’t be, this can’t be happening! Linda grabbed one of my hands, telling me that they were not laughing at me, but for me to disavow my ability as a model was ludicrous. The pictures showed without a doubt that I was the better model, showing off the clothes to their best advantage.
Now take into consideration that you had no hip padding or breast enhancements yet, and Linda had only made a light application of makeup and a simple hairstyle, and you have to grow up and soon. You are definitely model material and not just a run of the mill model; we are talking the next generation of models. Then consider that you are a biological male and look that good in those clothes, think what a woman will consider when she shops if a male looks that good in those clothes, they will make me, a woman, look absolutely beautiful!
I just stared at the pictures on the computer as she had it set up as a slide show. One comparison after another as the computer went through all of the pictures. Then Claire pulled down a rectangle box, over the top part of the pictures. It hid the head of the model so that you only saw the outfit, and then after a few seconds the shaded box withdrew, so the face was shown. Again the best photos were of me; almost every comparison showed my image to be the superior photo.
Claire’s computer beeped, and she hit the email tab. The latest email was displayed, and Claire clicked on it so we could see the message. It was from the designer that she was taking the photos for today. It had only a few words to the message. Love the pictures, who is the new model, and I want her on contract ASAP. Reply as soon as you can signed Ralph L. I just slumped my head into my hands and cried. I was hugged from both Claire and Linda, and they gathered me up and helped me to bed. It was early afternoon, but I just sobbed and sobbed.
I was kissed quite often, and Linda used a washcloth to soothe my forehead as she wiped up my tears. They removed my clothes, and I was laid back on the bed. Claire laid next to me spooning me as I continued to cry. Linda set in the chair next to the bed and wiped away the tears. I finally ran out of tears, just lying there as the events of the last few days replayed themselves in my mind.
I had a job now, in fact likely more than one, but all of this is contingent on me as a female. I wanted to give in and join the female world, but I am afraid. Not in the usual way, I am afraid that I wouldn’t want to return to my male persona if I ever gave in. With all of this running through my mind, I finally lost consciousness and drifted off to sleep.
I woke, alone in the bed, the light through the windows was very minimal, and me guessing that it was almost sunset. I turned over a couple of times but couldn’t get comfortable. I decided that I had to use the bathroom and wandered off to do my ablutions. It felt better after I washed my face, brushed my teeth and used a makeup remover pad to get the stubborn makeup off. I moisturized my skin and headed out to the kitchen.
I was mildly hungry but had not decided what might satisfy the desire. As I passed the living room, Claire noticed me and asked if I felt any better. I stopped wondering what to say to her. I was over the panic that I felt earlier; I guess in the back of my mind I had somewhat accepted my fate as a hesitant female. I could see the handwriting on the wall, so to speak, but still was reluctant to give in completely.
Claire followed me into the kitchen, making me some tea to help soothe my nerves. I grabbed an apple from the refrigerator and proceeded to nibble away. She set the cup of tea in front of me and asked if I wanted to talk about any of it yet. I shrugged my shoulders a little, but didn’t nix any further conversation. In a low and soothing voice, Claire said that the prominent designer that emailed her wanted me as his model in the worst way.
She continued, “In the last three hours since you fell asleep, he has upped his offer for your services three times. The only thing I have told him so far is that you are under contract with a large cosmetic company for nail polish and makeup. For any other modeling, South Western Girly Gurls is your agent, and any dealings will have to be made with them. I looked over at her with puzzlement written all over my face.
That is a new company that you and I have formed to handle your modeling career. Blair owns fifty- one percent of the company and I own the rest. That way we have a business that we can run the income through to take advantage of any deductions that we might have. The contract with Barbara is run through the same company. All of your clothes, beauty treatments, and personal expenses that have anything to do with any photo shoot can be deducted.
To make it a little clearer to understand, you are looking at income somewhere between one and two million dollars with only two businesses. I am sure we can find at least twenty more customers to join in on your popularity raising your income to at least five million dollars a year. Now, that you understand the financial aspects of this, Blair Ann, my little sister, needs to take the bull by the horns and kick the old Blair out the door!”
She stopped talking, just looked at me waiting for me to reply. I must have set there for at least five minutes with not a word said between us. Finally, I took a deep breath, deciding that it was time for Blair Ann to make her presence known. I looked at Claire and in as squeaky and pathetic voice that I could muster, I asked her if we could get Mom to give me a makeover tomorrow?
I swear the yell that she let out could be heard on the beach of the Pacific Ocean, 350 miles from here. I was hugged, kissed and otherwise smothered by Claire. After hearing Claire’s outburst, Linda was soon there to join in the celebration of Blair Ann’s emergence. Eventually, things settled down a little with a normalcy returning to the house.
Claire, though, was intent to strike while the iron was hot, telling Linda to speak with Mom and find a way to squeeze in Blair this afternoon. I started to respond, but Claire’s hand on my shoulder made me pause. She whispered in my ear that since I was finally showing a little common sense, nothing was going to come between her and her little sister.
I took that at face value, shut up or things could get nasty. Quite often Claire was a force of nature, she sensed weakness in people or business and made plans to exploit that if it would serve her purpose. She never did it to gain financially or hurt others, but she had thought for the longest time that I was her little sister, and so the plans were made, then implemented.
She believed that the male Blair was not the real me, Blair Ann was and since I had always been happier as my female persona that is who I should become. She was tired of seeing me depressed, wasting my life day by day because I would not let go and embrace the real me. After nine years, the termination and humiliation of losing a part of my life with nothing to show for it culminated in her forcing the issue. I was later told that one way or the other I was changing, she was not going to lose her little sister because life got too tough to handle. She often worried that I would give up and take the suicide way out.
That made me a little sad, but to be honest, the thought had come more times than I wanted to admit to. The fact that it was usually her phone call that interrupted those thoughts spoke volumes about the connection between us. I thought back to several of those occurrences. One, in particular, made me shiver. It was after a Christmas Party at work. I had gone to the party, hoping to meet a few new friends.
The disaster of the party resulted when not one person came up to me to wish me a Merry Christmas. Not one single person. The few conversations, I attempted to start ended quickly with one-word replies from the guest. I left early from the party, feeling so depressed. No friends, not even anybody to engage in conversation.
That night, I seriously thought about ending it, the job was okay, but not enough to offset the feeling that I am alone in this and was extremely unhappy. As I was thinking of a means to end it, when my cell phone beeped, it was Claire her connection to me telling her that she had to call. We talked that night for hours before she let me hang up. Nothing earth shattering, just a conversation between two siblings, separated from each other at a holiday time.
I did manage to lay down for a while, but then was awoken when the doorbell rang. It was a delivery of flowers from a local florist. There must have been fifteen different arrangements or Christmas plants in the delivery. I stood there with my mouth open, as she brought the arrangements in and placed them around the room. She wished me a Merry Christmas, telling me that someone apparently cares for you a lot.
That memory was etched in my mind, upon reading the cards attached to the flowers each one was signed by someone that I knew or loved. Claire had made her point; I was loved, just not by the people that were around me. I thought of moving out to Arizona to be nearer to my family, but I never followed through with it. I maybe should have.
Back to the present, I have just okayed Blair being sent to the junk yard and Blair Ann becoming real. Fate always prevails, this time I yielded to its embrace, loved and cherished, fate can now finish the job it had started.
Linda grabbed my hand and proceeded to drag me from the room. I was informed that she could work on my nails while Mom finished up with her last customer. It had been decided that Mom would use the salon in Claire’s house to perform my complete transformation. Marie was bringing all she needed from the salon and would perform her magic here.
According to Claire, I was going to get the latest and most complete transformation possible. There would be no doubt about my sex after today. Linda had got me to the in-house salon, and anticipating future changes had got me to shed all of my clothes. I was given a robe to put on, a cute lavender silk long sleeve robe that came to mid-thigh.
I was kind of looking at her in a funny way, and when I got her attention, I pointed to my lack of underwear. She smiled informing me that for one of the treatments they would just get in the way, so leaving them off would be best. I felt like the person who soon discovers that after getting involved he is way over his head in trouble. I was thinking dressing as a girl; they were thinking changing my gender, although not surgically, I hope.
With me sitting at the manicure station with both of my hands soaking in bowls of solution I was lost in my thoughts. She gave me a fantastic hand massage extending up my lower arms, getting me almost to the point of purring out loud. Next, each nail is filed, and the cuticle is checked to see if it needed further attention. Although my nails were short, after her work on my nails they were distinctly feminine. Ten slightly oval nails, ready for the next step. She reached for a box of extensions, and I instinctively pulled my hand back.
I wasn’t prepared for this knowing that they were permanent to a degree and not easily hid. She gave me a look, then pulled my hand back and started fitting the extensions. After she had picked ten correctly sized extensions for my hands, she retrieved a bottle of adhesive, at least, that was what I had presumed. The back of each extension was coated, and my nail was also coated. She allowed them both to dry and then carefully placed an extension on the correct nail. They extended past my fingertips by at least three quarters of an inch.
I know from hearing women talk that at that length that I would not be able to do much with my hands for a while. The fact that Claire had put extensions on me when we were teenagers, and it took me three days to be able to do anything with my hands was not forgotten or ignored. The extensions made my hands look so feminine and dainty. She held each extension for a minute before going to the next one. When she completed my right hand, she placed it under a UV light. The nail tip warmed up some and then returned to normal.
Linda assured me that my nails would not come off until the full nail had grown out, the adhesive was state of the art and permanent welding the extension to my natural nail. The nail extension itself was made of a space-age polymer that would not break or bend, nail scissors or files would not touch it. The fact that the extension was not thick and cumbersome was not lost on me. The false nail turned out to be no thicker than a regular finger nail. I rolled my eyes back into my head a little; Blair Ann was here to stay whether I wished it or not, at least her hands are here to stay.
Shortly after that, Linda had finished my other hand, and it was also treated to the UV light. I closed my eyes, a tear running down my cheek. I wanted this but at this rate, I would be subject to getting pregnant by the end of the month. At the time, it seemed like a joke, but later with all the additions I didn’t think it is such a far out thought.
Hair extensions seemed to be the next project, as Mom was carrying a handful of hair as she entered the room. She inspected Linda’s work on my nails, telling me that I now have confirmation that Blair Ann is here truly my daughter. She swiveled the salon chair around with me facing away from the mirror as she ran her fingers through my hair.
One of the few advantages of employment with Ads & Such, my former employer, is their liberal dress code, with hair length, clothing styles, and use of cosmetics in the workplace. I never pushed the limits with the clothing or cosmetics, but took full advantage of being able to grow out my hair. I used to get it regularly trimmed, to keep the split ends under control, but recently that too had been sidestepped.
I had a full head of hair, thicker than most people and shoulder length. It was an ash blonde color, with strawberry blonde highlights courtesy of Linda shortly after I arrived. From the length of the extensions, I was to have hair to my waist. I knew from experience that hair that long requires lots of attention and work.
Back when Claire and I helped Marie in the salon, the two of them had tied in long extensions to my below the ear length hair. The resulting length gave me fits for months as I struggled to keep it clean and groomed properly. Just the brushing alone kept me constantly sore and tired from performing the task.
Marie was heating up a glue gun to use to attach the extensions. The glue she would be using would bond the extension and my hair until my hair fell out. I asked if there was any chance of the glue failing or releasing before my hair fell out. I was told that it would not happen and don’t even think of later asking us to shorten your hair length. It took us forever to get it long, and it is going to stay that way, young lady.
She worked over an hour adding in over 150 individual hairs to my existing head of hair. Then Linda took over and over the next two hours added 200 more. I could feel the weight of the new hair pulling at my scalp. It was certainly a different feel than before. Mom was back to shape up all the new hair and cut into a very feminine layered cut. The highlights that Linda had added seemed to blend much better with my hair color, the highlights, and the extensions each added a different shade of blonde to the hair color.
Linda rolled in a flat table to the room, and after undressing, I was helped onto the table. It had a padded top usually used for waxing; thus, my next treatment was evident. I was helped onto the table, and warm wax was applied to an area of my legs, and then a cloth pushed into the wax and yanked off. I regularly shaved my chest and legs, but the waxing was removing the new small growth that had sprouted.
Now there was more than a single tear escaping from my eyes. It almost resembled a torrent as strip after strip is removed from my body. Linda was following behind rubbing cream into the affected areas to soothe the hurt. Finally, the one area remaining on my now otherwise hair-free body was the area of my groin. I winced even thinking of the wax being used down there but was afraid it would be a necessary requirement. Linda handed me a folded up washcloth to bite down on, with me just managing to get my teeth into it when the first strip was removed from down there.
My body arched up from the table, hoping to escape the attack. Marie was quicker, and it seemed that before I was lying flat again, the second strip was rudely stripped from my groin. This went on and on till all the hair was removed from that area. It seemed to take forever, but I was later to find out that it was only fifteen minutes to wax the area. She finished rubbing the cream into the last of the waxed areas, but despite the caress, my male organ stayed small and partially hidden. Too much pain, he was beginning to think he was not wanted.
When Marie brought in the boxes of appliances, I knew that the last traces of my male persona would be gone. Maria opened up the boxes with the breast forms in them and placed a pair of them on my chest. The weight of the forms surprised me, much heavier than I had imagined. She marked the forms location on my chest, then checked to see if they looked balanced.
That made me chuckle, but Mom told me that most women have one breast larger than another. It was pointed out to me that the new forms had a very sensitive pad that fitted directly over the nipple. It had a slight recession in the back of the form to accommodate a male’s enlarged nipple.
This recession with the sensitive pad surrounded the nipple, and when glued to the chest would ensure contact to the natural nipple. After she had aligned the breast forms properly, glue was applied to the back of the form and also to my chest within the marks she had made. She then massaged my nipple, causing the nipple to erect in a tight nubbin.
The new breast from was placed over the nipple and pushed down hard on my nipple. Although I could not see my nipple it still felt erect, and the breast form was snug against it. When she released the pressure, it still felt like my nipple was erect within the form, but it didn’t seem to be going down. Then Maria touched the breast form nipple, and I felt it like my own nipple had been squeezed.
Mom’s comment was pretty neat huh. Of course, Linda had to try it, but she squeezed a little harder, and I almost fainted, the sensation was intense, almost pulsating. She smiled, then replied when Mom gets the lower half on we can have lesbian sex. I blushed red, maybe even purple and Linda beamed. Claire’s daughter is growing up fast, and just as confident and pushy as her mother.
The breast forms had paper thin edges, and additional glue was applied there, and then the edges were carefully smoothed out. When she finished, you could not see any seam lines at all. The breasts looked like they were original equipment on my body. The chance to use the ladies room is offered, before the next treatment, and I took advantage of the opportunity. I was reminded that it was the last chance to pee standing up since in the future I would become very familiar with a toilet seat.
I used the ladies room, my new mantra for the future, and I did sit down to do my business. Getting used to wiping down there is soon to be a necessity. My new breasts swaying to and fro as I made my way back. Then back to the table, this time, my feet are put in stirrups attached to the end of the table. She had me scoot down on the table until my butt was at the end of the table. This forced my feet wide, and my groin is totally exposed.
Marie told me she has seen this all before, so my modesty was not an issue. I tried to block out what was happening since my Mom was situating my penis and testicles so that an artificial vulva could be glued over them. Now after you think about that for a moment, you realize how crazy this is. I could feel her moving things around down there, my testicles being pushed back up into my body, and then that damn glue again spread over whatever was left hanging there.
Linda showed me the piece de resistance, then helped Marie slide my penis into a pouch in the appliance. I knew glue had been applied to that part, touching it directly would no longer be an option for me. They let that part dry and then positioned the vulva over my former male equipment. More glue, then I felt them position the appliance in the back and work themselves forward. As each part was situated, I felt them push down to set the glue.
They finally got to the front bringing the front skin of the appliance over my waxed groin. Linda persuaded Mom to let her do the last piece, somehow taking great pleasure in turning me into a simpering female. The emotions were taking hold, the symbol of maleness is gone, and I am truly simpering a little, with a few tears being shed.
I don’t understand why, my male equipment never gave me much pleasure, but at the same time I felt a great loss. The truth was more likely that I am now scared to death of all that is happening. Where before it was a choice, now it is mandated. My new jobs would blend with the new look, maybe making it easier to get through this. Although I have dressed many times in the past, it was only here and there, now it was a 24/7 for the foreseeable future.
I came back to the present for a minute, as Linda pulled my hand and told me to push gently through my new orifice. She added some cream to my finger helping me locate my new vulva and told me to rub the lips gently then slowly push my finger into the opening. I pushed a little too hard, and one of my new talons found a very sensitive spot. I withdrew immediately, but Linda told me they need to know if the passage was clear and if I had feeling in my new clitoris.
I gave her a dirty look, then resumed the probing. She had added some more cream to ease the friction, and I found the slit all by myself. I slowly inserted the finger into the opening and gently pushed forward. The opening was larger than I anticipated and quite deep. About half way back at the top of the tube I found the head of my penis. Talk about sensitive; I almost fainted at the sensation as the tip of my finger rubbed over the head. Needless to say, I quickly removed my talon from my vulva, blushing every color of the rainbow while doing so.
Linda remarked that from my expression I have apparently found my clit, I nodded my head vigorously and then quickly extracted my finger. Looking up at Mom, I had asked if this was really necessary, to go to this degree for a job as a model. From the look, I received I guess it was.
She told me it was very important that my gender masquerade is kept a secret or, at least, to keep everybody guessing as to my true sex. At the moment, both clients want to portray you as a natural female. Once your recognition factor is developed, they may change their advertising to what their product can do for a male, to assist in his transformation to that of a female. If their product can make a male look this good, think what it can do for a natural female would probably be their marketing strategy eventually.
Also, it will help in your portraying of a female that you are one in all regards, including a pussy. I think you will find that not having a penis between your legs will make the feminine image quite easy to adapt to. There is something about having a slit between your legs that emphasizes the female portrayal. It adds a certain submissiveness to the character, a receiver of sexual favors, not a giver.
Now that I was converted to a drop dead gorgeous female body, I was taken to our closet and garments were selected for me to wear. I was hoping to be able to put on some clothes and stay around the house, but I was out voted. A trip to the mall was in the cards since I needed experience in interacting as a female with other people. Claire was still on a conference call, and Mom had to go back to the salon to make sure things got closed down properly, that left Linda as my escort.
Now in most cases that would have been the safer choice, but a young teenager who is finding her awareness of all things female, and has just been given access to a full sized Barbie Doll to play with, maybe it is not such a good idea. We had four hours till the mall closed, here in Arizona the malls stayed open longer since there was sufficient daylight and most people worked later than the average workday.
Linda drove us to the fanciest mall in Scottsdale, and we started in the store to store search for anything feminine to try on. She had already told me that we most likely would not buy anything, but we should try on as many clothes as possible. In the first store alone, she had me in fifteen different outfits, including a darling sundress that left nothing to the imagination.
Then quickly to the next store, to see what treasures that awaited us. I was a little apprehensive at the first store, but after fifteen clothing changes, the thinking portion of what I am doing faded away. Like a little schoolgirl thrilled to be at the school, looking forward to each lesson to be learned and anxiously awaiting the next experience.
We did stop at the food court to get an iced tea later in the evening, trying on clothes wears you out and makes your mouth dry. Of the fifty stores in the mall, we managed to hit every one that touted that it carried women’s clothes. I did go back and get the sundress from the first store, and Linda found a pair of heels that she just had to have, making our shopping experience productive.
We got home a little after eleven, with Claire and Mom waiting up for us. I was excited since I would be able to show them the sundress that I found, causing both of them to chuckle at the enthusiasm that I was putting forth. Mom made us some hot chocolate, an evening treat that we had enjoyed for many years when we were together. I realized how much I missed their companionship and the time we spent together.
Claire called a halt to our gathering telling me that I had to be up early since they were going to do some sample photos of the new makeup line for Beverly. She had a spot picked out in Oak Creek Canyon that would be perfect for the actual shoot, but wanted to do a dry run tomorrow here at home to see what the makeup looked like and what lighting might be necessary to show it off to the best advantage. The shoot would be done at the salon, in an enclosed atrium just off the entrance of the salon.
The lighting there would be similar to the location that she wanted to use. Then the day after tomorrow they would drive to the canyon and spend three or four days shooting the entire line in the scenic backdrop.
Claire dragged me back to the bedroom, pointed to the bathroom and told me that I needed to get in the habit of cleaning my makeup off and brushing my hair. She told me that she would put my hair up into a braid tonight, but in the future, I would be responsible for doing it myself. She handed me a baby doll nightie to put on and slapped my butt to get me moving. You know even that simple act felt good, someone caring about you, someone you feel comfortable with. Definitely, not something I had experienced in the last few years from anyone. I got the makeup cleaned off, although I had to use two wipes to get it all removed.
Very quickly my days of long hair returned to my memory. A hundred strokes through my hair to bring out the luster of it, I hated it then and tonight’s experience is no different. I was still grumbling when I returned to the bedroom, Claire giggling at my protests. She had me sit at the vanity and quickly put my hair in a sleep braid. I made a lot of gentle noises, a couple resembling a cat purring as she brushed and braided my hair. I have got to find a way to get her or Linda to do this for me, even if I have to stretch the truth a little.
Once again we cuddled together on my bed, I guess it needed a little more breaking in to be usable. In the morning, I was kind of aware of it being time to get up, but I was having a wonderful dream and didn’t want any interruptions. Claire pushing me out of bed stopped all of the wonderful sensations, also making me forget what the dream is about. She is giggling, just like old times. You are impossible to get up in the morning, she had repeatedly tried, and then decided the old way might be the best, so she pushed me over the edge of the bed.
I laid there for a minute, I was now awake, but still shaken. Finally, Claire’s giggling spread to me, and I giggled along. I told her that she made me forget my dream that is not nice since it was a wonderful dream. That just caused more giggling. She became the big sister again as she helped me up, telling me to get dressed and make it quick, she wanted to get some pictures before the sun moved directly overhead. No makeup or hair, Linda would take care of that on site. I changed bras and panties since that duo had been my choice of sleep attire last night.
The nighties were nice but caused way too many erotic sensations in my body. Even the thought of wearing a nightie made me shiver in anticipation. Since Claire is only doing face shots, the new sundress is my choice for today. Claire smiled as I walked into the kitchen, knowing that I am enamored with my dress selection. The dress looked good on me; it felt even better as the skirt swirled around me as I almost skipped into the kitchen.
A breakfast bar and a glass of juice, then some lipstick before I headed out the door. Linda had appeared and was giggling at my actions. “Can’t even leave the house without some color on your lips. You are such a girl.” We took the R.V. into town parking to the side of the salon. Claire had some of her helpers bring in the strobe lights and computers. Her camera hooked up to the computer so when the picture is taken the strobe lights would fire off.
Linda had led me to a room at the back of the salon, where she started on my makeup. Barbara’s company had sent samples of all the new makeup; there must have been at least a hundred pots of cosmetics. She had a list of color palettes that she was working from as she did my makeup. It was a painstaking process as she made me up. Several times she started over as she was getting used to the consistency of the new makeup.
Claire poked her head in several times to see how she is doing, quite pleased with my look. The last time she and Linda conferred for a few moments and then her helpers brought in some garment bags loaded with clothes. A change of plan, while we are practicing with the makeup, Claire is also going to shoot some pictures with another designer’s clothes as samples. She looked through the bags and picked some items for me to wear.
I am helped off with the sundress, then dressed in an ecru pantsuit that is almost see through. There is just enough blurring of my undergarments to conceal the outline of my bra and panties. Final touches to this selection of cosmetics, and I am led to the atrium. Linda had left my hair in a ponytail for this series of shots, but had curled the ends and pulled a couple of tendrils at the temples.
Claire seemed pleased when she saw my image through the lens. There is a bougainvillea espalier on one wall of the atrium, covered in pale pink flowers. Claire used that as a backdrop, telling me that when she shot the photo, the lens would blur the backdrop slightly, making my face and body stand out. I presume she liked the shots she is getting for she used a whole disk on that one makeup and outfit.
Time to change to another palette, Linda worked quicker, this time, getting having got used to the makeup and how to handle it. The dress that was selected this time had a neckline that stopped just short of my belly button. Linda had applied the makeup all the way down so that there would be no difference in skin tone. Although the top of the dress fitted very snugly around me, the skirt is super full and flared out similar to a poodle skirt of the fifties. Incidentally with a neckline that deep there is no need for a bra, my breasts nestled in small pockets in the dress.
This time, my hair is curled on top of my head, with springy curls dancing around the back of my head. When I reappeared in the atrium, I noticed that Claire had changed the lighting, and now my backdrop was an adobe wall in shades of tan and brown. The yellow dress seemed to fit perfectly with this backdrop and soon Claire is clicking away. She had me constantly changing poses, a couple of times twirling so that my skirt would flare out as I spun.
Another disk and a half, before she was satisfied. She told Linda one more outfit change, and then the natural lighting would be lost. To my embarrassment, the last outfit was a nightie and peignoir set, in a pale, pale pink. I had to change my panties to a thong and keep with the no bra. The image in the mirror as she applied the cosmetics was erotic. I could faintly see my nipples through the thin material, hard and pointy. My hair is taken down and brushed until it laid on my shoulders in gentle curls. The bedroom makeup is the most dramatic of the day, especially my eyes and lips. Linda applied only two coats of mascara, but I swore I could see every lash on my eyelids since they were so long. Then five applications of lipstick, making my lips shine and sparkle. Linda told me that the lipstick had some lip plumping chemicals added and by the time I reached the atrium I would have sensuous kissable lips.
When I appeared at the entrance of the atrium, there was eerie silence. I made my way to where she pointed and tried to see why everybody is so quiet. Every eye is on me, scanning every part of my body and face. I felt uncomfortable before several of them started clapping. Claire is clicking away furiously just telling me to twist and twirl to my heart’s content. Three full disks later she told everybody to pack up; we are done for the day. She told her helpers to plan for a full week at the canyon since today’s pictures opened up a myriad of other possibilities to photograph.
Stacy, her assistant, is ecstatic, more work plus double pay. Claire told her we would take both R.V.’s since we would need the space for the other clothes and the extra equipment that she wanted to take. Claire told her she would extend the reservations that she had made, assuring them of a place to stay. Linda gave me a more substantial robe to slip over the negligee, and we headed home. Claire told us she had called Barbara, and she would be over tonight for dinner. I was to stay in this outfit until she could look at it. Since Mom had the day off she hadn’t seen it yet, but I was ashamed for her to see me this way.
Her son, wearing a sexy negligee, looking like a young female ready to seduce her husband. That thought so wrong. We made it home, and Linda dragged me inside. Mom was at the door before I could sneak past. Linda helped me off with the robe and Mom stood in awe at the image in front of her. Of course, I was beet red by now, hanging my head like I had done something wrong and was soon to be punished for it. She approached me raising my chin and staring into my eyes. “Blair Ann you are so beautiful, an angelic vision to behold, hold you head high and be proud of how you look, you are femininity personified.”
At that moment, Barbara rang the doorbell. Linda let her in, and she ran over to me and hugged me hard. She was telling Claire that her description of me over the phone is so inadequate. Barbara inspected my face quite closely asking Linda if she had any problem with the makeup. Linda told her it took a few minutes to figure out that it would take much less makeup to achieve the same results, but it is easy to apply and wore well without having to touch it up.
Barbara couldn’t get over how I looked, the conversation with Claire on what the pictures looked like is enthusiastic and anxious. She loved the innocent, shy, demure look that the negligee and my embarrassment yielded. Claire agreed, when she saw my image in the camera, she knew that these were keepers.
On the drive, over she had informed her V.P’s that they might move up the launch date on the makeup. Now that she has seen me in the makeup and how it looks with some of the other clothes she is sure of it. Claire told her that several of the designers would like to participate in the ads sharing expenses. Her company’s makeup and their clothes in the same ad. Of course, Barbara is ecstatic with that news.
We all headed to Claire’s office as she downloaded the discs to her computer. When she finished, she set it for a slide show, and picture after picture of me in the clothes and makeup appeared on the screen. It was so quiet in the room; you could hear a pin drop, everybody just sitting there staring at the monitor, I figured that they were disappointed in what the pictures looked like, not really what they wanted for the ads. Finally, Barbara spoke up and asked Claire if she could speak to her and me alone. Linda and Mom smiled, telling us they would get dinner finished.
After they had left, Barbara told Claire that she wanted to renegotiate the contract. I swallowed hard, lowered my head, figuring that they wanted out of it after only one photo shoot. Claire smiled then told Barbara that renegotiation of my contract could be expensive. “Wait, what are doing Claire? If Barbara wants out of the contract, let her. She has been so nice to me, how can you be this way?”
Both Claire and Barbara broke out laughing. Giggling like a schoolgirl, Claire came and sat next to me, suggesting that I listen first before I jump to conclusions. “Barbara doesn’t want out of the contract; she wants you committed to her company for all photos, both polish, cosmetics, clothes, and any other items on or pitched by you.”
I looked over at Barbara, this can’t be, surely Claire has got it wrong. Barbara smiled but did not deny the statement. I zoned out for a while as Claire and Barbara talked business. Every once in a while, they would ask me a question, and I would have to respond. I doubt that any of questions or comments was being registered in my brain since I couldn’t recall any of the questions or responses.
I couldn’t put my head around the fact that any company or individual would be foolish enough to think that my picture would help them sell anything. It all stopped when Linda told us that dinner is ready. I am led to the dining room; I think Claire thought I was not altogether, and might need the help to find the place. She is probably right; my mind had ceased working, the image of me in the negligee still etched in my mind.
The fact that I was still in the negligee, part of the reason that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Linda is my savior again as she handed me a more substantial robe to cover me up. I did feel better with it on, but the caress of the negligee is still having lots of effect on me.
The meal is excellent, although I don’t remember exactly what was served. I existed in another world at the moment, and things happening in front of me are not making it to my brain. We all adjourned to Claire’s office, and they resumed negotiations for a while. I think they reached an agreement because the talking stopped. Both of them were staring at me, Claire asking if I was planning to rejoin this world anytime soon. Huh, is my intelligent answer.
Claire suggested to Barbara that everything about the contract is put on hold for a few days as she attempted to get me to return to the present world that we live in. Barbara agreed, but she would have her lawyers send over the new contract, so that when I woke up, my signature could be obtained. Barbara gave me a hug of all hugs and a cheek kiss, informing me that she would see me in a few days at the canyon shoot. She left, and Claire showed her out.
Apparently, Claire shared the news with Linda and Mom when I heard loud shouting coming from the kitchen. I ventured that way, hearing Linda tell Claire that is so neat, Aunty Blair is going to be a super model. I am not connecting the dots yet, fuzziness still prevails, and I haven’t figured what all of this means.
In my mind I am still back at the atrium, wearing that negligee, and ashamed of myself. A male decked out in a provocative feminine costume looking like a wife giving herself to her husband. I see the pictures from Claire’s slide show flip through my memory; a gorgeous woman barely clothed excited to be there. Then my mind finally makes a connection. I am that female, both mentally and physically, I do look pretty, and for once in my life I am happy. Repeat that last statement for all to hear, I am finally happy in my life, in my career, and in my gender.
Claire had left the kitchen after telling the others the good news. I didn’t notice her standing over in the corner of the living room watching me work through my demons. When I embraced my feelings, I felt arms hug me tightly, whispering in my ear that everything is going to be alright now. Blair Ann has now taken control of her life.
Claire and I made it out to the planter and at the end of it is a small patio with a café set in wrought iron nestled under the arms of a giant Ocotillo. The sun is shaded by a corner of the house leaving the patio in heavy shade. The wrought iron chairs have soft cushions and after seated she tried to explain what Barbara wanted in the new contract. Barbara feels that my presence in any ad will ensure dollars for the company running the ads. Hence, since she has a foot in the door, she wants exclusive rights to your image in any ad.
Through our modeling company, we can sell you individually to numerous designers and cosmetic companies, but if Barbara’s company starts running makeup and clothing ads together the chance for phenomenal success is the highest. We have negotiated for a quite substantial base salary, but the guest appearances and promotions are where you will make a killing. Everybody will want to meet you, talk with you, and see what you look like in person; you will receive a flat fee for each appearance, plus unlimited clothing and cosmetics for the foreseeable future.
Both Barbara and I think that you will be at the top of your career for five to seven years. I told Barbara that you will only sign for five years, then after five years you will withdraw from public life. The five years will be very hectic, ten to twelve hours for most days and lots of traveling. I have managed to get Linda as you hair and makeup person, and I will do all the photography. This is a win-win for the whole family. Essentially you will never have to worry about finances again.
It is up to you, but I think we should use some of the money and purchase us a secluded home, away from all that you will be engrossed in for the next five years. That is if you still want to hang around with us after the contract.
Of course, if you find a husband you might prefer his company most nights. I have had my fill of males, and I don’t think I want to revisit that scene again. Linda wants to develop a cosmetic and hair blog; she has lots of ideas how she can make a buck or two doing virtual makeovers and giving advice.
The decision is yours; I know for all of us we just want the best for you. It took a lot of planning to get you to this stage, and we will not let you slip back into that miserable life you persisted in living.
I asked what planning. Claire just smiled, you really thought that your advertising company laid off whole departments because of lack of business. Your human resource manager is a college friend of mine, we have had discussions about you for the last year. She too has noticed your despair, your loneliness, and your lack of friends.
When Barbara wanted a model for her company, you were one of the first considerations. I had told her that we looked alike, everything but genitals, that you would be excellent as her model and spokesperson. Did you know that she visited your office to sneak a peek at you? After she got back from checking you out we set down and planned your future and the possibilities thereof.
Your luggage did not get lost, the contents of your suitcases are in the garage with the extra photography equipment. Linda changed the clothes for ones that we had bought for you, all of this because we love you, and because you were so stubborn in moving out here. Do you remember your last mental health checkup at your old company? Well, the evaluation was sent to us here, shortly after you had the appointment. The psychiatrist that performed the evaluation noticed too many symptoms of early onset depression. When he asked your boss about your behavior, your interaction with other employees, and your performance in your job it was decided that something had to be done to reverse the symptoms. They were so concerned that your evaluation was sent to Mom. Your evaluation the year before wasn.t much better, but this one slid you into the need help category.
Getting you fired was the first step. I had bought your airline ticket thirty days in advance of your flight and the phone calls that night assured you using it.
Since you have been out here, your whole attitude has changed, we have seen you smile for the first time in years. We all think that Blair Ann is the real you, but if after a couple of weeks if you want to return to a masculine role we will support you in that endeavor. I can’t say we will like it, but the support to do what you want is unconditional.
The pictures I have taken of you, and the reaction from everybody involved is genuine, they love what they see and want more of it, The offer from Barbara is also real, her company has floated a few of the pictures that I have taken of you to test the market, with unqualified success. The financial rewards are also genuine, five years of modeling work and you will be set for life. Linda and I will also make enough off the deal to be financially secure.
So it comes down to you, Blair Ann or not. I looked at her for some time to see if there might be any other revelations. She had finished and was waiting for me to respond. I told her she wasn’t as sneaky as she thought. After I had got home after being fired, I checked the internet to see if what you had told me you saw was actually there. I couldn’t find any stories of mass layoffs.
The luggage was a little less obvious, but in two of the suitcases filled with feminine finery, the side pockets still had my personal papers in them that I wanted to save. I also was aware that the suitcase keys had been changed by the manufacturer and only keys from ten years ago would work on these particular cases. That means only my keys and the ones that you had because we had bought the suitcases together many years ago, are the only ones that would open the cases.
As to Barbara, I remember her coming to the office and after she had left I inquired as to her identity. Since her identity matched the name on the employment application you had sent me as an attachment to an email; I managed to put two and two together.
When I inquired at the ticket counter as to the extra weight provision being paid on the ticket, I saw the date of the purchase. The night before my departure I set in my living room with my manicuring supplies getting ready to do my nails as I have done before coming to see Mom. Then I decided that it would play into the plan more if I went out with nails that needed working on and hair that was short of what I am expected to have.
I do love the life of Blair Ann that is my choice and has been for several years. It did take your intervention into things before I decided that enough time had been wasted as Blair. I want to sign with Barbara’s company, I like her and trust her. I am all for this change, but you still have to give me a few days to get my mind on board this decision. Hopefully, it will be less stressful at the canyon for the next few days. I just need a little time to adjust to my new life, I only want the life of a female, of Blair Ann, but my mind is still fighting a losing battle trying to keep it from happening.
As far as meeting a male and spending my life with him, I don’t think so. I love the life of a female, but it would take some exceptional male specimen to be able to make me happy. As for living without you guys, you can give that up now, it just not going to happen. As for a secluded getaway, I am all for it, the top of the Mogollon Rim is my choice, but I could be swayed if the location is comparable.
Now where do I need to sign and what should I pack for tomorrow? We went back to Claire’s office, and I signed on the dotted lines. Claire had called Barbara, telling her that I was holding out for more concessions before I would sign. She has a strong voice, and I could hear her stuttering, then finally she asked what I wanted. Claire smiled at me and handed the phone to me. I asked her how she was, told her we were getting ready to go the canyon tomorrow for the photo shoot, anything except what she wanted to hear.
When I thought that I had her as frustrated as possible without causing irreparable harm, I told her the only thing I wanted more in the contract was her lifelong friendship. I could tell from her audible sigh; that was not what she expected to hear. She almost yelled into the phone that I had that now, but she would put that request in the contract and would personally guarantee that request.
That night the lights remained on far later than normal as everything that we might need for the photo shoot was gathered and put in the R.V.’s. Shortly after eleven, the lists had been filled, and we decided to shower and head to bed. I slept alone that night, but the feelings being replayed in my mind kept me content.
Up at seven to get dressed and by eight-thirty, we were on the road. Up I 17 through Black Canyon City, then through Camp Verde and then into the lower Oak Creek Canyon. We drove through the Canyon to Sedona, where we would stay during our photo shoot. We left one R.V. there and headed back to the canyon. Before we left the business area we stopped and got burgers for everyone; Malts were the chosen beverage, I have never been a fan of malts, but after one taste I am hooked. It is so good, a treat that your mouth can taste hours after consuming.
We drove up a side canyon, through a gate that is kept locked and then down a trail for several miles. When we rounded a corner of the rough canyon wall, a gorgeous waterfall and surrounding native flora welcomed us. It is about three P.M. and the light is just sliding behind the taller canyon wall. Everybody got out, and the crew set up some of the lighting. I am mesmerized by their actions, but my concentration is broken by Linda, telling me that I had to get ready.
Led back to the R.V. she stripped me and handed me a dress that I am to wear. It fit way too tight, but Linda thought it is perfect. A curly ponytail, half an hour applying the makeup and I am pushed through the door. Claire is set up to shoot me on a large stone outcropping with the waterfall in the background. I am given a towel to set on, my full skirt is spread out around me, and the strobe lights start flashing.
Three hours later with the sun waning, Claire says she is done for the day. According to Linda, I have modeled thirteen outfits in that time. Claire had shot six disks full of photos, most of them with the waterfall as the backdrop. As Linda is helping remove the makeup and change back into my clothes, I see that I will earn any money that I get from this modeling. I am beat, no flat ass tired as I move up to one of the captain’s chairs for the ride back to Sedona. The last of the equipment is loaded, and we head back up the trail.
As we are heading back to town, I ask Claire how she found this spot. One of her best friends is a photographer for Arizona Highways Magazine and shares some of his favorite spots with her. She has used this spot before, with great success, for one of her designers. The mist from the waterfall is picking up the rays of the sun makkng for some spectacular backdrops.
Back in Sedona, the crew decides to do the burger joint again, but Claire knows of a little out of the way restaurant that specializes in organic food. She had eaten there before and didn’t want to miss an opportunity to dine there again. Linda, Clare and I head over there, the décor in the place very earthy. There is fresh organic produce for sale in the outer lobby, and then when you get to the back, there are ten booths scattered around the outer walls. There are posters of vegetables scattered on the walls, along with a smattering of hand tools.
The smells from the kitchen, however, are surreal. I have never smelled anything that rivals this. One look at the menu, and you know this place is authentic. There are fifty dishes that are strictly vegetable based, a couple of them have fruits added to the vegetables. Only two dishes with meat, organic beef from a ranch near Prescott. The prices are quite reasonable, but again the smell is what sells the meals. When the waitress asked what we will be having, I take a deep breath and tell her whatever that smell is coming from I take a dish of that.
Surprisingly that is what she put down on her pad. It is a vegetable casserole consisting of ten different vegetables cooked in a light beef broth, with a sprinkling of cheese on the top, organic of course. Within five minutes she is back, setting the dish in front of me. I take one bite, and a thousand watt smile appears on my face. Claire reaches over to take a bite, but I slap her hand and tell her to get her own. Linda is giggling, letting her vegetable soup cool some so she can eat it. Her bowl of soup is bigger than most plates, with homemade bread croutons sprinkled on top.
We savor the meal for as long as we can, but Claire wants to get all the pictures uploaded so that that her laptop had room for tomorrow’s shoot. As we head back to the motel, I am asked if I enjoyed the day. I smiled, that alone tells her my thoughts. I do remark about how tiring the constant posing and clothes changes are. She advised me to get used to it; this is my life for the next five years. We arrive, and she starts work on her computer. Linda drags me over to the bed and has me sit beside it as she brushes my hair, the sounds coming from my throat making her giggle.
After brushing she puts my hair in a bun for sleeping, then turns me around to remove my makeup. We both are sitting on the floor, our feet underneath us as she uses the wipes to remove my makeup. She makes me apply my own moisturizer, then starts removing my clothes. I am pulled to my feet so that she can get my skirt, stockings, and panties off. I am embarrassed, standing there nude, but Linda reminds me that I will be changing in front of clothes designers, and others for quite a while.
She hands me a baby doll nightie, then helps me to bed. I tell her that I am just going to lay there for a while, but less than fifteen minutes later I have lost consciousness. Lots of dreams during the night, but nothing remarkable. The next morning as Linda is dragging me near the edge of the bed and Claire has both hands on my back to push, I am reminded that I was just going to lay there a while. Then I was unceremoniously dumped on the floor.
I squealed, although the sound scared me more than it did any good. The voice I used is very feminine and definitely girly, but the resulting giggling fit that spread between us is hilarious. I told them I would wake up on time from now on, rubbing my butt as I made that remark. Claire had her doubts, but in case I didn’t she promised me the same treatment until I do learn to wake up on time.
Dressed in some basic clothes, and then breakfast at Mickey D’s and we were back on site an hour later. Linda started on me as soon as the R.V. stopped, this time, I am stripped done to my birthday suit. She sprayed a temporary tan on me, making sure she got every nook of my body. I felt funny standing there naked with hands and arms held straight out from my body while the tanning spray dried. Then when I had dried, she used a powder all over my body, rubbing it in till it disappeared.
The minute pink bikini that she pulled from the pile of swimsuits next to her didn’t look like it would cover much. After it had been tied on, I realized it didn’t cover much of my body. Set down at the vanity she worked on my makeup, everything in muted colors, but the change it made in my face is awesome. My hair is brushed but left down; then I made my leave of the R.V.
Again it is quiet, not a sound as I walked to where Claire had pointed. I can hear the camera clicking and the strobe lights flashing. The natural light is sufficient, the strobes just eliminating shadows on my body and face. Since they were toned down the flashes weren’t bothering me as much. I posed in every way imaginable for over two hours in that same bikini. Claire used three discs on me, even had one of her assistants get her some more discs.
I couldn’t figure out how a male dressed as a female and wearing almost nothing could be so desired. I was finally able to change to a teal number; it managed to cover a little more than the pink one. Another hour and a half, with the last thirty minutes with me in the pool at the base of the waterfall. Believe me; the water was cold, I am shivering as I made my way out of the water.
As I finally emerged from the water, I noticed my nipples, firm and hard pointing out more than I thought possible. The blush spread pretty much all over my body, Claire and her damn camera clicking away. I didn’t think you could take that many pictures that fast, but apparently I am wrong. It only ceased when she ran out of disk space.
I was dried off, and then four more changes of bikinis were done that day, along with several wraps and a couple of skirts used for beach wear, slipping over the bikini to make a female more modest. All of the items coordinated, so different combinations were made as she worked through disc after disc. As she is downloading the pictures, that night, she received numerous emails about the pictures. In fact one of the ones with me emerging from the pool, nipples hard and excited to be in this week’s fashion magazine going to press tomorrow.
Linda warned me that in the next few weeks I would find myself recognized everywhere I go. The hot new model with the in look for fashion and makeup. I doubted that, but I guess she could be right. I never accepted that I was anything other than a one-shot wonder, maybe top of the game today, but I was sure that some actual female would soon replace me. I realized that night how tiring the work is, I got dressed in my nightie and am sound asleep within minutes. Linda told me the next morning I was out to the world ten minutes after I laid down.
The next day’s photos were back to dresses, so we moved a little further away from the waterfall, using as a backdrop part of the canyon wall. There were some Indian figures etched into the wall, adding a uniqueness to the photos. Some were taken close up, with me using a compact to add a coat of lipstick to my lips, others from a farther distance away making the background seem almost mystical. According to Linda fifty-one changes of attire were accomplished that day, I will take her word on that. It is getting easier to do the modeling; I know what Claire expects and try to keep moving as she proceeds to take a zillion pictures of me.
When I can stay awake long enough, I am amazed at the pictures she downloads every night. Although the pictures were taken within seconds of each other, the difference is night and day. The angle of the picture, the light as the sun goes behind a cloud, the light reflecting off a piece of jewelry making each picture unique.
Another day of shooting, the subject matter is blouses and skirts. Also added in are the first makeup photos. Linda had been using the new makeup all week, trying out colors and combinations. Today she used set palettes for the shoots. I liked the new line; it felt lighter on my skin, not as heavy feeling as the others she has been using before this week. Claire would take longer shots of me in different blouse and skirt combinations and then zoom in to feature the face and makeup. Then she would have me hold a brush or compact so that my nails showed, catching those vibrant colors accented against the backdrop of my face.
Barbara’s first reactions to the photos were surprising; she paid Claire to spend a couple more days doing every color combination imaginable to make sure they had plenty to choose from. Unknown to me they had already run a couple of the first pictures of me in some of the dresses, and the email comments about the new ads were in the thousands. I discovered it later in the week when we went to Sedona to eat dinner, a group of young females are eating at a table across the dining room and staring in our direction.
Linda noticed first and pointed them out to Claire. I looked to see what they were looking at but resumed eating my salad. When we were almost finished, one of the girls came up to me and asked if I was Blair Ann. I nodded, and she asked me for my autograph, followed quickly by all the rest of the girls. Claire and Linda came back to save me, after paying the check, leading me out to the RV.
Linda smiled, you are now famous, handing a pen and paper asking me for my autograph. I shrunk in the seat as low as I could get, me a former male getting asked for autographs as the new female super model. Linda persisted, and I finally signed her paper, giving her an autograph. I did add to my favorite Brat, then signed Blair Ann.
The next day Barbara and several of her company’s bigwigs showed up and watched as Claire moved through more outfits and makeup combinations. I sat and watched as Linda made me up in these combinations, amazed at how I looked with different color combinations on my face. Later when Barbara left, I noticed her hand something to Claire. I stay out of the business end of things; I consider myself just another pretty face. Claire has all the smarts, and talent, I have the looks, not.
They all keep telling me that my looks is the big deal, I just let it slide by. I am still a male down deep inside, and this modeling as a female is just so wrong. That night Claire shows me what Barbara had handed her. It is a bonus check for one hundred thousand dollars. My mouth is open; that is impossible, why would she waste her money like that. She already has me under contract; she is not obligated to pay anything extra.
Claire set me down and explained that the launch of the new makeup line went better than any anticipated it would. There were ten ads out featuring me with the makeup on. Three that promoted the makeup only. Their first week’s sales on the makeup was a little over twenty million dollars, emails on their website asking about me and questions about what makeup I was wearing in certain ads were in the thousands. They are so tickled at the success of the ads that they wanted me to be rewarded for all my hard work.
She had also told Claire that fifteen new designers had signed on with the program, featuring everything from scarves to heels. She had told Claire that she wanted her exclusively for photos and Linda for makeup offering them a contract too. Claire whispered to me that this is all real, you are famous, and your beauty is what got you here. Start believing in yourself, and act like the young female that has the keys to the kingdom.
Now that does not mean you get to be bitchy, wanting this and that. You are the real deal, the combination of your features produces a woman that is seen as no threatening, someone to idolize, and someone to look up to. Many a young female see you as what they want to be like, to dress in your clothes and to wear the makeup you do. You need to realize what beauty you have been given and proceed in life knowing how many people you will ultimately influence.
Even though we have brought the RV’s, we had decided early on to stay in a motel during the shoot. The first few nights I am too tired to do anything other than collapse on the bed at night. One night I didn’t even make dinner. Later in the shoot, my body acclimatized itself some to where I could actually stay awake until ten at night. I have never been a TV fan so we usually got a local paper and I thumbed through it at night. The only things I looked at were the ads, the beauty section, and the classifieds. Since Claire had brought it up, I looked every day for some hideaway, somewhere off the grid, where there is no phone, limited utilities, and gorgeous scenery.
Her hidden spots of nature’s finest had really made an impression on me. As the crew packed up in the evening, I would wander off looking at the beauty of it all. Find a rock or log and situate myself and stare at the beautiful scene before me. During the day I was in the middle of it but had not the time to enjoy its pristine, untouched beauty.
One evening I found a listing for a large cabin, the description said it was forty miles from anything. It did have a phone, electric, but too far away for TV unless it is satellite. I figured I could always cut the phone lines. In the last few weeks I associated any phone call with more work for me, most often that is the fact. The price was steep, but they did say the price was negotiable.
The next morning as the crew is setting up I showed the ad to Claire. She seemed interested and asked Linda to call and get the info, also where it is located. After Linda makes me up for a shoot, she has some time before she has to do it again. She made the call after the first makeup and shoot, telling us about it as she is doing the makeup for the second shoot. I know it sounds that a first shoot should only take a few minutes. By the time Claire has snapped two hundred pictures of the first outfit and makeup twenty to thirty minutes have expired.
The cabin is not far from where we are, just farther away from the canyon. It apparently sits on a narrow canyon wall overlooking the slender canyon. Claire asks her to call back; we will go and look at it tonight after the shoot. The roads to the cabin are all good; just the last mile is dirt and fairly narrow. The present owner lives not too far away, will open the gate and leave the cabin unlocked. After we have looked at it more closely, we can call him to discuss any interest.
That kept my spirits high the rest of the day, Claire giggling along knowing full well what I was looking forward to. We managed to stop about three, I stayed in my last outfit, too excited to change, just wanting to see the cabin. After everything is packed, we drove over to the property. It took about forty minutes to get there; the little dirt road looked intimidating, but in actuality it is fine just narrow.
My heart skipped several beats when we pulled into the clearing around the cabin. You end up driving up to the back side of the cabin, about twenty to thirty feet of clearing before the forest of pine and juniper surround the property. The back door with its overhead porch is cute, reminds me of a ski lodge entrance. The ridges on the doors painted a white to contrast with the dark stain finish of the door. We walked in, and I fell in love. Claire saw the look and sighed, I figured she might be trying to find something wrong with the cabin so it could be discounted right away. Instead, she walked through the rooms, her smile getting larger as she made her way through the cabin.
The inside of the cabin all knotty pine, a large spacious living room with a fireplace extending all the way to the second story roof. A kitchen with all the modern conveniences at the back of the cabin seemed to say I am here visit me often. The hall from the back door that led to the living room the only other space in the rear of the cabin. Next to the tall stone fireplace is the means to get to the partial second floor, a gorgeous wrought iron spiral staircase.
The top floor taking about two-thirds of the floor space led to only one bedroom. In the center of this bedroom were four canopy beds spaced equally so as not to be crowded. All along both side walls of the cabin are closets and built-in dressers accented in the same knotty pine wood. Up here in the bedroom a light white provincial satin was used instead of shellac to make it more inviting. At the end of each canopy bed is a vanity built as part of it. The cute padded stools lavished with lace and a single mirror that leans up from the top of the vanity for applying makeup and arranging your hair.
By this time Claire is already on her cell phone calling the owner. Now since there is cell phone service out here, I will have to figure a way to lock up the phones once we get here. She gets direction to his house, and we leave and head in that direction. When we arrive, he meets us at the door along with his four daughters. He apologizes for us having to come to him, but if he had to come to us, it would take forever for his daughters to put their face on. I notice the girls looking my way. Briefly, I think my lipstick might be smeared or drool running from the corners of my mouth after seeing the cabin.
Claire is talking to the man, Edward Hilton, no relation to the hotel chain. Meanwhile, the daughters, mostly in their late teens are whispering like mad. He asks what their problem is and the youngest blurts out that the girl across from them is Blair Ann. All scream in the typical teenage way, Linda and Claire giggling away. They run over to me bombarding me with questions and looking for something for me to sign so that they have my autograph. Edward is shaking his head at their antics, asking Claire, who I am. She explains how the girls know me and what business we are in.
Claire and Edward head off to discuss the property, and his daughters try to pry all of my secrets out of me. What makeup I use, which clothes are my favorite, who does my hair, and if I have any boyfriends. They are quiet after asking that, interested in my response. I smile and tell them at the moment I have no admirers, still too busy doing photo shoots to have time to date. In the back of my mind, who do I prefer, males or females?
Claire comes out of his office to get me, and we go back in. I sit in front of his desk being sure to sit properly and demure. Claire tells me of what they have talked about so far; he knows I like the property, but Claire thinks the price is still too high. I decide to try and use some of my feminine wiles on him; I need the practice anyway. I get up and go around the back of his desk, rubbing his shoulders and leaning closer to him so that I can whisper in his ear.
I mention that he has four lovely daughters, and if one of them wanted something real bad, would he keep them from getting it just because he wouldn’t give a little. He mutters no, my message is winning out, I tell him I really love the property, a place where I can escape and relax from society and people. Surely he can help me out a little and make it possible for me to get that little slice of heaven for myself.
He has his eye closed; Claire is smiling, and I try and cinch the deal. What if I pay you a hundred thousand for the property, get your daughters in some photo shoots and invite you to dinner when we are here once a week. Would that sway you enough to let me have the property, pretty please? I reach down and kiss him on the cheek, leaving a clear lipstick imprint. Well, I guess I can let you have it for that price, but I want you and your family to consider yourselves a part of our family and visit often. I jump up and down, thank you, Daddy, then act like I made a mistake. I hope it is alright to call you Daddy, I mean you are such a nice man and have done so much for me.
He is red in the face, but hugs me and tells me that is alright. We agree on when to pay him and complete the deal; then Claire tells him I have to get back to work. I hug the girls, Claire promising them autographed pictures in the next few days. We leave to head back, Claire nearly splitting a gut at my Daddy routine. Linda is entranced as Claire tells her what I did and how it was accomplished. We got back to the motel, then changed clothes for dinner.
As were talking at dinner, she told me that Edward thought of me as another daughter, to him I was so young and innocent, surely not a paid model in the fashion world. Then when I started the daughter routine, he just believed it was true. We got the cabin for thirty thousand less than he is asking for it, she is sure that he still made out like a bandit, since he has owned the property for years. But the important thing is that I obtained a father, maybe somebody to give me away when I married. That comment got Claire a hard look from me.
Back to business, lots more pictures to be taken and makeup to be tried out. It turns out that Barbara had signed three more fashion houses to contract, the clothes to be sent to us by UPS in the upcoming days. The four or five day shoot now going to be at least ten days. Claire told us that her fees and Linda’s wages would alone cover the extra expenses. She expected my salary and hourly wages for the shoot would pay completely for our real estate purchase including taxes.
The next four days I am in front of the camera for twelve to fourteen hours a day. Claire managed to shoot thousands of pictures over the days in several different locales. We found a nice secluded spot behind our new purchase that we are surprised comes with the cabin. It featured a small mirror like lake with a backdrop of junipers and conifers that has seen the effects of years of nature on their trunks and foliage. One tree, in particular, had a great spot to sit on, the dress or outfit fanning over the twisted trunk to accent the difference between nature and fashion. Many a shot had that image in it with different angles and lights. Edward’s daughters got to see themselves in outfits and their picture taken. Claire is telling them she would get them enlarged for their bedroom or house. Edward saw a glimpse of them and wanted extra copies for the living room.
We finally finished the photo shoot at seven PM on a Friday. Claire sent the rest of the crew home, but the three of us stayed the weekend. I didn’t do much but sleep, late in the morning, a nap in the afternoon, and early to bed for me was the orders of the day. By late Sunday, when we headed home I was feeling much better. The drive home is boring, but my mind was kept busy going over all the happenings of the last weeks.
The beautiful scenery, one of the things I treasured most of the trip. To me nature is spectacular and the chance to be among such beautiful scenery a dream come true. The experience made better by me getting to wear all the delicious clothes. Linda reminded me that I had the pick of all the clothes I wore in the weeks past as part of my compensation. I doubted I could choose among them I liked them all.
Mom greeted us as we removed ourselves from the RV, glad to be back home for a while. We dragged ourselves to the kitchen and grabbed some sodas to drink. We briefed each other on the happenings of the last ten days. Mom is especially happy to be approached by a lot of her younger customers asking for makeup and hair like the new model Blair Ann. Linda smiled, what she had been telling me, all along, coming to pass.
I tried to think back to when I had been let go in Atlanta, never envisioning that any of what has happened to me was even possible. I hugged myself, feeling the good feelings course through my body. I am a model, almost famous, and have the love of the three most important people in the world to me, life can’t get much better than this, or can it. Time will tell.
Story Complete For Now
© 2016 thru 2021 Fran Cesca Walker