The Almost Girl

Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl. She was kind, considerate, and soft hearted. She liked things that were pretty, cute, or dainty. The sad thing was, that on the outside, she looked just like a boy. She looked so much like a boy that everyone who saw her, even her own mummy and daddy thought that she was a boy. They dressed her in boys clothes, cut her hair like a boy, and tried to make her play boys games.
She hated the boys clothes. They were all made of hard cottons or itchy wools. They had no pretty colours, they were all brown or grey. They had no paterns, no frills, no bows, no dainty straps, and no soft layers. They were all dull and boring.
She hated her boys haircut. She wanted long flowing hair, but her hair was cut short. She wanted hair that could go in bunches or french plats. She wanted hair that you could put bows and ribons in, or just let it blow in the wind.
She hated the games that boys played. They played too rough. They pushed and shoved and threw things at each other. She wanted to play dressing up games and dollies with the girls, but the girls wouldn't play with her because she looked so much like a boy. Go play with the other boys, you smelly boy. They would say.
This all made her quite sad. One day she said to her mummy, with a tear in her eye. Mummy I don't like being a boy, I feel like a girl and want to do girly things. Her mummy told her not to be so stupid. You are a boy, and should behave like one. Stop crying like a silly little girl, and behave more like the boy that you are supposed to be.
She went and played with the boys, like her mummy said, though she hated the boys games. The boys were playing catching games, she was terrible at throwing and catching. It wasn't long before the boys were calling her names and taunting her. You throw like a girl, they would say. They pushed her and shoved her and punched her and it hurt. It hurt her skin, and it hurt her feelings.
She went to her daddy and said that she didn't like playing with the boys. They had beat her and called her names. They had made her feel sad inside. Her daddy turned to her and explained. If little boys want to grow up to be real men, then they shouldn't be so soft. If those other boys hurt you, you should hurt them back. If they play rough, you should play rougher. Nobody likes a wimpy boy, so man up, and stop being so soft.
The beautifull little girl tried to be the boy that her mummy and daddy thought she was, the boy they expected her to be. She played the boys games, though they hurt so much. She wore the rough trousers. She rolled in the mud. She had fights with the other boys, and pulled the other girls hair. Given time she almost convinced herself.
Then one magical day, she got an invite to a fancy dress party. She pleaded with her mummy, please mummy please can I go to the party dressed as a princess. Please mummy please can I wear a pretty pink dress with bows and frills and soft layered skirts. Her mummy laughed, don't be silly she said, little boys don't wear dresses. I'll get you a soldier costume, black trousers, white shirt, red jacket and a tall hat, you will look very smart. With a tear in her eye the beautiful little girl said but I don't want to go to the party as a soldier, I want to go as a princess. Stop being so stupid she said in an anoyed tone, you will go to the party as a soldier.
The day of the party came, and sure enough, she was dressed up in a soldier costume. The beautiful little girl was sad to be a soldier, but wanted to go to the party so didn't argue with her mummy. At the party there was music and dancing, fizzy drinks and cake, and all of the boys and girls she knew from nursery.
One of the other girls at the party was dressed as a princess. The beautiful little girl looked at her pretty dress longingly. Oh how she wished she could wear that dress. It was pink, with white lace, red bows and puffy skirts. Then she noticed that the girl wearing it looked sad too, and was looking strait back. I like your dress, said the beautiful little girl. I like your soldier costume said the girl in the pretty dress. They both looked over each others costumes with sad eyes, then they both let out a deep sigh. They looked each other in the eyes. A cheaky grin came on both their faces. They both came up with the same idea, at the same time, and said together, do you want to swap.
They ran off to the toilets hand in hand, as fast as their legs could cary them. They helped each other out of their costumes, and helped each other into each others costumes. The beautiful little girl put the white tights on first, then the red shoes. The other girl had to do up the zip on the back of the dress. They stood there in front of each other and squeeled with joy. they jumpped up and down, spun round in circles, then hugged each other.
My name is Terri, said the beautiful little girl, and did a little curtsy like a proper lady. My name is Tony, said the girl in the soldier costume, bowing like a true gentleman, how do you do maaam? . Terri blushed a little and replied, I am quite happy sir. How are you?
Terri and Tony went back to the party. Tony held the door open for Terri, ladies first. Thank you kind sir, giggled Terri. Not a single person noticed that they had swapped costumes. They danced together for a long time. They were both very happy.
Some time later, a voice called across the room. Terry, it's time to go. Terri froze to the spot, she looked in Tonys eyes. It was a strange look, a look of dissapointment, then sorrow, then fear. Then the voice said angrily, Terry, what are you wearing. Suddenly, everyone was pointing and laughing, and she was torn away from the crowd by her mother faster than her legs could carry her.
More time passed. Terri, once again, faded to a distant memory. Terry took over. Terry was a quiet boy. He didn't have many friends. He didn't run around with the other boys, he didn't talk to the girls, he just read books. His teachers liked him very much. Terry is the perfect student, they would say. Though he does daydream sometimes, and he should try to play with the other children.
Eventually Terry went to a bigger school. This school had a uniform. Terry wore trousers, shirt and tie, and a smart jacket. On his first day a familliar face came running out of the crowd. Hello Terri, remember me? It was Tony. Tony was wearing the girls uniform, but not like the other girls. The other girls were all smart and clean. Tony had muddy hands and knees, with cuts and grazes. Her short hair was a mess, and her blouse wasn't properly buttoned tucked in.
Suddenly the memory of Terri came back. A little tear rolled down the cheak of that beautiful little girl, as she remembered that party, and that dress. It all came back in an instant, the feel of the tights, those colourfull shoes, the feel of the dress being zipped up, the feel of those soft flowing fabrics. Let's go and swap uniforms and see if anyone notices, said Tony. Terri didn't hesitate, once again they ran off to the toilets and emerged as Terri and Tony.
That first day of school was all about meeting the teachers and finding your way around the school. Terri and Tony went round together, hand in hand most of the time. They properly pretended to be each other, and fooled everyone. They were both suprised how easy it was. They signed up for classes together, pretending to be each other. They both had a wonderfull day.
At lunch break they sat together. They talked about that party, that had seemed so long ago, as if it were yesterday. They talked about their likes and hates. Through all that talking they both came to the same conclusion. It was the only thing that made sense. They had both been born with the wrong boddies. They made a pact right there. Every morning, on their walk to and from school, they would meet up somewhere and swap uniforms. Terri could finally be the girl she always wanted to be, and Tony could play rough with the boys without them thinking she was a girl.
The plan was simple, and worked well for quite some time. They both lived close to each other, and close to the school. Tony's dad would drop him at Terri's house on his way to work in the morning. They would both walk to school from there. They went through the park and swapped clothes in the woods. They went to school as each other every day. The techers had met them as their swapped identities from day one. No body suspected a thing. They swapped clothes in the park on their way home. Walked to Tony's house, and Terri's mum Picked her up from there on her way home from work. This made them both extremely happy.
Unfortunatly, there comes a time in every childs life when their body starts to change to an adult shape. The teachers noticed something wasn't quite right, and called their parents into school for a meeting. Tony's parents seemed proud of her. Tony's dad said she has always been a bit boyish. Tony's mum asked if how her grades were. The teachers said that both of them were top of most of their classes, but that didn't excuse their behavior. The beautiful little girls parents said nothing, except for giving their assurance that it won't be a problem again.
Terri was sent to an all boys boarding school. Terri couldn't understand why it seemed ok for Tony but not for her. It was so unfair. The beautiful little girl knew that from that day forth, if she wanted to be a beautiful girl, she would have to do it in complete secrecy. Maybe she could be happy one day, when she was a bit more grown up, with her own place.

Heellover Heellover
36-40, M
18 Responses Dec 6, 2012

It's sad that the little girl didn't get to be pretty forever.

Sadder than most people could imagine.
:-(

Yes.

It's been ages since I read this

Where are you now with the little girl?

Such a bitter sweet tale.
All grown up and quite normal. Had a little girl of my own 4 years ago. She is gorgeous. She loves dressing up pretty, as all little girls do, and it chokes me every time.

How sad for the beautiful little girl and the tomboy. Gender roles can sure wreak havoc when they get mixed up. Maybe today some people would be more understanding because of your story.

If someone was more understanding because of my story, it would make me extremely happy.

I love that. Does it reflect your experience?

Thank you. X but sadly no, it does not particularly reflect my experience.

WOW! I don't understand how anyone could read this story and still have a prejudice about gender roles. My heart hurts for the "beautiful little girl" in all of "us".
Leave an anonymous copy on your kitchen table and see what happens ?? So powerful are the proper words.

XOXO, Jessica

Thanks. X

A very beautiful story. Thank you.

Thank you. X

My friend this is so touching, such a compassionate soul.When I think of you, see beauty all around. Anyone that knows you,reads.... can see xo ..agree with your lovely daughter Tis a Beautiful Story worth being published!

Thank you for your kind words. X

Please, please keep this as your featured story. It deserves more readership! It's so sweet.

Thank you again Kimmi.
While there are other things sometimes that I feel I want as my featured story, I do keep coming back to this one. Each time I re-feature it, I re-read it. Each time I realise I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.
It might go away again sometime, but it'll be back. X

nice story !

It is such a shame that you chose such a bland response.
http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Hate-That-Word/961152
Please could you re-consider, and reply with a thought. X

What a tender, lovely story! I`ll come back and read it often.

Thanks for sharing it!

Thank you. I enjoyed writing it. X

Sarah, don't ever change this as your Featured Story. It is captivating and brings me back time and time again. It captures your kindness and soul!

Oh Kimmi, will you quit with the kindness. You keep making me cry.
Thank you. Xxxxxxxxxx

Hi:
Just love your story. Many a boy's dreams. I love your line, "If little boys want to grow up to be real men, then they shouldn't be so soft." I was told similar things like that so many times. I even had the chance to "swap" with a neighbor girl when I was about 7. I told her I liked her dress and she offered to swap clothes but I chickened out. Mostly out of fear of being caught and punished again.

Thank you for lovely story.
Francene

Oh i have so many memories of times when I missed out for one reason or another. All those times when i was told i was like a girl as an attempt at an insult. Each one cuts me deep.

I love seeing new comments that bring me back to read my favorite story yet again.

You are too kind. X

Great story... all to real for so many.

Thank you for the lovely comments. X

A beautiful if bittersweet story, you have tapped into the conflict of my soul, Thank you.

That us a beautiful story, thank you

What a wonderful story! It captures the feelings and yearnings that so many of us had growing up and wanting to experience life as young girls even if we might ultimately return to boy world.