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Change for the Better by: Virginia Kane
Drunk again! Dads drinking is a big problem! I hate the way he is when hes so loaded. Hes vulgar, spiteful, bitter and even cruel towards everyone. No one is to blame for moms death. Her heart couldnt carry the load of her excessive weight she gradually put on after I was born.
She claimed it was genetic. All the women ancestors were overweight. They also all died young, but she ignored that one glaring detail when her doctors tried to warn her. Oh, she tried. I remember all the fad diets she put us on. I was on a weight-watcher seesaw. We ate like horses, bingeing on snack foods for months at a time. Then, wed go on starvation rations.
Our snacks were limited to celery sticks or rice cakes. Evening meals resembled concentration camp portions instead of opulent feasts. The only reason dad kept so slim was that he was usually on the road, selling. There was never a happy medium at our house. If I went to a friends house, Id garbage up if snacks were served, so I wouldnt get headaches from not getting enough to eat at home.
She went so far as to file a healthy diet plan to the school meal program for me, so I couldnt pig-out at lunch. The school didnt balk at her orders, since I looked like I needed to lose the weight. Yeah, I was fat, but the extreme swings in my diet prompted me to garbage up just as soon as one program failed, since I knew wed be going on some other radical diet, as soon as mom found out about it.
I was fat. Some people are. So what? I dont like sports. Getting sweated up isnt my idea of having fun. I prefer to read and watch the tube. Who needs a svelte body if youre a couch potato? I wasnt a blimp, just hefty. Thats what I tell myself when I look into a mirror. I always see a normal kid, not a lard-ass.
At school, Id hover over other kids food trays so rigorously, friends started to duck out on me. I couldnt help it. I was always hungry. So, I was fat! Big deal! Can I help it if my genes cause me to covet food more than others? The guys all know I hate sports, so they dont bother to ask me to join them when they go off to work out. Who needs em?
When moms death was attributed to a cardiac deficiency promulgated by her advanced obesity, I knew it was only a matter of time before some doctor would write the same cause of death on a certificate with my name on it.
When mom passed on I was fifteen, dad had to change his job assignment to look after me. He couldnt go out on the road and be gone for days at a time. We had no close relatives near us to keep an eye on me. It was only temporary, until I could get a part-time job after school to stay out of trouble. Dad hated it.
His employer put him in shipping at less pay. He was filling out orders to his own customers, customers he established. Someone else was getting paid all the commissions instead of him! Another reason dad started to drink. When I turned sixteen, I looked fruitlessly for a part-time job, so dad could go back to selling. No employer wanted a fat kid on the payroll. That didnt matter much. By that time, dads heavy drinking problem progressed to the point of him getting laid off.
Yet, dad got pie-eyed almost every day, using his job loss as an excuse to sop up the hooch in the daytime as well as at night. He went through most of the little savings he had after paying off the expense of moms passing and was bitter as hell when he got the foreclosure letter from the bank. He missed three mortgage payments and had no means of proving mortgage worthiness.
The bank was sympathetic, but insisted the mortgage has to be paid off. I was at the meeting when the polite lady woefully spelled it all out to dad. I suppose the banks hire special people to hand out bad news to customers. She knew it was a disaster, and tried her level best to soften the blow, but we were about to become homeless. It was one of the few occasions that dad was cold sober lately. He was close to tears, pleading for an extension of time, until he could land a job.
"Mr. Henderson, Please dont think it rude of me, but it appears to me that youve been subjected to a series of unfortunate events since your wife passed away. If I were you, I would consider seeking a lawyer to pursue wrongful dismissal from your previous position. I dont see how the bank could consider extending your mortgage,,, unless,,, well,,, if you do have a legitimate claim against your former employer, a pending settlement may be sufficient grounds to .."
"Theres nothing wrong with me lady! All I need is a job! No lawyers going to get his hands on my house by attaching a claim to it for huge fees. They got lawyers, too. When I got my walking papers they told me not to bother filing any petitions to sue them, or theyd blackball me and their lawyers could drag the case out in court for years. I wont get a dime. All I need is some time to reorganize. Is that asking too much? I paid that mortgage regularly for nearly twenty years. Now that Ive had a run of bad luck, you want to pull the rug out from under me.
You can give me a break, cant you Mrs. Morgan? Whats a few measly months? Theres plenty of equity. Add the interest to the balance until I get back on my feet again. Donny is going to get a job after school. With his help and the check from unemployment, we can break even until Im back to work. A working stiff like me is supposed to be able to get help from a bank when he needs it."
"Mr. Henderson, may I call you Jim?"
"Sure. Anything youd like. Whats the difference? All you want to do is join the crowd. Add another spike into my coffin. Take our house away, and the county will take Donny away from me. Is that what you want? The kid needs me and all you want to do is yank the carpet out from under our feet! Youre all alike!"
"Look, Mr. Henderson! Up until now, Ive been trying to be polite. You seem to want to play hardball, so Ill make this as plain and clear as I can. Youve had two auto accidents, lost your license and insurance for driving under the influence. At present, four creditors seeking information as to your financial responsibility have approached the bank. You havent paid anything on your credit cards for nearly six months and you listed your house as collateral on the credit card applications.
The bank is at risk. Youve consumed more equity in your home than you have. Surely, without a car or job, you didnt spend two thousand dollars last month on groceries? What will the county say when they inquire into your social habits? Is your son going to lie for you, when they ask him about what kind of purchases came to two thousand dollars? I believe you have a drinking problem, or worse. You look like youve been on a binge for months. One look at you, and the county will seize your assets and put Donny in a foster home. Is that plain enough?"
"Okay! Take the damn house! What choice do I have?"
"We dont want to take the house. We want you to take our advice!"
"And get blackballed?"
"I think your reputation is already beyond worrying about. You were once a heavy producer in your field, a good man for any employer to have. You made a good living, saved, and have been a good customer at the bank for decades. Tell me how many potential employers have shown the slightest interest in hiring you lately, with all the background and sales experience you offer?"
"Things are slow. Itll turn."
"Things arent slow, Jim. We know. We have a lot of customers. Times are good. You dont have a job, because youve been blackballed. Your last employer let you go. Do you think hed give you a good referral so you could take your client base you developed over years to a competitor? If you did, how long would you last in a new firm? Long enough for them to grab the client base before they send you walking again? Face it, Jim. Youre between a rock and a hard place."
"What can I do? No one wants me. Do we have to have Donny hear all this? He doesnt need to hear you run me down. Does he?"
"Whoa! Lets get this straight, Jim. Donny is the primary reason I havent shown you the door. I knew his mom. She ran the household finances and made the payments on the mortgage like clockwork. Donny was her pride and joy. If you were involved, youd know she put a few dollars away for him in savings with the bank as trustee. No, if you knew, you would have tried to tap that out, too.
What I dont want Donny to see is the loss of his home due to your excess. In a few years, when hes on his own, I could care less if you drink your life away. Ive been in his shoes. I lost my mom, and my dad because of their careless abuse of alcohol. I had my dads family to rely on. They raised me. Donny doesnt. If I can prevent Donnys ending up in an orphanage or foster home, Im willing to extend your mortgage for three more months, but only if you agree to seek professional help. Ill review your file again at that time to determine if youve made progress. Bankers arent as cold hearted as you think. We care about customers unless they dont, and you dont seem to care much about Donnys future. Do you?"
"Dont kid yourself Mrs. Morgan! I do care! Youre damned right I care! If I have to crawl on my knees to some blood-sucking lawyer, I will. Is that what you want? I guess I dont have much choice. I might as well give away the houses equity to one of them. The creditors will only grab it, anyhow."
"Be careful how you talk about lawyers, Jim. Im a lawyer, too. Thats why I know you need professional advice. You have a solid case against your last employer. Im not in practice for myself, because I choose to work here at the bank. I still understand the legal parameters of work related substance abuse. My primary concern is to protect the surety position of the bank. If you lose your home, the foreclosure process may consume much or all of the equity you have and put the bank at risk. The expenses incurred to protect its position will further erode your equity. You guaranteed to absorb litigation costs when you signed the mortgage. This bank doesnt relish losing good accounts to satisfy a list of creditors. Wed rather see you recover and be able to continue to pay off all your debts.
If youd like, I can recommend a good attorney who specializes in employment issues. Hes a friend, but hell work directly for you, not the bank."
"Is that all? All I have to do is agree to hire some friend of yours?"
"No, thats not all! And you dont have to hire anyone I recommend! I was trying to help! Obviously, you think otherwise! Good Day, Mr. Henderson!" She had him cornered. She knew it. So did dad.
"No! Wait! I didnt mean it to sound like that! Ill do whatever you say. I appreciate your assistance. No one likes to admit they need a lawyer. Ive never had to do anything like this before. I dont know any lawyers. Please, reconsider. I need your help. Whatever you say, Ill do."
"Well. Before you commit to accepting the offer of an extension of time to resolve your mortgage deficiency, youd better hear me out. Getting a lawyer is only the beginning. Hell ask a lot of questions; then decide if the case is worth pursuing. If it is, you will have to agree to follow his advice, to the letter. Frequently, in a situation like this, you will have to submit to clinical rehabilitation.
The suit will be filed to recover rehabilitation costs and the lost income from your wrongful dismissal. If your employer is prudent, he carries insurance and hes been salting away the commissions you would have been paid from sales to your accounts, and has been keeping meticulous records as to how much they would owe you. They may also be liable for criminal duress for trying to dissuade you from filing for a wrongful dismissal claim. They did threaten you, didnt they?"
"Well, not really. The boss didnt. One of the other salesmen told me theyd give me trouble if I put up a stink and cut off my hospitalization."
"Why would another salesman do that? Did he approach you, or did you find out in passing, by having a casual conversation with a fellow sales employee?"
"He came to me. I wasnt talking to the guy. He got a lot of my accounts when I was assigned to the shipping department. You see, I was feeling low after Susan passed away, and I was tied up with settling up things with the doctors, the "
"So you were reassigned for not servicing you customers during a period of grief. Did the company tell you that your reassignment was temporary?"
"No, they said they understood, and put me in shipping so I didnt have to go out of town, thats all. No one spelled it out. I thought they were doing me a favor."
"Did a supervisor ever discuss your social habits with you. Did they recommend that you seek medical assistance for your drinking?"
"Yeah. In shipping, I was warned that if I didnt straighten up, Id be canned."
"Thats all? No one approached you to say your performance was impaired by an involuntary lack of self-control that they felt required medical supervision?"
"No. One day, they told me they had enough. I missed too many days."
"From what youve told me, you have a valid case, in my humble estimation. How effective your remedy is depends on the accuracy of what you just told me, and the willingness of your former employer to litigate, or settle monetarily or provide adequate assurance to reinstate you in your sales position with retention of your seniority and all of your accumulated earnings and benefits.
Either way, you may have considerable compensation damages to seek from them. I think youd be wise to file a lawsuit. Do you wish me to provide you with a list of legal specialists, or shall I initiate foreclosure?"
"Id appreciate the list, but wouldnt know one lawyer from another. I had no idea. Could you kind of put a check mark next to your friends name? Id rather use someone who has strong ties to the bank. Its the banks problem, too."
"The bank cant show a preference. That would be unethical. I can tell you whom I would use, personally, though. Understand, that it would be my personal choice, not the banks recommendation."
"Thats good enough for me."
After dads litany of gratitude to Mrs. Morgan, we left. I had to use the potty bad. The greasy fries and burgers we had for dinner was percolating inside of me. My seat in her office was far enough away. I was glad, because I was able to sneak a few "silent wonders" out. I hoped she didnt get a whiff of them from where she was sitting. I couldnt help it.
The lawyer dad went to see agreed with Mrs. Morgan. Dad had a good case for recovery of lost income and damages. In order to proceed, dads condition had to be evaluated by doctors. The lawyer arranged for me to go to a summer camp for a week while dad was being checked out. Dried out, was more like it.
When I got back from camp, I attended a meeting in the new lawyers office with a county health department official. The doctors found my dads liver and kidneys had deteriorated from his drinking. They had to keep dad in the hospital. Hed return to drinking if they sent him home, and he didnt hide that from them. If he left the hospital and refused the prescribed treatment, not only would he get sicker and maybe die, it would hurt his court case. The lawyer filed suit against dads company. I was remanded to the county official as a ward of the state.
At sixteen, I could remain at home. The county official accepted the new lawyers request for self-cognizance, subject to proper supervision by a responsible adult. The caseworker would visit and inspect the house to assure I was behaving.
What did she expect? I didnt have relatives that could keep an eye on me, not that I needed to be looked after. Hell, I spent a good part of my time looking after dad! I did most of the cooking, cleaning and laundry. When he wasnt drunk, he was asleep. I cooked; cleaned, cut the grass took out the garbage. I did it all!
From the lawyers office, the caseworker took me home. She checked out all the rooms and declared the house a safe, clean, wholesome environment. All that I needed was for me to give her the name and relationship of a willing guardian, the person who would assure I complied with conditions the county imposed.
"I dont have anybody. Dad is my only living relative."
"Well, you will need someone willing to look in on you, at the least. I cant come here daily to check up on you until your dad is out of the hospital. Unless you can establish that you have a responsible adult in charge, well have to arrange for you to stay in a county home, until your dad returns. Donny, it may sound overly protective. I trust that you can take care of things until your dad is well, but I cant approve of your staying here, unless you have a guardian. Its the rules. I could lose my job if something happened to you. Do you want me to lose my job?
How about asking a neighbor, or the parents of one of your friends?"
"The next-door neighbors dont talk to us. Dad drove over that ones bushes pulling into the driveway. The other one thinks dad sideswiped his new Volvo one night. Dad had too much too drink and was passed out cold when it happened. They think I covered up for him by lying about it.
The whole neighborhood cheered right in front of me when I said he had to go into the hospital. We werent even invited to the block party, but I went to it, just the same. I live here, too. Im sorry I went. They all said they hope the bank will foreclose when I explained why hes in the hospital. I dont understand it. They were all so nice to us when mom was still here. Now they hate us."
"And your friends? Surely one of them would come forward."
"Im afraid to ask. Dad spilled a drink all over one friend. He caught hell for it. His folks think my friend came over to drink. I cant stand the sight of alcohol. Look what it has done to us. No matter how I explained, they think Im a bad influence. None of my school friends, the few I had, will be caught dead here. Their parents dont want them to associate with me. No chance!"
"Isnt there anyone you can turn to? Surely, there must be one concerned citizen that will take a few moments a day to look in on you? I cant approve a request for your self-cognizance without a sponsor. Think hard, Donny."
"The banks loan officer! She knew my mom. Said something about setting up a savings account in my name that mom arranged through her with the bank as trustee. Dad didnt know a thing about it. Good thing. He might have used it for liquor. Shes only two blocks from here at the bank. Do you think she qualifies?"
"We could inquire. If she is so close, she might assent under the circumstances. She may agree to supervise you to make sure the house isnt vandalized while it is unoccupied. Otherwise, Ill have to declare your house unfit, and you ineligible for self-cognizance. The bank has a vested interest to protect their collateral."
Fortunately, she was in her office. The caseworker did all the talking. Good thing. She made it sound like she was protecting the banks collateral. The two women were obviously of similar background. They talked in language hard for me to follow, as if I werent there. The caseworker had Mrs. Morgan sign some forms. Mrs. Morgan called someone on the phone to come over to notarize and witness the forms. She made copies and the county caseworker left me in her charge.
"I want to thank you, Mrs. Morgan. If you didnt volunteer, she was going to close the house and make me go to an orphanage. Wont be long. Dad will come home before we know it. Hes as strong as an ox."
"Donny. Im your legal guardian now, until your father is no longer incapacitated. I dont think its necessary for you to be formal in addressing me. Besides, its not Mrs.; its Miss Morgan, Terry Morgan. For reasons that arent too important right now, I never married. In a few years, you will be old enough to stand on your own two feet. You may want to marry and start a family of your own.
Ill do what I feel is appropriate to insure you will be ready to live independently. Take a closer look at your copy of the forms I signed for your caseworker. Until your dad is released from the doctors care, you may consider me an older sister or your stepmother if you prefer. I liked your mom a lot. Shed appreciate what I have agreed to do. You seem like a nice young man. You eat too much for your own good, but at your age I wasnt much different, not much different at all.
As to why I am willing to act as your guardian? For now lets say we both have a lot in common. I lost both my parents when I was about your age. Both of them died from alcohol abuse. I know whats going on in your head. Youre wrong.
Your dad isnt out of the woods, yet. Far from it! The damage to his system wont go away overnight. You may think he will bounce back. I felt the same about my dad. He hung on for two years after my mom died. Try as he might, he was lost without her." Miss Morgan spoke to me, but I could tell she was also talking to someone else at the same time. I got the feeling she was talking to her late mom and dad, telling them why she volunteered to be my guardian, too.
"Donny, when your dad came in here last week, he had the same cocky attitude my dad had. Men all think theyre invincible. Nothing can daunt them. Theyll live forever in spite of the odds. He was as adamant as my dad, too. He could bail out of this mortgage crisis on his own, without anyones help. I couldnt do a thing to help my dad back when I was your age. I lost him, my mom, our very home and everything that I held dear.
I agreed to be your guardian, because I might be able to help, now. Maybe, it will rid me of the guilt I carry over not being able to help my own parents. Im telling you all this up front, so you dont get the crazy idea that I have some mercenary intentions like your dad thought. Youll be able to keep your house. Whats more important, your father may survive, as well. If I have to, Ill advance my own funds to carry the mortgage until he can return to work and support you properly. Ill keep track of what I advance and your dad can pay me back when hes able. If he wins his case against his last employer, he can pay me then."
"Can you use the money that my mom put away for me, Miss Morgan?"
"Well be seeing each other every day from now on. We need to address each other more casually, dont you think, Donny? I dont want to have to refer to you as Master Henderson, unless were in a formal proceeding, like in court."
"Okay. Deal, but Id rather you call me Don, if you dont mind. Donny is what my mom called me. When she died, dad started calling me Donny. He didnt before. Hed say Kid or Rascal. Sometimes he called me Chubby to get my goat or when I was overeating. Hes as slim as a rail, so he had the right to poke fun at my weight problem. How about if I call you maam?"
"Mmmm! Okay, maam sounds good to me, but I prefer to stick to Donny for the time being. One of the uncles that took me in for a time after my folks passed on was named Don. You dont fit his image at all. I can call you Don or young Mr. Henderson while were with others, but I want you to feel at ease with me when were alone. Give in a little. For my sake, let me call you Donny."
"Alright. Where do we go from here?"
"I think you should invite me over to see where Ill be checking in on you. How are you fixed for groceries? Can I invite myself to dinner to find out how you will manage on your own? I assumed that you could fend for yourself from what the county caseworker said. I hope she wasnt window dressing this project to sucker me into it. Can you cook?"
"I can cook. Ive been managing the house for over a year. Dad didnt do much.
As for food, the pantry is meager, but I dont look like I do because I dont eat. Thats for sure! Name it. Ill bet I can cook it, if we have it in the house. If we dont have it the store isnt that far away. I hope your coming over doesnt spoil any plans you had. Its Friday. A pretty lady like you must have a date tonight and on every night. I dont want to keep you from your boyfriend."
"Well! Thank you, I think. I dont have a date, so you arent imposing. Youre my dinner date for tonight! Hows that? What will you use for money?"
"Well, I dont have much, a few dollars, but I can stretch a buck pretty good. Ive had to lately. The unemployment checks and food stamps dont last long if you like to eat a lot of steak. Most of what we eat comes out of cans. Its quick, easy to prepare and doesnt cost much."
"Its a wonder you dont weigh twice what you do. Canned food has tons of salt in it. Fresh foods cost a bit more, but are much healthier. Looks like you dont know as much about a proper diet as you think you do. Lets leave now. I dont have any appointments pending, and we can beat the evening rush at the store. Friday is the worst weekday to go grocery shopping, but well have to manage. Im going to make sure you have enough healthy food on hand to keep you from eating too much of the wrong stuff. Cmon. Itll be fun."
We walked. Her pace was brisk, and I was huffing and puffing to keep up. Within an hour, she saw the house, checked the pantry, made out a list and explained her selections and compared them to what I said I would have bought. She was easy to listen to; so smart, a lawyer with a great job at a bank. I lucked out. She said she was willing to help to make up for not being able to help out her folks when she was my age.
The trip to the supermarket took longer. She took her time, like mom did. I ran in and out usually, with the standard stuff I always bought, without cruising every aisle for stuff I didnt need. She said she was buying, so it was her call. She wanted to shop, so we shopped. I could bend with the breeze.
Besides, she was pretty. It was nice to be with a pretty woman. She was the first real pretty lady I had a chance to be with alone. Well, okay, we were in public in a grocery store, doing grocery shopping. No one else was there with us, so we two were alone together. Werent we? She couldnt be more than twenty-five. Thats only a nine-year difference in our ages. She also called me her date, didnt she? I wasnt about to split hairs. She was my first real date, sort of.
We didnt buy a whole lot. I carried most of it home. Well, I carried more than half of it, I think. When we got to the house, she took off her shoes and groaned. Her heels were like stilts. I offered her a chair. She didnt argue. Her toenails were painted like her fingernails. She rubbed her toes while I put away the groceries, all but what we decided to have for dinner. I was nervous. Cooking for dad didnt require much forethought: open cans, dump into pots, dump on plates, and eat. Dad barely touched his food. After he went back to watching TV, Id eat what he left behind. No sense wasting good food, too costly.
I looked at the pile of vegetables on the counter. I didnt know what to do. I only used canned veggies. These had to be cut up. She saw. I looked stupid. I wanted to cry. "Give me a chance for circulation to return to my feet. Walking a mile in high heels is still a pain in the----butt, Donny. Ill wash and show you how to chop up carrots and green beans in a minute. Get two soup bowls out for our salads."
She smelled good. Standing together, her in nylons, explaining how to dice the vegetables and shred lettuce, lessened the difference in our heights. I could almost look at her eye to eye. She seemed so, so, perfect. Her makeup made her eyes look bigger, prettier. I closed my eyes to imprint her looks on my brain. I had something in mind to do later, after she left. I wanted to envision her pretty face while I did it. I felt her lips touch my cheek. My eyes popped open.
"Thatll give you something to think about, later on, Donny."
Oh, no! She must have known what I was thinking! "I---I---I---I---."
"Dont worry about it, Donny. I did the same thing at your age. Human nature has a way of keeping people from being frustrated."
"But, but, youre a woman!"
"So? Dont women have feelings? Listen, Donny. Were going to see a lot of each other for a while, at least once a day, probably more. We dont know for how long, but at least for a few months. You feel as if you can handle everything here on your own, and you probably can. Ill try to give you all the latitude that I can. There are some things I doubt your mom ever discussed with you, and your dad, well, lets say I dont think he was a good example or took the time to guide you.
I believe you are an honorable kid, but once you get into shape, I dont want to find out you tried to bring a girl here to explore life behind my back. You may let things get out of hand that you arent ready for. Some girls can be tricky and then blame you for something you didnt do, because you had an opportunity. The guy at fault may be a loser or isnt around. If a situation like that occurs I could be held accountable. That isnt going to happen, because you arent going to bring any girls here alone for some time. Thats rule number one. Got it?"
"Yes maam. I really wouldnt do it, anyway. Girls dont like me, cause Im fat."
"Yes, you are, but with the right food and by adopting some proper eating habits, you wont be for long, and youll look more attractive. Dont kid yourself. Under all that fat, there lurks a good-looking kid. If youre willing to try, Ill help you get the weight under control and get you looking like hot stuff.
Ill try to help you out in any way I can, Donny. If you want to know what its like to touch a woman in certain ways, Ill explain what girls like and what they dont. No sense making an Adonis out of you if youre going to be all thumbs around girls, but not here! Are you surprised that I talk so freely about the taboo stuff?"
"Yes Maam! But, how did you know what I was thinking?"
"Your testosterone barometer is showing. Dont be upset over it! I find it exciting that you could react that way by standing here close to me fixing a salad. Didnt your dad ever tell you it isnt polite to point?"
"Uh, no. Hes too old. Old people dont think about sex, do they?"
She put the knife down and looked at me. "I think you are serious. Gee, Donny, Im not very hungry, and this salad will keep until later. Lets put these things in the fridge and sit down in the living room and have a talk for a while. Ive got all evening and I have a feeling youre hungry for some knowledge, not food."
All I could do was nod. I didnt know what to say. We put the stuff away and went into the living room. I thought she would sit across from me, but she led me to the couch and pointed. Then she sat right next to me.
"Did you ever kiss a girl on her lips? Be honest. Im trying to help."
"No, I never did. I only kissed mom on the cheek. I almost kissed a girl once at a Halloween party, playing spin the bottle, but she got scared and ran off when it pointed at her when it was my turn to spin. No girl wants to kiss a fatty."
"Not true! Some girls like hefty guys. I do. I was heavier than you are at your age.
Being good looking takes work, but the result is worth the effort, trust me, I know. Becoming pretty made my life a lot easier. Getting to be this good looking was extremely hard for me to accomplish, and I would never have been able to do it right, if it wasnt expected of me, no, make that demanded of me."
"You were forced to become pretty? Who would force you to do that?"
"My uncles did. I had to go live with them, they didnt want me, but they were my only relatives. I had to do whatever they demanded to keep from getting batted around. Either I obeyed them or be sent to an orphanage, which would have been worse. I had no choice. I did what I had to do in order to survive. I learned all that I needed to know about sex at an early age. People where I was taken all find out about sex at an early age. Laws there are much different there. It was not a lot of fun when I first found out what was expected of me." She put her arm around me and drew my head to her shoulder. Mmmm, soft! That was nice.
"But you dont have an accent, and youre a lawyer. Where are you from?"
"I was born here in the states, but my uncle Don was visiting when mom and dad died. My uncles went into business when the war ended in Indo-China. Traveling there with him sounded like a fantastic adventure. Was I mistaken! I had no idea what I was in store for until I arrived overseas. At fifteen, I found out some girls are forced to become prostitutes at a much younger age, and its perfectly legal there. Young orphan boys are treated even more harshly.
I learned quickly how men get rowdy when they meet a pretty, available woman. Thats why most women here try to look their best, to attract and meet a good man. In some countries they try to look more attractive to improve their lot, or to avoid facing some abject horrors. Donny, I want to be honest with you, well both get along much better. I want you to know what could happen to orphans. I want you to consider how lucky you really are, in spite of the pickle you think you are in. Believe me, I had to do things youd never even consider possible.
Im not your mother or your sister. Im not related to you at all. Its only natural for you to be excited by being close to me, and Im flattered by your attraction to me. Before I tell you about what happened to me, I want you to promise that you will keep everything that I reveal to you just between the two of us. I have a feeling we are going to be together for much longer than you think.
I feel it is important for you to trust me, and I wont be able to gain that trust by keeping the truth about myself from you. You might find out about me some other way someday, and feel as if I betrayed you, asking for total honesty while hiding a deep, dark secret about my past from you. I want your word of honor that youll keep what Im about to tell you to yourself, no matter what happens in the future."
"I promise, Maam."
"That wont do, Donny. I want you to swear on your mothers grave to hold each and every word I tell you in strict confidence."
"I swear on my moms grave and all that is holy that Ill never tell anyone about what you tell me tonight." I was telling the truth. She looked me in the eye. She must have believed me because she continued.
"I live a completely different life now, but I could still be in Southeast Asia if I had ended up in an orphanage. Life there is so harsh there, the system is so corrupt, local officials can sell kids and get away with it. They end up as slaves with little hope for survival. I wasnt much more fortunate than that. I had my three uncles to thank for that. They got top dollar when I was adult enough.
Im going to shock you, Donny. When I was fifteen, I wasnt pretty at all. I was fat and dumpy, and looked a lot worse than you do. Im not making fun of you. Its all right to be heavy. I was, but I wasnt a fat little girl. I was a very chubby child that was devastated by losing my parents. The only relatives I had to turn to were mercenaries that saw a chance to make big money out of my predicament.
You wont believe this, but they dressed me up like a little girl and forced me to provide oral sex to them. I was drugged and forced to be their personal sex slave until I was thoroughly trained and transformed against my will to be good looking enough to be sold to a rich buyer who would pay dearly for my peculiar qualities.
That took them over a year to accomplish and involved several painful surgeries and procedures imposed on me without my having any say in the matter. Some things were done without using the right anesthetics. I only wished to die from what they were making out of me. Each day was a living hell as I saw myself changing from a fat young boy into a shapely girl.
I had no choice in determining whether I wanted to become their curvy, supple, accommodating slave. They had me sculpted and carved until I looked like every mans wet dream. I was brainwashed, programmed by drugs and torture, until Id do anything to stop the constant pain or retain the ability to think with undistorted brain patterns for a single hour at a time. Drugs are cheap and easy to get there. The drugs kept me pliant and obedient. I needed a steady supply to keep from going crazy from the agony of withdrawal. At my lowest, Id do anything, anything at all to get my daily fix. There wasnt much I didnt do.
My only hope for survival was my total surrender of will and absolute compliance. When I accepted my new body without recourse and conformed to use it for the purpose it was transformed, I was weaned off of the drugs and reprogrammed in preparation for sale to the highest bidder. They made sure I knew what to expect. They delighted in my learning I would be sold over and over as I got older, until I finally would be nearly worthless, good enough to work in some cheap, hellish brothel satisfying the pleasures of the dregs of the Earth. They took me to one to show me what would happen if I let my beauty fade or failed to obey them.
My owner paid a fortune for me. He also demanded that I be delivered to him disease and drug free to comprehend clearly what he wished for me to do for him at all times. He took me away to his lavish estate in the Middle East where he kept me in a harem as a prisoner, for his diversion, when he tired of his ready supply of real girls. I was the freak that he liked to show off to his friends.
I was so drained of free will I was willing to obey without question in return for the quality of care he provided to all his concubines. I was a piece of property to be handled with care to preserve its value. That was how I thought of myself at that stage. All the girls considered themselves to be property. Thats what life was like in a harem. I was taught how to enjoy sex as well as provide pleasure to others.
He soon tired of my peculiar oddities and I saw him infrequently. He was busy with business matters. He was gone for weeks at a time. I and other sex slaves had nothing to do but entertain each other to pass the time away. At least that was more fun than doing nothing. The real girls loved to tease me to erection.
Normal sex was forbidden. At least, my penetration was. The girls used my penis often, but not where other men were allowed to use them. I had to use the same entry that men used when they penetrated me. By this time, my penis had shrunk and wasnt painful for the girls to take in. It took a lot to arouse me.
Our master fell in love with a beautiful American girl while on a visit to the States. She knew what I really am and was so jealous, she required her new lover to set me free, as a gesture of his burning desire for her. She would tolerate the other concubines, as she often used them for her own satisfaction when he was away.
She would not permit our master to visit me to access my unique skills. My life lost its purpose and she became vicious toward me, as she couldnt satisfy him in ways that I could. She knew I could penetrate him orally or anally. She despised me for still having my penis, small as it was.
To assure he would never return to my quarters and somehow interfere with her control over him, I was sent away to school, to skilled tutors that quickly groomed me for return to a private college back here in the states, so I could cease to be a looming symbol of his occasional lapses into desire for some deviance.
I was told I could choose any curriculum, as long as I never tried to return and be a nuisance to her. I chose to attend a law school in hopes of learning how I could reap revenge on my unscrupulous uncles.
Before I graduated, I discovered my uncles were dead. All that pain and agony, and the almost total reversal of my identity, and someone deprived me of the goal: to achieve honorable revenge through the law and justice. Death was too easy an escape for the likes of them. I wanted all three of them to suffer many years in prison. I had to find a legal loophole for what they legally did to me.
I studied so hard to find the legal means for my revenge. A criminal retribution on my part would make me as despicable as they were. What good would it do if I used equally devious means to make them suffer, regardless of how deserving the three of them were? Stripped of my self-worth by torture and subjugation, my quest was to restore my confidence by legitimate, honorable means and demand justice.
Instead they were murdered for reneging on a contract to supply another man with a transformed sex slave. Sometimes, justice may be slow, but in their case, it was sure. The unsatisfied buyer made them suffer. They were castrated and became garish, worthless eunuchs before he had them executed. The boy who they were transforming killed himself rather than accept his changes. Thanks to my uncles, the laws there are changing. Guardians are no longer free to easily predict the lives of unwilling orphans.
I now hold a law degree, but have no desire to practice law. So, I counsel bank customers with problems. I---Donny, Donny, are you listening?"
I had fallen asleep. "Donny, did you hear anything Ive been telling you?"
"Uh-huh. Yeah, must have dozed off for a minute. Sorry. Yeah, you said some kids in Indo-China were sold sometimes, as slaves and orphan girls were sold as prostitutes. Its hard to believe the police let the politicians do it. Thats illegal.
Things like that cant happen here, maam. Laws protect us from someone trying to force us into giving up our rights. Im sure glad you agreed to offer to help us. I missed leaning on my moms shoulder and listening to her tell me stories like you just did. For a while, you sounded just like her when you whispered to me. It feels good to sit here like this and relax. Do you mind?"
"Harrumph! Well, you missed a few details I explained along the way, Donny, but you got most of the story right. Things like that cant happen here. Ill tell you the story again sometime, when you get a little older. Not all of what happened was bad. Some of it was quite enjoyable. Relax, and make believe Im your big sister. Well talk about it again. When the time is right and you arent so tired, Ill tell you all about my world travels and adventures."
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