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Leslie's Dinner Party
by: Janis Elizabeth
It had been a quiet Saturday morning until that phone call I received from my ex-husband Frank. His call came as a total surprise to me in more ways than one. When we divorced five years ago, I still had some feelings for him. However, his constant dependence on alcohol and thus, his inability to hold a job, dulled those feelings and made life very difficult both for us and for our son Leslie. As a result of the divorce, the court awarded custody of Leslie to me. While regular visitation rights were allowed under the terms of the final decree, Frank never really chose to exercise these rights.
However, after the divorce, he had completely turned his life around. Nevertheless, through his choosing, contact between the two of us had been very limited. He had managed to stop drinking and had stayed sober for over four years. He had sought counseling for his dependence problems, had finally finished his Master's degree and, just recently, had landed an executive position at the nearby headquarters location of a Fortune 200 company. On his application, he had listed having one child, Leslie, age 15. Since the divorce though, I had been the sole parent for our son. My position as an executive at a bank provided an excellent income for me to comfortably support my son.
When I heard Frank's voice on the other end of the phone, I could almost sense that there was a degree of panic in his tone. He briefly explained about finally landing this executive position with this top company. His only concern in working for this organization arose after he had started working there. His boss, the CEO of the organization and an ardent believer in the advancement of women in business, had invited Frank and his DAUGHTER, Leslie to a dinner party at her house on Friday evening. He explained that his company only hired executives, usually female executives, with daughters so that the young ladies might be mentored and coached on their career futures. It was hoped that, one day with the proper mentoring, these and other young ladies would be able to step right in to the leadership and management positions within this company. I still remember his pleading comment to me, "Sharon, you have to help me. My boss thinks that I have a daughter named Leslie. That was the key point that convinced them to hire me. If I don't show up with my daughter on Friday night, I sense that I may quickly be back on the outside looking for another job. My boss has almost hinted at that prospect. Is there anything that you can do to get me out of this problem? Please, Sharon, will you help me?"
I was somewhat shaken by his request. This was not the ordinary, routine request that one could handle in the next five minutes. After I regained my composure, I did promise Frank that I would approach our son and see if he would be willing to go along with this masquerade for the sake of helping out his father. I told Frank that I would call him back after I had talked to Leslie and let him know what the decision would be. He thanked me profusely for my efforts. I told him not to be too confident about having the result he desired. With that I hung up.
After Frank's call, I was torn between conflicting thoughts and emotions. One side of me said that there was no way that I would allow Leslie to participate in this charade. He was a boy, after all, not a girl. If Frank didn't have the nerve to correct the misimpression of his having a daughter, that was his problem. The other side said that, even though we were divorced, I still had a spouse's duty to try to help Frank succeed in his endeavors, if at all possible. Besides, Leslie was small in stature for his age, his features were very fair, almost to the point of being soft and feminine and his hair had grown to a somewhat longish length and could possibly be styled into a becoming feminine style. Also, he had no evident body hair on his arms or legs. With a little effort, I believed that Leslie could become a very convincing young lady. Still, the final decision was Leslie's, regardless of what either his father or I wanted.
With all of the pros and cons in mind, I called Leslie into the room. He came in wearing his normal Saturday attire of jeans, T-shirt and tennis shoes. His longish blond hair fell almost to his shoulders. While he kept it neat, it could, without doubt, benefit from some styling. At 5'-5'' and 130 pounds, he was very definitely small for his age group. I had him sit down before I told him of his father's request.
"Leslie, it seems that your father's new boss thinks that, because of your name, you are your father's daughter rather than his son. His new company tries to mentor the daughters of their executives so that they might one day move into the leadership and management positions of the company. In that regard, your father's boss has invited the two of you to a dinner party next Friday night so that she can start introducing you to the company and the mentoring program that they have in place. If you were to go, you would have to wear lingerie, a dress and makeup and be very convincing as a young lady. There is also the possibility that, if you do not go, your father could lose his current executive position. After he explained all of this in his recent phone call, I told your father that I would approach you for your decision on this. Obviously, this is not something either of your parents can decide for you. You have to make the final decision. You can go as a young man; you can go as a young lady and risk possible detection; or you can just pass on the whole idea. What would you like to do?"
As he sat there, a look of contemplation on his face, his blue eyes so serious, Leslie considered the impact of all that I had said. At last, when he spoke, he weighed his words with great care and deliberation. "Mom, to me, the key statement in all of this is that Dad could lose his job. If my pretending to be his daughter will help Dad in any way, I would be more than willing to give it a try. I know that you and Dad did not part on the best of terms, nor are you on good terms even now. However, he is still my Dad. If my wearing of a dress will help him in some way, then I will do it, although I think I will need a lot of your help to be able to pull it off. I don't want anyone to know that I am a boy wearing a dress. That would only cause Dad more problems. Would you help me be a presentable and passable young lady for the dinner party on Friday night?"
I looked at my son with a heart filled with love. Here he was, trying to help his father, a person who had not really been a part of his life for quite some time, by doing something that most boys his age would consider, at best, strange or weird. As I looked at him, it was all I could do to keep from crying tears of joy over his kindness and consideration for his father. "Leslie, if you want to go through with this, you realize that for the next week, you will have to receive intense instruction as you learn how to dress, walk, talk, think and act like a fifteen year old girl, don't you?"
He looked at me, slowly nodded his head in understanding of the impact of his decision and said, "Mom, if I can do this, I can help Dad out. After all he has been through in his life, this would be a small sacrifice to make if it will help him keep a good job and perhaps prevent him from slipping back into his former ways."
I walked over and gave him a big hug, both for his thoughtfulness and consideration and because I loved the type of person he was developing into. When I sensed that he might be a little embarrassed about being hugged by his Mom, I reminded him that mothers and daughters regularly hugged. This was his first lesson in becoming a teenaged girl. He just smiled at me and returned my hugs. I told Leslie that I would go shopping and get him some suitable clothes to wear for the coming week, including a nice dress for Friday evening. I would first call his father back and let him know that he might still have a job after next week.
When I returned Frank's call, he was honestly amazed that Leslie had consented to being his daughter in order to help him out of this dilemma. Frank was completely apologetic about having Leslie having to endure wearing lingerie and dresses, even for as short a time as a week. He was also deeply appreciative of my efforts in the coming week assisting Leslie become a teenaged girl. "Sharon, I owe you for trying to help me out. I just hope you can pull it off and make Leslie into a passable and presentable young lady," he said. I just pooh-poohed his comments and then asked him what time Friday evening should Leslie be ready. He asked if 6:00 o'clock would be convenient. I assured him that his daughter would be ready and waiting for him at the appointed hour. Frank said it sounded strange to hear that his daughter would be waiting. He again profusely thanked me before we parted.
Now that the die was cast, there was a lot of things to do between today and Friday. First and foremost on the list was shopping for clothes that (s)he would need to make an effective transformation into our daughter. I asked Leslie if he wanted to accompany me while I shopped for his new clothes. He appreciated me asking but said that he would feel funny, dressed as a boy, shopping for his girls' clothes. I understood his position and said that I would pick out some apparel suitable for a young lady his/her age. However, before I could go shopping, I needed some of his measurements to make sure I got the correct sizes. After getting these measurements such as his chest, waist and hips and confirming his height, it was then off to the mall to shop.
At the mall, I went to the major department store. Starting in the lingerie section, I picked out several pairs of soft and silky panties in a rainbow of different colors, four bras, four slips, four garter belts, several pairs of nylons and four nightgowns. For outerwear, I got Leslie three dresses, all with fitted bodice and full skirts, and three skirt and blouse combinations. Two of the skirts were an A-line style and the third was a straight skirt. All would fall to just above Leslie's knees. I then searched for a dress that would be appropriate for a fifteen-year-old attending a dinner party. Finally, I found a nice full-skirted dress with short sleeves and a straight neckline in royal blue satin. I thought it would show off her hair and skin coloring very well. I then went back to the lingerie section. I thought it would be nice if his satin lingerie matched his new dress. When I found the matching lingerie, I knew it was the correct choice.
I then selected four pairs of shoes; two pair with only a slight heel, a royal blue pair that matched the dinner dress and had two-inch heels and a pair with two-inch heels that she could wear with any of her new dresses. On the way home, I then stopped at the local mastectomy supply store for a pair of life-like B-sized breast forms, so that Leslie would have a realistic and appropriate front protruding from her bra. Having everything that I thought Leslie needed, I took my packages and headed home.
Leslie saw me pull into the garage and was waiting at the door for me when I came in. When he saw all of the packages I had, he gave me a questioning look. I told him that he had less than a week to prepare and he had to start his lessons today, including getting used to wearing feminine fashions. When he asked what he needed to do, I told him to strip out of his male clothes and use the depilatory cream in the bathroom to remove any body hair. After waiting for about ten minutes, he should shower, rinsing off the cream and hair. He should also wash his hair and leave it wet when he got out and dried himself. Finally, after drying off, he should use some of my lilac dusting powder on his body and then come into my room. "Don't be embarrassed to come in there because you are naked. Remember, I have seen it all before." He smiled at me as he went off to follow my instructions.
About a half-hour later, Leslie appeared in my room, ready to begin her transformation. She had the faint scent of my lilac bath powder about her. First, I told Leslie that a young lady always wraps a towel around her after a bath or shower so that she may cover both her breasts and her private area. Next, I explained to her that she should always wear stockings when she was dressed because they would make her feel more feminine. Stockings were so much nicer for a woman to wear than pantyhose. To hold up her stockings, she had to wear a garter belt. The garter belt had to be put on first, so that when you had to go to the bathroom, you could lower your panties to do your business without having to remove your stockings. Leslie nodded her head, understanding what I was saying.
I helped her fasten her satin garter belt around her waist. I then had her sit on the bed and explained how she was to carefully put on her stockings to avoid getting runs in them. She took the first stocking, bunched it up, put her toes in and then slowly and carefully drew it up her leg. Leslie let out an inadvertent sigh as the soft nylon slid up her smooth leg. She then effortlessly attached the garter tabs to the stocking top before repeating the process with the other leg. She commented about how different it felt to feel the tug of her stockings on her garters.
White satin panties were next. As she slid them up her legs and snugged them around her hips, Leslie commented how soft and silky they felt and how different they were from the normal underwear she wore. I could see that the softness of the panties was causing a little arousal to occur. I reminded her that she had to maintain her feminine appearance, especially in the front of her panties. First, she looked at me and then she looked down at the front of her panties. When she looked at me questioningly, I told her that she needed to tuck herself in between her legs. To help keep things in place then, Leslie would need to wear a sanitary pad in her panties. After tucking herself in, she took the pad that I offered and properly placed it in her panties. Leslie commented on how different it felt to walk while wearing a pad in your panties. I gave my new daughter a knowing smile.
I then helped her into her bra and positioned the breast forms in the cups. Leslie smiled shyly as she observed her budding feminine figure. She slowly and carefully put on her slip, letting it slide down over her body. I watched closely as she experienced the silken sensations on her body for the first time. I then wanted to do her hair, to see if I could do anything with it.
Leslie sat in front of my vanity while I covered her body with a pink shampoo cape. Using a comb, setting lotion and rollers, I quickly combed the tangles out of her damp hair, sectioned it and rolled it up, pinning the rollers close to her scalp. Her hair was long enough that rollers could be placed all over her head. I tied a hairnet over the rollers and then went and got my portable hair dryer. With the plastic bonnet covering her rollers, I turned on the dryer and let the warm air dry her hair. I then handed her one of my ladies magazines to read while she dried. As I observed her, I must admit that, sitting there covered with a shampoo cape, having my hair dryer bonnet on her head and reading my magazine, my Leslie did look very cute.
Once her hair was dry, I took off the dryer bonnet but left her rollers in for now. I then started to do her makeup. I explained each step in the application of the cosmetics to Leslie as I went, from the need for foundation and powder to how to lightly apply blush along her cheekbones to the light application of eye shadow to her eyelids. Lastly, as I applied it, I explained about how she should carefully apply her lipstick to her lips. Once she was satisfied with her lip appearance, she should blot the excess off on a tissue. I emphasized that, for her age, makeup done in moderation was the key to emphasizing her natural youthful beauty. Leslie listened attentively to all of my instructions.
I took the rollers out and began to comb and brush her hair, applying some styling mousse as I went. I did a little backcombing to tease the hair and make it fuller. I carefully brushed out her new style and then applied a generous amount of hairspray to keep it in place. When she finally saw the finished product, both her hair and her makeup, all Leslie could say was "Is that me? I look so nice. I never thought I could look as good as this. Thanks, Mom for helping me look this pretty." She looked at me with a smile on her lips. I must admit that my daughter did look very pretty. I leaned down and hugged her, the smile on my face showing the pride that I had in her pretty and feminine appearance.
After removing the shampoo cape, I helped Leslie finish dressing. She put on a soft, white, short sleeve blouse and an A-line denim skirt. She then put on her new pumps with a slight heel. It took Leslie a few times around the room, with me holding her arm for support, before she felt comfortable walking in her heels.
For the rest of Saturday, I schooled Leslie in the art of becoming a fifteen-year-old young lady. I know she was getting tired of hearing me continually emphasize how she walked, how she sat and how she spoke. I reminded her that she was not used to having the additional weight in her bra area. This fact, along with the unaccustomed feel of walking in heels, might produce in her a natural tendency to walk with her body leaning slightly forward. Again and again, I reminded Leslie to keep her head up and her shoulders back.
Sitting while wearing a skirt, was another lesson that was repeated over again. Fortunately, Leslie did quickly learn to smooth her skirt under her when she sat down and to keep her knees together while sitting down. However, the action had to become second nature to her, so it was practiced and practiced. I coached her on softening her voice whenever she spoke until she was able to speak in a feminine tone. Finally, after several hours of the routine, I asked if she wanted to take a break and go and get something to eat. A look of doubt crossed Leslie's face, doubt that I interpreted to mean that she was concerned whether anyone would really know that she was actually a boy wearing a skirt. I assured her that if she put into practice all of the lessons we had gone over, no one would ever suspect that she was anything other than a young lady. Her overall appearance with her hair and makeup truly spoke of a young lady.
I picked up my purse and made sure Leslie had hers also. I showed her how to walk and carry her purse over her shoulder at the same time. When we went to the car, Leslie asked if there was anything she needed to learn about gracefully entering a car and sitting. After I demonstrated the proper technique several times, Leslie proceeded to gracefully sit in the passenger's seat. We proceeded to a restaurant that was somewhat better than fast food but not quite a really classy restaurant.
When she ordered her meal, Leslie showed that the repeated practice had paid off as her voice had the soft sound of a teenaged girl. The server asked her, "What will you have, Miss?" Leslie replied that she would have a salad with chicken and an iced tea. I ordered the same. We chatted while waiting for our meals. Leslie seemed more at ease than I would have ever expected. When our meals came, I reminded Leslie to spread her napkin neatly on her lap. I also reminded her to eat slowly and to take small bites. Likewise, she should sip her tea and not try to gulp it down. Leslie got through the meal without any problems. Naturally, we both passed on dessert and coffee because, as Leslie said, we both wanted to keep our girlish figures.
On the way home, Leslie commented on how different it seemed to go out and eat while wearing a skirt. She also commented on the differences between boys and girls in what they order and how they eat it. When we arrived at home, I told Leslie that she should be getting ready for bed, as tomorrow was another full day of study and learning. I asked if she would carefully hang up her new blouse and skirt. She assured me she would.
When I walked into her room a short time later, I saw Leslie sitting there in her lingerie, looking at her reflected image from the mirror. I sat down on the bed beside her and asked if there was anything the matter. She looked at me, smiled and assured me that everything was fine. She said she was just getting used to seeing her reflected image in lingerie. I asked if she would like to go to a different church tomorrow and again be scrutinized by people. She said that would be a nice change rather than go to our regular service where we were known. We both knew that someone could see Leslie with me, hear me call her by name and wonder why my son was wearing a dress.
I said that she should still wear her bra and panties while she slept but to take off her slip, stockings and garter belt. I got out her peach satin, ankle-length nightgown for her to sleep in. I also handed her a white satin sleep bonnet to keep her hair neat while she slept.
In the bathroom, I reminded her to hand rinse her stockings and slip and hang them over the towel bar to dry. I then showed her how to properly remove her makeup and cleanse her face prior to going to bed. She smiled and kidded me good-naturedly about the lessons never stopping. I just smiled back at her comment.
Finally, Leslie was ready for bed. I gave her a big hug and told her to have pleasant dreams. She looked up from her covers, the satin bonnet hiding her hair, and said that she had enjoyed today. She thanked me for the clothes and all of my efforts to help her truly be a girl, at least until after the dinner party.
Sunday, we were both up early. Following a light breakfast, we proceeded to get ready for church. After Leslie had showered and put on her lingerie, I watched as she did her makeup, offering an occasional comment when it looked like she might make an error. When she finished her face, she had done a very creditable job of applying her makeup. She looked very nice. Leslie then put on her pink dress and heels. It took her a few seconds to adjust to wearing the higher two-inch heels. However, by the time we left for church, she was moving around very gracefully. At church, we were welcomed as visitors. After the service, several of the ladies of the congregation complimented me on having such a nice looking, polite daughter. I thanked them for their kind words.
After church, Leslie and I went out to lunch. We had a great time chatting before, during and after our meal. Among other things, Leslie commented on how wonderful it felt to have your dress and your slip lightly caress your stockinged legs and to hear the sound of your heels hitting the floor. I had to agree with her that it was a very nice sensation.
Just before we were leaving, Leslie looked at me and told me she had a small problem. Understanding quickly, I led her to the ladies' room. Before she entered the stall, I reminded her that she had to be careful with her skirt and slip before she sat down. When she emerged from the stall, I looked at her questioningly. She smiled and said she had experienced no problems. Before leaving, she stopped and looked at her appearance in the mirror. After moving a few stray hairs back into place, she took out her lipstick and freshened the color on her lips.
Back home, it was more lessons for Leslie. I knew that she was getting tired of the repetition. However, I reminded her that she had to be almost perfect if we were to pull this off and keep her father employed. Leslie nodded in understanding. Part of her lessons including going up and down stairs in a skirt and heels. She soon was very graceful in how she held her skirt while using the stairs. That evening, I watched as she got ready for bed. She applied all of the lessons she had learned yesterday from neatly hanging up her clothes to properly cleansing her face to rinsing out her lingerie.
We had agreed that Monday through Thursday, Leslie would go to school dressed normally. However, as soon as she got home, she would change into her lingerie and either a dress or a skirt and blouse. She would hold up doing her makeup until I got home, so that I might offer her any needed assistance.
The days of the week passed quickly by. Leslie was learning her lessons well. She was getting quite adept at doing her makeup and taking care of her clothes. Each day, I marveled at how nice she looked in her chosen outfit and how much she had learned about becoming a young lady. She especially seemed to enjoy sleeping in a satin nightgown, with a satin hair bonnet on her head. She looked so cute in any of her nightgowns. Thursday night, while Leslie was getting ready for bed, I asked her if she would like to have her hair and makeup professionally done for the dinner party. She looked at me with those big, serious eyes of hers and told me that she would enjoy that treat. I said that I had anticipated this and had made her a beauty appointment for early tomorrow afternoon. I would pick her up early from school, bring her home to quickly change and then take her to the beauty salon. Leslie smiled at the thought of having her hair and makeup done professionally. She thanked me for making sure she looked her best for tomorrow night.
Since I was taking the entire day off Friday, I was able to drive Leslie to school. I gave him a note to have him excused at noon. I said I would be there waiting. He smiled and thanked me.
A few minutes after noon, Leslie came strolling out of the building, smiling. When I asked her why she was so happy, she said that she was just thinking about tonight and being her Dad's daughter. At home, Leslie quickly changed into her lingerie and an A-line denim skirt and white, short sleeve blouse. It was then off to the beauty salon for her first, and probably most important, beauty appointment.
Amber was waiting for Leslie as we came in. I had given her a specific list of things I wanted done, including shampoo and set, manicure and makeup. I left the choice of the style, as well as makeup and nail polish colors, to Amber and Leslie. However, I did specify that I wanted Leslie's makeup to be understated for her youthful appearance rather than overdone. Amber said that she would see that it was proper.
As I sat in the waiting area trying to read a magazine, I watched as Leslie was covered with a mauve shampoo cape and then had her hair washed and conditioned. From the dreamy look on her face, I would think that Leslie was enjoying the relaxing shampoo and conditioning. After rinsing out the conditioner, Amber wrapped a towel around Leslie's damp hair and led her to her styling station. Leslie proceeded to discuss her style with Amber, as if it were the most natural thing for her to do. From where I was sitting, I could not hear their discussion. However, Leslie appeared to be talking as much as she was listening. It was interesting to see my Leslie, in so obviously a feminine setting, speak about her hair as if she had been doing so from birth.
Once agreement was reached on Leslie's new style, Amber started to comb out the tangles and section her damp hair. Very quickly, the setting lotion was applied and Leslie soon had her hair up in rollers. After tying a pink hairnet over Leslie's rollers, Amber had her sit under a plastic domed dryer hood. Again I marveled at how cute Leslie looked with her hair in rollers, sitting under the dryer. Amber then rolled the manicure table up to Leslie and sat down to do her nails. After soaking one hand, she cleaned the cuticles of the excess that is usually present. She then repeated the process on the other hand. Instead of adding extensions, which I was glad to see, Amber reached for the bottle of nail polish. Leslie was watching intently as Amber applied the reddish liquid to each nail. Once the nails were dry, she applied a clear acrylic topcoat to protect the nail surface.
When Leslie's hair was dry, Amber took her back to the makeup station. Skillfully applying her craft, she applied the appropriate cosmetics to Leslie's face. During the entire process, I saw Amber apparently explaining each step and Leslie concentrating on understanding what was being said. Leslie seemed to want to learn everything she could. As Leslie returned to Amber's styling station, I could see that Amber had done an excellent job. Leslie's eyes were highlighted with a little eye shadow and some mascara. Her lashes looked nice with the touch of mascara on them. Her cheeks glowed, both from the blush and from the inner beauty that she was displaying. Her lips were done in a reddish shade of lipstick that seemed to match her nails.
Back at the styling station, Amber quickly addressed the task at hand. She removed the rollers and started styling with comb, brush and mousse. I noticed that Leslie's hair seemed fuller and had more body. Naturally, Leslie was enjoying all of this pampering. Finally Amber finished Leslie's hair and applied hairspray to hold it in place. When she viewed the finished product, all Leslie could do was sit and stare at her reflection from the mirror. This was the second time during this transformation process that she had reacted in the same manner. I guess Amber asked her if she liked it because I saw Leslie nod her head.
As they came toward the front of the salon, I noticed how Amber had had styled Leslie's hair. The style nicely framed her face and the ends were flipped under. Additionally, bangs now covered her forehead. Her hair was styled in such a way that it now fell just behind her ears and had fullness and body. Her makeup and nails complimented her freshly styled blond hair. Leslie looked like a young grown-up getting ready for a big evening out. As I paid the bill, I thanked Amber for making Leslie look so special for this evening. I also included a nice tip for all of her efforts. I also promised that we would make another appointment soon. Leslie was simply beaming when I told Amber about a future appointment. Just before we left, she gave Amber a big hug and thanked her for making her look so very special.
We headed for home to get Leslie ready for her big evening. She quickly removed everything she was wearing and put on her new set of royal blue satin lingerie. The bra, panties, slip and garter belt looked nice on her. Next, she put on her black stockings and attached them to the garter tabs. I then helped her into her dress, making sure that she did not muss her hair or makeup as she put it on. As the dress slid across the satin softness of her slip, I heard Leslie let out a small sigh of pleasure. I then zipped up the back of the satin dress. She quickly and easily slid her heels on her feet. For jewelry, I let Leslie wear a single strand of pearls and pearl cluster clip-on earrings, since we had not gotten her ears pierced. I then sprayed some of my favorite perfume on Leslie to give her a nice feminine scent.
When I stepped back and looked at my lovely daughter, I almost wanted to cry tears of happiness. She looked every inch the young lady she was supposed to be. She radiated a natural, youthful beauty. Before I broke down and cried in front of her, I handed Leslie her matching purse and reminded her to keep it with her. My last word of caution to her was to remember all of the lessons that she had learned in the past week. She assured me that she would. I quickly gave my daughter a big hug.
Just then, the doorbell rang. It was Frank, there on time to pick up Leslie. Although I wanted to see my daughter Leslie meet her Dad, I said I would stay out of sight and let her answer the door. She understood my reluctance on facing Frank. Before she went to the door, she again hugged me and thanked me for helping her to help her father and keep him out of trouble at work.
Leslie then went to the door and opened it. I could almost hear Frank's jaw hit the pavement in shocked surprise when he saw Leslie. She looked at him and said, "Hello, Daddy. Are you ready to escort me to the dinner party?" All Frank could do was stare. Finally, he told her that she looked great, like a younger version of her mother and just as pretty. With that, he offered her his right arm and escorted her to the car. He opened the door for Leslie and watched in amazement as Leslie gracefully seated herself on the passenger's seat. He then went around and got in the driver's side and started the car. I watched from a window they drove away for the evening, wishing that I could somehow be an observer at dinner, hidden from view, watching my Leslie.
During the drive, Frank and Leslie chatted amiably. When Frank expressed amazement at how natural and realistic Leslie looked, she said that Mom had been a very thorough teacher. Frank again commented on how Leslie truly looked like her mother. She reminded Frank that he should stop acting amazed and behave like he has had a daughter for fifteen years.
It took them about forty-five minutes for them to reach the house where the dinner party was being held. Once there, Frank parked the car and then quickly scurried around the car to help Leslie out. As the maid admitted them to the house, Frank's boss immediately came over to greet them. She was an older woman who had risen through the ranks of the company until she had become the CEO eight years ago. Frank flawlessly handled the introductions. "Mary, may I introduce my daughter Leslie? Leslie this is Miss Bishop, my boss and CEO of the company."
Mary Bishop was absolutely charmed by Leslie. She greeted her with a big hug and told her how pretty she looked. Leslie blushed at her compliment, but still had the presence of mind to thank her both for her kind words and for inviting her this evening. Mary took Leslie and introduced her to the other daughters there. There were three other young ladies present. Each had been introduced to the mentoring program in prior years and now was well into being mentored and coached on her education and career paths. They were here tonight to help Leslie feel at ease during the evening, to answer any questions she might have and to report to Miss Bishop as to how well they were faring in the program. All four chatted amiably about the program and other things. Leslie blended into the conversation very well, listening as the other girls talked about the benefits of the program and asking an occasional question or two to show her interest.
Frank stood across the room, observing the four girls chat, while he talked with Mary Bishop and the female executives. At the time she had hired him, Mary knew of his previous problems with alcohol, so she was very pleased to see Frank drinking ice water. She and the others complimented Frank on his lovely daughter. He said that, even prior to their divorce, his wife Sharon essentially had raised Leslie because of his on-going problems. Mary looked at him and said, "Frank, regardless of who raised your daughter, you have every reason to be a proud parent tonight." With that, the maid announced to all that dinner was served.
Frank offered his right arm to Leslie and escorted her to the table. In the dining room, each of the parent executives sat on one side of the table while their daughters sat directly opposite them. Naturally, Mary sat at the head of the table. Frank and Leslie were seated right next to Mary. At the other end was Joan Cramer, Vice President, Human Relations, who was the manager directly responsible for the mentoring program.
Throughout dinner, Frank watched Leslie as she displayed a natural grace, whether it was in sipping her iced tea, eating her salad or handling the chicken entrée. While the girls continued their lively discussion with Leslie, who was absorbing it all, Frank and the others talked briefly about business and about their daughters. Mary told Frank that she hoped Leslie would join the mentoring program, as she seemed like a bright, intelligent young lady. Frank simply agreed with both her hope and her accurate assessment of Leslie.
After the dishes for the main course were cleared away, Joan looked at Leslie and spoke, "Leslie, by now, you must realize that you are the only young lady here that currently is not a part of the mentoring program. I hope you do not think that this is a hard sell of our program aimed solely at you. As a new executive is employed, the daughter is invited to hear of our program. This also serves to reinforce and validate those already a part of our program. Each of the other young ladies here this evening has been introduced to the program in similar fashion. You have heard their comments and thoughts on the program. I would like to give you a formal presentation and then have each of the other young ladies add any additional comments."
For the next forty-five minutes, Leslie heard how one of the executives would monitor her progress through high school, offering suggestions on courses of study and activities to provide for a better-rounded education. No executive could mentor his (in Frank's case) or her own daughter in the program. Advice on college and curriculum selections would also be offered so that, by the time the young lady was ready to graduate from college, she would be ready to step into the heels of one of the mid-level managers and would work her way up to the top. If the young lady had shown the aptitude in her high school studies, the company would provide a full scholarship, including tuition, room, board and books, for four years, to one of the area's top business and management schools, of which there were several within two hours of headquarters. Each summer, each young lady in the program would intern with her mentor and learn more about the executive's position and the corporation. In addition, after college, coverage of an MBA was also included. After Joan finished speaking, the three girls being mentored offered additional comments and expressed their overall enthusiasm for the program. They addressed how the mentor assisted them while they were in high school and now guided their career paths in college. All three of the girls had earned the full scholarship and were now working on their business degrees. Summers provided additional opportunities for learning, as each girl spoke of the benefits of working beside her mentor for ten weeks.
Mary then spoke directly to Leslie, saying, "I know we have given you almost an information overload here tonight. We don't honestly expect an answer from you this instant. We ask that you think about what you have heard, talk it over honestly with your parents and let us know within two weeks whether or not you would be interested in this program. While we would hope to include you in the program, we can understand that not every young lady wants a career in business and management. Please give us your careful consideration." With that, she arose and went over to hug Leslie. Joan and the female parent executives quickly followed suit. Finally the other girls also hugged Leslie, telling her that she would be a great addition to the program.
Mary then looked at the four girls and asked if they would still keep their girlish figures if they indulged in dessert. Each enthusiastically welcomed the idea of dessert, as a one-night diversion. After dessert, the parents realized it was late and that their daughters needed to get home and get their rest.
As each girl departed, she thanked Mary for a lovely evening. Leslie and Frank were the last ones to leave. Again Mary hugged Leslie, told her how attractive she was this evening and how she hoped that Leslie would soon be a part of their mentoring program. Don't worry, " she said, "Your Dad's position is not on the line if you decide not to join our program." Leslie and Frank thanked Mary for all of her hospitality and kindness. Leslie promised that she would get back to Joan and Mary with her decision within the two-week period.
On the way home, Frank and Leslie talked about the program and how nice it would be if Leslie could participate. When they arrived back, Frank made sure that Leslie was safely inside before he turned and left. As I watched all of this again, I realized that I still had some feelings for Frank, in spite of the events surrounding our divorce.
Leslie seemed to be floating on a cloud as she entered the house. We sat and talked, as a mother and a daughter would, about all that had transpired during the evening. Leslie sat on the couch with on leg curled under her, the way a young lady sometimes sits. She did it so easily and naturally. Leslie told me all about the program, admitted that it sounded wonderful and that, if it were at all possible, she would love to be a part of it. Although she admitted that dressing as a girl had been great, there was no way she could even think about the program. What if someone should find out about her secret? She sighed wistfully as she put her head on my shoulder. I gently stroked her hair, trying to offer some comfort and peace to my Leslie, wishing that it could be possible for her to participate.
As I comforted my daughter, she looked up at me and said, "Mom, all of this past week has been wonderful. I was simply glowing today after my beauty appointment when you assured Amber that I would be back for a future beauty appointment. I have loved and enjoyed everything about this experience, from the feel of the clothes to the makeup and hair to actually trying to behave like a teenaged girl. This week has been so wonderful. While I know that it is not practical to do this full time, may I continue to be your daughter from time to time?" As I continued to stroke her hair, I assured her that I would enjoy having my daughter be with me as much of the time as she wanted.
Finally, I reminded her that it was late and told her to get ready for bed. Leslie thanked me for allowing her to continue to be my daughter. With that, she gave me a hug and headed off to her room to get ready for bed. When I went up a few minutes later to check, Leslie had put on her nightgown, cleansed her face, hung up her clothes and was just putting her satin sleep bonnet on. After one more hug, it was lights out.
That night, I must admit, I slept very poorly. I thought about the wonderful offer that had been presented to Leslie and the chance it would mean if only she could be in a position to accept it. I wondered if we dared to continue this masquerade in order to get Leslie the mentoring and the outstanding education that she so richly deserved. After a tortured night of wrestling with my thoughts, I finally dropped into a fitful sleep. However, I awoke at my normal time. After lying in bed for several minutes. I arose and started to get ready to face the day.
After showering, getting dressed in satin lingerie, jumper, blouse and flats and straightening my room, I looked in on my Leslie. She was still soundly sleeping. She looked darling lying there with her satin sleep bonnet covering her hair and the satin of her nightgown enfolding her body. I decided to let her sleep as long as she wanted to this morning.
As I was heading towards the kitchen, I heard the doorbell ring. I was not expecting anyone today, so I had no idea who was there. When I opened the door, I saw an older woman, attractively dressed in a blue knit skirted suit, white blouse and black two-inch heels. Her hair and makeup were tastefully done. Before I could say anything, she spoke. "Sharon, I am Mary Bishop. I had the opportunity last night to meet your lovely daughter Leslie. She is a delightful individual. You have every reason to be proud of her. May I come in so that we may talk about everything?"
I invited her in and asked if she would like a cup of tea. Mary said that would be wonderful. Mary sat at the kitchen table while I put the water on for tea. When I finally poured the tea and set our cups on the table, Mary looked at me and spoke. "Sharon, before we start, let me say that I know about Leslie. I know that Leslie is your son and not your daughter. However, that makes no difference to me." I looked at her quizzically and asked what had given Leslie's true nature away.
"Sharon, there was nothing last night that gave anything away about Leslie. She was a charming, winsome, attractive young lady who moved easily among her peers. You did an excellent job in getting her ready for the evening. After meeting her, I am convinced that she would be a credit to our program and we truly would love having her participate." When I again asked what gave Leslie away, Mary continued.
"I did not become the CEO of this company without being thorough and without doing my research. When Frank was referred to us for an executive position, his credentials were impressive. As always, I had a complete background check performed on potential executive hires. At that time, this check revealed that you and Frank had produced a boy and had named him Leslie."
"The dinner party is a regular part of the mentoring program, intended for us to meet the young lady and for her to be introduced to our company and what we have to offer. While I knew that Frank did not have a daughter, I set up the dinner and issued the invitation anyway, to see how Frank would react to a problem so soon after being employed. To my mind, Frank had three possible solutions to this problem. First, he could have simply not shown up. This would have greatly upset me and would probably have resulted in him being terminated from his executive position. The second solution was to show up for the dinner with his son Leslie, explain the confusion and then go from there. While I would have been upset with him, I would have retained him in his current position."
"His third option would have been to immediately admit to me that while his child was named Leslie, it was his son not his daughter. This would have shown the ultimate strength of his character. An immediate admission of the truth would have earned my respect and, probably secured his position with the company, although he would have had to contend with the glass ceiling that will prevent him from rising to the upper, upper levels of management reserved only for the female members of the staff."
Before I could interject a comment or an explanation, Mary continued. "Frank surprised me by coming up with a fourth option which, as it turns out, was the most delightful choice of all. I must again compliment you for all of the preparation that you did getting Leslie ready for last night. Even though Frank's solution may have arisen out of desperation, it shows a level of innovative thinking that will be a benefit for our company."
As Mary was finishing her statement, a sleepy Leslie walked into the kitchen to join us. She was still wearing her long, ankle-length pink satin nightgown and her satin hair bonnet. When she saw Mary Bishop sitting there, she was instantly awake. Mary immediately asked Leslie to sit and join us. She commented on how darling Leslie looked in her nightgown and hair bonnet. Mary then gave Leslie a summarized version of the comments she had made to me. These comments surprised Leslie, but she said nothing. Mary then emphasized that, despite the deception, she still wanted Leslie to become a valued part of the mentoring program as a young lady. Mary and Joan were impressed with the charm, poise and grace Leslie had displayed during the dinner and throughout the evening.
We both looked at Mary and asked how Leslie could possibly be included in the program. At this point, Mary presented her ideas for a solution. Her sister Margaret was the Head Mistress of a small private girl's school, The Girls' Academy, which was located nearby. Twice in the past, special girls had been admitted to the school with the knowledge and approval of Margaret. None of the staff knew that these girls were special students. These special students were actually boys who had enjoyed experiencing their feminine side and whose parents had lovingly helped them dress and act appropriately. Neither had wanted to become a girl, either through hormones or surgery and their wishes had been respected. Both had graduated from The Girls' Academy, gone on to college and now had prominent positions within the company while their true genders were unknown to almost all that came into contact with them. Additionally, both were married to lovely ladies who accepted and respected their femininity. In a small private wedding, one had even worn a wedding gown and the other served as her Maid of Honor. It was a lovely ceremony with two brides and two Maids of Honor in the wedding. This was what Mary was now proposing for Leslie. Mary also indicated that the school records, both from Leslie's current school and the girls school would quietly be changed to show that her gender was Female rather than Male. By the time Mary was finished, Leslie just sat there in silence, stunned by what she had heard and the possibilities available to her.
Finally, Leslie was the first one to speak. "Mom, Miss Bishop, if you think that this could be done in my case I would welcome it with open arms. Going to a girl's school and dressing like a young lady would be nice. The mentoring program sounded so great last night that I wished that there were some way that I could be a part of it. Now, it seems like you are offering me the chance to fulfill this dream." Leslie then reached over and gave Mary Bishop a big hug.
After regaining her poise, Mary looked at Leslie and spoke. "Leslie, after the dinner party, Joan and I spoke at length about you. I decided, and she agreed, if you entered the program, that I would be the one that would be your mentor and provide you the guidance you need. You will work with me, starting this summer to learn the company from top to bottom. However, since Miss Bishop sounds too formal, I would like you to refer to me as Aunt Mary. Is that acceptable to you and your Mom?" We both looked at her and quickly nodded in agreement.
Mary then continued, "Since there are only a few weeks remaining in this school term, I think you should finish out the year and then start fresh at The Girls' Academy in the fall. Sharon, with your approval, I will work with our legal department to have Leslie's gender quietly changed on the school records. In the meantime, since Leslie's summer internship begins in a few weeks, I think that Aunt Mary needs to get my new niece a wardrobe suitable for the daily routine of the business world. I think we'll even include some sportswear and some additional nightgowns for you, also. Is that all right with both of you?"
Leslie nodded in eager anticipation. She excused herself so that she could get cleaned up and dressed to go shopping. I gave Mary a look of appreciation and thanks for all that she was offering my daughter Leslie. Mary smiled at the prospect of being a mentor to Leslie and using her knowledge to ultimately guide Leslie through her education and into a good management position. As it turned out, Leslie would have the opportunity she had wished for to receive the education that she truly deserved. As it also turned out, I would have the daughter that I had secretly craved all of these many years.
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