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Clyde Morrison’s Secret

by Ron Van Sweringen

Clyde Morrison wasn’t your average ten-year-old boy. He looked average, he ran and played like other boys, but Clyde had a secret buried deep inside of him. He wanted to be a girl.

He’d suspected it since he was eight and happened to look in the bathroom mirror before taking his shower one night. Something about the shape of his nose caught his attention. It struck him as beautiful, like a girl’s nose, and for some reason he was thrilled at the thought.

As time went on, Clyde noticed other things about his body. His feet and hands were small for a boy and his lips were unusually full. He spent time before the mirror admiring his mouth and wondering what it would be like to wear lipstick.

One day, when he came home from school and the house was empty, he took one of his mother’s lipsticks and carefully covered his mouth with the bright red pigment. The sensation was overwhelming as he stared at himself in the mirror. It was then that the longing inside of him began growing stronger.

Of course, Clyde told no one. Who would believe it anyway, that a boy could really be a girl on the inside?

When Clyde was sixteen years old, he met Wanda Jean Thompson, a new student who appeared in his homeroom class one morning. She sat at a desk across the aisle from him and he made a quick observation of her.

Clyde thought Wanda Jean was large and not very feminine. Her dark hair was cut shorter than his, and she wore no makeup. When she turned toward him and their eyes met, he felt an odd sensation; it was as if they already knew each other. When she extended her hand with a smile, he accepted it and the hearty handshake that came with it.

Over the next few months, Clyde and Wanda became friends, eating lunch together in the cafeteria most days and spending time together at recess. Clyde had never had a close friend or anyone he felt he could trust. Slowly, he began to confide his secret of wanting to be a girl.

Wanda listened quietly when he brought the subject up one Saturday afternoon while sitting on her front porch steps. When he finally said it out loud, he breathed a sigh of relief. “Can we still be friends?” he asked looking away, almost as though he was afraid to hear her answer.

“Why not?” she replied, flipping her cigarette butt into the street gutter. “I guessed your secret from the beginning. In case you haven’t figured mine out, I like girls.”

Clyde could not control himself; he burst out laughing and rocked back and forth.

“I have an idea,” Wanda replied with a smile. “You can be my date next Saturday night.”

Clyde stared at her in disbelief, hardly able to close his mouth. “Date?” he mumbled.

“Why not? It’s Halloween,” she replied. “What better night for you to come out? I have a friend who can do you over from top to bottom: wig, makeup, dress... the whole ballgame. I bet you’ll be gorgeous. We’ll go to the movies and get a burger after.”

When Clyde got home that afternoon, he was in shock over Wanda’s proposal. The only thing that made it real was the slip of paper she had given him with a woman’s name and telephone number printed on it. The excitement of holding it made his heart pound so hard he had to sit down.

“Call her on Monday after school,” Wanda had told him. “I’ll talk to her before then, so she’ll know what it’s about.”

At 3:15 on Monday afternoon, Clyde called the number on the slip of paper. His hands were shaking as he stood in the telephone booth waiting for an answer.

“Hello, Bucky James here.”

Clyde’s voice broke twice as he tried to answer. Finally he was able to get his name out.

“Hi, Hon,” was Bucky’s response, “I’ve been waiting for your call. How soon can we get together?”

“Now,” Clyde answered loudly, surprising himself at his assertiveness.

“Good, I need time to see what I’m working with.”

Bucky finished the conversation with her address. Clyde let out a deep breath of relief as he hung the phone up. “It’s really going to happen,” he said to himself.

As was prearranged on Clyde’s first visit to see Bucky, Clyde was to arrive at her house a week later for the makeover on the following Saturday, Halloween afternoon.

He was to be freshly showered and freshly shaved, including his legs if need be. The rest Bucky would take care of.

Clyde had convinced his parents that he and a friend were going to a movie and then getting a hamburger so he would not be home until late.

The makeover took two hours. When Clyde finally looked at his reflection in the mirror, he could hardly breathe. The girl looking back at him was not only attractive, she was stunning.

“Don’t cry, Honey, or you’ll spoil your makeup,” Bucky warned, seeing Clyde’s reaction to his image. She quickly changed the subject. “What’s your new name, Honey?” she asked. “You certainly don’t look like a Clyde anymore.”

Clyde looked up with a smile. “Yes, she deserves a special name, doesn’t she?” he replied nodding his head. “She’s been waiting a long time for tonight.”

Taking Bucky’s hand he continued: “And you just did the honors. From now on it’s Honey Morrison.”

At exactly six o’clock, Wanda arrived at Bucky’s front door. Upon seeing Clyde, she let out a yell. “Holy crap! I knew you’d be gorgeous, but this is unbelievable!

“I know,” Clyde replied, with an unexpected look of sadness, “But what happens when tonight is over and she has to go?”

“It won’t be long until she can come back for good if you want her to,” Wanda said. “But until then, we’ve got New Year’s Eve. Maybe you can teach me to dance by then.”

Copyright © 2015 by Ron Van Sweringen

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