From Within

Chapter Two

Time pushed ever onwards for Vicky, and before she knew it she had finished her years at primary school, all that lay ahead were the hot summer days playing out in the garden, or maybe the beach, and plenty of time to play with Emily and Chloe.  The first Saturday of the summer holiday was really hot, and Chloe came knocking on her door to see if she wanted to go out with her on their bikes.

 

"I'm not sure, because I think we're going to the beach Chloe" said Vicky "I'll ask, do you want to come too?" she asked

"Well, it does sound nice!" Chloe answered not wanting to sound as if she was inviting herself

"I'll just go and ask my mum, Emily's coming too, and I think James is bringing a friend, better avoid them then!" Vicky joked.

 

Vicky went to her mum and asked if Chloe could come to the beach if they were definitely going, Emily really liked Chloe as well, and she started jumping up and down to try and persuade mum.  Mum gave in easily enough and said she could come, Emily and Vicky ran back to the front door

 

"Hi Chloe!" said Emily with a big beaming smile,

"Hello Emily, wow those are cool jelly shoes!" Chloe said looking down at her sparkly pink summery shoes

"Thankyou I got them last week in a shop in the town" Emily answered

"Well you are allowed to come, why don't you come inside we'll make you lunch and stuff and you can phone your mum and dad to say you're coming to the beach" said Vicky

"Can I phone now?" Chloe enquired

"Yeah sure!  We'll be in the garden shed getting our beach stuff" said Vicky as Emily rushed out to the garden shed to find the buckets, spades and beach ball she had for her birthday in June.

 

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The three girls had a great time on the beach, making sandcastles and playing with Emily's beachball.  All to often Chloe and Vicky were caught staring at some of the guys on the beach, in one instance Emily knocked the ball to Vicky only for her to get donked on the head by the ball as she was staring at a guy that was much older than eleven!  Emily didn't get too annoyed, it was just distracting.  Emily although knowing Vicky felt like a girl, she still saw her as her brother, so on one hand found it odd that she should like boys, but when she thought about it, if she looked at Vicky as a girl that she still looked quite like and that she claimed to feel like, it was probably quite normal!  In the best sense of the word for a seven year old's understanding!  However they had a fantastic time on the beach, sunbathing, and had an ice lolly each, and even Emily was caught taking a glance at James' friend, with Chloe and Vicky giggling and then Emily swinging around saying "And?" and smiling with a very distinct blush!  The day drew to an end and all three girls vowed they would go to the beach again, soon.

 

Vicky having finished Primary School was looking forward to secondary school, she thought maybe she would finally get away from all the taunts she received before and all the physical abuse she suffered.  The outlook seemed good, however for poor Vicky things were to go drastically downhill.  The rest of the summer was quite damp despite a promising start and boredom set in often with Vicky and her sister, puzzle after puzzle was completed, Vicky did some drawings for Emily to put on the her bedroom walls, and they played with all the usual toys.  James and his friends often had a laugh at Vicky for playing with her sister and Chloe with "girl's" toys, which she felt hurt by, but Emily would always be there smiling at her, and just as loving as ever.  They were inseparable, and for Vicky this was fast becoming a lifeline.  Emily asked Vicky a question one day that she had meant to ask for a long time

 

"Do you ever dress in girl's clothes?" she asked

Vicky paused to see if Emily's bedroom door was shut so that no one could hear her, because she could share anything with Emily and have things kept secret.

"When I go around Chloe's house and my other girl friend's, yes sometimes I do.  And you know I used to wear your nurse outfit sometimes when we played nurses when you were younger" Vicky explained

"I just wanted to ask, just that not many girls wear boys clothes, I know you have to because well mummy and daddy say you are a boy and so does everyone else" said Emily

Vicky tried to smile, but hung her head and felt so much shame, and just as ever, Emily spoke up

"But you can be my sister if you really want to be, and I can call you Vicky if you really want me to?"

Vicky looked up at her sister with big blubbery eyes and wept, and she reached out to Emily and hugged her and said

"Yes, I would love that"

"Ok, so now we are sisters, do we do anything different than before?" Emily enquired

"Not a single thing!" said Vicky.  Emily smiled, it was still raining so Vicky suggested to her that they asked mum if they could buy Strawberry flavoured fairy cakes and bake them, they both liked cakes, and liked cooking, it after all let the time pass by doing something different, something special.

 

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It was the day before starting secondary school, and rather foolishly Vicky's mum had left the school shopping before both girls went back to school, it wasn't a problem, just a rush.  The easy bit as always was going into the stationers and both choosing the same pencil case, pens, pencils, rubber - they insisted on having the same.  That left, the dreaded school uniform problem, that Vicky's mum usually had.  To her mum, she had no idea why her "son" would go all sulky at this point in shopping, after all James never enjoyed it but at least he didn't give her hassle.  Vicky had no problem with wearing trousers and shorts, well most girls did wear them, but she felt annoyed that her sister Emily was allowed trousers, and a skirt, she just had trousers.  For Vicky, there was no way of suggesting that she wanted the same as her sister, well she did when Emily started school, but it ended up embarrassing her mum hugely in the shop and the assistant chuckling to his fellow assistant.  After the trouble that brought for her, she never spoke of it again, and somehow it seemed her mum had forgotten the episode until

 

"Look, you have to try them on to see if they fit" said her mum

"I can tell by putting them up in front of me that they fit" Vicky stubbornly replied

"No, you must try them on, I hope this isn't another of your tantrums about wanting to have a skirt like Emily, you can't wear them!  You can't have everything your sister does, you're a boy!" her mum responded, trying not to draw attention to the situation.  Emily looked at Vicky and smiled to try and comfort her.  Vicky acknowledged that and quipped

"Sorry I'm just tired, sorry"

"Ok, but please try the trousers on and then we have finished and get the bus home" her mum said trying to at least to get somewhere

"Ok, as long as I can go home afterwards" Vicky sighed and stomped into the changing rooms, a experience she never enjoyed.

 

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Once back home Emily and Vicky helped unpack some of the food shopping for their mum and quickly ran off upstairs to play, and talk without their mum being around, Emily quietly closed the door, and being the thoughtful child she was, so much more grown up than her age she smiled at Vicky as she always did and said to her quietly

 

"Because you're my sister, one day mum will know and you can wear what I wear, anyway can you draw me Bugs Bunny again I lost that picture, I think James and his nasty friend Adam stole it from my wall and well can you" she asked

Vicky smiled at her sister's wisdom and duly drew Emily her picture, and before dinner, she had just finished, and she gave Emily a big hug and thanked her.

 

Vicky hardly slept the night before she started secondary school, she was so excited about it, and look forward to a more peaceful time.  It started well, she made a few friends but was split up from Chloe, and put on a table of people she didn't know, but she got along, alright.  However in her tutor group were a group of boys who she knew instantly were the laddish type, and though she did like the look of one of them, she could see they could be trouble.  In different classes, she began to notice them acting like a 'mob' and acting very much in the ways that the boys who had bullied her before.

 

And not before long, the hard working and studious, and feminine Vicky, soon began to get picked on.  Being called names that she had heard before like "sissy" "girlie" "girl's blouse", and because it was hard to hide her attraction to boys, people noticed this and saw fit to heckle homosexual insults her way.  She was soon back to the stage of deep upset all over again, but none of them resorted to physical violence towards her, yet.  She told Emily about it, but she didn't know what to tell Vicky to do, she said maybe you need to get tougher and answer back, but it would never work.  Emily was a popular girl at school and that was something that made Vicky very happy indeed.  In fact, sometimes Vicky would selflessly think only of Emily's needs and would often hide the suffering that was becoming ever more intense.

 

The year progressed and she did well at her work, receiving good grades and enjoying her classes and being a very good pupil.  But this only continued her persecution from seemingly an ever larger group of boys, and the girls in general were a bit wary, as they didn't understand her, indeed she was a "him" to them, and with long hair and typical feminine ways, "he" was a very strange thing to them which they steered clear of whilst they went after the popular guys and wouldn't even approach her as she was "the weird one".  Vicky was reminded all too well of her horrible gender problems in PE, being forced to play sports she hated, and always got badly hurt in as someone took a nasty cheap-shot at her, kicking her or punching - anything to hurt emotionally and physically was deemed appropriate.  The teachers knew it went on, they tried to stop her suffering but they were ignored largely.  She wasn't the only one to be picked on, a boy called George was also horrifically picked on, and all Vicky could do when she saw it was freeze as it would usually end up the two of them getting horribly beaten up together.  The worst was just after her twelfth birthday in July, two weeks before the end of her first year at secondary school.  She decided often to stay behind in the library for half an hour, just to read about the things she enjoyed, cooking, drawing, stamp collecting and anything that she felt absorbed by.  This was enjoyable for her; and meant she could leave after the boys had gone home so she could walk home without taunts or being hit.

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One day though, a Friday, she left the library with a book for her History homework and feeling quite happy, she walked the same way out of school as ever, past the girl's toilets, out through the archway, and past the bikeshed, and just as she walked past the bikeshed, three boys stepped out in front of her.  They pushed her around calling her names and they heckled

 

"What can you do to let us let you go huh sissy?"

"Yeah, because we want something good or else!"

"But I just want to go home for the weekend" whimpered Vicky

"Oh so now your crying now, pussy!!!" heckled one of the boys

"I just don't want to be trouble, please can I go home?" pleaded Vicky as they encircled her...

 

They walked her behind the bikeshed appear all sweet, but Vicky sensed danger, and as she tried to run away, they tripped her up on the tarmac and kicked her on the ground, and picked her up and punched her arms and stomach with such violence it was distressing for the poor girl to go through such a thing.  She screamed and cried and a teacher's voice came yelling from the school entrance towards the bike shed shouting at the boys to put her down, she ran like the wind back home howling tears, opened the door with the key she had and ran to Emily's room hoping she would be there.  She cried and cried and cried, Emily came back from school moments later and saw Vicky in a very bruised and battered heap on the floor, she dropped her bags and ran towards her to see what was wrong and to console her badly shaken and distressed sister, and she cried inside for how people could be so nasty to her sister.  She didn't understand the feelings entirely, she wept inside of how people could permit this brutal behaviour towards those who were different from the 'norm', and how awful her sister's suffering was.  She consoled Vicky and wiped her face with a tissue, undressed her, put some of her clothes on, cleaned up her cuts and put plasters on them.  They sat huddled in the corner of the room with Vicky saying what had happened and Emily cuddling her and crying why anyone could be so nasty to her big sister, it was all because she appeared to everyone else like a feminine boy, and femininity in men was a bad thing, for no good reason.  Mum called them down for tea, and Vicky crept down wondering how to explain her cuts and bruises and her black eye.  Mum noticed immediately and yelped.

 

"What on earth has happened to you!?" she frantically asked

"It was Rugby in PE" Vicky quivered

"But I thought that finished ages ago?  And how come you always get hurt?" her mum asked feeling a little sceptical, Vicky could only muster a little whimper

"I'm just, extremely, unlucky"

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