This work is fictitious, and any similarities to any persons, alive or dead, are purely coincidental. Mention is made of persons in public life only for the purposes of realism, and for that reason alone. Certain licence is taken in respect of medical procedures, terms and conditions, and the author does not claim to be the fount of all knowledge. The author accepts the right of the individual to hold his/her (or whatever) own political, religious and social views, and there is no intention to deliberately offend anyone. If you wish to take offence, that is your problem.
This is only a story, and it contains adult material, which includes sex and intimate descriptive details pertaining to genitalia. If this is likely to offend, then don't read it.
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I spent the day showing Mary and Michael, how to use their computer. It was a Thursday, and it was Michael's day off. Just before lunch, he went to bed for a bit. I had forgotten, but he had spent most of the night beside a dying man.
I got very engrossed in the computer, at one point I had forgotten what had happened to me. However, every time I looked down at the keyboard, the sight of my swelling breasts under my clothes reminded me.
I found that being a girl seemed the most natural thing in the world, and I still felt that it was right. Every time I walked anywhere in the house, I would see my reflection somewhere, and each time I saw myself, I couldn't help smiling. Then I realised, for the first time for many years, I actually felt happy. It was a truly wonderful feeling!
I loved the feel of my new body, and the clothes were lovely, but I just felt that I belonged.
Mary was very kind, and we talked for hours. I don't think I had ever talked like this with anyone before. I told her all about my short and rather miserable life, and she told me of hers.
She had once wanted to be an actress and singer. She had gone to drama school, but had soon realised that for everyone that finds success, hundreds never do. She had gone into teaching, and had spent many years teaching English and drama. She had met Michael, who was the chaplain to one of her schools, and they had married. He hadn't always been a vicar, he had been in the diplomatic corps at one point, and had been all over the world. His last posting had been in Africa, and it was here that he had acknowledged his faith, and done something about it. He had left the corps, and become a vicar.
They had tried for several children, but only had the one. Due to various problems, Mary had had to have a hysterectomy, and they made do with Caroline.
Caroline had been a rather wayward girl, and although now was twenty-six, she had led her parents a merry dance. However, she had met a New Zealander and had gone out to New Zealand to live only quite recently, and I could tell that both Mary and Michael were unhappy about it.
Mary said, “I have to go shopping in Aylesbury. Do you want to come with me?”
I thought for only a second. “I'd love to,” I said.
I dashed up stairs, touched up my makeup and brushed my hair. Again, seeing a very pretty girl in the mirror, sent butterflies through my tummy.
It was a twenty-minute drive to Aylesbury, and we parked in the multi-storey. As we walked through the precinct, I kept seeing my reflection in the windows, and heard the tap-tap-tapping of my high heels. I smiled.
Mary noticed, and said, “You look pleased about something.”
“Yes. Oh, Mary, I think I am happy for the first time in my life.”
Mary looked at my ponytail.
“Why don't you have your hair done? If you have it cut nicely, it will have a lovely shape as it grows out,” she said.
“I'd love to,” I replied, “but I only have £50, and I don't want to waste it on something like that.”
“Why don't you have it on me, in payment for getting our computer on line?” she asked.
“Oh, I couldn't,” I said.
“Look, Emma. You said that you stand to inherit a lot of money?”
“Then, why don't you keep a tally, and if you manage to collect the inheritance, then I will let you pay us back?” she asked.
“And if I don't?” I asked.
“Then we will talk about that when the time comes,” she said.
There was nothing more I could say. I simply nodded and she took me by the arm, and we went to the hairdressers.
It was a grey Thursday afternoon, and the town was very empty, and so was the hairdressers.
“Hello, my niece has just come to see us, and I think she could do a lot more with her hair. She wants to grow it, but it needs a nice cut, so that it grows out nicely. Can you do something for her?” Mary said.
I was sat down, and the two women talked an alien language for a while. My hair was pulled and combed, and the shape of my head was looked at from every angle. Eventually, a course of action was decided upon, and the girl set to work.
She washed my hair, and while it was wet, she cut it. I thought that huge chunks of hair came off, but as it dried, and she styled it, I was very pleased with the result.
It was quite a bit shorter, but it was shaped very well, and set of my face delightfully. There was still some body at the back, and it felt lovely after she blow-dried it. I looked in the mirror, and I thought that it made me seem older. It certainly made me look very pretty. I smiled at myself.
Mary had disappeared to do some shopping, and she came back, just as Jenny, the stylist, was finishing up.
“Why, Emma. You look lovely. That is super. You look much older like that,” she said.
I just grinned, I loved how I looked, and I felt so happy it was bubbling up inside me.
Mary paid Jenny, and we left the hairdressers. I couldn't pass a shop window, without admiring myself.
“We need to go to the supermarket, if you are going to be staying with us for a while,” Mary said.
“I don't want to be any trouble.” I said, feeling rather guilty.
“Emma, don't be silly. Please understand, we want to help you get straightened out. I am sure that you won't eat us out of house and home, and you will be safe with us. So, I don't want to hear any more about it. Okay?” she said.
“Okay,” I said.
We went to the supermarket, and I pushed the trolley for her. I had never been shopping like this before, and it was a real adventure.
We turned the corner on one aisle, and my heart stopped. Coming towards me was Mr McLean, my maths teacher from school, and he had been the teacher who had told me that I looked like a girl. I just froze, and he was looking at his list, then at the shelves, and then at his list again.
Mary had gone back for some rice, which we had passed, and I was alone.
Mr McLean pushed his trolley straight into mine, and they crashed together. He looked up, and looked straight at me.
“Oh, I am so sorry, Miss. I wasn't looking where I was going,” he said. He blushed, and looked very embarrassed. A woman came up to him, his wife, as I had seen her around the school several times.
“Oh, I am sorry, my dear. He is completely useless in these places. I can't trust him to do anything without mucking it up somehow,” she said.
Neither of them recognised me. Why should they? I was a couple of inches taller in my heels, I was a different gender, I looked about three years older, and I was very attractive.
I flicked my hair, and smiled.
“It's fine. I'm used to men crashing into me all the time in here. It's a wonder they are allowed driving licences,” I said, smiling straight at Mr McLean, who went even redder.
Mrs McLean laughed, and pulled him out of my way. I noticed her glance at my left hand.
“They are a bloody nuisance, and that's for sure. Are you with your boyfriend?” she asked.
“No, my aunt,” I replied.
“Very wise, never bring a man in here, they are a liability,” said Mrs McLean with some feeling. She pulled the trolley and her husband away down the aisle.
“What was all that about?” she asked.
“My maths teacher has just bumped into me,” I told her.
“Did he recognise you?”
I shook my head.
“No, but I can't for the life of me understand why not,” I said laughing.
We finished our shopping, and returned, without further incident, to the car. I was quiet on the way back. I felt so pleased about Mr McLean not having a clue about me. I felt sufficiently confident that I believed that I could walk right through the school, like this, and no one would ever realise who I used to be.
“Don't get too confident. All it takes is one little mistake, or one person a little more on the ball,” Mary said, reading my expressions.
“I know, but I do feel a lot better now. I really enjoyed shopping, I have never done it before,” I said.
“What was your favourite bit?” she asked.
I thought for a moment.
“Just being free and walking around, being me for the first time in my life. I think I just like being me. A girl,” I said.
“Just as well, I don't think you will change back now.”
“Good,” I said. “I wouldn't want to.”
We arrived back at the manse in Little Mudsley, and found Michael was out. He had left a note on the hall table.
“GONE OUT. BACK AT 5 PM.”
“I wonder where he has gone.” Mary said.
I shrugged, and helped her put away the shopping.
I went into the study, and checked their emails. There was nothing from New Zealand. Mary and I spent some time together with the computer, and I taught her how to access her email system.
I went up to the bedroom in which I had dressed, Caroline's room. I looked at myself in the dressing table mirror. My hair was lovely, and it sort of swished when I turned my head. I touched up my makeup, and wished I knew more about such things.
I looked at some of the other clothes that Mary had given me, and couldn't wait to try them all on. I realised that I was very tired, and I just lay down for a moment. I must have dropped off, because it was dark when I woke up.
I went back down stairs, and Michael was back, I heard him talking to Mary.
“I managed to get a birth certificate sorted out. I think I can get her registered through National insurance. It's amazing what one can do with the right contacts,” Michael was saying
“Oh, Mike, are you sure that this is all right. I don't want us to do anything that will get us into trouble,” Mary said.
“I can't see what we are doing will get us into trouble, we are just helping a child in a real pickle. It is not as if we are trying to swindle anyone, are we?” Michael said.
I walked in at this point, and Michael stared at me.
“Is this the same girl that I picked up this morning?” he asked. “My goodness, Emma, what a pretty girl you have turned into.”
“Thank you, Michael. I had my hair done. Do you like it?” I asked.
“Very much. You look lovely. It suits you,” he said.
“Thank you. But I agree with Mary. I don't want you to do anything that will get you into any trouble,” I said.
“Listen, while I was attached to a consulate in Uganda, I was the registrar for all the births of British subjects. We had to leave in a hurry, and I packed up very quickly. I still have my book of certificates, and I know that many files were damaged. So, I have created a new person, called Emma Jane Pearson. Born 4 th February 1982, daughter to John Pearson, clergyman, and Margaret Pearson, nee Smith, housewife, in Kampala, Uganda.
“I have also done the death certificates of both your parents, from a car accident last year, and your father's will, leaving you into the care of your father's dearest friends, the Rev. Michael Strong and Mrs Mary Strong. Here is your certificate of travel, showing that you lost your passport, and that you're who you say you are, issued by the consulate in Uganda.
“All we have to do is register you with the DSS, and with National Insurance. You and I shall go into Milton Keynes tomorrow, and make you official,” he said.
He made it sound too easy, I was not convinced, but when I looked at the birth certificate, it looked like the genuine article. I said so.
“That is because it is. This is what was used, and to my knowledge still is. The only difference is that there are no records anywhere to prove or disprove that they are genuinely yours,” Michael explained.
“How did you know that I have been to Uganda?” I asked.
Mike stared at me.
“I didn't. When was that?”
“I was about six or seven. We all went, something to do with an international engineering convention. It was only for a week, and I stayed in the hotel for most of it. But I did see some of Kampala. I don't remember very much, but perhaps enough,” I said.
I helped Mary prepare dinner, and we had a beef stew, dumplings, cabbage and mashed potatoes. This was followed by some of Mary's apple pie, and it was the best meal I had ever had.
I did the washing up, and we sat in their sitting room afterwards. I found a book in their bookcase, and just sat and read.
“Would you like to put on the telly?” Mary asked.
“No thanks,” I said. “I would rather read.”
After a few minutes, I became aware that they were both watching me.
“What?” I asked, worried.
“Emma, it is very strange, but all your mannerisms and the way you move. It is as if you have always been a girl,” Mary said.
I smiled, and brushed my hair back. They both laughed.
“I find it hard to believe you were ever a boy,” Michael said.
“I do too,” I said. “I can honestly say that I have never felt so complete and so happy ever before.”
I continued to read, but found that I could hardly keep my eyes open.
“Emma?” Mary said, very gently.
I shook my head, and said, “Yes?”
“Go to bed, dear. Please use Caroline's room as your own. I have put a nightie on the bed. Do you need a tooth brush?” she asked.
I shook my head.
I stood up, and went and gave Mary a hug. “I can't thank you enough for everything you have done,” I said.
“That is alright, dear. It is quite exciting really. Good night, and sleep well,” she said.
I went over to Michael, and hugged him too.
“Thanks Mike. You saved me, did you know that?” I said.
“Only your body, tomorrow your soul.” he joked.
“No, my soul is saved, I can only think that this is all a miracle, and think I must thank God for everything. Goodnight,” I said to him.
I went up to my bedroom and closed the door. I put the bedside light on, and switched off the main light. I drew the curtains, and undressed. I stood for a while, naked, and enjoyed my new body. I sat on my bed, and fondled my breasts, they were firm and so round, I cupped them in my hands and stroked them gently. My nipples seemed to harden under my touch, and I had another funny feeling in my tummy. It was like the fluttering of hundreds of tiny butterflies.
I ran my hand down over my smooth flat tummy and into the golden fuzz just below my navel. I kept going, and opening my legs, I explored that wonderful little crevice that nestled between my legs. It was so warm and the skin so smooth, I got a funny feeling as I ran my finger over the slit that covered the opening to my womanhood. I ran my finger a little deeper, and gasped as I touched that little cherry that was my clitoris. I felt guilty that I gave myself such pleasure, but I didn't stop.
I found that as I rubbed I became moist, and my fingers ran smoother, and the pleasure increased, I got faster and faster, until I was suddenly hit by an explosion of pleasure, that left me moaning and gasping on the bed. I still didn't stop, and kept rubbing myself. With my other hand, I rubbed my nipples, and I used my hand that was already damp from my running, and changed them round. I brought myself to that wonderful point of orgasm repeatedly, until I lay exhausted on the bed. If any man had walked in at that moment, I would have gladly given myself to him.
I now knew a very little of what it meant to be a woman.
I put my nightie on and cleaned my teeth. I popped to the bathroom, and had a pee. Then I returned to the bedroom and jumped into the nice big bed. I giggled as my nightie immediately ended up under my armpits, and I wriggled it back under my bum.
I turned the light out, and said a little prayer.
“I don't know why, I don't now how, I only know I thank you God, from the bottom of my heart,” I said. I must have gone to sleep almost immediately.
I awoke as the winter sun streamed through my open curtains straight onto my face.
“Good morning, Emma. It is nearly ten o'clock. I think you should get up,” Mary said.
“Good morning Mary,” I said, stretching.
“How did you sleep?”
“Wonderfully, I can't remember when I slept as well,” I said, just so glad to be alive.
“Mike is going to Milton Keynes in an hour, so you had better get up and have some breakfast.”
“May I have a shower, please?” I asked.
“Of course, dear,” she said, and left me alone.
I got up and took my towel into the bathroom. I took off my nightie, and sat on the loo. It had become second nature now, and I could almost believe that I had always been female.
I stepped into the bath, and switched the shower on. I pulled the curtain round, and washed myself all over and even my hair again. I loved the feel of the soap on my body, and I loved smelling clean.
I got out and dried myself off. I wrapped the towel round me, and went back to my room. I looked at the clothes that Mary had given me, and took my time to choose something different to yesterday.
I put on my bra, and noticed that my breasts were slightly larger than they had been when I had gone to bed. I put on some clean knickers, and a pair of tights. There was a chic brown suede skirt, and a beige silk blouse. I put them on, the skirt was quite tight, and it came down to my knees. There was a slit up the back, to make it easier to walk. I put on a matching suede waistcoat, and a pair of knee length brown suede boots. Then I looked at myself in the mirror. I smiled at the startlingly beautiful girl who looked back at me. I went to the dressing table, and used the drier on my hair. It fell neatly into place, and I thought it looked even better than when it had been first cut. My hair was definitely thicker than it had been when I had been a boy.
I picked up a magazine, which had some makeup tips, and looked at a girl who had similar fair hair and skin to mine. Her eye make up was fantastic, and I attempted to make mine as near as I could to be like hers. It wasn't bad, but I had some way to go to be good at this. I put on some lipstick, and was pleased with how I looked. The trick seemed to be, not too much, but enough.
I made my bed, and tidied up, and as I put things away, I noticed that there was some red nail varnish in the drawer, and some files. I filed my nails to a more feminine point, and painted them with the varnish. My nails were a little short, but they looked quite good to me.
There was a brown suede knee-length coat in the wardrobe, so I carried it with me. Happy with my appearance, I went down stairs.
I found the couple in the kitchen, and walked in breezily.
“Good morning Mike,” I said.
“Good morning Emma. My goodness, you look wonderful,” he said.
“Emma, where did you learn to do your make up like that?” Mary asked.
I shrugged, “Nowhere. I have never done it before. I just sort of did it. Why, is it terrible?” I asked.
“No, just the opposite. You look very sophisticated. It is difficult to believe that you have never done it before,” she said.
I grinned. “Its wonderful, its like an incredible adventure, and I don't know what fun is coming next.”
“Well, have fun and eat some breakfast,” said Mary with a smile.
I poured myself some cornflakes, and milk and sugar.
I sat down and ate.
“Would you like some tea or coffee?” Mike asked.
“No thanks, just a glass of milk, please,” I said.
Mary poured me a glass, and watched me drink it all.
I washed up my bowl and glass, and put them away, having seen from where she got them.
“Right, young lady, let's you and I go into battle, to get you legal,” said Michael.
It was a very cold morning, and the frost made everything white. I put on the coat, went out to his car, and he drove us into Milton Keynes.
We went to department to department within various offices of the DSS. We filled in forms, signed other forms, and waited for ages. Finally, they gave me a National Insurance number, and a national health card. I breathed a sigh of relief when they returned all my phoney certificates, and we left. It had taken nearly three hours.
Mike took me to the post office, and we picked up a passport application form.
It was now one o'clock.
“What would you like for lunch?” he asked.
I shrugged; it had all been very trying.
“How about a pizza?” he suggested.
“Lovely,” I said. We went to the Pizza Hut, and had their buffet lunch. I made a real pig of myself, and made him laugh.
“You don't look big enough to have eaten all that,” he said.
I sipped my coke, and just relaxed.
“I can't believe it was that easy. Won't they check?” I asked.
“Against what? A fire destroyed all the records for Uganda from 1982 to 1993. And the cross filing system is a joke. No, I think there will be a few frowns as they try to match the records, but I don't foresee a problem.”
He got up and paid, and we walked to the shopping mall. I had never seen so many shops in one place. We walked round the mall, and all the lovely girls' clothes shops fascinated me. We went into a department store and just wandered around, looking.
There was a cosmetic counter, and the girls were doing full makeovers free with any purchase of £15 worth of their products. I went over to them and watched as they made up a girl, who was about twenty.
While I was watching, one of the female assistants came over to me.
“Would you like a full make over?”
“I'd love one, but I haven't bought anything,” I said.
“How about we do a makeover, and then you choose what fits your complexion and colouring?” she suggested.
“I don't know, I haven't an awful lot of money,” I admitted.
“I tell you what, I'll give you a makeover, and then if you spend only £10, I'll call it quits. How about it?”
I looked at Michael. He nodded, so I grinned and said, “Okay.”
I watched as she prepared my face and took off my entire make up, and put on a little foundation.
“You've a superb complexion, how old are you?” she asked.
“Sixteen,” I said.
“Really? I thought you were about nineteen.”
“No, it was my birthday yesterday,” I said.
“Happy birthday for yesterday. What's your name?” she asked, as she moved on to my eyes.
“Emma,” I said.
“Hello Emma, I'm Pamela, but most people call me Pam.”
“Hi Pam,” I said. I noticed Mike walk off, as I thought that he was getting bored.
“Is that your dad?” Pam asked.
“No, my parents died in a car crash in Africa about a year ago. He's my guardian,” I said.
“Oh, I am so sorry, I didn't mean anything.”
“That's all right, I'm sort of okay about it now. I haven't been here long. I've never lived in Britain before. My parents worked in Uganda and lots of other countries,” I lied.
“Cor, what's it like in Africa?” She asked.
“Hot and smelly, mostly, but there is some of the most spectacular scenery,” I said. “I'm glad to be here, but I do find it cold.”
“I bet you do. Where are you living?”
“I know it, its not far, down towards Aylesbury, right?”
“Right,” I said.
“Are you at school, or what?” she asked.
“What at the moment. I need to find a school, I am a little out of touch with what is happening,” I said. “How about you, when did you leave?”
“I'm seventeen, I left last summer. I got this job, and its pretty good. I get bored sometimes, but I'm earning some money, and I will be able to move out from home soon,” Pam said.
“Did you not want to stay on for A levels?” I asked.
“No, I hated school, it was so boring.”
“I know what you mean, maybe I should just go to college or something,” I said.
“What do you want to do?” she asked, nearly finished with my eyes now.
“I haven't a clue. Find a rich guy with a villa in Monaco, and live well for the rest of my life. I expect I should like to have lots of kids, so they can all look after me when I am old and wrinkly,” I said, and Pam giggled.
“Yeah, that sounds good. When you find your guy, make sure he has an older brother,” she said.
“You're on.” I said, and we both laughed.
“Have you got a boyfriend?” I asked.
“Sort of. He's a bit of a dweeb though.”
I laughed, “Why go out with him?”
“Because he has a car, and you can't have a social life without a car,” she said.
I laughed again.
“How about you, any lucky fella?” she asked.
“Not yet, I haven't had time yet,” I said. Which was true enough.
“Did you leave any behind?”
“No, no one special,” I said. “I once knew a guy called Russell, but he was a bit of a dweeb too.”
We laughed, and she finished up.
I looked in the mirror. She had done a fantastic job. I would never be able to emulate what she had achieved. I said so.
“Nonsense, who did your makeup this morning?” she asked.
“I did, why?”
“It was pretty good, you would have no problem doing this,” she said, and proceeded to show me how to do it properly. I then bought £15 worth of cosmetics, and she gave me a voucher for another makeover.
“Thanks, I'll have to come back,” I said.
“That's the general idea. Look, do you ever get up to MK at the weekend?” Pam asked.
“I'm not sure, I don't have a dweeb with wheels,” I said, and she laughed.
“If ever you do, we could go clubbing,” she said.
“That sounds good. But I don't know if I could manage it,” I said.
Pam scribbled something on a piece of paper. “Here's my phone number, if you are free, give me a call, and we can have a chat. I'm always at home between 6 and 8 in the evening.”
“Okay, thanks, I will,” I said. “And thanks for the makeover. Its brilliant.”
“No problem, its so much better doing it for a pretty girl like you, than some of the old tarts I get. See you,” she said.
“See you,” I said, and took my little bag in search of Michael.
He was waiting by the door.
“Every time I see you, you manage to age about two years. At this rate, you will be thirty by supper time,” he said, smiling. “You really are a very beautiful girl, I really can't believe that you haven't always been who you are now.”
I caught my reflection in a long mirror, and I was thrilled with my image. I laughed, and said, “Neither can I.”
We walked past a florist, and I dashed in, and bought Mary a lovely bouquet.
“You shouldn't waste your money on flowers.”
“They're not a waste, these can say thank you better than ever I could,” I said.
He smiled, and shook his head.
We went back to the car, and he drove us home.
There was a car on the drive when we arrived. Mike did not seem pleased.
“Who is it?” I asked.
“It's Charles Gregson's car, Charles is the Chairman of the PCC, and a right royal pain in the proverbial,” he said.
“Parochial Church Council. It is the committee that sort of helps manage the church's affairs in this parish. And Charles keeps sticking his oar in,” Mike said.
“Oh,” I said.
We went inside, I took my coat off, as it was warm inside. We found Mary looking much relieved as we walked in.
Charles was holding an empty coffee mug, indicating that he had been here some time.
“Michael, sorry to barge in like this, but we need to talk about the charity event at the end of the month. You promised to find us a singer,” he said. Then he saw me and stood up.
“Charles, this is Emma Pearson. Emma is staying with us after losing her parents in a tragic accident in Uganda. Her father and I were great friends, and her parents wanted us to look after her for a while, until she is settled.
“Emma, this is Charles Gregson, he is Chairman of the PCC,” Mike said.
He shook my hand, and it reminded me of wet fish. His eyes never strayed away from my breasts.
“Delighted, my dear. I'm sorry to hear of your tragic loss. If there is anything I can do to help, please ask,” he said, insincerity oozing from every pore.
I had a sudden thought.
“Mr Gregson, Michael has explained the difficulty over the charity event, and he has asked me whether I could help. I have agreed to sing the Halleluiah Chorus from The Messiah, by Handel. I hope that this will be acceptable?” I said.
Mary just gaped at me, and I thought Michael would have a coughing fit.
Charles blinked at me, and smiled, very surprised. I think he was seeking to find fault with Mike, for some reason, and he was more than a little disappointed that he had actually done something.
“Oh, right. Good, splendid. That's settled. I'm so pleased, well, Emma, welcome aboard. Looking forward to hearing your voice. Mike, can you call Cheryl and let her know the details for the publicity?”
“Yes Charles, I certainly will call Cheryl,” Mike said, staring at me.
“Good, right, bye then, thanks for the coffee. I will let myself out,” Charles said, and almost ran for the door.
Mike went out with him, and closed the door behind him.
“Emma, why did you do that? You can't take on something like that,” he said.
“Why not, I did it all just before Christmas, listen?” I said, and launched into the first soprano solo, from memory.
I sang it right through, and had to laugh at their expressions. Michael had his mouth open, and Mary was almost in tears.
“That was beautiful,” she said. “Have you always been able to sing like that?”
“Yes, but I think that my range has improved since becoming Emma. I reached some higher notes there, and was able to hold them longer.”
Mike broke into a huge grin.
“I had forgotten all about the bloody charity event, and Charles knew it. Thanks Emma, you have helped me out of a real pickle,” he said.
“One good turn deserves another,” I said. Then I remembered the flowers. I rushed out, found them, and gave them to Mary.
“These are a little thank you, for being the nearest thing to being this girl's first mum. I wish I could give you more, but I am a bit hard up at the moment,” I said, and much to my embarrassment, she burst into tears and hugged me.
To make it worse, I started crying, and then Mike joined us and we had a group hug.
We managed to pull ourselves together, and I helped Mary get the supper.
We dined on liver and onions, and it was delicious. Mike decided to celebrate my conception, birth and coming of age, and opened a bottle of wine. I had two glasses, and was feeling very happy.
After supper, we sat round the table, and Michael was looking at me in a very funny way.
“Its funny, Em. I know it was only yesterday, but it seems we have known you for years. I so nearly drove past you, on the road. But a little voice told me to stop. I nearly disobeyed it, arguing that it was a stupid and foolish thing to do, but the voice was louder. It said, ‘Stop, whoever helps the least of these, also helps me.' I have to be honest; my faith has taken a bit of a battering of late. Mary knows, but I have been in a rut for some years, and there was nothing I seemed to be able to do about it. The rot started when Caroline left us when she was young, and got worse when she insisted on marrying a boy we didn't like. Then against our wishes, she moved all the way across to the other side of the world.
“I felt God was about as far from me as He could be, and I suppose it was reflected in my work. However, since you have arrived, it is almost as if the sun has finally come up, and you bathe us in sunshine in everything you do. It is almost as if you are truly an angel, sent to us by God, for some divine purpose.
“So I obeyed the voice, and stopped, and your cold, wet little face melted my heart. Thank you for being there, Em. I may have saved you, but you have most definitely saved me.”
Mary started to cry soundlessly, and Michael too. I felt awkward, as I didn't feel that I was responsible for saving anyone. I couldn't even save myself.
Michael stood up, and kissed me on the forehead.
“I have a sermon to write, Good night, and may God bless you as much as He has me,” he then went to his study, and closed the door.
I said goodnight to Mary, and she said, “We've nothing planned for tomorrow, I just want to do some cooking, so you don't have to get up in smart clothes.”
I really liked the clothes, but knew that the suede would stain easily, and appreciated that smart clothes weren't always practical.
“Thanks, goodnight,” I said, and went to bed.
© 5 December 2004