During breakfast the very next morning, our grandma had casually asked my sisters not to mention my incident with the bathing suit to anyone. She had put together some good points which I'm sure had some affect on their judgement as they both agreed without any hesitance.
She had said that it hadn't been a punishment for me so it would be unfair to treat it like one and that they should be thankful in that their brother was able to put aside what he was wearing to join in their fun. Hearing her support was very pleasing.
While I'm sure that some sisters would have gone straight to a telephone after an event like mine, we all loved our grandma enough not to go behind her back. After that, it was as if it had never happened.
...well, almost. There was a single but huge exception; I was unable to forget it. Nearly a week had passed and every day since then, there had always been a moment when I found myself recalling it as clear as day.
Some of these moments had come over me at the strangest times and left me thinking, why did I just think of that? At other times, it was ensured. Ever since I had first stepped into it, every time I changed clothes, that bathing suit was always on my mind.
It's difficult to put my feelings for it into words but if I were to choose a single word, it would be; unique. Everything about it was unique. The shape, the material, even the way it was worn. It had simply been an astonishing experience. Secretly, one that I wished to repeat.
As if I was developing withdrawal symptoms, I noticed that this craving was becoming more and more intense as the days crept by, and by the fifth day, I had to admit defeat.
This day, like the first one, started off normal enough. The weather was fine. The sun was beaming, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and a refreshing cool breeze swept through the air.
Unfortunately, my sisters and I were wasting it indoors by watching the afternoon cartoons. Half way in, a commercial came on for a water park. Although I had seen this same ad many times before, even during the last summer holidays, after my incident I found myself looking at it in a very different way.
The thirty second ad focused on a family of five and their outing at the park, showcasing its water slides and the other activities. I hadn't noticed it before but one of the daughters was wearing a bathing suit that was exactly like the one that I had worn. She appeared to be about my age and was very pretty.
I immediately became envious of her. There she was, wearing only that cute little thing, surrounded by strangers and not a single one of them was staring at her as if it was the most natural thing in the world. What I wouldn't give to be in her shoes, or in this case, her bathing suit.
Being a boy, it was frustrating in that this was something that could never happen to me, however if it ever were possible, I would have already asked my grandma if I could have kept that bathing suit.
I couldn't stand it any longer! I heaved myself up from the couch and marched over towards my room. I had to wear it. I wanted to feel its silky smooth straps resting upon my shoulders, were raising my hands above my head would cause it to stretch across my entire torso, an amazing feeling as if it were a beautiful second layer of skin.
When I got there, I was dismayed to find that my washing basket had been emptied. I clearly remember eyeing it in there this morning as I got dressed. It didn't take much to work out where it would be however.
After walking down the wooden flight of stairs to our basement, I opened the washing machine. It had recently finished its cycle and after tearing some wet clothes from the side of its drum, I found it.
It felt great to be able to run its splendid material over my hands again, although I knew that it was nothing compared to the exquisite feeling of when it was surrounding every inch of me. If I had been the only one home, I would have put it on right then and there. Sure, it was fairly wet but I pictured myself in the position of the pretty girl in the ad; sunbathing without a care in the world.
There I would be in our vibrant back garden, lying down on one of our outdoor loungers with a cool glass of orange juice on the table beside me, soaking up the sun, feeling its warmth as well as the moisture slowly being removed from the only thing I would be wearing, that bathing suit, with every passing hour.
Opening my eyes, I quickly rush my hand over my view to block out the radiance of the naked sun. Turning to my left, I can just make out a blur of someone in their own lounger next to me. Once my eyes finally adjust to the light, I discover both my sisters doing the exact same thing I was doing, wearing their own bathing suits. Although they both had their eyes closed, they were relaxing so casually that neither of them appeared to be at all phased at what their brother was wearing.
As I turn over to my right, I gasp in horror to find my two best friends, Shawn and Michael, sunbathing in loungers of their own, only they were wearing their standard swimming trunks! Although Michael was wearing sunglasses, it appeared that they too had their eyes closed.
If I hadn't gasped, they would have remained this way but after hearing me, Shawn, the closest to me, opened his left eye to look at me. He was about to see me wearing nothing but this! I wanted to get up and run but his stare had frozen me in place. A second later, which felt much longer, he closed it and without a change to his expression, he resumed his relaxation as if I had simply wasted his time.
Before I could recover from my shock, I suddenly heard an eerie thump from the sky above me which almost causes me to jump out of my skin. Looking up, I saw the concrete ceiling of our basement. In my hands was that bathing suit. It took me a moment to get my bearings. Just how long had I been lost in that reverie?
I then realized that if I were a girl, not only would I have lived this experience, I was likely to have lived it on several occasions. It filled me with frustration. Why couldn't I experience this, even for as little as an hour?
As my fantasy wasn't going to come true while the others were here, I slid it from my fingers back into the washing machine and depressingly walked back upstairs. I met Faye as I reached the door.
“What were you doing down there?” she asked.
“I was... I lost something... I was looking through my pockets.” I stammered. Although I felt the lie itself was very good for me, the way it came out was less than satisfactory. Thankfully, she didn't seem to care either way.
“We're going for a bike ride. Are you coming?”
While I knew that this was something that I would have really enjoyed, my heart leaped as she said that. I now had plans which I wasn't going to let go to waste.
“No thanks”, I said in an unplanned cheerful tone with a smile that was difficult to hide.
She looked at me with a strange expression as if she knew I was up to something.
“Whatever.” she said turning around.
“Where are you going?” I quickly said before she could take another step. I didn't really care but after seeing her expression, I wanted to appear to be at least sightly interested, and it was also a good way to gauge how long they were going to be.
Yes! My heart did another somersault. If they were to peddle at a standard pace, I should have just over an hour to myself and they were sure to stop for lunch somewhere as well, possibly bringing up my time to just under two hours.
As they got ready, so did I. While I wasn't going to go to the basement while they were still here, I made myself a sandwich and that cool glass of orange juice that I had dreamed about. Since this would be a special occasion, I made it look fancy by placing two ice cubes within it as well as a straw.
As they left, I carefully listened as the garage door closed. As soon as it hit the ground with a thud, I skipped downstairs to retrieve that bathing suit. Like I would have done before, I stripped right then a there, almost throwing my clothes off me.
The cement room reminded me of the changing room where I had first worn it, only this time instead of it being dry, it was fairly wet. As I stepped into it and pulled it up, it clinged to me. The wet material made me a lot cooler and it seemed to be tighter.
When it was dry, I would have to say that it was one of the most comfortable things I had ever worn but a wet one wasn't too far off that mark either. It was still very fitting.
As for the temperature, it hadn't been the hottest day this summer but I felt that it was still a fine day to wear it and once I had placed my hands through each strap, locking it into place, I found the coolness of it to be very refreshing.
Just as I had remembered it, it felt amazing. I ran my hands over it. God, how I wished to have this as my own. Not wanting to waste a second, I picked up my clothes and crept back upstairs.
Although I was now the only one home, as I walked I couldn't shake off the feeling that I was being watched. I was surrounded by numerous windows. Any one of them could have a pair of eyes through them, glaring at me.
Once I reached the kitchen to retrieve my food and drink, I realized that this creeping about wasn't what I had wanted. I wanted to enjoy this moment, not be afraid of it. With a draw of breath, I attempted to push that feeling aside.
For some practice and peace of mind, I walked a few laps around the house attempting to be as casual as I could as if I hadn't changed. As I walked, even passed the open windows, the chances of anyone seeing me was minuscule, I told myself.
When walking pass the bathroom, I realized that I needed some sunscreen. As another benefit of a bathing suit, because it was already covering most of me, it wasn't much of an effort to put on like it usually would be as I only needed to apply it to my arms and legs. The coolness of the lotion felt great as I smeared it across my skin.
Once I got back to the kitchen, I found myself walking perfectly normal. It was surprisingly how efficient that had been. With absolutely no hesitance, I picked up my glass and plate and walked straight through the sliding doors to the outside world.
The warmth of the grass felt great on my bare feet. Our garden was surrounded by a semi-large fence as well as a number of trees. Although it would have been possible to see me and the rest of the garden from a couple of our neighbour's top floor windows, they all had branches hindering their view and with the breeze swaying them about, I believed that it would be a difficult task for anyone to spot me.
Not only that but to be perfectly honest, this may be my only opportunity that I would be able to do this and therefore, I felt it was worth the risk. Just like the beach, in the unlikely event that someone did see me, they would just likely mistake me for a girl, I convinced myself.
I dragged a lounger and table over to the centre of the yard where the sun's rays weren't being obstructed. With my lunch on the table, I adjusted the lounger's headrest to a comfortable position to begin my hour or so of relaxation.
As I laid down upon it, the lounger felt great on my bare legs. It had already spent several hours in the sun bringing it to a perfectly warm temperature. Within five seconds on it, I knew that it was going to be difficult to get back up. Just as I had thought that, I suddenly recalled that I left my clothes in the kitchen.
My plan was to have them near me so I could quickly put them on over my bathing suit when I heard the others arriving back. Oh well, there's still plenty of time remaining and I have lunch to start. I'll grab them, along with some sunglasses, once I finish eating, I thought.
As I was eating, it was difficult not to consider this day as one of the best days of the summer. No, scratch that. Make that my life. Prefect temperature, weather, food, drink, and heck, even garment. There was no way I was going to let this be a one-off. I didn't know how but I would ensure that this event would not be my last.
Now my stomach was satisfied, I closed my eyes and soaked up the sun... completely forgetting about the clothes that I had left in the kitchen.
My eyes slowly flickered open. In front of me was a large patch of blue. Something was beaming bright with intensity overhead. Whatever it was, it was irritating. Where was I?
I then immediately came to my senses. I had fallen asleep! I couldn't believe it. How long had it been? Jumping out of my seat, I glanced back to the house to see if the others had arrived back yet. Although it looked undisturbed, I couldn't be sure. I hurried as quietly as possible back to the house.
As soon as I stepped through the sliding doors, I heard the unmistakable sound of the garage door opening. Their timing was impeccable. It felt like I had a guardian angel watching over me. The bathing suit was now dry so I quickly darted over towards my clothes I had left lying about to put them on.
Being only shorts and a T-shirt they were very easy to put on in a hurry although I still felt exposed with wearing just a bathing suit underneath. With a simple lift of my shirt, possibly caused by a strong breeze, it would become visible.
On the other hand, wearing it underneath something didn't make it feel any less amazing and to be honest with myself, provided that they didn't discover it, I wanted to continue wearing it. Because of my unplanned nap, I felt robbed of my time in it. It had been disappointing. As I didn't need my underwear, I placed it in my short's pocket.
They came in a few minutes later as I was bringing in my plate and glass. I must have fallen asleep quickly as my glass was still half full which I promptly finished off.
“Sorry we're late.” my grandma said as she walked in. “We did some shopping. We brought you back a muffin but there's some washing we need to hang out first. I nearly forgot about it.”
Late? Glancing at the clock, I was astounded to find that I had been sleeping for nearly two hours. God, was I lucky. I hated to think what would happen if they had caught me out there.
Being this late in the afternoon, I wasn't sure if the washing would be dry in time but my sisters and I all helped to put it out anyway. With still no patches of cloud, the sun was in full effect. The refreshing breeze had died down however, although this meant that I didn't need to worry about my shirt blowing up.
It didn't seem like the weather would be any different tomorrow so I guess that if necessary, it could be left out.
As I was hanging up one of my T-shirts, in the corner of my eye I spotted one of our neighbour's top floor windows was open. I was positive that when I began my sunbathing session they all were closed. I hated to be so pessimistic but could it be possible that someone had seen me? No, it was unlikely. When you open a window, you don't usually spend time looking out of it.
It made me suddenly recall my time at the beach with that mystery girl. Although I was able to remember most of that day very well, this part I had nearly forgotten about. Likely because I didn't want to remember it.
It made me sick knowing that someone out there may know my secret. Well, at the time, it wasn't a secret, just a misunderstanding, although I felt telling them that would be next to impossible. Now it was possible that another person knew of this and there was no way that I could pin this one on a misunderstanding.
“Ah, sorry, just lost in thought.” I replied back to my Grandma who was eyeing me in concern. I realized that I had been standing idle for some time.
“What did you do while we were gone?”
“Watched TV.” I replied promptly.
“What a waste. You should have come riding with us. It was a beautiful day.” April threw in.
If I had known that I was going to fall asleep, I probably would have come. It was a pity that I couldn't do both, go riding as well as wear this, underneath something else of course.
“How about tomorrow? I'll come with you then.” I said.
“Can't. We're going to try out gymnastics.”
“That's why we were late. We were choosing leotards.” Faye added.
“You didn't want one, did you? I had asked you when we were at the beach but you skirted off without an answer so I figured that you didn't want one.” my grandma added.
Great. Just great. She was the one who had said not to speak of that incident and here she was bringing it up as if it was casual conversation, although I couldn't be sure if her choice of the word 'skirted' was intentional or not.
My sisters didn't burst into giggles this time but they both had wide smiles on their stupid faces. I could tell that they were picturing me in a leotard. Little did they know, I was almost wearing one already.
“No.” I responded gruffly.
To be honest, if they were anything like the bathing suit that I had on, my answer would have been the complete opposite, however I wanted to drop the idea that I had enjoyed my time in it, and the same thing goes to anything else that was so girlish for that matter.
“No, thank you.”
“...No, thank you.”
After my muffin, I spent the next few hours in my room, lying on my bed, face up, staring at the ceiling. My shirt was half up and I was stroking my hand across my stomach, feeling the material of the bathing suit. It still felt amazing. I don't believe that I could ever get tired of it.
It was a pity that boys clothes weren't made of the same material. Girls simply took it for granted and had no idea how lucky they were.
I thought back to that day at the beach. My grandma had mentioned that a leotard was for both, girls and boys. Did leotards use the same material? ...or perhaps was it something even better?
As my sisters walked in from their bike ride, they each dumped a plastic bag on the kitchen bench. No doubt containing their new leotards. With another dose of frustration, I couldn't simply go out there to inspect them without a raise of an eyebrow. If I was a girl however, it would have been perfectly normal.
No, actually if I were a girl, I would have gone on a bike ride, chosen, and likely tried on, a new leotard, and already have my own bathing suit hanging up in my closet right now. Why couldn't that be me? Just another reminder on how unfair life could be.
That glass of orange juice had caught up with me and nature was calling. It was right on queue as dinner wasn't far away either. As I got up, I could smell the delicious scent of roast chicken floating through the air.
I walked out of the toilet and turned on the tap to wash my hands. I had just learnt something due to what I was wearing. Something that I don't believe would have ever crossed my mind otherwise. If a girl was wearing a bathing suit, or a leotard, and she needed to relieve herself, she would be required to strip entirely naked.
As I only needed to pee, I was able to get around this, although awkwardly. It must be a real nuisance for a girl though, especially if she was busting to go. As I had discovered, donning and doffing a bathing suit wasn't a quick process. On the other hand, this was only my second time in one and perhaps the girls that wore them often were able to do this with ease. Maybe I just needed more practice.
Dinner was as good as it had smelt and once we had finished, we all retired to the lounge to watch TV. The holiday movie for tonight was the third Harry Potter film, my favourite one, but I found it a bit difficult to concentrate on it actually.
With a couch all to myself, I was lying sideways upon it with my head on the arm rest. With the way I was positioned, my T-shirt would have just been covering the top of my shorts, less than an inch away from my secret being visible. Actually it was hanging from me so if they were at the right angle, they could probably see it. Needless to say, I was lying there very dangerously but I made no effort to correct it.
I felt mischievously indecent and I pondered what would happen if it were discovered. I'm sure they would all be surprised but after that, what then? They all had already seen me in it and in fact, at the time, I had accidentally made it sound like I had liked it, so would it really be much of a surprise? Would they be able to just accept it?
Throughout the movie these thoughts stayed with me. It had reached a point where I had actually wanted a gust of wind to make it visible just so the first move would be made. It was difficult to picture the rest though. Perhaps it should simply remain as a dangerous secret?
With my thoughts elsewhere, I had barely noticed the credits rolling and with that, my grandma quickly stated that it was time for bed. After I had finished brushing my teeth, I went back to my room to get undressed. I didn't want to though. Well, not completely. Maybe I'll wear it to bed as well.
Just as I was about to lift my T-shirt over my head, I jumped as I heard my door behind me creak open. Letting go of my shirt and turning around, I saw my grandma entering. If she had entered half a second later, she would have gotten a clear view of it and therefore I couldn't help sighing in relief.
“You gave me a fright! Can't you knock? I was just about to get undressed.” It came across snappier than what she deserved but after a close call like that, could anyone blame me?
“Continue. It's not like I haven't seen it before.” she said with a blank expression.
“What?” automatically stumbled out of my mouth. I tried to add to that but I found that I was at a loss for words with my mouth left open stupidly.
“Strip, Sam. Otherwise, I'll do it.” she said coldly.
I stared at her for countless seconds in disbelief. I didn't know how but with that, I knew that she knew. With her patience drawing thin, she started to walk towards me with her hands outwards towards my shirt.
“...I'll ...I'll do it.” I said with a broken voice, avoiding her eyes, quiet with embarrassment.
My eyes began to water and within seconds I could feel a tear running down my cheek. It was now inevitable. With a moment of great hesitance, I started to undress knowing that she wasn't going to wait much longer. Avoiding her gaze and with my hands trembling, I dropped my shorts and removed my shirt, feeling like a fool.
What could I possibly say? I stared at the floor watching my tears fall. She walked towards me. Closing my eyes, expecting a cold hard slap across my face only increased my tears.
With great surprise, rather than my face, I felt her hands across my back. Opening my eyes, I saw that she had knelt to my level and was embracing me in a hug. This did nothing to help my tears and it soon became difficult to see through them.
“It's okay, Sam. I'm not mad although I wish that you would have just asked me for it.” she said softly.
Unable to respond, I just cried freely into her shoulder, embracing her as well.
“Don't cry.” she said, stroking my hair. After a moment, she added; “I'll ask you one final time. Would you like your own leotard?”
I nodded. Realizing that she couldn't see it, I was able to get out a quiet cracked “Yes. ...yes, please.”
“Good. We'll talk about this in the morning but for now, get undressed, ready for bed.”
She turned around and left, with a soft smile directed at me as she closed the door. I must have stood there trembling for at least five minutes waiting for my tears to crease. I had a bitter taste in my mouth knowing that she now knew the truth but her reaction had been heartwarmingly supportive, the opposite of what I had initially thought. I felt so lucky to have her as a grandma.
With my crying finally stopped, I took off the bathing suit, leaving it lying on my bedroom floor, and put on my pyjamas, wiping the tears from my eyes. I had no energy remaining within me and with exhaustion, I crawled into bed, thinking about what tomorrow would bring.