Sunday, 17 July 2011

Amy and Antony - Part 5

Three months later

Amy took Antony's small, delicate hands in her own and gave them a gentle squeeze. The poor boy was so nervous. Antony gave her one of his sweet smiles in reply.

He had no reason to be scared. Not really. If anything, he should have been calm and relaxed and happy, for all of his problems had been solved.

Amy's mother had gone to see Antony's overbearing father, who had beaten him and was threatening to send him off to a military academy to toughen him up. What was said between the two parents, no-one would ever know. But it had the desired effect. Antony had received no more beatings and there was no more talk of him going off to any academy, military or otherwise.

Added to that, Antony and Amy were now firm friends. Antony's obvious liking for everything feminine greatly amused Amy. He would often sleep over, in a set of her PJ's.

It had been Amy's idea for them to attend ballroom dancing classes, an extra-cirricula activity held on Wednesday evenings, to engage together socially and in public.

To her surprise, Amy saw her old nemesis, Barry Brooks, elegantly attired in evening dress, leading his new girlfriend, Sandi Winters, a petite and pretty girl, out to dance. Perhaps feminine influence was softening the former bully.

Amy and Antony had been coming for two weeks now and were not much further forward. Barry and Sandi were experts by comparison. It was a funny role reversal. In the classroom, Amy was the star performer and Barry was the dunce. In the ballroom, it was the other way around.

The problem, Amy had to admit, was her partner. That such a small, slender and delicate youth as Antony could be so awkward and clumsy had greatly surprised her. Dancing with Antony was become torture.

Miss Fontanye, the middle-aged Dance Mistress, who frequently boasted to anyone who would listen about her earlier career as a professional ballerina, was patient and prepared to spend time with them, but the simple fact was that Antony was no good at dancing.

Amy had to resist the urge to squeal loudly as Antony stepped on her foot again and she squeaked, which sounded ridiculous. As Antony was apologising for the umpteenth time that evening, Miss Fontanye came over.

She wore a frown on her brow. "You two being together is no good" she said firmly. "You both need new partners". Amy and Antony pleaded with her not to split them up, but Miss Fontayne stood her ground.

"Barry, please take Amy as your partner for the rest of the evening. Antony, Sandi will be your partner. Perhaps with more experienced partners, you will both improve!"

Amy and Antony, and Barry and Sandi, gave each other wistful glances as they parted.

Barry was a good partner. For such a big boy, he was surprisingly gentle and light on his feet. For the first time since coming to these classes, Amy was beginning to enjoy herself. It was such a pity that she couldn't enjoy the experience with Antony.

There was a loud cry. From Sandi. Miss Fontayne rushed over "What's the matter?" she asked.

Sandi, almost in tears, pointed at Antony "It's him! That's the fourth time he's trod on my toes! He's no good at leading. I'm almost having to take the lead myself!"

After comforting Sandi and sending her back to re-join Barry, Miss Fontayne took Amy and Antony aside. Amy feared that they were about to be asked to leave the class.

But Miss Fontayne was smiling "Thanks to Sandi, and to my own observations, I believe I've identified Antony's problem. He can't lead. Many men can't, at first, but soon pick it up with experience. But Antony should have developed some skill in leading by now, but hasn't".

"What's the solution, Miss Fontayne?"

"It's an unusual answer, but a very simple one. You two should switch roles. Amy, you lead and Antony, you follow her. Try it".

Feeling awkward and a little foolish, Amy tried it. At first, it felt all wrong to be playing the man's part and treating Antony as if he was the girl, but there was no denying that it was effective. Following her lead had transformed Antony into a half decent dancer.

When they had finished, Miss Fontanye and the rest of the class, who had been watching their performance, clapped loudly. "Bravo to you both. I believe we have our first couple where the woman leads and the man follows! Quite unique!"

Over the next few weeks, the unique couple's dancing improved dramatically and only Barry and Sandi could boast a better performance. Miss Fontanye commented that never had she seen a pair of pupils improve so much in such a brief space of time.

After their eighth week, Miss Fontayne took Amy and Antony aside. "There's a competition on this weekend. For beginners, like yourselves. I think you're good enough to take part. How do you feel about it?"

Amy and Antony were both excited about it. What an accolode, to be asked to take part in an actual competition!

"We'd very much like to take part" said Amy, speaking for both of them.

"Good! Let's see what the judges make of seeing a girl take the lead...."

The competition was a success from Amy and Antony's point of view, of the dancing at any rate. They had performed the steps perfectly and gracefully. But they had seen the judges' jaws drop at the sight of a girl leading a boy out and performing his role brilliantly, whilst he performed hers with equal excellence.

But the judges could not fault the quality of the dancing and so the first role-reversed dance couple won the cup for their age group.

The members of the press present picked up on this unique event and asked for photos and comments. Once Amy and Antony had finished posing for photos, and were about to leave, one of the journalists, a young woman, caught up with them.

"Hold up you two" she said "I've got a proposition for you! I've come up with another angle for this story!"

Amy and Antony looked at her, mystified.

"Yep" continued the woman "I reckon I should take another photo of you, but that you switch clothes. I can just see it now....she takes his pants as well as his role! It'll be a scream! What do you say?"

Amy wasn't keen. It all sounded a bit over the top to her. Was it really necessary to trade clothes to get the point across that she and Antony had gone against convention, and succeeded too? She didn't think so. Antony seemed doubtful too. Amy had no doubt that he wouldn't mind wearing her dress, but if his parents ever saw the photo he could be in hot water.

Seeing them looking doubtful, the reporter said "Aw, come on guys! It's a bit of fun. I'll tell you what, if you do it, I'll pay you!" She began to open her handbag to retrieve her purse. The woman pulled out some notes and proferred them.

Amy and Antony looked at each other and nodded "Ok, you've got a deal!" Amy said again.

They were excused so that they could change. Antony was about to go to the boys' changing area, but Amy took his hand firmly and led him into the girls'. All of the other contestants had left by now and it was deserted, so it didn't matter if, horror of horrors, a male entered the inner sanctum of femininity and used it. And as they would only be swapping their outer clothes and shoes, there was little flesh on display.

Amy quickly undid her dress and stepped out of it, clad only in her underwear. She kicked off her high heeled shoes that had made her feel so womanly, and took off her necklace and silk gloves. It took a little longer for Antony to take off his pants, shirt, bow tie, jacket, socks and shoes. He wore a pair of underpants.

Amy handed him her dress, a bright green ballgown with built in petticoats and a bodice studded with fake diamonds to make the gown shimmer, and the matching shoes, necklace and gloves and accepted his clothes in return.

With a little difficulty, Amy put on the outfit. After spending a lot of the day in ballgown and heels, it felt odd to be suddenly fully clothed - only her hands and head were not covered by material - and to not to have to constantly adjust her centre of gravity to accommodate the high heels. The outfit also fit her perfectly.

Antony, meantime, had attired himself more quickly than Amy, and now wore the ballgown, heels, silk gloves and necklace. His shoulders were exposed and Antony's slender legs could be seen beneath the hem of the gown's petticoats. Except for his short hair, he looked very girlish and quite pretty. Antony seemed perfectly comfortable dressed as he was and walked in the high heels with an ease that Amy envied.

They went back to the reporter, who looked them over. Amy had tied her hair back to look more boyish, but the woman insisted she wear her hair down "The point is to make it obvious to our readership that the one wearing the pants is the girl and the one in the frock is the boy! Your friend looks awfuly cute in that dress. He could almost pass for a girl!'

The woman got them to pose together, holding their cup. Then she got Amy to sit down on a bench and for Antony to perch on her knee. Then she snapped one of Amy on her own, holding the cup triumphantly. The final photo was of Antony on his own, executing a curtsey which showed off the frills of his petticoats.

Satisfied, the woman paid them and rushed away, presumably to her next big story. Happy with the money, Amy and Antony got changed and treated themselves to a sundae.

Amy bought a copy of the paper the following day. A whole page had been devoted to her and Antony. The headline was "Leading Lady takes the prize....and her partner's pants!". All four photos were featured. Luckily, as far as Amy knew, neither her parents nor those of Antony bought this paper, so hopefully they would never know.....

1 comment:

  1. I hope we will see more gender role reversal soon. ;)