Gaby Title.jpg
Part 8
Boots and Shoes

After the humiliation of my sister watching while I stripped to my undies then measuring me, I was ready to call it a day but everyone else thought that Gaby and Pippa could do with some girl lessons.

Well have you ever heard of such tummy rot! Well the girls thought we needed schooling in sitting, standing even eating and drinking so we had our first crash course. (Well strictly speaking second, but our Meadowhall efforts were apparently only just passable in a crowd. We were going to a school dance, which would mean closer scrutiny by our peers.)

So we spent another hour learning how to do it properly.

"Well I think you need to practice"

"A lot!"

"Cheers, thanks for the vote of confidence"

"Well you want us to be honest"

"And you don't want the rest of the school clocking you!"

"I guess"

"Well both of you need to practice as much as possible"

We both chorused "yes miss" which got us each a whack with a cushion.

"Ow that hurt!"


I grabbed my left ear

"That really hurt," I felt something hard in the lobe, "what's this?"

Maddy leant in to take a look.

"Erm, hang on"


"Let's look at your other ear"


"Just do it"

Maddy squeezed the right lobe and it felt like a spot bursting.

"What is it?"

Jules and Maddy shared a smug grin.


"You remember I put those studs in at Meadowhall?"

"Yes" I could feel bad news coming.

"Well I must have left the plastic keepers in when I took them out"

"My ears are pierced!"

"Er sorry Drew"

"Mum will go ballistic"

"Did she notice up to know?"


"Well she probably won't now then"

"But they will heal over wont they?"

"Not now, they've healed"

"You'll look so cute"

"I don't want to look cute!"

What was even worse was that Mum wouldn't let Juliette have her ears pierced yet and of the others only Maddy had hers done.

In a way I thought it was cool to have pierced ears, a lot of the older guys wore earrings, and if anyone noticed at school I might gain a bit of sadly lacking street cred. Mum was the real problem but Ally was probably right, if she hadn't noticed yet she likely wouldn't soon.

We left for home soon after and I mooched along beside my sister.

"You knew didn't you?"


"The sleepers"

"Did not"

"Come on, fess up, you cleaned them up the other Sunday, you must have known"

"Ok I knew"


"Well what?"

"Why didn't you take them out?"

"I don't know, I thought you'd work it out yourself and then I just forgot"

"I bet"

"I did, honest"

I sulked the rest of the way home.

I'm sure someone had said something at school next day, I kept getting funny looks from some of the other girls in our year. Whatever.

I decided to get a head start on the shoe thing after school.

I pulled out the list

'Bernie      flat sandals 4
thick tan tights
Ally blue sandals 6
thick black tights
Rhod flattish shoes or sandals 5
white socks or tights
Juliette white knee boots 6
tan tights
Drew white sandals or shoes 5
white stockings or hold-ups
Maddy black sandals or shoes 41/2
black stockings or hold-ups'

I was sure that the girls already had some of this stuff but it was going to be up to me to pull it all together. A test I suppose.

I mentally went through what I had seen people wearing, I had some sandals that Bernie could wear and I was certain that either Rhod or myself could borrow something from Jules. The hosiery was another matter. Jules I knew did have some tan tights but as I had only seen the girls wearing socks, I thought that I would need to buy the rest. I decided to ring round to see if anyone had anything on my list and my list soon didn't look so daunting.

'Bernie flat sandals 4   my sandals
thick tan tights
Ally blue sandals 6
thick black tights    Ally's
Rhod flattish shoes or sandals 5  Jules
white socks or tights
Juliette white knee boots 6
tan tights    Jules
Drew white sandals or shoes 5
white stockings or hold-ups
Maddy black sandals or shoes 41/2  Bernies mum
black stockings or hold-ups' 

So I had cut the list to three pairs of shoes and four pairs of hosiery - and so far I hadn't had to go to a shop. There was a Baker day (Staff training, after the politician who introduced them) at our School on Friday so I planned to go to Mansfield and get it over and done with.

Each night, my sister chided me to practice 'my moves', which I ungraciously did when the olds weren't about. Friday was not going to be quite as planned, the others all wanted to meet up so instead of all day I would just have a couple of hours in the morning before we met at BK. I got the eight fifty bus armed with the girls twenty pounds and another thirty of my own (you never know what you might see) and sat in a daydream until we pulled into the bus station.

(For those not up on their UK geography, Mansfield is a small town on the edge of what remains of Sherwood Forest, like home to Robin Hood! Where I live is on the edge of the forest too. Mansfield is famous, at least locally, for beer and more widely leather, the Oak Forest providing essential tanning ingredients. So it's not surprising that there are more than a couple of shoe shops in town including a couple of discount stores.)

I decided on a strategy, I would only buy one pair of shoes per shop, it would be easier to say they were a present, particularly if I needed to change any. The hosiery I would try to get in one of the bigger stores where I would be less conspicuous.

There was a flaw in my plan, I hadn't allowed for shop assistants. I went into the first shop and rather self-consciously went to the girls department.

"Can I help you"


"Are you looking in the right place?"

"Oh right, yes I'm looking for a pair of shoes for my sister. For a present" my nervousness was clear to anyone watching the exchange.

"That's a nice idea young man, do you know what style and size you are looking for?"

She'd bought my story. I decided to go for Ally's blue sandals first.

"Well she takes a six, I checked this morning and I know she really wants some blue sandals"

"Hmm, we might have something up in the ladies department, follow me"

I followed, what else with a command like that.

"Here we go, size six"

She shuffled along the shelf and returned brandishing a couple of shoes.

"You're in luck, these are both in the sale"

She showed me the footwear; the first pair was going to be a no-no, a high heel and sky blue. I quite liked them but the reality was they'd look good on mum but Ally was thirteen and I just knew they would be wrong. The others, by default would have to do; I didn't intend going back and forth like a girl to get just the right pair. The second pair was a pair of slip ons with a chunky sole and were a darker blue, much closer to Ally's costume. Even better they were really cheap, just four pounds.

"Mum won't let her wear heels so it will have to be these"

"Ok luv, let's pay for them"

She escorted me to the cash point and I was soon relieved of the cash but up one pair of shoes.

"Hope she likes them luv"

"Yeah so do I"

Once outside I drew a sigh of relief. I figured I would try the big discount store next, they had fewer staff and I could browse easier. I made my way to the store, on the edge of the main shopping area and entered 'The World of Shoes'.

I had to get my shoes and Juliette's boots, both white and looking round not this season's colour! But my luck was holding I found some off white knee boots with a chunky sole and I guess about a two-inch heel. After a bit of a scrabble through the stock I found a pair in the required size six and I would only have to pay nine ninety-nine as they were an end of line. I should have just got the boots but I decided to see if they had any shoes, after all I could get them on another visit.

The only white shoes well strictly cream, were wedding shoes, well that's what the header board said. I was probably lingering a little too long because in a store devoid of sales assistants, one was suddenly at my shoulder uttering that great starter.

"Can I help?"

If I ran I would have to abandon the boots, I was sure I could bluff my way out.

"Er I'm not sure"

"Are you looking for anything in particular"

I'm sure that they all go on the same course or something. Before I realised what I was saying it was out,

"I need to get some shoes for a dance"

"What colour is your dress"



"What colour dress are you going to wear miss?"

Then it clicked, despite my combats sweatshirt and short haircut she thought I was a girl. Mixed emotions roiled around my head

"I'm not" she cut me off

"Not sure yet?"

I decided to roll with it.

"No, I mean yes, it's sort of off white"


Not getting her meaning I just nodded.

"I'm Sarah,"

"Gaby" I mumbled

"Just sit over there, I'll bring some over for you to try."

Stunned at this turn of events I just followed her instruction. She was kneeling in front of me just a minute later.

"Shoes off please," seeing my socks she hardly broke stride, "hang on I'll get some footsies so you can try them properly"

She disappeared for a minute and I was left sat bare foot in the ladies shoe department, help! What if anyone from school sees me? Well she reappeared and slipped a pair of thin sockettes on my feet.

"Now then Gaby, how about these?"

Well to cut a long story short, for nearly three quarters of an hour I tried on shoe after shoe, Sarah seemed to take me as just another awkward (as in clumsy) teen girl and she was some sales woman. I think I managed quite well, putting my girl lessons to use and I left the store thirty pounds lighter, but that did include Jules boots and a pair of very fine pearl coloured stockings, besides my shoes. I settled on a closed toe sandal, they have a pointy toe, open vamp and thin ankle straps perching on a three-inch heel. Sarah insisted I would be ok on them and they were essential if it was a formal dance. (Well that's what she told me and who am I to argue?)

"Bye Gaby, have a nice time"

"Thanks Sarah, bye"

Had I really spent best part of an hour as a convincing girl, well tomboy anyway? If this kept up I'd be thinking I could pull this escapade off!

Jules boots 
 My 'dancing' shoes

Well I can tell you, I was glad to get out of there alive. I hurried back into the centre and had to grab a coke at Maccy D's to settle my nerves. Surely I didn't look that much like a girl? But Sarah seemed to think so; perhaps it was just the setting? After all I was holding a pair of ladies boots, stood looking at ladies shoes. I was well shaken up.

With resources dwindling, I hit an ATM and withdrew another twenty before starting to look for the remainder of my list, thick tan tights for Bernie, white for Rhod and black stockings for Maddy. Walking along I was drawn to a costume shops window, all gaudy wigs and false noses. I decided to take a look inside and to my delight discovered they had a bargain bin that I delved into with gusto. I left the store with the two pairs of tights I needed, a false nose and on impulse, a pair of long pink hair braids.

That only left the black stockings and I reckoned I could get those in Woolworth's before meeting the others. I was right, and they were cheap, emboldened by my time in the shoe store I got a bag of pick'n'mix and waited to pay. I was slightly annoyed when the bored cashier didn't even glance up as she rang my purchases through the till.


"There he is"

"Drew, over here"

The others had already got a table and food before I got to BK; I dumped my bags and went to fetch a bacon double cheese and coke.

"What you got Drew?"

"The last things on my list"

"You've got everything?" Bernie asked

"Let's see then"

So to my embarrassment I had to do a show and tell sat in Burger King.

"Ally's sandals, Jules boots, my shoes" 

"Cute shoes Drew"

"Let him be"

"What else?"

I flourished the hosiery, braids and false nose.

"You got stockings?"


"I think he's getting to like the idea of being a girl"


"Well those braids and the stockings, they're sooo sexy"

"Did you get suspender belts?"


"Well like duh, you need something to hold the stockings up, garters or suspenders"

"I thought they had elastic or something"

"That's hold ups silly"

"I don't think he knew the difference"

"I guess we'll have to get some suspenders then"

I had mucked up big style. The girls almost had to drag Rhod and I to the lingerie shop, but they failed to get us inside! However they managed to keep the embarrassment level up by bringing various bits of female underwear to the door to show us. I don't know why I stayed there, why I was doing this whole thing, I suppose I was sort of enjoying it all and I guess Rhod was too. After all how many of our peers got to hang out with some of the nicest girls and do stuff with them?

Eventually the three girls (Jules was hanging with her own mate's back in the village) made their selections and joined us outside. Rhod suggested we went bowling and everyone agreed, so we hit the Superbowl for a couple of hours. Boy's v girls, I have to admit I was glad when Paul turned up as Rhod and I were losing badly. We just about pulled it even for a draw by the end of the session, then gladly accepted a lift in Paul's mum's Toyota Previa. I managed to get Maddy to claim my shopping when we got back to Church Warsop and Paul, Rhod and I went round to Clive's bungalow to play on his X-Box.

Saturday followed it's usual pattern, a ride up to Tickhill with mum, tea and hot buttered teacakes at Oldcotes and then back home. An afternoon catching up with my homework then off to Worksop for dinner at the Beefeater restaurant. Sunday had me out with Mum again, meeting the others at Lincoln for lunch. We had a walk round before we all piled into the camper to go home, there was a really strong wind and neither mum nor I relished crossing the flat Trent plain into the gale. I might be fanatical but I'm not stupid!

Maddy Bell 02.02.03
Copyright 2003

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The images used above have been selected from various sources. If you hold the copyright to any image and wish it removed contact me. Thanks to everyone involved in Cosplay, particularly Anime Turnpike.