The McComber Switch
By Karen Singer
Chapter 47 Part 2 of 2 - Show and Shoot
Olivia was in heaven. After unexpectedly spending a few hours in Sarah’s styling chair, she now had a new hairdo that she absolutely loved! To her it seemed much more grown-up, and all the little curls that Sarah had put in it really made it look so much fuller. But the biggest difference now was the color. After a lot of careful consideration, she and her mother…and Sarah, had decided to turn her already dark hair completely black. As far as Olivia was concerned, the difference was totally striking. And now both she and her mother had several shopping bags in their hands full of new clothes for her, and their shopping had only just begun.
“Okay, baby,” Jane told her…
“Not so baby anymore!” Olivia quipped.
“Tough, girl. You’ll always be my baby and you know it!” To Jane, her daughter’s laugh had always been the most wonderful sound in the world – unlike all the loud shrieking she did all too often. “Hey look,” Jane said as they entered another part of the store. “Lots of underwear on sale. Today is our lucky day!”
“I want to find some stuff that’s more grown up,” Olivia told her. “And maybe some thongs.”
Jane looked at her horrified. “Not on your life!” She smiled a bit. “But I think a twelve-year-old may be ready for some things that are slightly more interesting.”
Olivia laughed. Okay, maybe she wouldn’t get any of the thongs she wanted to try, but she had no doubt that all her new underwear would be much sexier than her old underwear was. She briefly wondered what Jimmy Jade would think about it, not that he’d probably ever get to see her in any of it.
Her eyes caught sight of someone and it totally surprised her. “Hey, isn’t that Aunt Susan?”
“Um…goodness. Yes it is. And there’s Jasmine with her too.”
“Jas? Oh wow, it is. And her hair is different too!” Olivia didn’t even think of waiting. She literally ran to see her friend. “Jade! Jade!”
Jasmine turned at hearing someone calling his “Jade” name. “Holy cow! That’s Olivia!” A moment later, he was hurrying toward her. The two friends met halfway between their mothers. “Wow. Look at your hair!” Jasmine exclaimed. “You look sooooo great!”
Olivia giggled, obviously glad for the complement. “And your hair is all different too!”
“Not like yours! You dyed it all black. And it really looks…great!”
“Thank you,” Olivia said with an air of haughtiness, before she laughed again.
“My Mom was talking today about maybe highlighting my hair for the summer. But to me it sounds kind of…I don’t know. I’m just not sure it’s something I want to do.”
“Oh God, Jade. You should totally do it! It would look so good on you. I know it would!”
“Hi Olivia,” Susan said as she finally walked up. “Your hair looks really nice! And I love the new color.”
“Thank you Aunt Susan. I was just telling Jade that he should go for the highlights he said you were talking about earlier.”
“He didn’t seem all that interested before,” Susan replied.
Olivia looked straight at Jasmine. “Just do it. You’ll love it!”
Jasmine shrugged. “Maybe,” he said as his Aunt Jane walked up. “Hi Aunt Jane.”
“Hi Jas,” Jane replied. “Hi Susan. I didn’t know you were coming shopping today.”
“I was just going after groceries, but someone here needs some bigger bras and I decided this morning that it really can’t wait anymore.”
“I wonder who that someone could be?” Jane said a she looked down at Jasmine.
Jasmine looked surprised. “Don’t look at me. It wasn’t my idea.”
“No,” Susan replied. “But you could at least be a little more conscious of what fits and what doesn’t.”
“How should I know if it fits or not? I don’t know anything about it. And they’re what I’ve always worn.”
“And I guess that’s part of the problem. Now come on and let’s see if we can find some help. We may have to have you measured to find out how bad things are really getting for you.”
“What do you mean measured?” Jasmine asked.
“You’ll find out in a few minutes,” Susan told him.
“Oooo!” Olivia exclaimed. “Can we watch, Mom?’
Jane shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess that depends on what Aunt Susan says.”
Susan thought about it for a moment. “I don’t have any problem with it, as long as you help make sure he doesn’t run away before we get out of here.”
“Hey,” Olivia replied. “I can totally do that!”
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“Do what?” Jasmine asked, totally not believing what his mother had just said.
“Take your top off. They can’t fit you for new bras with your top on.”
“You mean here? In front of everyone else?”
Susan shook her head. “Jas, we’re surrounded by nothing but changing rooms. We’re not out in the middle of the store. Now get that top off. The saleslady will be right back.”
Jasmine started pulling his top off, then stopped and looked around at Olivia and his Aunt Jane. “You’re sure?” he asked his mother.”
Olivia laughed. “Jas, I’ve seen you in a bra before. All the girls did at that sleepover. Remember?” Since he was so hesitant about it, she didn’t add that she was fairly sure he would have to remove the bra he was wearing too.
With one final uncertain look at everyone, Jasmine pulled his top off, just as the saleswoman entered the changing area.
“Ah,” the saleswoman said with a big smile as she walked up with a tape measure in her hand. “What’s your name?” she asked Jasmine.
“Jasmine,” Susan told her.
“Jade,” Olivia said at the same time.
The woman looked confused. “Jasmine Jade,” Jasmine finally told her. “Some people call me Jasmine, and some call me Jade.”
“Oh. And what do you prefer?”
He shrugged as his eyes met with Olivia’s, “I guess Jade for today.”
“Very nice,” the woman said with a smile. “I can already see that the bra you’re wearing is way too small. Isn’t it uncomfortable?”
“I don’t know,” Jade replied. “It’s the only kind I’ve ever worn.”
“Then I think it’s way past time we got you into something a bit more your size. And I know you’ll be very happy about it.” She physically grabbed his shoulders and turned him around. “Now let’s get this little thing off of you and measure you for something better!”
Off? Before he knew it, he felt the woman unfastening his bra. He looked up at his mother with horror in his eyes, only to see her smiling back. He looked at Olivia as the woman started pushing the straps over his shoulders and down his arms. Olivia was trying not to giggle, and wasn’t exactly succeeding. And then he felt the bra cups popping off of his tiny breasts, leaving them totally bare. He gulped with his eyes wide. His hands went up to his now naked breasts to cover them as his eyes went back to Olivia, who seemed way too interested. And then before he could react anymore, the woman turned him around to face her.
“Arms out away from your body please?”
Jasmine held his arms away from his body as he looked up uncertainly at his mother again. He looked down quickly though as the woman wrapped the tape measure all the way around his body and pulled it tight to check the measurement just below his breasts. And then she eased up on the tape measure and moved it up a little and did it again – right over top of his breasts! Once again, Jasmine looked up, wide-eyed at his mother.
“Relax Jas,” Susan told him.
Relax? His mother had to be kidding!
“Hmmm!” the woman muttered as she looked at the tape measure. Then she dropped the end of it and it and pulled it away from the “girl” she was working on. “Pretty much what I thought.” She looked down at Jade and smiled. “Jade, you’ve been wearing those tiny bras way too long. You’ve still got a little growing to do, but you’re well on your way to being a full ‘A’ cup.” She looked at Susan. “I really wouldn’t go with anything less for her. Especially since girls her age tend to grow quickly for a while.”
Susan nodded. “That’s pretty much what I was guessing.” She turned to Jasmine. “Put your top back on now. Let’s go pick out some better bras for you.”
Jasmine quickly grabbed his bra that he had set on the nearby bench along with his top and his purse. He wanted to get it on and cover himself up as quickly as possible. It was embarrassing having everyone see how big his breasts had grown now. Especially Olivia and his Aunt Susan.
“Don’t bother with the bra,” Susan told him. “No sense putting it on again when it’s too small. You can wear one of the new ones after we buy some.”
Uncertainly, Jasmine set the bra back on the bench, picked up his top and pulled it over his head. He shook his hair out and ran his fingers though it a bit while his mother picked up his old bra and stuffed it down in her purse.
Olivia walked over close to him and giggled. “We wear the same bra size now.”
“Just don’t tell anyone.”
“That’s stupid. Why not?”
“Because it’s embarrassing.”
“Why? There’s nothing at all embarrassing about it. In fact, I’m pretty sure all the Musketeers wear the same bra size now.”
He shook his head. “Not all of them.”
“The real Jasmine. Jimmy Joe.”
“Why? What size is she now?”
--- §§§§§§§§§§ ---
“Stand up straight dear and stop trying to look at yourself,” Susan told Jasmine as they headed back toward the car.
“It’s kind of hard not to,” Jasmine replied.
“Just try to forget they’re there.”
“That’s pretty much impossible now. I mean. As far as I can see, you can’t miss them anymore.”
“And what’s so wrong with that? Didn’t Oliva and Aunt Jane both tell you how nice you look?”
“Well then stop worrying about it. Smile. Be happy.”
“That’s easy for you to say.”
“You’re the one who wanted all the padding, dear.”
“I didn’t say that! All I asked was if we could get something soft!”
“And that’s what you got.”
“But I didn’t know that it would mean that the bras would be that thick!”
“Oh for heaven’s sake Jas, they’re not big and they’re still one of the smallest bra sizes available.”
“But they still stick out more.”
“Not that much, Jas. Not that much.”
“Well it seems like it to me.”
“Jas, stop a minute.” Susan said as she stopped walking and turned to him.
“Stand up straight!” She ignored his eye rolling. “Straighter. Back straight and hold your head up.”
It was all Jasmine could do to not roll his eyes yet again. But he did as his mother asked. And then he looked down at his chest again. “See! They stick out even more if I stand like this.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Susan told him. “You look more normal that way.”
“I don’t feel normal. I feel silly.”
“Why? Because you’re a beautiful young girl?”
“No, because I’m not a beautiful young girl.”
“Then smile Jas, and you will be.”
He couldn’t stop his incessant eye rolling this time. He also didn’t feel much like smiling.
“Now stand straight again,” Susan told him. “No…straighter. And keep your head up. Stop trying to look at the ground. And stop rolling your eyes!”
He rolled his eyes at that too. “Can’t we just leave now?”
“Not until you start smiling.”
“But my boobs are sticking a mile out.”
“Stop it. And they’re just barely more noticeable than they were before.”
“They don’t feel like it.”
“You said that earlier.”
“Well I meant it earlier. Can we just leave now?”
“Not until you put a nice smile on your face and decide to keep it there while we go back to the car.”
“Do I have to?”
“We’re not leaving until you do.”
He started to think about that for a moment.
“Jas, the longer you don’t smile, the longer we’ll stay right here. Is that what you want?”
“Then smile. Please?”
Once again he rolled his eyes, and once again he tried to force a smile to his face.
“And don’t forget to stand up straight while you walk.”
Susan only had to stop him twice more on the way back to the car to get him to keep walking upright and to keep smiling. After the second time, Jasmine didn’t even bother rolling his eyes, he mostly automatically corrected himself and they were able to keep going.
“Very good, dear,” Susan told him. “Now we’ve just got to teach you how to move a little more femininely when you do anything else.”
--- §§§§§§§§§§ ---
The gunshots had been echoing through the neighborhood for most of the day. In fact, they had echoed through the neighborhood for most of the week once the kids got home from school. It was pretty irritating to most of the family, but Elliot competing in his first shooting competition kept everyone from complaining. In fact, all the boys and most of the men in the family were in Pete’s backyard watching Elliot practice.
But during the afternoon hours now, Elliot wasn’t the only one shooting guns, Pete had lined his son up right in the middle between Tommy, Hunter, Jimmy Joe, and Justin. He wanted all that shooting going on at once so that Elliot could get used to all the gunfire around him and not be distracted by it. The result was a tremendous amount of noise. Enough noise that nobody even heard Susan and Jasmine arriving home. And so naturally nobody came to help them unload the groceries from the car either. Not that either of them expected any help.
Jasmine was just glad to be home. From the department store they had gone to have lunch at a nice but cheap restaurant. And while there, his mother had continually hounded him to sit up straight and smile. And then she had started in with little things like, “Jas, please sit up straight and hold your head up. Or, “Jas, please be a little more polite how you put your food into your mouth.” Or, “Jas, have you ever thought about the way you use your eyes when you talk? You should really watch your girlfriends sometime and take notes.”
Ugh! And then once they had gotten to the grocery store, his mother had started in all over again. “Stand up straight Jas.” Or, “Smile Jas.” Or, “Jas, try holding your elbows a little closer to your body. You’re not a cowboy.” Or, “Jas, you don’t have to be so stiff when you walk. Relax!” Grocery shopping had been bad enough. Having to go out in public as a girl again had been bad enough. Having to walk around in public now with bigger boobs was bad enough. But now getting lessons on how he should do things and move every part of his body was downright aggravating! And then his mother had started all over again while they put the groceries away. The constant loud annoying thunder of the guns in the background pretty much echoed the way his nerves felt.
“Thank you, Jas,” Susan said once they had finished. “Why don’t you get out of here and find some of your friends for a while.”
But going out and possibly having his friends notice his bigger boobs wasn’t exactly high on his list. “Can’t I just go to my room and relax?”
“Why would you ever?” Susan said. “Now go say hi to everyone. Either that, or we can spend more time practicing arm and hand movements. And I noticed earlier that you’re not quite looking normal or comfortable yet when you sit down in that skirt.”
Jasmine’s jaw dropped. He turned and ran to grab the light jacket he had been wearing all day. He was out the door to the sound of his mother chuckling in the background.
Once out the door, even though the weather had turned really nice, he made sure to zip his jacket up all the way, trying to cover his new boobs as much as possible. Of course, the jacket wouldn’t hide the skirt or tights he was wearing, and it wouldn’t hide what his mother had done with his hair earlier that morning either. He tried his best not to think about any of that as he headed next door to Nichole’s house – where most of the family seemed to be hanging out in the backyard watching the guys shoot.
He found Nichole, Allison, Ashley, Lucas, and Aaron all standing back by the house watching the shooting. All the girls were watching with their fingers in their ears to block some of the noise. With all the gunfire going on, Jasmine simply raised his hand to say hi, and stuck his fingers in his own ears as he stood next to Nichole to watch everyone shooting too.
His father was there standing behind Tommy and Jimmy Joe, ready to give them a few pointers to help in their own shooting, and he noticed that his Uncle Jed was there as well watching Hunter and Justin, neither of whom seemed to need any help at all. Jasmine seriously doubted that any of the boys needed any help. It was his Uncle Pete though that was heavily paying attention to what Elliot was doing. He was paying attention, but he didn’t seem to be offering much help as he watched Elliot take shot after careful shot. But then there was no doubt that Elliot was very good at it.
The gunfire finally stopped, much to everyone’s relief. “Any problems with all the noise going on around you?” Pete asked his son.
Elliot shrugged. “Some, but not much. It’s harder to concentrate, but I don’t think it made much of a difference.”
Pete nodded. “But if it was harder to concentrate, then it did make a difference.” He looked around at everyone else. “Let’s change those targets out and try it again.”
The noise in the backyard increased again as the boys grabbed some new targets and started walking the length of the backyard. But it wasn’t the noise of gunfire. Some of Pete’s dogs started barking at everyone crossing the backyard. Nobody paid any attention at all to the dogs.
The new targets were put in place and the guns were reloaded. But before anyone got ready to shoot, Clint turned around and looked at Jasmine. “Hold on a minute,” he said to Pete to make sure nobody would start shooting yet. Then he turned again toward Jasmine. “Jas, get over here and take a turn. I want to see you shoot this gun again.”
“Dad?” Jimmy Joe said, not happy to hear that at all.
“Me?” Jasmine said, totally surprised and not interested in the least.
“Jas, you know the family rules. Everyone has to know how to shoot the guns. There could be an emergency of some kind, and it’s been a while now since you’ve done it.”
“Good idea,” Pete said as he turned to look at all the girls still watching. “Nichole, you get over here too.” He turned to Hunter. “Hunter, let her use your gun for a turn.”
“Ashley, you too,” Jed said to his daughter. “You can use Justin’s gun.” He looked to Allison. “Don’t think you’re getting out of this either. Get over there and grab Tommy’s gun.”
“This should be good!” Hunter said with a laugh as he handed his gun to Nichole.
“Real good!” Tommy agreed as he handed his gun to Allison.
“Okay everyone, don’t start firing until I tell you,” Pete announced. “Take your time. Aim carefully, and do your best. And let’s see if any of you young ladies can do better than Elliot here. None of the guys seemed to manage it.” There was some laughter from all the boys at that remark.
“Okay,” Pete said. “Is everyone ready?” He looked around. “Then start shooting!”
The shooting didn’t start quickly. All of the girls had shot the guns before, they just didn’t do it often. Elliot though was the first to take a shot. Allison had to be reminded by Clint to take the safety off before the gun would fire. Ashley was the second one to shoot. Of all the girls, she and Jade probably had the most experience shooting the guns. Jade because he was really Jimmy, and Ashley because Jed pretty much made sure his whole family was very familiar with the guns and the dangers of where they lived. Of all the girls, Allison probably had the least experience. Her family was busier with their medical responsibilities and had less time for target shooting in the backyard. But that didn’t mean she didn’t know how to shoot. She just rarely ever did it.
Jasmine actually enjoyed the target shooting and he found the sudden competition to be exciting. It wasn’t anything at all like killing some poor animal. The gun had been given to him for Christmas, but it was really his sister’s gun. He had only fired a couple of rounds out of it once, so the gun was still new to him, but as he fired it he remembered now that it had been a fairly comfortable gun to shoot. As the rifle shots rang all around him, he sighted in over and over again on the target and slowly pulled the trigger. With the targets so far off, it was difficult to tell how he was doing. He just hoped he was doing better than the rest of the girls…in the spirit of competition. He knew he didn’t have a prayer of beating Elliot.
One by one, everyone finished shooting. Allison being the slowest and last. But everyone waited patiently for her while Clint watched her closely. Once all the guns had been put down, everyone, girls, boys, and men, headed across the yard to the barking of the dogs in the pen. The men pulled the targets down to compare them. Elliot’s was quickly thrown out. Nobody even came close. But it was the other four targets that were scrutinized carefully. As expected, Allison didn’t do that well. Only a couple of shots actually hit the target, and two of them were on the paper border. Nichole was a lot better. The majority of her shots had hit the paper, but they were very widely scattered. It was the targets that Jasmine and Ashley had shot at that were compared really closely, and it was fairly evident that Jasmine had outshot her, despite the fact that Ashley had done really well.
“Nice shooting Jas,” Clint said with very satisfied smile. “Not quite as good as Jimmy, but darn good.”
Jimmy playfully punched Jasmine’s arm. “Ha! Got ya! I’m still a better shot.”
“Yeah, but you practice and get to shoot that gun a lot more,” Clint told her. “Jas here almost never gets to fire a gun anymore.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Jimmy Joe replied. “I’m still the better shot.”
Jimmy’s stupid taunting grated on Jasmine’s nerves. He desperately wanted to say something that could put his sister in her place – at least in something. And finding that something to taunt back with was all too easy. “Yeah,” he replied. “But I’ve got bigger boobs, and you don’t have any!” Despite their situation, Jasmine was glad to note the angry look that flashed across his sister’s face. He walked away before she could say anything back.