The BeC Clothing Line, advertised for frustrated families everywhere
Jeremy's mother finished tidying up after a visit from their neighbour, Mrs. Gonzales. Could it really work? Could Francesca Gonzales be telling the truth? She had heard of those tiny machines lately, noonites, naynites, or whatever they were called, being able to change people, but a whole catalogue of clothing with the little what-nots embedded into them? Mind you, Francesca certainly proved herself when she called for young Alberto to come over and say hello; that boy had sure changed over the summer... no more grubby sportswear for him. The boy was dressed in immaculate white dress-shorts and a cute summery shirt made of what looked like actual silk. And he seemed to like it!
Carol thought about her boy and how the soccer coach had, after all, however jokingly, suggested ballet to the boys as a way to improve their skills, but the jerk had made it clear he didn't think anyone would go for it. Silly ass. She knew in her heart it would help the shy but quick young son, and when Francesca showed her the catalogue, she couldn't help herself and ordered a pair of light-blue tights for the lad and called around town, finding an apropriate ballet school to enroll him in. To her suprise, the third one she called, Dance World, said they had openings in two of their THREE boys classes! The other two schools had nowhere near enough lads to make a single all-boys class. It turned out Dance World also had catalogues for BeC in their office; seemed like those little catalogues were turning up in all sorts of places. The local community club had them, too, which featured Cub and Boyscout clothing, and Francesca mentioned that Mrs. Cryderman up the road bought her boy Kyles' new school uniform from BeC. Kyle, she knew full well, hated school enough to skip several days even though he was only in grade five last year, but now, her neighbor told her, the boy was insisting on wearing his school-clothes when studying at home, going out, or having dinner!
A week later, sure enough, there came a package in the mail. Collecting it just as Mrs Gonzales came to the door for her daily coffee-klatch while their kids were in school, Francesca expressed delight upon seeing the package from BeC clothiers.
The package was fairly plain, and the ladies found inside the box another, updated catalogue and a vacuum-packed, clear-plastic package with a nice packaging insert and a pair of "Boys' Ballet Tights, Blue #3, N-E-5", with a picture of a nice boy dressed as a ballet soldier, smiling out. Mrs. Gonzales made sure to tell Carol to read the small note taped to the plastic. "To be Opened Only by Final Recipient!", it said, and Francesca stressed the importance of those words. She also explained the letters after the clothing description reffered to the type of "nanites" included.
Jeremy came home, grubby from a "Wicked, mom, absolutely WILD!" after-school soccer game with his friends. Carol sent her favorite (well, only, sigh) child upstairs to have a shower and get changed for dinner.
Jeremy re-played the game in his head as he scrubbed himself quickly and changed into shorts and a t-shirt. "Man, what a great day! And it's Friday, no less; I'm gonna call up Frank and Jase after supper, see if they wanna go up to the big kids' school yard and use the soccer field tomorrow!" Frank, who sucked last year, wore his cool Manchester United - style uniform his Dad bought him from some place practically day and night lately, but it sure seemed to help him concentrate or something; he was nearly the best player on the team now, even though it was a bit geeky to dress up in full uniform just for scrub, pick-up games like they played, although nobody, including Jeremy, really felt any drive to tease him, for some reason. It was wierd, because even just a couple of months ago, Frank just wasn't into the games. Jeremy came bouncing into the kitchen and he and Mom had a great dinner.
Mom reminded him of what his Soccer coach, and the website she had shown him yesterday, said about dance helping boys with their athleticism. "Aww, mom, I dunno", he muttered shyly. "The rest of the guys... I mean, they'd tease me something awful, don't you see? I just don't think I want to try..."
"Honey, I really want you to try at least once. Come on, you always say you'll try anything once! I even got you part of your uniform you would need, if you accept. Won't you just try?"
Jeremy looked down with his typical shyness, unable to really argue strongly with his single mother. He could never get truly angry with her; not considering how much she had done for him. He sure as heck didn't want to try any 'ballet clothes' though; he had to wear tights once for some stupid play at school, and he hated the clingy, itchy feel of them almost as much as the 'sissy' taunts he got from his schoolmates. But, maybe if he just put on whatever she had for him and went to just ONE class, just to make her happy, maybe she would let this stupid idea go.
"All right, Mom, I'll... I mean, I'll at least try it ONCE. I don't like the idea, though!" he told her, setting her up gently for the disappointment he knew he would cause later when he would tell her, as he knew he would, that he was quitting after that first class.
Carol grinned. "Hooked!", she thought, and passed Jeremy the package.
He looked at it briefly, his feelings slightly assuaged by the picture of the comparatively (for a ballet-boy, he thought sneeringly) muscled and tough looking boy on the packs' insert.
"Take the package on up to your room, Jeremy. Take everything off, and 'bunch up' the tights, like you have to do for your soccer-socks to pull them on", she told him, knowing the nanickulite thingies needed as much body contact as possible to do their work quickly.
Jeremy stood in his room, wearing just his Nike t-shirt, as he clawed open the package, tossing the wrapper and insert into the garbage and feeling the tights. "Sure feel wierd", he muttered, sensing the tight, thick weave of lycra and cotton with his fingers. "Oh well, I guess I... I want to make her happy, so..."
He gathered them up like Mum said, tugging them up his hairless, skinny legs to his knees before standing up to streach them the rest of the way on. He was expecting that irritating, scratchy itch he remembered from the last time he wore these dumb things, but such sensations were totally absent this time; instead, just... well, a sort of tickly, leg-hugging feel, but nothing NASTY... Jeremy smiled slightly as he told himself to chill out, looking down at his legs and enjoying this totally new feeling. He streached up on his toes, tugging up along the fabric all the way up his legs, then pulling the waist half-way up his torso. He smiled more broadly this time, only feeling the now-pleasant tingle from his tights-clad legs, not the 800,000 microscopically tiny nanites coursing through his body up to his head, with short pit-stops along the way. He sat down, indian style, on the rug by his bed, and picking up a toy car, started running it along his legs, lost in enjoyment of the tickles doing so created as the nanites finished up their chore and allowed themselves, just a few minutes after they entered the lad, to filter into the bloodstream to be picked up by his kidneys and flushed out of his system entirely by the time of his morning pee the next day.
Carol finshed off her cup of coffee and hung up the phone, having just told Francesca what Jeremy was doing. "Go on upstairs now," her neighbour told her, "those nanites are all finished up by now. Remember, they don't change too much, just enough to do what's needed. Enjoy!" Carol walked up with a bit of trepidation; was this moral? Was this even remotely 'decent'? She was changing her own son... but, she was sure, for the better.
She came through the hall and looked into her sons room. Jeremy saw the movement and looked up from his position on the floor and flashed the most charming wide-mouthed smile she could remember seeing on him in months; lately, it was mostly almost a sneer that she saw when he grinned.
"Hi Mom!" he called out, tucking his legs under himself to stand up. "They fit great! I LOVE my new tights, I can't believe how different they make my legs feel!" he said with delight, and then, to Carols suprise, he rose up on his toes and tried to execute a clumsy plie, making himself giggle. "I can't wait until ballet starts! When's my first class, Mom?"
Carol could hardly believe what she was seeing, but it delighted her to no end. "Good grief," she thought, "That certainly IS a change..." then out loud to him, she asked, "You really feel that way about dance, Jer? You really want to go, and for more than one class?"
"Geez, Mom, of course!! Just 'cuz I was too shy to tell you how I really felt for so long, doesn't mean I'm gonna fake dislike NOW. I want to be a ballet-boy as soon as I can! Do classes start tomorrow?" he asked, clutching his hands in front of himself while bouncing up and down on his cute tights-covered toes.
Carol just nodded her head and giggled. She had to wonder if perhaps there were a few too many nick-nackulites in her order or something, but thought the lad was just too cute. She took his hand and lead him downstairs, where he played the rest of the evening in just his new tights and his tshirt, and did not go to bed without asking her if they could go to the store to buy some more of his favorite new clothing item after his dance class the next day.
She also wondered just who she should pass on her catalogue to. The obvious choice was Danielle and her brood just down the street. With four kids, three of them boys, Carol knew she was run ragged by the housefull of kids. Though expensive, perhaps BeC could help her out, too? Then again, her best friend Ursula had a teenage son who was fresh out of his second stay at Juvie, and she constantly lamented how he was fast approaching driving age. Carol just bet those shrink-in-the-wash clothes on page 14 just might give Ursula what she needed...