Melody and her teenage daughter, Kristen, have moved to Colorado for a fresh start. She's still not 100% where she wants to be in terms of her body yet but she is finally comfortable with herself and is living completely as a woman for the first time in her life. To thank Kristen for being so wonderful she promises her daughter riding lessons, something her little girl has always dreamed of.
While waiting for the lesson to start, she's happy to see her daughter amidst the horses that she loves so much, but Melody does not expect the handsome man who sits down next to her—a man who proves to be Kristen's instructor and idol—to be interested in taking Melody out on a date...
I slipped my favorite red dress over my shoulders and tugged it down until it touched the bottom of my knees. Though it had been hanging in my closet for over a year, there wasn’t a chance to wear it before. No, that wasn’t true. I hadn’t had the guts to take it out and put it on before. I’d seen it in a department store and snatched it off the rack. The cashier asked me if it was a present for my wife, I remembered wanting to cry as I shook my head and took my new dress home.
That was a time fresh after my divorce while Kristen and I were still living in Seattle, less than three miles from my ex-wife, her whole family and the firm I used to work for. We’d needed the move for more reasons than location, but through it all, my little girl was a trooper. Especially when her mom demanded that Kristen live with her instead of with someone like me. Her words had hurt but not as much as the idea of losing Kristen forever—and for no other reason than that I chose not to hide who I was anymore.
I turned away from the mirror in front of me when I heard a knock on my bedroom door. “Who is it?” I called, knowing perfectly well Kristen was the only one in the house and no burglar would be polite enough to knock. Not that I thought a tiny Colorado town with a name as happy as Summer Valley would have burglars. That idea didn’t fit with the wholesome, welcoming image of the town I had in my head. We’d only lived here a week, but I knew every street and every store, which wasn’t hard to do in a town with less than seven hundred people in it.
“Mom, we’re gonna be late. Hurry up!”
I smiled as I turned back to the mirror. “You didn’t say please,” I teased her.
Something thunked against the door, likely her forehead. Kristen liked to be dramatic. “Please? I can’t be late to my first lesson.”
“You won’t be late, boo. Come in here and help me out.”
Kristen was short for fifteen, and as she came to stand next to me, I looked even taller than my already five feet, eight inches made me appear. “You’re gonna wear that to the barn?”
I frowned at my reflection and stopped playing with the skirt as I attempted to get it to lie over my slim hips. Hormones had helped, some, but I still didn’t have the hourglass figure I really wanted. I was still on them, and likely would be for the rest of my life, so maybe there was hope for those wider hips I saw in magazines.
“You don’t like it?” Suddenly I was second-guessing myself. The dress was modest but the color was bold, and I generally didn’t wear bright colors. But Summer Valley was a new place for us, and I wanted to be me. I wanted to wear reds and yellows and not be afraid to walk outside on a summer day wearing a floral dress, a big hat, and sunglasses that were far too large for my face.
Kristen shrugged and stuffed her hands into the pockets of her scruffy jeans. She was wearing a T-shirt with a horse on it, long since faded from too many washes that proclaimed her to be Horse Crazy in a pretty script. Well, it had been pretty once, but now most of the lettering was peeling off. “Don’t you have some jeans or something? No one really wears dresses to a barn.”
Sighing, I walked over and took a seat on the side of the bed. “You hate it.” I looked up at her, my beautiful little girl that looked so much like my ex did when I met her at sixteen. We were married at eighteen, had Kristen at nineteen while I was away in the army, and I’d been happy at times. But I’d never really been me.
Kristen frowned too. “Naw. I don’t hate it. You look good. Your left boob is a bit crooked, though.”
I chuckled—no, I giggled, because women giggle—in embarrassment, and fixed the silicon insert of the silky bra I wore. “Better?” I asked her, hoping I’d fixed the problem. Kristen gave me a little nod, and I reached for my shoes but then hesitated. I really wanted to wear the pair of black pumps I’d ordered online last week. They’d only arrived yesterday, and I’d carried them around for most of the day because I’d been too nervous to try them on in case I hated them, while Kristen was at school. But heels would make me even taller, and not many women were over six feet in heels. I picked up my flats instead and started to put them on.
Kristen snorted and I looked up at her.
“Wear the shoes you want. Go for the heels. They’re sexy.” She gave me a little wink and I rolled my eyes.
“You should not be telling your mom to wear sexy shoes,” I reprimanded her as I put the heels on and strapped them around my ankles. I clicked the shoes together and stretched out my legs to see how pretty they were on my feet. I loved everything about them, right down to their pointy toes and the little rhinestone flowers on the heels.
“And you should be hurrying up. C’mon, Mom. You said I could have anything I wanted since I agreed to move here for a fresh start. And change schools. And leave all my friends. And what I want is to start riding lessons. Like, you know, today, maybe?” Kristen said, her voice very close to a whine.