Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

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I’d never considered having a relationship with another female. It wasn’t that I thought the act to be repulsive in any way; it was just that it hadn’t crossed my mind. It was something I knew about vaguely because we all suspected a couple of our female teachers at school as being over friendly with each other but when it happened to me it came as a bolt right out of the blue.

Let me explain. My name is Fiona and I turned eighteen years of age in September 1975. I had attended an all-girls boarding school in the Home Counties since I was eleven years old and was now in my final year studying for my A-Levels in English, French and German. I was the Head Girl at the school and my ambition in life was to be a language teacher, hopefully teaching English to French or German children abroad and so I was hoping to get good grades and go on to university.

I was an only child and my father and mother both had high powered jobs in the city and worked long hours which didn’t always fit in with normal school hours. I’d had a nanny whilst I was at Prep School to take me to school and meet me out again and also prepare me a meal afterwards but my mother had always made sure that she made time for me in the evenings to read or play games with me. I never felt lonely at boarding school and had many friends, some of whom I still keep in touch with today.

During my final year, I’d also had a casual boyfriend. When I say casual, we used to meet sometimes in the local park. His name was Gavin and he lived in the town and had recently started working as a mechanic in a garage. He was a year older than me and we had met while walking in the local park one Saturday afternoon. At first we just used to sit and talk, for while it wasn’t against the school rules to talk with members of the opposite sex, kissing and fraternising with them was strictly taboo and could in extreme cases lead to expulsion from the school.

Gavin and I had graduated to kissing, usually in an alleyway behind the garage, and on one occasion I had let his hand ‘wander’ beneath my skirt and fondle the crotch of my briefs for a brief moment. I remember the heat flowing through my body as he did this, though I resisted the urge to do anything more intimate. The resulting bulge beneath Gavin’s trousers had needed attending to promptly and I had succeeded in relieving his tensions with the relevant ‘hand massage’! I stopped seeing him shortly afterwards when I saw him kissing another girl in the High Street and my friend Janice told me that he had also tried it on with her.

It was early in December when my first female encounter occurred. There was a tradition at the school that the sixth form pupils put on a Christmas pantomime for the benefit of the younger pupils and teachers alike, and also a second performance in which members of the local community and any parents of day children or boarders could attend, with all proceeds going to a local charity. I had performed in the previous year’s pantomime which was Dick Whittington in a non-speaking role as ‘a citizen of Olde London town’. This year we were doing Cinderella, and I had been cast in the title role.

I had joined the drama society and also the school choir when I first started at the school and had been in one or two small in-school productions, often with just one or two lines to speak. Now it was my big break, and I couldn’t wait. Rehearsals had been taking place since the beginning of October and I was word perfect in all my lines. My English teacher, Mrs Baxter, was directing the production, which was produced by the Head of Music, Mr Chambers, and it was after an English lesson one Friday afternoon that Mrs Baxter called me to her desk as I was on my way out.

“Are you free tomorrow afternoon, Fiona?” she enquired, peering at me through her gold rimmed spectacles. “I thought it might be a good idea for you to have a fitting for your ballroom dress. I’ve finished altering it now and we do only have a couple of weeks before the performances you know. It’s not long if I have to make any further alterations.”

“Yes that’s fine, Mrs Baxter,” I replied. “Janice and I had planned to catch the bus into town if the weather was fine, but it’s not a problem.”

“Good!” said Mrs Baxter. “I’ll pick you up around two o’clock then.”

“Very well, Mrs Baxter,” I replied. “I’ll see you then.”

Mrs Baxter had been my form tutor in my first year, as well as my house mistress. She was in her late thirties and lived with her husband in a small village about five miles from the school. She had brown hair which she always wore tied back in a small bun and brown eyes which twinkled as she spoke. At school, she always wore a brown tweed knee length skirt suit and either a white or cream blouse whose top button was always undone and whose collar rested on that of her jacket. Her jacket was always fastened, accentuating her curvy figure and she usually wore dark tan hosiery and dark brown low-heeled court shoes. She had never been known to shout at a pupil but instead always spoke calmly but firmly to make her casino siteleri point and as a result was much respected by all the pupils.

As we were technically at school for twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, we spent a lot of our time wearing our school uniforms. For most girls, this consisted of a dark grey, knee length, pleated A-line skirt, a maroon blazer with the school badge, a white blouse and the school tie which was maroon with a white stripe. Girls in the first year through to the fifth year wore white or grey knee socks while the sixth form were allowed nude coloured nylon tights or stockings through the year or black woollen ones in extremely cold weather. All girls, regardless of their age wore thick soled black lace up shoes except at night within the dormitory and its environs when all manner of colourful fluffy slippers could be seen!

Uniform rules were quite strict and on Monday to Friday, between eight o’clock in the morning and five o’clock in the evening, it was compulsory to wear the blazer and tie at all times. Outside of these times a maroon cardigan or pullover could be worn instead of the blazer, but the tie was still compulsory and heaven help any girl who was found without it. Our hair also had to be smart and any girl whose hair was more than two inches below her collar had to tie it back using a hair grip or some other suitable appliance. Mine was shoulder length when loose and I usually wore it tied back in a ponytail.

Saturday at the school was different to a normal working school day. We didn’t have lessons; however we did have ‘homework’ and were expected to revise for any unexpected tests that our teachers could spring on us over the following week. The dress code was further relaxed in that ties were not required and we could wear our blouses with the top button unfastened. After lunch, we were allowed two hours of free time when we could leave the school grounds, however if we did, we had to wear the full school uniform including the blazer and we had to sign out and then sign back in again on our return.

On Sunday, most of the girls were encouraged to attend a local church according to their faith and again full uniform had to be worn, including an embarrassing straw hat with a red band around the brim, however restrictions were relaxed upon return to school and if any girl was spending the day with her parents she could wear her own clothes, although anything other than a skirt or dress was strictly forbidden on school premises, and these had to be a sensible style and length. Another concession granted for girls going out was that the hair restriction was also lifted.

Most of the teachers who lived in at the school were single and we all had a designated dormitory mistress so it was rare for us to see any of the ‘outsiders’ as we called them at the school on a weekend, especially Mrs Baxter. On this day, however, she arrived at the school around ten o’clock as she was overseeing some scenery painting with the Head of Art and some of the other girls. I did some revision in my dorm and then had a light lunch around one o’clock and at two o’clock I knocked on her study door.

“Come in!” she called from within.

I walked in and Mrs Baxter sat behind her desk, dressed in her usual tweed suit and cream blouse.

“Ah, good afternoon, Fiona,” she said standing up. “You’ll need to put your coat on, it’s very cold outside today,” she added. “The dress is at my house. I didn’t bring it here because there’s nowhere suitable to hang it and the hem is still pinned up in case I need to alter it. Would you meet me in the reception in ten minutes please?”

“Yes Mrs Baxter,” I said and walked out.

She hadn’t said anything to me earlier about going to her house but that didn’t bother me so I went back to my dormitory and took off the pullover that I’d been wearing , fastened the top button of my blouse and put on my tie. I then added my blazer and buttoned it up, gave my hair a quick brush, making sure that the ponytail hadn’t worked loose and went back down to the reception where Mrs Baxter was waiting for me. I signed out and walked with her to her car.

“You know you didn’t need to have dressed up so formally,” she said when we got in. “We’re only going to my house, it’s not like you’re going to be seen out in public.”

“I’m sorry, Mrs Baxter” I said apologetically. “I guess it’s a force of habit when I go out on a Saturday afternoon.”

Mrs Baxter smiled and started the car up and we drove out of the school gates and along the country roads to her house. It took about ten minutes for us to get there and I was surprised to find that she lived in a large detached house on the outskirts of the village.

“This is lovely,” I said as I got out of the car. “I should love a house like this when I’m older. We only live in a semi-detached house at the moment.”

“Yes it is nice, isn’t it?” said Mrs Baxter. “It’s got a lovely garden, which is so ideal for the children.”

“I didn’t know that you had children,” I blurted out, somewhat surprised. canlı casino “What are their ages?”

“My son Sam is twelve and my daughter Kirstie is nine,” said Mrs Baxter. “My husband has taken them to the football match so they won’t be home until about six o’clock so it’ll be just you and me until then.”

Mrs Baxter locked her car and took her house keys from her bag and unlocked the front door. I followed her through into the hallway and she invited me into the lounge. It was very tastefully decorated and a large colour television set stood in one corner. In another stood a fish tank with around twenty small tropical fish in them. I looked at them for a moment, watching them dart around the tank.

“They belong to my husband,” said Mrs Baxter putting her bag on the dining table. “Don’t ask me what they are though; he’s the expert in that department. I know there are a couple of catfish and the odd shubunkin in there but other than that I haven’t got a clue!”

“They are fascinating,” I said watching them. “They can be very therapeutic, don’t you think?”

“Misty our cat certainly does,” said Mrs Baxter. “She spends hours looking at them too! That’s why we have a stout lid on the top! Now, would you like a drink before we start?” she added.

“No thank you, I’m fine,” I said.

“Okay then, let’s get on with it then,” she said. “The dress is in the spare bedroom. That’s where I keep all my theatrical costumes.”

I followed her out of the lounge and down the hallway and up the stairs.

“How many bedrooms do you have here?” I said when we reached the landing, trying not to sound too nosy.

“We have five,” said Mrs Baxter. “This one is the main bedroom,” she said pointing to one of the doors. “Sam’s room is the next one along and Kirstie’s room is across the corridor. Her bedroom overlooks the back garden, then we have a guest room where my parents stay when they come to visit, and finally we have ‘my space’!” she said emphasising the last two words as we came to another door. She opened it and we went in.

It was quite a large room overlooking the flat garage roof and had a large double bed which was covered with a pink bedspread and matching eiderdown. The eiderdown had been turned back revealing pink sheets and matching pillowcases. A small dressing table stood in front of the large window whilst three double wardrobes and a single wardrobe occupied the far wall. The first double one had a full mirror attached to one of the doors.

“We occasionally use this as a guest room as well,” said Mrs Baxter. “The only problem is that all the wardrobes are full of various costumes so there is nowhere for anyone to hang their clothes. Do you see what I mean?”

She opened all the wardrobe doors and I could indeed see what she meant. There were dresses, coats, blouses, smocks and all manner of items. I even recognised part of the cat’s costume from the previous year’s production.

“Gosh!” I said. “I would never have known you had all this.”

“The trouble is, there’s not much room at school to store things,” said Mrs Baxter closing all but one of the wardrobes. “I also have to make do and mend, adapting some of the costumes from one year to the next to make do. Anyway Fiona, here is your dress for the ballroom scene so we’ll try that for today. Your other costume for the kitchen scenes is at the school. I have a couple of old skirts and an old blouse and cardigan which should fit you. It won’t matter if they are a bit baggy as Cinderella was only a scullery maid after all!”

She pulled out the gown which in truth was a former bridesmaid’s dress made out of pink chiffon. It had three inch wide straps and a shallow v-shaped cleavage. It was ankle length and the skirt section was layered to puff out a bit.

“Oh my God, it’s gorgeous,” I exclaimed. “Where on earth did you get this from?”

“Believe it or not, I got it from a jumble sale in the village a couple of years ago for fifty pence!” said Mrs Baxter. “You wouldn’t believe it would you?”

“Certainly not,” I said, running my hands over the material. “It really is magnificent!”

“Well I need you to try it on for the length,” said Mrs Baxter. “I’ve got pins in the hem just in case I need to raise it or lengthen it.”

I started to unbutton my blazer and slipped it off and laid it on the bed, then removed my tie. As I unbuttoned my blouse, I caught sight of Mrs Baxter standing watching me. Now I’m not averse to undressing in front of other females, having shared a dormitory with between three and seven other girls for the whole of my school life. Having other females undress in front of me never bothered me, neither did being naked or semi naked in the presence of the Dormitory or Games Mistresses but there was something about the way that Mrs Baxter was looking at me which suddenly made me feel embarrassed. I paused for a moment with the last two buttons still to undo. Mrs Baxter was suddenly standing behind me, her right hand resting on my right shoulder.

“Come on now, there’s no need to be shy,” I heard her kaçak casino say. “Let me give you a hand.”

I felt her left hand fumble with the zip on my skirt whilst her right flicked at the little button at the waist. She gave it a slight tug and the skirt began slowly sliding towards the floor before landing in a heap round my ankles. I caught sight of myself once more in the long mirror. My maroon school briefs peeked out from under the hem of my blouse, and then there were a couple of inches of pale skin at the top of my thighs followed by the brown welts and sheer nylon of my nude coloured stockings. I could just make out the white suspender clipped to the front of each welt holding up the stocking, connected to the suspender belt still concealed beneath my blouse. I blushed a deep red at the sight before me and even Mrs Baxter had taken a step back in surprise.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I thought you would be wearing a petticoat underneath,” she added, going slightly red herself. ” I could see the white outline through your blouse. If I had known otherwise, I would never have done that. Please forgive me.”

“That’s okay,” I said, still feeling a bit embarrassed. “I do normally wear one it’s just that I put one in the laundry this morning and then found that some of the lace has come undone on the hem of my spare one so it needs sewing back on again. I was going to do it this evening.”

Mrs Baxter stepped back and busied herself shuffling some clothes in the wardrobe as I finished unfastening the remaining buttons, including those on each of my sleeves, and cursed myself for being too keen with my laundry earlier that morning. At least with a petticoat I would have been spared some embarrassment. I shrugged the blouse off revealing the white thermal vest top which Mrs Baxter had presumed was my petticoat and stepped out of my skirt, putting both of them on the bed. Mrs Baxter now seemed to have regained her composure and looked at me.

“You’ll need to wear something under your ball gown,” she said. “That chiffon can be translucent under the stage lights and we don’t want the audience to see your dark coloured knickers, now do we?” she smiled. “Do you by any chance possess any white ones? She asked casually.

I nodded, standing before her with my hands across my groin half trying to protect my modesty.

“Well it might be an idea to wear them for the performance and maybe one of your petticoats too,” she added. “What length are they?”

“Just above the knee,” I replied.

“That might be too short,” said Mrs Baxter thoughtfully. “It would be okay for the kitchen scenes because you’ll be wearing a below the knee length skirt but we don’t want any outline of your legs showing through your ball gown as I said before, do we?”

I hadn’t thought of this and certainly didn’t want to be lit up for all to see.

“I think I may have just the thing,” said Mrs Baxter, rummaging about in one of the cupboards.

She pulled out a long white garment and held it up in front of me. It looked like something my Granny would have worn and seemed to be about two sizes too large. It had straps around an inch wide and a shallow bust and plain hem and a wide skirt part. It reached about six inches below my knee and was made from nylon.

“You can wear this petticoat,” she said. “The girl who played Wendy when we did Peter Pan a few years ago wore it under her nightdress,” she said. “It should fit you so can you try it on please?”

She took it off the hanger and handed it to me and I folded it up to pull over my head.

“Hang on a minute,” she said, pointing to my vest. “Are you wearing a brassiere underneath that?”

I nodded.

“Would you mind awfully taking it off?” she added.

I looked at her quizzically.

“Why do you want me to take my bra off?” I said in a surprised tone.

Mrs Baxter laughed out loud.

“Oh good gracious, sorry!” she explained. “I meant your vest, not your brassiere. I don’t want the vest showing above your dress as it has a high bust line. “You can keep your brassiere on, but while you’re about it, would you mind removing your stockings so that they don’t show through either? I think you can dispense with them altogether on the night as I don’t think Cinderella wore nude coloured stockings, do you?”

“I don’t even think she wore a bra, but there’s no way I’m going without one!” I exclaimed unclipping the suspenders from the welts and rolling the stockings down to my ankles.

Mrs Baxter chuckled as I sat on the edge of the bed and untied my shoes and pulled them off, followed by the stockings and then pulled the vest over my head. I was left sitting in my plain white bra and my maroon coloured school briefs. My shyness had evaporated as quickly as it had come on and suddenly I didn’t mind being half-undressed in front of my English Teacher.

I stood up and Mrs Baxter handed me the folded up petticoat and placed it over my head, pushing my arms alternately through each of its sleeves. I let it ripple down over my body and adjusted it slightly so that it fitted snugly over my breasts and smoothed it down with my hands. It felt strange having such a garment brushing past my knees and I walked up and down a few steps to make sure it wasn’t too tight.

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