By Violet Carson
It took me ages to get to sleep as I tossed and turned fingering myself and almost bringing myself to a climax thinking of having sex as Rose, my life was becoming so surreal. Anyway, I must have finally dozed off as I woke with a start at 6.30 with my tinny alarm ringing like crazy. It dawned on me that I hadn’t packed many of my few possessions but also that I must have been quite drunk last night as I’d forgotten to put my curlers in and my hair was a disaster area which almost brought me to tears as my perm had looked so perfect the night before. I quickly put curlers in and covered my head with hairspray and a hairnet hoping to repair some of the damage.
I got dressed, slipping on a tabard and my flat shoes and started on breakfast for Mark and Lucy who must have returned sometime after me as I could see their door was closed. I now automatically thought of my old bedroom as their room
When they finally emerged, Lucy asked me if I’d packed and then admonished me when I said I hadn’t had time as she told me there was a taxi booked to take me at 11 and I had better hurry. I apologized and rushed back to my room to pack everything into my case, shopping trolley and a couple of large carrier bags that were in the cupboard under the stairs.
Three hours later I sat on the edge of my bed looking at my few possessions, amazed by the thought that they would all fit into one taxi journey to my new home. A few short months ago, I would have taken more than this away with me for a week’s holiday. Now I was reduced to this basic life, all by my own choice. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t madness it was what I really wanted and I had to get away from any last aspects of AJ to enable me to move on. But what actually lay ahead of me I had no idea. I didn’t even know the exact address yet, but Mark said the taxi driver knew and he gave it to me on a piece of paper. It was indeed in the old housing estate he had told me about. It was Flat 35 Earlsgate House. The name instantly rang a bell as The Police had been called there not long ago to remove a large number of illegal immigrants who had moved in. It was a notorious estate that was regularly in the news for all the wrong reasons and seemed to be a hotbed of illegal immigrants, drug dealers and prostitution. What was I letting myself in for?
Shortly afterwards, the doorbell rang. I rushed to answer it to be greeted by the taxi-driver saying “Taxi for Rose Edwards!”
Mark kindly gave me £20 to cover the fare and two sets of keys for the flat, as I, with some assistance from the rather unhelpful taxi-driver loaded my few possessions into the car. I turned to tell Mark that I would be back on Monday for my cleaning shift, only to catch sight of him closing the front-door as if I'd been an unwelcome guest he was glad to see the back of. With that we were off and just over 15 minutes later the car pulled into the car park of the estate which was full of rather scruffy looking rusting cars and one ominously burned-out wreck.
I paid the driver who carried my case to the lift door whilst I pushed my trolley and carried the large plastic bags. I discovered that Flat 35 was on the 3rd floor. The lift doors were covered in graffiti and after a few minutes spent waiting I realized that neither of the building’s two lifts were working and I’d have to walk up three three flights of stairs. By the time I’d realized this, the driver had left, leaving me alone and feeling more vulnerable than ever.
I decided that I would have to make two trips up and down to get my things up to the flat and took two plastic bags and the shopping trolley on the first trip.
The trolley was clearly not designed to be lifted when full and by the time I got to the 2nd flight of stairs I was exhausted and my bad back was agony. As I took a break, three youths pushed by me saying “watch out Granny” before disappearing at speed down the stairs.
I finally got to my front door which was an unappealing dark green colour and also had some interesting graffiti spray painted on it and fumbled for my keys. Without looking around, I put the bags and trolley inside and headed down to get my case and carrier bag. As I got to the bottom of the stairs I could see that my case was gone and only my last remaining carrier bag was there.
How could I have been so stupid I thought. I’ve already lost half of my few remaining things. I now had very little income and would only be able to buy at charity shops to replace them. I looked around but saw no sign of anyone and guessed it must have been the three youths. But what was I to do. I certainly didn’t want to phone the Police or Mark. The Police would find it very strange that I was moving into a property where I was unsure of the ownership details and my disguise certainly wouldn't stand up to a Police investigation. I would simply have to check exactly what I had lost when I got back upstairs.
I returned to the flat with my last bag to take a look around. I was determined not to cry, despite feeling in the absolute depths of despair. I’d possibly made the biggest mistake of my life moving here. My mother and Jenny must be right I thought, I really must be gradually losing my sanity. What was I doing? Anyway for the moment I had to try to think as Rose and investigate my new home.
The flat had clearly been the home of a very elderly woman and hadn’t been decorated for at least 20 years and probably in a rather outdated style even then. There was a real musty smell which was hard to describe, but for some reason was the sort of smell I had always associated with an old woman. Would I soon smell like that I asked myself, or somehow did I already with the mix of cheap perfume, old clothes and the occasional whiff of body odour? It looked as though almost everything had been left by the previous resident. By the look of things, almost none of it had any real value. I imagine she had either died, leaving no close relatives or perhaps been moved to a retirement home as she may have been unable to care for herself properly. The sitting room had a very old three-piece suite and small coffee table, as well as a glass cabinet holding lots of rather tasteless china ornaments and figurines. There was also a very old television set and radio-gramme (as they used to be called). I also discovered a set of old records by the likes of Andy Williams and Perry Como. Maybe Rose should start developing some mature musical tastes I thought to myself. There was an old mirror on the wall and a few copies of oil paintings of countryside scenes. The wallpaper was a faded floral print as were the curtains. It really was a “granny flat”.
I then looked at the kitchen which was very dated with an old gas cooker, fridge and washing machine with a small table, three chairs and some storage cupboards. There were actually a few old pots and pans but thankfully the food had been taken away. I made a mental note to myself that I would have to go shopping shortly and decided I would buy the type of food I imagined an elderly lady would like. Lots of cakes and tea, white bread for toast and no coffee or alcohol, but then I thought no I would also buy a bottle of cream Sherry. That was what my late grandmother used to drink occasionally. If I thoroughly cleaned all the utensils I would at least be able to carry on using them,
I then ventured into the bedroom which contained a double bed with a rather stained old mattress and a lot of bed linen in the cupboard. There was also a large wardrobe which when I opened it contained a large quantity of old clothes. I suddenly got very excited. Could these replace what I’d lost and would they actually fit? This was the one highlight of my day so far and as soon as I’d investigated the bathroom and done my shopping I would play dressing up.
The bathroom had an old avocado coloured suite and had a kind of chair arrangement fixed over the toilet. I had seen similar things in hospitals. The past resident had obviously been very elderly and had not been able to pull herself up easily from using the toilet. I could see that the bath had also been adapted with an additional handrail to help her get in and out. There was no shower. There was a ceiling height bathroom cupboard that contained various medicines, toiletries and old face-creams, but what amazed me most was that the bottom shelf was full of what looked like nappies! The lady must have been incontinent and had had to wear them. Part of my brain thought how awfully sad and the other half was racing with excitement. I knew that as crazy as it would seem I simply wouldn’t be able to resist trying them on. This was madness but for some inexplicable reason, just the sight of them made me feel hot and damp. Mark and I had had a very adventurous sex-life, but the one thing that always repulsed me was watersports, but somehow the sight of these pants was turning me-on immediately. They really would be the final element in my absolute humiliation. I just had to try them and wondered would I be able to actually wear them from now on?
I grabbed one and found that there was also a pair of clear plastic pants to wear on top. I went to the bedroom and looked more closely at the wardrobe. There were also three corselettes that I could wear, but they had suspenders. I rifled through the drawers and found a number of pairs of rather thick tan coloured support stockings. This was so much more thrilling than I could possibly have imagined. I think the stockings needed a good wash but I couldn’t resist. This was just too exciting to be put off and I decided to get changed now and go to the shops later wearing all my new lingerie, if that word really described what I’d be wearing.
An hour later I stood admiring myself in the bedroom mirror. My underwear consisted of the incontinence pants that I also quickly realized would serve as excellent sanitary pads. My period would soon start and I couldn't actually buy Tampax whilst living as Rose. These would be perfect. I covered them with the plastic pants and then my hip pads. I was easily two sizes bigger and also the plastic pants crackled slightly as I moved, which I felt sure in quiet moments or whilst taking a seat on the bus would be quite audible to people close-by. I then realized that I had lost all my tights and underwear in the stolen case, so for the time being at least these were going to be essential items of my wardrobe. I’d obviously worn stockings from time to time as AJ and Mark of course had predictably always found them something of a turn-on but it had never crossed my mind that I’d be wearing stockings, however unflattering as Rose. I clipped the corselette together with its hook and eye fastenings at the back and then put on a slip and one of the previous resident’s floral dresses that buttoned up the front and had a pleated flared skirt. It was a bit too big but with my bigger then ever hips worked well. It also had a slightly dirty smell and feel to it. Finally I noticed some old well worn shoes which thankfully fitted and I tried on a flat brown pair with a Velcro flap across the instep to to keep them on. I’d never felt so totally turned on and couldn’t resist rubbing the front of my padding, listening to the plastic pants crackle and I became so wet feeling it soak into the incontinence pads I was overcome with the best orgasm I think I'd ever had and was giddy with excitement, groaning on the dirty mattress.
This was beyond my wildest dreams. I was actually in heaven. Despite all this self imposed vulnerability, I instantly knew I was on the verge of achieving everything I’d hoped for as Rose. This was so wonderful!
I made my bed using the old sheets that I found in a cupboard and sat down to make my shopping list and after unpacking my shopping trolley headed off with it to the local supermarket. Making my way slowly down the stair was thrilling and I reminded myself not to buy too many things or I’d never get the trolley back up without the lift and I couldn’t risk losing anything else.
As I got to the 1st Floor I could see a number of boarded up properties and could hear the deep bass sound of some dance music being played along the hall. I also noticed some discarded needles and the distinctive smell of urine on the steps. I realized that I would have to be on my guard the whole time and hoped that nobody would chose to pick on the elderly lady that I now appeared to be.
As I made my way outside I came across a group of girls in their late teens, one holding a very young baby sniggering at me as I passed by.
Once out of the estate and onto the road I started to feel more at ease, but did notice how the combination of pants, padding and corselette were slowing me down, which must have made me seem all the more convincing. As I waited to cross the road towards the shops I could also tell that my stockings were wrinkling at the ankle, but the suspenders were still pulling slightly on my thighs, further adding to my old lady image. If I only had a few wrinkles on my face I thought there would be no way I wouldn’t be seen as anything other than a retired old woman.
When I got to the supermarket, I checked my shopping list, making sure I bought plenty of the things I imagined an old woman would buy, jams, sugar, cakes, full fat milk, eggs and biscuits and nothing that would be thought of as healthyI paid at the checkout and made my way home, struggling up the stairs with my only half full trolley as three East Europeans in their 20s rushed by, speaking in what I thought was Polish. I turned the key in the door and practically collapsed with exhaustion at carrying everything up the stairs, feeling the restraint of the corselette around my hips and the tug of the suspenders and as I sat down I heard the slight rustle of the plastic lining pants. I could hardly contain myself from rubbing between my legs, but the padding was so thick, I could barely feel my fingers, however, the rustle of the plastic was so overpowering! I had to restrain myself or I was going to spend the rest of the day masturbating. I pulled my thoughts together and did what Rose would do. I put the kettle on, made myself a cup of tea with an extra spoonful of sugar, lit a cigarette and drifted off, wondering how I’d managed to come so much further than I could ever have imagined and had I gone as far as I possibly could as Rose?