Regrettably, it was only about half an hour later when Aaron thought of them again. At this point, the sun was currently high in the sky which creased it from radiating through his window. He was now both freezing and staving, and it was causing him to think of nothing but the warm shower that he had previously left and the pikelets that he had missed out on.
And so far, there hadn't been any contact from Maryanne, nor any further contact from his sisters, and he was starting to doubt the effectiveness of his plan.
Despite not being able to do anything about his hunger, after a moment of hard deliberation, he finally accepted that he was able to do something about the cold. Although he really, really didn't want to do this, he got some slight comfort in knowing that nobody was going to be seeing him.
As he could no longer concentrate on it, he turned off his Game Boy and hesitantly walked over to his wardrobe.
This was the first time he really looked the dresses. There must have been at least twenty to thirty there and while he had no shortage of selection, his plan was to simply wear the most boyish one. However, as he went through them feeling both ashamed and sickened that he was even considering this, he found that his plan had gaping flaw. He quickly discovered that the words 'boyish' and 'dress' weren't in any way compatible with each other.
These dresses were anything but boyish, and in fact, they were more girlish than most dresses! There was nothing in there that he would consider to be a plain dress. All of them had either frills, bows, petticoats, or ribbons attached to them. Most of them had a tiered skirt and were a combination of bright colours.
Aaron was positive that this hadn't been a coincidence and was sure that his sisters had specifically selected them for him out of spite.
With further hesitance, he revised his selection method to choose the dress that would provide him with the most warmth. After going through them once again, he found it. It was the only dress there that had a skirt down to the ankle without a slit and had sleeves. However, Aaron promptly dismissed it as it was primary pink in colour and had large puffy shoulders. Even though nobody was going to be seeing him, he couldn't bring himself to wear something so girlie.
Realizing that his selection methods weren't working, he simply went through them for the third time tying to find one that he considered normal. He wasn't sure of what his definition of normal was when it came to dresses, but somehow he managed to find one that fitted.
It was a jet black dress which gave off a slight haze of eggplant when viewed in bright light. It had a one and half inch purple coloured ribbon which tied around the waist and had standard shoulder straps about half an inch in width. The skirt was split into three layers each with a small filly hemline which shared the same colour as the ribbon.
Although Aaron hated the colour purple, it was primary black, his favourite colour, and therefore, it wouldn't stand out as much as the others. That was the main reason why he selected it. However, since he was a boy, he knew that while wearing any dress, not standing out simply wasn't going to be a possibility. It didn't matter though, as once again, nobody was going to be seeing him.
After a heavy sigh, he took the dress off its hanger and held the garment up against him. He had no idea how sizing worked with dresses, but it appeared that it would fit him. The skirt would come down to his knees. This was shorter than what he would have preferred, but he really wasn't in the mood to look through them all again for another.
For the next few minutes, Aaron solely stared at it in a dazed state while the two sides of his mind were fighting a fierce battle over how to proceed.
'This is what they want to happen. Don't give in! If they find you wearing this, they'll never let you live it down.' shouted one side.
'But you won't be leaving the room, so they'll never find out, nor will anyone else. You're cold, right? You can at least fix that. Once you take it off, it'll be like it never happened!' screamed the other.
Finally, Aaron had made his decision. Although he wasn't pleased with it, he decided that he would wear it. He had already got as far as selecting one out which was now in his hands, so what a single step more? And just like the winning side had said, no one was ever going to know about this. After one last sigh, the opposing force had faded from his mind.
While it must have been second nature to every girl Aaron's age, it took him a moment to realize that in order to wear it, it needed to be pulled over his head. Being a boy, it was something that he had never needed to think about before. This was new experience for him, but as it wasn't a pleasant one, he was optimistic that it would never be repeated.
After making sure that it was the right way around, he pulled it over him while taking care to ensure that his head would come through the middle of the two straps. Once it was, he let it go and the rest of the dress fell into place.
This was it. He was wearing a girls' dress. A sudden feeling of shame and regret rushed over him. Aaron also felt that an abrupt change had come over him of which he couldn't describe. It felt as if he had just lost something very dear to him.
He wanted to throw the dress off him, place it back in the closest, and then wake up to find that whole morning had all been a dream. However, no matter how much he wanted it to be so, he knew that he was wide awake.
Aaron realized that from this point forward, in the hopefully unlikely event that someone would ever ask him if he had ever worn a dress before, he would always think back to this moment, clench his teeth, and as he was never a good liar, answer 'No!' as sincerely as he could. It became apparent that the idea that once he took it off, it'll be like it never happened, didn't apply to him.
Immediately out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement! Someone was watching him through an opening in his door! His heart stopped for what felt like an entirety. Turning his head towards it, he exhaled a sigh of relief as it was just his reflection in his mirror.
While it was the much better outcome, he felt disgusted with what he saw. He promptly marched across his room towards it, removed it from his wall, and placed in under his bed.
He swiftly bent down to grab the hem of his dress to pull it back over him, but once he reached it, he stopped.
What's the use, he thought. The damage had already been done.
After all that he had been through to get this far, he had expected to be rewarded as if he was wearing clothes straight from the dryer. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case and he was only slighter warmer than what he was before. He knew that it was going to take a bit of time for his body heat to fully warm up the dress, but he was sure that it wasn't go to be worth it.
Needless to say, a dress was very foreign to him. Normally, if he wore something that had to be pulled over top of him, he would also need to wear something that had to be pulled up. Since a dress was a single piece, it made him feel naked and exposed. Knowing that it wouldn't be difficult for someone to take a peek up his dress wasn't a comfortable thought either.
He needed to do something to take his mind of it. As the batteries in his Game Boy didn't appear that they would last much longer, he walked over to his shelf to grab a few of his Asterix comics. While he had read them countless times before, he still enjoyed them and found that they were a good way to pass time.
Sure enough, once he had finished his second comic, he took a glance at his alarm clock and found that what felt like twenty minutes, turned out to be just under an hour. He was pleased that for most of that time, he was able to completely forget that he was wearing a dress.
On the other hand, the amount of time that he had wasted so far was a growing concern. He was supposed to be enjoying these holidays to their fullest potential but here he was trapped within his room dressed as a girl. Needless to say, there was nothing enjoyable about this, he thought.
Just then, another dreadful thought came across him. If Maryanne never revoked this punishment, at what point would he finally leave his room? Never? Well, that was the answer that Aaron would have liked to have thought. However, looking down at it with great disappointment and bitterness, he unfortunately had to admit, it hadn't taken him long to put on a dress.
Knock, knock, knock!
Just like before, Aaron nearly jumped out of his skin. This time not only due to the suddenness, but his room, like the others, didn't have a lock on it. As he had nowhere to hide, it was just a sole turn of a knob that prevented anyone from seeing him. Turning towards his door, he breathed a silent sigh of relief as he found that nobody was coming in.
'We're going for a walk. There's some pikelets that we were nice enough to leave you in the microwave, or would you like to come with us?' It was Rachel. She spoke the last part jeeringly.
'No! Piss off!'
She did just that while laughing the entire way down the hallway.
This is clearly a trap, he thought. After spending so long in his room, this was their plan to get him to come out. And once he had, he knew that his sisters would torment and ridicule him endlessly.
He grabbed another comic and started to read it, but a few minutes later, he heard a number of footsteps heading towards the front door which then closed with a thud. As he didn't have a view of the door, he couldn't tell if they had really left, but for the next six minutes, his ears were at full alert. He couldn't hear any footsteps, but Aaron was sure that if that had left, they would simply walk around the house and come in through another door.
Every so often he glanced at his alarm clock, expecting to hear the turn of a doorknob or a thump of a foot, but after a wait of eight painfully slow minutes, he was quite confident that they were indeed gone.
Although Rachel would be enjoying this the most, she was terribly impatient and Aaron couldn't see her waiting on him. And to be fair, the three of them taking walks wasn't considered to be an unusual habit.
As for Maryanne, Aaron wasn't sure what to think. Before this, she always seemed very nice (nicer than his sisters even) and had always tried her best to make sure that they all enjoyed their holidays equally.
While Aaron couldn't blame her for following his mother's instructions and punishing him, he was gutted to discover that she was capable of being so cruel. To Aaron, it felt that he had attacked her personally which made him felt a bit guilty. This was a side of her that he hadn't seen before and within a period of a few hours, she had abruptly become colder than both of his sisters combined.
Suddenly, Aaron realized that he was wasting a prime opportunity to search for his clothes. Heading towards his door and opening it quietly as possible, he looked both ways and once he saw that it was clear, tiptoed out.
He stealthily scouted around the house while taking care to avoid the windows in case they were peeking through them. He heart was racing and he was ready to pounce back to his room at the first sign of movement. The hem of his skirt kept brushing against his legs which was another unfamiliar feeling that he twice misinterpreted as if someone was behind him.
After a couple of minutes, he could confirm that the house was deserted, nor did they appear to be in the surrounding area. Aaron, however, was quite irritated that he had now just wasted over ten minutes of quality searching time.
Although he knew that he shouldn't have, the mouth-watering smell of the pikelets was still fresh in the air and he couldn't help but to satisfy his hunger. Just as Rachel had said, there was plate containing quite a few within the microwave that were still warm. He quickly buttered them and scoffed them down without any effort.
Picking up the pace while still chewing on the last one, he decided that he would begin in his parent's room. He was sure they would most likely be under the bed. Unfortunately for him, Aaron quickly discovered that it wasn't going to be that easy. He then searched their closest. Although he didn't need to look, it was clear that his father's clothes were far too big for him. After a quick but thorough search, he proceeded to the other bedrooms.
When he got to his sister's rooms, he found that their clothes were still there. They had T-shirts and pants available, so he thought about replacing his dress with a pair of them. While they were still girlish, they were also far more suitable than what he was currently wearing. Aaron, however, was determined to find his own, so he dismissed the idea as it would cause him to waste further time.
After having no luck in the bedrooms, he did a rough search within the remaining areas. It was only when he reached the linen closest, it suddenly became obvious were his clothes were and it made him feel stupid and wasteful that he hadn't checked there first.
Hurrying to the kitchen table, he was relieved to find Maryanne's keys lying on top of it. That feeling didn't last long though. As he peered through the window, he found that she had parked on the curve which was roughly seven meters away from the front door. To make matters worst, he could hear his neighbour mowing his front lawn nearby and judging from the direction of the noise, he was positive that he would be seen once he reached the sidewalk.
Aaron didn't know what to do. Sitting down in an armchair in the living room, like the computer AI in the games that he so often played, he processed every outcome that he could think of in an attempt to locate the best one.
It was clear that the safest option was to stay confined within his room and just wait it out for a week, but Aaron refused to consider that as a possibility. They had already wasted enough of his time and now that he was out of that cage, he wasn't keen on going back in. Not only that, but he would eventually need to go out to use the toilet and shower at some stage. Although, he could think up a few ways to get around that issue, it was simply not worth the effort.
The other option was to make a break for his clothes. Although he was a fast runner, he felt that the chance of retrieving them without being seen, even without his neighbour being where he was, was slim. Their house was in the middle of a street that was just over half a kilometre in length and on such a fine summer day like today, Aaron expected that there would be plenty of people walking among it.
Analysing it even further, even if he did manage to succeed, the consequences didn't sit well with him. As most kids his age knew, avoiding a punishment usually resulted in a worst one. If it wasn't from Maryanne, it would be from his parents. Other than increasing the duration of it, he wasn't sure how that would be possible, but he didn't want to spend any time thinking about it.
Aaron hadn't known of it when he started, but he came to realize that he had an alternative option. He felt bitter even thinking of it, but he could simply just accept this punishment and get it over with.
No, that was never going to happen, he thought with a furious intent.
Even if he was to stayed isolated within the house, his sisters were guaranteed to tell their friends of his ordeal which would then spread like wildfire throughout their school. It would eventually reach his friends and classmates. Aaron didn't know how they would react, but he knew that it wasn't going to be pleasant. Not to mention that if his sisters found him wearing a dress, they would ensure that he would never ever forget it.
Aaron felt his stomach turn, gulped down hard and started to sweat. None of those options stood out to be better than the rest. What was he going to do? He felt helpless and trapped.
Suddenly, Aaron heard the sound of metal turning, a sound that he had been dreading; the sound of the front door. As if it was instinct, he leaped out of his chair, heart racing, ready to sprint back to his room. However, half way through his jump, he knew that reaching his room wasn't going to be a possibility. It was located on the other side of the house and the only route involved him passing the front door which would be wide open by then.
Within a millisecond, he quickly thought of other areas that he could hide. He could think of several, but they all were very small and compact such as behind the couch and inside a closest. Sitting cramped within them trying not to make a sound for who knows how long, would drive him to madness.
He could now hear their chatter and footsteps marching toward his location. He wanted to run, but he knew that it would be pointless. Even if he changed his mind about hiding, he would now make too much of a racket in order to do so. He felt choked and foolish. Why hadn't I locked the door, or sat down on my bed, were questions that he kept asking himself.
Filled with deep regret and sorrow, Aaron knew that there was nothing that could be done. He just wanted to die. Within seconds, they would reach the living room to find him standing there in a very pretty dress.