Eve of Destruction - Eve 3

Eve of Destruction

by Melanie Brown
Copyright  © 2014 Melanie Brown

Third installment of Eve's story.


“Dammit, Eve! You should have told me!”

“I’m sorry, Michael,” I said. “I was worried that if I told you too soon, I might scare you off.”

“Not only did I find out from a friend and not from you that you’re a man, really pisses me off!” Michael shouted. “Christ, Eve. We kissed. I kissed you and you’re a…a…man!”

“I’m not a man!” I shouted, getting angry. “I’m legally female!”

“I don’t give a shit what some judge says you are. The fact is you were born male! As far as I’m concerned, that makes you a guy!” Michael stood by the door of his apartment and opened it. He made an obvious gesture that I leave.

“I am a woman, Michael,” I said as I started to cry.

“Do you still have a cock?” said Michael. There was a pause of a few moments as I just scowled at him. He continued and said, “I’ll take that as a yes. Get out of my house, dude! And don’t call me. At all. Ever. Leave, now!”

I ran through the door of his apartment, barely able to see where I was going through my tears. When I exited the door, I turned around and said with a cry in my voice, “Michael…”

He slammed the door in my face.

I don’t even remember the drive back to my own apartment. I was just sitting in the middle of my couch, my face in my hands, with heaving sobs. My shoes were lying at opposite sides of my living room as I had kicked them violently off my feet.

I slapped myself twice. “You stupid!” I shouted. “Why didn’t you tell him right away?” I already knew the answer. If I had told him up front, I would have gotten my rejection before even getting a date. I was going to tell him if it looked like it was going to turn serious.

“And just who the fuck told him!” I shouted as I threw a half full plastic cup against the wall, water splashing everywhere. And why? What was their motive? Did they think they were warning Michael, saving him from the evil transgendered? Irritated, I started crying again. I’m tired of being known to everyone as a transwoman. Dammit! I want to fade into just being a woman.

I curled up into a ball on the couch and cried myself to sleep.

 

*          *          *

 

As I walked to my cubicle at work, I noticed a few people, people I knew who were Michael’s friends, look at me with disgust or avoid being too close to me. A few of them I saw whisper in the ear of the person they had been conversing with. That other person would say, “That’s a man? You’re shittin’ me, right?”

I finally made it to my little corner of the Universe and just wanted to cry. Lana, the woman that sat across from me leaned towards her cubicle entry and said, “Are you okay, Eve?”

I shook my head and said, “No, I’m not actually.”

Lana frowned and said, “I’m sorry, hon. Anything I can do?”

Grunting, I said, “Can you kill all the stupid people for me?”

Lana laughed and said, “I don’t have enough bullets. Did somebody say something to you?”

“You know pretty much everyone in our department, right?”

Lana raised her hand and said, “Guilty as charged.” She laughed, but then looked serious and said, “Is that’s what’s bothering you? That I’m a busy-body?”

I shook my head and said, “No. No. Do you have any ideas on how everyone in this department feels about me?”

Lana bit her lower lip and said, “Well, I think pretty much everyone knows you’re a g…that you’re no longer a guy. Other than that, not a whole lot. You keep to yourself too much, hon. You should open up more.”

I smiled slightly. I said, “Maybe you’re right. But do you think anyone on this floor hates me?”

Lana frowned and shook her head. She said, “If anyone doesn’t like you, Eve, they certainly keep it to themselves. Is something going on?”

I didn’t want to sound like a whiner, so I said, “No. I was just curious.” I turned to my PC and thought that diving into work would take my mind off things.

In fact, I didn’t look back up until I happened to notice that it was rapidly approaching when I usually took a lunch break. I also then became acutely aware that I needed to relieve myself.

I hurried into the women’s restroom on our floor. I stood there, straining against my bladder noticing that every single stall was occupied. I couldn’t wait for one to open up, so I took the elevator down one floor (I was afraid I might not be able to hold it going down the stairs) and looked for the women’s restroom. It wasn’t hard to find and I hurried into it.

All the stalls in this restroom were empty, so I said a silent ‘hoo-ray’ and went to one and sat down.

No sooner had I sat down, than two older women in an animated conversation strolled through the door.

“Oh, you mean the one in Sales?” said the first woman.

The second woman said, “Yes, that Michael. When I learned that he had been dating that tranny in IT, I just had to warn him.” I recognized the voice of the second woman. She was an administrative assistant in Marketing.

“Tranny?” said the first woman.

The second woman said, “One of those homosexuals who dress as women to trick men…”

Interrupting, the first woman said, “I know what a tranny is. I didn’t know we had any of those working here.”

“Oh yes! Unfortunately,” said the administration assistant. I was flogging my brain to try to come up with her name. “It came out a few months ago. I could tell it was one of those homosexuals the moment I saw it after being hired. That homosexual even tricked another man in the IT department to go on a date. I heard that was a disaster.”

The other woman said, “That’s just terrible! If they want to have sex with men, just say they’re gay and be open about it. All that sneaking around, pretending to be a woman disgusts me.”

“Oh don’t get me started!” said Mabel, the administration assistant that I just recalled her named. “In my old job, we had one of those too. Pretending to be a woman. To protect the other women in the office, I’d watch when it went to the ladies room. I’d stand guard outside to inform the other women just what was in the restroom. I tried complaining to HR, but they said there was nothing they could do. It finally got fed up and quit so I claimed a little victory. I’m going to HR here about this one too. I’d hate to find myself in the restroom with it.”

I was fuming at this point. Seething actually. I had finished my business and readjusted my skirt and flushed. I took a deep breath and then slammed the stall door open and stepped out.

I had to watch my own anger, which was difficult, but I shouted, “I am not an “it”. I am a woman! And how dare you interfere in my life!”

“Mabel, who is this?” asked the still un-named woman in the restroom.

Mabel looked shocked, and then her face turned to anger as she pointed a finger at me and sneered, “It’s the tranny I was telling you about. The one that tricked that nice man Michael into going out on a date.”

“That’s so disgusting!” said the other woman. “Why are you in the women’s restroom? I’m calling security!” She started fumbling with her purse.

“Please. Call security. HR has all my documentation. As a woman I have every right to be in this room. And it’s nobody’s business who I date!”

“You are not a woman!” shouted Mabel, all fired up. “There’s more to being a woman than wearing a wig and high heels! You can’t have children! You’re just pretending!”

“Security, there’s a man in the women’s restroom on the seventh floor by the elevators. Yes, please hurry!” said the other woman nervously into her cell phone.

Mabel said, “You’re not coming into this restroom ever again! That’s why they have men’s rooms! I’m filing a complaint against you, mister!”

“I have every legal right to be here! I’m not a man, goddammit!” I was so angry I was shaking.

Two security guards burst into the rest room, looking confused as they looked hurriedly around the room.

One of the security guards said, “There was a call about a man in the women’s restroom. Where is he? Has he left? Do you any of you know who he was?”

Mabel pointed a finger at me and said, “That him, officer! That’s the man.”

Both security guards looked at me with confused expression. The other security guard said, “Ma’am. That’s a woman.”

“That’s not a woman. Take off his wig and see for yourself,” said Mabel, a defiant gleam in her eye.

One of the guards reached towards me. I swatted his arm away and said, “Touch me, and I’ll sue you and this corporation into oblivion. This is my hair, not a wig. I am a woman. My name is Eve Nichols in the I.T. department.”

The first security guard looked like he was thinking for a moment and then said, “Eve Nich…oh yeah. I remember we got briefed about you. Ladies, like it or not, Ms. Nichols is free to use the women’s restrooms.”

The other security guard said with an incredulous expression, “You mean that’s a dude?”

Frustrated I said through clenched teeth, “I’m a woman. That’s the bottom line here.”

The first security guard looked at me and said, “Are you okay here, ma’am?”

I closed my eyes for a moment and shook my head. I said, “No. No I’m not. Can you walk me to the elevators?”

The guard said, “That we can, ma’am.”

Mabel grabbed the guard’s arm and said, “You’re not going to do anything? Don’t you think it’s wrong for a man to pretend to be a woman and use the women’s restrooms?”

The guard dislodged Mabel’s hand from his arm and said, “They don’t pay me to think, ma’am. But what you’re doing is harassment and it needs to stop.”

The two guards and I walked from the restroom and to the elevators. I was so upset I was shaking.

“Thank you,” I said to the guards.

“You’re welcome, Ms. Nichols,” said the guard. “Look, I know you’re cleared to use any of the women’s restrooms. But a little word to the wise. You might want to avoid *that* restroom. Just sayin’.”

As the elevator emitted a tone to announce its arrival, I said, “I don’t know. I might start using this one every day.”

As the elevator door closed, I could just hear the other guard as he said, “I can’t believe that’s a guy…”

 

*          *          *

 

I dropped into the chair in my cubicle, elbows on the desk and my face in my hands as I started crying uncontrollably.

Lana ran from her desk to mine. Putting a hand on my shoulder, she said, “Eve. My God, hon. What’s wrong?”

For a few moments I couldn’t bring myself to speak. Between the anger and the tears, I snarled, “A bitch on the seventh floor. A Mabel something. She’s the one that outed me to Michael. She and some other woman kept insisting I’m a man. They even called security!” I broke down into crying again.

Lana got down on one knee and took my hand. She said, “My God, what gets into people? What’s it to her, anyway? Are you okay?”

I nodded, though still crying. I said, “I’m okay physically. Emotionally I’m a wreck though.”

Lana stood up, but continued to keep a hand on my shoulder. She said, “Can I get you anything? Coffee? A soda?”

I picked up a tissue and wiped under my eyes. I was sure I looked a mess. I shook my head at Lana and said, “Thank you, but I’m okay.” I croaked a short laugh and said, “It’s almost lunch time anyway.”

“Want to do something for lunch?” asked Lana. “There’s a really nice Chinese restaurant not far from here.”

“Thanks. But I think I just want to be alone right now,” I said honestly.

Lana smiled at me and as she straightened herself she said, “If you need anything, like a shoulder, you know where you can find me!”

Lana then left with a few of the other women in the office leaving me with my thoughts. I picked up my purse and hurried out to my car. I wasn’t hungry and it was too far to go to my apartment. I looked at myself in the rear view mirror and my face was a disaster. I cleaned up the mess around my eyes as best I could and decided I’d have to touch up my make-up in the restroom after my lunch break.

I shuddered at the thought of going back to a women’s restroom. I expected a few confrontations when I first transitioned. And there were one or two tense moments in the first month or so. But after everyone in my department had gotten used to seeing me come to work as a woman all that crap either faded away or anyone who still had a problem about it just sucked it up.

I laid my head on the steering wheel, hitting myself with the palms of my hands and started crying again. For the life of me I couldn’t come up with any motivations for Mabel other than a hatred of transwomen. I didn’t know her well having only run into her a few times. I didn’t discuss my personal history with her, so I really don’t know how she knew about me.

This whole episode rocked my confidence a lot more than I would have thought it would. I was still tense and shaking. Her words still struck through my heart like a spear. Maybe I wasn’t ready to transition. Maybe I was rushing things. Maybe I should go back to being a man for a few months to give myself some breathing room to give me a new perspective.

Why do I even think such things? Going back to being a man? Of course that’s not an option. If I was forced to be a man again, to live that lie again, I’d probably soon be dead.

“Why does that bitch even care?!” I shouted inside my car loud enough that a couple of passersby turned to look in my direction. “What gives her the right?” I said aloud. I laid my head on the steering wheel again, all my emotions spent.

I was startled by a rapping on the driver’s side window. I looked up and saw a security guard looking at me earnestly through the glass. It was then I noticed how stifling it was getting as all the windows were rolled up and I didn’t have the engine running for the air conditioning. The window wouldn’t roll down. After a flash of panic I turned the ignition on and hit the down button.

The security guard said, “Ma’am? Are you okay? I thought you might have been unconscious and your car was locked.”

I smiled weakly at him. I must have been a sight with my mascara running down my face. I said, “I guess I fell asleep. Thank you for checking. But I’m okay.”

Unconvinced, the guard asked again, “Are you sure ma’am? Is there a problem?”

I waved my hand towards my face and said, “It’s nothing, really. I got some news that upset me and I’ve been crying.” I shrugged and said, “But I’m okay. Really.”

Nodding, the guard said, “I’d recommend that if you plan to sit in your car that you roll a few windows down. Have a good day, ma’am.” He then walked away.

I looked down at my watch and I must have been asleep alright. I was late getting back to my desk. I looked at my face in the review mirror and decided I was going to have to be a bit more late. I opened my purse and dug out some tissues and a small make-up bag.

 

*          *          *

 

It took a moment to notice someone standing in the entrance to my cubicle. I looked away from my computer monitor to see John McFarland, the first man I ever dated who I broke up with because he couldn’t handle the fact that I still had a penis.

“This is a surprise, John. Can I help you with something?” I asked. Other than brief greetings in the hallways, we haven’t spoken in months.

He flashed me a weak smile and said, “I won’t take up too much of your time, Eve. I just had a weird experience with that Michael guy in Sales.”

My mood that I’d spent the better part of an hour recovering was instantly shattered at the mention of Michael’s name. I said, “John, I really don’t want to talk about that guy.” I turned back to looking at my screen.

“I can understand that,” said John ignoring my hint that he should leave. “He practically attacked me a few minutes ago.”

I turned back to face John, looked up at him and said, “Attack? He attacked you?”

“Yeah,” said John. “He came up to me in hall on the seventh floor and jabbed his finger in my chest and demanded to know why I didn’t warn him. I asked, warn him about what? He said about you. Why didn’t I tell him you’re really a guy since I went out with you.”

“You should report him to H.R. He can’t talk to you like that,” I turned back to face my monitor.

“I might do that,” said John. “He got mad at me when I said you’re a woman. Called me a fag and stormed off.”

“Thanks for standing up for me,” I said sincerely. “Especially after I..well, tossed you out of my house.”

John said, “No. You were right. I’m not ready to handle that. But that Michael guy. He was acting like you’re the Anti-Christ or something. What did you do to him?”

I scowled at John for a several moments and he said, “I get it. None of my business. Anyway, I just thought it was weird. I’ll let you get back to work.” He gave me a small wave, turned around and walked away.

I watched him walk away and sighed. He was a nice looking man. Great sense of humor and mostly a gentleman. I really wished things between us could have worked out.

 

*          *          *

 

“She said that? Really?” asked my sister Deb. She then took a bite of her chicken sandwich. Trying to talk with her mouth full she said, “I know this whole transition thing takes a while to get used to. I mean, look how long it took for me to come around. But she’s not even on your floor, right? How would she know?”

“Actually, I’m surprised more people don’t know,” I said. “That place is full of gossips. But I’ve rarely had any contact with her.” I shrugged. “I really don’t know what her problem is.”

“Well, you know how people are afraid of what they don’t understand,” Deb said with a wry smile. “And nobody understands trannies…”

“Deb…”

Raising one hand, Deb said, “Sorry. Transgendered. Look, I don’t condone her, but I kinda, sorta know where she’s coming from. I mean, sis. You’re beautiful, but I really considered you a freak at first. For some reason, Pete thought you were gay. I thought that was crazy especially when you started dating my best friend Terri.”

 

*          *          *

 

“Well, well. What have we here?” A large boy I recognized from school stood over me after having pushed me from behind and tripped me. There were two other boys standing on either side of him. All three were bullies.

It was night and I was on my way home. I had just started down an alley when I was pushed.

“What’s in that bag, Joe?” asked the boy on his right. Joe was the name of the large boy.

Grinning, Joe said, “Oh, I think we all know what’s in it. We watched the little fag buy it.” He reached down and pulled the plastic bag from my hands.

I sat up, leaning on one arm. I shouted, “Give that back!”

The boy on Joe’s left kicked my arm causing me to fall onto my back. He snarled, “Shut the fuck up, fag!”

“Well looky here, guys. In his bag is a lipstick. Oh my. Hot pink! And what’s this? Great Lash Mascara? Awww. Does the little fag want to be all pretty?” Joe laughed. “Why don’t you put these on? We want to see how pretty you are!”

The boy on the right sneered, “Yeah, fag. Let’s see what you look like!”

“That stuff is for my sister,” I lied. “Give it back and let me go.”

Joe laughed again. He said, “I know your sister, you little fairy. She’s old enough to drive. She wouldn’t send you to Seven-Eleven to buy lipstick.”

Goon on the right said, “You think he wants to be a girl?”

Joe said, “I remember how he used to dress up for Halloween a few years ago. He looked pretty damn good.”

Goon on the left said, “I bet he likes it up the ass. What do you think?”

Grinning, Joe said, “I think you’re right. Let’s find out. Hold him down, Casey.”

“Hey!” I shouted and started to get up. Casey kicked me in the side and the other boy pushed me back into the alley’s dirt. I watched in horror as Joe dropped his pants. He wasn’t wearing any underwear.

“Take his pants off!” said Joe.

“No!” I cried. I started flailing around.

Joe said, “Hold him still. Roll him over. We all get a turn.”

Casey laid across me and managed to roll me over and get me in a choke hold. I struggled, but I couldn’t move or breathe. Casey said close to my ear, “Hold still, bitch. You know you want this.”

Somebody, I couldn’t see who, jerked my pants right off me.

Joe whistled and said, “Oh, look at those pretty pink panties! I rest my case!”

Somehow, Casey and the other boy managed to spread my legs apart and hold me still. Joe slapped my butt a few times with his engorged cock. He said, “Now that’s a mighty fine ass!” He pulled my panties down my thighs.

I felt the tip of Joe’s penis press against my ass. I closed my eyes, and gritted my teeth. Casey laughed and said, “I want a turn!”

“Stop! Please!” I cried. I kept my eyes closed anticipating the pain.

I heard some crunching sounds like someone running in the alley and Joe’s cock suddenly pulled away just as he was about to penetrate me. I heard a loud thumping sound on the ground and Joe grunted.

Joe said, “What the fuck?”

Casey let me go and said, “Hey, get off him!”

My eyes widened when I saw my brother Pete beating the living shit out of Joe. Casey and the other boy grabbed at Pete’s shoulders. He managed a leg sweep that took both boys down. He moved to the still unnamed boy and began to pummel him. Casey got up and ran off.

Joe sat up. I saw blood streaming from his nose and his lip appeared cut. He groaned, “I think you broke my tooth you son of a bitch. I’m going to…”

Pete picked Joe up roughly by the shoulders and tossed him against the wall of the Seven Eleven that faced the alley. He punched him again. The other boy tried to grab Pete’s arm. Pete elbowed him in the nose and the boy stumbled away.

Holding Joe against the wall by his throat, Pete snarled, “If any of you worthless fucks ever touch my brother again, I’ll feed your tiny cocks to my dog. If any of you breathe a word of what happened here, I’ll finish the job. You fucktards understand?”

Joe didn’t answer. Pete raised his fist as if to smash it into Joe’s face. Closing his eyes and raising his arm defensively, Joe’s voice croaked, “Not a word. We won’t touch your fairy little brother again.”

Pete glared at him and tightened his grip on Joe’s throat. Joe said, “I swear! Now let me go.”

Pete let go of Joe’s throat and turned to face the other boy. The boy raised both his hands and said, “Hey, we were just having a little fun, man.”

Pete pulled his arm back as if to punch the boy. He said, “I suggest you leave, now.” The boy ran off to join Joe stumbling away.

Pete knelt next to me and helped me sit up. He said, “Evan. Are you okay?”

I leaned against Pete’s shoulder and cried. Shaking, I said, “I…I think so. Just banged up a bit.” I cried for a few moments and then said, “Thanks, Pete. You’re a life saver.”

Pete held me for a moment and said, “You’re lucky Mom got worried about you since you were gone so long and sent me out to find you.”

He picked up the lipstick I had bought and looked at it angrily. “You’re still buying this shit, Evan? I threw away the ones I found in your closet when I went looking for our basketball one day. I told you then that I thought you were perverted to have that make-up and even pantyhose in your closet. And here you are back at it.” He threw the lipstick against the wall so hard the plastic case shattered.

 

*          *          *

 

As Deb continued to talk, I started to feel ridiculous sitting there in women’s clothes. I felt like I was wearing clown make-up, with everyone staring and laughing at the sight of me. I’ve heard a lot of harsh words since I came out as transgendered, but nothing has shaken my confidence as much as that woman in the bathroom and being yelled at by Michael.

Could they be right? That I’m not the woman I’ve always felt I was. I’ve been living as Eve for almost a year and I already have my surgery scheduled and cleared by the insurance. But am I really ready? Will I ever be able to leave the specter of my male birth behind?

“Eve? Eve…” said Deb. “Are you okay? You’re crying.”

“Oh. Sorry. All these doubts are filling my head,” I said.

Deb looked at me curiously. “Doubts about what? That you’re a woman? Or that you’ll ever find a man? What?”

“Yes. Both. Having a guy you hoped to date call you a man and to have two women standing in the women’s bathroom call you a man…I…I…” My voice faded as tears streamed down my face.

Deb gently took one of my hands and held it in both of her hands. She said, “Eve. Don’t listen to them. They don’t understand and they probably never will. I didn’t understand. But let me tell you something. I no longer have a brother named Evan. I have a sister. Her name is Eve and she’s a beautiful, intelligent and wonderful woman. A woman I’m proud to call my sister. Don’t let those two bitches rattle you. You didn’t let your brother and I not accepting you shake your confidence in who you are. You went ahead knowing you risked everything.”

“The difference now is that I’ve been living as a woman for almost a year,” I said, sniffling. “The people I work with, even those that were uncomfortable with me at first have come to accept me. Unless they’re told, new people accept me as female. I had become comfortable. Confident. But now…I…That man, Michael. He asked me point blank if I still had my penis. I’m so used to covering it up, ignoring it that I don’t even think of it. It was jarring to be accused of having it. And John knew about me, didn’t care until he touched it by accident. And then it was all like, oh you have a penis!”

“You can’t do anything about what John feels. He at least knew what he was getting into. But to be totally honest, you should have told Michael up front. You had to know that was going to blow up in your face, meddling bitches or not. And even when you have your surgery, you’ll still need to let the guy you’re interested in know.”

I frowned. “Don’t I ever get to be like you? Not a transwoman, not a transsexual, not a trap, but just a woman?”

Deb looked very serious and said, “You should always tell your man up front who you are. If he finds out after you’re deep in a relationship, it could go really really bad.”

Sitting a bit straighter and folding my arms, I said, “Well, I don’t think I’m likely to meet any more guys for a while.”

Deb laughed. “So things didn’t go well with the first two men you’ve tried to date. Look at the head start I have over you and I still haven’t found Mr. Right. Honestly, sis, finding a man right now should be low on your list.”

“I like men,” I said. “I just want to be a normal woman.”

Deb chuckled and said, “You don’t need a man to be a woman.”

 

*          *          *

 

“What are you doing here, Evan?” said Pete with a growl. “I thought I told you not to come around here anymore.”

Before I could say anything, Deb said, “I invited her over. I wanted to go through some of the old family photos and she wanted a last look at the house.”

I said, “I still don’t understand why you’re selling the house.”

Pete just gave me a cold stare.

Deb said, “With Pete moving to Colorado for that new job, there’s just no way I can afford to live here by myself.”

“I told you I would love to move in with you Deb,” I said. “We both could easily afford to live here.”

Scowling, Pete said, “I told you no. The house went to me. Everything here reminds me of Mom and Dad. They’d never approve of your…lifestyle. Can you imagine what Dad would say about you bringing your little gay boyfriends over?”

 

*          *          *

 

“Aren’t we calling the police?” I asked as I rode back home with Pete driving Dad’s car.

Looking stonily out the windshield, Pete said, “No.”

“But they tried to rape me! I was assaulted!” I cried.

“They didn’t though, did they? Those douche bags are typical bullies. Cowards really. They’ll never bother you again.” Pete never looked over at me.

“But they committed a crime!” I pleaded.

“Forget about the cops, will ya?” said Pete angrily at me. “Look, they’ll just ask a bunch of questions that you don’t want to answer. They’ll ask Mom and Dad a bunch of embarrassing shit. Do you really want to bring Dad into this? He doesn’t need to know about you being gay.”

I folded my arms and scowled at Pete. “I’m not gay,” I said defiantly. “I’m…oh fuck it. You wouldn’t understand.”

Pete looked over at me and said, “You got that right.”

 

*          *          *

 

“Jeez, Pete,” said Deb. “Will you get over yourself already? I’ve accepted Eve. For God’s sake, she’s family!”

“He’s not my family. Not anymore,” said Pete trying hard to keep his eyes averted from me. “I only have one sister. And as far as I’m concerned, my brother’s dead.”

I started crying. I said, “Good God, will you stop with that shit? You and Deb are all I’ve got. With Mom and Dad gone, we’re all we have.”

In a sudden burst of anger, Pete jabbed a finger at me and shouted, “You don’t talk about Mom and Dad! You’re no longer part of this family!” He stormed out the front door, slamming it hard behind him.

Deb touched my arm and said, “I’m sorry, Eve. I really don’t understand him anymore.”

I wiped a finger under my eye to clear away the tears. I said, “It’s not your fault. Let’s make some tea and have a look at those old pictures.”

We spent the next couple of hours sitting on Deb’s bed looking at old family photos and giggling like school girls. I hadn’t seen some of the pictures in years. I especially enjoyed seeing the pictures of Pete and Deb from before I was born. I was a bit envious that the family seemed to have done much more traveling then.

There were some older pictures, pictures of Mom and Dad when Dad was in the Army. They were so young and looked so happy. Their love for each other radiated from the pictures.

“Mom was so beautiful,” I said in a hushed tone. “She could have been a model or something.”

Deb chuckled and said, “You look just like her. I tend to favor Dad. Well, except for the moustache.”

“Oh, no way. Mom was gorgeous,” I said looking at the old photo and shaking my head.

Deb took the picture from my hands and held it up to my face. She then pointed to our reflections in the mirror across from us. “Tell me again you’re not just as beautiful as Mom was.”

I was shocked. I’d never once noticed any resemblance between Mom and me. Or maybe I just refused to consider such a thing. But I couldn’t deny I looked almost just like her in that photograph.

“Can I have this picture?” I asked.

Deb smiled at me and said, “Of course!”

We continued to look through the old pictures, each one bringing mostly good, but some bad memories. I picked up one of Pete with his arm on the shoulder of some boy I didn’t recognize.

“Who’s this?” I asked Deb. “He’s kinda cute.”

Deb gave me a goofy look and said, “I think they were both twelve in that picture. That’s Julian. Pete’s best friend for a while. You were probably still too little to remember him. They were inseparable. Seems Julian was always over here. When Julian’s family moved away, Pete cried every night for a week. It was funny…one time Mom heard some noises coming from the attic. When she went up there, she found that Pete and Julian had gotten into some old clothes Mom had stored up there. Pete had on Dad’s old dinner jacket and Julian…and Julian was wearing one of Mom’s old dresses. They were dancing…” Her voice trailed away.

 

*          *          *

 

“Great presentation, Eve,” said my supervisor. “I think you sold management on funding this project.”

I smiled weakly, looking at the floor and said, “Thank you, Mr. Borden. I sure hope so.” The meeting was a bit difficult for me. Several people in the meeting would look at me and whisper to each other. Maybe I’m just being paranoid. I did manage to maintain my composure during my presentation.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Mr. Borden. “Those savings you found will be hard for upper management to ignore.”

As we exited the conference room I came to a sudden stop causing Mr. Borden to bump into me. I was just starting to grow my confidence back, and there was Mabel in an animated discussion with John.

“…and if you don’t stop it, I’m going to go to H.R. and file a formal complaint about you. For the last time, Eve didn’t trap me. I knew who she was,” said John, looking pissed.

“Speak of the devil!” said Mabel with a smirk. “There he is.”

I folded my arms, holding my meeting material close to me. I said, “I’m just going to ignore you. Have a nice life.” To Mr. Borden, I said, “Hey, you want to head down to Starbucks?”

Mr. Borden smiled while glancing nervously over at Mabel. “That is another good idea, Eve.”

“Mr. Borden, you do know that’s a man, right?” asked Mabel. Pointing at my throat, she said, “See that little Adam’s Apple? Right there. See? Real women don’t have that.”

Frowning at her, Mr. Borden said, “Ms…?”

“Ms. Trottel. Mabel Trottel,” said Mabel. “I’m the administration assistant in Marketing.”

Annoyed at being interrupted, Mr. Borden said, “Ms. Trottel. Ms. Nichols is one of my valued employees and I’m well aware of her situation. This type of language is a violation…”

Mabel pointed at me and said, “I caught it in the women’s restroom the other day on the seventh floor. *That* should be a violation!”

Mr. Borden said, “Where do you expect her to …?”

“Look. I just want to avoid her, Mr. Borden,” I said walking to the elevator. “Can we just go?”

Mabel said, “I don’t feel safe when it’s in the women’s restroom with me. You need to keep that man out of the ladies’ room!”

“I’ve heard enough, Ms. Trottel!” Mr. Borden almost shouted. “She has every right to use any of the women’s restrooms in this company.”

“What about my rights?” shouted Mabel. “I’m extremely uncomfortable being in the same restroom with that…that thing!”

Through clenched teeth I said, “I’m a woman, not a thing! Why is this so hard for you?”

The door to the director of Marketing burst open and Mr. Robertson, the CEO exited with a massive scowl on his face. “What in hell is going on here? I’m trying to have a meeting.”

Mr. Borden said, “Ms. Trottel seems bent on harassing Ms. Nichols.”

The director of Marketing came out of his office and said, “Mabel is doing what?”

There was suddenly around twenty or more people standing around looking at the scene. I was totally embarrassed. I could hear people making negative comments about me.

The CEO said, “Ms. Trottel what is your problem?”

Now that she finally had the audience she wanted, Mabel said, “This isn’t a woman, Mr. Robertson. That’s a man. I’m not comfortable with it using the women’s restroom. And I’m not alone! After talking to many women in this company, they’re afraid to use the restrooms here for fear of seeing this man in them. And the men I’ve talked to are upset they were fooled into thinking this sexual predator homosexual would trap them by trying to pose as an attractive woman.”

Mr. Robertson frowned at Mabel and said, “You’re quite the little agitator aren’t you, Ms. Trottel? As far as the law and HR is concerned, Ms. Nichols is female. Her drivers’ license, her birth certificate and the documents provided by her counselor says she’s female. What you’re doing is a severe violation of our company’s policies.”

Mr. Robertson turned towards me and said, “This is what I was afraid would happen. I was very concerned that you wouldn’t be able to contain this. I know Mr. Borden asked your coworkers for their understanding and respect for your privacy when he announced to your department your transition. I know it’s not your fault, but now you’re a liability. This is fast becoming a huge distraction to the company.”

Someone in the growing crowd said, “It’s uncanny how much he looks like an actual woman. I can’t believe I was fooled.”

A female voice, “Oh my God! I’ve been in the restroom many times with him! I’m going to be ill…”

“There ought to be a law against this kind of thing…”

“Are you sure? She let me borrow a tampon in the restroom once. What man carries a tampon?”

Mabel was looking quite smug with herself. She turned to me and said, “Nobody wants you here, Mr. Nichols.”

“Ms. Trottel, that is quite enough!” said Mr. Robertson, his face turning bright red. “After a few initial concerns submitted to HR after her transition, there’s been no problems until you started your smear campaign. I’m sorry. But you’re fired. Both of you. Ms. Trottel I can’t afford to have someone causing this level of trouble in this organization. And I’m sorry, Ms. Nichols, but this scandal has become a major disruption. You’re effectiveness as an employee has been greatly diminished. This distraction is only going to grow I’m afraid.”

Mabel shouted angrily, “You can’t fire me. I quit!”

The Marketing director said, “He fired you first. Clean your desk.”

A cold shock shot through me. I felt my knees weaken and I started to shake. Tears started flowing. “Fired? But…but…I’m a victim here. Mr. Robertson, please!”

Mr. Robertson’s expression softened some. He said, “I’m truly sorry, Ms. Nichols. But you’ll never be able to recover from this. You will be a major distraction and that’s something I just can’t allow. I’m sorry.”

Mr. Borden said, “Eve, I’m terribly sorry. I don’t know what to say. I…”

I stiffened and waved my hand to cut him off. Without looking at anyone, I said, “No. There’s nothing you can say. I’ll get my things and leave.”

There was actually a small wave of applause as I stormed out to the stairwell. I wasn’t going to stand there and wait for the elevator.

“Eve…wait,” said Mr. Borden.

The stairwell door slammed behind me and as I reached the first landing, I collapsed against the railing and cried.

 

*          *          *

 

“Oh my God that’s terrible!” said Deb over the phone. “How could they do that?”

“Well they did,” I said still crying. “He’s the boss.”

Deb said, “You should sue.”

“I might,” I said. Horns honked as I sped through a red light.

“Are you driving?” asked Deb.

“Yes. How do you expect me to get home?” I said, slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting a truck.

“Pull over to a parking lot until you’ve cooled down some,” said Deb, panic in her voice. “You’re going to cause an accident.”

“Does it matter?” I shouted. “Pete’s right. I’m worthless.”

“Don’t say that! You are not worthless!” said Deb, crying. “Pull over and tell me where you are. I’ll come get you.”

I laughed humorlessly and said, “That’s funny. Until recently, you hated me just like Pete does. I have nobody.”

Sounding desperate, Deb said, “Nobody hates you! You’re my sister. I love you.”

Crying and running another red light, I said, “Where were you when Pete told me to leave. That I wasn’t part of the family. Where were you then?”

“I didn’t understand! I do now,” said Deb, barely understandable through her crying. “Please! Stop the car. I’ll come get you. We can talk.”

“Okay. I’m slowing down,” I said truthfully as I rolled to a stop at the next red light. “After I take a shower, I’ll come over and we’ll talk, okay?”

“Yes! That would be great,” said Deb. “We can…”

“I gotta go,” I said, hanging up the phone.

I parked my car in front of my apartment and got out. I stood there for a moment in the mid-afternoon sun. I thought how funny it was how rare I’m outside at this time of day. With my knees weakening again, I walked slowly up the stairs to my apartment and let myself in.

I collapsed on the couch and again began crying. I seem to be doing this a lot lately. I cried huge sobs, asking why why why? I don’t know how long I lay on my couch and cried, but I continued long after I ran out of tears.

After a while, I sat up and looked glumly around the room.

 

*          *          *

 

“You need to straighten yourself out, Evan,” said Pete angrily. “I can’t be around forever to protect you from bullies. Stop being such a fairy and stand up for yourself.”

Crying, I said, “Thank you for helping me tonight, Pete. What those boys almost did to me…I…I…” my voice trailed away.

Pete shook his head and said, “I’m not going to let you hurt Mom and Dad. Can you think of them…us…instead of just yourself for once? Why were you buying make-up again? And look! There’re panties and a bra in your drawer? What the fuck is with that? This gay shit is pissing me off.”

Wiping away a tear, I looked up at Pete and said, “I told you, I’m not gay. This is different. I’ve tried to stop, but the feelings always come back. I can’t help being what I am!”

Pete sneered and said, “Maybe you should take Dad’s gun and go out into a field somewhere and end it all. Better than being worthless and dragging us all down.”

 

*          *          *

 

“By the time you read this, it will be too late. Thank you for finally being my sister, but it’s not enough. Pete is right. I’m worthless. I’d rather die than go back to being a man. I can’t live that lie any longer. And I’m a failure at being a woman. Good-bye.” I hit the send button on my phone. I had already swallowed a whole bottle of sleeping pills and was already feeling the affect. I walked over to the couch and sat down.

I felt myself starting to drift off. I would finally be free, I thought. No longer a burden to my family. No longer a monster that everyone is afraid of. As my mind disengaged and my vision blurred I smiled as I thought that I’d never have to hear them again…

“Eve!” It sounded so far away.

A muffled banging from somewhere. I didn’t care.

“Eve!” I heard a muffled crash. I didn’t care.

It seemed like someone touched me. I didn’t care.

“Oh my God, Eve!” There was more, but it was all garbled. I didn’t care.

Then I heard nothing. I didn’t care.

 

*          *          *

 

“Eve?” said a male voice, seemingly far away. “Are you awake?”

“Is she going to be okay?” A female voice this time. My head hurt. I heard a different male voice, but couldn’t understand it.

I felt someone touch my hand. The male voice said, “Don’t leave us, Eve.”

The female voice…Deb?...said, “Oh thank God. She’s opening her eyes.”

I opened my eyes. Everything around me was blurred. I saw several people standing over me. I blinked a few times trying to clear my vision.

Someone far away said, “Vital signs are looking good, doctor.”

My vision cleared enough for me to see Pete, holding my hand and standing beside me. Beside him was Deb.

Pete smiled at me. What an odd thing. He said, “You gave us quite a scare.”

Deb reached over and touched my hand. She said, “Thank God you’re going to be okay. Pete kicked your door in and called nine one one.”

My head hurt. This was too much activity for me. I wanted to go back to sleep. I blinked a few times and tried to speak. At first, I couldn’t. Then I managed to say, “You saved me? Why? You hate me.” I started to drift.

Looking pained, Pete said, “I was wrong Eve. I was so wrong.” He called me Eve. The last person on this earth that I thought would ever accept me, called me Eve.

I could see tears welling up in Pete’s eyes. He said in a low voice, “Can you ever forgive me?”

I nodded slightly with what I thought was a smile, but I really couldn’t feel my face. I started drifting off to sleep.

“Doc?” said Deb.

“She’ll be okay,” said a male voice I didn’t recognize. “You found her just in time.”

“Thank God,” said Pete. “This is my fault.”

Yes it is, I thought as I slipped into a dreamless sleep.

 

*          *          *

 

“Look, Pete. Meet your little brother, Evan,” said Mom.

“Hey, Evan!” said Pete with a huge grin. “I can’t wait to teach you how to play baseball and football. It’s going to be great having a little brother to play with!”

“Oh great,” said Deb. Half jokingly, she continued, “Another brother to torment me.”

“Debbie, be nice!” said Mom. “I’m sure he’s going to be very sweet.”

Laughing, Dad said, “Look at those shoulders! He’s going to be the star player on his high school team. I can just see him now making that final goal in the big game!”

Mom held me up and smiled at me. “He’s going to grow up to be a big strong man, just like his father.”

Just like his father…

Just like…

 

*          *          *

 

The end of Eve of Destruction



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