What Have We Done to Deserve This

What have we done to deserve this

Author's Notes: I will just like to thank everyone for their support, writing these stories right now is doing me good.

Ivan “Cookie” Samulski came home early from the Polish War Veteran Club, irate and sober. One reason he was irate was that the man who looked forward to feeling a little fine at the end of a Saturday night was sober. The blue collar man worked hard as a bricklayer and needed a couple of hours where he could just unwind. This common man did not ask for a lot out of life and was denied his biggest pleasure.

The other and more important reason for Cookie’s irateness was Alfred, the no good son of his, was a freak in his eyes. When he thought about his son being a freak Ivan always had the question of what have we done to deserve this pop into his head. The worried father could not figure out why he youngest son was acting out just for attention. Needing to have people notice him was so out of Alfie’s personality. He was a quiet reserved man who liked to be in the background.

At first, Ivan swore his favorite son was playing some sort of practical joke on him when the unamused man found out Alfred was a freak.. How the elder Samulski hated practical jokes.and despised those who played them. They depended on the betrayal of trust and hurt the feelings of others.

In some ways he found those who play them as sociopaths or they live in a fantasy. In his mind it took some of those people just have an antisocial mindset to find humor in breaking trust or harming others. The harm might be temporary but it is still harm. It could also have been that they saw it on television or in a film and do not take into account the real life implication of them. Life is not a sitcom with an issue coming up and then being resolved in an half hour to never to be spoken of again. No matter how they are able to do practical jokes;those prankster are inconsiderate. They do not take in account how the humor of the joke is making someone look like a fool. That is laughing at someone, and not with them.

Now the man who was so disappointed in his son wished it was a practical joke. Ivan much rather have his son do an inconsiderate action than bring disgrace to himself and the rest of his family by being a freak, a sideshow oddity. .At least if it was a prank what happened on that fateful day could just be accounted for by his son not thinking.

Sadly for Ivan, it was not a prank gone bad and knew it right away. Even with using all of his willpower into having faith in what he saw and heard that day was not true; he knew he could not deny it. His son was too natural, too at ease and also too serious for him to try to pulling a fast one over on his old man. His son was just not capable of this con, It would take years of improv class for Alfie to get the poker face he would for his performance on that life changing day.

Oh that day is so vivid in the humiliated man’s’ memory. How well the events play out in his head is yet another way his willpower failed Ivan. Those memories were entrenched in and had a good fortification so he knew they were going nowhere. No matter how hard he tried he could not make the sandcastle of those events be washed away back in the sea of his memories by the rising tide of time.

Even if how finding out his son was a freak was not so vivid and strong to the unforgetting man and he could forget. Ivan had constant reminders of why he son was a freak. His wife consciously and unconsciously did so. Lana, his wife, would bring up the discussion which happened that day and how her Cookie had to come to terms with the facts. Until that day of finding out what he could not accept, Ivan never realized how much his son looked like his Lana until the day he found out Alfie’s secret.. He saw a little resemblance before knowing what he wished he did not. Now every time he saw his wife, it was a constant reminder of how he failed as a father.

The logical man knew his wife would not understand his feelings on their son being a freak. He knew she was a woman and they are more intune with using their feeling than men. Ivan was not sexist he just understood that for the most part women and men view the world differently. They could come up with the same conclusion but most of the time reach it via a different path. That is why he could not understand why his Alfie was in agreement with his buttercup about him not being a freak.

Even if Ivan’s wife was not helping to keep the fortress of that day on the frontline of his memories, the events of that day still had many supporters who volunteer time to keep them fresh. The sad part was those people working hard on making sure he could not forget what needed to be forgotten were his friends and they found joy in it. Finding joy in putting a friend down is no way to find joy to Ivan.

They made comments about the freak which was his son and it broke Ivan’s heart. Ivan was a typical father and wanted his offsprings to do better than he did. He knew by his friends’ reactions his sluggo would not be accepted. If only his son would not embrace how he was a sideshow attraction.

********
Audrey forced herself to wake up when the alarm went off early on that Sunday morning after the wedding she was in the bridal party. It was so easy for her to just stay in bed. It was Sunday was her day of rest, Audrey always tried to have no plans on Sunday. It was her day to recenter herself and get ready for the next week. She knew that society today try to do too much and never just took time to relax and be in the moment. Life was too quick so Audrey was not going to let it pass by her while she was running around to do meaningless tasks.

The party girl stayed out too long after the wedding she was attended. No one could had blame her for pulling a Cinderella and staying out past her self-imposed curfew. This was the first wedding she was a guest at where she got her outfit, makeup, hair and accessories right. She had a classy sleeveless floral print pale pink sheath dress. Her arms might had been a little too big to go sleeveless but the brave lady did not care, for they were getting smaller. Her shoes were light purple strappy heels which went with her handbag and the same color as the print of the flowers on her dress. Audrey just loved how well her outfit coordinated.

Following the bride’s custom Audrey had a purple henna floral design on her inner forearm. She was please with how it added to her outfit. Lastly she finally had her hair done just perfect. Her new hairstyle was a long layered bob with light brown highlights in her brunette hair. The girl who had the time of her life last night knew she looked the best she ever did. She knew that any sane and reasonable person in her situation would had done the same as her. They would had done everything in her power to make sure that the clock did not strike midnight.

The last reason was the agenda Audrey made for her day, having brunch with her parents. This was not for she hated to spend time with her parents. In fact, she loved to. The reason she was dreading the brunch was the important decision she had to tell them. It would break the secret daddys girl’s heart if they did not approve of her choice.

After getting ready for brunch the apprehensive woman did anything she could to get rid of the kaleidoscope of butterflies. First, she looked in the mirror and found that she look radiant. She knew it came from finally being strong enough to do what was right for her and connecting with a great man at the wedding last night. The best thing about him was that the knew what she saw as her biggest flaw and had true apathy about it.

The funny thing about what the woman, who was confident in who she was, thought about that flaw was she did not know what would be worse. If a man wanted to be with her because of it or that was the reason they rejected her. If that was the reason the man wanted to pursue getting to know her then she knew she would see herself as only a way of fulfilling a want, a fetish. The man would be with Audrey not for who she was but what she was. Then if the would be suitor stopped the pursuit of her because of that imperfection, then she would be dismissed as inadequate because of what she was and not who she was.

Being secure in how she looked quickly lost it calming effect on her, the brave woman knew she needed to find something to preoccupy her mind. She made the judgement call to play her favorite video game. It was a open world rpg where she always played a strong heroine. She hoped that portraying one in a fantasy world would rub off on her and it did.

The doorbell rang and being lost in the moment of playing said “Coming mom and dad”

Audrey cursed herself when she heard the sound of her own voice, oh how she hated the sound of her own voice. Hearing how low and clumsy her voice was brought the woman’s self doubt back. When the hostess got to the door, she paused to gather herself; Ivan and Lana’s daughter needed to sound like how she been practicing. While opening the door Audrey greeted her mom and dad with a huge smile and said, in a higher pitch and with more of a rhythm “Hiya Mom and dad. Come on in we need to talk before we eat.”

No truer words had ever hit Lana’s ears and the loving mother was stunned at how her baby boy was dressed. The same feelings and reaction held true for the irate father. The man who came in early from his Saturday night out to make the drive up to have brunch with his son was not happy that Alfred was pulling a stunt, dressing in drag as some sort of practical joke. Ivan would not had expected this even from his other two sons, Nicholas or Peter, who he knew would horse around, Alfie now, he never thought that he would come up with a prank like this. Then, it became clear to him those two put Alfie up to this. While he was going to have a talk with all three of them. “Alfred you are damn right we need to talk. Come on out Nicholas and Peter and you two better not be laughing this is not funny.”

As she motion in the two people she caught off guard with her appearance, Audrey said “You are right dad, this is not funny. I need to tell both of you something. Come on in and get comfortable please. Also be open minded about what I am going to say.”

Poor Audrey knew from her father using his three sons’ formal names he was not going to take hearing her decision of starting the process of transition as living as a woman full time well. The woman who used to live as a man started yesterday at the wedding as her first day. This was for the bride, Priya Banerjee, was friends with Audrey before she met Alfred.

Those two first met at Pegasus, a gay nightclub, where both of them went to feel free. Priya to dance without worrying about men trying to pick her up and Audrey to just be herself in public Audrey was still finding herself and Priya dragged that cute wallflower on the dancefloor. The lady, who loved to dance, woman's intuition told her that girl needed a friend to help her reach full potential.

They hit it off right away and Priya was right. She watched her friend blossom into womanhood and would not take no for an answer when she asked Audrey to attend the wedding as herself. The two reasons she did so was for Audrey was going to start the transition full time and Priya wanted Audrey to be one of the bridemaids. Having that honor bestowed on her made Audrey realized she was making the right choice of being who she was full time.

The woman who parents were meeting her for the first time tried multiple times to introduce herself to them. This was the first day which worked for all of them and the only reason was that Audrey told them it was important to her for them to come to visit her for the day. The elder Samulskis would always say come back home to visit instead. Audrey would come down to visit, but she just could not gather the strength to tell them about who she was without showing them.

As the husband and wife walked in into their daughter living room, they both thought the same thing. How much Audrey looked like her mom. Lana was anxious to hear what she already surmised, her baby boy was actually a baby girl. Lana maternal instincts made her need for it to be confirmed so she could do what she could to help her daughter.

Ivan on the other hand was still trying to convince himself that Alfred was pulling a joke on him. He try to tell himself that his son must had put a lot of time and effort in this ruse just for a laugh. That had to be the reason he was so at ease walking in those high heels. The man, who patron saint right now was Thomas, tried to give his son credit for acting so confident and natural in a dress, Ivan knew he would be so uncomfortable in one.How could the bricklayer not be, they were for women and men should not wear them.

Audrey, took a big sigh, then said “Mom and dad, I have been inviting you here for over two months now to tell you something. When you declined my invites I came back home to visit you but could not tell you there. I needed to be dressed as who I really am to tell you who I am. I am transgender.”

Saying what she scared would make the two most important people in her life reject her drain all her strength like the noonday summer sun. Lana knew her daughter needed her support and acceptance right now and quickly chimed in “What is your name dear.”

Hearing only the simple question rocked the foundation of Audrey’s strength. How could something so trivial as a name. The weak woman said softly “Audrey”

Hearing that name made her parents so happy. Audrey was what they would had name Alfred if they knew she was born a girl. The name was important to Lana, for she wanted to make sure that she used it the first time she told her daughter she loved her.The proud mother said “I love you Audrey.”

Audrey teared up and in a haste went over to her mom to hug her and said “I love you also mom. I am sorry.”

Lana, knew her child well enough to know what Audrey was saying sorry about. The caring mother was not going to have any child of her apologize for being who they were. “Audrey dear, there is no need for you to say sorry. You are a wonderful woman.” Then the mom turn to her husband and said “Right hun?”

Ivan was half a world away lost in thought. He was still trying to believe this was a lark so he went along. He gave the answer, which any loving man who was not paying attention did when asked to confirm whatever point his wife made, of yes. He then went back to trying to figure out why this hoax seemed so real.

Lana and Audrey was not pleased with Ivan for he was withdrawn. They knew it meant that he was processing what he was just told instead of just being there for his daughter. They at least found comfort he did not blow a gasket so they knew he would come around and do the right thing. Ivan would accept it and support his daughter’s journey towards happiness and completing herself once he understood it and how he felt about gaining a daughter.

The two ladies spent the rest of the day talking while Ivan try to soak in reality. Lana and Audrey had their first mother daughter talk. It was making sure that Audrey knew that no matter what her family would be there for her. Then they made plans to have Pete and Nick meet her. Her mom ease any concern that Audrey had about those two not accepting her or making light of the situation. Finally they just chatted like any mom and daughter would.

In his mind Ivan knew the gain a daughter but his heart wanted the truth to be he still had three sons. He hated that his son was a freak, not for Alfie being wrong about being who he was. He hated the fact for Ivan did not understand it and all he knew was that life was going to be so much harder for his Sluggo. He then was sad that he would never be able to call his son Sluggo again. It was not for Ivan was that small of a man it mattered what he called Audrey.

The sadness Ivan felt was a way to come to terms with him feeling like he would not be able to be a good father to Audrey. He did not have faith he would know what to do. He was an old dog and needed to learn the new trick of being their for a daughter. He wanted to feel confident but felt like it was just a chance of making more mistakes as a parent. Ivan was from the school of thought that being a good parent is not messing up your child too much.

The true sad part of this was Ivan mindset, he choose the wrong word to think of Audrey and not having any faith in how great he was going to be as his daughter’s father. Instead of thinking she was a freak, he should had used the word which was more in tune with his true feeling of she was different. The loving father meant no harm when he thought freak but it has such a negative connotation to it. The thoughtless man did not even notice how bad using freak was for his mindset was negative about the situation for how hard life was going to be for his progeny.

Ivan was so going to be a great father once he got on board, he always wanted a daughter. He knew if he did had one she was going to be his little pumpkin and he would shower her with love and attention. He would be so proud to walk her down the aisle if she so allowed it. To him it would be passing of the torch of who was the most important man in her life. It was to show her husband he knew that he would be their to support his little pumpkin in being the best person she could be.

The supportive mom and dazed father left after spending the late morning and afternoon with their new daughter. On their way out of the house, Lana made sure that Audrey knew that Ivan would come around, he just needed time to process this. Ivan hugged his daughter and was lost for words so he just said what he knew was true “I love you.”

********

In the next month the two older brothers finally were introduced to their baby sister. To Audrey surprise they were super supportive of her. They would had been for how much they love the lady they thought was their brother before they were informed better.. It helped them to not slip with any good hearted positive joking around for their mom explain how difficult it was to her daughter. They knew their momma would be disappointed in them and that was one of the last things they ever wanted.

The news spread quickly around the small town about Audrey. Dealing with the small minded people was a small annoyance to Lana. She did not like how some people thought that giving their condolences or offering prayers was a way to show support. She made sure to inform them that there was nothing to be sorry about, she now had a great daughter or save their prayers for someone who needed them, like themselves.

Now it was so much harder for Ivan to deal with having a daughter. The helpless father felt useless that he could not do anything to help his son. How impotent he felt made him not see the big picture of just giving his all in supporting Audrey was all he needed to do. Knowing what actions to take to be there would then fall into place for his heart would be in it.

The worse part was his Saturday nights became so stressful. The guys at the social club all started to give him a hard time about Alfie. He felt like he failed his son when he heard the cute comments which were meant as fun. Even with them meaning no harm, they were not fun.

Finally he had enough and could not fight back. This was for he wished that Audrey was born with the right body for the wrong reason. It was not so life would be easier on her, but so he could get some peace. He felt so small that he put his need in front of his child’s. That is not what a parent did. The candidate for worst father of the year realized that his fears were not unfounded. He could not handle being a father to a woman.

The dejected man got home and had to vent. “Buttercup, I am home.”

Hearing her husband, not use the contraction I’m, told Lana all she needed to know about her honeybear mood. It was not good. She knew he needed to vent so asked the question of what was wrong. He was a stubborn man and would hold everything in unless asked.

The man who needed to loosen the release valve said “What have we done to deserve this. We are good people and do not deserve to what our youngest son is doing to us.”

Lana did not want to hear what Peter did. It had to be something stupid, like get in a heated argument with the mayor over some small issue. Peter was passionate about his beliefs and did not know how to watch his p’s and q’s. That is a bad quality to have in a small town for people hold that against the entire family. It will make it hard for Ivan to get picked up for any construction jobs which the mayor’s friends are running until it was smoothed over. “What did Peter do now?”

Shaking his head Ivan said “No, not Peter, Alfie. All the guys at the club are getting on him for being a freak.

Lana Samulski was not going to let her husband start a ill founded tirade against her baby. She fired back. “No stop that right now. The better question is what did our daughter do to deserve you treating her that way. You know she is not a freak and you are letting her down as a parent in repeating what they said.

You held her when she was born and I heard you promise her that you would defend her no matter what. Keep your word. Those guys at the club have no right to talk about her like that. Look at their kids or themselves. Frank’s one son has three kids to three different ladies and does not pay child support. Joe’s daughter is wasting her life doing any hard drug she can get her hands on. Bill lost his driving license yet again for a DUI. Everyone knows that Scott’s son is a woman beater and that is why he lives alone. I can go down the list and name so much more about them which they would not like.

The sad part is they are putting your daughter down for something which is not wrong. The next time you know what to do, stand up and point out how wonderful your daughter is and the dirty little secret they everyone knows about them but keeps quiet.”

Ivan felt bad for a moment, his head was on all wrong. He thought that he did not have the skills to deal with being a good parent to his daughter, he did. He loved her with all of his heart and soul. He just had to show it.

Ivan smiled hugged his wife and said “Sorry dear, I am going to be late tonight I need to go out and set the record straight about Audrey, my little pumpkin”



If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
up
77 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 4385 words long.