It was a nice sunny afternoon and there was many students on the lawn behind the student union enjoying basking in the sun. While these kids were making sure that their youth was not wasted on the young, Lilith sat on a bench with a thundercloud over her head. The cloud became blacker and the lighting louder as she watch the young ladies flaunt their bodies to flirt with the men. It sicken her that the coeds only had one technique which worked.
After a couple of more minutes trying to enjoy the autumn sun, Lilith got up to head to her apartment. She could not take watching women depend on their physical appearance to get the attention of the men they fancied. The importance men put on looks and clothes style, some of the most shallow aspects of a woman, was was more than she could take. It also reminded her of what she was trying to take off of her mind, her friend James’ stupid project.
The waste of time which, James and her friends called a project was him living as a woman for a weekend to experience life as the opposite sex and gender. That was not being a woman or a female for a weekend in her eyes, it was playing dress up. Lilith was disappointed and mad at James for just being so shallow to think that wearing a skirt made a person a woman.
The lady who was so blinded by being hurt by the fact her friend James turned out to be yet another man she forgot to realize the fact men had to peacock also at the beginning of the relationship. Most of these potential couples Lilith watch that day depended on what was superficial instead of substance to pick who they wanted to get to know better. Both sexes can be superficial really did not matter to the feminist, she was too wrapped up on how men just needed to learn life from the point of view of women.
Lilith was too in tuned with her negative opinion and thoughts about men to notice the irony in her points of view about James’ project and men. She was mad at James was trying to learn the point of view of a woman. She also made being a female about something physical, certain body parts.
Not having consistent beliefs how men and women should act, and feel was normal for Lilith. The unknowing hypocritical lady held men to a higher standard than women. Women could turn down the advances of a man for she was not physically attracted to him, but a man better try to get to know a woman before he did the same.
This double standard also skewed her views of James and her roommates. James was just another man trying to push the masculine agenda into what womanhood was. His observations would just be androcentric views on a gynocentric subject. While the ladies just did not know better for they were accumulated to living in a patriarchal society. One day they will quit watching the shadows on the cave’s wall and think it was reality.
Lilith’s double standard came from her mom trying to make her independent from men. Carla Espinosa’s biggest goal in life was not to be her mom and her second biggest goal was that her daughter was going to be stronger and even more independent than herself. Carla’s mom, Paola, stayed in an abusive relationship with her father,Alonso . The daughter saw that as her mom being weak.
Paola was being strong the only way she knew how, the sacrifice of putting her children's needs ahead of her well being. Carla’s mom knew her lack of education and skills made it impossible to provide for her children. She needed the middle class upbringing to not be as likely to be so economically depended on another as she was. The fact that she was ensuring the dream of every good parent, their children having a better life than them, made her strong enough to take the brunt of the abuse from her husband. By not fighting back she shielded her children from him. Then as soon as she could, the day that her last child left the nest, was the day she filed for divorce from that bastard.
The woman who passed on her skewed theories of being strong and independent shared Irina Dunn’s view of “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” with Lilith. The statement was factually true, but the use of it to form one’s view of intersex relationships gave a demented outlook on the opposite sex. It made the comparison of men to something which was useless. The catchy saying might empower a person. The cost was too high, to demean and lower the worth of others.
So Lilith was now under the an unknown burden of seeing half the population as something which was not needed. It was reinforced by her mom making sure she isolated her daughter from a good male role model.
Her father, Nigel Rose, was one but Carla made it hard for him to show it. She used him wanting the best for his daughter against him. Her father’s accommodating Carla’s wanting to drop off Lilith late or pick her up early from his visitation time was explained to Lilith as him not caring about how much time he spent with her. Her step father, Christopher Turkleton, was encouraged not to be a big part of her life. He did not really want to raise a child which was not his so not being involved with Lilith’s childhood was easy for him.
This baggage which Lilith was given to by her mother was affecting her social life and why she was heading home later than normal from classes. The lady in a bad mood made it back to the apartment and stopped for a moment before opening the door. She needed to change her frame of mind and center herself again. The passionate lady wanted to be in a better mood so she did not take her anger at James out on her friends.
Lilith walked into the room and saw Audrey. She wanted to talk with her friend to get back on the same page as her. Yesterday those two had a little disagreement about how the other was treating James. Lilith saw Audrey’s treatment of him as too nice while Audrey saw hers as too mean. Lilith knew she had to be the better person so she extended an olive branch by saying “Hey there Audrey, how have you been?”
Audrey, without turning her head, returned a quick hi back. Lilith’s friend was recharging and relaxing after a long day in class and did not want to deal with anything stressful, specially Lilith. Just thinking of how mean that trick Lilith pulled on Sarah yesterday made her blood pressure start to rise. Lilith’s persistent attacks on Sarah were just wrong. Here was a man, James, who was trying to get a better understanding of women by living as Sarah for a weekend and all her roommate could do was belittle him.
Lilith’s actions was making her closest friend on campus change her opinion of her. The young feminist talked all about helping people understand each other, yet when someone was trying to do so Lilith had the stance that men could never understand women. This stance came with Lilith closing her eyes. If she would just see James as Sarah she would know that there was more to this project than what met the eye. He was embracing being Sarah.
Lilith knew Audrey turning down the olive branch was a sign now was not the right time to smooth things over. The lady who wanted to keep the peace knew to keep her distance from her unreasonable friend and said “OK, you are still upset with me trying to help by making James playing dress up as real as possible. Talk to me when you calm down.”
Lilith meant no ill will saying dress up, she was just calling the project what she believed it was. Even with meaning no offense, being that dismissive of James attempt of understanding femininity was taken with ill will. Intentions means nothing when someone talk down on someone else.
“Lilith I am calm. Like I said, her name is Sarah. Until the weekend James comes over to live as Sarah, that is her name. You are not trying to help, you are trying to humiliate your friend.”
Lilith was done trying to take the high ground. This lady was looking for a fight, she needed to express her disapproval of James’ actions and her friends support of it. “It is not me trying to humiliate anyone. James is doing that to all of us by thinking that putting on dresses and skirts makes him a woman for a weekend. It is sad that you and the other two are encouraging that backward mindset that the clothes makes us a female..”
Audrey did not want to have any regrets, like she did yesterday. Today she was going to speak her mind. The lady who had enough of her friend’s attitude felt that she gave Lilith more than enough opportunities to get on bard of being supportive. If not being supportive than just being neutral. Audrey spoke her mind “Lilith if Sarah was doing this then I would not be helping her. You do not even know what is going on for you will not give it a chance. You are just being mean towards someone who does not deserve it. So you better just walk away, not get involved anymore and don’t bring this up anymore.”
Lilith was not going to take orders from someone when they were in the wrong. “Do not tell me what to do! If anything you all better put a stop to this weekend of playing dress up. I do not want James to stay at my apartment for that weekend.”
“Get this straight,this is our apartment, not yours. Sarah will be staying here.
You always talk about how men need to better understand what it is to be a woman, why are you so against our friend doing so.”
“It is simple and I am shocked that you do not see it. James will not be experiencing life as a female. He is just going to push his views of femininity onto how he acts that weekend. That is why it is playing dress up. Why don’t you understand that?”
“Lilith, all ladies first pushed our views of what being a female is when we discover ourselves. Sarah has been discovering herself.”
“That is different we are females and while he is not.”
“What makes you say that, how can you know that Sarah is not a female.”
“It is simple James does not have the female primary or secondary sex organs and he has the Y chromosome. You are a pre-med major you should know that.”
Audrey knew what Lilith was doing with that snide remark. There was no way the logical lady was going to fall into the trap of getting mad at Lilith talking down at her by attacking her roommate. “You know that sex and gender are two different things. Sarah has a strong feminine side.
It is sad, you are doing what you are accusing our friend of. You are making the physical the determination of femininity. You always say that being feminine is about a person’s essence.”
“Yes it is, but that person has to be female for it to be true. A man cannot be a female.”
Audrey asked “How about people who are transgender.”
“Transgenderism is just a way to reinforce traditional gender stereotypes. It comes as an outlash from our male dominated society to try to stop women from being equal to men. All transgender people do is help promote the outdated notions of gender roles. It is a manner for men to colonize feminist identification, culture, politics and sexuality.
The worse part is they make being female and a woman about appearance and the body.”
“You are doing the same thing with the body.”
“Audrey, no I am not. I am saying that only a woman can be female.”
“So gender and sex are the same in your eyes.”
“No, it is a person sex which determines their gender.”
“Come on that is the same thing Lilith. You are saying men can only be males and women can only be females.If you spent time with Sarah and was open minded you would change your mind.
I am telling you Sarah is different from James. I know they are the same person, but their mannerism, their speech, their choice of words and their outlook are different. Not a huge difference, but you can tell they come from a different perspective of life.I know that perspective is from looking at the world from the eyes of a different gender.”
“Audrey, you are just being fooled by James’ acting. I am done with this conversation for you will not listen. Talk to me when you come to your senses.”
Lilith stormed off into her room, thinking how foolish Audrey was to think that a man could ever understand being a female, let alone be one. It was simple men are males and women are females. Lilith used anecdotal evidence to come to this conclusion. From her life experiences, Lilith believed a man could never be in touch with his emotions, empathic, or nurturing to be a female.
The views of gender having a direct dependent correlation to sex was an unexpected consequence of her mom shielding her from good male role models. With being shelter from good men Lilith was never able to see men were not as stereotypical as what her mother led her to believe. Hopefully one day she will open her eyes and treat men as she wanted women to be treated, as an individual not part of a group.
James was walking out of his woman’s studies class when one of his fellow male classmates asked him if he had any idea what to do for his class project. The man who was normally open about the mundane closed up and told the inquiring man he had no idea. His classmate took James sounding a defensive as being stressed out about it, and try to ease his mind by telling him it was only for a grade just do some charity work. James took offense to the disinterested attitude,but just agreed. He knew his classmate meant no wrong.
The exchange made the man, with the woman living inside him, think about how one cannot teach acceptance and open mindedness when his classmate went on his own way, Having students take culture diversity classes was a way for the university to expose students to the “others” while making them a well rounded person. The desire results will only happen if the students were on board with it. Most of them were not.
More and more society was seeing institutions of higher learning as only glorified trade schools. James knew that him and most of the people in his class were guilty of having that mentality. They were all there to get the required credits so they could get their degree in the field they wanted to enter. James believed the main reason he took the class was the woman to man ratio in it,
The man who was hiding the truth to himself also knew there was other reasons. James was always fascinated with the fairer sex. He wanted to understand them and also be able to see life from their point of view. The man who wanted to be in touch with his emotions thought that he could be a more well rounded person by doing so.
Yes that meant the class would have the university's desired effect on him, but it was for the wrong reason. If he did not have to take the class, James doubted that he would. That of course was another lie he was letting himself believe. Sarah would had found an excuse for him to take Women’s Studies. It might had been so he could better understand James’ female students. It might had been for Lilith told him about a great professor to take. James would had taken the class and not know the real reason, personal growth as the female he actually was.
The female inside James was happy that he was questioning if there was any real growth for the students taking the cultural diverse elective. His internal debate distracted her male persona from thinking too much about how much Sarah was enjoying being free once in awhile. Being around Cara was also distracting James. His crush being so supportive and opening up more to James when Sarah was out helped him unknowingly start to accept who he was.
Cara being respective to Sarah made James more comfortable exploring the part of his personality which was locked away. Her acceptance of James’ feminine side made it easier for James to open up to her. Sarah was losing the fear of her love interest rejecting the real her. Even with Sarah hidden and locked away, she made sure that James’ decisions had him really open up to another person. Sarah had to make sure she was found out about when the time was right.
James would not have to dig deep into his psyche to find out it was not real if he never formed an intimate relationship or friendship. The distance he kept from his real personality from other made him good friends with many people but a best friend to no one. When people tried to get to know him better, he would always find a way to change the subject.
With Sarah coming out more, his good friends were now getting to know James better. It was less than two weeks and a few interactions with most of them, but they found out more about James than in the entire time they knew him. The person this affected the most was Dillon. His roommate was getting a crush on James.
That was driving Dillon crazy for he would never try a move on James. James was straight and he was going to respect that fact. Dillon hated when a lady would try to convert him, so he would not do the same to someone else. Another reason was that even if James was into men, the man longing for his friend believed he was too far into the friendzone. Taking a chance asking James out would not be worth ruining their friendship to see if there was something more.
James walked into his room still lost in his thoughts about forced electives. He went from if they did serve their purposed to how the name was an oxymoron. Dillon greeting him snapped James back to reality. Seeing Dillon with a smile on his face made James feel good. Dillon was a serious guy who rarely had a smile on for no reason. People used to joke that he made Tommy Lee Jones look like Mr Happy..
The smile on Dillon’s face got bigger when James told him about going to spend some time with Cara. Dillon was wise enough to know that a crush was more than just wanting to be with someone. It was about wanting the best for that person. Cara was the best person for James to be with so he wanted those two kids finally get together.
Dillon did get up to show James a surprise he bought for their date, a light blue dress shirt. Yes Dillon found it ironic that he was going out on a fake date with the man he had a crush on. He also knew it went into the absurd for the guy he was going on the fake date with will be presenting himself as a woman. That did not matter to him, for he was going to at least show James a great time and how a gentleman should act on a date. One thing a gentleman should do is look his best, and Dillon was going to do so by having his outfit coordinate with James.
Sarah poked her head out when she heard Dillon bring up the date. With James being in a good mood and her tasting freedom she was more courageous. The caged up lady would sneak out of her own prison more often for little unscheduled furloughs. Sarah pictured how nice that shirt will go with Dillon’s blue dress pants and knew those two would look nice together. She had James give Dillon a hug and thanked him
Dillon was a little taken back by the hug. That was out of character for his friend,but Dillon did not mind it. James being excited and touching him made Dillon feel good. Plus James has been acting a little out of character for the last couple of weeks.
Sarah dashed back into her cell and James did not know what to think about what he just did. He quickly said “Oh sorry about that. It is just I am a little into getting into being Sarah and I know that if I was a girl that what I would had done. Plus I really appreciate you taking this serious. I have been getting major grief from Lilith about my project “
Dillon took the reason James gave at face value. “It is fine that you hugged me. I will say that you been showing a different side of you and it fits you. If you are a hugger so be it. You give good hugs for you have such a big heart. I always been telling you to show it more often.
Don’t worry about Lilith you know she gets on her high horse for any reason. It will soon be October and we will have to hear how about pinkwashing.”
Hearing those words of encouragement made James feel less awkward about what he just did. Dillon was right, he should just be who he was. The man who was trying to rationalize what he just did convinced himself that hugging was manly. It was a great way to show emotions by actions instead of words. Little did the man know those lies came from what he was not allowing himself to fully see yet, the female he was.
Cara was always a little ball of energy, but Thursday afternoon it was even more so. She had her normal reserve of energy to burn off and then more from being excited. She was going to spend some time with Sarah James. That was the nickname Cara gave to her giggle twin and she was getting romantic feelings for him. Even with Sarah James being a man, it was hard for Cara to see him as one. At the same time she did not see him as a woman either. It was like her friend was the perfect mesh of the masculine and feminine.
It really did not matter to Cara either, it was Sarah James’s essence which she found so attractive. It always was, James just had a gentle strength about him and a bright outlook on life which made her want to be close to him. Her crush looking good as a man or a woman was a pleasant bonus to Cara. Cara knew her sexuality was fluid, this was for she was about finding the right person to complement her and Sarah James was it.
So to burn some of that energy before her friend came over to visit, Cara started to clean the apartment. That was one of the reasons her roomies loved when Cara was happy, their apartment became spotless. Another was her good mood was infectious. Her laugh could put a smile on Squidward’s face.
The cheerful housecleaner was singing Fun’s “We Are Young” as she was getting the windows and Lilith came home. Hearing her friend just be happy made Lilith forget the rift that was coming between her and her roommates. She joined in the cleaning and sang the guest vocals parts.
After finishing the window Lilith asked her happy friend why the good mood. The answer of Sarah James was coming over took all the good out of Lilith’s mood. Lilith asked herself how could Cara still like James? Those two have been flirting back and forth for the last two years, they need to either become a couple or move on. Also, James is now wearing dresses and Cara was getting more into him.
Then as quick as that good mood went it came back. Lilith figured out yet another way to make James’ life miserable. Before leaving Lilith started to put her new scheme in motion.She feigned support of James’ project and Cara bought into it.
Lilith’s pawn in the her plan was too happy to see the objector now on board. to question the quick change of heart. Lastly right before the lady with clandestine motives went to leave the apartment, she suggested that those two hung out on Saturday night.
Cara was in an even better mood when Lilith left. She felt it was great that Lilith was finally being supportive of James’ project. For one, James was always there for others when they needed support so Lilith should pay him back. Another was if it was not for their friend, none of them would have met. Lilith would not had her three closest friends on campus without him.
James brought those four girls together by introducing them. They were all his friends and just hit it off when they were introduced by James. He did so for he knew they would form close friendships with each other. Cara became his friend for they had three classes together during their freshman year fall semester. Lexie met James at a party where she spilled some cheap red wine on her shirt. James could tell she was embarrassed by wearing a shirt with a bright stain on it. James poured some wine on his shirt, and joined her so she would not stand out.
Then Audrey was intrigued by James for he went up to her and asked her advice on what birthday gift to get for a lady he just started to see . It was not his brashness but the reason he gave for asking the question. He told her she seemed like a lady who has it together and would know the answer of how personal to make the gift. Audrey just wanted to know more about a man who was so intuitive. Lastly he became friends with Lilith for he matter of factly bought her dinner when she forgot her ID at the dining hall. Lilith was not used to an act of kindness from a man for no reason. Lilith was drawn to getting to know the man who was unique.
After getting to know the girls a little better,, James knew he had to made sure they met each other. It was not so his circle of friends would become a more overlapping Venn diagram. He did so for he knew that they would get along great. Those four would form a tight circle of friends. James did not know his intuitive sense of the those four getting along was Sarah poking her head out of her cell. Now those four were paying Sarah by introducing her to the real world.
Even Lilith being an antagonist was paying Sarah back. The lady who wanted nothing to do with James becoming Sarah did not know her being so hostile was making Sarah stronger. Without having to justify this project, James would not had put in the extra effort. Sarah used her male’s part stubbornness to get more freedom. That was why she had James on their way over to Cara’s apartment.
James was able to walk into the apartment complex without needing to be buzzed up so Cara got a little surprised from the knock on the door. She quickly ran to open it and the two giggle twins greeted each other with a hug. James thought Dillon was right, he should hug more often.
Cara offered James a drink and he politely decline. Sarah had no time to enjoy a glass of anything right then, she needed to get out and about. The lady who was going to see daylight had James tell Cara that he was going to change right now and suggested they chat while he did his makeup.
James put on the body modifications along with the hair extentions and Sarah started to emerge again. Even while basking in freedom Cara’s new best friend did give a sigh out as she put on her leggings. She wished there were more outfits for her to choose from. After putting on the purple tunic Sarah called Cara in the room.
Those two started to chat as Sarah fully came out. Cara was waiting for Sarah to ask for help with the application the make up. After a moment of being ready to help a friend Cara knew her friend was as good as an old pro at it. Even with how at ease James was at being his female alter ego Cara was still amazed at how good Sarah was.
The time Cara and Sarah spent together was ordinary, but since it was with each other it was special to both of them. Other than two friends’ bond of friendship becoming tighter and them becoming more fond of the other, nothing significant happened that night until close to the end.
Sarah did not want to wait until after the project was over to ask Cara out. Dillon was right if she waited then Cara would end up dating someone who was not right for her. More importantly Sarah knew it would be easier for James to accept he was part of her if the lady of their shared affection said yes to a date with them while Sarah was in charge.
Sarah came up with a plan to also make this more palatable to her protector persona, have the date be with her as James. With a little shyness in her voice Sarah said “Hey Cara, can I ask you something?”
Cara became as eager as a grandmother about to hold her grandchild for the first time to hear the question. She knew it had to be what she wanted, Sarah James to ask her out. “You can ask me anything.”
Sarah could not believe that her voice cracked as she said “Do you want to go see a movie? Any movie I do not care about the movie. It does not have to be a movie. Do you want to spend time, I mean do you want to go out on a date with James this Saturday.”
Cara did not even notice that Sarah referred to herself in the third person. Her smile grew as Sarah was talking. The lady who was taking a chance was getting more confident as she saw the reaction on the Cara’s face. Cara almost said yes before her friend could finish the question, then when the smitten girl heard the day the smile went away. “Sarah James, I am sorry I cannot go out with you on Saturday. I have plans with Lilith already. How about after your project we will set it up?”
Even with knowing it was not a rejection, Sarah was still disappointed. There was a part of her that thought that Cara would not want to date another female. The brave lady believed if Cara could not form the right feelings to see if those two could be a couple that was fine. She wanted the best for Cara and was not going to push it. Sarah did gather her strength to sound as confident as possible when she replied “Great, then Sunday after I change back into James’ clothes we will set up a date.”
Cara has waited off and on to be asked out by her friend for the last two years, she could wait two more weekends to set the details. The lady who was getting what she wanted was about to suggest to make the plans now, but did not want to come off as fickle. Sarah James nine days ahead of her and the last thing she needed was to have a concerned if Cara would change her mind again. Giving her friend a huge hug to try to show with actions how much this meant she said “It is settled, we will not talk about the date until then.”
When Sarah changed and went back into male mode she conveniently forgot to take off the prosthetic vagina. James was already saying goodbye when he noticed. The man who was becoming more of the female he was did not want to ruin the hug by running back to Cara’s room to take it off. Plus Sarah planted the thought that it was not best to remind Cara about it before the date.
The two want to be lovers gave each other a long hug and after the embrace those eyes locked. James was going to go in for a kiss, Cara wanted him to. Sarah had other ideas, she wanted her first kiss to be perfect, after a great first date. Sarah was a little naive for that was only a perfect first kiss on television. In real life the perfect first kiss was that moment, spontaneous and an unwritten promise of what was to come between those two.
After closing the door and then leaning against it Cara made a confessional which no one heard but she wanted everyone to know, she loved Sarah James. Saying her words out loud eased doubts about not changing setting the date for sooner. Nothing bad could happen in nine days.
Meanwhile as Cara reassured herself she was finally going to get her dream date, Lilith was coming back to the apartment knowing her plans to ruin the new relationship between Cara and James was going smoothly. As soon as the machiavellian lady came into the apartment she said with joy in her voice “Cara make sure you wear something sexy on Saturday, I got us a double date.”
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