All Joking Aside –
“Hey sailor, when are you going to get that sex change operation? Goodness knows you have the legs for it!” quipped Paul as his best friend Gunther turned the corner on his bike. Gunther just shook his head and laughed. The best friends had been teasing each other for years. Paul, for the most part, had been the instigator of more than one prank on Gunther. None of them mean, mind you, just really funny. Like the time that Gunther was working his job at the comic book store alone while his boss spent a little time with family. Gunther was responsible and serious. So, being in charge at eighteen was nothing new to him when his boss asked him to run the place alone. But, Paul had to burst his bubble. He got a beautiful girl he knew to walk up to him at work, give him a big wet french kiss, slap him, and then accuse him of using his good looks to steal her original Wonder Woman first edition after which she stormed from the business. Paul filmed the whole thing from a private hiding place. The two laughed about it for years. Paul was discreet too. Paul didn’t put it on Youtube or share it.
Gunther was very much an introvert. Devious of mind, he simply wasn’t the kind to engage in practical jokes. Revenge, however, was something he was good at on occasion. The fact that Paul was so good a friend erased any desire for revenge from Gunther’s mind. Paul’s jokes, while annoying, were never mean spirited. And, in fact, had filled him with a sense of pride that he was the recipient of these grand jests.
Now Paul had just graduated from college and was about to run off to another state to work. His family had already moved there. He had stayed back for his senior year in college so he could get his degree in business administration. The two friends wouldn’t be seeing much of each other. So, Gunther knew his time was limited to get revenge. He had to pull a prank to end all pranks to get his friend back for all those years of pranks. It had to be fun too. Because, when he thought about it, he loved telling people what Paul pulled on him last. His mother wanted to get him too. Paul had reprogrammed Gunther’s Mac laptop to run a cron job where a video came up counting down to his laptop blowing up. It looked real and like it was from apple. He had come out of the shower because his mother was banging on the door to find her all in a dither.
“Your computer is about to blow up!”
“What?” With a towel quickly wrapped around him, Gunther rushed into his room and saw the screen counting down.
He shouted out, “Mom, it is just a Paul prank. Relax.” Sure enough, the computer shot off fireworks and played the Star Spangled Banner as soon as the count down was over. Later, the two laughed over the prank and that it had freaked out Gunther’s mother.
His Dad was sometimes the victim too of Paul’s unscripted pranks. One day, going into a hallway closet to grab his rifle, he was greeted with a plastic dummy with a faux pistol pointed at him. It was used on a shooting range obstacle course. But, in the dark closet, it looked real. His dad jumped back about two feet before he realized that it was a fake person.
His Dad grabbed the dummy and walked into Gunther’s room with a big smile on his face. “Paul is going to pay for this one day.”
“Okay, Dad. But how?”
So, three people, who had it in for Paul, plotted and schemed. It was his mother’s manicurist who came up with the clever idea. The plan was set in motion.
About six in the afternoon, Paul’s phone rang. “Hello, Mrs. Schmidt. Yes, what happened. Gunther is okay? Yes, I can come over to the hospital. Sure, that is the one where his Dad works, right? Room 168.” Paul climbed into his Chevy Malibu and headed down the road from from his apartment. He walked down the corridor of the hallway worried about his friend. He found Gunther in a body cast.
“What happened?” Paul asked in a very concerned voice. It frightened him to see his friend like this.
A mumbled, “Someone hit me while I was riding my bike after our bike ride.”
Gunther’s Dad came into the room. "I am so glad to see you Paul. Hey, could you do me a favor?”
“As an employee, I got him a room for two with no room mate. He needs someone to stay the night with him. I was going to do it, but they called me in to work on the boilers. It means I can’t be in the room with him as I had hoped. Could you stay with him tonight? I should be able to stay with him after this.”
As Mr. Schmidt left the room, he smiled. The plan was working. Inside the room, Paul sat on the other bed. “Hey Gunther, I will need to go back to my place to get some pajamas although I have clothes in my car.”
“No need.” Came a voice from the doorway. A nurse came in and said, “We have some pajamas we can lend you right here. By the way, we do need you to take a shower and use this soap if you are going to stay the night with your friend. Don’t, I repeat, don’t use it on your head.”
“Yes, we want everyone to be sterile around Gunther so he doesn’t get infected. Oh, you can’t eat or drink anything around him either. So, please, no food or drink until the morning.” As she left, she giggled at the joke that was about to be pulled. Paul took the pajamas into the bathroom and soaped up. He felt his skin burning, but didn’t think much about it until he saw that all of his hair had come off. Even his pubic hair had come off. He was as hairless as a baby. But, even worse, his cotton underwear felt awful against his skin. He decided to go commando in the pajamas since they were a nice satin.
As he came out of the bathroom, he went over to Gunther, and asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Yes, can you read to me from the book my Mom dropped off.” Paul nodded and picked up the book. It had a strange title. ‘Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer.’
“Are you sure? This is a woman’s romance book.”
“Guess Mom made a mistake. The TV doesn’t work in here and I am bored at this point. Can’t be that bad. Just read it until I fall asleep.” Paul didn’t know that Gunther had slipped him a sleep aid in the water he was given by the staff. Paul needed to be asleep when the prank was pulled.
For about thirty minutes, Paul read to his friend starting with what to him was a hilarious rejection of marriage. When he realized his friend was asleep, he found he couldn’t put the book down. It was so old fashioned and darn it all funny in its use of language. He kept reading. He climbed into the bed next to Gunther and turned on the reading lamp. Soon, he finished the Cinderella rip off thoroughly besotted by the over the top prose and rich characters. He fell asleep with the light on and the book dropped into his lap.
After Paul fell asleep, Paul didn’t notice that Gunther took off his body cast. He wheeled over a tank and put a cannula on Paul and turned on the gas. It was a light anesthetic which would keep Paul asleep while Gunther worked on him. He quietly took a couple of bands and put them on Paul’s wrist. On the bands, it had the name Pauline O’Neil with the name of the procedure, her birth date, and her doctor. He then switched the top sheets to pink. He snickered as he did it knowing what would happen next. A nurse friend came in and they did his nails in pink. Finally, they did his hair and put a ribbon in it. He didn’t need a shave yet having no real beard or mustache yet. He looked pretty.
After he finished, he placed a clipboard at the end of the bed with information on Pauline, took off the cannula, and went back to his bed. He slipped back into his body cast and tried to go back to sleep. For this part to work, he couldn’t be seen to be awake until his replacement came before five.
About five o’clock, a nurse came in from the desk. She checked on Paul first and then led her mother in who replaced Gunther. He changed into regular clothes and left with the body cast. After her mother was situated, she shook Paul and said, “Wake up Honey, I have to ask you a couple of questions. C’mon Dear.”
Paul slowly opened his eyes. “Yes?”
“Have you had anything to eat or drink since ten o’clock last night?”
“No, can I go back to sleep please.”
“Sure. You don’t want to go to the bathroom. It will be your last chance before the procedure.”
“I stayed up too late reading. I just want to sleep. Thank you. Please let me sleep.” Paul closed his eyes and went to sleep. In the bed next door to him, the nurse’s mother just snickered.
An hour later, the nurse came back in and shook Paul. “Okay, Pauline. Time for your surgery. Get up we have to start your IV soon and get you down to the surgery.”
Paul woke up in a panic. “What! Surgery! What surgery?” He looked at the sheets, his hands, and realized something was on his arm. “What is this?” Looking at his arm, he read that he was about to undergo an SRS surgery. “No, wait! What are you doing? Why are my nails pink. What has happened to me?”
“Why, we are going to turn you into a nice young lady. Are you ready?” She smiled and patted him on the arm.
“No, I am here for my friend Gunther in the bed there!” He looked to his right where he expected to see Gunther and there was an lady about his Mom’s age eating her breakfast. He didn’t notice she looked like one of his neighbors.
“Well. I will be back in about ten minutes and we can talk about this.” And she drew his curtain and left the room.
The lady in the bed spoke up and said, “Now, now, Pauline, we talked about it all last night. You know you wanted this your whole life. I am so proud of you for finally coming out.” He looked at her shadow on his curtain and realized he had to act quickly.
Quietly, he went to the closet. His clothes had been replaced with a dress, pumps, panties, and a starter bra. Hanging on the door was a purse. He looked in it and found his ID in a lady’s wallet along with his car keys. Acting with deliberation, he took off his pajamas quietly. Standing there near naked, he put on the panties and tucked in his wee wee. Subconsciously, he rubbed his chest and thought. Shaking his head, he reached in a pulled out the dress. He slipped it over his head. He was surprised it fit him, although it was almost too big. Sitting down, he put on the pumps and grabbed the purse. He looked in the mirror next to his bed. He fixed his hair quickly and slowly moved out of his part of the room. The lady next to him had fallen asleep or was resting her eyes. He looked out the door and saw down the hallway the nurse who had come into to talk to him going into a conference room.
Taking his chance and holding his pajamas, he skirted down the hallway and found the stairs. He raced down and went out to where his car was. He went up to his trunk, opened it, and pulled out a rolling suitcase. He stuffed the pajamas in them. Extending the handle, he walked back to the main entrance to the hospital and went in. He grabbed the first elevator to the floor he had been on. Stepping off the elevator, he spied a family restroom and raced into it before anyone noticed. As he shut the door, he looked around to see if anyone saw him. He had the biggest grin on his face.
Down the hallway, the nurse came out of the conference room. Inside were Gunther and his parents holding back laughter. Standing beside them was a man who worked with Mr. Schmidt. He was dressed up as a doctor. The nurse went down the hallway and went into Gunther’s room. A moment later, she came rushing out and headed back into the conference room. Five minutes later the four of them came out.
“I have no idea of where he went. We better find him. He might do something stupid.”
“You mean like stumbling into surgery and really having the operation?” Gunther asked.
“Oh no. Nothing like that. He just might get into trouble.”
“Yeah, I think the joke went too far, sport.”
“Okay, Dad. We will find him. We better split up.”
As Mr. Schmidt went down the hallway to the elevator to go downstairs, he passed several women. He looked at each one to see if it was Paul in the dress they had given him. Not even the woman coming out of the bathroom that Paul slipped into about fifteen minutes earlier looked like him. The elevator door closed a moment before he could reach it. Looking down the hallway, he saw a man who looked like he was the size of Paul. He rushed down the hallway to see if that was Paul. When he got close to the man, he could see that he was just too old and tall to be Paul.
Dejected, he headed down the elevator and went to where he had seen Paul park his car when he left the night before. It wasn’t missing. He concluded that Paul must be somewhere in the hospital, but where. He reached into his pocket and texted his wife and told her that he must be around.
Mrs. Schmidt headed down to the cafeteria figuring that would be the safest place for Paul. Gunther was wandering each floor in turn to see if he saw anyone that looked like Paul. The nurse had to stay on the floor that Paul was on so she did her searching there. Coming into a waiting area, all she could see was a young woman nicely dressed reading the paper. Her outfit wasn’t the simple pink dress they had given Paul. In fact, the woman didn’t even have pink nails. They were a nice green that matched her forest green dress. Her pumps were nice too. They were a soft green that matched the dress. Not the pink ones they had given Paul. She had pretty legs too.
On a lark, Mrs. Schmidt went into the family restroom and found in a cabinet for the sink the dress that Paul was wearing. She texted the family with the updated info. Could he be in his pajamas again came the question? She texted back. No pajamas found here. Obviously he did something. But what. Gunther texted ‘Paul is smart. He might have grabbed some scrubs somewhere by pretending to be a patient. We need to look for the pajamas.’
Mrs. Schmidt, coming back from the cafeteria had to pass the door into outpatient surgery. Behind a potted bush in the main hallway, she noticed some clothing. Looking at it, she saw that they were pajamas. She texted the family about the find. Now they felt certain that Paul was in scrubs. Mr. Schmidt was sent back to watch Paul’s car. Gunther went back up to the room to see if he could find any clues. Frustrated, he came back out of the room and lighted on the chairs in the waiting room. His Dad texted him, “I think his car is gone. Heading into work.”
He snickered at the thought that his friend had deceived him. He knew Paul was fast, but not this fast. He must have had clothes in his car in case he was going to have to stay the night. If he had gone back to his car, then he could be home by now. Then the thought occurred to him to look at his phone’s photo gallery to see if he could see an outfit that Paul might have used. As he searched, he found his eyes moving to a young woman putting down a paper. He was riveted by her breasts. She seemed familiar. Her boobs were sexy and pert. He liked watching them. A moment later, he heard her clearing her throat and then crossing her arms over her chest. He glanced at her and then his focus went back to his phone. He didn’t want to look her in the face.
As he sat there, he saw so many photos he had taken of Paul over the last four years. Some with his dad. Some with his mom. And then there were the nights they went out trolling for women. Well, mostly Gunther. The young woman next to him reminded him about all the times Paul had to pull him back from drooling over some sexy woman and making a fool of himself. Paul was more discrete saying that since he was leaving soon, it didn’t make sense to start a relationship and then end it. Then there was the night that Paul stood him up because he had a paper due at school. He went to their favorite bar. He had the hots for this one dame who ended up slapping him and storming off. He stopped on the photo he took that night of the lady thinking to himself that he couldn’t find Paul then and he couldn’t find him now. He studied the photo for a moment. Did he see something in the background. “Wow,” he thought, “that chick has the same dress on as the woman next to me.”
Thinking about the coincidence, he pulled up a photo of Paul and looked at the woman. She was blond and had glasses. Her makeup was nice. And her eyes were green in an odd sort of way. She had nice red lips and her make up was plain and nice. “Excuse me Miss, have you seen this man by any chance today?”
She looked at the photo and shook her head no. “By the way, were you at the Club Renaissance a few weeks back? I think I remember seeing you there. Here look, I may have taken your photo by accident.” He started to show her the photo.
Gunther was shocked when Mrs. Schmidt came up from behind him and grabbed her son by the arm saying, “Come on Gunther. This is getting serious.” It interrupted the dialogue he was having with the woman. “We really have to find Paul and you are here making eyes at the ladies.” As the two walked down the hallway and were about to enter the room, Paul received a text ‘I see you are searching for me.’
Gunther texted back. ‘Yeah, where are you???’
‘You all have passed by me numerous times in various places. I think I will be going home now. Nice try, my friend. Sneaky job. :-D ’
‘That’s okay, I think I will go back and pick up this chick I saw at a bar.’
After sharing Paul’s message with his mom, he returned to the waiting area. The lady had left. “Damn! This joke ain’t working!” he said out loud. He texted Paul, ‘Now the chick has left. All I so wanted to play with her boobs!’
‘Really? Describe her.’
‘Blond. Wearing a green dress. Green eyes. Nice perky boobs.’
‘Okay, I owe you because you almost got me. Send you Mom home. I saw the lady in green in the cafeteria a few minutes ago on my way back from my car.’
‘Thanks. But, how will I get a ride home?’
‘If you don’t score with her, I will. Just text me.’
After sending his Mom and neighbor home, Gunther headed down to the cafeteria. Sure enough, the lady was just finishing her breakfast. Her dainty hands were slowly taking spoonfuls of cottage cheese to her luscious mouth. He couldn’t help but looked at her cleavage and drool. Her breasts were sexy and her low cut dress really showed them off. “Excuse me Miss, I just wanted to let you know that we found my friend. He was okay. My name is Gunther.” He pulled up her photo on his phone. “Anyway, was this you.” He showed her the photo.
As she looked up at him batting her long lashes, Gunther felt his knees go weak. Her gaze caught him by surprise. He didn’t know what to say next. He had never felt this way before.
“You okay Gunther?” she said softly putting her hand on his arm. “Please, sit down.”
“Yes, P-paul. Is that really you?”
“Yes, my dear close friend. All joking aside, I think there are some things I need to tell you about the real me now. Something I have needed to share with my best friend for a long time.”
Gunther was too weak in his knees to stand. He just sat there and listened to his friend tell him about his transition to becoming Pauline and how the boobs Gunther was admiring were really hers now after a couple of years of being on female hormones and hormone blockers.
“So, are we still friends?” she asked worriedly.
An evil smile came over Gunther's face. “Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, can I play with them sometime, p-please?”
She tossed him a smile and said, “Only if you behave tonight when you take me out.”
It was then that Gunther realized that all these years, Paul wasn’t joking. In reality, she was flirting. He smiled and said, “It’s a date!”
Copyright © 2017 by AuP reviner
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