Tommy - The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl? - Chapter 31


Tommy
The Trials and Tribulations of a Girl?

A Novel By Teddie S.

Copyright © 2017 Teddie S.
All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 31
No! It can't be.

It was Thursday morning. Where has this week gone?

We were in bed, and I was propped up on one elbow, watching Amy sleep. And thinking about how much I love her.

She eventually stirred, looked over at me, smiled, and said, “You’re staring at me again.”

“Do you mind?”, I replied.

“No.”

“Good. Because I’m never going to stop.”

“Why? I look terrible in the morning.”

“No, you don’t. You look like an angel.”

“You’re sweet.”

I bent down and kissed her.

We showered together. And yes that led to other things.

After our shower, we dressed for some more sightseeing. I was wearing one of the long skirts and a fancy blouse, my new moccasins, the black wig, which was still straight, and one of the new headbands. I didn't wear any jewelry except for earrings. Amy was in shorts, a blouse, and tennis shoes

We walked over to the hotel for breakfast. And as we walked in my uncle was standing behind the counter talking with a man. As we walked closer, we heard part of the conversation.

The man said, “Come on Paul. It’s news.”

“Jim.”, my uncle said. “You know that the privacy of our guests is important to us. I can’t tell you anything.”

“Can you at least tell them I’d like to talk to them?”

My uncle then said, “Jim. Leave me a couple of your business cards. I'll tell them that you want to talk to them, and let them decide. And I still don’t know who it was that saved the boy, so don’t expect to hear from them.”

The man handed my uncle a couple of business cards, and said, “Thanks, Paul. I guess it’s all I can ask.”

The man turned and almost walked into us. He said, “Sorry ladies. ... Wait. Miss Nez. Right?”

“Yes.”, I replied.

“How about making my day and giving me an interview.”

“Sorry. I’m a private person. And I don’t give interviews.”

“This just isn’t my day. I guess I’ll just have to go dig up some news someplace else.”

The man walked out of the hotel, and we walked up to the counter. My uncle, shook his head, and said, “Reporters. He knows we can’t give out that kind of information. He wants to know who the boy was and who saved him.”

“He wanted my name?”, Amy asked.

“Yes. And Jim knows better. But since I don’t want to lie to him.” As my uncle handed one of the business cards to Amy, he added, “Here. Now I’ve given you one of his cards.

“And I guess he’s interested in you too Kai.”

“I’m old news.”, I replied.

“No, you're not.”, Uncle Paul said.

I just shook my head. Then I said, “Amy and I are planning on hiking some of the trails, do you have a map?”

“Sure do.”

As my uncle reached under the counter, pulled something out, and handed it to me, he said, “Here’s a trail map. These all start just behind here. Some go on to Bureau of Land Management lands, and some go onto National Forest lands. Most are easy. The one to the Mica Mines is about a four miles round trip. And you can put a couple together to go further.

“But don’t go without water. It’s not good to be in the desert without water. Stop by the house before you go, and we’ll loan you some hiking staffs and canteens. You should also have hats and hiking boots.”

“We learned last time about hiking boots and brought ours with us. And we’re going to Albuquerque and will look for hats.”

“Uncle Paul.”, I said. “Did my dad really like fly fishing?”

“Yes. And he learned quickly. He caught most of the fish that we had for dinner.”

“Is there someplace that I could get him a rod and reel or something related to fly fishing?”

“Sure in Albuquerque. But the good stuff is expensive.”

“Oh.”

“But there are starter kits that aren’t bad. “

My uncle told us how to find the fishing shop, actually a sporting goods store. And after breakfast, we took a run down to Los Alamos and the museum there. And then we went down to Albuquerque. I'd seen some hats in one of the stores that Amy and I had been in when we were here the last time, and I was right. We found two cute cowboy style hats, and I selected a white one and Amy picked a pink one. Of course, there was more shopping than just the hats. And we also picked up a starter fly fishing set for my dad.

We never did go hiking, and were back at the resort with time to enjoy one of the mineral pools before dinner. As we were soaking in one of the pools, Amy all of a sudden said, “Oh, my God!”

“What?”, I asked.

“I swear that’s Patty.”

“Patty?”

“My friend from the hospital.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. She had said something about her and her husband were thinking about coming out here.”

“Are you sure it’s her?”

“Yeah.”

“Great. What do I do?”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m Kai, and you’re married to Tom. Do I just pretend to be your friend, or go back to being Tom, or what?”

“Maybe or what.

“What. Stay as Kai?

“Yes. I know you want to stay as Kai while where here. I’ll just introduce you.”

“So she’d know about me?”

“Honey. Everyone out here knows about you. And she’s a friend.”

“Are you sure she’s a friend?”

“Yes. Very sure.”

“How are you going to approach the subject?”

“I’ll just talk to her.”

“I don’t know. How do you think Patty will take it?”

“Well. I guess I can feel her out.”

“How?”

“I’m not sure. I have to think about it.”

“Has she seen us?”

“No. And I think she’s headed towards the hotel. Maybe we can find out what room they’re in.?”

“How?”

“Ask.”

After we were out of the pool and redressed, we headed to the hotel. Luckily my aunt was working the desk. We walked up, and Amy asked, “Aunt Ruth.”

“Yes, honey.”, she replied.

“I know you don’t usually give out guest information. But I think a friend of mine from the hospital and her husband maybe staying here. I think I just saw her by the pools. Do you have a Patty and Ralph Jeter staying here?”

“Well. We usually don’t give out guest information. But seeing that it’s you and it’s a friend, let me look.”

Aunt Ruth looked through the registry and said, “Yes we do. They’re here for two nights. Tonight and Friday night.”

“Okay. She’s met, Tom and Tammy. But doesn’t know that they are the same person. And we’re trying to figure out how to approach the subject and include Kai.”

“Oh. How do you think she will take something like this?”

“She’s an emergency room nurse and has seen it all. Plus she seems to be a very open-minded person.”

“Kai. Did you feel anything when you met her as Tammy or saw her today.”

“When Tammy met her, I didn’t feel anything bad.”, I replied. “And today the same. But I wasn’t interacting with her today.”

“They’re here in the hotel in room 37.”

“Well.”, Amy said. “Maybe I’ll go and see if she’s in her room and see if she wants to get something to drink. Then bring her here to the lobby, and sit and talk with Kai sitting nearby.”

“It’s worth a try.”, I said.

Fifteen minutes later Amy and Patty were sitting in the lobby with cold drinks, and I was sitting about fifteen feet away from them. I couldn’t hear what they were saying but could watch Patty’s body language.

They talked for about half an hour, then walked over to the picture of me by the tree. Amy pointed to me in the picture and said something. I saw Patty shake her head. Then they walked back over and sat back down. I wasn’t feeling anything bad from Patty. Maybe I was feeling good things.

As Amy glanced at me, she said loud enough for me to hear, “Would you like to meet her?”

I couldn’t hear Patty’s response. But Amy looked my direction, and said, “Kai, honey. Come and join us.”

I felt a little knot in my stomach as I stood up and walked over to where they were sitting. Amy said, “Patty I'd like you to meet Kai Nez. Kai this is Patty.”

Patty looked at me for a few seconds, then said, “I couldn’t believe the story Amy just told me. But here you stand. Please join us.”

As I sat, Amy said, “Honey. I told her your story from the first time until now. I even told her about what two spirit people are. And after I told her about the accident when you were twelve, she said that she had remembered working on a day a few years ago when they brought a girl in that had been in a traffic accident. But then they found out that she was a boy. And I told her that it was probably you.

“Then when I told her that she’d met you as Tammy, she was shocked. She said that there was no way that Tammy could be a boy. I told her that it was true. Then I took her over to your picture, and she said that it was a girl. I told her no that it was you and to look at the earrings, that she had seen them before. When she looked closer, she realized that she had seen them before, but on Tammy. She couldn’t believe it.

“Then I asked her if she’d like to meet you. And without hesitation, she said yes. And that’s where we are.”

I looked at Patty and said, “So you’re the one that cut off my poodle skirt?”

With a grin and a little laugh, Patty said, “No. That was probably one of the orderlies. I would have remembered doing that and finding out you were a boy. Which I still find hard to believe.”

With a smile, I said, “I’m glad. Because if you were the one that cut it off, I’d have to hate you.

"And I am a boy under all of this.”

Patty then said, “You may be a boy. And I don’t know why, but I feel at ease with you as I would with any woman.”

Amy smiled, and said, “Well isn’t she a woman?”

“You know ... I think in her soul right now she is.”

“It’s my spirit.”, I replied. “Amy probably explained that I have two spirits, a male one, and a female one. And when my girl spirit is strongest, like she is now, I am that girl. And here in New Mexico, I feel that I’m a Navajo girl. I guess it’s because I have some Navajo blood in me. At home, I’m more at ease being Tammy. Of course, when my male spirit is stronger, and I’m Tom, I’m all guy.

“And when I’m either Tammy or Kai I try to be as much of a girl as I can be. It takes some work to make me look like a girl, but Amy helps me.”

Amy jumped in, and said, “Don’t let her kid you. She’s good at becoming the girl in her spirit. I taught her a lot about makeup, and she’s a quick learner.”

I continued with, “The Navajo believe in two spirit people, or as we call them Nádleeh. We know of another person with two spirits out here, and when he first met Kai, he was surprised as to how easy it was for me to come across as a girl.”

“I’m beginning to see that.”, Patty said. “It’s like three girls sitting here. And I also felt that when I met Tammy. I saw nothing of a boy in her, and it’s the same with Kai.

“And I can’t believe how pretty you are. I’m sitting here looking at a beautiful girl.”

“Thank you. I’m glad you and your husband came out here. It’s a great place.”

“It is.”

“I’m hoping that we might be able to do things tomorrow, especially the barbecue tomorrow night.”

“Barbecue?”

“Yes. The resort throws one every Friday night for the guests and sometimes special guests. At the last one, Amy and I became honorary members of my grandmother's clan, and I became a member of the Navajo Nation. And they usually have some native singers, and sometimes some native dancers.”

“So it’s a party.”

“Yes. With some great Southwestern food.”

“You say you’re hoping that we can do things. Why couldn’t we?”

“I want to be Kai as long as I’m out here. It’s something that I need to do. And I’m concerned about what your husband will think of me.”

“He is very open-minded. I guess we can only ask him.”

“Where is Ralph?”, Amy asked.

“He’s out hiking. And should be back anytime.”

“Sounds like something we like to do.”

“I’ll do it. But I prefer swimming, tennis, and bicycling. And I just love the thermal pools here.”

“We do too. The pools are very relaxing.”

Just then a man walked up behind Patty and put his hands on her shoulders. Patty looked up, and said, “Oh hi honey. Have a good walk?”

‘Interesting.’, I thought. ‘I’m getting mixed feelings from this guy, but nothing bad.’

“Yes, this is a great place to hike.”, Ralph replied. “I went to a place called Mica Mines, and it’s fascinating. And I see you’ve made some new friends.”

“Really an old friend, and a new one.”

“An old one?”

“Yep. Sit and join us.”

Ralph sat between Amy and Patty and directly across from me. Then Patty said, “Remember me telling you about Amy from the hospital?”

“Sure. Isn’t she somehow related to the people that run this place.”

“Yes. They’re her husband’s aunt and uncle. And that lady sitting to your left is Amy. Amy this is my husband, Ralph.”

Amy and Ralph acknowledged each other. Then Patty said, “And this young lady is Kai, and she’s someone special.”

“Special?”, Ralph asked.

“I was told a fascinating story by these two. And we’re hoping that you can accept what I'm going to tell you as well as I did.”

“A story?”

“Yes. ... “ And Patty started to tell Ralph my story.

At first, he looked at her, and then he looked at me like he didn't believe what he was hearing. Then, just after Patty told him about the people with two spirits, he interrupted with, “So! He’s one of those!”

I hadn’t picked up any bad feelings about Ralph. But now I was wondering if I’d misread him.

Patty said, “One of those what?”

“Homosexuals.”

“Ralph! I’m surprised, I’ve never heard you call anyone that.”

“Yeah. But I’ve never been this close to one.”

“Yes you have.”

No one said anything for a few seconds, finally I said, “Ralph. I don’t know you. And you don’t know me. I’m not going to judge you without knowing you. Please don’t judge me until you know me.

“I am a person with two spirits. The Navajo people and many other native tribes believe that the people with two spirits are special. And they are important to them and treat them with respect. A friend that is a Navajo medicine man and also a two spirit person told us, ‘Exactly why we are the way we are. I don’t think anyone knows. The Great Spirit doesn’t give us a choice. He picks us, and we are.’

“I’m this way because the Great Spirit chose me. It's interesting that all of my friends that I grew up with and those people that I’ve met and who’ve had open minds have accepted me for who I am. And take me for who I am.

“I’m not asking you to accept me. I’m asking you to give me a chance to show you who I am. Then you can make up your mind. And I'll do the same with you.

“I know that Patty and Amy are friends. And I don’t want to see anything happen to that.”

With that, I sat back in my chair and looked at the three of them.

Amy and Patty were smiling. Ralph, I still couldn’t read. I was getting mixed feelings from him. He wasn’t staring at me, but just curiously looking at me. Then he nodded yes, and said, “You’re right. I jumped to a conclusion. And that’s not me. But I’m having a problem accepting this two spirit thing. As a man of science, it’s hard to grasp something like this.”

I smiled, and said, “My dad said something like that.”

“So your parents accept this?”

“Yes. My mother is half Navajo and sensed something about me when I was much younger. My dad over time came to accept it, and actually, he likes having a daughter around from time to time.”

“You’re like this, and you’re not a homosexual?”

“No, I’m not. Some two spirit people are. But not the majority. I like girls and one in particular.”

Ralph looked at Amy, and asked, “And it’s obvious that you accept him.”

“Completely.”, Amy replied. “It was interesting watching him learn to be a girl. Being out here has also been a learning experience. Seeing how his people accept him. I’ve learned a lot about people and how they can be different. And how to accept them.”

“Why don’t we go to dinner.”, I said. “We can talk some more and then hike up the cliff trail and watch a sunset. They’re predicting thunderstorms for later, and we may be able to see the storms building.”

We did just that. At dinner, we talked some more, and Ralph and I started to get to know each other better. Then we hiked up the cliff trail to where the lone tree had been, and I told Patty and Ralph the story of the pictures and the storm. Then I told them about the storm earlier in the week that had destroyed the tree. While we were there, I found a few pieces of the tree and picked them up. We watched a beautiful sunset, and the storms building to the west. And Ralph told us that we’d probably see those storms later this evening.

As we walked back down the cliff trail, I noticed that they were just starting the bonfire. So on the way to the bonfire, we stopped at our room. Patty was impressed, especially with the soaking tub. Amy told them that our aunt and uncle had upgraded us from the hotel to this room as a wedding gift.

I left all but one piece of the wood from the tree in the room and carried that pieces to the bonfire. As we walked up to the bonfire, I felt the usual things that I feel in this area. I walked closer to the fire, and I heard Amy tell Patty and Ralph to just stay with her. I walked up to the fire and stood there for a minute. Then I looked at that one piece of wood, then tossed it into the fire. It was so dry that it almost flashed as it burned.

I walked back to the other three, and Patty said, “Amy told us about this place, and that you feel special things here.”

“Yes.”, I replied. “This whole area is on sacred land, and I feel strong medicine when I’m near the fire.”

“Why did you throw the piece of wood in the fire?”, Ralph asked.

“I’m not sure. It was just something that I felt I needed to do. Maybe I was feeling the spirit of the tree.”

“It was interesting the way it flashed in the fire. And it was also interesting that everyone became quiet while you were standing there.”

“I didn’t notice.”

“It was like they were interested in what you were doing. And knew it might be something special.”

We stayed at the bonfire for about forty-five minutes. Patty and Ralph met my aunt and uncle. And we talked to some other people. Then we took Patty and Ralph for a walk around the resort.

As we were saying goodnight with the sound of thunder off in the distance, Ralph said, “I wasn’t sure about you when we met this afternoon, but now I’m glad I met you. You are a fascinating person.”

“Thank you.”, I replied. “I’m glad that this worked out for both of us.

“You might want to join us in the morning. Since there’s a two-hour difference between here and home, we’re usually up early, before sunrise, and sometimes hike up the cliff trail to watch the sunrise and listen to the coyotes before breakfast. And you’re welcome to join us.”

Patty smiled, and said, “We just might do that.”

Patty hugged Amy, then gave me one.

As Amy and I walked into our room, I said, “That was an interesting evening.”

“Yes, it was.”, Amy replied.

“I was getting worried at first that the thing with Ralph wasn't going to be good. I was getting mixed feelings from him. But after the talk, everything seems good.”

“Patty told me that she was shocked by Ralph’s initial comment. That it just wasn’t him. Maybe it was being hit with it the way she presented it.”

“Maybe.

“You know. I'd like to get my hair done in a fancy way for the barbecue tomorrow.”

“Did you forget about the appointment with Mrs. Hatathli at one.”

“Yes. I did.”

That night Amy hung onto me as a strong thunderstorm rolled through. But it was out of the area fairly quickly, so we did get some sleep.

* * * * * *

On Friday morning, we walked into the hotel lobby and were pleasantly surprised to see Patty and Ralph waiting for us. We greeted each other and headed up the cliff trail. When we reached the top, the twilight was just beginning. But we didn't hear the usual call of the coyotes. It was eerily quiet.

I said, “It’s unusually quiet this morning.”

We stood there for a while listening for the coyotes and watching the eastern sky become lighter. Then off to the west, we heard some howls.

“That’s not the coyotes. Is it?”, Patty asked.

“No.”, I replied. “I’ve never heard that before.”

“Sounds like wolves to me.”, Ralph said.

“If it is. It could be why we're not hearing the coyotes.”

Ralph took out a pair of binoculars that he’d been carrying and started looking in the direction of the howling. He quickly said, “I see a group of six or eight of what I think are wolves. Take a look, Kai.”

He handed me the binoculars, and pointed towards a group of rocks, and said, “Just to the left of those rocks. They're moving right to left.”

I took the binoculars and looked in that direction. And sure enough, there was a group of wolves. I handed the binoculars to Amy, pointed her in the right direction, and she saw the wolves. Then Amy gave them to Patty, and she saw the wolves. We kept passing the binoculars around until the wolves disappeared into a large group of rocks.

Ralph said, “That was worth the hike.”

We stayed there until the sun came up, then we headed back to the restaurant for breakfast. We talked more as we ate, and we found that they wanted to do some site seeing, so we suggested the Taos Pueblo and Santa Fe. And I reminded them to be back in time for the barbecue.

Patty said, “We wouldn’t miss the barbecue for anything. And, the pueblo and Santa Fe sound very interesting.”

As we were finishing our breakfast, Ralph looked at me and said, “You know Kai. I still can’t believe that there’s a boy under there.”

I smiled. And Amy said, “It’s interesting. Isn’t it?”

“Very. I've seen nothing but a girl, a beautiful native girl.”

“I have to agree.”, Patty said. “She appears to be very comfortable with who she is.”

“She is.”, Amy said. “And it’s the same way when he’s Tom.”

“I’d like to meet Tom.”, Ralph said.

“I think we can arrange that.”

“We can.”, I added.

As the four of us were walking through the hotel lobby, I saw my aunt behind the registration desk. We walked over, she looked up, smiled, and said, “Good morning.”

“Good morning Aunt Ruth.”, I said.

"Did you have a good walk this morning?"

"We sure did.", Ralph replied. "And we saw a pack of wolves."

"Wolves! We haven't had wolves around here in a long time."

We chatted with Aunt Ruth for a few minutes. Then the Jeters excused themselves to go site seeing. I stopped them and asked my aunt for one of the good area road maps. She handed it to me, and as I handed it to Ralph, I said, “Better take one of these just in case you get lost.”

I saw Patty roll her eyes, as Ralph said, “I have a great sense of direction.”

So I said, “Better take it anyway. It saved us once. And the desert isn’t a good place to get lost.”

Ralph as he took the map, said, “Okay. But I won’t need it.” And again Patty rolled her eyes and shook her head.

We shared hugs, and Patty and Ralph left.

Then my aunt asked us what we were going to do today. We told her that we were going hiking this morning. Then going to have our hair done at one.

~o~O~o~

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