Understanding Rachel

Understanding Rachel

The phone rang, making Nancy Carmichael jump. The old woman glanced at the call display, and then shouted out, “Rachel! Its for you!”

A moment later another person bustled into the room, took up the phone, and started to talk.

Nancy shook her head. “Who would have thought I would have a teenage girl living in my house at my age? Especially when the girl was born a boy?”

Rachel just smiled at her mother, and kept talking.

The process of watching her son Robert turn into her daughter Rachel was a difficult one for both of them, but after starting hormones six months ago it had developed a certain amount of momentum, and Nancy found herself grieving for the son she was losing, even if she was gaining a daughter as well.

In her mind, she could see the young baby, the small boy, the young man he had been, and couldn’t see much feminine there. How could he have kept such a thing from her? If it was true, shouldnt her own mother been able to see it much sooner?

But watching her now-daughter on the phone, Nancy could see something she had not ever noticed before.

Yes, now her daughter was wearing a flowered top and a pair of capri pants, but that wasnt the real difference. When she spoke to her friends on the phone, her voice softened, her face brightened, and her mannerisms became utterly female.

“Where has this girl been hiding all these years?” Nancy thought.

After a while, Nancy looked at the clock, and said, “Rachel, we have to go. There is that conference at Sally’s school at six, and you need to get changed.”

Rachel sighed, said her goodbyes and hung up the phone. Then she went upstairs, and a short time later came down in a pair of men’s jeans and a sweater to hide her growing breasts.

Her body slumped, her face was sad, and she said, “Isnt it time we let Rachel meet Sally?”

“Not yet. Wait until this summer, like you promised. Your daughter is going to have to have some time to adjust without worrying about school too.”

“Okay, mom. You’re right. I promised. I’ll be Robert for a little while longer.”

Nancy put on her coat, and watched her child do the same. “This was the boy I remember. But had he always been so sad, so pulled in?” She searched her memory, and realized how often her son had looked like this, and at the time she she had pushed it away.

“Summer will be here before you know it, Rachel.”

Her child brightened a bit, and said, “Yes. And everything will be all right. I’m sure of it.”

Nancy kissed the top of her child’s head, and said, “Yes, it will be.”

“Yes it will be all right.” Nancy repeated, this time to herself, and then they drove away.

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This story is 494 words long.