The present.


The Present
by Tels

I looked outside at the snow. Every time I see the first snow of the season I can hear Bing Crosby singing White Christmas. It has always been that way. After a few days of shoveling, or now pushing my big old snowblower, it's more of "Stupid f**king white S**t" but hey that's life in Canada. I have a collection of broken snow shovels that one day I may even take the good handle from the one and put it on the one that has a good blade but broken handle.

I have lots of these little projects around the house. Like the piece of wood I still need to cut to repair the folding table on my antigue sewing machine. It was my grandmothers on my mothers side. It was made super cheaply back in the 1940s, she got it used of course. Strangely the actually shutter Singer sewing machine would still work if I bothered to clean it. It was another project in the basement.

My mom had replaced it with a brother sewing machine decades ago. I sewed a lot of outfits on there. It eventually broke and with no replacement parts available I got a used Kenmore machine there now. It works, after I fixed the one part that fell apart cause some idiot didn't understand that screws were supposed to be tightened at the factory.

I have refinished a few pieces of old furniture and they look really nice. Gives my house a homey feel to it. I didn't want this house years ago but it was all I could afford to get within the limited time I had to move out of the childhood home. I remember those early days well.

I had been out and about as myself, this coming out of closet business never really meant anything to me. Skirt suits and looking for work. I didn't find anything at the time but I still was looking and free. My mother found out but all she really did was tell me what I should wear with this skirt or that blouse. Never made a big deal out it. My father on the other hand is a totally different story.

My mother passed away from cancer and of all the children it hit me the hardest. She was always there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on or, more often, someone to talk with dad and get him to leave me alone. The old fart was always after me to man up, grow up, think of others before you do this or that. Nothing I ever did was good enough for him. Mom was different. She knew I was different and taught me to cook, clean (although I hate to do it still) sew, basically take care of ones home. Its the little things I now remember her teaching me that are changing my house into my home.

Things like curtains that actually look good with my living room furniture, still working on that actually but I have a good idea what I'm gonna have to make. Or how adding just a pinch of this or that changes a meal from fattening to non fattening, I'm trying to diet for my corrective surgery since I'm not changing my sex or at least that's not how I see it.

I had thought this year my dad was coming around as when he phoned me it wasn't 'come dressed as a guy' anymore but dress decently. I sit here and think about that. I mean how was I supposed to even dress as a guy? I got breasts and other curves that are hard to hide. I can't afford to buy mens clothing. I don't sound or walk like a guy. Heck I tried once wearing my most masculine clothing and had let my facial beard grow for days to give me a good 5 oclock shadow. I still got missed and maamed anyways.

I have never had a problem with being myself in public and most treat me just like any other woman. We share those little things like complaining about cramps and toilet seats. I get the occasional "spotted" reaction since I really don't look the way I should. I don't believe I'm pretty or anything even though I do sorta try.

Things came to head this year at the last family gathering which was a funeral. I showed up in my best clothing that wasnt a dress or a skirt and blouse. Simple t top and dress pants. This is the limit of my wardrobe that is even remotely masculine. Everything else is full of holes being treadbare. I barely wore any makeup even. Yet to him I was disrespecting the family. I still don't get that at all since I was there to pay my respects to the family.

He chewed me out as soon as I arrived which put me into tears. The body shaking and unable to walk kind. If that wasn't enough I missed most of the funeral service because I was a wreck. Then my brother who decides after a year to actually talk to me starts in on the same thing. But he took it to a new level and punched out my teeth. Like I could really afford dental work of any kind.

Later on my dad had said he would take care of the issue and we were supposed to sit down as a family and talk about it. It never happened as soon as the time limit for me to report and charge them ran out he told me to stop with this shit and be a guy or I was disowned. I told him over the phone then that I can't. We hung up and that is the last I heard from him. From what I understand none of my extended family want anything to do with me anymore.

Hence I sit here looking out my window at the snow falling. It will be the first Christmas in 39 year that I have ever spent totally alone. It hurts me. I didn't think it would be this bad but it is. My throat is a mess and tight as I hold back tears. My heart feels awful. I'm alternatly cold and somewhat warm. There is a emptyness inside me that no warmth seems to fill. I can't take it when I think about it.

I stare out that window as cars with families, happy families all in there finest drive by at slow speeds through ever deepening snow. In the background on the antigue record player I hooked up is the old family albums. White Christmas from Tee Vee records is playing. Silver Bells by Bing Crosby and Ivering..somebody. The tears start to flow ruining the carefully applied mascara I had painstakingly put on that morning. I should get up from my spot by the window and blot with a tissue but it seems like too much effort to do such.

My red velvet top with its sparkles keeps me warm as my new, I bought it was my Christmas present to myself, black lace skirt doesn't do much to keep me warm. The cheapest available black nylons on my hairless legs offer even less warmth. Not two feet away is my ginnea. I still don't know what that means but it is an old blanket kept on the couch to cover yourself up and keep off the chills.

I shift a little as the tears continue to fall and my Kitty reminds me I shouldn't move with a carefully extended claw through my skirt and hose. She never breaks the skin but the tiny sharp pain lets me know not to move again. I pet her and she does her half meow complaining and she moves from my lap leaving behind many grey hairs. I walk to the kitchen where I had cooked up a nice turkey. I had spent many hours carefully stuffing it even though I can't stand stuffing, basting it with a mixture of juices and spices every half hour. The turkey is all set up on my small kitchen table on the one big plate I have that just happens to not match anything else I have. It looks really good and tasty. I will get cold soon so I really should make myself a plate but I'm just not hungry.

I pass by the litter box noticing it needs a sifting as she has not buried her poop again. My cat has this thing about digging up the whole litter box into a pile pooping ontop of it and then scratching at the side of the box trying to cover it up. I sift it into a small plastic grocery bag since I have tons of them and open the door to toss out the bag into the pile. When I take out the garbage I will put them in. The wind catches the door and reminds me how I'm not dressed for the cold at all. A struggle against the wind and the door is closed again. Warmth returns taking off the chill.

I use the kitchen sink to rinse and wash my hands before drying them. I keep a towel just for that purpose by the sink just like mom used to. The dish towel is for drying dishes I remember her saying to me once. It made sense then. A quick search through my mess of a purse and I have my lighter lighting a cigerette. I should stop smoking but I need one bad habit. Or so I tell myself. I look at the cupboard where I keep a very small amount of alcohol for when I need it. I turn my head and go back to the living room. I pass the old record player as deck the halls starts to play and lift the needle before putting it back down as the record skips at that part.

I do not even know why I am wearing these heels but it feels right as I glide across the floor back to my position and look out the window again. Soon I am lost to memories of past Christmas's. When I was younger my sister and I would be buy the tree on its raised table with the manger and the cardboard houses with lights all set up under it. Under the table would be the presents and we would sort the presents out by name the night before so we could give them out easier. It was always my sister and I who did the sorting and then on Christmas morning the handing out of the presents.

Some of the mornings my sister would be in her nightie while I was in just my pajama top and underwear. I never liked pajama bottoms when I was younger and always wanted a nightie like she always had. Dad would tell to whoever was listening that I looked like a girl when I did that. I smiled sometimes if I knew nobody was looking.

As we got older and more mature or in my case my body betrayed me by developing the wrong way, things changed. The gifts were fewer and became clothing, most of which I didn't want in the least little bit. My sister would get earrings or other jewelery sometimes makeup or perfume. I would always look at them with hunger. I loved the smells of the perfumes and the jewelry sparkled oh so pretty in the Christmas tree lights.

The lights on the tree would stay on all day on Christmas and the tree looked so alive and beautiful. When the lights finally went off even on Christmas eve like today the tree would look so dark and unhappy. I was always sad.

I have the antique manger setup but no tree. I saw no point to a tree it is just me so why bother. I do own one but I think my sister has it somewhere for her house. She has the old ornaments and some of the lights. My brother has more of the other decorations or had anyways. My mom had this thing about getting some new ones every year so there should have been a lot of them. Yet when dad threw us all out of home after moms death I never really saw them again.

My sister is about the only family member I have left but she is on a cruise for Christmas this year. As I look out the window again I can see a few windows with trees full of lights and people. The snow falls silently turning the pavement streets white and everything looks clean if a bit hilly. The lights of the many houses around me light up enough that even my dark living room has some light in it. The song changes to Jingle Bells and tears start anew.

When we were younger there was this tradition of one of the uncles dressing as Santa at grandpas. He would give out the few gifts that people had brought for their kids. I never got any except what grandma would knit for us. The wool multicolored mitts with the string were not really that warm. I was jealous when the girls would get the pink ones as I so wanted a pair. I would silently cry to myself as I saw my pretty cousins in their christmasy dresses and my heart longed to even touch one.

I think back to those long ago days and realize even then I was alone. My face is not good at hiding my emotions and never has been so I guess everyone knew then I was different. I would spent the time at the gatherings mopping around before thankfully going home. My mom would hug me often or one of the cousins would come pull me once their parents told them too. I knew it was never their choice.

I think back to all the years and my tears continue to fall. All the pain I have endured, all the misery, all the aloneness is nothing compared to what I feel right now. My throat is sore, really sore as I hold back the tears. I miss my family. Even after the way they have shunned me and treated me I love them so much it hurts to not be able to see them.

The tears fall and I can feel my bra chaffing my right breast. I smile to myself know that at least now I have what I was always meant to have even if they are a little small yet. Shaking my head to try to clear it I get up again and walk to the kitchen where my heels make a little clitter clatter on my kitchen floor. I pour myself a drink with pop and a touch of alcohol in it. I know it doesn't take me very much to get drunk. It never has.

When I was old enough I used to go to the family gatherings and grab a drink or two and then flake out in a drunken stupor. My father would usually complain that I get drunk to fast like a girl. I took it was a compliment. Mom would chastise dad for it. I miss her so much especially at this time of year. I open the cupboard over my stove and remove the one picture I have of mom in its frame. I take that and my drink with me to the couch. I look at her picture and remember her and her love. A love I have not felt in a really long time and the dam breaks. I gush out tears and my voice goes horse as I moan out my pain. Nobody listens and nobody comes to comfort me.

I have never been tempted to let others win over me by trying to kill myself. I just know my father would do whatever he could to bury me in male clothing and I will not let that happen ever. The drink on my coffee table is forgotten as I clutch my moms picture to my breasts and let all the pain out. My nose drips and my throat feels like it will bleed from the pain but I can't stop myself. Before long I fall asleep clutching my mom and my ginnea.

It is still just before midnight on Christmas even when I am roused by the doorbell ringing on my house. At first I discount it as a dream leftover but it rings again. I crawl out of the blanket and carefully put down the picture of mom on the coffee table before I stand up on my heels and straighten my skirt as best I can. I move to the front door and see nobody nor even any tracks in the snow. That means its the side door. This would mean it is someone that knows me. I can't let anyone see me as this mess and use the bathroom to quickly straighten my hair into less of a mess. My mascara ran but not to badly and a quick wipe under the eyes with tissue removes the little bits. Not great but not horrible either.

With one last look in the mirror I leave and go to the side door. I flick on the light and nobody is there either. I almost shut it off thinking there is a problem with my doorbell when I notice a few tracks in the snow. I run to the bedroom and look out the window as a vehicle pulls away from my house. I have never seen it before but it could be a new vehicle of someone. Puzzled and more than a little letdown I return to the door and turn off the light.

I do not know why but I open the door and look out the glass screen door. Sitting on my doorstep is a gaily wrapped box. Excited I open the door now oblivious to the wind and retrieve it. The package has a bit of snow on it now that I shake off and wipe with my towel in the kitchen before it melts. I set the package down on the counter and close the door locking it behind me.

The Christmas present is not a mistake as on the label it says quite clearly in bad handwriting:

Merry Christmas Jacilynn.

A Christmas present that is really for me in my real name. I have never ever gotten one before. I gush tears again and my already sore throat gets much worse but these are tears of happiness. I refuse to open my present on Christmas eve and will open it the next morning. The present is lovingly placed under the table that has the manger setup on it. I take my drink and pour it down the sink before putting the turkey back into its pan and that into the oven. I will heat it up tomorrow morning.

I get undressed remove my makeup before slipping into my silk nightie. My bed feels more comfortable and warmer. But most of all my heart feels just that little bit more warmer as I know that somewhere someone still loves me.

The End.

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This story is 3239 words long.