Love hearts have just a bit of that soda in them so when they are eaten they fizz. I love that feeling, even the taste I still do. I like those little ‘Lotsa-fizz’ candies too and pop rocks are fun and I even like those paper candy discs called UFO’s that were filled with fizzy powder.

But nothing beats my Love hearts.


It’s the first candy that I ever had that was something meant for me.

The real me.

See we moved around a lot and that masked my whole head full of strange ideas; I mean I’m strange anyways but still. There’s strange and then there’s looking at yourself and thinking…


Wait what?

See I’m not, my parents say that, my doctors say that but I’ve never said that and it’s a scary thing to bring up. I mean when your family doctor only makes comments on how you’re a boy and can’t see what’s really going on it kind of makes you want to keep quiet.

But that’s kinda now and not then.

See back then I was like six and there was this other boy who liked down the street from me in the trailer park we grew up in and we were playmates sort off.

Well we were but all of the other kids were like ten and older so it was play by ourselves or together but away from them or they’d pick on us until we left.

And I never thought anything of it until Valentines Day in grade 1.

But it was kind of a bad day all the other girls that were well obviously girls were getting little candies and all sorts of valentines I was getting a few and they were kind of those obligatory ones that you got because you were a boy.

Then Tommy came over.

He’s the neighbor boy that was my playmate.

He looked at me and he was kind of that little kid bashful and shy but he reached in his pocket and passed me a roll of Love hearts.


“I was givin these out to the girls ‘cause mom said the girls would like them…here.”


“It’s okay I know you’re really a girl in secret.” He put his fingers to his lips and made the shush gesture and he went on to the other girls but I never forgot that. Or the way that they tasted.

And ever since when it’s gotten rough being me they’ve been like a magic pill for me. Take one out and read it and just sort of remember how pure that moment was that Tommy knew and I wasn’t even trying he just knew and he saw me.

It’s taken me back all the way through junior high and through a whole bunch of things.

Dad works heavy construction and he’s usually doing really big jobs and stuff and he was just starting things back then and after he got a big job up near Whitehorse we moved. Then it was Alberta and then Labrador City.

I liked Labrador City…it’s was really different and I was kind of used to the native kids and stuff from living in the Yukon and stuff but when I was there I was old enough to learn all kinds of neat stuff.

Like way better french even though the dialect is a little different outside of school than school taught french and there was a lot of stuff like skiing and snowboarding and driving a snowmobile.

We lived just outside of town that we had a old bunch of back fields and a really decent sized hill. Not that everyone lives and drives snowmobiles and dogsleds. Though school friends did have teams.

Oh and I came out.

We were leaving Calgary to move and I had kind of fell into a funk. Okay it was worse than that because puberty was hitting and stuff and I hated it a whole lot and desperate I resulted in self medicating.

I was washing down my self medicated dose when my mom walked in and saw me and the round plastic package and she found out where she’s been misplacing her birth control pills.

And once she realized that I wasn’t taking them to get high and that I knew what they were.

Yeah the jig was kind of up.

Dad took time off for the move and most of it was seeing a councilor and….

Mom was very not getting it. Loudly and aggressively in the therapists office.

“You’re a boy! I had a boy! I didn’t have a girl why do you keep saying that you’re a girl!?”

“That’s because I am a girl Mom! I always have been!”

“No! No you’re not! You’re sick! God doesn’t make mistakes he made you a boy and I’m not having this…this perversion!”

“Don’t bring god into this! We don’t even go to church! Heck I don’t even know what church we’re part of!?”

Dad actually says kind of calmly. “United church.”

Mom spun on him and yelled. “Why are you so goddamned calm Patrick our son thinks he’s a damned girl!? You should be freaking out about this more than me?”

Dad just looked at her and looked at me. “Tara I know my kid, and they’re not crazy.”

“He thinks he’s supposed to be a girl!”

“Maybe she is?”


“Look Tara she’s other than this never lied to us, never fought, broke things or got into a lot of trouble, she’s not into drugs or drinking and her marks are okay except for the teachers notes about how she socializes in class…so what if she’s not crazy, what if she’s finally telling us the truth?”

“It’s not the truth, they’re a boy!”

“Why don’t we let the doctor actually do her job and tell us what’s what?”

It went on like that for a long time and I was diagnosed with GID and with that…mom left before we moved.

It hurt really but at the same time part of my brain got it after awhile. Mom was freaked and maybe worse…I’m still not sure if she hates me but y’know those women that don’t like women…like they don’t have like girlfriends and stuff they don’t hang around other women? That’s what mom was like anyways.

Dad and Mom divorced and she actually was sort of okay on that dad gave her the house in Calgary instead of us selling it and the mini-van and the truck was sold and split since we were moving by air and there was a lawyer scuffle but basically since Dad has custody he doesn’t pay alimony and she doesn’t pay child support.

She signed over the child tax credit and that’s my allowance as long as I keep out of trouble and keep my grades up and stuff.

But it was pretty cool….Dad actually accepted me not for like the whole emotional stuff but like he said he gave me the benefit of the doubt.

And when we moved to Labrador it was as Michelle Bishop and not Michael and I lived there from grade seven until grade nine…went through my whole kick start into my real puberty and stuff the way that I was supposed to and I even had dated a few times last year.

It never got sexual and there were a few kisses here and there and Zack Benet this really cute Sheshatshiu (Innu)-Italian mixed guy took me to the movies and instead of watching Cloud Atlas we ended up kissing at one of the kissing points and then making out really heavy duty and him getting his hands under my tee-shirt and bra and fondled my boobs.

I never told him that but he made me pop in my underpants…all he knows is that I bit him.

That was weird too…I’ve never really been able to get there myself and not for trying and I don’t get pop-ups any more after all those years on hormones and stuff I just get kinda there if I’m really, really aroused.

But just kinda so far since then.

Does that count as losing you’re virginity?

Anyway…no one knew and that’s fine with me and stuff and not even my friends knew I mean I wasn’t like sticking out of my panties to start with and I had a gaff. I don’t need it really now except for times I really want to be sure.

Do I hate my bit?

No, not overly do I wish it was something else? Everyday but I know that my bit will become my genie-bottle so I’m kind of good with it.


But that kinda brings me up until now.

We’re moving back to Westlake and Dad’s gone from driving to his first office job and running the gravel quarry there and we’re going home.

Home, it’s a little weird really I’m sixteen or well I will be in a month…Whoo-ho licence! (Fist pump.)

Well it’s been nine years since I lived here. So it’s home but not really.

It’s really a pain in the butt moving. I have a lot of stuff and so does dad and we’re not leaving it behind either so we’ve had to ship stuff with this really private flight company and we went with all of our stuff from Labrador City to Lester B. in Toronto and we were stuck there for five extra hours waiting for the guys with the moving truck to come and pick us and all of our stuff up.

I’m not leaving my stuff, I have a lot of money and good memories in my stuff and I knew we’d be moving eventually anyways so I have a lot of Innu art and carvings and buckskins and other things that are worth a really good amount of money.

And not just my stuff but the house stuff too…most of the dishes and house stuff was me picking it out or Dad and I picking it out and it means a lot to me.

The basic stuff like some of the furniture well we left that with the house and when we went a couple of times to our new house to check it out and stuff Dad laid away a lot of stuff at like The Brick and Leon’s and Sears.

We stop by all three of those places as we drive through town and get them to show up and set up stuff too with the movers.

When we get there I see an old beat up pick up truck there and there’s this guy there mowing the lawn and he’s in sweat pant’s and a thin t-shirt and the…ohhh he has a nice butt. I mean that in the way a girl looks at a guys butt and not the gay thing.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that either but wow oh wow…you could bounce a quarter off of that. And on the way back pass the rest is not bad either. Blonde with semi short hair with these sexy waves through it and he’s tanned and muscled too.

Dad looks at me and shakes his head smiling. “Be careful okay?’

“Uh-huh, I have to be sort of right?”

“Yes until we know what people are going to be like here... yes.”

It’s sort of only because well I’m from town, Dad’s from town and people will remember Dad and that means odds are they’ll remember his little boy instead of his daughter.

We get out and I watch a little then we’re sort of busy getting stuff inside and when he’s done he rakes up and I come out with a bottle of water.


“Hi.” He smiles and that’s nice too and he gives me this look…actually that look that guys give a girl when he’s checking her out.

“I thought you might like a drink.”

“Thanks, I appreciate it.”

“Uhm Dad doesn’t remember getting someone over to mow, did the realtor send you over?”

“Nope, I heard you guys were moving home and I thought that I’d do something friendly to welcome you guys home.”

“Uhm thanks that’s really sweet.”

He takes the water and he takes a drink and goes to his truck and gets something from the seat and he walks over and passes me a roll of Love hearts.



He smiles. “Yep, like I said I heard you were moving home and I thought that I’d come and see you.”

“After all this time?”

“Honestly I was curious.”

“People know?”

“It’s been all over town since you guys came and bought the place.”


“You have a boyfriend?”

“Are you asking me out!?”

He laughs. “Actually yes, I wasn’t sure but yes.”

“So what changed you mind?”

“Your smile and being nice enough to bring me a drink.”


“Yes really.”

“Even with?”




I grin with the happy. “So you don’t care what people think of me?”

“Actually it’s not that bad, kids at school looked you up on Facebook and through stuff at your school.”


“Yeah really. You want some help moving in and stuff?’

“Actually I’d love it if you’re offering.”

“I’m offering but there is one thing though.”

I look at him as he sits on the tail gate and trades his work boots for sneakers.

“Oh what’s that?” I unwrap one end and smile and pop a candy in my mouth.

“You still bake cookies?”

I laugh. His mom was a really bad cook and I used to bake cookies from the Pillsbury stuff in his big sisters easy bake oven.

“I still bake cookies and more.”

His eyes actually lit up and I smile and reach out and take his hand. “C’mon let’s go get this done and go see Dad and then you can take me to get groceries.”


“You want your cookies don’t you?”

I lead him into the house and I’m sucking on my together again labelled candy and I’m smiling.

You gotta love it when life gets all fizzy and sweet.

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