The Improbable Girl

The Improbable Girl

by Melanie Brown

Copyright  © 2014 Melanie Brown

Justin took a shortcut home, but his life took a detour.

It was getting on to be late Sunday morning as I started to wake. I lay there in a hap-hazard heap on my bed, arms and legs splayed in all directions. Sunlight streamed through the partially opened blinds, dust motes sparkling in the sun.

I wasn’t up particularly late last night, but I didn’t feel very refreshed from my sleep. In fact, I had been a bit restless and I had one of those stupid dreams you have when you have a fever; the kind where you keep trying to accomplish something, but you never do.

I swung my legs over the side of my bed and stood up. A sudden pain shot through my skull and I felt suddenly dizzy and uneasy. I stumbled and sat back down. Something did not feel right. Not right at all. After a few moments, the dizziness subsided and I stood up again.

As I walked over to bathroom, I started to feel disoriented again. Nothing felt quite right. I stumbled into the bathroom and took a quick glance at myself in the mirror. “You look like shit,” I said aloud to myself. I paused a moment to study myself in the mirror. I wondered when I had lost some weight. I shook it off and stepped up to the toilet to take my morning piss.

I pulled down my underwear, reached in and… I reached in and…What the fuck?! I fished my hand around in my underwear. Sometimes on cold days, my dick would shrink up. But it wasn’t winter and it never totally disappeared before. Shaking, I slid my fingers down my crotch and found a slit.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck…” I started babbling as I probed the opening in my crotch. I touched something and was suddenly like, oh—my—God! I collapsed onto the bathroom floor. I wailed, “Oh my God! What the hell is going on? Where the hell is my dick?” It was there the night before and had always just kinda been there. It was then I noticed a shift of weight on my chest. I reached up with one hand and touched my chest.

Crying, I yelled, “Just what the hell has happened to me!?” Shaking, I felt suddenly cold and clammy and I curled myself into as tight a ball as I could. This just wasn’t happening! It was impossible. I closed my eyes and pulled my t-shirt over my head. I slowly opened my eyes and looked down. I still had tits. I yelled, “Noooo!”

From the floor below, though muffled, I heard my mom shout, “Knock it off up there!” There was something comforting in that. It meant that the whole world wasn’t screwed up. Just me.

I slowly stood up on shaky legs. I forced myself to look in the mirror. What I saw surprised me on several levels. What I saw was essentially me. Same unkempt hair in need of a haircut. Same face, though more rounded and feminine. I didn’t have shaped eyebrows. I seemed shorter. I looked at my hand. It was mine. No shaped nails. But my hand was smaller and my fingers looked a bit longer and more delicate. My skin was softer. Looking at myself from head to toe, I still had leg hair. It’s not like I turned into mine or someone else’s fantasy of a girl. I was just a female version of myself.

Leaning close into the mirror, I muttered aloud once again, “This is fucking impossible. I can’t possibly be a girl! I just can’t!” I grabbed a handful of tit and squeezed. I guess I can be…

I stumbled out of the bathroom and looked around my room. Everything was amazingly normal. The only thing out of place was my gender. I sat down on my bed to try to figure out what might have happened. I had been out with my two best friends, DJ, a girl I’ve known since before the first grade and fellow gamer Andrew. We’d been hanging out at the beach arcade and I remember the arcade announcing a ten minute warning about curfew. DJ and Andrew were both eighteen and seniors, but I’m a few months shy and a junior in high school. And I lived more than a ten minute walk from the arcade.

Both DJ and Andrew had suggested calling a cab or Andrew giving me a ride, but I waved them off. I didn’t want them spending any of their gaming money and I was already down to a buck and a half in quarters and neither of them had to leave yet. I knew a way through the warehouse district that I had used before to avoid being caught while out after curfew. Granted, while it wasn’t exactly the safest route, it was the fastest and what homeless people I encountered always ignored me.

But I don’t remember coming home. I remember leaving the arcade. My next memory was waking up. My walk through the warehouse district was a complete blank.

I looked down again at my perfectly shaped perky boobs and began to tear up. How? Just how in God’s green earth could I possibly just change into a girl? The universe around me was unchanged. What was I going to do? How could I tell my parents? Do I act like nothing happened hoping everything goes back to normal? Do I ask Mom to pick me up a box of tampons next time she goes to the store?

I needed to talk to somebody. I wasn’t going to figure out anything on my own. I picked up my phone and punched Andrew’s number. After a few moments, he answered the call.

“Hello?” said a muffled, confused voice on the other end of the phone.

“Andy! Are you awake?” I asked. My voice sounded soft and feminine.

Muffled from talking into his pillow, Andrew said, “The number you have just dialed is out of service. Please try again later…”

“Andy! Listen,” I pleaded. “This is an emergency!”

With the still groggy voice of someone who wanted to go back to sleep, Andrew said, “What could possibly be an emergency on Sunday morning. And just who the hell are you, anyway?”

“It’s me, Justin,” I said.

Sounding annoyed, Andrew said, “No, really. Who are you?”

“I told you. I’m Justin. I’ve got a problem.” I said trying not to cry.

Andrew laughed with annoyance and said, “If you’re Justin, I’ll say you have a problem. Did your cock fall off last night or something?”

Not able to stop myself from crying, I shouted, “Yes! Yes it did!”

“Look. Ten-thirty Sunday morning is way too early for a prank call,” said Andrew now fully awake. “If Justin put you up to this, I’m going to beat the shit out of him. Bye.”

“Wait! Wait, please!” I pleaded with a sob. “I have to talk to you! Please, Andy. Come by my house and pick me up. Please! I don’t know what to do!”

“Girl, I have no idea who you are or where you live. This gag long since stopped being funny. Tell Justin I’ll kill him tomorrow,” growled Andrew.

Screaming into the phone, I said, “Get your worthless ass to Justin’s house now! I’ll meet you in the front yard.”

“Yes ma’am,” Andrew said sarcastically. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes to kick Justin’s butt.” And before I could say anything else, he hung up.

I stood up from my bed, still naked. I decided I should probably get dressed. I grabbed a pair of underwear from my dresser. The underwear seemed a little too big. It would have to do. Out of my closet, I grabbed a t-shirt that said “Honey badger Don’t Care” and slipped it over my head. It seemed a little big as well. As did my jeans and shoes. I wasn’t really surprised all things considered.

I crept downstairs. I really wanted to avoid my parents. I wasn’t ready to try to explain my current situation. I really don’t think the parenting class my Mom took when I was born covered this. Mom was in the kitchen and Dad was out in the garage tinkering with something. I slipped out the back door, came around to the side gate and walked out onto the front lawn just as Andrew’s car pulled up to the sidewalk.

Andrew got out of his car as I rushed up. I said, “Get back in the car, bro. We need to get away from here before we’re seen.”

Andrew just stood there for a moment staring at me. He said, “Justin? Is that you? You look sick. Did you lose weight overnight?”

As I opened the passenger door, I said, “Something like that. Get in. Let’s go.”

Andrew continued to stare at me as he climbed back inside his steel gray late model Dodge Challenger. He said, “What’s happened to you, man? You look…you look…”

“Girlie?” I said, finishing his thought. “Yes. I seem to have come down with something overnight.”

As Andrew started the engine of his car, he said, “I hope it’s not contagious.” With a chirp of tires, he pulled his car back into the street.

After a moment, Andrew said, “Are you going to tell me what’s going on? You’re sounding a lot like that chick on the phone earlier.”

Looking down at the car’s floorboard, I said, “I am that chick on the phone. I…I don’t know how to say this, Andy. I…I’m…I…well, I woke up this morning and I was a…was a… Dammit, Andy! I’m a girl!”

Andrew drove past a stop sign as he looked over at me with an “Are you crazy?” expression. Irritated, he shouted, “Are you crazy? Nobody just wakes up a girl. Do you think I’m stupid? You look just like Justin, but who are you? He doesn’t have a sister. His cousin maybe?”

Exasperated, I said, “I know what it sounds like! But you have to believe me! I’m Justin!”

Frowning, Andrew said, “No, bitch. I don’t have to believe you! You’re pissing me off. Who are you and where is Justin?”

I shouted, “You stupid, stupid head! I am Justin! I was with you and DJ last night at the arcade. I walked home after you and she offered to call a cab.”

“That doesn’t mean anything!” shouted Andrew. “Justin could have told you that.”

“Look. I have no idea what happened. I was normal last night…” I started to say.

“Ha. Now I know you’re lying!” interrupted Andrew.

“…I was normal when I went to bed last night. When I work up I was a girl. It’s impossible. It’s crazy. But here I am! How can this happen?” I asked.

“It can’t. That’s the whole point,” said Andrew as he rolled the car to a stop at a red light. “That’s why you need to cut the crap and tell me why you’re doing this.”

“Gah!” I cried. “This is impossible! Hey, let’s go get DJ.”

Andrew glanced over at me and said, “She’s smarter than either me or Justin. She’s not going to believe you either.”

“She has to,” I said. “She just has to. Let’s go find out.”

“Sure, why not, eh?” laughed Andrew. “The more the merrier, right? Want to get Carson or Dale in the car too?”

“DJ has to believe me. She just has to,” I said. “And I only trust you and DJ. Let’s go.”


*          *          *


“I don’t believe you,” said DJ from the back seat of Andrew’s car after we picked her up at her house.

“Look at me!” I said exasperated. “Who else could I be?”

With a smirk, DJ said, “There’s an uncanny resemblance. Boys just don’t turn into girls. At least not without a lot of painful surgery and time.”

I thought a moment and then to DJ I said, “I’ve known you before the first grade, haven’t I?”

DJ folded her arms, leaned back against the seat back and said, “I’ve known Justin that long. I’ve just met you.”

“Remember Garner? He sat in front of you and had that ridiculously long hair? Remember how you tied a strand of his hair to the desk’s chair back and when he tried to jump up for lunch, he jerked his head back, fell backwards pulling the desk on top of him and he broke his arm and you claimed his hair just got caught on the chair? I backed you up on that because I hated that little creep.”

Frowning, DJ said, “Justin could have told you that. Hmm. Let me ask you instead.” She paused in thought for a few moments. “Here’s one. What did that bitch Sarah from the third grade do in front of the whole school?”

“She de-pants Andrew once,” I said.

DJ looked quizzical and said, “She did?”

I nodded and said, “Yep. I think you were out sick that day.”

DJ frowned. “My luck. But that’s not what I’m talking about.”

I smiled and said, “Oh! You mean that time you were reciting a poem during an assembly and she ran on stage and kissed you. Right on the lips too. And then she ran like hell.” I chuckled and said, “I think she got a three day suspension.”

DJ smiled and said, “That she did. She didn’t even like me. She just wanted to embarrass me.” DJ studied me for a few moments. She said, “How in the name of God did you become a girl?”

I shrugged. “Hell if I know! I just woke up with tits and a pussy. Everything else was the same.”

DJ frowned and said, “Doesn’t make sense. I mean, we can forget magic. That’s all fantasy stuff.” She stared off into space with a blank look for several moments. Let’s retrace your steps after leaving the arcade. There has to be an explanation.”

As he made a U-turn in front of traffic Andrew said, “We can try that.”

“If we live that long,” I said as Andrew floored the accelerator.

As we traveled towards the arcade, to me DJ said, “Justin. How do you feel? Any different?”

“That’s the weird thing, DJ”, I said. “I feel ‘normal’. I don’t feel odd being a girl. My tits shifting are annoying though.”

DJ said, “You should have worn a bra.”

I frowned at her and said, “All my bras are in the laundry.”

A few minutes later, Andrew parked his car in one of the many empty spaces at the arcade. It was still early Sunday morning and the arcade was closed. We all got out of Andrew’s car and walked over where I last saw Andy and DJ.

I pointed at the ground where I was standing and said, “This is where I was when I last talked to you guys and left for home. I know I headed across the street to those buildings there, then down the alley to go through the warehouse district so no one would spot me violating curfew.”

DJ rolled her eyes and said, “You know that’s a stupid way to go, right? You don’t know what you’re going to run into down those alleys. You might run into a drug deal or get mugged or who knows what.”

I shrugged and said, “The only thing I’ve run into going that way were some bums once, shooting craps. They asked me if I wanted to join in. So no, nothing bad has ever happened going home that way.”

Andrew smirked and said, “Says the girl who was a boy before going that way.”

I raised my arms in frustration and said, “Okay! One time something bad happens.”

DJ said, “Well, let’s retrace your steps as best as you can remember them. Maybe we’ll see something that caused your…um…condition.”

We walked quickly across the lightly traveled street and turned down the alley which was still shrouded in shadow from the morning light. The alley was remarkable for its unremarkableness. There were the usual dumpsters and utility poles with only a small amount of trash cluttering things up. Windows facing the alley had long ago been bricked over or covered with bars and doors festooned with massive locks.

We snaked through a few more back alleys and delivery areas. We saw absolutely nothing that looked out of place.

Andrew said, “What the hell are we looking for anyway? A coven of witches? Space aliens? A group of mad scientists? We can’t look inside these warehouses. There could be a gender changing machine in one of these buildings and we’d never know it.”

DJ folded her arms and looked around at the backside of the group of buildings around us. She said, “I’m afraid you’re right. I have no idea what I thought we’d find. Something had to turn Justin into a girl.”

“I know it was dark and I was getting sleepy,” I said. “But this is the last place I remember being last night. I remember nothing beyond this point. Let’s go on a bit further before we turn around.”

Frowning, Andrew said, “Okay. But not much further. I think we’re on a fool’s errand. I mean, these are the last warehouses. Two shopping centers and a few blocks of residential and we’ll be at your front door.”

We walked another block down an alley when it opened up to a street with a lot of activity. There were police cars and fire trucks. An area was cordoned off with yellow tape. Inside the taped area was a truck laying on its side that had been carrying containers that were now spilled all over the street. The truck sported hazardous materials signs. The truck had struck a utility pole and some of the power lines were down.

DJ walked towards the yellow tape. She said, “Well well. This looks promising.”

A cop turned and shouted, “Miss! Don’t get any closer to that tape. That spill is lethal.”

I walked up to the cop and said, “I’m curious officer. What’s in that goop? Was anybody hurt?”

Looking like he was missing a doughnut, the cop said, “Um, it was mainly carrying containers with PCBs and other chemicals to that disposal facility over on Fifth and Walnut. The driver apparently lost control and knocked down that power line. The power line electrified that spill and made it instantly deadly.”

Looking at the truck on its side and people standing around in haz-mat suits, I continued asking, “Did anybody see the accident? Was anyone hurt?”

“It happened early this morning. We only know of the driver. We don’t know her name. She was carrying ID for someone else and we can’t contact him to find out who she was.”

Andrew said, “The driver is dead? Whose ID was she carrying?”

Frowning, the annoyed police officer said, “I can’t reveal that. Suffice to say that the ID was for a male and she’s definitely not male.”

Pointing to the spill, I said, “Could anyone survive being splashed with that stuff? What would have happened if I’d walked through that right after the accident?”

Giving me a funny look, the cop said, “Everything on that truck was toxic. And then being electrified to boot, if you walked into that Miss, you’d be dead too. Look, it’s not safe to be here. There’s nothing to see. Just a mess those guys have to clean up. I suggest staying clear of this area for a few weeks.” He then turned and walked away from us.

DJ said, “You know, PCBs are industrial estrogens.”

I said, “The cop said I’d be dead if I was in that crap.”

Andrew said, “But the dead driver is a woman, but was carrying a man’s ID. The driver changed too. But for some reason it didn’t kill you.”

DJ said, “I’ll be right back.” She then ran off towards the police cars and fire trucks. When I asked Andrew what she was up to, he just shrugged.

A few moments later she came running back. “I asked if there was a manifest of what was being transported. The haz-mat guys had the list and let me copy it. We should take this list to a chemist to see if there’s a way to change you back.”

“I’m afraid any further exposure to anything in that spill will just kill me,” I said looking worried.

DJ said, “Well, we have to try, don’t we? You don’t want to stay a girl, do you?”

I almost shouted, “Of course not!” Relaxing a little, I said, “But somehow I think being dead would be worse. But just by a little bit.”

DJ said, “I don’t have a problem with being a girl. But anyway, let’s get back to Andrew’s car. We need to try to figure out our next move.”

“Our move?” I said looking quizzically at DJ. “I’m the only one here with a sex change.”

“Yes, our move.” DJ said matter-of-factly. “We’re a team. We need a plan for you.”

As we walked in silence back to Andrew’s car, I was deeply annoyed by how normal I felt. Shouldn’t I feel totally weird? For all my life, Mr. Happy was just right there and now he’s gone but I didn’t feel vacant between my legs. I was freaked, but my body wasn’t and that was freaking me out even more. I can’t deny I’m a girl. I just don’t want to believe it…


*          *          *


DJ pointed a slender finger at me while we sat in a booth at Dairy Queen and said, “Just believe it, Justin. You’re a girl. After you showed me your new parts in the Girl’s restroom, there’s just no denying it.”

“But how?” I almost shouted. “That stuff should have killed me. It killed the driver of that truck.”

Andrew took a bite of his ice cream and said, “We don’t know what killed the driver. He turned into a girl too. Maybe he died from injuries from the crash or maybe he was in the goop longer than you. But I agree. It’s totally improbable that you switched genders.”

DJ tossed her long hair back over her shoulders and said, “But not impossible, apparently. At school tomorrow, I’ll show this list of leaked chemicals to Mr. Snowden. Maybe he’d have an idea.”

I rolled my eyes and said, “Oh yeah. ‘My friend Justin fell into these chemicals while being electrocuted and he turned into a girl. Do you know why?’”

DJ shrugged and said, “Maybe it can be reversed. We won’t know until we ask someone.”

I said, “I think that question is outside Mr. Snowden’s pay range!”

Andrew said, “Speaking of school…what are you going to do Justin?”

I furrowed my brow and said, “Call in sick forever. I can’t go to school as a girl!”

DJ shook her head and said, “I think you should go. If you don’t go, the school is going to call your parents and they’ll question you about it. You can’t stay away forever. I think you should just play it cool, go to school and act like everything is normal until we can get a handle on what to do about you.”

I said, “You don’t think anyone will notice a skinnier, more girlie version of me?”

Andrew said, “How many in school pay any attention to you anyway? I bet no one will notice.”

DJ said, “Don’t even tell your parents yet. They’ll just freak.”

Frowning I said, “You don’t think they’ll get curious when I start buying tampons?”

DJ said, “Maybe we’ll have an answer before you start having a period.”

I gritted my teeth and said, “Listen to us! All of this is insane! I don’t want to ever have a period. Period! It’s impossible for me to be a girl and it’s insane to believe we can do anything about it!”

Andrew looked around the Dairy Queen and said, “Chill, dude. Everyone’s looking at us. Look. No matter how crazy the idea, DJ, our resident expert on the state of being female has verified that you are, undeniably a girl. That’s the fact. We either figure out how to get you back, or you accept it.”

Scowling, I said, “Accept it? Even if I…” I made quotation marks in the air. “…accept it, what about my parents? And my aunts and uncles and everyone I know at school and all my school records and the list goes on and on. You just can’t say, ‘oops’.”

Taking a serious tone, DJ said, “Look Justin. For now, act like nothing is different. Just go to school as normal. Dodge anyone’s question about how you look. Most won’t notice anyway. I’ll ask Mr. Snowden about it and if he can recommend an expert. If you can be changed one direction, the process should be able to be reversed.”

Andrew looked doubtful as he said, “That’s not necessarily true, DJ.”

DJ said, “We have to try.” She picked up her purse and rummaged through it for a moment. Then to me she said, “Here. Take this tampon just in case.”


*          *          *


I stopped as I put my hand on the doorknob to enter my house. Andrew’s car drove off down the street. This was crazy. I’m going to have to lie to my parents when they ask if I’m okay. They’re bound to notice. I look like me, but not me.

Mom called from the kitchen, “Hey Justin! I was beginning to think you were going to miss dinner. Go wash up, okay?”

“Okay, Mom!” I called out without thinking. I forgot I have a girl’s voice now.

“That is you, isn’t it?” asked Mom from the kitchen.

I tried to lower my voice some and said, “Yeah, Mom. I think I have a cold.”

“Better take some Vitamin C,” said Mom.

I looked at my face as I washed my hands. I must be still evolving. I looked even more like a girl than I did when I woke up. My eyes seemed bigger and my lips seemed fuller. My cheekbones were a little more pronounced. My boobs were a bit larger.

Mom was setting some plates down on the table as I entered the small dining area. Mom said, “Go ahead and get started. Dad will be here in a minute. He’s trying to find a good stopping point working on that engine.” She paused a moment and gave me an odd look. Shook her head and went back into the kitchen.

As I was loading my plate, Dad came in from the garage and disappeared in the hall bathroom to clean up. A few minutes later he returned and sat at his usual spot opposite from me. He said, “Hey son. I missed you today. I thought you were going to help me with that engine today.” He paused a moment and looked at me and said, “Are you okay son? You’re looking kinda scrawny.”

I forced a smile and trying to lower my voice I said, “I’m fine Dad. I’ve been trying to lose weight and I think I might have a cold.”

Mom sat down and looked at me for a moment. She said, “I don’t think I’ve seen you move so…well, so gracefully, Justin.”

Dad said with a frown, “Yeah. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were a girl, son. Maybe you should back off on this diet thing. You don’t need to lose weight.”

I took a bite and said, “You’re probably right, Dad. I’m hoping this condition is only temporary.”

Dad turned his attention at his dinner as he said, “So, what were you up to today that was more important that working on your car?”

“Sorry, Dad,” I said after swallowing a mouthful. “I just totally forgot. Me, Andy and DJ were just hanging out around the arcade.”

As he scooped up some mashed potatoes, Dad said, “You be careful around there. That’s not a very good neighborhood.”

“Always am. It’s really not that bad around there,” I said.

Mom took a bite and said, “Did you hear about that terrible accident downtown? It’s a big chemical spill. It killed the driver. Nasty stuff!”

Dad looked over at Mom and said, “So they’re sure it was the chemicals that killed her?”

Mom nodded. “Yes. She didn’t sustain any injuries. The police still don’t know who she was. The trucking company says they don’t have any women drivers.”

Dad laughed and said, “Figures. When they get a woman driver, she has an accident.”

Mom frowned and said, “She’s dead, Bill. Show some respect.”

Dad just shook his head for a moment and then said to me, “Did you see anything while you downtown?”

I didn’t see any point in lying and someone might have seen us there. I said, “Yeah. There was goop everywhere and it didn’t smell very good.”

“It’s very strange though,” said Mom. “The driver was carrying the ID of a man that does work for the trucking company. She resembles him, but the man’s family has never seen her before. The man is missing.”

Dad said, “Maybe that woman is him.”

I choked on a piece of roast.

Dad looked at me and said, “Are you okay?” I nodded and Dad said, “You know. Maybe he was one of those tranny whatevers and was jerking off behind the wheel. That’s all those trannies do is jerk off.”

Mom frowned and said, “Bill, don’t talk that way in front your son. Anyway, she wasn’t a trans anything. She was definitely a woman, but dressed as a man. Isn’t that odd?”

Dad said, “Maybe the real driver had something else to do, if you know what I mean and she was pretending to be him. Who knows, right?”

Mom shrugged and said, “I guess so.”

I looked up from my plate. I had been trying to avoid eye contact with my parents. I said, “Is it okay if I go to my room now?”

Mom looked up and said, “You’ve hardly touched your dinner. Maybe you are getting sick.”

I waved her off and said, “Maybe. But I am full, Mom. Really.” And actually I was. There was no way I could eat my usual portions.

I went into my room and sat on my bed in the dark. I didn’t bother to turn on a light. I pulled my t-shirt up and forced myself to touch my breast. It was definitely real and definitely me. It was firm and the skin soft. I cupped it with my hand to feel its weight. I then slowly slid my finger around the nipple. The tingle I got surprised me. The nipple began to harden at my touch.

I started lightly rubbing both my nipples at the same time. Holy crap, the sensation was awesome! I couldn’t stop. My breasts began to ache and I was beside myself with pleasure. I found myself giggling. This felt totally amazing!

My nipples began to feel sore so I stopped. I touched the crotch of my pants. I thought, no, I shouldn’t even think that. I applied some more pressure to my pants and before I even knew what I was doing, I had unzipped my pants and pushed them to the floor. I felt the outside of my underwear until I found it. My slit. My…I couldn’t bring myself to say it. It was my…my…my vagina! Holy shit. I knew it was there from this morning but even seeing it seemed abstract. I have a vagina.

I started to slide my finger over the slit of my vagina and suddenly touched something that instantly sent a wild burst through me. Hidden under folds was…was…my clit. Rubbing gently around it and lightly across the tip drove me insane with pleasure! With my other hand I started rubbing a nipple while I stroked my clit.

I lay on my bed, groaning, sighing and getting short on breath. I had never experienced pleasure on this level before. When I climaxed, I almost screamed. And then I lay there for a few minutes, gasping for breath. I curled up on my bed and started crying. That was incredible! It was unbelievable. I thought that maybe being a girl wasn’t so bad after all…


*          *          *


“Justin!” called Mom from outside my door. “Did you forget to set your alarm? You’re going to be late for school!” Andrew should be here any minute to pick me up as the engine to my car was still in pieces on our garage floor.

I leapt out of bed, my boobs bouncing. I was in full panic mode as I glanced at the clock. “Oh my God! Thanks for waiting until the last minute!” My voice was all girl. How am I going to get through school without talking?

“Do you have someone in there with you?” demanded Mom through the door. “Sounds like you have a girl in there.”

Trying to lower my voice, I said, “I think I still have a cold.” I was so glad Mom hadn’t just barged in. I had fallen asleep totally naked.

I ran to the bathroom to see if anything besides my voice had gotten worse. I almost screamed when I looked in the mirror. My face! Oh my God, my face! It was still me. But I was…I was now pretty. My large blue eyes, small, turned up nose, high cheekbones, full, dare I say it, kissable lips. All my features were delicate. Even my ears looked delicate. No hint of facial hair. My neck seemed thinner and longer. Even my shoulders were narrower.

I stepped back from the mirror to get a more overall view. My tits were definitely larger, firm and rounded with large nipples. I had a dynamite figure. Narrow waist, wide hips…wider than I was used to anyway. Graceful arms ending in long, slender fingers.

I couldn’t see my feet in the mirror, but I had seen enough. There was no denying I was a girl now. This was a disaster of the highest magnitude!

I looked at the clock. If I was going to follow the plan and go to school, I needed to get dressed quickly. Maybe going to school wouldn’t be such a great idea. I grabbed a pair of underwear that now hopelessly didn’t fit. The jeans I slid into were way too big in the crotch and fitted on my hips. I pulled a black t-shirt over my head and left it un-tucked.

I checked myself in the bathroom mirror again. Besides needing to comb my hair, I could still see my tits prominently through my t-shirt! What am I going to do about that? I decided to call DJ. She’s a girl. She’ll know what to do.

“Hey DJ!” I said after she answered her phone.

Sounding confused, she said, “Who is this?”

Frowning into the phone, I said, “It’s your sweet transvestite from Transylvania! Who do you think?”

“Justin? Holy shit. You sound totally like a girl! Anything else change?” asked DJ. “But, hey we can talk later. I need to leave for school. So should you.”

“That’s just it!” I felt myself starting to cry. “My tits are showing through my t-shirt! I can’t go to school like this!”

“Hmmm. Hold on a sec…” said DJ. I could just picture her on the other side of the phone with her thinking expression and biting her thumb nail. “Okay, I have an idea. Get some cloth and wrap it tightly around your chest. That should bind your breasts.”

“I’m sure every girl just has reams of cloth just lying around their rooms,” I said sarcastically. “But I’m new at this. I don’t think I have any.”

DJ said, “I’m sure your mother does somewhere. But hey, you have those oversized pillows on your bed, right? Take the pillow case and wrap it around your chest. Do it tightly. If you don’t have any large safety pins, I know you have duct tape in your room.”

“Thanks, I’ll try that,” I said to DJ. “See you at school.”

After hanging up, I grabbed a pillow and shook it out of its case. I wrapped it around myself. I couldn’t believe how small my frame had become. I secured the pillow case with a few strips of duct tape and slid my t-shirt back over my head.

I checked the mirror again and ta-dah. DJ is a genius. I slipped into my now too big shoes and hurried downstairs.

I’d hoped to make it out the door before being seen by my parents. But no, Mom was right there at the bottom of the stairs. I tried to rush by and said, “I’m late, Mom. Gotta go!”

“Whoa! Just wait a second,” said Mom as she touched my shoulder. “What is going on with you? Your voice? You’ve shrunk or something.”

I shrugged as I looked back at Mom and said, “Like I said, I have a cold.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” scolded my mom. “I’ve had plenty of colds and …”

“And you sounded female every time, right?” I said as I bounded to the door. I looked out the door and Andrew was waiting in his car. “We’ll talk about me tonight. I promise!” Deep down I felt it was a mistake to not talk to Mom now and to try to get through a day of school. But I needed to plan my approach to telling my parents about my, um, condition. And who knows, maybe we’ll come up with a way to reverse this.

As I hopped into Andy’s car, he said, “Holy crap, dude! I think maybe we should change our minds about you going to school today. You’re a total, obvious chick!”

“Just drive,” I said as I closed the passenger door. “I need a strategy on how to tell my parents. I can’t just walk in and say, ‘Hey, Dad. Guess what’s new?’ Just like you and DJ, they’re not going to believe who I am at first. Nobody notices me at school anyway, so I’m hoping I can squeak by.”

Andy grimaced and said, “It’s your funeral, man…um, girl…chick…what the hell do I call you?”

“How about Justin for now, okay?” I said as we sped on to school.

Andrew drove into a parking spot at the school and killed the engine. “Last chance to bail, dude. You sure you want to do this?” asked Andy.

“I can’t call in sick forever,” I said. “I think it’ll be okay. I hope.” I looked over at Andy and he was staring at me. “You can stop looking at me, man.”

Looking sheepish, Andy said, “Sorry. It’s just. Well, it’s just that you’re kinda cute.”

I frowned and gave Andy a cold stare and said, “Remind me to kill you later.” We then both exited the car and headed off in different directions to our first classes.

As I walked across the campus to the school building, passing other students, with the exception of a couple of confused looks, no one seemed to take any notice of me. I began to relax and felt a bit more confident. My breasts felt uncomfortable compressed in their wrap, but at least they weren’t giving me away. I made it inside without incident and headed for my locker and first class.

After sliding my back pack under my desk and opening my notebook, I noticed the girl that sits across from me on my left looking at me funny. I glanced over at her, smiled, and then looked away and opened my text book.

The girl leaned over and said, “I thought you were a boy.”

A bolt of cold shot down my spine. I smiled weakly at her and said, “I am. But I have a cold.”

She dropped her questioning, but I continued to get some curious looks. To be honest, I didn’t think anyone ever noticed me in the first place. Thankfully, the rest of the class was uneventful. Between classes I was my usual invisible man. Just another face in the crowd. The next class, while I got a confused look or two and the teacher looked at me strange when I answered roll call, no one really seemed to notice. After all, if what you think you’re seeing is impossible, probably most choose to ignore it. I felt confident that after a few days of seeing me like this, it will become the new ‘norm’ for those that don’t really know me. Which is most of the school’s population.

But my next class was the one I dreaded the most. It was P.E. I hated this class anyway, as I never was all that interested in sports. We never really watched much of it at home. Dad was always more into motorsports than football. But for me in my current condition, the big problem is that there’s no privacy in the locker room where we have to change into P.E. shorts and a white t-shirt. I really had no desire to expose my pillow case enclosed breasts to a mob of teenage boys. There’s a restroom just off from the locker room. Although there’s no door on the stalls, I might be able to dodge in there fast enough. It was becoming obvious that this is one class I can’t bluster through.

As I walked into the gym’s locker room, Coach Bartlett was standing by the door and said, “Hey Short. You’re looking punier than you normally do.” All the boys in the locker room who were getting ready for the class turned to look at me.

“Sorry Coach,” I said, trying desperately to not sound like a girl. “I have a cold. In fact, I really don’t feel up for much of anything today. Can I sit this one out?” I had to step into the locker room as I was blocking the door and another boy pushed me to get inside.

Coach frowned and said, “I don’t know, Short. You’re always trying to weasel out of P.E. If there’s anyone that needs sports and exercise, it’s you. How did you manage to get so scrawny just over the weekend?”

I forced a weak smile and said, “Like I said, Coach. I’m sick. I don’t feel like me at all today.”

Coach Bartlett said, “Well, you do look weaker than normal.”

“Don’t be a pussy, Justin!” shouted one of the boys in P.E. who constantly taunts me.

“Phil,” said Coach Bartlett. “We’ve had talks about your bullying. I agree with you in this case, but you need to stop.”

I was growing uncomfortable standing there in the locker room. I said, “Coach, seriously, can I just…”

Another boy yelled out, “Maybe he is a pussy! I mean, just look at him!”

Laughing, Phil said, “Let’s find out!” Before I turn around, Phil came up from behind me and quickly jerked my pants down. My underwear came down with it, falling to my feet.

And there I stood, in all my vaginal glory.

The other boys’ eyes went wide, and mouths fell open. At first there was just a shocked silence. I could feel my face flushing. I was mortified and frightened. What was I going to do now? I had been exposed. I moved my hand to cover my vagina, but it was too late. Almost every boy in that room had seen me.

Coach Bartlett stood there vapor-locked for a few moments before he shouted, “Everyone! Out of the locker room! I mean now!” The boys filed out quickly, leaving only me and the coach in the room.

Coach averted his eyes and said, “Pull up your pants.”

As I pulled my underwear and pants back up, I said, “Coach, I…”

Coach Bartlett said, “What is the meaning of this? You’ve been pretending to be a boy all this time? This is outrageous! You’ve seen some of these boys naked. I can’t imagine anyone doing such a thing!”

“I wasn’t pretending to be a boy!” I shouted.

Looking furious, Coach Bartlett said, “Oh? You just woke up this morning with a pussy?”

I looked to the floor and said, “No. Actually it was yesterday morning…”

“Come with me, miss,” said the coach, his voice tense. “We’re going to the office. I’ll let them sort this out.”

“If you had just let me sit this day out…” I said.

“Quiet!” snarled Coach Bartlett.

We exited the locker room. All the boys were standing in the gym in a group talking among themselves. All eyes were glued to me as Coach and I walked past to exit the gym. I had never been more humiliated in my life.

Just as we hit the exit door, Phil shouted, “Can I take you to the prom?” Everyone, including Coach Bartlett laughed. Everyone but me, that is.

We walked in silence down the mostly empty halls to the office. I was crying. I couldn’t help it. Discovery was probably inevitable, but I really did think that if I could have just made it through the day, the rest of the week or month or whatever would have been easy. Well, easier maybe. I’m sure my mom would have fussed enough to get me exempted from P.E. and some other activity substituted, even without knowing my new condition.

No. I was just fooling myself. I let Andy and DJ talk me into being stupid. There was just no way to hide this forever. I knew I should have told my parents. But I was afraid. Afraid of how they’d act. Afraid of being called a freak by everyone. And now it was happening anyway.

We entered the office and Coach said to the office worker, “We need to see Mr. Woodcock and I mean right now.” Mr. Woodcock was our principal. Everyone in the school laughed when they heard his name.

The office worker said, “He’s in a parent meeting at the moment, sir. It’ll probably be another ten or fifteen minutes.”

Coach leaned across the counter and in a gruff voice said, “Now! This is an emergency.” Looking a bit frightened by his outburst, the office worker picked up the phone and apparently called Mr. Woodcock.

I stood by the door and thought briefly about just running. Was I facing arrest? Expulsion? My face plastered all over cable news? A viral YouTube video? Running would just delay things. I just stood there with my hands folded in front of me.

Mr. Woodcock’s office door opened and a woman started to exit with Mr. Woodcock standing by the doorway. The woman said, “Thank you for your time, Mr. Woodcock.”

Mr. Woodcock smiled, which is something he really shouldn’t do, and said, “You’re very welcome, Ms. Miller. Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention.”

After the woman left the office, Mr. Woodcock motioned for us to enter his private office. “Coach. Mr. Short I have to say I’m surprised to see you in my office again. What’s so important?”

We both sat down in front of the principal’s desk. Coach Bartlett said, “Mr. Woodcock, we have a very serious issue here. It seems Mr. Short has been attending this school under false pretenses.”

Looking very serious, Mr. Woodcock said, “What do you mean? While Mr. Short has had to visit me a few times, he’s largely a good student.” I smiled weakly at Mr. Woodcock.

Coach leaned in towards Mr. Woodcock’s desk, let out deep sigh and said, “I don’t know if you’ll need to bring in the police or if the school nurse would be enough to verify, but he’s not Mr. Short. She is a Miss Short.”

“What are you talking about, Coach?” asked Mr. Woodcock. “Have you been drinking on the job again?”

“No sir!” said Coach Bartlett, sitting up straight. “There was some, um, horseplay in the locker room this morning and she was…well, exposed.”

Frowning, Mr. Woodcock looked from the coach to me and said, “I don’t have time for games, Coach Bartlett. Just what are you talking about?”

Coach Bartlett pointed at me with both hands and said, “Short is not a boy, sir! He’s…um, she’s, um…a girl! He has no dick!”

Leaning forward with an even bigger frown, Mr. Woodcock said, “Are you in the habit of looking at your student’s private parts Mr. Bartlett? There have been some complaints…”

“He has a pussy!” blurted Coach Bartlett. “I don’t know of any delicate way to say it. That’s not a boy!”

Mr. Woodcock looked over at me and I just nodded towards the coach and made a gesture that looked like I was taking a drink. Mr. Woodcock raises his eyebrow at me and looked back at Coach Bartlett.

“Coach, this is a very serious charge you’re making,” said Mr. Woodcock.

“I’m not making this up!” exclaimed Coach Bartlett. “I have twenty witnesses in the gym right now. We can solve this by just taking his pants off!”

“Mr. Bartlett! Are you insane?” shouted Mr. Woodcock. “I’m not going to invite being fired, sued and arrested by stripping the pants off a student!”

Pleading with his eyes, Coach Bartlett said, “Please, Mr. Woodcock. At least interview the boys who witnessed Mr. Short being exposed. I’m not crazy. I know what I saw.”

Nodding, Mr. Woodcock said, “Okay, bring them in. I’m going to call your parents too, Mr. Short. They should know if you’re a boy or a girl, I would think. I want you to wait in the nurse’s office while I do these interviews. I want to get to the bottom of this.”

“Yes sir,” is all I said as I left Mr. Woodcock’s office. I was actually happy they’re going to call Mom. I mean, it won’t matter what those assholes from P.E. class say when my Mom tells them she’d have noticed if I was a girl or not back when she changed my diapers as a baby.

The nurse looked up from the paperwork she was doing at her desk as I walked in. “May I help you, miss?”

I let her mistake slide as I said, “Mr. Woodcock asked me to wait in your office.”

“That’s fine, sweetie. Are you feeling ill?” asked the nurse.

“I am just not myself today,” I said

“Have a seat. Let me know if you need anything, okay?” said the nurse as she turned back to her work.

I sat down and started to shake. I was scared, nervous and quite frankly I started to feel nauseous and cramping up. With the sudden high stress levels this morning I’m surprised I haven’t passed out. I had a sudden pain and closed my eyes.

I heard the nurse get up and she said, “Oh, honey. Did you not feel this coming? You didn’t use a tampon or pad this morning?”

I felt warmness soaking my pants. I opened my eyes and almost fainted at the sight of the blood. How could this be happening? I know what a period is, but my God, I’ve only been a girl for less than two days. I kept cramping. Was this normal?

The nurse opened a door revealing a restroom. She said, “You can clean up in here. Here’s a bag to put your soiled clothes into. There’s a towel in there you can wrap yourself with until your parents can bring you some clean panties and jeans.” She shut the door after I went inside.

Oh my God, this was such a disaster. There’s no hiding this now.

Slightly muffled through the door, the nurse said, “What’s your name, sweetie so I can call your mom?”

I started to cry. This day was becoming a total suck fest. I said, “Justin Short.”

“Okay Justine. Hopefully your parents can get here quickly,” said the nurse.

Through the door, I heard the nurse say, “Mr. Woodcock? I’m going to have to call the parents of that girl you sent to my office. She needs a change of clothes. … Apparently her period took her by surprise. It happens. … Yes, I’m calling them in just a minute.”

I am so fucking dead…


*          *          *


The restroom door opened and my mother stood there looking at me, holding clean underwear and pants. She looked at me like she’d never seen me before. I was sitting on a stool with only my t-shirt on and the towel wrapped around my bottom.

“Justin? What is going on with you?” asked Mom as she stepped into the restroom and closed the door.

“Hi Mom,” I said trying to force a smile on my tear streaked face. “I’ve had a really bad day.”

“I can imagine, son,” said Mom. “The nurse informed me that you had an unexpectedly heavy period and you weren’t prepared for it. On the phone, I was asked to bring you a pad. A period? Really Justin? And your principal wants to see us after you get dressed.”

“Things have gotten complicated since yesterday morning,” I said. “I was hoping to not have to say anything until I had a good explanation. I don’t. Mom, you know that dead truck driver who is some mysterious female? I can tell you who that driver was.”

Mom handed me the underwear and jeans. I just set them on my lap.

“Oh? How and what has that anything to do with these strange things I’m hearing?” asked Mom.

“I know because the same thing happened to me, only I didn’t die for some reason,” I said, tears welling up yet again. “That driver is the same person on their license. He was changed into a woman by the chemicals he was exposed to. I know that sounds crazy, but I’m going to show you something. Try not to faint, okay?”

I took my t-shirt off, exposing the pillow case around my chest. I stood up and let the towel fall to the floor as I pulled the pillow case off. There I stood naked before my mother, with my vagina and perky, firm, rounded breasts and slender, graceful frame.

Looking horrified, Mom said, “Is this a joke? Tell Justin this isn’t funny! How did you get the nurse to go along with this?”

Tears streaming down my cheeks, I said, “It’s no joke! I’m a girl, Mom! I can’t explain it. I somehow got into those chemicals from the truck spill and it changed me.”

Mom sat down on the stool I just vacated and just stared at me. She said, “That’s not possible. Boys just don’t turn into girls over night! You’re lying to me.”

“How do you explain the truck driver? A woman with a man’s id and men’s clothes on?” I said as I started putting my t-shirt back on and slipping on my underwear. “Impossible or not, it happened.”

“Look Miss, I don’t know who you are, but you need to start telling me the truth,” demanded my mom.

“Look at me, Mom!” I pleaded. “Just look deep into my face. It’s still me. Just a girl version of me. Look at my knee! That scar from where I fell on that board with the nail and we had to go to the hospital. It’s still there! It’s me, Mom. I know it’s crazy, but it’s me!”

Mom looked at my knee. She ran her fingers over the scar. She then stood and looked at my face very closely. Her eyes went wide. She said, “Oh my God, Justin! It is you. This is insane!” She sat back down quickly, breathing hard.

I bent down and hugged my mom. I said, “Oh, Mom! I’m so scared! I don’t want to be a girl!”

Before Mom could say anything else, there was a knock on the door. “Open up, please! It’s me, DJ.”

I pulled the towel around me and said, “Mom. Quick, let her in.”

As Mom reached for the door, she said, “Is DJ in on this too? When were you going to tell me?”

DJ slipped in and quickly shut the door behind her. She surprised Mom with a big hug.

“Mrs. Short, I’m so sorry,” said DJ as she continued to hug my mother. “Keeping it a secret was my idea. I thought we might find a way to change Justin back, but I think it’s hopeless.”

“What do you mean?” said Mom and I at the same time.

Sounding short of breath and trying to speak quickly, DJ said, “Justin. I just talked with Mr. Snowden the Science teacher, a few minutes ago. He used to be a chemical engineer. I gave him that list of chemicals that were in that spill. He said anyone exposed, physical contact, to that cocktail of toxic waste they would be dead in an unpleasant way. I asked if it could trigger a change of gender. He said while some animals can switch genders, these chemicals would just cause death.”

Holding the towel tightly around me I said, “That’s just one guy’s opinion. He could be wrong.”

DJ said, “He knows his stuff, Justin. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Molecular Biology. He’s only teaching because he got bored after he retired.”

I started crying again as I wailed, “Well fucking shit! I don’t want to be stuck as a girl!”

“Justin!” said Mom sternly. “Watch your language. There are ladies present.”

Yelling angrily, I shouted, “Yes! Including me! Mother, if there was ever a reason to shout obscenities, this would be one of them!”

Mom folded her arms and said, “Well, you got me there.”

DJ said, “Word is getting around school that you’re a girl, Justin. The principal is going to want to know why you show up today as a girl. We need a game plan and quickly.”

“Yes, your first game plan worked out so well,” I said, trying to keep my towel wrapped around me. “Fuck that. I say we just tell them the truth. I’m a victim of a bizarre accident.”

DJ shook her head vigorously. She said, “No! That’s a very bad idea!”

Frowning, I said, “Why? We tell the truth, we don’t have to hide anything and maybe they’ll let me leave early today.”

Mom nodded and said, “The truth shall set you free.”

“No!” DJ almost shouted. “No, no no! Don’t you understand? Even if they believe that, which I doubt, you’ll become a freak! Scientists will want to poke and probe you for the rest of your life! You’ll be splashed all over cable news and the internet. They’ll turn you into a meme. Late night TV will make you into a joke. You’ll have no chance of ever having a normal life!”

Frowning even more, I let the towel I’d been clutching fall to the bathroom floor. Pointing, I said, “See these tits? This pussy? I have no chance of a normal life now!”

DJ suddenly looked very serious. She said, “But you do have a chance now or a normal life as a girl. It may not be what you expected your life to be. It’s not the life your father and mother wanted for you. But it’s the life you have now. Go out there and tell them you’re an accident victim and you’ll be a freak and a science project forever, no privacy or even a real future. But go out there, tell them you’re sorry you lied about being a boy, and take whatever brief trouble you may face. And then you’ll be able to just live your life.”

“As a fucking girl!” I snapped.

DJ’s eyes went suddenly wild and she shouted, “Yes, as a fucking girl! You’re a girl forever so just fucking deal with it! Or turn your life into a fucking zoo; a sideshow. Maybe they’ll put you in the circus, right next to the dog-faced boy!”

We glared at each other, both of us breathing hard.

Mom quietly said, “She’s right. DJ’s right.”

My muscles relaxed as I said, “What are you saying, Mom?”

“I’m saying I’d rather have a normal daughter than some scientific oddity,” said Mom, tears welling up in her eyes.

There was a knock on the door and Mr. Woodcock said, “Are you ladies done in there? We need to talk.”

“Get dressed, Justin,” said Mom. “We have to face the music. And it doesn’t end with this. We may not have to do it all at once, but there’s mountain of document changes we’re going to have to make. You’re going to need new clothes…and oh my God…all that girlie crap that I so thankful for not having to buy because you were a boy. Bras, panties, clips and ties for your hair, nail polish, make-up, tampons, shoes… The list just goes on and on!”

As I pulled up my jeans, I said, “I’m not wearing any of that, Mom.”

DJ said, “I recommend you do. Right now everyone who knows you, knows you as a boy. You need to get accepted by the other girls in school quickly. They’re not going to trust you right away and really neither are the boys. Andy and I won’t be here to help you next year.”

Mom said, “I agree with DJ. And put your shirt on. It’s still bothering me to see my son’s naked breasts in front of me.”

We filed out of the bathroom, DJ leading and me bringing up the rear. I was surprised to see Andrew standing in the office. The pit of my stomach was all knotted up. I wondered what cosmic law I violated to have all this shit happen to me. I have no desire to spend the rest of my life as a female. All my life I was preparing to live my life as a man. I’d always helped my dad work on his and then my car. I helped Dad with the heavy lifting that needed to be done. Not to say I didn’t help Mom with things, but the focus was definitely different than say, how DJ had spent her life preparing to be a woman. Experiencing that period shouted out to me that I was able to become pregnant. Pregnant! I almost passed out at the thought.

As we approached the stoned faced Mr. Woodcock and Coach Bartlett, I glanced at DJ with whole new eyes. While she definitely wasn’t what you’d call a girlie girl, she was wearing make-up, earrings, a necklace with a dainty gold chain, nail polish, several rings, and she wore her hair in an attractive, feminine way that flowed about her shoulders and down her back. I’d be willing to bet she’d never once smelled her shirt to see if it was okay to wear again.

“Come into my office, please. I need some explanations but we don’t need a zoo,” said Mr. Woodcock pointing at the open door to his office.

Andy whispered in my ear as I passed him, “I really wished you’d let me take you home Saturday night, bro.”

I gave him a weak smile and said, “Not your fault, man.”

Someone in the hall, looking through the office area’s windows shouted, “Oh my God! He really is a girl!”

“Look at those tits!”

“Oh my God, he asked me out once! I’m glad I said no.”

“But I’ve seen him pee standing up!”

“Who knew he was a shemale?”

“Did he get a sex change?”

Then the office door mercifully closed and all the comments became muffled. I was even more mortified if that was even possible. I started crying again. DJ was right. I was becoming a freak.

Mr. Woodcock picked up his phone and punched a button. He said, “Ms. Taylor? Please tell those students in the hall to return to class. Anyone who doesn’t leave immediately gets detention.”

Looking really pissed at everybody, Mr. Woodcock folded his arms in leaned back in his chair and just scowled for a few seconds. Finally he said, “Can someone one explain to me why Mr. Short, or should I say Miss Short has been masquerading around all this time as a boy? There’s no denying what Coach Bartlett and his whole second period P.E. class saw. And the nurse confirmed it. As far as I know, boys don’t have menstrual cycles. Anyone care to explain this?”

“I have a cold,” I said lamely. DJ punched my arm.

Mr. Woodcock’s face went beet red as he stood up and leaned on his knuckles on his desktop. “Do you think this is a joke Miss Short? I checked back through your school records and you have been lying since Kindergarten! Forget suspension, Miss Short. This can get you expelled! And maybe jail.”

Thinking quickly, I blurted, “Yes! It’s true. We lied. My dad hated not having a boy. I never got to grow up as a girl and have dolls and little dresses. My dad insisted I dress as a boy and that’s how he treated me. Mom went along with it because she didn’t want to have to buy all that girlie shit like bows and ribbons. There! I said it. I feel so much lighter now.” I started crying. The tears were true at least.

Scowling, Mom whispered in my ear, “Thanks a lot! I had a safer story.”

Looking shocked, Mr. Woodcock said, “My God. I’ll have to involve Child Protective Services. This is clearly abuse!”

“No, no!” I shouted. “Mom and Dad aren’t evil. Just…misguided. I love them and I’m sure they had my best interest at heart. I mean, what’s in it for a girl at school? To be some boy’s prom date or a cheerleader? I’m sure Dad thought he was giving me an advantage.”

DJ pinched me and whispered angrily in my ear, “Dipshit. There’s more to being a girl than that!”

Mom said, “We meant no harm really. It was one of those things that start off small and just get out of hand.” Mom leaned to whisper to me and said, “I hope your father and I don’t get arrested.”

Mr. Woodcock sat heavily back into his chair and rubbed his head. He looked at all of us standing in his office for over a minute in silence. He pulled an aspirin bottle out of his desk drawer, shook about four pills into his hand then tossed them into his mouth and swallowed them with a slug from a water bottle on his desk.

Leaning forward on his desk, clasping his hands tightly, Mr. Woodcock looked sternly at Mom and me. He said, “I’m at a complete loss here. There’s no precedent for me to fall back on. To be honest Miss Short, I think your story is bullshit. But I don’t think I’m ever going to really know what is going on here. We’re going to change your records to say ‘female’.”

Looking at Mom, Mr. Woodcock said, “And you should probably get a lawyer and do whatever you need to do to get your daughter’s school records changed to reflect her true gender. I don’t know how you pulled this ruse off for so long. I really think this is criminal. But I don’t want my school being investigated, showing up on national news, the whole student body turned upside down and quite frankly becoming a zoo. But I swear, if she comes back to school wearing anything outside the girl’s dress code, I will bring this up to the proper authorities.”

Turning to me, Mr. Woodcock said, “No more lies, young lady. I believe you have shortchanged yourself by pretending to be a boy. What were you thinking? If you feel you have gender identity issues, we have counseling available for that. If you truly feel that you should be a boy, then get documentation from a certified therapist and we’ll work with that. But for now, because of the size of your lying, I’m suspending you for the rest of the week. Come back Monday as a girl. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a dress. I know it won’t be easy facing your friends. Let me know if anyone bullies or harasses you and they will be dealt with.”

Turning back to my mom, Mr. Woodcock said, “Take your daughter home, Mrs. Short.” He pulled some cards from his desk and pushed them across the desk top towards Mom. “These are cards for the therapists used by the schools. I strongly recommend getting your daughter in to see one.”

He then looked at DJ and said, “Miss Carter, why exactly are you in my office?”

“I’m a friend of Justin’s,” said DJ as matter of fact.

“You knew that Miss Short was a girl all this time?” asked Mr. Woodcock.

“In all honesty Mr. Woodcock, until Sunday, I only knew Justin as a boy,” DJ said in all honesty.

“How do you feel about this, since apparently she has lied to you as well,” asked Mr. Woodcock.

“Justin and I have been friends since before he started the first grade,” said DJ. “He’s always been a friend. And now, I really just want to help him embrace being a girl. I’d rather we become girlfriends than no friends.”

I touched her hand and smiled at DJ weakly.

Mr. Woodcock said, “Very touching, Miss Carter. But I can’t help but feel that you’re more deeply involved in this conspiracy than you’re letting on but I can’t really prove anything. But the fact that you’re here implies more involvement. One day suspension for you. Now please. All of you leave my office before my head explodes.”


*          *          *


“I’ll just get a sex change back to being a boy,” I said excitedly. “I’ll just convince a therapist that I have a gender identity crisis. And boy, do I ever.”

DJ said, “I don’t think you can get one until you’re eighteen. It’s not like you’ll ever ejaculate again. And besides, I think you should give being a girl a chance. You might actually like it.”

“Fat chance,” I said. “I don’t like anything so far about being a girl. I don’t want to date guys, I don’t want to get pregnant, I don’t want to have a period. I don’t want to wear make-up. I don’t want to wear dresses. And I’m just getting started.”

DJ said, “Well, give it some time anyway. You might change your mind. You’ve been a girl less than two full days and I can already see how your brain is becoming female. The way you talk and walk. The way you hold yourself. I’ve seen a huge change just since yesterday.”

Mom said, “I see it to, Justin. When I look at you, I just see a girl.”

“I really don’t see me changing my mind anytime soon,” I said.

Mom said, “I just want to know how we explain this to your father. There’s no way anyone can be prepared mentally for this.”

Nodding, I said, “Yeah. I’m really dreading that.”

As if on cue, Dad opens the front door and enters the house. As he looked around at the three of us assembled in the living room, he said, “I got your call about Justin being suspended. I got away from work as quickly as I could. What’s going on?” He nods at DJ.

Mom wouldn’t look at Dad. She said, “Justin has a huge problem. A life changing problem.”

Dad sits on the couch next to me and studies me closely with a frown on his face. He said, “What’s up sport? Are you still sick? You look…different.”

DJ said, “Mr. Short. It’s like this…”

Interrupting, I said, “DJ, I’ll handle this. Dad, it’s like this…”

Dad interrupted, “You’re not Justin! Is this some kind of joke? It’s not funny as it was a really bad time to leave work.”

I said, “Dad, listen. You’re not going to like this. This will not be over quickly and you won’t enjoy it. You know that mysterious dead truck driver that was dressed as a man and carried a man’s id, but was a woman? Well to cut to the chase, I apparently got into that same goop. I didn’t die, but…but…” I couldn’t say it. I was at a loss for words. I closed my eyes and just pulled my t-shirt over my head. I could already feel the tears start to flow.

Dad stood up and shouted, “What is this? Who are you girl? Did Justin put you up to this? Is this his idea of a joke?”

Mom said, “Honey, this is Justin…”

DJ said, “Mr. Short. This is no joke. I’m sure Justin wishes it were. That’s Justin.”

Dad’s face grew into a dark red. He was so upset he wasn’t breathing. He bellowed, “Justin doesn’t have tits! Do you really expect me to believe he just turned into a girl? That’s bullshit and you know it!”

“Dad!” I cried. “It’s me! Honest to God! The same thing happened to me that happened to that truck driver, only I didn’t die. I…I…I’m a girl now.”

Dad pointed a finger at me and shouted, “Bullshit! Human beings don’t just change sex! Who are you really?”

DJ said, “Mr. Short…”

Dad shoved a finger at DJ and said angrily, “Not another word from you.”

In a quiet voice, Mom said, “This is no joke. That is our son Justin. As fantastic as it sounds, that’s him.”

Dad just stared at me, studying my face. Finally he said, “Justin? How is this even possible…?” His voice trailed away. And tears started to form in his eyes.

Tears running down my cheeks, I said in a soft voice, “I’m sorry Dad. I know I should have told you guys sooner, but I panicked.”

DJ said, “You have nothing to be sorry about. It’s not your fault at all. You’re a victim.”

Dad stood up, his jaw set. He said, “Put your shirt back on, Justin. I’m not taking this sitting down. Come on, we’re going to the doctor’s office.”

Looking puzzled, I said, “Why? It’s not like I’ve got a cold or something.”

Dad started walking towards the door, taking my hand and leading me. He said, “There has to be some scientific reason for this. There has to be a way to reverse it.”

DJ said, “I don’t think there is a way, Mr. Short.”

Dad turned and snapped at DJ, “Oh? And you got your medical degree from where? Let’s go.”

I said, “I don’t want to wind up next to the dog-faced boy!”

We climbed into Mom’s car as Dad’s truck wasn’t big enough. I don’t think he really wanted DJ to go too, but he didn’t protest when she got in the car. With a chirp of tires, we were on our way.

Minutes later we arrived at the hospital’s emergency room entrance. We all get out of the car and Dad once again takes my hand and leads me to the entrance to the Emergency Room. Dad slams the ER door open and storms up to the triage desk.

“We need to see the doctor, right now!” said Dad as he started to raise his voice.

The nurse, looking alarmed said, “No need to raise your voice, sir. What is the nature of your emergency?”

Dad pointed at me and said, “Not me. Him.”

The nurse looked at me and wrinkled her brow. She said, “What is her emergency?” Members of the ER staff were starting to look over at us.

Looking frustrated, Dad said, “Well, just look! He’s a girl.”

The nurse, wearing a why-on-my-shift expression said, “Your daughter?”

Dad frowned and said, “My son.”

The nurse said, “I see.” She turns to face me and said, “What’s your name, sugar?”

Until now I didn’t believe I could possibly feel more embarrassed today, I said, “Justin. Justin Short.”

The nurse started to write down my name and said aloud, “Justine…”

Dad said, “Justin. Not Justine. Justin.”

Pointing with her pen, the nurse said, “Would all of you mind taking a seat in our waiting area? Someone will see you shortly.”

Taking a deep breath and sighing, Dad said, “Okay. Let’s go sit down and wait. I’m glad none of us are bleeding.”

We all just sat there in silence, staring at nothing. People stared at us. I was so embarrassed I didn’t know what to do. I just wanted to leave. After about a twenty minute wait, a man, who was at least dressed as a doctor approached us. My guess is they were hoping we’d just leave, but then gave up on that idea since we just continued to sit there.

The man walked up to our group and looked around at all our faces. He said, “Good afternoon. I am Dr. Carrasco. From what the triage nurse was telling me, you think the emergency room is a place for jokes? I’m about to have security escort you all out the door.”

Dad stood up and Dr. Carrasco took a step back. Dad said, “No. Please. Examine our son and see if there’s any way to reverse his condition! He was a boy until Sunday morning.”

Dr. Carrasco just stood there, staring at Dad and me with total disbelief written on his face. He said, “Okay. I think it’s time to call security.”

Dad said, “Just check him…um, her out. I gotta know if this is real or not.”

Dr. Carrasco looked over at me and said, “Okay. I’ll bite. You know your insurance won’t cover this visit to the ER, right? Come back to one of the examination rooms, Miss. We’ll have a look at you.”

Wanting to just run away, I followed the doctor back into the heart of the ER. He took me to one of the little exam rooms and pulled the curtain and called a nurse in.

“This sounds kinda silly, doesn’t it?” I asked nervously.

Dr. Carrasco said, “Please remove your clothes and put on the gown that’s on the bed there. I have some other patients to attend to. The nurse will help you if needed.” He nodded to the nurse and went back into the corridor.

I took off my clothes down to my underwear. The nurse said, “The underwear too, honey. If it makes you more comfortable, put the gown on first. Thank you. I’ll put your clothes right over here.” She folded my clothes and put them on the counter. The nurse then said, “Up on the table.”

I have to say, it was cold in the ER. Not just because of the stupid, backless gown I was wearing. I just lay there on the bed freezing.

The nurse said, “Would you like a warm blanket?”

I said, “Sure!”

The nurse leaves for a moment and then returns with a blanket that felt like it’d been in an oven. It felt wonderful. Thirty seconds later, Dr. Carrasco comes back and pulls off the blanket. He sticks a cold stethoscope on my chest and back, telling me to breathe. He felt my breasts under the watchful eye of the nurse. I’m not sure if that was an actual medical procedure or he just wanted to cop a feel. He then stuck some metal stirrup looking things into the end of the bed and told me to put my feet in them and to expect something cold.

He wasn’t kidding. I then felt his gloved fingers sliding up inside my vagina. More poking, prodding and looking.

Dr. Carrasco said, “Okay. Put your clothes back on. I’m calling your family back to this consultation room around the corner. The nurse will help you there after you’re dressed.” He then left the room.

The nurse left and returned with a yellow sheet of paper. After I got dressed, she led me around the corner to the consultation room. A few minutes later, Mom, Dad and DJ were brought there and the door was closed. We all just sat down, not sure of what to do.

A few moments later, Dr. Carrasco enters the room. He looks at all of us and then said, “I just finished with a thorough examination of ‘Justin’. My time is very valuable, Mr. Short. I don’t like jokes here in the ED. Lives are literally at stake here. Mr. Short, I honestly don’t know if I’m being punked or what, but you have a normal, healthy teen age daughter. There’s nothing to revert her to. I know some fathers just can’t get over the fact they have a daughter instead of a son. Here is your discharge paper and you’ll be receiving my bill for this exam soon. Please go. Don’t make me call security.” He quickly spins on his heel and leaves.

Dad calls out, “Doctor! Wait! You’re wrong!”

Mom touches Dad’s shoulder and said, “Don’t. Just face the fact that our son is now our beautiful daughter.”


*          *          *


No one said a word on the drive back home. Even after we got home, nobody said anything. It was just kinda weird. Finally, after looking around the room, I said, “Okay, now what?”

Mom said, “We need to get you some clothes. And proper underwear. You need a couple of bras and panties. Tampons and pads. We need to see what’s involved in getting your name and gender changed on legal documents. That’ll be fun.”

“Mrs. Short,” said DJ. “We’re close to the same size. She can borrow some of my clothes. There are some clothes I can just let her have.”

Mom smiled at DJ and said, “Thank you hon. She’s lucky to have a good friend like you.”

Dad continued to just sit there, looking shell-shocked.

Mom looked over at me and said, “What are we going to call you, dear? You can’t be Justin any longer.”

I shrugged and said, “Why not just stay with Justin? I plan to get a sex change.”

Mom said, “You just got a sex change. In fact, a better one than you could have paid for.”

“No, no,” I said. “Back to being a boy.”

DJ said, “You can’t do that right away. And you don’t have the money. For now, why don’t we just call you Justine?”

Frowning, I said, “Let’s not. Calling me Justine is the final nail in my maleness’ coffin.”

DJ frowned back and said, “Look, even your dad has pretty much accepted you being a girl. I think you’re the last holdout.”

“Because it’s me we’re talking about!” I almost shouted. “It’s not academic! This is my life we’re talking about!”

Mom touched my arm and said, “Give it a rest, Justine. Just give it a rest.”


*          *          *


“What’s the point, DJ?” I ask. “I don’t want to wear any of that crap. Even if I accept being a girl, I still don’t want to wear that.”

DJ set the bottle of foundation down in frustration. She said, “Since you slept to noon today, your mother and I went to the trouble to go shopping this morning for you to get you things she felt you would need. She took me along as a teen advisor to get the right make-up. Just try it. I’m not going to make you look ridiculous.”

Fuming, I said, “I already look ridiculous.” Pointing at all the items lying on the bathroom counter, I continued, “Just look at all this! Who has time for that? And I’ll just look stupid.”

DJ grabbed my chin and pulled my head so that I was looking straight at her. She said, “Do I look stupid or ridiculous? This is about all the make-up I’m going to put on you. The eye-liner is going to be the hardest part. And you know what Justine? You don’t look ridiculous at all. In fact, you’re cute. And make-up will just enhance that. Please let me help you with this. It’ll help us bond as girlfriends.”

I laughed. I said, “Now that’s funny. Before Christmas, I suggested that you should be my girlfriend and you laughed at me.”

Looking tired, DJ said, “It’s not the same thing. We being girlfriends now is more like when you and Andrew were boyfriends.”

I almost shouted, “Andy is not my boyfriend! Guys don’t talk like that!”

“Whatever!” said DJ in frustration. “You know what I mean! Now, pay attention to what I’m doing. I won’t be here to help you tomorrow. Let’s moisturize.”

I surrendered and let DJ give me a lesson in applying make-up. In all honesty, I have no idea how girls stand to wear this every day. But when she was done, I do have to admit the results were amazing.

Looking into the mirror, I said, “That’s me?” Staring back at me was a cute, not gorgeous or jaw dropping, but a cute teen girl. DJ put her cheek against mine so I could see her face and mine at the same time. Since becoming a girl, this was the first real time I’d looked really closely at myself in the mirror.

DJ grinned and said, “That’s you, Justine! Look at that smile. I said you wouldn’t look silly. You’re a very pretty girl.”

“Okay, I admit that I like how I look,” I said. “But that still doesn’t mean I want to be a girl.”

DJ smiled and said, “One step at a time! The next thing we’re doing today is to get your hair fixed. Trust me, you need it.”

Rolling my eyes, I said, “Now look. I have to draw the line somewhere. I’m not going to a beauty salon.”

DJ put her hands on her hips and said, “It won’t take all that long because your hair isn’t very long. You need your split ends cut and have your hair cut so it grows out properly. And your mom says you have to.”

“Okay, okay,” I said surrendering. “Apparently you and Mom are colluding to make me a girl.”

“Well, I really think your period pretty much settled that question,” said DJ.


*          *          *


“Oh! Just look at you!” said Mom with a big grin. “You’re as cute as a button!”

I sat on the couch, embarrassed as hell as Mom and DJ circled me after returning from the beauty salon. I’ll never admit it, but the trip to the salon wasn’t as awful as I had anticipated. I know I didn’t get the full treatment as they just washed and trimmed my hair and that was about it. But still, I would have been happy to have spent my whole life without ever having to step inside a beauty salon.

Dad was sitting across from me, looking unhappy for the most part. Mom pointed at me and said to him, “What do you think of your pretty daughter?”

Dad shrugged and said, “I’m just wondering how I’m going to get that engine back into the car by myself. But yes, she’s pretty. Sorry, but I just can’t get that enthused about now having a daughter. If she’d been born that way, it’d be one thing.”

Mom frowned and said, “Well, we have a daughter now and she needs our support.”

I said, “I hear ya, Dad. I’m not exactly psyched about this either.”

Dad looked at Mom and said, “You know, don’t you, that when she gets married, we have to foot the bill?”

“No worries there, Dad!” I said. “No way am I ever getting married.”

Mom laughed and said, “Don’t be so sure. I said the same thing before I met your father!”


*          *          *


I stood there in the glare of the security light above the warehouse entrance. The police barricades and the over-turned truck and the body of the woman who no one will ever believe was actually the man the ID she was carrying said she was, long since removed. Just an ugly stain on the concrete was the only evidence that something tragic had happened here.

It was a little before nine o’clock at night and the city lights made the deep dark blue of the twilight sky appear black above me. I stood there alone; standing in the middle of where the chemical spill had been one week ago. Almost to the hour.

Nine o’clock Saturday night one week ago, I was normal. A guy. What I had been since birth. DJ had said I should be thankful not to be dead and forgotten like that poor truck driver who was just listed as a Jane Doe because no one could accept the truth. The truth that the now declared missing male driver was the found dead woman. And honestly, why should they?

I’ve been male my whole life and now no one believes I ever was because the truth is unacceptable. Yes, I could have gone “public”, turned myself over to the scientists and the media looking for something else to talk about. But I would most likely still be laughed at because no one can be chemically changed to the opposite sex so completely. Or if I was believed I’d become a freak as DJ said, poked and prodded and tested the rest of my life.

So I just stood there in the shadows of the warehouse lighting and cried. Cried over the loss of all my potential futures and for the one I now had.

Several minutes passed and then I noticed the headlights of a car coming down the alley of the warehouse district. My instinct was to run and hide, but I was just beyond caring. My back was to the car as I heard it roll up behind me.

“Just…Justine!” called a familiar voice. I heard a car door open and slam shut behind me and then footsteps come up from behind. “Hey, Justine. What the hell are you doing out here?”

I turned around and saw Andrew standing there with an earnest expression of concern. Andy looked closely at me and said, “Are you okay? Look, it’s not safe here at night for a girl. Shit, it’s not safe for anyone.”

“That’s funny, isn’t it?” I said. “I’ve been through here many times at night. A few times with you. And there’s never really been any danger. And now, it’s not safe for a girl to be here. A girl...”

Andy stepped closer and said, “Hey, I was at the arcade when your mom called. She’s worried about you. You’ve been away for hours and didn’t tell her where you were going.”

“Has she ever called you before when I’ve been gone for hours?” I asked, folding my arms against my breasts.

“No, but things are different now,” said Andrew. “You shouldn’t be out here alone.”

“I’ve been here alone before,” I said.

“You’re a girl now, Justine,” said Andrew. “You could be attacked…raped or something.”

“So now I need a boy to look out for me?” I said feeling upset on a different level.

“Look, it’s never been safe to be here, period,” Andy said. “You’ve been lucky. This is a high crime area. I’m sure your mother has always been worried where you are. But now you’re vulnerable.”

I straightened up and felt my muscles tighten. I said, “I can still kick your ass, Andy. Just call my mom and tell her I’m okay and leave me alone.”

“I’m not leaving you here, Justine,” Andrew said sternly. “It’s not safe.”

“What are you going to do about it, Andy?” I said. “You’re going to force me to go with you?”

Looking pissed off, Andy said, “If I have to, I’ll hog-tie you with duct tape, toss you in the back seat and take you home.”

Anger rose in intensity towards my best friend, a guy I’ve grown up with. I shouted, “I’d like to see you try it. Andy, just leave me the fuck alone!”

Andy suddenly reached out and took hold of my arm. He growled, “You’re coming with me!”

With my free hand, I slapped Andy hard across the face and kicked him in the shin. I shouted, “Don’t touch me! Leave me alone!”

Grimacing, and undeterred by the slap he kept a firm grip on my arm, but he didn’t squeeze it. He managed to grab my other arm and pulled me close so I couldn’t kick him. I twisted and turned trying to break free from his grasp. Through clenched teeth, Andy said, “Hold still you little bitch. I don’t want to hurt you.”

I twisted harder and tried to turn. I tried to bite him. I stomped on his foot. He held me tight against him. Andy had never before been able to beat me in a fight. But now, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t break free. I began to cry again as I shouted, “Let go of me! Let…me…go!” I was almost hysterical I was crying so hard.

Andrew held me closer to him and tightened his grip on my arms. He said, “Calm down, girl. I’ve never in my life hit a girl, but I’m about to make an exception.”

Crying and gasping for air, I sobbed, “Stop! Please stop. Just let me go!” I gave one last twist and started sobbing uncontrollably and laying my head on Andy’s shoulder. Barely coherent, I cried, “Oh, dear God please just stop.”

Andy loosened his grip on me and we just stood there, my legs shaking and my head resting on his shoulder. My legs felt weak and I put my arms around Andy’s neck for support. Looking suddenly confused and not sure what to do, Andy stroked my hair and said, “It’s okay, alright?”

We stood there for a few minutes. My cries softened, and I felt so miserable. Andy was right. I was vulnerable. I could be over-powered by a complete dork like Andrew. Even though just moments before we were fighting and I was struggling to get away from him, a sudden feeling of security fell over me because there was a man next to me. I hated that feeling, but I couldn’t deny it.

Another car pulled up behind Andrew’s and a light from the side of the car was aimed at us. A man’s voice said, “Hey you kids there. You need to leave this area. It isn’t safe here.”

Andrew waved at the man behind the light. He said, “Thank you, officer. We were just leaving.” That’s when I was finally able to see that car behind Andy’s was a police car. Andrew led me to his car and helped me get into the passenger seat and closed the door. After he got into the car, he reached over to the glove compartment and pulled out a few tissues and handed them to me. He then started the car and we drove down the alley to the street.

Andy’s car had a lighted mirror in the passenger side visor and I pulled it down and said, “Thank you. Crap, my face is a mess.” I started wiping the running mascara from under my eyes with a tissue. I looked over at Andy and said, “I’m so sorry for slapping you.”

Andrew shook his head and said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m just glad you’re okay.”

With a deep sigh, I said, “Thank you.”

Andy said, “We still have some time before curfew. Want to go back to the arcade for a few minutes?”

I smiled weakly and said, “Sure. Let me fix my face first.”


*          *          *


“It’s good to see you back in school, Ms. Short,” said Mr. Woodcock. “Here is your new schedule. We thought it best that we take you out of the classes you were in and put you in different ones to help you and the other students adjust from you pretending to be a boy.”

“Thank you, Mr. Woodcock,” I said insincerely. “I’m turning over a new leaf.” God, I’ve been dreading this day. The day I return to school as a girl. Perhaps they’re right, but I still disagreed with Mom and DJ who insisted I dressed conspicuously as a girl. Last week while I was suspended DJ took me to get my ears pierced. I was sporting a new do; even though you really couldn’t tell other than it was just combed different. I kept my make-up toned down, but you could still tell I was wearing it, especially around the eyes. I tried to protest having to wear a short, denim skirt, showing off my freshly shaven legs.

DJ stood with me in the office as the last of the paperwork for my return was filed. To DJ I said, “I don’t like this skirt. I feel naked and exposed.”

DJ just grinned and said, “You’ve worn shorts before.”

Frowning I said, “At least shorts have a bottom.”

DJ smirked as she said, “You’ll live.”

Mr. Woodcock said, “Alright Ms. Short. We’re done here. You should probably head for your first class.”

I nodded and with DJ behind me, walked out into the hallway, filled with kids hurrying to their next class. I looked across that raging sea of pimpled humanity. I stood in the hall just outside the office for a moment. I expected to be laughed at, fingers pointed my way and over all a big distraction. As it was, I don’t think anyone really noticed.

Actually, peaceful co-existence didn’t last more than ten feet or so out of the office. Phil, the douche-bag from my P.E. class who exposed me, hurried past me. He only got a few feet past me before he turned, pointed at me and laughed.

“Holy shit!” he shouted. “It’s the he-she! It’s back!” People stopped to look at me. Some gasped, some laughed and some just wondered why everyone was stopped in the hallway.

Phil approached me, and with his hands made a broad gesture suggesting my boobs. Laughing he said, “Oh! Bayyyyy-beeee! You’re smokin’ hot. Maybe I will take you the prom after all!” He laughed again, along with some of the other kids standing around me.

Suddenly Mr. Woodcock was standing behind Phil. He said, “Mr. Fisher. You know we don’t tolerate sexual harassment here at Ehrich Weiss High School. You just bought yourself three days of detention.”

Looking shocked, Phil said, “What? You mean you’re taking up for this freak?”

Mr. Woodcock said, “Make that four days. Would you like to go for the grand slam? Five whole days of detention.”

Phil just fumed for a few moments before finally he finally said, “I have to get to class.” He hurried off down the hall.

“Thank you, Mr. Woodcock,” I said honestly.

Mr. Woodcock smiled and said, “Let me know if anyone else makes you feel uncomfortable, Ms. Short.” I just nodded and started to walk to my first class.

Several girls walked along with DJ and me. I recognized a few as DJ’s friends and they kept glancing back to me. One girl got in front of me and stopped and held up her hands. She said, “I have to ask. Why did you hide? Why pretend to be a boy? I mean, you’re pretty. And now that I really see you, so obviously a girl. I don’t get it.”

I shrugged and said, “It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Here’s my class. See you around.”

DJ said, “Hey, Andy and I will catch with you at lunch.”

I smiled and waved as she walked away. I entered the classroom and took my regular seat.


*          *          *


My first class went fairly well. I got a few looks, but everyone was civil or ambivalent. It was still tough to remember to keep my knees together while sitting in a skirt. The skirt being a little tight helped a bit in that respect. I’m still not used to feeling earrings when I rest my head on my hand. It was still bizarre to me when writing to see color on my nails.

The bell rang and my dread started building again. My next class was still P.E. but of course girls P.E. I really was just not interested in going. I expected an onslaught of complaints from other girls about me being in there.

The girls coach, Ms. Sturgis, was standing in the gym along with several girls who also were just arriving for class. Several of the girls looked at me as I entered the gym and whispered something between them and laughed. I could only imagine what they were saying. A few other girls just looked at me nervously.

Coach Sturgis said, “Oh, there you are Justine. I’m happy to have you in my class.”

A little surprised, I said, “Thank you, Coach.”

“This is a good time for you to start in my class too,” said the coach. “We’re starting a new session where we divide up into groups and then the groups create the choreography of a dance to music I select and then after practicing, the groups perform their dance for the class.”

A look of dismay rolled across my face and my heart sunk even further. I said, “I’m not much of a dancer, Coach. I feel sorry for the group I get put in.”

“I’m sure you’ll do fine, Justine,” said Coach Sturgis. “I have high hopes for you, actually. You have an athletic build and graceful movements. Next month we have cheerleader tryouts for next year and I strongly urge you to tryout. And I want to encourage you to try out for gymnastics. I really think you’d do well.”

I laughed in spite of being nervous and said, “Are you serious? Me a cheerleader?”

Coach Sturgis just smiled at me and said, “I never would have suggested it if I wasn’t serious. I know you can do it. I and the other girls will just have to convince you as well.”

The three girls I got grouped with all seemed to be okay with me and didn’t roll their eyes when I was put in their group. We spent the rest of the class with them showing me various dance moves.

Math class was the worst of the day, at least before lunch. A few boys in the class pointed at me and laughed and some girls made a “ewww” face and gesture. Unfortunately, Phil the douche-bag was also in the class. Well, for a few minutes anyway. The teacher sent him to the office to get assigned yet another day of detention.

Finally lunch came around. I stood there in the middle of the lunch room holding my tray, looking around the room. It took a minute, but I finally saw Andrew waving at me. Sitting with him was DJ.

“Hey guys,” I said as I set my tray onto the table. “It’s good to do something sorta normal. Eating lunch and sitting with you guys.”

Andrew took a bite of his mystery meat and before swallowing, said, “So Justin…I mean Justine, how are you holding up?”

I took a sip from the milk carton and said, “Not too bad. Except for Phil, I’m really not catching much grief.”

Andy looked up and said, “What did Phil do?”

“He was just being annoying,” I said. “Trying to get my goat.”

DJ said with a grin, “Hey, he did ask you to the prom.”

“Don’t even say that to be funny!” I almost shouted.

Looking serious, Andrew said, “Seriously? He asked you? What did you say?”

“No he didn’t,” I said. “He tried to claim he could take me to the prom. And I didn’t tell him anything.”

DJ said, “Are you going to the prom. It is for juniors as well as seniors.”

Looking like I just ate something terrible, I said, “No way in hell! Are you?”

With a faraway look in her eyes, DJ said, “Oh yes! Roger Herrlich asked me just this morning.”

“Oh yeah. He’s cute,” I said before I could stop myself.

“And smart!” beamed DJ. “He has to be the smartest person I know.”

I looked over at Andrew and said, “What about you, Andy? Going to the prom?”

Andy took a slug of milk from the small carton and said, “Nah. I mean what’s the point? Who’d go with me?”

“Actually, I thought you’d ask out DJ,” I said seriously.

Andy screwed up his face and said, “No way. I mean, she already has a date, but honestly I don’t even think of her as a girl.”

DJ threw a handful of the high viscosity mashed potatoes at Andy and said, “Well crap! Thanks a lot!”

Suddenly smiling again, DJ said, “To change the subject, one of my friends in your P.E. class said Coach Sturgis suggested you try out for cheerleader next month. Are you? I think you should.”

Scowling, I said, “No. No fucking way would I be a cheerleader! Prancing around in short dresses in front of letches like Andy staring at me? Are you serious? Why do you think I should?”

DJ shrugged and said, “It’s just something girlie you can do. I think it’d help even idiots like Phil finally accept you as a girl.”

I shook my head and said, “No. I plan to start counseling to get a sex change back to being a guy.”

Looking exasperated, DJ said, “Really? After all the trouble your parents are going through to get your paperwork straightened out and the effort your mom and I put into getting you up to speed to be a girl, you’re just going to toss that away?”

Looking away from DJ’s eyes, I said, “I…I just don’t want to be a girl. How else can I say it? This isn’t who I am. Inside, I’m a guy, dammit!”

DJ shook her head and said, “Over the past week Justine, I’ve noticed little things that show me that you aren’t a guy inside anymore. At least not as much as you used to be.”

“DJ, just drop it, okay? Nothing wrong with being a girl if you were born that way, but I really truly don’t want to be one! It’s my life, right?”

Frowning DJ said, “Well, in my not-so-humble opinion, I think you’d be making a big mistake. Becoming a girl has been the best thing to happen to you. And I mean that.”


*          *          *


My God it had been a long week. I had survived it though. And things went a bit smoother every day as the kids who knew me grew to accept that now I was showing up to school as a girl. By Thursday, Phil had finally stopped collecting detention days. I wished I wasn’t just sitting on the couch and wasting my Saturday though. Dressed in shorts, t-shirt, no bra and no make-up, I just lounged on the couch flipping through the channels.

Dad came in from the garage, his hands black with grease and other gunk from my car’s engine. He looked at me lying on the couch and said, “You’re still just lying around? Even though you don’t have muscles anymore, you can still help me out with your engine. Or get dressed and go hang out with your friends. Get out of the house.”

I frowned slightly and said, “I don’t have friends anymore. I mean, our friendship has totally changed now. Andy doesn’t joke with me like he used to because now I’m a girl. DJ just wants to talk about boys and other girl stuff with me. They seem to actually want me to be a girl.”

Dad came over and pushed my legs off the couch to give him some room to sit. He just looked at me for a moment and then said, “I want you to be a girl. So does your mother.”

I sat up straighter and said with surprise, “You want me to be a girl? Dad, are you crazy?”

“Don’t get me wrong, sweetie,” said Dad who never used to call me sweetie. “I wish every god dammed day I had Justin back. I miss my son. I miss him a lot. We can still do many of the things we used to do together, but not all and it’s not going to be completely the same. No matter how hard we try, it just can’t be the same. But Justine, these are the cards you’ve been dealt.”

“But I don’t want to be a girl any more than you do,” I said. “All those camping trips we’ve been on, the tractor pulls we’ve been to, that time your friend got you pit passes at the Indy 500. I loved all those things and I don’t see why that has to stop. I can still be your son.”

Dad shook his head and said, “No. No you can’t. You’re my daughter now. I’ve accepted it. I’m eternally thankful that you didn’t die in that chemical goop, but in many ways, Justin did die that night. Like I said, there’re a lot of things we can still do.” Dad laughed and said, “You haven’t asked to go to a tractor pull since you were twelve. And there’re new, father/daughter things we can do as well. But honey, I’m resigned to the fact that things will never be the same. My hopes for you are basically the same. I want you to be happy. I want you to be successful in whatever you choose to do.”

Dad paused for a few moments. I could tell he was about to continue, so I just waited until he said, “It’s funny. When thinking of the future, I always imagined you’d get married and have a family. That takes on a whole new perspective now. And before when you went out with your friends, I’d never really give it a thought. Now…well, now I’d worry.”

I smiled at Dad and said, “Well, you don’t have to worry about my friends. And you really don’t have to worry about me getting married. That is definitely off the table.”

Dad looked sad. As he ran his hand through my hair like he used to do when I was younger, he said, “I hope you change your mind. I still have the same hopes and dreams for you, honey. The path there has changed, but I want you to have a full, happy life. As a man, your life would have been full of challenges. As a woman, your life will be no less challenging. Perhaps more so. There’ll be more roadblocks. But your mother and I raised you right so I know that, boy or girl, you’re up to the task.”

“Thanks Dad,” I said. “I appreciate that. But I might choose not to stay being a girl. There are options I’ve been looking into.”

Dad looked solemn as he said, “Your mother has told me that you talked to her about that. It’s your life and when you turn eighteen, I can’t stop you. But I can advise against it. It wouldn’t be as if this never happened.”

Sighing, I said, “I really thought you’d be behind me on this. That you’d want a son again.”

Dad smiled at me and said, “I thought I did. Like I said, I miss Justin a lot. But…but…it’s been two weeks since you changed. In this past week, I’ve seen another change. And it’s made me think. I see you smile and laugh more. Your mood is lighter. Instead of being locked in death-match on the Xbox with Andrew I see you on the phone talking and texting with DJ and you look…happy.”

I had to admit Dad was right. I’ve been playing combat games less with Andy and been talking a lot more with DJ or even some new girl friends I’ve been making. Two weeks ago, I’d rather slit my wrists than having to listen to girl-talk. Now I look forward to getting calls from DJ and we talk about everything.

Looking down at my fidgeting fingers, I said, “Well, I haven’t made any decisions yet, Dad. And I’ve noticed you treat me differently now. You don’t have to. I know being a daughter changes some things, but I’m still me, deep down. And Dad? If you start calling me ‘princess’, I’ll have to hurt you.”

Dad laughed and stood up. He said, “I’ll keep that in mind. Well, I need to get back to wrestling with your engine. Come help if you feel like it.”

I smiled at Dad and said, “I just did my nails.” Dad just shook his head and went back to the garage.

I sat there and vegged on the couch flipping channels for ten minutes or so and then the phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and saw that Andrew was calling. I picked up the phone curious what he wanted.

“Hey, Andy,” I said into the phone. “What’s up?”

“I was going to head over to the arcade and wanted to know if you wanted me to come get you,” Andy said. “It’s Saturday night. No reason for us to stop doing what we’ve always done.”

“Sure,” I said. “Sounds like fun. Is DJ with you?”

“Naw. She has a date with that Roger guy,” said Andrew with a tinge of disappointment in his voice. “Seems everything is changing.”

I shrugged uselessly at the phone and said, “What can I say? We’re all growing up I guess.”

“True,” said Andrew. “But I always considered us the three Musketeers. Sorta. You know what I mean. I thought it would last forever. Anyway, I’m on my way over to your house.”

“Hey, give me half an hour at least. I have to get ready,” I said.

“Get ready? To go to the arcade?” Andy said, puzzled.

“It’s a girl thing,” I said. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“And I don’t want to,” Andrew said. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes, so you have to hurry.”


*          *          *


Andrew wound up waiting in our living room while I got ready. While I’m getting better at it, I still can’t rush putting on eye make-up. I changed out my shorts with a denim miniskirt. I put on a bra and changed my t-shirt about five times trying to get one I liked at this particular instance in time.

As we walked to Andy’s car, he said, “Sheesh. You’ve really gone over to the Dark Side haven’t you? Two weeks ago I could come over and you’d go to the arcade wearing whatever you had on. Now you have to…” Andy made quote gestures. “…’get ready’. I think you’re worse than DJ now.”

“I know it hasn’t really been that long since I’ve been dressing this way, I just can’t bring myself to go out into the world without my face on,” I said.

“It’s a crutch,” said Andrew.

“I know. I don’t care,” I said.

As we got into his car, Andy said, “Do you want to stop at Taco Bell first? I’m kinda hungry.”

Shrugging, I said, “Okay. Sure. I’m feeling a bit peckish myself.”

Andrew frowned at me and said, “What the fuck does ‘peckish’ mean?”

“Hungry. I read it in one of the books DJ loaned me,” I said.

Looking horrified, Andy said, “You’re reading those stupid romance books too?”

Frowning at my friend, I said, “Yeah. What’s wrong with that?”

Shaking his head, Andy said, “Shit, man. I may have to get a new set of friends.”

A few minutes later, we were at Taco Bell. We didn’t have to wait long to give our orders.

Andrew said, “Just order whatever you want.”

I gave Andy a weird look and said, “I usually do.” I then told the girl behind the counter what I wanted. I couldn’t help but notice how she had done her eyes and wondered how I could get the same look.

Before the girl could say how much it was, Andrew said what he wanted and the girl totaled up both orders.

“What are you doing?” I asked. “Are we on a date?”

Looking insulted, Andy said, “Oh no. No. Of course not. I just wanted to get it. You’ve paid for mine a few times, remember?”

Frowning I said, “That’s because you forgot your wallet.”

Gesturing with his arms, Andrew said, “What? I can’t pay you back?”

We got our food with Andy grabbing the tray before I could. He led me to a table by the window. He set the tray down and we sat down.

Andy pointed out the window towards the Cheddar’s across the parking lot. He said, “I think that’s where DJ is going with Roger. A little too rich for me.”

I nodded and said, “Dad has taken us there a few times.”

Still chewing, Andrew said, “Did you like it?”

I shrugged and said, “It’s okay. More of an upscale Chili’s.”

Andy nodded and said, “Ah. Okay. Good to know.” He took another bite of his burrito.

I just stared at Andy for a moment. I said, “Are we going to Cheddar’s next Saturday?”

Andy choked and sputtered and said, “What are you talking about? I’m not asking you out and this isn’t a date. We both said we were ‘peckish’, remember?”

“You’re starting to worry me, Andy,” I said.

“You’re the one that keeps talking about dates,” said Andrew. “I think you’re jealous of DJ.”

“I am not!” I almost shouted. “You’re the one obsessed with where DJ is eating. Why don’t you ask her out?”

Looking irritated Andy said, “I can’t afford Cheddar’s. Besides, DJ seems like a sister to me.”

“You can take her to Taco Bueno. The three of us have eaten there a lot and anyone can afford that place.” I said.

“It’s not DJ I want to date!” exclaimed Andy.

“Who then? Maybe DJ and I can help,” I said.

Andy took a deep breath, closed his eyes for a second and then blurted, “Will you go to the prom with me, Justine?”


*          *          *


“Andy asked you to the prom?” asked a shocked DJ over the phone.

“Yes! I thought I was going to hurl!” I said thinking back to that shocking and scary moment.

“Well, what did you say? Are you going?” asked DJ.

“I didn’t really say anything,” I said. “I was too horrified to say anything. I can’t go to the prom with Andy! He’s a guy for God’s sake. I was afraid if I just out and out said no, he’d just leave me stranded at Taco Bell.”

“Andrew wouldn’t do that. I know because I’ve turned him down and he didn’t leave me stranded,” DJ said. “Knowing Andrew, he probably spent the last few days building the courage to ask you.”

“But why? Why me? He’s been like my best friend since the first grade,” I said. “I’ve known him almost as long as you.”

“He obviously likes you. And he probably feels comfortable with you because you have known each other for such a long time,” said DJ.

“This is another reason to not want to be a girl,” I said. “I don’t like guys looking at me that way.”

I could tell she was shaking her head even over the phone. DJ said, “He just wants someone to go the prom with him. He doesn’t want to sit at home while most of the guys he knows are at the prom with a girl. I think you should tell him yes. It’s just like going with him to the arcade, except there’s dancing and you’re wearing better clothes.”

“I know you mean well DJ, but there’s just no way in hell am I going to go to the prom with a guy, best friend or not,” I said firmly.


*          *          *


“What is it pumpkin?” said Dad as he was tightening some nut deep in the bowls of the engine compartment of my car.

“I need a prom dress and the prom is next Saturday night,” I said, biting my lower lip.

“What?” shouted Dad as he both slipped his hand on the wrench whacking his knuckles and dropping the wrench and whacking his head on the hood of the car as he raised his head too quickly.

“I said I need a prom dress. And I don’t have a lot of time. And, I know they cost a lot of money,” I said as Dad put his hurt hand under his armpit and winced with pain.

“Really?” asked Dad. “My little princess has decided at the last minute she wants to go to the prom?”

“I know it’s kinda sudden. But Andrew asked me last night and I’ve decided to go with him. You’ve always liked Andrew,” I said.

Trying to ignore the pain in his hand, Dad said, “I like Andy. I’m just not sure if I like him dating my daughter. He’s a slacker.”

I frowned at Dad and said, “It’s just prom, Dad. Not a wedding. DJ took me to Carla’s Bridals & Formals this afternoon and found a dress. It’s really pretty Dad. You’ll like it. It’s all red and sparkly and floor length. It comes with a matching clutch and they have shoes to match at the store as well.”

Dad just stared at me for a moment. He said, “When you were born, I actually thought ‘Thank God I won’t have to buy a prom dress.’ I know I’ve said I accept who you are now. But it’s still a little unsettling to hear you talk this way. Especially when only a few weeks ago, ‘clutch’ meant something totally different to you.”

“Can I have the dress? Please?” I pleaded. I’ve been practicing making a pitiful expression.

“How much is this going to cost me?” asked Dad.

I swallowed audibly and said, “Well…Daddy…the dress is beautiful and only two hundred and ninety-five dollars. The matching purse is only eighty-five dollars. The shoes are only a hundred and fifteen dollars. And they had the most perfect earrings to wear with it for only seventy-five dollars. They’ll need a day to hem it and there’s not much time until prom. Can I have it, please? Mom said it was okay.”

Dad just stared at me blankly. Finally he knitted his brow and croaked, “With taxes, that’s over six hundred dollars! For a dress! One that you’ll never wear again.”

My eyes widened and I squealed, “It’s prom!” My God. What have I become? I’m begging for an expensive dress to wear on a date with a boy. And I’m not even ashamed. Oh, the humanity! I said, “What do you expect me to wear? A burlap sack?”

Dad smirked and said, “I dunno. How much are they?”

“Ohhh!” I squealed. “Why can’t you understand? My life is ruined now!” I stormed out of the garage, slamming the door behind me.

I ran up to my room and started crying. Partly because Dad was balking at getting me the dress, and partly because I was shocked that I could be upset about a dress. Dad wouldn’t have blinked twice at paying for a tux rental and that would have been over a hundred dollars!

I watched as my tear drops dotted my bedspread. This was insane. I’m crying and yelled at my dad over an over-priced dress that a few weeks ago I wouldn’t even have looked at unless it was on a pretty girl. I looked up when there was a light knock on my door.

“Yes?” I said.

Dad opened the door and looked in. “Mind if I come in for a minute, princess?” Funny how it suddenly doesn’t bother me for Dad to call me that.

“Sure,” I said.

Dad came over and sat down on my bed with me. He gently picked up one of my hands and lightly rubbed the back of my hand with his thumb. He said, “You know, when you just a little boy, and I’d hold you or you’d sit on my lap until you fell asleep, I’d think about the various milestones you’d have in your life. Learning to ride a bike. Hitting a home run. Your first date. Prom. Graduation. All of it. It all seemed so far away then. I hoped I’d be able to be here for all of them. Some of the milestones you never took. And others you took that surprised me, but I supported you on them anyway. When was the last time you touched that guitar anyway that I got you when you and Andy were going to form a garage band? Anyway, I had always assumed you’d ask a girl out to prom, so I really wasn’t ready to hear that a boy wants to take my newly minted princess to the prom.”

I smiled weakly and said, “It kinda took me by surprise too, Daddy. I understand that money is tight. I get it. And things like dresses are frivolous and…”

“Justine,” said Dad, staring straight in to my eyes. “You can have the dress.”

Tears flowing for a different reason and with a laugh, I threw my arms around Dad’s neck and hugged him. I think I caught him off guard as he looked surprised. “Oh thank you, Daddy!” I squealed. “Thank you so much!” Dad returned the hug. He held onto me tightly for a few minutes. So far, this was the biggest milestone for me yet. With the dress, everything about who I used to be died forever. It was the first time ever in my life I heard my dad cry.


*          *          *


“Aren’t you going to be late for prom?” I asked DJ as she continued to fuss over my dress.

DJ shook her head and said, “No. Wild horses couldn’t have kept me from watching the biggest nerd in history blossom into a beautiful girl. Roger knows I’m going to be a bit late getting home. I should probably go though. I wish I could watch Andrew’s reaction to seeing you.”

I laughed. “You will. Daddy already has a video camera recording everything, including his laying down the law to Andrew about dating me.”

DJ laughed and said, “At least your dad didn’t clean his guns when my first date arrived at the house to pick me up.”

I looked over at Mom and she shook her head and breathed a sigh of relief. Considering the arsenal Dad kept in his gun safe, I’m surprised it didn’t occur to him.

DJ and I exchanged kissing gestures with each other and she waved her good-bye, leaving me and Mom alone. I really had to give DJ thanks. She helped me with the dress, my hair and my make-up. My hair isn’t long enough to put up, but she still managed to make it look perfect for such a special evening.

Mom was standing there crying. I said, “Oh, Mom. Don’t cry or I’ll start too and I don’t want to re-do my make-up.”

Mom said, “I won’t lie. I always wanted a daughter. But I was fine with a son as well. You were a good boy, Justine. No really. You didn’t get into a lot of trouble. You didn’t make us worry.” Mom laughed and continued, “I’m afraid now you’re going to worry your father a lot.”

I smiled and said, “Well, he doesn’t have to worry that much. I’m never letting a guy get too close to me.”

Mom wagged her finger at me and said, “You weren’t ever going to date a boy either. I know you’re a good girl. But remember, hormones are a powerful thing. And boys lie. They’ll say anything to get in your panties.”

Looking surprised and making a wide gesture with my arms, I said, “Mom. We’re talking about Andy. The Andy that used to come over here for video games and Kool-Aid.”

Mom stepped close to me and pointed a finger at me and said, “He’s a boy. I’m not saying he’ll try anything. I’m just saying be careful.”

I shrugged and said, “I guess I’m ready.”

Mom stepped back a few paces and looked me up and down. Tears began to well up in her eyes again. She said, “To all mothers, their daughters are beautiful. But considering what we started with, I have to say you’re the most beautiful daughter of them all.”

I gave Mom a hug, fighting desperately not to cry. This was totally insane. Three weeks ago if you’d told me I’d be wearing a beautiful, red prom dress and heels, make-up and going out with a boy I had to beat up a few times, I never would have believed you. Mom then went down the stairs to wait for me so she could get pictures.

Suddenly more scared than I’d ever been, I opened the door to my room and stepped out into the hallway. I took a deep breath and started down the stairs, careful not to trip because of the skirt or on my heels. As I descended, the biggest smile grew across my dad’s face. Mom started crying so hard she was shaking her camera. And the look on Andy’s face was priceless.

“Holy sh…crap, Justine! You’re totally beautiful!” said Andy whose eyes bored into my soul. Grinning like an idiot, Andy stepped up to me and said, “This is for you.” He fumbled with the box containing a wrist corsage of two red roses. He finally managed to open the box and slide it onto my hand.

I held it up and sniffed the real roses. I said, “It’s gorgeous, Andrew! Thank you!” If Andy’s smile got any wider his head would split open.

I turned to face Dad who held me gently on the shoulders and said, “You’re beautiful. Have a good time tonight. But not too good…”

“Daddy!” I said trying to look insulted.

Both Mom and Dad took several pictures of us. You’d think I’d never been on a date with a boy before. Oh, wait…

Mom said, “You kids need to go. The prom has already started.”

Dad, who can look imposing, especially standing next to Andy said, “I want her back home by midnight. And in the same condition as when she left.”

Looking like he wanted to faint, Andrew said, “Yes, sir! I’ll have her back by midnight.”

“Daddy, it’s prom night!” I said, not happy with having dating rules.

“Exactly!” said Dad. “We’ll be up.”

As we walked towards Andrew’s car, he said, “Wow. Your dad was giving me the third degree. I never knew he was such a hard-ass.”

I shrugged and said, “He never used to be.”

Andrew helped me stuff the skirt of my prom dress into his car. I tried to gather it up, but it was as if it had a life of its own.

Ten minutes later found us parked at the hotel where the ballroom was for our prom. Dozens of over-dressed kids were filing into the hotel lobby. I was all tingly and nervous and excited. I couldn’t believe I was going to the prom. As the girl! I loved the sound of my heels on the sidewalk and swishing sound of my satin gown. The scent of my own perfume and Andrew’s cologne mingling in the air. I was overwhelmed.

I spotted a bathroom when we entered and I saw a number of girls heading into it. I didn’t need to go, but I wanted to make sure everything was still on straight. To Andy I said, “I’ll be right back.” He looked a bit annoyed but just nodded.

Getting up to the mirror was going to be difficult. Girls were hogging the mirror checking their make-up and hair and making sure their boobs were straight. Which was why I was there as well. However, something else I saw made me not want to drink anything. Some of the girls were helping other girls hold their dresses while they backed into the stalls to relieve themselves. I thought Oh my God; I’ll have to find DJ to help me take a leak. I didn’t even think about going to the bathroom in this dress. Maybe I should have worn Depends.

After making sure everything was perfect, I started back out the door. As I neared the door and opened it, I heard Phil’s voice saying, “…you asked that freak to the…” Phil stopped talking to Andy and just stared at me with his mouth hanging open.

“…prom,” Phil said. “Holy shit, man. Do you wanna swap dates?” Phil’s prom date whacked him in the back of the head with her purse.

Andy laughed as he slid his arm around my waist and said, “I think that would be a ‘no’.”

The girl, whose name escapes me shouted, “You asshole! Take me home!” She started walking as quickly as her dressed allowed.

Phil chased after her shouting, “Babe! Now hold up. It was just a joke!”

Andy and I grinned at each other and I said, “Looks like Phil gets another day of detention.”

As we entered the ballroom, I’d like to say it was gorgeous, but it was what you’d expect at a high school prom. Several of the hotel’s dining rooms had been opened up, balloons, paper streamers, most of the space filled with tables, with an area set aside for dancing in front of a DJ. Not DJ, but a DJ. You know.

DJ spotted us and I saw her wave us over to the table she and Roger were sitting at along with some other kids we knew. She’d have saved two seats for us. I was going to be the only junior at the table it seemed. DJ and I hugged and then we all sat down at the table, which is not easy in a prom dress.

DJ leaned in and whispered, “Hey, after we eat, do you think I could borrow you to go to the bathroom?”

I nodded and said, “If you’ll help me as well. I really miss front zippers and standing up.”

Another girl at the table said to me, “Hey, you’ve been such a tom-boy all your life, I really expected to see you show up in a tux!”

I wanted to slap her actually, but I laughed instead and said, “Not anymore. Those days are behind me. My mom burned all my boy clothes.” Actually, except for some t-shirts, Mom has donated every stitch of my old boy clothes to Good Will.

Andrew was just staring at me. He said, “I never realized just how pretty you were, Justine.”

A little embarrassed I said, “Thank you. But I have only been a girl for under a month. It’d be kinda weird if you’d noticed that before.”

Embarrassed himself, Andy said, “I guess that’s true. But still, you look really nice.”

Before I could say anything, DJ said, “Andy, you can stop drooling, okay?”

There was then a brief announcement thanking everyone for coming and hoping we’d enjoy our prom. Then they said the food line was now up. Fortunately, the side of the ballroom we were on was selected as the first to get in line. I was a little surprised when Andrew took my hand and led me through the tables back outside the ballroom to the food line.

For some reason, I was expecting steak, but the main items in the food line was a salad, chicken strips and mashed potatoes. The old me would have skipped the salad, and loaded up on chicken strips. As tight as the waist was on my dress, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to eat anything. So I got mostly salad, just two chicken strips that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to eat and a dab of potatoes. When it came to food, I really missed the old me.

“Let me carry your salad plate, Justine,” said Andy. “I’m not getting a salad and that way you don’t have to balance two plates.”

“Thanks, but I think I can manage it,” I said, asserting some independence.

Andrew took my salad plate after I’d set it down to get the potatoes and strips on another plate. He said, “No, really. Let me help you.”

“I’m fine,” I said as I tugged on the plate. Andy wouldn’t let go.

DJ leaned in and whispered, “Just get used to it.” I smiled at Andy and let go of the plate.

After we got back with our food, Andy and the three other guys at our table, did most of the talking, discussing such exciting subjects as the highlights of this year’s football games and other sports.

After discussing that, one of the guys at our table who I didn’t know all that well said, “So, Justine. What was up with you? Were you a girl pretending to be a boy? Or a boy who got a sex change? I mean, you are a girl, right?”

DJ punched him and said, “Morty, of course she’s a girl!”

Sighing, I said, “I’m just as much a girl as DJ.”

Morty gave a playful punch to Andrew’s shoulder and said, “I hope you’ve got a condom on you!” He then laughed and gave Andrew a wink.

Feeling uncomfortable, I said, “It doesn’t matter if Andrew has a condom or not. He’s not getting that close.” I glared at Andy.

Getting all defensive, Andy said, “Babe! Hey, I didn’t say anything about condoms. That was all Morty.”

“Babe? Really?” I said, folding my arms.

“Now don’t start that, Justine. You’re my date, so I’m allowed to call you ‘babe’,” said Andy.

Morty said, “He’s right. Don’t be so sensitive.”

The third guy who’d been fairly quiet until now said, “One of the hazards of dating, Andy. It’s probably that time of the month.”

DJ leaned into Andy and said in a controlled voice, “Andrew, you need to apologize right now to Justine for your and you’re friends’ rude comments or I can guarantee you will be wearing your dinner.”

Looking frustrated, Andy said, “Look, babe. I’m really sorry. Shit. I mean, Justine. I want to apologize for myself and my knuckle-dragging friends for anything we might have said that offended you.”

“I’ll think about accepting that,” I said, arms still folded.

Andy stood up and said, “While you think on it, let’s dance!” He held his hand out to me.

I looked at his hand for a moment. I looked over at DJ who smiled and nodded at me. A sudden chill made me shiver. I have no idea how to dance. I should have asked DJ to show me. And then you have the fact that I’ll be slow-dancing with a guy. I still wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea that I was a guy’s date. Instead of running away, I smiled at Andy and took his hand as he helped me up.

Andy led me by the hand to a free space on the dance floor. I could tell he was concentrating on what he should do. He held one of my hands while he put his free hand on my waist. I put my free hand on Andrew’s shoulder and we both started just rocking back and forth.

Andrew looked down at me and smiled. He said, “This is nice.”

I looked up at Andy and wondered when he got taller than me. I smiled at him and said, “Yes it is.”

Andrew chuckled for a moment and then said, “It’s funny. All these years we’ve been friends, since what? First grade? Anyway, if anyone had said I’d be dancing with you at the prom, I’d said they were bat-shit crazy. But you know what?”

Hesitatant, I said, “What?”

“Now don’t think I’m nuts or anything, but I’m kinda glad you’re a girl. You’re very nice. And very pretty. And…and…you’re smart too,” Andrew said. “You should have become a girl sooner.”

I laughed and said, “Well, I really didn’t have much say in that. Nothing against you, Andy, but I still miss being a guy. But, this is nice. Thank you for asking me to the prom.”

Andy grinned and said, “You’re very welcome, Justine. There’s no other girl on this planet I’d rather be with tonight.”

I smiled and rested my head on Andy’s shoulder. I decided that proms are evil. I was getting all warm and gooey inside. Romantic thoughts bobbled around in my head. The ballroom, the decorations, the dreamy slow-dancing music. Andy’s scent. It was the first time I noticed Andy had his own scent, except for that week long camping trip with the Scouts where we didn’t bathe the whole time. His hand on my waist and holding my other hand, my cheek against Andy’s shoulder. My own raging female hormones. All these things were conspiring against me.

Suddenly the music got really loud and fast as the DJ shouted into his microphone, “All right folks, let’s heat this place up and get things rockin’!” Both Andy and I were jarred slightly and we stopped dancing.

Looking annoyed, Andy said, “Well, we can’t really slow dance to that. It’s getting a bit stuffy in here. Let’s go outside. I hear there’s a pretty courtyard at this hotel.”

My confidence had gotten higher while dancing, but I my feet were starting to hurt after dancing for several songs. I smiled at Andy and said, “Sounds great!”

Andrew led me through all the gyrating bodies to exit the ballroom. It was quieter in the main hallway. Andy pointed at a sign in the hallway that read “courtyard.” He said, “How convenient!” He continued to lead me down the hall to a doorway “To Courtyard”.

“It’s beautiful out here,” I said honestly. It was starting to get dark, though only the brightest stars were visible. There were small battery powered lights lining the sidewalk. Benches dotted the courtyard and most were occupied by couples. One in the corner was free and Andrew led me over to it and we sat down.

Andrew spent a few moments looking around at the trees and plants. He said, “It is beautiful here. It’s a beautiful night.” He slipped his arm behind my neck and shoulders. He said, “And I’m with a beautiful girl.” He moved a bit closer to me.

Holy crap, I thought. Andrew is making a move on me! Andy, who usually found it impossible to say three syllables to a girl, had started playing with my hair and earring. My fight or flight instinct was starting to kick in. What do I do? Do I run away? Do I slap him? Do I…?

Andrew gently pressed his lips against mine, his hand holding the back of my head. Oh my God! I was being kissed by a boy…by Andrew! Why was he kissing me? Only a month ago I was a guy too. And Andy was kissing me. All the mental barriers I had built to keep my mind straight, melted away. I closed my eyes and put my arms around Andy’s neck. I kissed Andy with all the passion I could feel. I pushed my tongue into his mouth and he sucked on it.

And then I noticed something else. Something going on with my body. Holy shit no. I could feel myself growing moist. My nipples were tightening. With no help from me, my body was preparing for sex.

Andy actually pulled one of my boobs out of my dress. I sensed that could get us thrown out, so I pulled his hand way and pushed my breast back into position. Andy began massaging it again as he continued to kiss me. I let him play with my breast. Let? Hell, I didn’t want him to stop.

Breathing hard, Andy stopped kissing me to catch his breath. He said between breaths, “Oh God, Justine. That was so, like awesome! Listen, some of my friends and I went in on a room here. We drew straws and I got first use.” Andy gave me another long kiss and then said, “What do you say, baby? Let’s go make this truly a night to remember!”

I felt horrified. Andy wanted to have sex with me. He knew I was a virgin and he wanted to take that as well. I wasn’t ready for sex with a boy. I have only been a girl for a month. I mean, I had just discovered kissing.

I gently pushed Andrew back and said, “If you think you’re going to poke me with that thing of yours, you have another think coming!”

Looking disappointed for a moment, Andy said, “It’s prom night! You’re supposed to lose your virginity. I know you want it, babe.” And then Andy did the unthinkable. He slid his hand under the skirt of my dress and touched my panties.

“You’re wet, babe. You know you want this!” said Andrew in a breathy voice.

I just sat there, totally shocked at this violation of my person. By my best friend. I slapped him, probably harder than I intended. I heard some people around us laugh in the dark.

“Baby!” exclaimed Andrew feeling his cheek. “What’s that for?” Keeping his voice low, he continued, “Don’t you want to fuck?”

Whispering to Andrew I almost yelled, “Are you out of your mind? No, I don’t want to have sex with you! Nothing personal…well…kinda sorta. But sheesh Andy. One, I don’t want to have sex with a boy right now. Two, I don’t turn eighteen until October so we’re talking statutory rape. Three, my Dad will kill you. Four, if you got me pregnant, I’d kill you. And I think just on general principals, DJ would kill you.”

Smirking, Andrew said, “You can’t get pregnant on your first time.”

Feeling shocked and stunned, I said, “Weren’t you even listening? I don’t want to have sex.”

Frowning, Andrew said, “So, is that a ‘no’?”

“Yes!” I hissed. Andy’s eyebrows went up and I said, “Yes, that’s a no. Sheesh, Andy.”

Andy just shook his head and said, “Baby, you gotta help me. You don’t know what this is like. If I don’t get relief, I’m gonna blow in my pants. How about a blow job?”

Suddenly wanting to throw up, I said, “I’m not putting that thing in my mouth either!”

Andrew said, “Justine, I’m sorry. I’m a complete ass. I got carried away and I’m sorry.”

Frowning, I said, “You and your friends had that room rented before you got carried away.” I folded my arms.

Andrew suddenly looked like he wanted to cry as he said, “Ah, shit.” There was a sudden odd smell and then I could see the crotch in Andy’s pants start to glisten with moisture.

I moved away from him and said, “Oh God, Andy. Ewww yuck.”


*          *          *


“You were right, Mom. You were so right about boys.” Mom couldn’t really brush my hair yet, so she was just combing it over and over as we sat on my bed.

Mom shook her head and said, “I knew I raised a strong, smart woman. I’m proud of you Justine. You didn’t let him take advantage of you.”

“I just don’t get it, Mom. Andy and I have been friends like, forever. Everything was going so well. He kissed me and I liked that. But then he just had to push it to that next level,” I said as Mom put the comb down on my dresser. “But you know what scares me? If he’d been the girl, would I have acted the same way? I mean, I kinda know what he was going through. Sometimes it’s hard to think straight.”

Mom just shrugged and said, “There’s no real way of knowing. But I know what kind of son I was raising. And I know what kind of daughter I have. I would hope you would have been the gentleman I raised.”

Mom pulled the bedspread back and said, “It’s late, honey. You should get some sleep.” She looked at me for a moment and added, “I can’t wait until your hair is long enough to brush and braid.”

I slid my legs under the covers and said, “Do you really think Dad will do to Andy what he promised? I didn’t even know Dad had a knife that big.”

Mom chuckled and said, “I really don’t think so. Gave Andy a good scare though. He probably won’t be coming over anymore.” Mom hit the light switch. “Good night, sweetie. I’m sorry you had a bad night tonight.”

“There’s always next year’s prom, Mom,” I said. I stared at Mom for a few moments in silence. And then I said, “Mom?”

“Yes dear?”

“I…Mom, I’m scared,” I said honestly.

Mom stepped partway back through the door and said, “Scared of what, sweetie?”

I rolled my eyes around the room and waved my arms. “Everything! The future! My future. Being a girl future. A month ago I was just another geeky guy looking forward to summer vacation and not thinking much beyond that. Tonight Mom…tonight I danced with a boy and I loved it. I kissed a boy and it was totally awesome! This frightens me. I kissed a boy and wasn’t repulsed like I would have been a month ago. What if a month from now, the thought of having sex with a guy isn’t repulsive? What if I fall in love, get married and oh my God, have babies? I’m just not ready for that future.”

Mom smiled and said, “So many questions! No one can know for sure, sweetie. If you’re not ready for something, tell the boy. If he doesn’t like it, then find another boy. The thing is, don’t worry. You have a good head on your shoulders. Just don’t let anyone talk you into something you’re uncomfortable with. We’ll worry about some of these things when we get there. Good night, sweetie.”

“Good night, Mom,” I said.

Mom closed the door.


*          *          *



It was starting to get a bit chilly down on the field. But then, cheerleader uniforms aren’t really made for warmth. I finally spotted DJ. She was sitting in the stands right behind the band. It was the homecoming game, so she came back into town for a visit, taking a break from her studies at M.I.T. She told me she was going to find a cure for me, but I told her to please don’t bother.

I thought Andrew might show up, but I guess he’s busy. Over the summer, he met a girl where he worked. I feel sorry for him in a way. But it was his fault. Both he and the girl actually were virgins and of course Andy fed her the line that you can’t get pregnant the first time out. Well, of course you can and of course she did. Now Andrew is trying to work three jobs so he can afford to get married. Andy and I don’t talk much anymore.

I looked up into the stands again where the band was sitting. I waved to my boyfriend Scott. He plays the sax in the band. We’ve been dating a whole month. I used to think Andy was a good kisser. I think Scott could teach Andrew a few things! Dad really likes Scott too. Scott will come over and help Dad work on the car or he’ll come over and watch NASCAR with Dad. Dad has called Scott the son he never had. I’m still trying to figure out if I should be insulted by that or not.

Coach Sturgis wished I’d started doing gymnastics a long time ago. I might be going to the state gymnastics meet.

I have to agree with DJ. Becoming a girl was the best thing to happen to me. I think I’m happier. I love my boyfriend who I never would have met otherwise. I really enjoy being a cheerleader. I have a ton of friends and now I’m a straight-A student. And of course Mom loves having a daughter whose hair she can brush and who she can fuss over and go shopping with and cry over silly movies.

Bottom line…I love being a girl. I wish I could have been born this way. Better late than never, I guess…


*          *          *


The End

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